Polarized Thinking Destroys Visions

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by Michael Maciel
Adam’s first task, according to the account in Genesis, was to name things. And by naming them, he (we) give them their identity. It’s what we do.

But when we name something (or someone), we not only say who they “are,” we also say who they “are not.” Names, by their very nature, are polarizing. They differentiate. They set apart.

Visions, on the other hand, unite. They bring people together. When our language speaks vision, when our words define goals, not “positions,” we start pulling together instead of pulling apart.

In this highly divisive political environment, we need a well-defined vision, not a stronger position. Names like “Democrat” and “Republican” divide us, whereas the name “American” unites us.

torchThe name “America,” however, lost its power when it became a country, not a vision. Make it a country, and we cannot avoid seeing ourselves separate from the rest of the world. But make it a vision, and the whole world will aspire to it.

Gay rights (as an example of a position) loses its power of inclusion when it defines itself different from straight. What is the vision? If you make “relationship” the vision, everyone—gay or straight—can identify with it.

Instead of saying, “We should spend more money on schools,” why not say, “Let’s help our kids become smarter.” One is a political position, the other is a common goal, one that everyone can agree with. Best of all, it promotes the idea that education happens EVERYWHERE, not just in school. So it lifts the entire culture, not just one institution. “Smarter kids,” not “better schools.”

This isn’t simply a matter of linguistics. It’s not even a matter of “political correctness.” It is a spiritual matter. Ask yourself, “What am I for?” not “What am I against.” Name your vision, not your position. Visions move people; positions stop them in their tracks.

“If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!”
― Pablo Picasso

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The Usual Suspects

usual-suspects

by Michael Maciel

The following words, through no fault of their own, have been FRAMED!

1) POWER
It’s hard not to think of this word without evoking the frame of “power over,” as in power over other people. The word “empowerment,” ironically, is okay, because it has been framed rather innocuously as the power to express oneself, like the kids in high school in the drama department—quirky but basically harmless. But whenever power is brought up as a stand-alone plug-in, for some reason it suddenly becomes ominous and threatening, and everyone immediately positions themselves to protect against it. T. S. Eliot got it right: “The power that, through the green fuse drives the flower, drives my green age.”

2) MILITANT
This is a biggie. Who can resist the urge to equate “militant” with violence? It evokes the frame “military” (obviously) and all that goes along with it, including aggression, murder, war, and the failure of diplomacy. But, and again ironically, bring up “martial arts,” and even the most pacifistic spiritual types will think of discipline, poise, strength, and balance. The same goes for the word…

3) VICTORY
This one escapes the frame of violence because it’s on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. (Hard to pick a fight with THAT!) But, there it is. No matter how hard you try, you can’t separate “victory” from “battle,” can you. And battle is just so…militant. If victory is so terribly awful, why is it on the Tree of Life? Sure, you can say that it means victory over oneself, but you shouldn’t then say that we’re all one. No matter how you slice it, victory is a zero-sum game. There’s a winner and a loser. Darn.

4) SWORD
I suppose if you used modern terminology, you’d have to say “gun.” That’s just…not right. It would be like updating the cross of Christ to a hangman’s noose or a lethal injection table. Can you imagine that? You walk into a church and there above the altar is a scaffold with someone hanging dead. Ugh! But crucifixion was just another form of capital punishment in Jesus’ day, so why not? But the sword is undeniably a weapon. No getting around that. Just like a gun. So what can we glean from “sword” as symbol? Is there something about guns that might help us understand? It just so happens that there is, and it comes in the form of a bit of conventional wisdom regarding firearms: “Never draw your weapon unless you are prepared to use it.” Now, if you’re a linear kind of thinker, this will drive you bonkers, because you won’t have any way to see it in terms other than literal. But…if you’re capable of thinking symbolically, you will see how it relates to willpower. Jesus said, “Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Hmmm. And as Ramakrishna said, “Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.” The sword, therefore, means RESOLVE. And what spiritual seeker can succeed without that?

