Only ego can fool us into thinking of ourselves as being separate from one another. Ego believes it already knows enough to alter Nature’s rules to its advantage and get away with it; that we will anticipate and overcome the side effects of our ongoing retrofit of Nature’s (and the Creator’s) design; that we are by now so “above” the Nature that produces and supports us, as to be masters over it. That kind of thinking was responsible for Satan’s heavenly eviction, if the legend is true. Many of us take what Nature provides for granted.
Together, over the years, we have made quite an impact on this world of ours. We have developed the technological means to sustain population densities much greater than that which may be supported naturally. We generate toxic substances at a faster rate than Nature can assimilate and neutralize them. In fact, we may have seriously, and for millennia, jeopardized our environment’s ability to sustain anything.
If humankind can do all that, can you imagine how much more we might accomplish if our minds were not perceiving the world through the rapacious, plundering lens of ego? Can you imagine what we might see were we to elevate the mind’s eye above the wall our egos have erected, so as to become truly informed about where we came from, where we are at, and where we are heading?
Non-egoic consciousness is the only operative framework that can lead to personal and social viability. Were we to recognize ego as the point of departure, from which we explore, learn about, and interact with the world; were we to see ego as the beginning, not the end, of humankind’s evolution toward full God-consciousness and reconciliation with God; were we to restore non-ego to its natural role as both inspirer and arbiter of human activity and values, then we will have removed the major obstacle to our creating a better, fairer, more viable world.
It remains patently obvious that if humankind were to direct all of its resources away from competition, and toward collaboration; from making war, to preserving the environment; from global competition, to global cooperation; from unfettered growth to sustainable development (consuming no faster than Mother Earth can provide; discharging no faster than Mother Earth is able to accept and neutralize), we will have our best chance to survive, and to survive exceedingly well.
Make no mistake – if we do not dedicate our resources, both material and spiritual, to collaboration instead of competition and coercion; if we refuse to make the necessary choices – though they be unpalatable in the short term -such as curbing population growth and reducing our numbers to a level that Mother Earth can comfortably support, then humankind will suffer catastrophic losses and could even lose out entirely. We could end up the same as the dinosaurs. Ineffably more tragic: humanity has been given the capability to choose between evolution and extinction; to adapt or to die. The dinosaurs were not given that capability or choice.
In any event, the future of humankind, of our children, is in our hands. If we but make one right choice -to get past egoic behaviours and perceptions with respect to the world and to one another -then we will have done all we need to do; the Divine/universe will accomplish the rest.
Humankind, all living things, and the Earth Mother must be viewed as a whole – as one body.
What body would choose to starve a single toe in the interest of fattening another; or remove one eye, so that the other can see everything?[i] Yet this is exactly what humankind is doing when our values permit some people to have much more than they need to survive, when others do not have enough. This type of value system is hurting the body of which we are all a part. We must begin now – right now – to change our perceptions of one another and of our roles here on Mother Earth. We must view one another as aspects of the same body – of our body – blood cells in the same circulatory system -and to view our roles with respect to the Earth Mother as stewards. We are not suited to be masters over Mother Earth, anymore than Satan is to being lord over the creation he had nothing to do with making.
We humans have, over millennia, created as many versions of God as was necessary to satisfy ego, and the needs of ego are forever changing. You need a god to support a political agenda? You have the god of the Hebrews. You need a god in order to establish a political presence in the Middle East? You have the god of the crusaders. You need a god to justify the annihilation of entire indigenous cultures in your quest for gold? Why you have the god of the Conquistadores.
The politicizing of religion notwithstanding, most ‘ordinary’ folks regard religion as a guidepost to help them make sense of a senseless world -the world created by ego. But the differences among Faiths are cosmetic: they are the product of the cultures and times in which they were wrought; not because truth has changed over the last millennium or two. All Faiths urge their followers to love God and everything God has made – aka the environment and each other. The Faith that avers God intended its adherents and/or humankind to be “conquerors” or “masters” of God’s Creation rather than “stewards” or caretakers over it, GOT IT WRONG.
The Faith that informs people that they are doomed to eternal damnation should they depart in any way from its teachings, also got it wrong. God wants people to use their minds and hearts freely, independently; to question, and to choose; but also to collaborate. Anyone who says differently is guilty of compounding one of the greatest lies ever perpetuated among humankind.
The only heresy possible is to deflect the soul from the path of honest spiritual enquiry.
