Sunday, 28 December 2008

What God is All About

I noticed my mind has been wandering in circles a bit because I haven't had the energy to participate in any discussions and I don't read books anymore. So in order to broaden my scope a little I made an effort to put my mind into a couple of issues presented on group discussions (note, ones devoid of any very personal feelings and experiences!). Here is something I said regarding the fact that many still today like to talk in terms of God when they address a higher power, and that this God has attributes such as kindness and love. As those who have read my previous blogs know, I don't think like this and I only confess to using the term when exclaiming "OMG" or pleaing, "Please God help me...". Anyway, this is what I said in answer to the fact that maybe God is beyond attributes made up of the limited human mind with its even more limited repertoir of expressions:

"I was not raised a Christian though I belong to the Lutheran Church (I simply have no greater reason for leaving though I think I would if I had to pay taxes :-/), and so I do not have "God" in my semantic repertoir the way many others have. I've been in touch with Americans a lot and many like to talk in terms of God even when they mean an intangible entity. The Taoists spoke of that which you cannot name, for as soon as you do, you are no longer speaking of "it". Ah, I love their sense of paradoxes! That to me is where we get closer to the real essence of "this thing called God" (said with a smile). To me, talk about God promptly brings me into the issue of dualism, where opposites reign. Ok, we live in a dualist world where contrasts provide experience (it's hard to appreciate good if you do not know of evil etc.). To me the Almighty is "above" these constellations (note that even the word "above" creates a dualist constellation but what can you do?!). In fact I'd rather refer to "it" as "the Source" or "the One". "The Universe" is okay too in some instances when you want to stress the interaction between the parts of the space we inhabit and bring God into it all. I guess humans need to talk in terms of God being this or that but my hunch is, we're all a bit off course because we're using words invented by humans. Well, all in all I think that the word God carries too many heavy connotations no matter what the intention behind using it is.

Well... maybe /the idea that God can be unlimited and limited at the same time/ is a mystery only if you want it to be. If you study old Asian thinking (esp. the philosopher Nagarjuna), you stumble upon the idea of paradoxes as fundamental to the ontological ("beingness") status of reality. They are not the ultimate truth but lead you in a direction traditional Western thinking is not used to going. In my mind, it's only the mind that's so stuck in thinking in dualist terms. It finds it very hard to imagine anything as being both-and. But try it, practice, and maybe it gets easier... I see this as being the future of human kind. That way we might start reconciliating many issues that now seem impossible to reconciliate... It seems fairly obvious to me by know who studied the issue thoroughly enough but I understand that for many it's really mindblowing! And it probably is a mystery."

Today I received the newsletter from a spiritual site that I quite like despite the fact that God is a frequently used denomination. I presume that's because it's mostly American. I thought this quote might bring some hope of a spiritual nature to those who feel the heaviness that is lingering above us all like a dark blanket. Some challenges are for a good reason. This is from Julie Redstone at She suggests that strength of heart is particularly important at this time of challenges:

"Some souls are carrying the belief that surrendering to God's will produces harmony and perfection, and when they give their lives over to the divine are shocked when unanticipated challenges manifest in their life. These brave and devoted souls are expecting more immediate rewards, and may be unprepared for the process of purification and for the lessons of non-attachment that come their way. Yes, harmony and peace are the results of a life devoted to God's purpose; however the day to day outcome manifests and flows in its own timing and in God's timing which has its own divine wisdom and purpose that often the embodied soul cannot see. A willingness to rest in the unknown, and to continually return to God's heart despite whatever events, emotions or challenges may come, will provide a steady, sure anchor during times of changes."
Artwork: "Evolution", digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2008


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  2. Hi,
    I wandered onto your blog somehow. :-) Here in America, I see people wanting to experience God as a way to find some kind of peace in their lives, when effectively they force an artificial sense of harmony, at the expense of seeing God. Just my thought that God either touches you or doesn't. Perhaps God does not seek refuge in the noise of everyday existence, and we must go outside this to find God?

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  4. Hi marin_explorer, thanks for visiting! You know, what you say is pretty eloquent and truth to say pretty much what I think as well. It's kind of a depressing thought though. I was thinking today that I don't seem to be able to grasp the extent to which people are self-deluding in one way or another. Who is truly willing to set theories aside and LOOK? To open up to some inner knowing instead of creating this safety net of dogmas? How can God touch you if you're full of blocks in the way; expecations and presumptions about the way it has to be because someone better than yourself said so? :-/

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  7. I love your art!
    In times of confusion I pray for the clarity of mind and vision to see why it's good for me. I believe it' always for my good but sometimes it's so hard to see it.