5) NEGATE
This one has been overplayed. Use this word and the framing immediately brings to mind the admonition “What you resist persists.” And that’s true. Focusing on what you don’t like just feeds it energy. But does this mean that you can ignore the negativity in the world? Can you get rid of it by affirming the good only? Good question, right? At what point is it appropriate to just say NO? Is that okay? Ever? There’s a part of the HOOM ordination ceremony that gives the new priest the “power over the life and death of creation.” What does that mean? The “life” part is easy, but “death”? Whoa. That, all of a sudden, gets a little heavy. But isn’t this a case of succumbing to the typical framing of “death,” as in “to kill”? Can we negate something without going to battle with it, without feeding it life? I know in my own experience that the most powerful course-corrections I ever received weren’t a thunderous “NO,” but a quiet, very simple “no.” (Thank you, Master Timothy.) But still, don’t say it unless you mean it. A woman mystic I know puts it very simply: “You are either a yes or a no. That’s ALL you are.” Your yes can’t be very powerful if your no isn’t well-developed. How well can you say, “NO”?

It’s not enough to be good. Good is good. But you also have to be strong. And strength by itself is meaningless unless you can put it into action. Action is what counts. And I don’t mean outer action, necessarily. Action can be prayer. Action can be your Word. Action can be your NO. But unless you can be a warrior in your spirit, a warrior in your attitude towards the world, you’re not really spiritual. Not in this age. Because this is the Age of Activity, and in order to be spiritual, you have to stand up and declare how it’s going to go. This takes guts. It takes a resolve that is equal to if not greater than the resolve of those who are trying to ruin the planet. Don’t be a wimp. Take your sword and plant firmly into the Earth. Tell the collective mind what it’s going to do. That’s your right. Don’t abdicate the power that God gave you. Because the other guy isn’t. He’s using it to his benefit, and he doesn’t give a damn if it helps you or not.

“God is no respecter of persons.”

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Earth As Witness

earthwitnessmudra

by Matthias Indra

After many years of seeking the answer to the end of suffering but remaining unfulfilled Siddhartha sat in meditation beneath a Bodhi tree with the intent of remaining there until he found his answer. In much the same way as Jesus was tempted in his desert experience so was Siddhartha tempted by the demon lord Mara. After unsuccessfully tempting Siddhartha Mara finally said that he, Mara, rather than a human should be the one sitting under the tree. He backed up his claim by pointing to his attendant legion of demons and said that they would bear witness in support of this claim and asked Siddhartha who would bear witness for him. Mara figured he had played his trump card since there was no one present to witness for Siddhartha.

Siddhartha reached down with his right hand and touched the ground and called upon the earth itself to bear witness. In an instant, Siddhartha received enlightenment and was freed from the “endless cycle of suffering and rebirth.”

Most of us are familiar with this story but bear with me as I shift gears.

A crystal set radio is a radio that does not require any batteries or conventional electrical source to work. It only needs to have a long wire stretched horizontally, one end of which is fed into the radio circuit. The wire is energized electrically by the very carrier wave signal that is transmitted from a radio tower. If all the very simple electronic pieces are in place the radio is ready to tune into a particular station and listening enjoyment begins.

But wait a minute, we have the long antenna wire connected to our radio circuit and all the electronic components are properly installed and we can, with the proper equipment, test and see that there is electricity present in the radio, but there is no sound! What gives!

