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Are We Not Seeing God RIGHT NOW?
What we are doing to prevent the Vision of God, how everyone
else supports us in doing that, and what we can do instead to
go beyond the greatest human blind spot of all time.
Feeling and World Peace.
How can we hope to transcend national boundaries for real, if
our capacity to feel
doesn't even extend beyond the boundary of our own body? Our
capability to feel for
others, depends on our capability to feel to
others, transcending the feeling of "otherness".
A brief history of "separation of Church and state".
Why world peace requires human and spiritual maturity, and why
those who have that maturity must require it of their leaders
if there is to be a true and lasting world peace.
Life of Divine Invocation.
Hoping that 5 minutes of prayer a day will change the world
— or even oneself — is something like turning the electricity
on for only 5 minutes a day, and hoping to run a fulltime business
on that basis.
Hormones, and Maturation.
Many kids have no interest in sex, or even find something repugnant
about it, until the hormones start kicking in. Just so, the
actual practices of a spiritual life for most adults may not
seem very attractive (and may even seem offensive), until the
Divine starts Kicking In . . .
Made Me Happy."
We commonly speak in such terms: he made me happy, she made
me unhappy, that made me happy. But can anyone or anything make
us happy or unhappy? Will scientists someday be able to find
the sequence of steps whereby someone or something makes us
happy? Or is what is to be found about the nature of happiness
something else altogether?
I have always been amused at my staunch materialist (and/or
Christian) friends who swear by zodiac signs. They use them
all the time to make sense of other people (for example) without
ever stopping to consider what the reality of astrology implies
about the nature of reality altogether.
"Living Under the Influence".
Watch out! It's the ultimate intoxicated state, and there's
every chance that you might get "pulled over" for
living this way...
Is there a way to practically evaluate whether a religion
"works"? A checklist of questions to consider in relation
to any religion, philosophy, or spiritual practice.
Some experiments for you to try to increase your sensitivity
to the Spiritual Reality.
Seeker": a Contradiction in Terms! Seeking
is about what is not currently the case; genuine Spirituality
is ultimately about what is always already the case. The only
meeting place between the two is this: the failure of seeking
is fertile ground for the start of real spiritual practice.
"Comparative Religion" Trap.
Most comparative religionists — professional or homespun — study
religions and talk religion their entire life; but many never
take the next step of seriously practicing
religion, and therefore never realize its true benefit.
The human heart won't be satisfied with anything less than infinite
and everlasting Happiness. Given that this
is possible, why settle for anything less?
Taboo Against God-Realization. We have been programmed
from birth in every conceivable way against
our greatest human potential.
Doorway to the Divine. We love being entertained
by science fiction stories or movies that present visions of
parallel universes, and doorways for entering other dimensions.
But Truth is more incredible than fiction —
Fully Awakened Spiritual Masters provide an actual
doorway for passing into the Ultimate Dimension:
and Reactivity: Rightly Interpreting the Spiritual Archetypes.
The transcendence of reactivity is a characteristic we
often ascribe to our heroes, real or archetypal, whether they
are Joan of Arc silently enduring being burnt alive, Clint Eastwood
not reacting while being beaten by a gang in a classic Western,
the Buddha sitting cross-legged with eyes shut, or Jesus as
a baby being described by: "no sound did he make".
Spiritual growth can certainly be viewed in terms of transcending
reactivity. However: such growth is not signed by someone sitting
in a lotus position, or in a monk's cell, where their "transcendence
of reactivity" depends
on separation from the world. It is signed by the freedom to
be completely happy, and lovingly emotionally expressive for
the sake of others (in whatever form is required), under any
the Father. Is
there any evidence that "God the Father" is an appropriate
metaphor for Real God? That is, does there in any way seem to
be a God that is in charge, and caring for His believers? We
suggest not. But we also point out that that doesn't mean there
is no God, or no possibility of perfect happiness through God-Realization.
It simply means that there is no "God the Father".
(And "God the Mother" is not necessarily any better
a metaphor, by the way!)
Erotic, and Spiritual. The genuine spiritual process
is paradoxically one in which —
not via puritanical piety or belief —
but rather via the whole-bodily-erotic spiritual intoxication
of Divine Communion, one becomes capable of great and natural
goodness in the world, demonstrating great sobriety and balance,
because one is always already connected to (and blissfully immersed
in) one's Source (for real).
Pursuit of Happiness.
We are guaranteed the pursuit
of happiness as a constitutional right (in the United States,
at any rate). But what about the finding
of happiness? Strangely enough, there is a taboo against it.
