THREE SECONDS

“Be here now!”
Say the Zen Masters –
Because the past’s already gone
And the future’s not yet arrived.

This is the point of “no time” or “eternity”
Which is where we’re all trying to reach.

But, wait, just what, and where, exactly, is that?


According to Galen Strawson, a second generation Oxford Philosophy Professor,
It’s a “hiatus free period of thought or experience” – a few seconds at most –
Because our eyes and minds are always “jumping” –
In fact, the latest scientific research shows that this experienced “Now” is not actually a point,
but an extended period – of up to three seconds.

So, when the Buddha tilted his head back, opened his eyes and saw the morning star –
His own “hiatus free moment of enlightenment” – suddenly, he could understand everything.

Everyone can have a similar experience!

That is, if you can just get past your gabbing, obsessive-compulsive telling stories
and producing mental films of yourself as a “star” or “hero” of your creative imaginative/dream productions –

After which, getting past all that – and opening up your eyes and heart
You accept what you are seeing and experiencing – at that moment.

Then, trusting your mind and heart as to what to do next – and do it –
That is, what your “true self” knows needs to be done.

Seeing through this open window – at reality itself – and then acting!

That is “enlightenment-plus.”

Both the Buddha and Jesus emphasized that one needs to act upon what one sees or experiences
In that spiritually-open moment.

This is what it means to be a human being who thinks, experiences, and acts as God does –
Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed repeatedly illustrated this to us –
Not to show how great they were – but how great the potential of each single human being
on the planet actually is!

GOD LOOKING AT GOD

Jesus did it –
So any of us can.

We need freedom, however, to accomplish it –
Because the “self” our parents and society provided us
Prohibits real freedom –
Yes, unfortunately, that “self” which we use to survive
And, hopefully, prosper in the world –
Partially blinds us to reality – as well as to God.

Very few individuals are able to drop their societal “self”
In order to glimpse God –
Zen Buddhist monks tell us that one should “Know nothing” –
And keep repeating it –
Because one’s “self,” and all its mental constructs, restricts our freedom.

This, however, is partially incorrect –
True, to the extent that when we accept any mental constructs
They tend to blind us to reality –
But false, in light of the millennia of human striving for greater understanding
That has led to acquiring tools that can test reality
For the presence of God –
That is, for “Love,” “Truth,” “Justice,” and “Beauty.”

Scientists of consciousness teach that we’re provided with approximately three seconds
To open ourselves to reality – that is, to God –
That we have a 100 trillion synapses available to accomplish this –
And that our mind has a capacity even larger than the entire known universe –
But also, of course, limited by the time available to take a look.

God, however, has no time limitations
(since “time” for God exists in an entirely different realm) –
Therefore, God is always looking at us –
And greatly pleased when we’re able to “feel” God’s presence
And, in response, turn in God’s direction.

Sometimes, we can “see” a flicker of God’s robes passing by –
In and out of our psychological reality –
Out there, on the edge of consciousness –

Not only “see,” but also have the ability to think about what we’ve just seen –
Using those spiritual tools of love, truth, justice, and beauty,
To reflect upon it.

This is what Jesus did, and why he was able to say the things he said,
And why the people who looked into his face could see God.

So, yes, Jesus is God
But so are you if you truly want it.

You just have to give up everything – so as to gain sufficient freedom
To “see” –
And then, have faith in what you are seeing,
Using those “spiritual tools” handed down to you
Over millennia of human experience.

We should be talking with one another about all this –
About God – and about our selves –

What could be more important?

HATING YOU FOR WANTING WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T WANT

What would you do
If you were a human being
Who decided to take on the shocking role
Of speaking directly for God?

Would you study hard and humanly learn everything you’re able,
Or, alternatively, shake off all the accumulated knowledge out of your head,
So as to gain a truer picture of reality?

And how, for example, could you become more loving
If you weren’t so much previously?
Would you try “pretending” a greater love
So as to gain experience in what you’d never been able to touch
Before?

