Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Now Where Did I Put That 'get out of jail free' Card?

One of the problems that people have with the concept of God arises from misunderstanding the purpose of existence and the location of our greatest hope. People look at the circumstances of life and say that there cannot be a God who permits what we see happening. Right off the bat it is clear that the people saying this have some idea of who and what God is supposed to be. They must if they have such ideas about what God should be and how God should act. They get a lot of these ideas from religion and they also get them from an instinctive sense of what should be fair in a fair world.

Somehow people have gotten the idea that Heaven is supposed to exist on Earth. Though I am sure that there are people who do live in Heaven while on Earth they are not the same place; Heaven, Hell, Earth, Detroit, Hong Kong, the ocean, the sky- these are different places and different things happen in them. You can also say that birds are fish that swim in the sky and that fish are birds that fly through the ocean.

It is easy for me to explain just about anything in terms of what I understand about how the universe works. It is not easy to make it understood. It is easy to say that God is Love and that Love is Unity but it is not easy to give others a visceral sense of that; of how that applies in real time, in real lives and what it means as a cosmic truth applied to a personal being. Many people have an intellectual understanding of things which are of no real value.

When people who imagine themselves to be intelligent scoff at the faith that inspires some to believe in a loving and merciful God it makes perfect sense to them that the God the God described cannot exist because the physical evidence from their observations tells them this is often a cruel and bloody world. Either they are correct or their idea of what God is and what God does is flawed. God is creator, preserver and destroyer. Though there are people who have extended the life of their body far beyond that of ordinary people, the physical body is still a temporary dwelling because the physical world is a temporary place. Being a temporary place things come and go all the time. We object to the going and object to the means of the going as well. And since we do not, most of us, know what lies beyond there is much confusion and fear attendant.

The mind can dwell on many things. The separated mind sees things in terms of itself. It does not know what it is itself because such a meaning cannot be revealed to a mind divided against the unity of the one mind. Only the one mind can know what is in actuality and if one is existing in this mind then their individuality as they presently understand it is lost. This is the one thing that the individual mind cannot bear. The primary concern of the individual mind is its own survival. Even though it cannot and does not survive it does not believe that this is so. It believes it will go on forever and all of its efforts and arguments with itself are directed to this end. The individual mind is therefore the father of lies. It is a lie to begin with so its offspring, its thoughts, are lies as well.

This world that we are observing and moving through on a conveyor belt of time is the product of the collected individual minds in a grandly orchestrated hallucination. The individual mind is essentially a selfish mind. Even all of its occasional high and noble thoughts are selfish. There is a shift that takes place in this individual mind when it passes through puberty and for the rest of its life all of its actions and values are based on some individual understandings concerning the dual nature of the universe. The real object of life is regenerated innocence; becoming as a child. The great obstacle to this is the immediate idea that one is placed in constant danger by giving over their rational defense mechanisms to something that they don’t understand; no matter how they might believe in its essential goodness because one of the jobs of the divine is to test the faith of the soul in surrender.

It is difficult to be specific in this regard. Whenever one attempts to talk about these kinds of things they are inevitably led to parables and metaphors and examples from the sensory realm used to create an idea about something that lies beyond the senses.

It might be good to say that life as we see it before us is all about experience and adventure and discovery. It is about learning and sorting and accepting and rejecting. The pain experienced by the person deceived by the desires of the individual mind is meant to be instructive. You are actually here to discover that there is nothing here that you want. There is nothing external to you that is of any value other than relative value and that value is changing all the time. Good and evil are mere constructs that apply in one situation and do not apply in another.

