What I am about to say has been said before. Anything that can be said has been said before... ignored before and understood before. One thing that confuses a great many people is; how do you approach that which is everywhere and everything, is both the creator and the product, is you and everything that surrounds you and which creates, sustains and destroys every temporary thing while remaining unchanged itself?
Every religious text concerns itself with this. You’ve got more guidelines; rules of conduct, points of focus and forms of worship than you could possibly use and the more you tried, the more confusing it would become. Scholars immerse themselves in information their whole lives and wind up knowing less than they did when they began. The chaos and confusion in the ever changing world, with its myriad attractions and electro-magnetic impact on the senses and then upon the mind, makes for a real circus.
What to do... what to do if you really do want to achieve self-realization. Let’s take self-realization as the catch-all term for however anyone and everyone define that state which is union with the all pervasive unknowable. Let’s assume that following a religion can eventually take you to a point of better understanding. Let’s also assume that following a religion can also take you into a greater darkness. We have ample proof of this by looking at what history shows us. I do not need to elaborate here. I do not mean to diminish religion and what may or may not be possible. I take it for granted that many hearts have found succor there.
What is written here is not intended as a criticism of religion or a replacement. It’s another way up a common mountain. It’s a direct route and therefore it requires more intensity and focus. It requires unrelenting energy and enthusiasm. It requires certitude. I need to talk about the mountain first and then I need to talk about how one learns to play a musical instrument or how one masters any discipline and whether they do so or they don’t and why either case might prevail.
First, the mountain; let’s think of a snow-capped mountain and imagine that when the snow melts and flows down the mountain that the water is the cause of all the riot of color in the valley below. Let us assume that the water is more pure the closer it is to the source. Let us assume that there are a number of ways up the mountain and that some will take longer than others and that those which take longer are more easily traveled. Let’s also assume that once achieving the top of this particular mountain that you can see all of the ways down.
It’s a given that the higher you ascend on the mountain, the stronger the winds become and the rougher the terrain. I can’t say whether or not the path is easier in the beginning due to the number of feet which have prepared the ground before (coming and going) or whether the increasing difficulty to the terrain further up is due to less traffic. Let’s assume that may have something to do with it. Let’s also assume that this is a metaphorical mountain that exists within your mind and that the real mountain is Life and the conditions it presents.
Let’s consider learning a musical instrument or mastering any particular discipline and let’s assume that the more you practice the quicker you learn. Why is it that some will be more inclined to practice and some less so? It must have something to do with enthusiasm and something to do with the ability to see the end result. It’s obvious that if you love what you are doing you will be more inclined to keep doing it. Still... there has to be some objective in mind. With an instrument or a discipline it’s not so difficult to do this because it is there in front of you. It’s not as easy to imagine what you will find on the top of the mountain under discussion or what you will do when you get there. This is the sort of thing that sends so many climbers back to the valley and into the land of the familiar.
It seems to me that some people have more assurance than others about what is unknown. It is difficult to find the words to treat with this. Is it faith? Is it some faint remembering? Is it some resonance between the seeker and that which calls? Does it matter?
I have looked at this matter in a great many ways and I have been deceived and victimized in my efforts at continuing and understanding... by myself and by the external world. I’ve looked at the scriptures and the costumes. I’ve looked at the rituals and routines. I’ve looked at the fundamental and the mystical aspects. I’ve looked at the world and what it gives and takes and I’ve looked at the promise of doorways out of the world by those who profess to know their location. From everything that I have studied, I have come to a particular conclusion about a particular process whose requirements do not demand any special understanding of complex mathematics or intricate magical or mystical systems.
I suppose at this point you’ll either have to take what I say on faith or move on to something that strikes your fancy more, like another instrument or another way up the mountain or something you forgot back in the valley below. Here is a way up the mountain and you cannot fail if you are persistent and if the objective holds more appeal than the options otherwise which, will certainly be presented for your consideration as you go. If you apply what I am about to outline you will succeed no less than anyone ever has.