Would you make a public announcement
Or just try to keep it quiet?

Would you ask for help from others who had gone before –
Like Jesus, the Buddha, or Mohammed –
Could you hear them from such a historical distance –
And would you even be able to detect who was speaking?

What about friends, family and acquaintances
Would they think you had gone mad
And cut you
For doing something they couldn’t imagine doing?
Is there a chance, they might even end up hating you
For wanting what they think you shouldn’t want?

(Last post until mid-July!)

THE APOTHEOSIS OF HUMAN SPIRITUAL ENVY

When Jesus first appeared
Speaking as if he was related to God – personally –
And implying he might even be a human embodiment of God –
It wasn’t just the Romans and Jewish high priests
Who viewed that claim as a threat.

Regular, everyday religiously-faithful people,
Reacted badly as well –
To the audacity of placing himself ahead of Moses,
Greater than David or Solomon,
And even surpassing Isaiah, Elijah, and Jeremiah. 

They murmured, “Just who does hethink he is?”

Jesus appeared among everyday “good” people
Who, potentially, had the ability to make a spiritual “leap”
Directly to God
By accepting him like his disciples did –
But they refused –
In fact, he made them as angry as possible –
Which resulted in their secret wish for the authorities stop him.

And that wish was fulfilled.

What made it possible for “good people” to desire the destruction of Jesus –
A human being who, correctly, believed he was speaking for God?

The answer is what eventually became the Crucifixion/Resurrection myth.

They hated him so much for his apparent “hubris”
That they wrenched away his humanity
And replaced it with a “Christian myth”
So they could sleep soundly again
And never need reflect upon what an acceptance
Of Jesus’ (as well as their own) “human/God” life
Might mean.

WHAT A GIFT – JESUS’ REAL DEATH

Doesn’t the splendor and meaning of Jesus life
Derive entirely from his death –
The actual one – the one he accepted
At the hands of Roman soldiers and Temple officials?

So, how could his death become more meaningful
By refusing to acknowledge it –
Playing the Roman game of power trumping power?

The truth is that if Jesus ever decides to come again
It would have to be spiritually, not materially,
After all, even now, isn’t he “alive”
In the hearts of people grateful for his gift –
Not as the prime source of some Pauline super-cult
But only as a human subject
Since subjects are the only type of human beings
Free enough to make a decision to physically die
In order to spiritually live.

If Jesus knew he was going to be resurrected
Wouldn’t his “death” have been pointless –
Since such “risen life” would have undermined
The meaning of his actual death –
The gift he had decided upon.

Jesus “became” God upon achieving the freedom to die for God
As well as for the rest of us –
So his gift would become available for future generations
By his spirit becoming generally available –
And God’s Kingdom, by that reason, starting to achieve reality here on earth
Among all people.

What a gift – that real death!

A LITTLE MORE JUSTICE

The point wasn’t Jesus being a child of God –
The point was that all of us are required
To turn the world into Heaven –
And for God to appear in everyone
In order to preserve human joy from fading away.

Of course, there had to be a first –
And that was Jesus – standing on a towering mountain of Jewish Spirit –
When, not long afterwards, the rest of us decided to move over
To keep Jesus and God company.

It’s like rain – one drop doesn’t make it –
Nor does a single kiss, by itself, make a baby.

God started out with absolutely nothing
But has been working diligently for over 13.8 billion years
To become you –
Yet, obviously, there’s still a long way to go.

Children are playing outside
There’s a lot of new construction going on nearby
Bells are tolling
Celebrating a new election –
In a country where every citizen can be free and prosperous –

All it takes is a little more justice.

GOD CREATING GOD

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

God is a rabbit in a hat
As well as the magician who owns both rabbit and hat
Along with an audience raptly watching.

When the lights go down
God appears
Pulling himself out of himself –
Even God is surprised
At what he’s been able to accomplish.

