AT ANY MOMENT

Once you become nothing – that is, no thing,
You instantly become a door –
A spiritual door that, once entered,
It’s possible to find your “true self.”

Surprisingly, it doesn’t take much “work” to surrender one’s ego
Since it’s only “dead weight” accumulated from birth –
Manufactured and transmitted by culture, politics, society, and religion.

It’s surprisingly easy to find your true self – the easiest thing in the world –
But does take courage
Because you have to give up everything
That is, the glorious ego you pieced together over a lifetime.

Easy, because you’re already “there” – beyond ego – without consciously knowing it –

Yes, it’s true, you can find your “true self” at any moment –
Your very own spiritual “pearl.”

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ALL THE TIME

Even if you put on an official “coat” of religion,
You probably still won’t achieve what God truly wants –
However, if you courageously open your heart – even a bit –
You’ll quickly find yourself being flooded with loving spirit.

Actually, “God” isn’t God at all –
Because God doesn’t have a name
And disappears whenever we are attempting to use one.

God sometimes may be found out in open fields or beneath gently rustling trees –
You can’t actually see or hear God then,
But, during such times, it is possible to gain a sense of God’s airy touch.

More often, though, God is found in hardship and suffering –
You won’t hear or see God then either,
But, if it’s important to you, you’ll be able to feel God’s presence.

God is known most completely by us
At birth
And death.

The rest of our lives should be just the same –
Yes, God should be that close – all the time.

THE CANS NO LONGER OPEN!

There’s nothing more open, yet more resistant to change,
Than the American people.

We are the direct descendants
Of an extended chain of empires.

We stretch back – deep into time –
While, at the same time, and quite carelessly, vault into the future.

Truly, there’s nothing more modern,
Yet more ancient, than Americans.

We enjoy playing marbles with our leaders’ heads –
Voting for what we think we believe in –
And buy too many things we don’t really need.

What a laugh!
Especially since there’s not a single funny bone remaining in America.

The cans don’t open either –
Since the can openers have all gotten misplaced.

It’s the fault of religion
That we can’t find anything anymore –

Jesus Christ had been our favorite “opener” –
But, somehow, along the way, he got bent.

BORN AGAIN

“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3

Christianity teaches that Jesus was referring to salvation based upon a belief in him.

But Jesus was actually talking about being born “into the Spirit” – not about a commitment to himself.

So, what does it mean for one to be born “into the Spirit”?

I think, first, this requires a determination of the meaning of one’s “self.”

Each of us is born as a “true self” – but, at this moment in history, a “true self” probably wouldn’t be able to survive past his or her childhood. That’s why a person, while still young, accepts the substitution of an “ego” or false self in place of their true self – so that they can successfully integrate their “self” into the world – i.e., with their parents, community, and surrounding culture, including their nation and religion. This successor “self,” in most cases, takes the form of the strong and healthy ego that Freud described.

But what are the costs of living through an “ego” self, no matter how successful it may be in the world?

Think about consciousness as an open circle. Then picture the part accessible to the ego as a very thin slice – maybe 10% – 20%. From early childhood on, that’s the part of ourselves we choose to live within – with all our experiences needing to fit within that narrow slice or be excluded. Excluded how? The ego self requires, as the price of an effective existence, that each and every experience outside the scope of its chosen roles be methodically and ruthlessly pushed back into the unconscious – sealing those experiences off from our consciousness.

So, what happens when we’re “born again”? Upon being born again, we gain access to all our consciousness – all 360 degrees of it – and are able to experience full reality. We become completely “free” and totally open to all our experiences – just like when we first came into the world as a newborn baby – but we also retain all the experience and knowledge of the person we had become by the time we were “reborn.” This rebirth, however, doesn’t happen to an ego – it only happens when we’re able to break free of the ego we had earlier accepted – and start living outside it. That’s what Zen training, for example, prepares us for – to get “outside yourself” in order to become “free of your ego.” This is essentially the same path which Jesus taught – that we need to be “born again” in order to become our “true self” – the self God originally provided us with.

Once you become your true self, you’ll enter “Heaven” – and no longer be creating karmic problems in this world. That’s because you’ll be experiencing everything clearly – by being able to see yourself at the same time as you’re participating in the world – by an ability to stand “outside” yourself. This makes it possible for you to see what God wants you to do in any given situation – just like Jesus was able to – allowing you to act the same as God would act if God were a human being like yourself.

