Saturday, September 30, 2006

Entering the Castle

Here is the foreword Ken Wilber wrote to "Entering the Castle" by Caroline Myss
I really like it.

Entering the Castle is many things: a guide to the life and times of St. Teresa of Avila, the extraordinary 16th-century saint and contemplative master; a guide to her brilliant meditation text, The Interior Castle; and, last but certainly not least, a guide to your own soul—a beautiful, tender, radiant, caring, loving, and authentic guide to the territory of your very own soul.
Mysticism in general, and contemplation in particular, are such staggeringly vast and often confusing topics that, especially if one is new to either of them, they can prove lethally overwhelming to the soul, right when it is looking for something, if not exactly simplistic, then at least simple enough, to ground what might be its confusion, chaos, perhaps fear, perhaps suffering. What I would like to do, then, in just a few pages, is offer the reader some simple experiential reference points that might help to ground some of the central ideas of mystical or contemplative spirituality. I will first give 7 of the most central ideas of mysticism, and then attempt to give the reader a very quick, direct, experiential grounding in each of them.
The central ideas, if discussed merely theoretically, can sound rather dry and abstract. Here are the 7 central ideas: (1) we each have an outer self and an inner Self; (2) the inner Self lives in a timeless, eternal Now; (3) the inner Self is a great Mystery, or pure Emptiness and Unknowingness; (4) the inner Self is Divine, or perfectly one with infinite Spirit in a Supreme Identity; (5) hell is identification with the outer self; (6) heaven is the discovery and realization of the inner Divine Self, the Supreme Identity; (7) the Divine Self is one with the All, given in grace and sealed in glory.
Now let’s go in search of an experience of each of those items in just a few pages. Tall order? Not really, in that you are already aware of, and fully experiencing, each of those items right now, according to the mystics. So let’s see.
First, sit back and relax; take a few breaths, let your awareness come easily to rest in this present moment, and simply notice some of the things that you are aware of, right here and right now.
Notice, for example, some of the many things that you can see, things that are already arising effortlessly in your awareness. There are perhaps clouds floating by in the sky, leaves blowing in the wind, raindrops on the roof, the city skyline all glowingly lit against the evening’s darkness, or the sun shining brightly on the horizon as it is about to begin its journey across the sky. These things take no effort to be aware of; they are simply arising in your awareness, spontaneously and effortlessly, right now.
Just as there are clouds floating by in the sky, there are thoughts floating by in the space of your mind. Notice that these thoughts arise, stay a bit, and pass. You don’t choose most of them; thoughts simply emerge out of what seems to be nothingness or emptiness, parade across the screen of your own awareness, and fade back into nothingness. The same with feelings in your body. There might be a sensation of discomfort in my feet; or a feeling of warmth in my tummy; a tingling in my fingertips; an intense burst of excitement around the heart; a warm pleasure washing over the body. All of these feelings simply arise of their own, stay a bit, and pass.
As I look inward, noticing thoughts and feelings arising in the “interior” spaces of my own awareness, I can also notice this thing called “me” or “my self.” There are many things I might know about myself—some of which I might be pleased with, some of which I might be annoyed with, and some of which I might find positively horrifying or alarming. But whatever I might think about this thing called my self, it certainly seems that there are numerous things I can know about it.
There even seem to be several of these selves, a fact announced by a plethora of pop psychology books. There is my wounded Child; my harsh Superego; my cynical and even bitter Skeptic; my ever-present Controller, seeking to control both me and everybody else; my Wise Old Man and Wise Old Woman; my spiritual Seeker; my Fearful Persona, which lets fear make too many of my life’s choices for me; the Joyous Persona, finding a constant current of joy and happiness in this and every moment; to name a prominent few….
But notice something fascinating about all these selves: they are all something that I can see, that I can be aware of, that I can feel and know and describe, at least in many ways. They can all be seen—but who or what is the Seer? All of those selves, which I just looked within, saw and felt, and then described—all of them are objects that can be seen: but what is the Subject, the actual Self, the actual Seer of those seen things, the true Knower of those known things?
