“GOOD” AND “GOD”

They’re the same – don’t you already know that?

Both demonstrate the moral excellence undergirding the universe
As an “ideal,” as the “perfect” –
In other words, as Jesus’ personal image of God.

It’s also what we want to discover for ourselves
And why we feel so ashamed or guilty
When we do begin thinking about it
Because we’ve neglected or generally refused to work very hard at this
Since moral excellence takes a lot of effort –
Especially since we have to get past all the pleasurable fantasies
That have been so comforting to us.

A direct experience of God is exhilarating –
While the same can also be said of the Good.

Actually, there isn’t any “Big Man in the Sky”
And it doesn’t have anything to do with “Power” –
In fact, it’s more like a “state of being”
That takes significant effort through extended conscious human thought.

In the West, Jewish prophets and rabbis put a lot of work into ethics and morality
And we’ve all been the beneficiaries of their efforts –
While in the East, for priests and gurus, the focus was primarily on Nature and Beauty
Which obviously are good – just not “perfect” –
Especially if it doesn’t result in any deep connection to ethics.

So, the ultimate of both God and the Good is Jesus’ view of “perfection,”
That is, universal moral excellence.

It’s what we “say” we want –
As if such “sounds” can actually issue forth
Out of our very own mouths.

THE GENERATIONS

The Grandparents say: “There’s nothing more important than God –
God is first in everything!”

The Parents say: “There is no God and never was a God – so why not give up all that
foolishness?”

The beloved grandchild doesn’t say a thing – not understanding what his family has been
discussing so seriously.

So, what if the middle generation actually does succeed in removing God
completely out of the known world?
And, then, that first generation dies without any descendants realizing the transcendental
necessity of an alive God?

What does God think? God is patient, after all.

One day, human beings will inevitably find themselves waking up
and wondering what’s missing from their world,
Following which, there’ll occur a spiritual explosion in human consciousness –
“explosion” because of the speed at which it happens.

It always starts with a single person.

Among billions of unconscious people, suddenly, some one will “wake up”
and announce their presence.
As a result, people in power will quickly move to kill or murder that person –
But in response to such a physical erasure of a world-spiritual human being
Everyone else will also suddenly “wake up.”

There are many previous iterations of this – and, yes, they’re always progressive
because the Spirit only moves forward –
That’s who God is – a Lover waiting for the loved ones to finally catch up
And recognize there’s a “Holy One” patiently waiting out there for them!

THINKING ABOUT RELIGION

Once upon a time, religion was primarily about God
But, today, young people want nothing more to do with any such “religion” –
Pointing out that, in many cases, it’s been transmuted into raw politics –
That is, into fields of strife and hate in a variety of forms and forums –
Including racial, class, and culture.

One prime example is the Russian atheist KGB kind of guy
Who got control of an entire national religion (the Russian Orthodox Church)
And has been using it as a tool to assist in unleashing death like a dark blanket
Over the heads of a neighboring Slavic state
As the first step in re-establishing the “Mongol Empire.”

And then, there’s our own American QAnon clown blaring: “You’re so fired!”
On his way to establishing himself as a cult leader and wannabe tyrant –
Along the way, subverting a primitive Christian religion – Evangelicalism –
Into a ready willingness to trade in its past spiritual wealth for political hard-wired power –
Saying: “If you give me your votes, I’ll ensure abortion becomes unconstitutional”
By sprinkling “conservative” justices and judges like anti-feminist dust through the land –
Requesting his “Evangelical” followers, in fair return, to give him the American “throne!”

Following all this, clever peripheral guys have come flooding in – seeking open opportunities
To cynically work their game of manipulating hard hearted fools –
(Ones who think violence is “cool”) –
(Ones infected with fascism through a nightly Fox punditry dosage) –
All, in exchange for money, power, and cheap notoriety.

After God was sold out by many of the current Christian Evangelical leaders –
Young people saw through it all
Discovering that Christian “God” wasn’t necessarily “Good” –
Yet failing to understand they weren’t rejecting the “real” God
But only a “puppet” God promoted (from the beginning) by Satan
Who, it looks like, may, temporarily, be winning.

Yet, I promise that the real God is alive and on the way –
Armed with Truth, Love, Beauty, and Justice –
You’ve probably never seen nor experienced all those elemental powers of God at once –
Who, as the “true” God, will, of course, emerge victorious
Over all these recent tin-plated political/media online “gods.”