The one piece we forgot was to attach the radio circuit to a metal rod stuck in the dirt. This establishes a pathway for the electricity to follow, a path of completion. All the power in the world is useless, even if it is connected to the most advanced machine, if there isn’t a path to ground. Only then does electricity flow. Electricity that doesn’t flow is measured as voltage. Electricity that moves, that does flow, is called ‘current’ and is measured in amperes. It is the difference of having water in a garden hose and water running through a hose when you open the nozzle on the end. It is the difference between potential and kinetic energy.

crystal-set-radioWhen we meditate we develop a contact with Presence. This is a transcendent experience as we transcend the limitations associated with identifying as a separate body on a planet inhabited by many separate bodies. We get a sense of our potential apart from our physical-ness. We find a growing awareness of life as a continuum that flows from form to form, lifetime to lifetime. And we are fed and nurtured by this experience of transcendence.

But we often find that the experience just doesn’t stick! Some time after we stop our meditation we are once again beset by all the necessities of daily life and we lose our awareness of Presence. We become a body once more, a body that is growing older and that will “die.” This backsliding into corporal consciousness and the illusion of separation has caused much distress to seekers from the beginning of time! How do we have transcendent experiences of Self that stick with us?

The answer, of course, is to “touch ground,” to call on “earth as witness,” or to attach our antenna and radio circuit to the grounding rod. We do this by fully inhabiting our bodies and (this is where it gets real) our finite, flawed, psychologically damaged, egocentric selves into the transcendent experience. Many seekers try to leap-frog over their problematic selves, the selves that they wish would go away or at least would behave better. This leap-frogging is the opposite of grounding and prevents the fullness of the transcendent experience of all that is Potential to become Kinetic or in other words become part of our everyday experience.

This Aquarian Age is the age of ‘Christ Consciousness in Form.’ It is no longer enough to have two selves, a spiritual and physical self. It is no longer enough for us to be “carnally minded” and “spiritually minded.” This has nothing to do with morals as such. It has everything to do with so fully inhabiting and owning our complete expressions as souls incarnate, warts and all, that that which had been separate is fused together as a new body and a new mind. That there is a New Heaven and New Earth.

This business of connecting with our finite bodies and minds and fully owning and inhabiting them as we discover our transcendent Selves is what the Crucifixion is all about. It is the “affixing of Spirit to the Cross of Matter” and is the central message of Esoteric/Mystical Christianity.

May we all be blessed in our journey toward the One.

In Christ ~ Matthias

 

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Be Still and Know that I Am God

still-water

by Michael Maciel

Meditation is, on one end, sitting quietly without moving, and, on the other end, being in a state of oneness with God. Your experience of it will lie somewhere on that spectrum. One thing is for sure, however – the longer you do the former, the better chances you will have at doing the latter.

The formula for stillness is simple. Like a pond at midnight, you are so motionless that even the bugs racing across your surface barely cause a ripple. Your mind becomes a single retina, registering – everything. But it’s a different kind of everything, not the kind that a camera sees (or a mirror), but the kind that deep-space telescopes pick up, or super-sensitive seismographs. Because the stillness of meditation is so deep that the normal sights and sounds of this world are just another form of static – like thoughts, their forms are endless.

The stillness of meditation sinks below the world of sights and sounds. Below the world of thoughts. To a place that precedes them. To the moment before motion begins. Between the heartbeats. Between the thoughts. The Interim of all “things.” It precedes even the will to speak. It is the via negativa of being, the neti, neti (not this, not that) of awareness. It is the borderland of existence, the brink of the abyss. It is what your face looked like before you were born.

The mind cannot go there. It is deeper than the mind. How, then, can one see if one has no eyes? How can one hear if one has no ears? How can one ask a question that has no answer? This is the the stillness of meditation, the gateway to the ineffable.

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Priest Class

laying-on-of-hands

If you are a priest or are interested in becoming one, or, if you have read “World Priest” and would like to learn more about Priestcraft, I invite you to participate in “Priest Class,” a Facebook group where we delve further into the esoteric aspects of the Priesthood. Just message me, Michael Maciel, and I’ll sign you up.

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Are You Enlightened?

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by Michael Maciel

Enlightenment must not be “me-centered.” It cannot be a commodity, as though it were the next thing to get in a long line of getting.