Just so, we are programmed to find our value in "the journey",
the search itself. But our truly inalienable right —
because it is our inherent nature —
is happiness itself, now,
not projected into the future.
Headaches, Ulcers, and self-Understanding. We're
so used to popping an aspirin for a "tension headache".
But the very name is indicative of the fact that we
ourselves are the source of the headache:
we are physically tensing the head, and that is the actual source
of our pain. The clearly superior longterm response to tension
headaches or stomach ulcers would be to understand
how we are tensing
the head or tightening up the gut to create them, and ceasing
to do it, or even better, not doing it in the first place. Just
so, personal suffering altogether, and the origin of personal
suffering in each moment! There
is a superior capability that can be developed (and is perfectly
effective), which can replace the analogues to "popping
aspirins" of unlimited variety, that are are our usual
form of coping with suffering (from the outside in, rather than
the inside out).
vs. Seeking: The Goose is Already Out of the Bottle.
"The goose is already out of the bottle" is a traditional
Zen reference to "enlightenment". But what does it
actually mean? And what are its practical implications? We examine
the wisdom tradition (from the ancient Greeks to T.S. Eliot)
which asserts that what must be realized for perfect happiness
is always already
the case, and therefore need not be (and cannot fruitfully be)
elsewhere, regardless of whether "elsewhere" is "after
acquiring a million dollars", or "on a Himalayan mountain
and Individuality: God, Passion, and Genius. Books
such as James Hillman's recent bestseller, "The Soul's
Code: In Search of Character and Calling", suggest that
"character" is rightly seen as the "acorn"
that is present at birth and grows into a full and fully individual
human life, if properly attended to. Of course one can examine
such possibilities as genetics and reincarnation to determine
where the acorn came from. But here we address a different matter,
fleshing out Hillman's metaphor in a larger context: the Divine
is the Soil, and the acorn must grow in that Soil for a human
life to be fully meaningful.
Taboo Against Spiritual Masters.
Crucified. Poisoned. Burnt alive. The reasons why the greatest
beings who have ever lived — who have offered the greatest hope
for human kind — have invariably been denied and persecuted.
Matter with Matter.
Just as "doubting Thomas" needed to touch the
wound in Jesus' side to know that Jesus was alive, we use physical
touch as an ultimate testing board or "touchstone"
for what is real. But what actually occurs when we "touch
something"? Is it as solid and fixed a matter as we have
been trained to believe? Or is even physical touch a far more
complex affair than we ever realized, raising serious questions
about the validity of the entire materialistic viewpoint?
Some of the most well-known and intelligent people
have come to the conclusion that reincarnation does occur. What
exactly is reincarnation? And if we are "reincarnated",
does that truly represent any consolation, over "when you're
dead, you're dead"? And if it has no consoling value, what
is the value of considering
the reality of reincarnation?
The Time Frame of Spiritual Realization.
"How long does it take to realize Eternity, the 'Place'
beyond or prior to time and space?" and other curious questions
. . .
CAN Take It With You.
Does your life have a purpose? If so, is it one that isn't going
to get instantly ripped off when you die? Many of us spend our
lives denying death, allowing ourselves to be completely consumed
and distracted by our responsibilities, our indulgences, and
our search for things we cannot take with us after death in
any overt form (knowledge, accomplishment, fame, or friendship).
But death is still coming. What
can we take with us after
Qualities of Real God. Does Real God have any discernable
qualities? Different religious traditions around the world suggest
different qualities: "all good", "all knowing",
"all powerful", "wrathful", "the creator",
"the sustainer", "the destroyer", "the
judge", "the Father", "the Mother",
etc. But how many of these are simply projection of human qualities
onto God, as many students of the world's mythologies and archetypes
have suggested? And how many of these qualities are the result
of looking at the wrong "evidence" while making such
assessments? What can we say about the
actual qualities of Real God?
Realization: the Basis for True Morality. Why morality
from the "inside out" —
based on spiritual realization —
is simpler, better, and more natural than "outside in"
based on laws and prescriptions for what we "should"
of Highly Spiritual People.
In Stephen Covey's highly acclaimed book, "The Seven Habits
of Highly Effective People", he relegates spirituality
to habit #7, and dedicates it primarily to the purpose of renewing
oneself so one can go back to work again. This may be great
in terms of a life whose highest purpose is to function effectively.