God, hat, and rabbit –
Are monistic –
Since through Spinoza’s eyes they’re identical
Along with the audience
Cheering or groaning
Depending upon where they sit.

God, when empty, became lonely for himself –
So sparked an inorganic universe
Of whirling, expanding particles
Bursting into existence –
Which eventually changed from original black/grey to “all” colors
On its way to organic life –
And then changed again upon achieving consciousness –
Where, finally, God was able to kiss God
On the lips
Then, God changed one last time
Creating cognitive human spirit –
Where, at its peak, Jesus came to life, beyond any colors
Up on a mountain, transfigured, face shining like the sun –
Garments “white as light.”

REALITY AT ALL LEVELS

How can we see like Jesus could see –
As fully human and fully God?

He saw with two eyes – one a human’s and one God’s.

A real human eye is found only in a “true self” –
Like the eye of an infant – where everything is fresh and new –
And, as the scientists say,
Pure uninterrupted experience is limited to three seconds,
But is never found in the head of a wooden puppet – like Pinocchio
As an “ego” or a “false self.”  

God’s eye is different –
It sees through time (eternity) and space (infinity) –
Set within the four cardinal points of love, truth, justice, and beauty –
With the lines meeting at the top of a spiritual pyramid –
Love meeting truth, truth meeting justice, justice meeting beauty,
And beauty resting on love –
All conjoined at the tip – where God lives.

Two eyes – one a human being’s and one God’s.

Jesus could see through a child’s eyes
Balanced by those four spiritual attributes of God.

When those two eyes exist in a single head
They see reality – and at all levels.

EXCHANGING THE EGO FOR A “TRUE SELF”

             Some say the most profound scientific discipline is theoretical physics which has vastly expanded our understanding of the structure of the physical universe using the language of mathematics, but I think this now needs to be matched by an even more profound spiritual/theological discipline that can further our understanding of the relationship between God and the human self through expanded human consciousness of love, truth, justice, and beauty as expressed through the arts. Materialistic evolution via science and technology has taken us about as far as we’re going to get while still retaining our basic humanity, but the prospects for our species will be pretty dim if that’s the full extent of what we’re ever going to achieve.

             I propose it’s time for human beings to make a conscious choice about which evolutionary path they should take: materialistic evolution (especially digital artificial intelligence) or the next step in humans’ spiritual evolution. Greater spirituality, however, won’t necessarily increase our intelligence or ability to manipulate the material world, but could, eventually, evolve us into an entirely different type of humanity – the kind originally pointed towards by Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed.

            When a person enters the world as a baby, they’re totally open to God – arriving as pure energy in human form. Because they come straight from God, they’re completely natural upon arrival. After their surprise landing in this world, however, they need to figure out how to survive in this particular time and place. They eventually do, but the cost is often high. They’re faced with the necessity of becoming the kind of person that other people readily recognize and the surrounding culture use. Since usually they’re raised by parents – people who’ve already made the requisite compromises and adjustments – the baby ultimately learns how to “fit in.”

            This baby, who started life as a tiny energy “sun,” eventually begins “dimming” because so much of her original natural energy will be perceived as “alien” to her family’s world. Eventually, the baby matures and becomes a “person” by developing an ego – and ultimately joins society. One day, however, that baby – after attaining adulthood – might begin wondering where all her previous energy had gone – and whether it might ever be regained.

            In traditional societies, a person’s roles remain largely the same throughout their life and also determine how their children will turn out.

            In modern societies, however, by early adulthood, a person usually gains abilities and opportunities to change “who” they are by making individual choices – leading them away from predestined family roles – becoming partly a family-destined person and partly a self-determined one – in a “composite” role. Nevertheless, whatever this composite role turns out to be, it’s still just a role.

            All roles, traditional or modern, become included in one’s “life story.” As Shakespeare asserted in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” So, the problem with developing an “ego,” along with one’s accompanying “story,” is the temptation to “make up” that story as one goes along – like in a dramatic film – even if carried out mainly unconsciously.