The world will not remember you for what you know, but for what you have contributed to the world. Is the world a better place because you are in it? Some people affect the world on a wide scale; others affect it through the work of their hands. Some have a profound influence on one or two people; others change the lives of millions.

But the keyword is “affect.” Simply garnering the adulation of millions is not really affecting the world. Instead, it is more of a distraction. It can actually delay a person’s progress, because while they are busy adulating you, they are doing nothing to make the world a better place.

Which are you? Are you out to get something, or are you out to give something? Do you see enlightenment as your personal crown of glory, the final and definitive proof of how important you are, or do you see it as a means by which you can do what you do better?

The Japanese are widely regarded as the best woodworkers in the world, followed closely by the Germans, but even the Japanese revere the American Shaker’s furniture making, cabinetry, and architectural skills. The Shaker craftsmen’s motto was “Hands to work, hearts to God.” Their craft was a living prayer, and the products of their hands are the embodiment of Spirit.

We don’t have to physically make things in order to bring Spirit into manifestation, but we do have to manifest Spirit in our lives if we are to think of ourselves as enlightened. A light bulb is not a light bulb until it glows. Otherwise, it’s just metal and glass. A chair is just pieces of wood stuck together until someone sits on it.

What are you?

In what ways do you facilitate the manifestation of Spirit in the world? In what ways do you allow God to USE you to bring Heaven to Earth? What were you born to do? What lights you up? What is your bliss that Joseph Campbell advised us all to follow? If you “get” anything in this life, get the answer to these questions. If you need to, sell everything you own and buy this pearl, the Pearl of Great Price.

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4 Reasons (and their methods) to Meditate

meditating Jesus

by Michael Maciel

There are many reasons to meditate, and each reason has its own method. One reason for meditating is quieting the mind, and its method is to focus on your breathing. Another reason is to obtain knowledge, and its method is to ask a question and then form a vacuum around it, drawing the answer to you from the universal creative intelligence. Another reason is to effect a healing, and its method is visualization, learning how to control the brightness setting on your inner screen. And yet another reason is peace of mind, or escaping the whirlpool of negative thoughts and emotions about yourself, and its method is the equilibration of the heart.
Quieting the mind is easy, much easier than you would think. It’s simply a matter of where you place your attention, because a noisy mind is a mind focused on itself. Just as loud music from your neighbor’s apartment can slowly but surely drive you crazy, your own thoughts, when they become the center of your attention, just keep getting louder and louder. The method is simple: become kinesthetically aware of your breathing. The kinesthetic part is important, because you want to FEEL it, not just have ideas about it, and you want to feel it in a location distant from your hAbs-breathead. The best place is in your belly. Belly breathing is diaphragmatic breathing; your belly extends when you inhale and sucks in when you exhale. No special effort is needed. You don’t have to count your breaths or hold them or anything like that. You simply have to place your attention there and return to it to your belly any time it wanders. It takes a little practice, but the benefits are immediate. Your mental chatter stops as though flipping a switch.

oscilloscopeObtaining knowledge is a little more difficult and requires more discipline. But it, too, is relatively easy, once you get the hang of it. The first thing you have to realize is that the brain does not store knowledge. The brain is a tuning device, not a hard drive. There is only one brain, and it’s called “The Universe.” We live in it. The brain in our head is a fractal representation of this larger brain. Any knowledge that exists in this universal brain can be downloaded simply by increasing the negative gain in your awareness while at the same time standing silently in the middle of your question. “Negative gain” is an electronics term. On an oscilloscope, it’s the part of the wave that extends below the line – the negative or drawing potential. You effect this by asking your question as clearly as possible and then emptying your mind of its contents. You don’t go to sleep but rather focus your attention without forcing it. You turn up your expectation while at the same time relinquishing your control. It’s a bit like downloading information onto your computer from the Internet, only the Internet, in this case, is The Universe. Thoreau said it best: “To be awake is to be alive … We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” What you seek will surely, as day follows night, rise up over the horizon of your awareness.

jewel-in-the-lotusPlease understand that when I say that The Universe is a brain, I’m not talking about Stephen Hawking’s version of the cosmos—huge chunks of rock and ice punctuated by fiery furnaces and weird black holes. The Universe is made of light, not stardust, and that light is intelligent. It is made of information, not particles (or waves), and the information is not limited by space and time; it is immediately available no matter where or when you are. And the human brain is the most sophisticated instrument we have to access it with.