  8. Thank you ever so much Wizard! Glad to see you here, in time I will recopricate too! I'm trying to find new ways of communicating and understanding people. The thread on the attributes on God made me think of the fact that some of us just seem to have an inner knowing that challenges are for our growth. I mean, we usually read and then conclude. Others read but don't conclude. But it's a paradox because life would most likely be easier if we were a bit simpler in the way we react to life (or would we, maybe it's debatable?), on the other hand when you're complex it's hard to imagine a more boring way of being! All in all I'm frustrated with my challenges but grateful that I feel deep in my soul that they lead to growth, change, improvement, greater creativity and wisdom! Don't you think?

  9. "Who is truly willing to set theories aside and LOOK? To open up to some inner knowing instead of creating this safety net of dogmas?"

    I like your observation because it points to the real purpose of spirituality: self-reflection, awareness and objectivity of purpose. I left organized religion years ago to pursue my own values and ideas because I found dogmas simply kept me from learning and changing my life. I feel much better trusting my own judgment and sensitivity than how others might tell me to believe. I think God meets individual hearts, versus imposing some dogma unilaterally. As you said, once we get outside that "safety net" made by others, then we truly start to see--and live. :-)

  10. Thanks marin_explorer! Yes, I totally agree. To me organized religion has never been an issue, at least one thing less to battle with... But what is still hard is to dare to open up to one's real authentic self at whatever cost... usually the cost is disapproval from other people. Peer pressure can be terrible and reach you in the most unlikely places (like for me, it's not my close community but my society at large and the internet. But... what choice do we have... some argue, that if we remove all filters we might expose abominable behaviour. So perhaps it's a question of getting there little by little, not all at once. One's psyche and brain must adapt and open up to the deeper self... how could it come in a flash of lightning...? :-)

  11. I've enjoyed reading your blog because I think I've had similar experiences in my life. While I've always considered myself a "different person", I used to think that was a "bad thing" and would try to hide my differences by being "popular" and in the "right" peer groups. I now see that from an early age, I had recognized my "real authentic self" as you say. Upon further reflection, I now see this as a gift to myself, which many people avoid here because their sense of identity/worth is derived from society or the expectations of their peer groups.

    I see a dilemma in how organized religion stresses a sense of "togetherness" at the cost of the individual exploring their true, inner self. From my involvement in organized religion, I know many people would be frightened if they look inside themselves outside the comfort of ritual; they would see a need for true spiritual growth. That is a paradox of humanity: we want togetherness, but at the same time we all travel our lives alone. Only until we bravely venture out by ourselves will we understand our identity, and therefore our context within society. I think you have given yourself a great gift by respecting your feelings and exploring life in your own way. :-)

  12. Yes, many of us try being popular at first from fear of being rejected. I didn't exactly try to be popular since it was very obvious that I couldn't fit in, but I did try in ways to please others. I had the "kind and sweet girl's syndrome". I think one of the advantages of growing older is the increasing awareness of one's authentic self, though it's often at the expense of one's social life... You're right, it's a gift one gives oneself... though the process feels nothing like a gift! this is in my understanding yet another paradox of life; the more sour the lesson, the greater the result (I wonder if this would pertain to real life fruits... ;-)). You might find interest in Ken Wilber's early books, in which he explains the stages of human evolution. For instance ritualization and the stress on togetherness is but a phase in man's growth towards greather individuality. But the rather narcissistic phase of self-indulgence is also but a phase... it's fascinating, made a world of sense to me and helped me structure my own thoughts!

  13. I loved your post.

    Concerning GOD; yes, this word (symbol, etc.)is only a semantic and spatial placeholder. GOD is All, and is beyond all "things", a definite paradox during acclimation of un-knowing.

    But, we are here collectively and we do point towards IT when we express to each other so these eons of attachment to words become relevant. I use "GOD: That which embraces and of which we are integral" when I share expanded insights. You are right in that the one path is to know thy self; to know who we are. When we are finally aware enough to recognize the moment we are about to step "out" for the answer, and we stop and observe our life, we then realize.

    There is a space (pointer) to be that is free that is all that we are. This is not temporarily free, this is whole; home; heaven, etc. And this of course does not mean the energy duality dance will stop, it is beyond the dance; for the dance is within it.