Let me say this as simply as possible – once you find your “true self,” you won’t be Jesus, but you’ll have become someone like Jesus – because you’ll have done what he recommended – spiritually, you’ll be “born again.”

All the “Angels in Heaven” start singing when this happens –

or perhaps,

You’ll simply be able to hear the angels who’re always singing – once you’ve gained the “ears to hear” that everyone receives upon being “born again.”

SEARCHING FOR GOD – WITH BOTH MINDS

We possess two minds: a logical/mathematical/scientific mind and a creative artistic one:
Joined at the brain’s center they function best when acting together
Because it takes both to encompass reality.

Today, many people are using just one of their minds in their search for God or for understanding reality – the “logical” one –
And that’s true whether we’re speaking of believers in orthodox religion or atheists –
Since both can be quite comfortable construing reality in a purely logical manner.

Atheists – being materialistic – use “Occam’s Razor” to crop spirit entirely out of life’s picture,
While Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals proselytize a “god-given” faith
composed of ancient superstitions systematized into a “take it or leave it” religion.

Both are dead-ends.

I propose that people should start searching for God and their true self by using both minds. A new post-“postmodern” field of human endeavor will be necessary to accomplish this: a freely creative and artistic, yet inherently rational, spiritual discipline of using both of our minds.

In the past, artists convincingly portrayed various aspects of God, but restricted their images and stories to their culture’s predominant religion – whether Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam.

Today, however, artists need to widen their scope of work to encompass all human religions, spirituality, thought, and emotions. Human beings’ highest and most joyful levels of creativity could then be used to “paint pictures” and “tell stories” about God, and to discover their true selves – with absolute freedom – while grounding this new“ spiritual-art” in a profound and rational understanding of reality.

This “Two Minds spiritual discipline,” however, will never be included in the course curricula at Princeton Theological Seminary or Oral Roberts University because this combination of a rational scientific approach with spontaneous and free artistic creativity, by its very nature, could never be the subject of academic systematization.

The best thing would be for each person to become a “scientific-artist” or “artistic-scientist” (depending upon one’s natural preference), and to go and search for God and one’s true self on their own – using both minds. If they happen to learn about someone who might be helpful to them in that search – they should go and talk to that person – one on one.

Repeat, as often as necessary, until radiant with joy!

“LIVING IN SIN” – AND DECIDING TO WALK BACK OUT OF IT

Most of us, today, find ourselves “living in sin” because, at some point,
We misplaced our “true selves” –
Relinquishing what God gave us as our very own.

We were drawn to this path by our parents –
Who wished, initially, for us to survive, and then, later on, to thrive –
But, until the world, one day, becomes “God’s Kingdom” – once and for all –
That was probably the right call to make at that time.

So, we never made a conscious choice about exchanging our original true self
For a conventional adult ego –
The exchange that resulted in our losing “everything” truly meaningful to us.

The only possible cure is for us to admit the hard truth
That we actually have lost our true self, sometime or somewhere, during childhood,
And, now, don’t know how to find it again.

It’s a lie we’ll be able to recover our true self in one faith-soaked stroke –
Whether in this life or even in passing from this one to the next –
In truth, it may only be retrieved one step at a time –
The first one being the most important!

That first step by a true self,
Is like trying to put a tiny foot inside God’s huge shoe
And having faith it’ll fit.

At the heart of all religions is an implied promise to get your true self back –
It’s what we’re supposed to spend our entire lives accomplishing –
However, religion never comes out and says this openly
Because it would also mean, eventually, giving up on religion itself
And religion has way too much invested in us to ever reveal that!
So it doesn’t say anything –
And, instead, asserts that each individual needs religion in order to be “saved” –
Even though the promised salvation only begins after one’s life is over –
Or, perhaps, needs to be provided by someone else.

The truth is – all you actually need is God – and the heart of a courageous human being –
The truth is you can have everything – just for the asking –
That when you’re given a “green light” by God –
Which everyone who asks eventually receives –
You’ll be able to start walking – backwards – retracing all the steps taken by your false self –
Back through religion, society, parents, and even your physical birth –

Until you’re completely free (that is, “reborn,” in the language of Jesus) –
To the point where you no longer belong to anyone but God
And, of course, your true self – the “pearl” –
God provided us with originally – as our own individual and exclusive gift!