THE START

It could be a thought –
A feeling –
Or perhaps even the consequences of something physically irritating.

The point is the “want” –
Somehow, someway, we begin “wanting” God
Through our own personal need, time, and circumstances.

A friend might tell us –
A lover could kiss it into blazing existence
Or it might be a soft dream
Quickly disintegrating before we wake up.

The point is – we need to start somewhere –
Sometime –
So God can take it from there.

Beginning with almost nothing
It’ll eventually become everything
In your life.

Yes, it’s true, God doesn’t arrive without being called –
But the “ask” is never an accident –
After all, it’s always a matter of consciously turning in the right direction –
Isn’t that right?

TO LOVERS OF LEARNING

You are my friends
No matter where you live –
Alabama or Ukraine.

For some reason you’ve discovered the secret of being a “true” human being
Through a desire to know everything!

Primary school teachers hurled straight ‘A’s’ at your head
While other children were envious because, for you, it was so obviously not “work”–
Just pure joy.

You’re getting what you want,
Have wanted, and will always want in the future.

It’s a lot like cracking open walnuts –
Or oysters –
This peculiar ambition of the mind!

Stars shine brightest in blackest nights – especially when looking up
Waves arrive at a shore without end
Based upon the love God promised us at birth.

The moon smiles –
Even though just partly lit –
But the sun laughs out loud because it’s day’s turn now.

Let’s drink to old age –
And greet Jules, our first grandchild,
In this New Age – filled with joy and dread –
Mixed up, shaken like a fizzy,
By the Mistress of the Universe.

A TRAPPED BIRD FINDS A SAFE HAND

It felt like Truth
Opening up inside my hand –

It was like any other bird
Resting in God’s vast forest –
Who protects all bird life.

I carried it to the window –
The bird trusting me – like some alternative God –
Who’s able to carry living beings past death into life
Beyond imagination.

We know nothing about what lies beyond space and time –
So we arrive there motionless, silent, upon meeting death.

Suddenly, a window opens –
Releasing the entrance of fresh air.

We open our “wings”
And fly out into what’s been waiting
Out there – for all of us – all the time!

I FEAR MY SOUL HAS DIED

This is essentially an American question
Especially in the South
Where most of the nation’s sins lie buried.

What does it mean to fill up with hate –
Through Fox fascist “cable pleasure”?

And when did nihilism become an American color
Rubbed on elbows and knees –
But mostly reserved for our most scary bodily tattoos?

When did leaders of American spiritual life and politics
Become media stars – and nothing else?

Don’t we need, once again, to respect character, integrity, humanness –
Even though all have apparently evaporated.

Minutes are getting louder by the day –
By the hour –
Striking like bell towers falling.

Families separate and come apart
In an invisible American emergency –
Turning unrecognized losses
Like love, once alive,
Into a culture that no longer exists.

Bursting bubbles –
Modern romance in the 2020’s.

THE FACE OF GOD

When looking deeply into the face of God
We disappear.

Not only do we fall in love
We drown in love –
And, then, become Love.

Rising up past the material world
We step beyond the animal in us –
Beyond the human in us –
Even the angel in us
And become a “true” human being –
Someone God decides is worthy to inhabit.

It’s that “face” of God we’ve all been searching for –
So we leap into it and become it –
Entering into the world of God’s Love.

It’s the face we put on when looking at others
To demonstrate love beyond everyday human love –
God’s love –
Which opens up even to “enemies”
Who no longer qualify as that
Since God (and, now, we)
No longer have enemies.

It’s a short jump
Even if an almost infinite leap –
From being a regular human being
Into someone who embodies God.

DINER MYSTIC LOOKS AT JESUS THROUGH THE SCRIM OF CHRISTIANITY AND SEES A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT PERSON

The “True Self”

If you want to know what Jesus thought about our “true self” – it’s simple – one’s “true self” can be discovered when we achieve the openness and receptivity of a small child. It’s the state of innocence human beings possessed prior to developing an “ego” or “false self” to deal with a potentially hostile world.

            “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:14-15.

Jesus – in telling us to become “like a small child” – means we need to move towards a radically different, and earlier, version of the human spiritual world – accepting the “natural reality” directly created by God –  as opposed to a “reality” created by technically and theologically “sophisticated” human beings in modern manmade civilizations.

The “Essential Choice”

What deters us from becoming “like little children?” It’s our desire for and love of money – creating a stark choice between love of God and love of money.

            “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Mathew 6:24.