Let us imagine that we are in prison. There is a Stockholm Syndrome that takes place here. Many do not see their jailors as prison wardens at all. Many do not recognize the prison although they do know they are confined- they just do not know by what or how. In prison the inmates often get institutionalized. They can no longer function in the outside world and quickly commit another crime so they may be returned to the safety of their familiar prison surroundings. Of course, prison is not safe at all. I have been in real prisons and I can attest to this. Well, the world is not safe either. You have to pay attention. It is not safe for your body, your mind or your heart. With the passage of time the inmates will often not realize or forget that they are in prison and fail to identify the guards and the walls and other phenomena as being what they actually are. You might even say that the physical body is a prison and that there are guards and walls in the mind as well. So the world is a prison composed of many smaller prisons and your mind and your heart are both prisons often enough.

What if someone comes to liberate you from your prisons? What if someone crashes the walls and bends the bars and scatters the jailors? What would you think? Would you think that you were being liberated or would it make you want to hide under your bunk? Would it make you grab the bars of your prison and resist this liberation? Would you not join with the guards to fight off this frightening appearance? What happens if the one who comes to liberate you informs you that everything you believe is a lie? What if the presence of this liberator makes everything you see and value and desire irrelevant? What if the presence of this liberator causes every cherished illusion to die?

What happens if your liberator tells you that everything you think and feel are the bars and walls of your prison? What if you literally have to die in order to be free? What if everything you hold dear must die? But it does anyway, doesn’t it? Everything goes. Everything. You and everything you know goes anyway. Yet the individual mind holds out the unfailing hope that this is not the case and that somehow your destiny will be unique. The funny thing is that this is altogether possible but it is not possible in the way that the individual minds conceive and/or wish it to be.

Only one thing is important and that is self-realization. Comprehending who and what you are is the only important effort for your attention. This is not to say that we do not have a duty to life and those we encounter. But like everything else, the truth is different that what we have been told. The reason we have not found our ‘get out of jail free’ card is because we are looking in the wrong pockets. It is not in the pockets where you keep the keys to everything else. But it is there. Sometimes you can find it on your own. Sometimes it can seem as if you did and sometimes someone can show you where it is. A good start is to ask yourself over and over again, “Now where did I put that?”

Saturday, March 11, 2006

How We Fool Ourselves.

The form side and the essence; when one hears that the word ‘messiah’ and the word ‘serpent’ are the same according to their numbers or that God and the Devil are parts of the same process we think the one who says it blasphemous or mad. When we hear that what confuses us is what liberates us we find it difficult to comprehend. Hearing that the tempter and the savior are one mysterious interplay; being told that the Devil is the way that the wicked see God- or to be told that the fearsome shadow has the outline of the luminous angel behind it... what are we to make of such things or the people who say them? You are not likely to find too many people saying them. You may have never heard these things.

Look at the world. Look closely. Consider the Sphinx. Consider the myths and the legends and the scriptures. Consider yourself for that matter. The deeper you go into a mystery... you go until it unravels into nothing. It’s just a presentation of jungle flowers and waving fronds with more behind them waving and beckoning. Once the mystery outside has revealed that it conceals nothing, the mind is immediately drawn within; this is not to say that many wonders and mysteries do not exist in nature but it would still take a particular eye to see them. The beauty of a young woman, or a woman of any age who has kept that beauty- or the eye that can see beauty regardless; what does it worship in it’s attraction for it; in it’s attention upon it? What does it think its desire is composed of? This beauty pulls the essence forth to create more form. Endless forms are created by the desire for forms. The world is composed of forms. The artifice of nature and the artifice of the mind upon nature in adapting the same substance into all the infinite varieties that we see, goes on and on, over and over- always making more. In all of this making, what is the result? The result is the re-occurring mortality of the form. We suffer in our desire for the possession of forms and we suffer from the loss of them. We suffer from our disappointment in them. They are dissolving even as we perceive them.

Is this what you want? How about this? What about this? Try this, taste this. Hunger has memory. Imagination creates ever new ideas of forms for the enjoyment of them. Tempting? Is it what it was advertised to be? If they are disappearing and fading then what has the mind or the heart gained in its experience of them? Sorrow and loss... Poignant regret... temporary happiness and disappointment... the expense of the self on behalf of experience. Wisdom may come and it may not.