            Another problem with “roles” is their need for consistency and continuity, so the self can seemingly remain “the same.”

            This is why “higher” values are necessary to effect any serious changes in our quotidian roles and stories. Traditionally, humanity’s highest values have been attributable to a “Spirit” (usually “God’s”) – as well as to divine spiritual attributes like love, truth, justice, and beauty.

            Roles and stories, however, compel us to live as unfree. Since we believe these roles and stories (as reinforced by the surrounding society) constitute our “identity,” we sometimes even believe we would need to “die” as the price for achieving freedom. If a person becomes threatened with losing their identity, frequently, they’ll think they might as well be dead. That’s how important roles and personal stories are for a normal human being. In fact, there’s a general consensus in the humanities, as well as in psychotherapy, that the ego, as a person’s chief fictional character, is one’s essential self.

            So, how is it possible to free ourselves from embedded roles and stories that obstruct our natural human self-understanding and close down our best, most spontaneous thoughts – in order to gain the freedom necessary to become our “true selves”?

            The answer is that we need to be “born again” – at any age. That is, we’ll need to reverse direction, spiritually, and become a “child” all over again so as to become as free as God.

             Jesus himself said this, did this, and then died for it – all to show us how.

             To be “born again” is scary – few can do it all at once. Most people need time to shed their artificial roles until they’re free enough to make a long daring leap into their “true selves.” Starting at an older age, it actually becomes easier to work towards greater spirituality by breaking up and discarding pieces of one’s earlier “false selves” and gain a greater naturalness and openness spiritually even though one is at the same time physically degenerating.

NOBODY

             One trump card used by “enlightenment masters,” when meeting prospective new followers, is asking: “who are you?,” knowing in advance they can’t answer that – because, in actuality, at the deepest levels underneath their “ego,” they’re “no one” and “nobody.”

            Recognizing the need to rid myself of ego before taking up the search for my “true self,” I started studying Western medieval mystics like Marguerite Porete and Meister Eckhart, as well as more modern writers, like Emily Dickinson and Simone Weill, all of whom wrote about becoming “nobody” or “no one,” as being necessary to approach God directly. Marguerite Porete wrote: True freedom is when we “become love.” This reaches far beyond simple humility (because, obviously, a lot of pride can be hidden behind a show of humility). Going all the way – to zero – and then experiencing the world – is what they seemed to be recommending. At first, this approach seemed meaningless to me, even nonsensical, yet they repeatedly kept saying it.

            Eventually, I came to accept their approach as being centered on freedom. That in order to escape one’s ego, one first had to free oneself of one’s “old” self – along with all the wrong ideas and assumptions about one’s “life” and “the world.” Apparently, becoming nobody does the trick! As Marguerite says: “The soul swims in a sea of joy!”

            We need to go to the place where we stand alone – waiting for the promised meeting with God –and then just wait. As Meister Eckhart says: “To be empty of all created things is to be full of God, and to be full of created things is to be empty of God.”

            The promise is that God arrives out of “nothing,” That by accepting loneliness – even depression – and waiting patiently, God will eventually “come home” – into your heart.

            Immediately upon “waking up,” you’ll be seeing through fresh eyes – a newborn’s eyes – and what you’ll see and experience is what God sees and experiences – through you – just as if you’re God and God is you.

            This is the easiest, as well as the hardest, thing in the world to accomplish – to give up your ego in order to find your “true self” – to become the individual you were born to be. It’s what Jesus understood – that one’s old self has to “die” for one’s “true self” to come to life.

            And this is what he accomplished – and why people either spontaneously followed him or desired to kill him. The former filled with a joy they’d never experienced before, while the latter became angry that any human being would dare to become that kind of person.

            As Meister Eckhart says: “God’s ground and the soul’s ground are one ground.” That is, God’s essence and the soul’s essence are the same – at least in the eyes of great mystics