How does one qualify for entry into Heaven? Leave the answering of the ultimate question to God. It is not for me, or anyone else to tell you this. And you certainly will not get the entire answer out of a book written thousands of years ago -centuries, perhaps even millennia after the events they purport to describe. Faiths that teach respect for all Life, the Earth Mother, and the rest of God’s Creation, are pointing in the right direction; however only God’s answer may be perfect, and to hear that, you must be able to listen over your ego. The “hell-bound” are those who oppress others and seek to make a liar out of the Truth; not those who happen to call God “Allah” instead of “Jehovah” or “Jesus” instead of “Allah.” I believe it is not God, but rather each one of us who decides our direction in the ‘Afterlife,’ because God gave us free will.
The Christ is an eternal spirit and not the property of the Christian faith. Conversely, the Christian faith belongs to the Christ, along with all other faiths and forms of spiritual worship. Christos is the Greek name of the Spirit in those leaders sent by God to put us back on track. In my view, the Christ has been expressed in the word and person of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, and more recently, the Mahatma Gandhi, and John Lennon, and of course my own mother – but then, these are only the ones I know about. Whom might you add to this list?
With respect to the coming of God’s Kingdom: every time we do something nice for someone, in particular someone we do not know, the effect is to bring the Kingdom of God and the world of humankind one act closer together. Each time we resist the temptation of striking back at someone who has hurt us, we keep God’s Kingdom and the world of humankind from being driven further apart. Every time we are directed by the light of non-ego, we will not miss a single opportunity to reconcile ourselves and our world with God’s Intent, and the closer the advent of God’s Kingdom will be. When this happens, and to what extent it happens, is our choice – it begins by simply choosing to dispel ego and uncover the light that is in each one of us. The coming of the kingdom is conditional upon the mind’s establishment of dominance over the ego; after all, it was the act of the Mind of God extending beyond the ego of God that motivated Creation in the first place.
It is the mind’s overarching purpose to imagine beauty. It is the overarching purpose of Life to create it.
It is interesting that the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) was commissioned to establish, among other things, the nature of the relationship between Jesus and God the Father. One of the participants, an Alexandrian bishop named Arius, argued that Jesus, having been “begotten” by God, could not have existed, like God, from the beginning. The Arian Controversy very nearly divided the early church.
I believe the argument that was settled at the Council of Nicaea is very much reconciled with what the Emanations model proposes. Looking at Jesus from the Emanations standpoint, Jesus is both God and human: God, because everyone and everything is consubstantial with God within the 1st Emanation; human, because anything with a soul is an instantiation of an aspect of God in the 3rd Emanation.
The expression of the energies of Life and Love are ‘coloured’ somewhat according to when and where they appear. There is presentation – which is form-based – and there is universality – which transcends form. Shakespearean universality derives from his unparalleled insight into the human condition; however, if he were writing today, he would have expressed his meaning in modern, and not Elizabethan-age English. His Richard III would in all likelihood not be heard offering to trade his “kingdom for a horse,” in a world where there are jet planes. Shakespeare might not be widely read, or even known, outside of English-speaking venues. To other cultures, his work would not have been as appealing or impactful, his extraordinary perceptiveness and skill notwithstanding . It is unreasonable to expect the presentation of Jesus’s teachings to appeal to adherents of the Muslim Faith, or for the presentation of Mohammed’s teachings to appeal to adherents of the Christian, Jewish, or Hindu faiths – because of the incongruity of their formative times and places.
Now, consider this: You would not expect to be understood by a group of English-speaking people were you to address them in French; why is it so hard to believe that God is not at least as smart as you are, when it comes to delivering God’s Message?
At their most fundamental levels, all Faiths teach the same thing: to respect the Earth and all Life, to love God and one another, to care for the poor, to provide relief to the oppressed. Their presentation varies as a function of time, place, culture, and language. A person changes their style of dress, their manner of speaking, yet remains the same person. The same is true of faith institutions – they differ, one from the other, in their rituals, languages, and traditions, but are common in their aspiration to reveal God’s Truth to humanity. Which of these is the greater concern? I’ll warrant the revelation of God’s Truth is much more important to God, and to listeners, than the language the presenter happens to be speaking, or the accoutrements the presenter happens to be wearing. The revelation of God’s Truth is the staple of all religions: it is what they exist to do. Religions relate to one other in the same way people do: they are much, much, more the same than they are different.
People have been killing each other over semantics, over “you say toe-mae-toe and I say toe-măh-toe,” for millennia. This invokes great shame upon humankind, and greatly saddens the God who created us all.
We need to fix this – now.