Get a good sense of yourself right now—just try to be aware of what you call yourself right now. Try to see or feel yourself as clearly as you can. Notice, once you get a sense of seeing or feeling or being aware of yourself right now, that what you are seeing is an object, not a true subject. That is, the “self” that you are seeing—the self that you call yourself and that you take to be a real self—is actually an object. It’s not even a real self or real subject, but simply an object or something that can be seen. Everything that you know about yourself, everything that you are used to calling yourself, is not actually a self or real subject but just a bunch of objects, a bunch of things that can be seen. But who or what is the Seer, the real Subject or real Self?
To begin with, don’t try to see your true Self, because anything that you can see is just another object, just another thing that can be seen, and not the Seer itself. As the mystics are fond of saying, the True Self is “not this, not that.” Rather, as you attempt to get in touch with this real Self or Subject, just begin by letting go of all the objects that you have previously identified with. Anything that you can see or know about yourself is not your true Self anyway, but just another object, so let it go, just let it go, and begin instead to “dis-identify” with whatever you thought was yourself. Try this exercise, saying to yourself:
“I have thoughts, but I am not my thoughts. I have feelings, but I am not my feelings. I have desires, but I am not desires; I have wishes, but I am not those wishes; I have intense pleasure and excruciating pain, but I am neither of those. I have a body, but I am not my body. I have a mind, but I am not my mind. All of those can be seen, but I am the Seer; all of those can be known, but I am the Knower; all of those are merely objects, but I am a real Subject or True Self, not any passing parts and pieces and objects and things. I am not thoughts, not feelings, not desires, not body, not mind, not this, not that….”
So who or what am I?
Before proceeding, let’s acknowledge what we just saw: according to the evidence of our own experience right now, we can say that we have at least “two selves,” or these two sorts of selves—there is the self that can be seen and known, and the Self that cannot be seen or known. There is the unknown Seer, and there are all the little selves seen. Philosophers have some fancy words for this: the transcendental Self (or pure I AMness, which can never be an object, seen or known) and the empirical self (or the empirical ego, which can be seen, known, experienced, objectified).
Even though the transcendental Seer cannot itself be seen—that would be just another object—it nevertheless sees the entire majesty in front of its eyes: unseen, it sees all; unknown, it knows all; unfelt, it feels all.
For this reason, the true Self is often called the Witness: it witnesses all that is occurring, but cannot itself be turned into an object—as a true Subject, it cannot be “objectified.” It is also called the “Mirror Mind”—it effortlessly and spontaneously reflects everything that arises, but does not grasp or keep. The true Self is, in some sense, a deep mystery, something that can never be seen, and yet sees the entire universe in front of it. It is a vast Emptiness, and yet out of it, the entire world seems to spring.
So, indeed, who or what am I? What is this Self of mine? For the moment, please keep asking yourself that, keep trying to feel into that question, keep trying to think the thinker, feel the feeler, and see the seer. As you proceed in that fashion, asking yourself, “Who am I?,” and gently letting go of all the objects that you thought you were, and as you keep trying to see the Seer, you actually won’t see anything specific—you won’t see any particular things or processes or events or objects (or if you do, they’re just more objects, exactly what you are not trying to find). Rather, as you keep relaxing into the Seer, all you will find is a sense of release from objects, release from the small and narrow identities with objects that you used to call you. All you will find, in other words, is not another object but an atmosphere of Freedom, Liberation, and Release—release from the pain and torment of identifying with a bunch of little objects that come, stay a bit, and pass, lacerating you in the process. According to the mystics, the closer you get to your true Self, the greater the sense of infinite Freedom.
As I rest in the unknown Knower, in this pure Self or Witness, I might notice something else about this Self: it doesn’t move—it isn’t touched by time or motion, date or duration. This transparent Witness is aware of time, hence itself is timeless, or existing in the timeless Now. The Witness is aware of past thoughts, but past thoughts occur Now; and the Witness is aware of future thoughts, but future thoughts occur Now—and when the real past occurred, it was a Now moment, and when the real future occurs, it will be a Now moment. The only thing the Witness is aware of, the only thing that is real, is an endless Present, a single Now moment through which time passes, but it is not itself touched by time at all, yet rather lives in eternity. And eternity does not mean everlasting time but a moment without time. Wittgenstein saw it clearly. “If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.”
