-if it were not true I would not have told you so.”
There is a long standing tendency of certain religions to define salvation in terms of a given framework. You get the feeling of ‘my way or the highway’ I suppose it is easy to understand when you think of God as a larger version of yourself. What you’ve constructed is a God of prejudice; a God whose pronouncements dovetail with your preferences; a God who smites your enemies and bears you, the chosen, away into his kingdom in the sky. St. Paul writes for these people. You wind up with hierarchies and formulae that micro manage every aspect of existence.
I get by turns, amused and distressed by the orthodox Christian idea of Heaven. Somehow it doesn’t turn me on. Frankly, I can’t get a handle on most Heavens. Earth, we can see, is a place of personalized lifestyles and philosophies. There’s the idea that Heaven is a more impersonal sort of place where we all partake of the personality of the divine. I’m okay with that. That makes sense. Unfortunately in the minds of most, this impersonal state is personalized again into a structure that conforms to mortal ideas of what the everlasting implies. You can’t possibly graft the infinite upon the finite, nor expect that the latter can define the former.
I have to be careful expressing my next thought. I don’t want to give off the punk on the corner persona that I just don’t want to go to a place where these other people are so confident of going. But, through my life I’ve witnessed many an inconsistency in the behavior and collective pressures of the mass mind determining a conformity that doesn’t seem real to me in any eternal sense. The greater body of religious figures and their flocks strike me as people without any real insight into what it is all about. I’m not suggesting I do know myself. It’s just that I don’t buy the general picture, nor do any of them seem to agree with each other.
It’s odd to see a religious philosophy that is so rigid about sexual energy, when that sexual energy is basic to life. I see a lot of dead people littering the highway of the great moral exercises of this planet. Somehow it seems like their way of managing sexual force leads to outbreaks of violence due to a basic misunderstanding of this force. Repression of a basic instinct invariably leads to perverted explosions at the chains weakest link. It really does appear that religion and political structures are most directly concerned with temporal control. It’s a carrot and a stick process whereby you are propelled toward a promised ending while being managed through the interim. You arrive here convicted of some original sin and are then required to refrain from a vast litany of things in order to get to somewhere else and it makes me wonder what the point of being here is.
We rarely see common sense being applied to the question of why we are here. Some part of me is convinced that the only way to obtain to salvation is to generally do the opposite of everyone else. Peer pressure then indicates I’m going to the bad place because I refuse to get with the program. I don’t want to go to the place they think they’re going. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be much fun there, not if these people are going to be there. They aren’t any fun here. Is that supposed to change? Is Heaven not supposed to be any fun? It seems to me that Heaven should be terrific fun.
I don’t know about all of this dreary nonsense I hear about. I wonder at all the tears at all of the funerals. I wonder about all the agony of loss that goes on here all the time, if none of this here is supposed to be important and if we can’t take any of it with us any way. It seems to me that the whole point of manifest life is in learning the lesson that there is no lasting satisfaction to be gained and that we are meant to be about the business of letting go of our attachment to the things of the flesh, since these things belong to the flesh and since the flesh isn’t going to be accompanying you. It seems like the job is to help in every way one can, giving an example of the service that is to be expected by a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven. Why then does so much of the assistance here have so many strings attached?
Over and over I see temporal force being applied to an arguably non-temporal state. And we’re told that there’s just this one means, this one port of entry for the life entire. I don’t doubt that each and every tradition at its highest expression will enter through the similar gate but... this would be a point beyond the capacity of intellectual definition. This would be a point that did not involve the confirmation of dogmas and paraphernalia. This would be a point beyond the disputation of contradictory creeds and the slow plodding tread of terrestrial conformities.
Genius may be sufficient to many of the tasks of existence but it is stripped of advantage when it comes to illumination. Some of the greatest spiritual minds have been owned by simple folk. Some of them couldn’t read or write.
As much as the realities of spiritual achievement may be an uncommon thing, I like to use common sense when trying to understand them; especially when I observe how common understandings play into higher understandings. It can’t possibly be that God is only Christian, only Muslim or only anything except God. It can’t be that God picked one group of people to be his folk and just wholesale damned the rest. It can’t be that fear of women is the official aperture to salvation; not when one appears again and again through their good office. It does appear that whatever salvation may be it must have a relationship to the resolution of all things into one.
If you’re headed to Kansas City and you live in LA then, you’re going to be approaching it from a different angle than you would if you were coming from NYC. If every human soul is a different point in relation to every other point in relation to Kansas City well then... it stands to reason that no one can unequivocally determine the route of another. We are not impressed with God as tattoo or branding imprint. It stands to reason that if God’s got a front porch then God’s got a back door. It stands to reason that all great religions must have a legitimate connection and therefore it is only one’s intensity that determines the degree of their success. No doubt the pursuit of excess may also lead to the palace of wisdom.
The way I see it, existence is like a giant building. Down in the basement are the boilers and all the hot machinery that pumps the heat. Unseen cables and pipes run throughout all the levels and bring the water and light. Elevators run to hundreds of floors. Each floor is a world unto itself. But the light and the heat and the water are all the same except for the quality of the energy. People are living on every floor and that is the reality of it. In some places the heat has a greater degree of smoke; the water is less clear and the light more or less bright. We can think of it as a body instead of a building. All of the floors could then be parts of the body. The people would be cells. The whole would make up the body of God. Some may be living in the stomach- and we see that don’t we? We see around us people living in a focus on particular areas of the body. The floors and body parts overlap and interpenetrate so that someone living in the heart may well be watching clouds pass through a window in a restaurant where everyone else is having lunch.
It’s a difficult thing to express in words the things for which words are not usually accustomed or for which only the idea itself will serve. This grand experiment is designed to make you familiar with the essential force which interpenetrates the whole. Sometimes it takes the shape of heat; sometimes light, sometimes sound, sometimes water or a person or a duck. Back behind or deep within there is a common essence that cannot be seen; only the effects are seen. The effects are not the thing.
All of these things are gathered together in the human form whose sole design is to one end- the apprehension of the purpose of the grand scheme, the realization of itself as the micro cosmic example of the originating consciousness. How this consciousness may choose to bring it’s expressions into an understanding of itself within it is not the province of the individual unit. It could happen in a million different ways and though it may bear some resemblance to things heard in religions and philosophies it will prove to be something uniquely independent of them.
In the Kingdom of Heaven one may pass through rooms without end, each of these rooms a Heaven unto itself. Some will have a greater access than others, though only for a time. Still, even to be the least of the residents must exceed any position we can know about here. It’s not something one will be motivated to make comparisons on. There is no sense of lack.
Here on this Earth, some are lighting up a room and some are contributing to the darkness. This doesn’t have any impact on the intentions of the building superintendent. You’ve got light and heat. It’s up to you if you turn them on or not. It may be you more greatly appreciate certain things in the dark. You’ve got your elevators and your stairwells. You can head off to a million different opportunities depending on your appetites or interests. You can study the containing apparatus. Maybe you’ll learn something about your own system thereby; after all, it’s based on it. If this is your motivation it’s good to remember that all the while you are living out whatever your interests may be, something is watching and listening and waiting. You might want to introduce yourself. You might want to get in the habit of reminding yourself that this is so.
In a certain sense the building super is busy. He’s not impressed with crank calls or a complaint about something he knows, far better than you, is working perfectly all of the time. If you can’t see this maybe you could ask him to explain how that is. He will get around to it. Some things work in the supernatural just the same as they do here. If you make a lot of noise, if you keep calling, if you just won’t quit, the super’s going to show up at your door. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
'God's Not Dead' is track no. 3 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)