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.

ENLIGHTENMENT IS NOT ENOUGH

I talk a lot about becoming “nobody” – about giving up my ego –
The identity I’ve developed over years of trial and error
While projecting my “self” out into the world
To gain an acceptance of my self-created identity.

Eventually, however, I start feeling inauthentic
For relying upon this self-manufactured ego
Which, one day, I hope to replace with a new, improved identity –
A “better” ego –
Which, of course, will also invariably turn out to be a dead-end.

Giving up one’s ego – completely – as the final step on the way to enlightenment –
Is never enough however,
Because becoming a “nobody,” by itself, doesn’t accomplish a thing –
The point of relinquishing one’s ego is to replace it
With love of God –
Along with an ability to take concrete steps to bringing God into the world.

In sum, relinquishing one’s ego is only the first step –
But what follows needs to be a life dedicated to “understanding” God
And God’s true nature as much as humanly possible –

For example, who is God, what does God want, and are there any exemplars of God
Appearing in the world today
Who make one’s heart “sing with joy?”

Starting this process of “understanding” God
Is the same thing as “falling in love” with God –
Both, however, entail a commitment to a lifelong process.

Once you’ve actually fallen in love with God
Means you’ll want to act in ways that God desires –
Jesus was able to do this –
Faced with a painful, disgraceful death administered by Roman troops –
He acted solely for God
Which resulted in an historically impactful release of Holy Spirit out into the world
Occurring simultaneously with his physical death.

This spirit of Jesus was transformed into a human “sun” –
That perpetually is creating more spiritual life in our world –
Often in ways not manifested during his earlier physical life.
Take Saul/Paul, for example, who was able to transform himself,
At least partially, into a brilliant reflection of Jesus.

So, enlightenment is not enough by itself – instead, we need to “fall in love” with God
And then commit our lives to bringing God, by our actions, into the world.

We lose nothing by giving up our egos
Because, without God, we’re nothing anyway –
All our other efforts – no matter how materially meaningful –
Don’t matter at all –
The only thing that truly matters are actions on behalf of God
Everything else is – dross.

Every single human being, whether righteous or unrighteous,
Has the potential – while still alive –
To make a choice about each single individual act –
Whether or not to contribute something towards making God’s world real.

God began existence with a simple gesture
Unfurling out into the cosmos –
From its initial cosmic explosion, followed by evolving life, and then radiant spirit
All – moving steadily towards God –
Where, by the end of time, all of us will end up participating with God

Who is “Love”
Who is “Truth”
Who is “Justice”
Who is “Beauty.”

If you can do this, you’ll gain everything – and lose nothing –
Even if, by then, you’ll no longer have any personal identity or name –
Which won’t matter because, in your actions, you’ll have become part of God –
And God will recognize you and know your name – even if no one else does.

Jesus deeply understood this, and you can trust him about it –
That is, we need to love God the same way he did.

So, a loss of ego leading to enlightenment may be an important first step,
But, by itself, amounts to almost nothing
While acting in the world for God turns out to be the only thing
That’s actually truly meaningful!

THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF GOD

Human consciousness doesn’t continue after a human being’s death –
But inside God’s consciousness, it can and does –
It’s there – a “living reality” – inside God’s “mind.”

The Puritans were right – everything counts –
Every act, every thought, every feeling, counts.

Recently, though, we’ve been living as if they don’t – not really –
And that we’re able to brush off laws, norms,
And morals – frequently referred to as “the small stuff.”

But they aren’t “small” –
Lies go on forever
Cruelty persists
Murder can stain multiple generations
And they’re all available, by God – for playback.

Each decision we make is a choice
That lasts forever.

When we use our time and energy
To help or hurt –
It has lasting effects.

Each of our thoughts and acts is real –
Existing in real time and real space, using real energy
And, as a consequence, remains in God’s consciousness.

God also has the power to make that consciousness
Available to us – so that we can see – not just in the few moments before death –
But forever and ever –
All the consequences of our actions to everyone who’s been touched by them.