Healing, another reason for meditating, is also a matter of downloading. In this case, we’re downloading the original program for the human body. We’re defragging the disk, so to speak, and restoring the operating system to its default settings. The body is more of a stream of information than it is a device; it’s a happening, not an object. As with any stream, obstacles can disrupt the flow, and the obstacles that comprise diseases are more often false ideas and beliefs than they are external substances. Tapping into the the original program will clear out these false ideas and beliefs along with the gunk that has formed around them in the tissues of the body. The foreign material will literally radiate out, which oftentimes produces awful smells.

The beauty of this kind of healing meditation is that we don’t have to know what the original program is. We only have to know that it exists. Just as we use meditation to obtain information from the universal creative intelligence, we access the program in exactly the same way, only the information in this case is the program itself. It’s not enough to simply visualize perfect health; we must also tap into the universal creative intelligence. Our visualizations are only an invitation—they do not, of themselves, have any power. It’s God that does the healing, not us.

inner lightHealing takes power. And power only moves through a clean channel. We are the channel, and God is the power. This is why there is so much emphasis in the spiritual teachings on “emptiness”—as long as our mind is cluttered with its own contents, very little power will flow. Learning to quiet the mind, then, is the prerequisite to all other forms of meditation, because a quiet mind is a clean channel. The size of the channel is directly proportional to how awake you are; the more awake the channel, the more power can flow through it. That’s the formula: quiet + awake + access to the universal creative intelligence = power to heal. You will know when you’ve made the connection, because your internal brightness turns way up.

Don’t worry, by the way, if you don’t see light. You can also feel it. It can feel like an internal expansion, as though the atoms and molecules in your body are becoming less dense. You might feel more transparent, even physically lighter in weight. The world, both in your mind and the world you see with your eyes, can look different—more alive, more present, more real. These are all functions of light.

arya 2The final form of meditation, at least in this presentation, is the method for obtaining peace of mind. We do this by equilibrating the heart. In the ancient Egyptian Mysteries, the gods would place a person’s heart, at the time of his or her death, on a scales along with a feather. If the heart was heavier than the feather, the soul had to return to Earth for more development. This was all very symbolic, of course. Anything that causes us to have a “heavy heart,” therefore, must be resolved before we can attain spiritual freedom. In A Game of Thrones, there is a mystery school called The House of Black and White. Students have to empty themselves of all self-identity—they become nameless. When asked, “Who are you?” they reply, “A girl has no name.” The test for whether they have done this is in their ability to take on different faces, to assume different personas as needed. Having no fixed identity, they can be all things to all people. The metaphor is simple: in order to be fully present to the world, we must face it head-on. We cannot live in the past and expect to be in the here and now. Our identity is, by default, our past. Lose your past and you become nameless.

Only when we are fully present to life can we be fully alive. The less identity we have (the less past), the more alive we can become. When we are completely devoid of identity, we become a clean channel for the power of God to be active in the world. But it is our activity itself that is the channel. As we move, God moves; as we live, God lives; as we speak, God speaks. And it is through our speaking that creation comes into being. But it is not “us” who speaks. And yet, without us, nothing can be spoken – quiet + awake + access to the universal creative intelligence = power to speak creation into being. That’s the formula.