    What it means is that we know that we are more experientially through self-observation. We taste beyond the reach of any dream-form. This knowing does set us "free" to play in the forms and it is "found" through the surrender of all that we define as separate then ourselves, including all that we worship. We are now becoming.

    Take this simple example: A child that fears a toy will be taken away is not at peace and lives paranoid. The toy is currently bringing them joy. But these "things" change, life changes, and through the child's tenseness it is then not fully enjoying the toy (or life) for fear of losing it, thus losing the ephemeral joy.

    But, if the child is happy being a child (being), then the toy is not paramount and paradoxically is more enjoyed due to the depth now consciously achieved through not being attached or reliant upon the toy, or to any "thing."

  14. Dear Richard! What you say makes sense, it's stuff I've pondered in my own way too. I like what you say, "When we are finally aware enough to recognize the moment we are about to step "out" for the answer, and we stop and observe our life, we then realize." Sounds very zen. The realization comes when all clinging and grasping stops. But how to reach that point, no one has really explained in a way that would be easy to put into practice. Should we just wait for it or do we have to practice a great deal of meditation and other devotional paths? How do you even want it bad enough? Or is it also true that the road can be terribly dark before the light, a real dark night of the soul that somehow clears you of all your grasping. Also, many delude themselves into thinking that they are enlightened, when in fact all it was was a peak experience and you still have laundry to do after that. I used to have clearer answers to all this, now I'm confused! :-)

  15. Oh and thank you Richard for your appreciation!!!

  16. Good day Vivi-Mari,

    We cannot "not" be exactly where we are, so let us be here. Let us honor ourselves and life fully so that then our experience runs down our chin like the juice of an orange.

    We are home until we think we are not.

    It is a continual observation of ourselves and our consciousness that "opens" us to the more we are.

    "When we open to the mystery, GOD pollinates our soul." A clear way is to seek without gathering so we are always available. In my book I do offer "tools" that one may employ in their lives and practice to help them expand. The road is dark because all that we have associated ourselves to be, we are more than, and this is powerful. It is intense as we let the limitations and idols go, absolutely. Because what are we confronted with? Ourselves, and not many want to accept and own their choices. But, the freer we remain the smother we expand.

    We are seeking ourselves. There is only the knowing of ourselves that brings eternity.

    I suffered immeasurably, and through that disconnection I realized immense expanse. When we let the fantasy go and ground into the now there is nothing to do but "awaken". We naturally evolve into the intelligent Space (or GOD, etc.) that we are, and by this our lives and our consciousness reflects this space to us.

    It is wonderful to ask questions, but sometimes we are asking questions from habit and not through inspiration ( I discuss habits and missions in-depth in my book). Inspiration is Now. Questions are questioning the idea of now, and there is the fundamental difference.

    Concerning myself, when I find I am too concerned with forms I sit in the empty/fullness that we are, realizing the joy of being here now, and the question is no more.

  17. Dear Richard, I don't know why people wouldn't like to own their choices. Are you talking of decisions that has brought a certain karma into someone's life, and reasons why they encountered certain difficulties in this one? Or do you mean pure self-disgust? People - and you - talk of loving oneself but it doesn't make sense to me. Surely you have no choice by the end of the day? You can't just sit down and decide to love yourself. At the same time, you're so used to yourself that it becomes hard to fathom having a relationship to yourself. So is the love not a relationship then? I don't get it.

    You say: "A clear way is to seek without gathering so we are always available." I'm sorry I don't understand exactly what you mean, can you clarify? How does a person open up to the mystery? If you don't want to give away all that is in your book, that's fine.

    I wish I had money to buy your book, it would be interesting. Right now I don't. I'm living on the edge of the knife. But I'm grateful that you want to share your views nonetheless.

    I wonder, how does one tell the difference between real enlightemment and just a delusional state of the mind tricked into believing it's saved from "whatever"?

  18. I think one of the advantages of growing older is the increasing awareness of one's authentic self, though it's often at the expense of one's social life

    I can live with this expense, because the alternative is far too costly. Let me cite a real example. In US society, there is just too much political game-playing, lack of honesty, lack of ethics, and avoidance of problems that has put us where we are today.

    Against that backdrop, it is rather easy for to choose the opposite, irrespective of society's approval. I'm not sure whether society will ever evolve, but individually I believe in people and how they can make a real difference--whenever they care to grapple and find something true to enrich others lives. That's one practical aspect of my spirituality which I otherwise don't discuss. Thanks for your thoughts, and I'll continue to visit your interesting art work.