When we hurt someone – through God’s eyes – we can see what that felt like –
And what it felt like to those who loved that person
As well as all the wider consequences to their families, and even descendants.

We frequently think we can forget about consequences – that we can somehow evade them –
But we can’t
Because they happen in real time and real space
And are retained by God – every single one of them.

When God takes our actions out for review
We no longer can change them because, by then, “we’re” gone.

Inside God’s mind we’re still there though – alive – just as we were earlier –
Which lets us see – in excruciating, slow, fine detail
What we said and did – and all the consequences flowing out of those statements and actions.

This is why we have to take our thoughts and actions more seriously
While we still have an opportunity to change them – by turning away from negative ones
That is, by “repenting,” as the old-timers used to say.

Yes, it’s true that human beings’ lives do come to an end –
But not inside God’s consciousness –

If what we did or thought was ugly – it’ll still be ugly
And if it was beautiful, it’ll still be that.
Each act, each thought is incredibly important
Because all have real consequences – for us and for others –
That are permanent.

So don’t lie, don’t act in unkind ways –
Don’t accept the belief that there’s no God or lasting consequences –
For God, your actions and thoughts are all real
And will always remain so –
God keeps them alive – just as they were from the day they first came into existence.

So, please accept the joy of your actions if that’s what they illustrate
And take the pain caused if that also turns out to be the truth.

WHICH COMES FIRST?

Which comes first – life or consciousness?
(This may not be as obvious as it first appears.)

Is dumb animal life necessarily followed by ever-expanding human consciousness
Or is consciousness an eternal form of spiritual energy present in all living bodies
And even nonliving matter like rocks and dust –
That is, is “consciousness” something that’s omnipresent out there
Inherent in both life and non-life forms – just at different “levels?”

Who knows the answer to this – for now – except God?

Let’s review the most commonly accepted “steps”:

First comes existence
Then life
Followed by consciousness
Then, hopefully, a handful of human/God selves
And, finally, God
Who, of course, incorporates everything before and after –
Including, most importantly, the present.

The sense we have that “we” will not die –
Even though understanding it’s a physical impossibility–
Where does that come from?
Is it a lie or some kind of sophisticated self-delusion?
And, if so, why is this “sense” so strong – so seemingly unassailable?

I don’t think or feel I’m a living cognizant piece of  “meat” –
Instead, I feel like a fountain – a spiritual fountain –
And, given that, where does the supply of “water” come from?

I feel connected, yet remain independent and free.
I feel I’m part of a whole, but not subservient to that whole.
I feel I’m a spirit – similar to God – but certainly not the same as God.
I feel I have authority – but no important authority.
I feel I’ve joined a cosmic dance where I lead by not consciously leading.

Who am I?

AN OCEAN OF BEAUTY SPEAKING

Long ago and far away, God appeared inside a “burning bush”
Speaking about the necessity for human beings
To step back away from this seemingly unnatural display of Holy energy.

My own spiritual experiences usually arise at the meeting of ocean and shore
Where sunlight flashes in and out of summer afternoons –
 “Speaking” through the beauty of an ocean rhythmically crashing onto the shore –
Echoing my walking heartbeats.

Whenever the Holy is experienced through both sight and sound –
At the same time and place –
We are to understand that God is present
Due to such “doubling-up” of spiritual experience.

I’ve recently become worried, though –
Since I’ve been inquiring about the God who’ll come after Jesus’ God –
A God who’ll adamantly refuse to be rolled back
A God who’ll agree to be shared by everyone on the planet.

I hear soft sounds and, simultaneously, start seeing brilliant lights –
God is hiding somewhere, out there, behind those crashing liquid mountains –
Speaking in a still small voice which no one yet hears.

Waves come rolling in – lighted up inside –
Grumbling: “I’m coming” –
“I really am!”

ALWAYS THE SAME PERSON

I’m always changing – adding and subtracting to and from my “self” –
Yet remain the same – from the first moment of my existence.

How is this possible – to remain, in essence,
A single soul –
While, over time, adding and subtracting worlds to myself –
Eventually even being changed by the love of my life into two
Yet still remaining one.