There is a book by one Brother Lawrence which is called “The Practice of the Presence of God”. In Russia there was a technique given where one ‘prays without ceasing’. This could be likened to those who chant continuously. There are other books with similar intent such as “The Impersonal Life” and other mindsets which employ similar means. You might find it more to your liking there than here. In any case let us begin.
You are here in this moment reading these words. What ever you will do, can only be accomplished from here and no matter what you do, you will always be doing it now. You will not be doing it in the past and it would be best to let the past go altogether right now. You will not arrive at the future. You will only ever be here. So it is in the ‘here’ that everything will occur.
No matter who you are you will engage in common, repetitive experiences. You will eat and sleep. You will excrete. You will engage in sex of some kind regardless of whether you think you never had sex at all. You will think and feel. You will be employed at something. You can look around you and see what things are common to us all. You will seem to be here and then you will seem not to be here. You will seem to age. You will seem to be ill and you will seem to be well. Conditions may vary according to the individual and according to one’s perception of oneself as an individual to begin with.
Here is what you do. Whatever you are doing, you accept it as a divine process. When you eat; when you go to the bathroom, when you engage in sex, when you work, when you think or feel, you remind yourself that it is divine. You remind yourself that you are already at one; you are already at the top of the mountain. You are already where you wish to be.
How you go about this is a personal affair. I have the tendency to say, “I love you.” over and over and over. The idea is to be able to consciously imagine and to see the divine performing all of the acts you think you are performing when in fact you are doing nothing. The only thing that ‘you’ have ever done is to interfere. You can either oppose the symmetry of the universe or you can cooperate. There is no other alternative. This is all there is to free will. So... what you do is, you spiritualize the ordinary and mundane. When you eat you are eating with God and eating God and are engaged in the presence of God performing the operation and that extends to everything you do... all day and all night long, forever and ever in this moment, which is the only moment you will ever inhabit.
As you continue with this... constantly pulling your mind back to an awareness of this, you will find that the mysterious kingdom begins to materialize within and around you. Spiritualize everything you do. Live this moment in the constant awareness that the divine is living your life in you. Do not concern yourself with analyzing it... experience it. When you eat, you understand that the divine is becoming more and more a part of you. When you excrete you are letting go of what is not really you. You are constantly gaining and ridding yourself in this moment and the only reason you do not progress is because you keep adding your personal version back again. Let go of it. Be careful of what you think in everything you do because that defines what it becomes.
You can’t go to church or read a book or pray before you go to sleep and expect that you will wake up and be able to play the piano that you are attempting to carry up the mountain under your own power. You will become discouraged and you will not make it up the mountain, nor will you be able to play the piano when you are carrying it on your back. If you are not living in the divine in everything you do then you are somewhere else doing something else as someone else.
I’m going on longer than I usually do here but what difference does it make? The moment goes on forever. Get used to it. Associate with temporary things and you will find that everything is temporary. Associate with a mortal mindset and you will find that you are mortal. It’s easy to do because the entire world is engaged in it. You will seem to be crazy but then again, why should anyone notice what you are doing? It’s an invisible thing, unless you think you have to call attention to it. Act as if God is doing everything you think you are doing and you are going to get a big surprise.
The universe is entirely spiritual. You are entirely spiritual. Thinking makes it so. You will quickly see what opposes your efforts to accomplish this if you set about it whole-heartedly. All of the power of the universe is at your disposal. You are the Crown of Creation. Act like it. This will of course require great humility and a continuous sense of awe and you can only get that by being in a state of continuous surrender to that which is eternally in action and eternally still and which ‘thought’ you into being.
It’s here right now. It’s not in the future somewhere. What happens is that the moment begins to expand until it encompasses everything. You will find that you are living in every heart. You will find empathy for every living thing. You will find God. You will not find it in a church when you are the adytum. You will not find it in a book or anywhere, when he is everywhere. You will find it in the practice of it and by living it; not later on this evening and not tomorrow at some specific location. It is a state of mind. It is a state of being and you are so close to it right now. It is holding you in place. It is reading these words with you. It is right there with you. Take it on faith, for it is truly said that, “Faith is the substance of things unseen.” Carry on.
'God's Not Dead' is track no. 3 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)