But he's got it completely
backwards when the purpose of one's life is
spiritual in nature: functionality must be harnessed to serve
spiritual realization, and not vice-versa.
is Always Only the Result of Misunderstanding. Quite
a claim! But let's get into it. . . and let's also see what
Wisdom, Great Wisdom, and Life Purpose.
you ever felt a conversation stop when someone says something
like — "What is important is enjoying the journey, not
reaching the goal", "What really matters is my family
and friends", "Well, at least I've got my health",
"Life's a bitch and then you die" — with everybody
nodding as though something profound has been said? Or as though
this were indeed acceptable as a final word on life, the universe,
and everything? What are the strengths and limitations of such
"common wisdom", particularly when contrasted with
God, Science, and Religion.
fundamentalism and scientific materialism have always been at
opposite ends of an idealogical spectrum, and have also taken
turns at being on top politically, in a great historical pendulum.
But what do either of these enterprises have to do with Real
God or Truth?
Grand Unified Theories.
The Promised Land of physicists is a simple GUT (Grand Unified
Theory) capable of explaining all physical phenomena. Progress
toward such a GUT has been marked by such milestones as the
unification of electricity and magnetism —
into "electro-magmentism" —
back in the 19th century, and further consolidations of that
sort since that time. But such a GUT will only be a physical
GUT, accounting at most for objective phenomena. A theory that
truly accounts for everything,
must also take into account subjective phenomena. A fully comprehensive
GUT must unify the subjective and the objective; it must be
a psycho-physical theory.
Every such consolidation has led to practical consequences of
extraordinary reach. "Electro-magnetism" led directly
to the development of the electric motor, one of the cornerstones
of modern technology. "Psycho-physics" will lead directly
to a "technology" of happiness, and the true alleviation
of human suffering at its root. But, by its very nature, this
"psycho-technology" will not be usable in an independent,
purely "objective" manner; self must be invested.
Splintering, Web Solidarity, and Corporate Merging: A Glimpse
of the New World Order. Three
key trends may very well end up defining the way the world re-organizes
itself in the new millenium:
the Internet: the
formation of groups and enterprises on the basis of common
interest, rather than political or geographical location;
in world politics:
the fragmentation of confederations and states;
the business world:
the merger of companies whose assets complement each other.
These three trends correspond to three basic activities of the
individual ego: identification, differentation, and desire.
What do these three co-existing trends signal, and what is their
implication for the kind of cooperative community needed to
support true spiritual life?
and World Peace. There
is something curious about the groups that have tended to go
to war with each other, both traditionally and currently: Northern
Ireland and Southern Ireland, the Jews and the Arabs, the Indians
and the Pakistanis, Chinese and Japanese, the Serbs and the
Albanians . . . Any third party would have to acknowledge that
the warring parties have an awful lot in common! Then why fight?
Freud suggested as an explanation, "the narcissism of small
differences". If this is so, the origin of the problem
suggests that its cure must be one that is capable of addressing
narcissism altogether. That is to say: world peace requires
a Spiritual solution.
"Problem of Grace" Solved!
Alan Watts spent the majority of one of his books ("Behold
the Spirit") raising the problem of Grace. This same problem
is apparent in the writings of many other authors and traditions,
including George Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, and Hubert Benoit
(e.g., his "Supreme Doctrine"). We describe a very
obvious address to that apparent problem.
do We Suffer?
One of the longstanding questions of believers in God (particularly
in the Judeo-Christian tradition) is "If God is all-good,
then how could God create a universe that contains evil, or
in which people suffer? Or, if God didn't create evil or suffering
per se, how could God allow it?" Many people have become
atheists simply because of the lack of adequate address to these
questions. We examine the history of this question (and the
responses to it), and then suggest a real answer that frees
us right now from suffering.
Practice and Division of Labor.
Who does what in real spiritual practice? What does God do and
what does man do? Sayings like "God helps those who help
themselves" don't come anywhere close to providing an adequate
answer. But there is a clear answer to this question!
On the importance in distinguishing between something being
necessary for a particular
functional purpose ("food" is necessary for bodily
survival), and the neurosis that emotionally overlays on top
of any functional necessity the feeling of neediness:
"I need this" or "I need you" in order to
be be happy. Do we in fact need anyone or anything in order
to be happy? One implication: imagine what functioning would
be like if it were unhampered by unhappiness. . .
Back the Onion. Peel
off the social "Pleasantville" layer of life, and
we get that "universe without inherent meaning" that
the existentialists love to describe... Fine. But who says we
have to stop there?Suppose we peel further?
And what is at the Core?
We examine the history of this infamous question, the traditional
"answers" to it, and then examine whether it is a
real question —
as C.S. Lewis once quipped, "God has better things to do
than sit around for centuries waiting to have God's existence