Why are these people fighting, wounding, treacherous and lying, conspiring... dreaming of what? What is the object of these efforts and what is the result?

It’s a tricky thing and no mistake. It seems that the key is in knowing what to desire because you will surely get it, sooner or later. There is also the consideration of what you are willing to do and give up for the possession of what you seek. The whole world is going in a certain direction. You can see it everywhere. You can see the effect of it in the eyes of those you pass in the street. You can observe the eyes of those you pass at their every age as they move through time. The power of the world is strong. The hypnotic cloud maintains the drama of minds magnetized by dust. It seems real.

Things glitter and dance in the music. Goblets appear with fantastic shapes emerging from them. Jewels and gold and beautiful forms emerge and they turn and catch the light and they are jungle flowers and waving fronds.

How does one stand against the immensity of the cities and the omnipresent media and the countless forms and distractions that wave like the fronds? They call your name like the sirens on the rocks. They call you to war and to business and they call you to make your mark upon the attention of the world. Ships and planes traverse the world into all of the cultures and marketplaces. All of the movies and books and songs... they rouse and inflame and fire the imagination with dreams of accomplishment that accomplishes nothing but more of the same. It is like the idea that business must always make more money, that there should always be bigger markets and more customers so that things can grow bigger and bigger. GROWTH! ...More and more and more. There can never be enough. Those who understand what is going on are judged insane. Those who define and explain what is going on are called enemies of the state.

The wars of business and fashion, the wars of the elements and the competition of colors and the conflict of perceptions lead naturally to actual war. The arguments in the mind and the arguments in speech over conflicts of perception inevitably find their way to the battlefield. Commerce demands war. Merchants and bankers require it.

For those who are of and in this world there is one set of priorities and for those who are passing through it there is another. The hard men and women of the world cannot be convinced of anything but that the world must be shaped according to their needs. You cross them at your peril. Just as one who is caught up in the thrall of a nightmare will cry out and lash about them; so will those caught up in the dreams of merchants and banks and forms lash out from the fear of loss.

All of the events of this world and any world take place within a single mind. This mind resolves everything in it according to its relationships. Everything has a destiny. Do not think that some portion of the hard men and women of the world do not know about this. They do.

Some say the world is shit and you should have nothing to do with it. Some say we are all sinful. Some say good and evil are just constructs of the mind. Some say this and some say that. Some say you must surrender and some say you must strive. Whatever they say, here you are. So, where are you going and what do you want? William Blake said, “He who binds to himself a joy, does the winged life destroy, but he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternities sunrise.”

There are differences between saints and prophets and sages and mystics, just as there are between burglars and armed robbers and murderers; between wholesale and retail and second hand. Those who know very little, if anything, about these things believe that they are in a position to define and judge them. Often the hard men and women of the world point to those who would point the way ‘out’ and measure their behavior against standards of conformity; against dogma and doctrine and whatever. If they understood such things they would have little to say. They sneer at these things because the message in them compromises their justifications for the things they do. They are exposed by these things, so they make the truth an outlaw. They incite mobs and manufacture laws. All of what they do is to insure their own profit. The truth is your enemy if you are the enemy of truth.

So many systems of government and commerce have evolved out of the efforts of those who have engineered them for their own profit and sometimes to improve conditions for everyone. We all need to eat and somehow we need to get to the food and all of the things that contribute to the amenities of existence; therefore the markets and all of the shake and bake industries of form making and all of the industries that work within the many operations that spin in the realm of temporary wonder.

We fool ourselves and we fool each other for many different reasons that all have to do with what we think we want and the possibility that someone may keep us from it or get there before we do or take it away from us. The urgency and impatience of life are actual forces just like the invisible entities that haunt the highways and feed on the accidents, that haunt the battlefields and feed on the suffering and the blood, like the spirits in the bars that live in the bottles and the minds of the drunks, like the creatures that feed on the sexual fire and fluids that are the fuel of existence for them.