So there’s another hint: the closer you get to your true Self, the more you live in eternity. The more you live in the timeless Present, which includes thoughts of the past, the present, and the future, all occurring in the timeless Now. So think about the past and future all you want: just watch them arise in the Present.
At this point, the contemplative mystics make one of their most controversial claims, so controversial as to seem almost psychotic, and yet they do so in one thundering voice the world over; they make this identical claim from every known culture, at every known period of recorded history, and in every known human language, and they do this so consistently and so unanimously that this claim is very likely the single most universal spiritual claim that humanity has ever made: The closer you get to your true Self, the closer you get to God. And when you totally realize the true Self, it is seen to be fully one with, even identical with, God or the Godhead or Spirit itself, in what the Sufis call the Supreme Identity.
Now this clearly does not mean that your empirical self is God, or that John Doe is God or Jane Smith is the Goddess; it means that your transcendental Self—your infinite and eternal Self—is God or Spirit. Or, put a little more accurately, Spirit is not in any fashion separate or separated from the transcendental Self of all sentient beings. The transcendental Self in every sentient being is Spirit in that being, and Spirit is the true Self of all beings. And that means that 100% of Spirit is present in your true Self, in your deeply inward, radiant sense of I AMness.
Let’s pause and look at our list of the mystics’ claims, because we have already touched on most of them:
(1) We each have an outer self and an inner Self. We saw that the outer self (or the “empirical ego”) is “the self that can be seen,” while the inner Self (or transcendental Self) can never be made an object or thing of any sort, but rather is, among other items, a sense of Freedom and a Great Liberation from the known, from the finite, and from the empirical ego.
(2) The inner Self lives in a timeless, eternal Now. Eternity does not mean everlasting time, but a moment without time, which happens to be exactly this moment, when seen correctly as an endless Present encompassing all time. The true Self is aware of this ever-present, never-ending, eternal moment, through which all time passes—and, while never entering the stream of time itself, remains as its unmoved Witness.
(3) The inner Self is a great Mystery, or pure Emptiness and Unknowingness. Precisely because it can never be known or made an object, the true Self is no-thing-ness, pure mysterium, an ongoing unknown Knowingness, or cognizing Emptiness, or simply, the great Mystery of your own being.
(4) The inner Self is divine, or perfectly one with infinite Spirit in a Supreme Identity. As St. Thomas put it, if the eyeball were colored red, it couldn’t see red; but because it is clear or red-less or color-less, it can see colors. Just so, because the inner Self sees space, it is itself spaceless, or infinite; and because it sees time, it is itself timeless, or eternal. And this infinite and eternal Self is the home of Spirit in you and in each and every sentient being. The overall number of inner Selves is but one. Every person feels exactly the way you do when they feel into their own Witness or I AMness: since the true Self has no objects or qualities, it can’t be different in anybody: it is the same radiant Divine shining in you and me and all of Spirit’s creations.
(5) Hell is identification with the outer self. Hell is not a place; hell is not somewhere that we go when we are dead; hell is not punishment handed out to us by something or someone else—it is rather our own contracting, sinning, separating activity of choosing the wrong self to identify with. We identity with that which we are not, we identify merely and only with the empirical ego, the self-that-can-be-seen; and that puny, finite, temporal, limited and lacerating identity is nothing other than hell. Hell is a horrendous case of mistaken identity. We have forgotten who and what we are, a transcendental Self plugged straight into Spirit, speaking with the words of God and shining with the radiance of the Goddess. But we identify only with the finite self, the objective self, the self that can be seen, and not the Self that is the Seer, divine and infinite and eternal….
(6) Heaven is the discovery and realization of the inner Divine Self, the Supreme Identity. The mystics East and West have long proclaimed that “the Kingdom of Heaven is within”—because the simple fact is that I AMness is Christ consciousness, Spirit itself, the Godhead in me and as me. The True Self in each and every one of us is the True Self that Jesus of Nazareth realized—“I and the Father are one”—and that realization, quite simply, transformed him from a temporal Jesus into an eternal Christ, a transformation that He asks us to remember and repeat ourselves.