Is God like this?
From the first moment of creation – staying the same –
Carrying time, space, and energy inside an infinitesimally/infinitely small/large bright self?

Is it really necessary for a God to “die” in order to be “born again” as a newer, fresher God –
A “Springtime” God?

When, ultimately, I personally “flash off,” will I remain the same – just in another form?
Will, after my body dries up and blows away, the energy of my “life” continue existing
In a time and space beyond our present time and space?

All forms change and die –
Yet, perhaps, never really die –
Not even the “old” Gods
Or the newborn ones either!

BEAUTY’S ALWAYS THERE JUST LIKE GOD

Beauty
Takes your breath away
So you never forget it
Till meeting it again after stepping off a “cliff”
Into life/death.

Beauty is what you first see when opening up your eyes at birth
And what you could continue seeing except for a long hazy sleep –
The sleep of your long-developed and cherished ego.

You spend your entire adult life attempting to wake back up –
To see, once again, what you first saw –
The naked beauty of the world.

It’s always there – right behind your eyelids –
Covering up your “true” eyes –
You can open them anytime you wish –
But only after giving up that hypnotic dreamworld.

Oh, God, let me see
Just like You see!

Let me be awake in the same way You’re awake –
Let me experience beauty every moment
Of my grateful/ungrateful life!

NOT, NO NEVER, ULTIMATE REALITY

God can be viewed from two directions – one from God’s consciousness
And one through human consciousness.

Since we’ll never understand God, though, from inside God
We’ll just have to plod along – uncovering successive “pictures” of reality
On our way towards, but never fully achieving, God’s own unique vision.

That’s why, over millennia, we’ve experienced a succession of “Gods”
Like live Russian “God” dolls
One inside another –
Our minds, over time, replicating those ”Gods” – one after the other.

The real God, though, actually “lives” beyond human reality –
Present, past, and future –
In fact, it’s obvious God “lives” beyond time and space.

But we ourselves don’t – can’t!

The closest we’ll ever get to the real God
Is the taste, flavor, and inspiration of all-too-human love.

It’s the only direction we’ll ever be permitted to experience –
But not, no never, Ultimate Reality.

THE BIRTH OF A NEW RELIGION

It won’t be a new religion bearing a capital “R,” but something beyond that.

Something beyond the usual and ordinary conceptions available to our human minds –
Something beyond all previous definitions of “God.”

It’ll come bubbling up, surprisingly, out of nowhere,
Which is where the next final God
Is now residing.

It’ll be similar to what happened to Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed –
When God “twinned” with a specific human being –
So that people were no longer able to distinguish who was who.

The next final God will also choose someone specific
Someone surprised at being chosen
Yet willing to accept that choice for the good of all –
And, more probably than not, will be a woman.

This particular someone will know when they’ve been chosen –
Because they’ll become “Love” –
They’ll embody “Truth” –
Their right hand will symbolize “Justice”
And “Beauty,” for them, will be completely natural.

This God beyond all presently known Gods
Is knocking on hearts across the globe at this very moment.

“Knock knock – Knock knock!”

Won’t you let in the God beyond “God”
So she can begin appearing in and influencing all hearts on earth
Today?

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

What’s the difference between a mental concept and a mentally direct experience?

“The tulip is reddish-orange.”
“Snow covers the mountainside blindingly white.”

Are these mental concepts or mentally direct experiences?

Or perhaps both?

Zen argues we should rely solely on direct experience
And avoid mental concepts which can be manipulated inside one’s head
And end up, really, as almost anything at all.

So, tell me, are love, truth, justice, and beauty, direct experiences or mental concepts?
If they’re direct experiences – they could be reality – the same as God.
If they’re mental concepts, on the other hand, they might be mirages, dreams,
or complex manipulations inside one’s mind – i.e., lies!

Zen repeatedly has attempted to distinguish between mental concepts and direct experience
but, in my opinion, has not had much success in parsing this.

I think that’s because, sometimes, mental concepts actually are identical with reality –
at least in certain times, circumstances, and places.

They just are!