We are not who we think we are and things are not what we think they are and we will suffer for just as long as it takes us to find that out.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Constant Conscious Companion

We are inundated with spiritual books. The sheer weight of them would sink a million Titanics and put a billion Rip Van Winkles to sleep for eternity. It seems to me that the waters of Lethe flow out of the pages of these books. The unfortunate truth is that spiritual books are as dull as they are infrequently inspirational. Surely the words of The Christ have a power to galvanize the searching heart, but even these words fall like tares upon generally infertile ground. Even I am beginning to put myself to sleep just writing this.

Pressing within to the source of the origin of the words of life is a laborious business. The personal mind wars against the revelation that would dissolve it into The One. The heart goes fickle at the mention of surrender. At any time when we sense our own end in the face of the luminous light we fall back into the commonplace. The requirements of movement into rarified planes of being are beyond all but the exceptional soul. The surround sound of materialism has never been so dense and pervasive. What can you do?

To speak of God is to alienate your listener, unless you are somewhere in the dreary halls of fundamentalism. The God they speak of there has never existed, so the destination point can not be arrived at. There are as many chants and common prayers as there are passengers on the subway systems of the world. Religion is a fashion show of competing cuts and colors. The paraphernalia cannot be counted. The symbols defeat the minds ability to comprehend them all; each of them contains some mystery that leads only to further mystery or temporary magic. But the books and articles and discourses and multitude of ways in which words are combined to express the ineffable exceed even the total combination of all I have just mentioned.

Somewhere in the mass of this is the living light. More correctly it could be said that somewhere in the mass of this lies a portal into the living light; some highway exit, some indication of where to go and how to proceed directly. There are some few texts that I have encountered that serve in this capacity. They are slim volumes, often written in suggestive codes or wrapped in parables; submerged in fables. We know that some have found their way. We also know that none have ever given the immediate and absolute location of the light switch in the dark. Maybe they have and we do not understand. Maybe an immediate understanding defeats some divine purpose or is against the rules of pursuit. Maybe the switch is everywhere and no where at all times. Where is the switch?

Let’s think about this. There’s only one God right? Of course there are many apertures with names like Mohammed and Buddha and others. But these are portals, not the thing itself. In a manner of speaking, you are a portal even if the door is not yet open. In other words, if you are looking, if there is a ‘you’ that looks, then that is one part of the equation. The other part of the equation is the thing itself which you are looking for. It stands to reason that you and the thing you are looking for are contained in the same unit. Somehow you and the thing you are looking for are connected. In failing to see what this connection is you are in the place you are in now at some imagined distance from the thing itself. It is to be assumed that this imagined distance exists within your minds perception that there is a distance. No doubt you feel closer at some point than at others.

In all your lifetimes and in all the moments of this lifetime you are sometimes closer and sometimes further away. You are sometimes considering the thing itself and sometimes utterly oblivious to its existence. How is it that this simple thing, which has to be a part of you somehow, continues to avoid your possession of it? How is it that this thing which is looking for you and which you are looking for continues to remain beyond your grasp?

How is it that this thing, this consciousness which looks through your eyes, which watches you, of which you are composed and within which you live and move and have your being... how is it that complete union does not occur?

Forget all the books and the outfits and the churches and the priests and paraphernalia for a moment. There’s just you and it. Perhaps that is the problem, the idea that there is you AND it. Does it have something to do with the idea that there are things that you are meant to do that set you apart from the thing itself living the eternal life of infinite being? Is it all about having ideas? Is it about the minds way of separating things in order to perceive, compare and label them? After all, ‘Adam’ translated means “namer of things”.

It’s a simple construct, you and it. Since it is far greater and more real than you and exists forever and stretches beyond forever on either side it seems logical that grasping it, attaining it, must involve something like surrender. There you are and there it is. It seems logical to assume that you cannot grasp it you can only allow it to grasp you. It’s there all the time. It’s everywhere all the time, more palpable by presence in some places than others but no less there since everything is composed of the substance portion of it. It is obviously in the heart of a star and on the sidewalks of Las Vegas. On the one hand it is in essence and on the other hand it is in costumed layers of concealment. Even in the heart of the star it is still a subtle substance.