Of course, this does not mean that my empirical ego is Christ, or that my personal self is Christ. To believe that is, indeed, a schizophrenic delusion. Nobody is saying that my personal self is Spirit, but rather that the transcendental Witness of that personal self is one with Spirit in all beings. Your transcendental Self is Christ, your personal self is you.
(7) The Divine Self is one with the All, given in grace and sealed in glory. At some point, as one rests in the inward Witness, feeling the atmosphere of Freedom, the very sense of an inner self versus an outer self will often vanish, seen for the illusion it is, leaving only the sense of what the mystics call one taste. My transcendental Self gives way to nondual Suchness, or what Meister Eckhart called Is-ness. For Spirit is not only the Self of all beings, but the Suchness or Is-ness or Thusness of all things. To Freedom from any object is thus added the Fullness of being one with all objects. I no longer witness the mountains, I am the mountains; I no longer feel the earth, I am the earth; I no longer see the ocean, I am the ocean; I know longer pray to Spirit, I am Spirit. So seamlessly does the world, sacred and profane, arise in one piece, that I can find no boundary—not a single fundamentally real boundary—anywhere in the entire universe. There is only the radiant, all-pervading, deeply divine I AMness, within which all the worlds arise and fall, are born and die, explode into being and fade in oblivion, carried along by the one and only thing that is always ever present, even unto the ends of the world: this ultimate Mystery in Emptiness and Release, Freedom and Fullness, Ground and Goal, Grace and Glory, this Self of mine that I can no longer find, as the raindrops in their insistent Is-ness beat gently on the roof, a beautiful sound of heartbeat thunder, thump, thump, thump, thump, just… like… that….
What we need is a roadmap, a guide book, leading from our empirical egos to our transcendental Self, one with the Divine, grounded in Suchness or Is-ness. Around the world, every culture has produced many of these guidebooks, but every culture has a select handful that are venerated above all the others. In the West, it is hard to find a text that is more loved and revered than Teresa’s Interior Castle. Most contemplative traditions have meditation paths that consist of a number of well-laid-out steps for moving from the hell of our outer selves to the heaven of the Divine Self (and ultimately their nondual union). Teresa’s seven mansions—each of which, in the following pages, is explained by Caroline Myss in beautiful, clear, radiant language—these seven mansions are nothing other than seven steps in this extraordinary path to your own deepest Self or soul, realized in the Cloud of Unknowing, given by unearned and unexplained Grace, and actualized in daily living—an actualization that deepens as this very moment dissolves into the moment of the Divine revelation, right here, right now, with this earth radically transformed from a living hell into a living heaven, the more time is seen as the moving face of eternity, and outward selves, as ornaments of the Divine Self and radiant Suchness of all the worlds and universes.
Want to find out if those essential points of mysticism that we have so briefly outlined here are, in fact, true? Well, I will tell you the final thing that I personally love about genuine contemplative mysticism: it is scientific—in the sense of experimental, experiential, evidential. Try the seven-step interior experiment given so exquisitely by St. Teresa of Avila, and see for yourself. It’s an interior scientific experiment in almost every sense, so try it and find out for yourself. For this experiment, we are now incredibly fortunate to have Entering the Castle as well, fully based on St. Teresa’s seven interior mansions, which are explained and elaborated here so beautifully, so clearly, so compassionately, so light-heartedly, so wondrously by my friend Caroline Myss, for whom dearest St. Teresa became not only a spiritual woman who had written a brilliant practice manual, but a saint who saved Carolyn’s life, showed her her soul, awakened her heart, and set her on the never ending, always actualizing, timelessly fulfilled road of practice.
“Daughter, follow me.” And dear Caroline, I just know that St. Teresa would say “Amen” to this luminous book as the fruit of her calling to you, a calling to all of us to be mystics without monasteries in a world sorely in need of a touch of the Divine—Divine God, Divine Goddess—the True Self in each and every one of us, the Self looking out at this page and reading every word written on the Suchness of its own Heart, which you can hear anytime you like, and especially every time it rains, echoing in the beautiful sound of heartbeat thunder, thump, thump, thump, thump, just… like… that….