weighing-of-the-heart

Equilibrating the heart requires confession. We cannot rise up spiritually with anything more than a carry-on. No checked baggage is allowed. And what is confession, really? It is revealing that which is concealed. And it’s not so much what we are concealing from others as it is the things we are concealing from ourselves. This is the cause of all suffering—ignorance of what we are hiding from ourselves. The crucial thing to realize is that we can’t do the unconcealing without help. We can either turn to others or we can ask God, the universal creative intelligence (maybe I should create an acronym for that: UCI – “You see I”). The UCI won’t necessarily speak to you personally from On High. As a friend of mine recently said, “If you pray for strength, it won’t come in a box on your doorstep. It will come as opportunities to be strong.” So it is with looking for your blindspots. You can’t get that from Amazon.

If you stand in the question of what you don’t know that you don’t know about yourself, you better get ready for tears—“Blessed are they who mourn” and all that. Equilibrating the heart isn’t for cowards. No one will come up to you and say, “Hey, listen. There are some things about you that I think you should know.” That’s not going to happen. Instead, they will mirror them back to you in ways that will make you think that it’s their problem, not yours. This is what makes life so…………interesting. So, be on the lookout, because no sooner will you do this than people will start showing you what you’re not seeing—as in immediately.

It’s not the stuff that you’re aware of that destroys your peace of mind. Everyone pretty much knows what their bad habits are. It’s the stuff that you’re not aware of that haunts you, that speaks to you from the shadows, that makes you do things seemingly against your own will. These are the things that keep you up at night, wearing away at you like grist in a mill. That’s what you need to know if you are going to achieve a realistic level of peace of mind. And it’s going to take work. Don’t worry about hitting rock bottom; it’s the most solid place you can stand. There’s a certain look to people who have been there—their skin is different, smoother, more relaxed, less prone to giddiness, eyes that can actually see you, and a brow that’s unaffected by external circumstances. You can spot them a mile away.

So, these are four reasons to meditate, along with their respective methods. And, you may have noticed that I’ve listed them in an ascending order of degree of difficulty. But don’t let that worry you. Once you master the first one—shifting your awareness away from your thoughts and onto your breathing—the rest will come much easier. A quiet mind is a powerful mind. You will be surprised how much more you can understand when your brain is freed up to function in concert with its progenitor, the UCI. Let IT show you what you need to know. It is the true source of all knowledge—the real kind, not the stuff we love to make up.

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Becoming Stillness—Richard Rohr

rohr

 

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Is Balance Always a Good Thing?

swingby Michael Maciel

Sometimes, we get out of balance in order to achieve a greater balance. And sometimes we sacrifice balance by reaching past our limits to achieve a larger goal. If balance is being centered, then imbalance is a stretch, a risk—we extend ourselves beyond the comfort zone of being centered so that we might reach a higher center.

There are many ways to induce an artificial imbalance. For instance, fasting—no one would call fasting balanced. It is extreme. The body needs to eat and we prevent it from eating. Doesn’t sound very balanced to me. But by forcing one end of the scales, we cause the buildup of potential energy, energy that can then be used for other purposes.

Hydroelectric dams are like that. Would you call them balanced? All that water built up behind a massive wall. And yet one such dam can power an entire city. Or what about a gymnast clutching a high bar? Is flinging himself round and round the bar balanced? If he were to let go at the wrong time, he would fly off into the air. But he harnesses the imbalance, and it enables him to do amazing feats.

Vacuums are another form of imbalance. Prayer is the art of creating a vacuum. It is stretching the gap between reality and its potential. When the tension of the gap becomes too great, one will be realized and the other will be altered.

Here’s the point:

If you are always seeking balance, you cannot be creative. God creates. That’s why there is so much imbalance in the world. Out of imbalance much can be created, and he or she who masters imbalance is the most creative of all.

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“God is all-powerful” – and other nonsensical truisms

all-powerfulby Michael Maciel

You’ve heard the complaint before – “If God is all-powerful, then why did he allow this terrible thing to happen?” It’s a reasonable question, especially since the Bible is full of stories of God rushing in to save the Israelites from certain destruction. If God did it for them, why not for us?