Part of me gets the feeling that everything is alright and always will be because of the encompassing nature of the thing itself and because I am made out of its substance. Once again, it is the mind that tells me otherwise. So if there is a devil it must be the mind in its ceaseless operations that are carried out in respect of phenomena. If only God is real then I must be either God or unreal. This has been a stumbling block of religions through time. The Mormons and certain Eastern religions recognize this though in no way does this endorse the former with any extra legitimacy in the face of their history as an organization. Christ spoke of it but it gets bypassed by the priesthood which becomes redundant in the face of it. Maybe I and you are both God and unreal. Perhaps at present we are unreal in respect of the real, because only the real is real. In other words there would be no us left in the aftermath of realization, although I suspect we do still remain in a new and unique way.

So it seems to come back to the exhortation of Brother Lawrence to “practice the presence of God.” It seems to echo the direction to ‘pray without ceasing’. It seems to indicate that constant remembrance is the key. It appears that half measures really do avail nothing. It seems that we must by persistence continue until we have gained the attention of the thing we seek. It is obvious that we do not know how to achieve our objective so it stands to reason that it is achieved for us by the thing we seek when we put ourselves in the way of it. It’s there all the time. We are not there all the time. We must be there all the time. In our constant remembrance we engage the company of the constant conscious companion. How can we keep this companion constantly unless we are constantly conscious? So it stands to reason that realization is an ongoing process dependent on the intensity of our desire for contact. God’s not in the ordinary habit of breaking into our day unless we break into his.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ Every Day ♫
'Every Day' is track no. 11 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

In The One Mind...

In the morning when I do my meditations there is a particular meditation that I perform along with The Pattern on the Trestleboard and The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismigestus. It doesn’t have a name except to be called Meditation #1 from the book “The Way to the Kingdom”. If you are the curious sort you can find out that the book’s author is Joseph Bremer about whom not much is known. If you were to define him you would probably call him a Christian mystic. Long ago I memorized these meditations and, as has sometimes been the case, should I lose my way or cease to perform them for some stretch of time I still remember them long after when I return to them again. They are not short meditations. I guess it goes to show that you can make them a living part of you by repeated performance. I’m not suggesting that the totality of these things lives in me at this time, they do not. It is my intention that they someday shall.

As you read this mediation; Meditation #1, pay close attention to the impact of it on your thinking process. The person who turned me on to this meditation attempted to do so for a long time before I gave them the opportunity. She was persistent and she finally caught me in a receptive frame of mind. I am eternally grateful to her. From the moment I began reading it, it captured my attention completely and I was at the same time able to see the effect it was having on my awareness. As I read it I could feel the pinging of the truth in every word. It soon became a regular companion of mine. If you are of a similar nature I hope that you will gain from it some of the profound good it has visited upon me.

Meditation #1

“In the one mind there is the consciousness only, of wholeness, completion and perfection. In it there are no ideas of lack or limitation of supply of any kind. To every center of that mind, and every human mind is such a center, there flows naturally every needed idea, even as air rushes into a vacuum or as the blood carries to every cell of the body, everything needed for its growth and its sustenance.

Remember that mind is in you, is your mind as there is only one mind. Also remember by your realization of this great truth and by making it the dominant fact in your consciousness are you and your father made truly one, for it unites your consciousness with his consciousness; he who is your real self and whose mind is the only mind. Of course it does for you are then in his consciousness and all that he is you are and all that he has is yours. Once believe this, once know this and you will be free from all lack and limitation forever. Be still my child and know that I am your life, your health, your strength your power, your understanding and your love. I am all of these things you are seeking to be and to have. Can you not see my child that you can have none of these things apart from me, can get none of these things without getting me and can get them nowhere else except from me, your real, your perfect self? ...who am all these things now and therefore you are these things now and forevermore.