Monday, September 25, 2006


Oh, the ocean waves usher me into the thick, silent
Womb of the Present Moment. I ride alongside her pebble clucking
Lion roaring call, calling me home, dragging me into the silent core of
My self, universal heart pulse. Silent core of this and every moment,
The ocean waves, the pebbles cluck.

This weekend I went to Kochi, the prefecture south of Ehime, facing the pacific. Went there with Ty who surfs. Also with Andy, a physicist. I met beautiful people. We camped on the beach, and in the morn, round 6:30, a man pulled up to us in his van, probably about 40, and chitchatted about the weather, “beautiful morning” and then gave us beer and drank it with us, expensive, delicious beer, then he gave us a cd of his favorite okinawan singer, a porno mag, a sandwich and rice balls for breakfast. Generous fella. And actually, it didn't feel too strange, for we were met with kindness and generosity from almost everyone. Friendly, generous, eager to help…wonderful place, Kochi.
Andy, a Cambridge graduate, gave me many debates, mind, morals, language. Ty, bless him, continuously brought me back into my body, into the beauty of nature, the cathedral of creation arising continuously around us. “Oh wow, guys, look over there!” he would interrupt. A true angel. While he was surfing, Andy and I decided to swim in the ocean. Getting in was easy enough, but we almost died trying to get back to shore, the waves kept dragging us out. A scary moment.

Right now I'm on the porch at one of my middle schools writing in my journal. I only have two classes today and I finished my Japanese homework. So, I'm writing and reading Tenzin Wongyal Rinpoche’s ‘Tibetan Yogas of dream and Sleep” which I originally found in India at the bookshop next to the Dalai Lama’s monastery. I gave away the three copies I bought there, and ordered this one off Amazon. Rinpoche reminds us “The teachings are not ideas to be collected, but a path to be followed.” I think of my friend Zack who recently distributed some of Rinpoche’s teachings across the Internet.

I recently drew a pinecone in pen. its a tiny drawing and i like it a lot. i drew it for the cover of an Ehime English teachers' Journal. Also, I'm working on a painting of the moon, a rainbow chakra system running down and as a tree in autumn, and beneath the surface, the roots, a dark space illuminating the reminder. Also pictured is an old drawing of Amida kissing a dying man (the mirror of death) and a bodhisattva whose heart is exploding into dark shards of light and energy (India ink and charcoal) with a jewel feather wrapped in mystical fire above her head.
I've also started painting the portrait of a stone. I feel like Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as Robert Brawley, but to be fair, I have been painting rocks ever since I could paint. I had a rock collection that I considered holy when I was little, and even now, my shrine is adorned with them. In Kochi, along the beach, I spent hours with my head down, eyes racing across the tiny islands, each glittering, licked by time and transformation, water and sunlight, Picking one up, its cold body filling my palm, I look deeply into its face, a perfect abstract painting, a perfect shape, and my gaze opens up see a million tiny faces beaming, each one different, each one whole and complete, each one changing so slowly, each one reflecting the light, flickering reflections of infinity, a vast carpet of precious gems, the wet pebbles on the beach, and then, as if that were not enough, the waves arrive and recede, grabbing the stones, pulling them away. They tumble, cluck cluck cluck, the sound rolls through me like a rain cloud with fingers and drum rolls, how do I describe that sound, the clucking of a thousand small stones rolling across each other…deep within me, the stones cluck and roll, grabbing my attention like Jazz, the music of the spheres. Dissolved into the sound, I’m gone, and in my place, delight, and tiny pebbles jumping out of the water.