  19. What I mean is that we easily own what we "feel" is worthy, enlightened, special, etc.,; what we "think" is the way. We without debate accept what is justifying what we "think" is our path.

    But do own what we feel is not?

    This is a place to look. What happens is that if we don't "like" the way a certain thing has happened, or understand the ramifications of it we then fragment ourselves (our wholeness) and say (or teach) that "something" else must be involved, or in charge because we do not want to take responsibility for the "bad" thing. Do you see the illusion?

    The parent is to the child until the child becomes the parent unto itself.

    When we own our choices no matter the outcome we are free. No one has stepped into our bodies and lived for us, no matter how we imagine. Once we ground into ourselves we are home, no matter how we play and dream we are free because we know that we are more. We are flowing. We are not attached. We are not gathering "things", we are experiencing them.

    If we walk and pick up too many pretty stones (things) eventually our hands are full and we cannot utilize our hands again until we have returned, or released the stones, or "things".

    Concerning deciding to love yourself, you can. This is not easy, and a rare path a that, but viable. When you are ready, you realize the one way is through your own life; your psychology. Know Thy Self.

    I was fractured, exhausted, and broken and just one day stopped externalizing and went into the silence and realized.

    You open up through surrendering limited beliefs. The "mystery" does not believe, it is. When we recognize that through our evolution we have created belief footholds on our journey, we may then transcend them by knowing that they were temporary placeholders for what was new at the time.

    The way is to continually transcend limited definitions until you realize.

    Why are we not pure consciousness? because we believe (at some level) that we are not. Of course there has been immeasurable programming to convince us of this, and this is perfect. But if it was programmed, and cam be "deprogrammed." (or so to say). And these "tools" are what I now share.

    I discovered that all I was was a collection of concepts and beliefs. And when I observed this I transcended the beliefs and realized the more we are.

    Yes, these topics are within my book and future books and all that I write. I am holding nothing back. I am here.

    Buy or do not buy, it is your journey.

  20. Kurt, you're absolutely right. I have seen a lot of falsehood in the States, unfortunately. Many of you countrymen get very angry when this is being pointed out. There's a lot of social indoctrination going on, which is obviously hard to transcend. You put your desire to do good things for others eloquently, it obviously comes from your authentic self! Will be honoured to see you here if you still wish to visit :-)

  21. Dear Richard, I think I know what you're talking about. Sometimes it's through great shock that some important realization comes, though most likely precedented by training that prepares the ground. Right? It didn't just happen out of the blue, did it? You struggle with ways of letting go/accepting until one day it all falls in place and makes sense, right?

    I don't think it's just a case of not wanting to take responsibility for our experiences, it's about having the discernment to see that we are not always the ones to be blamed just as little as it is always the other thing or person. We always exist in a constellation with the external elements. It's complex, because I think we need to see these things before we can own the situations we are in a complete way. For a busy mind like mine there's always a lot to be busy about. I rather be that way than a zombie. It doesn't mean I don't understand that at the end of the day everything is simple. It's just not a case of either or, in my opinion. It's having the insight that both can exist at the same time...

  22. There are epiphanies, yes, but they are not what we "think" they are. As we continue observing our lives (the in and out being the same) step-by-step we realize more and more, (or less and less) and we expand. When one belief is transcended, we quickly discover another, and another, and another upon which the previous was built upon. We need to keep going... and this is where it gets tough. We are releasing all that we thought we were to know the infinite that we are. We are not awakening, we are realizing.

    Concerning myself, at a certain point the "pull" home (to oneness) was "stronger" than the pull into the ego(limited idea of self) and I did instantly realize. We see this occur in quantum nature that division immediately "jumps" or divides. Once a certain percentage is achieved, the element evolves, expands, doubles, etc., and this explains epiphany.

    I "attempt" to explain and simplify these, and other "spiritual" and mysterious mechanics in my books.

    There is no "thing" to blame. We have reacted or acted; WE have. Own it all and then move forward. The attachments are what gaff and tie us into the illusion.

    We flow by being empty.

    Light passes more freely through a cleaned window, or consciousness.

    Both realities will BE, but not how we think; this is truly beyond comprehension so try and not "think" about it. Be.

    I did not plan anything, I just suffered, observed to survive, one day awoke, and then suddenly realized.

    It was Hell, but all will experience this "dark night of the soul" at some point on the journey from i to I.

    Let these words flowing through me be a candle for us all.

  23. Thank you Richard, for your views. I'm very glad that you have found a way that is working for you.