Jesus made this crystal clear by pointing out the impossibility of someone who’s rich to be able to enter God’s kingdom.

            “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  Mark 10:24-5.

Jesus also emphasized God’s preference for the poor:

            “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20.

And said we needn’t worry about clothes or food:

            “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body, more than clothes.” Luke 12:22.

What Kind Of “Human Love” Does God Want?

If you want to know what God is “like” – that is, how human beings can start “living like God” – it’s simple: “God is Love” and “Love is God.”

But that begs the question, doesn’t it? What is this “love” God wants for us and how are human beings supposed to achieve it?

Jesus radical (and true) answer is: “Love your enemies!”

            “I tell you: Love your enemies… that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mathew 6:44-48.

So, don’t be nationalistic, tribal, or self-centered – no, be like God. Remember, people who love their enemies have no enemies. If we can live like this – that is, how God would live if God were a human being – then we’d be able to enter God’s world and start living like God’s children. After all, there’s no ego in the sun or rain!

Another good example was love of one’s “neighbor.”  In response to the question of “Who is my neighbor?” (in the context of “Love your neighbor as yourself”), Jesus gave the example of the “Good Samaritan.” Because there was serious animosity between Judeans and Samaritans at that time (another example of “Love your enemies”), the story demonstrates that non-Jews (and, later, non-Christians) sometimes follow God better than the “official people” of God. Therefore, people like Muslims, or even atheists, may be able to do what God wants even better than those committed to the Western majority faiths.

Such “radical” examples of love go further than the “Love Commandment” later set forth in the Gospel of John:

            “A new command I give to you” Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

This, however, is the least radical of Jesus’ love teachings. That is, it’s significantly less radical than loving one’s enemies or hostile neighbors! This kind of “love” was addressed to Jesus’ immediate circle of disciples.

Who Should We Spend Our Time With?

Jesus tells us that people who act on behalf of God can be spiritually closer to us than our blood relations or close friends – emphasizing doers over listeners.

            “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:21

How Can We “See” God?

Finally, how can we see and experience God’s kingdom? Jesus indicated that God’s rule is close or already present but unobserved – that God’s rule is all around us but difficult to discern:

            “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say “Here it is!” or “There it is!” because the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21.

In other words, God is spiritual, not materialistic. God’s Spirit can be seen and felt through one’s imagination and heart. That is, it takes an awakened inward “mystical” sense for us to be able to “see,” “feel,” and “sense” the presence of God.

DISCOVERING WHAT GOD WANTS US TO ACTUALLY DO

“Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process
of the universe gradually waking up and becoming
aware of itself.” Thomas Nagel

Given that enlightenment, by itself, turns out not to be enough,
The next question is: what does God want human beings to actually do?

Since human beings have all the potential mental and emotional “firepower” they’ll ever need,
how can they gain access to it?

The number of processing units within our mind/brain exceeds 100 trillion (1015) neural connections –
(which may be greater than the number of galaxies in the universe.)

Each one of us has this same potential.

But this “power” is not needed for literally everything – in fact, we’ll only encounter a limited number of critical moments in our lives when a “right” decision is necessary. When we reach such a crossroads, that is, when we find ourselves attempting to figure out what God would do if God were a human being – just like us – that’s when we’ll require access to this almost astral “mind.”

To achieve it, at a specific time and place, we first need to relinquish our “ego” or “false self” (even though a “shadow” ego might still be hanging around) and become a “nobody.”

This can be done!

Of course, to gain access to all this mental and emotional “firepower” – after our ego has once been set aside (even if only temporarily) – one also needs to get past our normal everyday human “appetites” for money, sex, food and status, as well as escape all the “stories,” socially-created and individually accepted, that have provided us with acceptable quotidian identities – whether national, racial, or religious.

So, to successfully become “nobody” is not such an easy task. We’ll need to acquire the innocence of a small child who accepts the “natural world” created by God – “thinking” and “feeling” in an open and natural way – to make the kind of decision God hopes we can make.

Each one of us has the necessary mental and emotional capacity to make a “right” decision for one’s self.

First, however, we have to want to get there – to that place of freedom and clarity. As I’ve said, this can be easy – even though usually considered almost impossible – but we are able to do it if that’s what we truly desire.

Our minds possess this almost “stellar” capacity to address essential life questions –  using our thoughts and feelings to discern the right answer – the same answer as God’s answer would be.

It’s the love of God that makes this possible.