I thought of this story: A single grain of salt stands on a cliff. He looks at the ocean and wonder’s what it feels like. “Jump in,” says the sun.
He does, but in the water he gets frightened and clings to himself, refusing to surrender to the water. “Come on, relax..” a million voices whisper around him. When he can’t hold himself together any longer, the tiny grain of salt lets go, surrenders, and immediately becomes the entire ocean.

I just finished Ken Wilber’s ‘Integral Psychology” and have already ordered his new book “Integral Spirituality.” I originally discovered Ken through the painter Alex Gray, for he wrote the forward to all of Gray’s books. I remember looking him up on Internet with my mother and her asking me why I was so interested in this guy. I don’t know,” I said. I know nothing about him.
All I knew was that his forwards to all three of Gray’s books blew my mind, and so, I went to Border’s and bought “The essential Ken Wilber” an introductory reader, which, to say the least, blew my fucking mind. Not only was he saying everything that I already thought to be true, but he was weaving together ideas that stretched my mind so wide I felt spacious and clear and open and also more alive and in awe at the mystery and unbounded beauty everywhere; his writing put me in an altered state of consciousness sometimes so intense I had to put the book down and just bask in the glow of the new insight unfolding…I had never read anything like that before. He also had a way of honoring and including everything I considered important, from Dzogchen and Zen Buddhism to post modernism, social activism, and art…it appeared that this man new everything, read everything, understood everything better than anyone. I later found out that he practiced Zen and Tibetan Buddhism and came from the Midwest. Also, my beloved painting professor read his work. And, interestingly enough, there is a new Jet here from Newton Kansas, where my family is from, who also reads Wilber. And now my artwork is on Integral Naked and is used by Integral Institute which Wilber pretty much started…. anyway, I first learned about Dream Yoga from Ken Wilber. Then from the Dalai Lama, and then my mom heard that Lama Surya Das was giving a dream Yoga empowerment and retreat near Lawrence Kansas and decided to pay for me to go as a birthday present. And that retreat blew my mind.
And now I'm reading a mind blowing dream yoga book in the pink morning sunlight, drinking coffee and cool air.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The school in the mountains

This morning Damien and I got on a bus headed for Besshi, the school in the mountains. After an hour and a half of winding roads, we arrived. This school is so great. There are four elementary school kids and three Junior High school students. We played games, watched them dance, talked about insects. It rained and the clouds waved as the scated by.

A sermon

An email I sent to Alicia turned into a religious sermon. Not my first. But I liked some of the ideas that arrived and leaked out of my fingers, so I will share them here with you.

"Eternal" in the Buddhist tradition (which usually refers to the Empty, Primordial Essence: your subtle consciousness or Buddha Nature which is birthless and deathless) means existing outside of time, NOT existing for a long long time, a rather horrible idea.
Eternal means that it never entered "time" in the first place. Eternal from the Greek I think is "above time". And life, actually, if we look carefully, doesn't exist in time either, because you can never find a past or a future in the present moment. The present is all there really is, and so, it is impossible to exist outside a timeless moment, or outside eternity.
SO, I sometime use this definition of Eternity-that is above time, not existing for a long long time- to open Christians' eyes to what "Eternal Life" or "Eternal Hell" could mean. If you are in hell existing outside of time, then it can be as "short" or a "fleeting" as a second. It's outside time altogether. It is not, however, a very long time.

I might even draw the conclusion that EVERYTHING exists in the ETERNAL PRESENT or PRESENCE, in an ETERNAL EMBRACE, and this very real Present Moment that we are all effortlessly plunged into, is actually GOD. The Omnipresence that is closer to you then you are to yourself. The Presence that is with you always. The Condition that is not difficult to contact but impossible to get away from. The Present out of which everything is created. IT is the most utterly obvious Present Presence that is God that is so clear and close and real that is it is actually reading this page, and criticizing these thoughts.