But the real head-scratcher is the seemingly random catastrophe. It’s when we’re hit out-of-the-blue with some terrible event – the death of a child, an earthquake, a flood, a tornado, or a devastating fire. All “acts of God,” or so the insurance industry would have us believe. The more random the event, the more God is suspect.

Such events make God look like a mean drunk. The human family knows that when he gets angry, all hell’s gonna break loose. Religion, then, becomes a coping mechanism. If I beat myself up, maybe God won’t hurt me. If I stand really still and not look him in the eye, maybe he’ll leave me alone and pick on someone else. Keeping the peace becomes paramount, because you never know when the pots and pans are going to start flying, so you make long lists of rules, hoping to keep the devil at bay.

Doesn’t this approach strike you as the reasoning of a child? How can truth be born out of trauma? How can peace be had by holding your breath? Such a God is a monster, a “feckless thug,” as Martin Sheen called him in The West Wing, an arrogant, uncaring despot who makes bets with Satan on just how far his servant Job can be pushed before his spirit breaks. Who could love that? Fear him, yes. But love? You would have to hate yourself first, then maybe.

Science changed all that. Science was the rebellious teenager who stood up to his abusive father and left home, vowing never to return. It was humanity’s first step towards adulthood. And as with all rebellious children, we went out of our way to be the opposite of our parents. God was thrown out with the bathwater, along with everything that looked or sounded like God, especially the Bible.

In denying an “all-powerful” God, we set about discovering our own power, and the more we found it, the less we needed miracles to fix our problems. Science became the miracle, and the better we got at it, the more miraculous it seemed. But the power went to our heads, and before anyone realized, we became our abusive father, and like him we discovered that the more randomly we used our newfound knowledge, the more powerful we felt, the more godlike we felt.

Our random use of scientific knowledge became epitomized in the saying, “If it can be done, it should be done.” And since we were all-powerful, if any negative consequences should arise, we would fix them. That’s how powerful we are. Knowledge is power, and it had made us drunk. The world was just going to have to conform to our designs, not God’s. As long as we kept calling God “nature,” the more we felt justified in competing with him. But this was still the same ‘ole thinking, the thinking of a child. We were still in the same paradigm, only now WE were God, and all of the nonsense we had ascribed to him we started believing about ourselves.

But science has revealed one life-altering fact: the universe runs itself according to certain laws, laws that even the universe itself cannot break. The order that we sought when we turned our backs on our supposed capriciousness of God has revealed itself in greater and greater detail. Everywhere we look, we see that matter, energy systems, and natural processes are embedded with an ordered intelligence. It’s almost as if matter itself were intelligence made visible. And, it’s all connected. The notion that we can do whatever we want is slowly being unmasked as the “gimme” mentality of a two-year-old. Now we know that when we pluck a single string in the web of life, the whole thing vibrates.

Our understanding of God is changing.

Instead of living like serfs outside the castle walls, our relationship with this new God is more like growing up in a family business. Mom and Dad are the boss, but it’s the business that’s the important thing, not their egos. As children and heirs, we are constantly being groomed for success, not servitude. The more we learn the ropes, the more responsibility we can take on. And with greater responsibility comes greater opportunities for self-expression. As we grow, the business grows, and as the business grows, we grow. It’s a living system, and we are integral to it.

It’s through self-expression that we discover the truth about ourselves – the truth within ourselves. Only by letting it out can we tell what it is. As long as we keep ourselves separate from the intelligence inherent in the cosmos and in nature, as long as we behave as though we have to dodge the bullets of an angry God, and as long as we see the random events in our lives as the diddling of a bored, “all-powerful,” divine dictator, we will never feel free enough to bring that which is within us out into the world. And that which is within us can save us, because that which is within us is infinitely wise.

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