Be still my child and know the truth of yourself. Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Can you not see than any portion of health or strength or power or love or understanding that you have is not of yourself but is of me who am all of these things in you? Then why not have done with your foolish, anxious striving to be what you already are, always were and always will be in supreme fullness and perfection, why not then let go completely and let me, your real, your perfect self hold full sway in your consciousness; letting therein no thoughts you know are not my thoughts. This is all you need do, I will do the rest. Beloved if you thus abide in me and let this my word abide in you all that your heart seeketh will surely come to pass in blessed richness and abundance.”

NOTE: There may be a phrase or a word askew here or there. It is very different to perform the meditation than it is to write it down; something changes in the dynamics. I gave someone my copy of the book and haven’t gotten another in quite awhile. I never seem to be able to keep a copy of that book for any great length of time

It appears, according to the author, that there is only one mind and that we all, in our perception of ourselves as individuals, touch upon it at a particular point. He also seems to be saying that if we would recognize this great truth and make it the dominant fact within us that something very powerful would result. If the ocean were God then we would be sea creatures, appearing distinct from the waters around us but very much a part of it, born out of it and absorbed back into it. Some fish swim in large schools and some in small. Some fish swim alone. It’s been said that there is safety in numbers. The reverse is observably true as well. This is one of the reasons that everything which is said can also be contradicted. Do we gain truth in contradiction? In other words, when we set ourselves apart for the purpose of definition, do we find the ultimate as a result of our efforts? Can we find the ultimate without being absorbed in it?

The particular point at which we touch the totality is the definition of our personal state in relation to it. It is that part of the elephant that the blind man is touching that explains to him what the elephant is. For myself it means that we cannot know the elephant, which is smaller than a mountain and much smaller than the planet and infinitesimal compared to the solar system and the galaxy. Then how can we know God who not only composes the whole of it but it far more than that and which cannot be seen? We can’t know it but we try; possibly the answers lies in the idea that it knows us and if we can know that then something wonderful takes place.

The part of ourselves which is God is apart for one reason. It is apart that it might come to an understanding regarding the whole, and that wisdom will be the result. When we “let go and let me, your real and perfect self have full sway within you” then it doesn’t much matter what we know. It knows. It seems so simple and at the same time impossible to accomplish. How do you dance with God? How do you know when it is God you are dancing with and listening to? Why do dervishes spin in circles? It has something to do with a spiral.

In all this time we have seen some marvelous examples in the lives of those who have considered these things. They have told us things and demonstrated things but we don’t comprehend them. Immediately afterwards the mind has gone off again on its business; whatever business that illusion of a personal mind thinks that it has.

“Then why not have done with your foolish anxious striving to be what you already are, always were and always will be, in supreme fullness and perfection, why not then let go completely and let me you real your perfect self have full sway in your consciousness letting therein no thoughts you know are not my thoughts. This is all you need do, I will do the rest.” Our striving to be what we already are... letting therein no thoughts that you know are not my thoughts... How much is contained in that. From this we can understand the humility of the wise and the exhortation to become as little children. Faith appears to be a major key. It is what we have faith in that sets our course of action and defines us in our passage through. It is our faith and lack of faith that determines the success of our pursuit. What pursuit should a person engage in, seeing that they are dying even as they live; that they begin to disappear as soon as they arrive? It gives meaning to the phrase, “The proper study of mankind is man.” So what are all of these other people doing? What are all of these ills and misfortunes that are repeating themselves? Why is the enemy of our study the environment in which we are forced to learn, or in which we ignore everything outside the field of our momentary interest? Why should we feel that if we do not plot and scheme and push and do battle that we will not attain or gain what we desire?

It is said that it is God’s good pleasure to grant you the kingdom; faith again, faith and the lack of faith in respect of all of these things. We do not believe that these things should be ours and in some cases when we make them ours they destroy us. But can we be destroyed? Time passes, or seems to. When will we find the moment to make the single adjustment we need to make and let the rest take care of itself?