And then I might say "Praise God for the Diversity! The diversity is PROOF that God is creative!" HAH! Isn’t that amazing!? The more types of people and ideas and religions, the GREATER GOD is! Oh my gosh! I just came up with that and it makes so much sense. Obviously a creative God would want to have the most diverse universe ever! Praise God!
So, I have decided to "believe in God" and talk about the nature of God in Christian and theistic conversations. I meet a Christian and talk in their terms, in always a God Affirming tone, which keeps them in the conversation. This might be more useful, don't you think?

Also, and you know this one already I think..
Many Christians I have met are polytheistic; they actually believe in two powers. Sometimes even more. They believe in a good power and an evil one. And, then, on top of that, they might think that they, the individual creations, are in control too. They forgot that there is only ONE in control, only ONE Source and Suchness. In the beginning was God (or "the word”) (I love that!). The Bible did not say that in the beginning there was God and some darkness. If it did, then it would make sense that God created the universe and that the darkness wants control and in the darkness is evil and hell and whatnot. But no, it said in the beginning there was only God, and so, it would follow that now, to, there is only God. And God indeed judges Herself and sends Herself to hell which is actually existing in a corner of herself, as well as heaven, and everything in the universe is created out of her body, as a reflection of her body, for there is NO PLACE GOD IS NOT, for God has not limit, and in the beginning there was only God. Where else could God have gotten the energy to make the universe but out of Herself, the only Presence in the beginning? Anyone?

And yes, this means that on September 11th, 2001, God crashed plane-shaped parts of herself into herself; energy crashed into energy, and all is still moving and evolving in a painful, ecstatic way, full of diversity, growth, compassion, and suffering.

Man, sometimes it really does appear that Christians are polytheistic, and they put a limit on God, saying God is in this and not in that. And, on top of that, they loose faith in God's plan, and think that it is flawed and needs to be fixed or saved.
Classic polytheism. Which is, of course, also God in all her Glory. From atoms to angles.

I think I told you this already too, that it is seeing Good and Evil that keeps us locked out of heaven, which is the Freed Awareness that can embrace both "good" and "evil" as equally important and divine creations. Does God see good and evil? Or does God only see herself in all directions? Both, I presume. Both And. Because both are true in an infinitely diverse universe.

So, Recently I have adopted the word God and Godhead into my vocabulary. Of course, when I use it, I'm usually not referring to the mythic “Parent in the Sky” God that many religions pay allegiance to. An Atheist CAN use the term God meaningfully. And when they do, you know they are not talking about the Christian Creator, but are instead referring to the TRUE GOD or GODHEAD, which might represent TRUE REALITY, BEAUTY, EMPTINESS, FREEDOM, PRESENCE, or JUSTICE, or LOVE. "God" is a sign, or a word. Hah! IN the beginning was the word.

I recently had this idea. When "Jesus" said “I am the truth, the life and the way. You can only get to heaven through me,” he was not saying you can only get to heaven through Jesus. He said only through the Truth, the Life, and the Way, can you get to heaven. If he meant, “Only through believing in Jesus,” he would have said, “I am Jesus. You can only get to heaven through me.” But he was identified as the Truth, the Life, and the Way, and ten spoke from that identification. SO, we could restate his teaching as “It is only Through Life that you can get to Heaven. It is only Through Truth that you can get to heaven. It is only Through the Way that you can get to heaven.” Each of those can be non-theistic. In fact, they are all “this worldly,” life-embracing, clear, non-abstract teachings. The only thing that is iffy is the word Heaven. But, once we consider heaven to be a state of consciousness totally free and embracing (in this world but not of this world)…Heaven is where the heart is.

So, if you don't use the word God in discussions, and actually get uncomfortable and confrontational when that word comes up, try it out for a wile. Talk about god or the mystery with confidence. Since we are all manifestations in this universe, we can all talk about our source, which, in my opinion, is the glowing core of our very selves, shining a light through us unto all things, and then embracing all things, like a mirror its objects.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

May all beings be Free and in Love.

Blog Archive