You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Humankind has arrived at its defining moment. We are come to the watershed of human history. Today we ride wave after wave of technological advance into the future, but find ourselves buffeted by technology’s most undesirable side effects: global warming, pollution, overpopulation, overexploitation, hyper-violent crime, poverty, and starvation. The destructiveness of modern age technology threatens to outpace the value it is creating for us, yet, inexplicably, we ignore the signs. Our use of technology is driving us closer, inexorably, to a place no one would want to be. How will we ever get ourselves out of this mess?
Despite the existential nature and number of the challenges we face, there is but one culprit for all of them…
Introducing the ego
Ego has ruled the roost for near as long as humankind has walked the planet. Should we continue to cultivate the egoic component of our nature, the misery of the last 5000 years will continue into the future and intensify – right up to the catastrophic dénouement of humankind. On the other hand, we could choose to cultivate the side of our nature we have heretofore ignored in ourselves and in others.
The time to choose, and the time to change, is now.
Technology is not the enemy. Technology is but a tool. The enemy is the hand that wields it, and that hand is ours. We have been our own worst enemy, and today’s world is the result. In our times, human individuals and societies are obliged to choose between two modes of being: to continue in the old way, or to embrace the new. Those who choose the new will transition to the next stage in human evolution. Those who continue in the old way are bound for destruction, as is the world they create and maintain. Which will we choose? Will enough of us choose to be guided by our non-egoic nature to make a difference?
Humankind is at its defining moment. What we need to have happen will not result from new technical knowledge, but rather from new consciousness. “New” is actually a misnomer – this consciousness is woven into the fabric of existence and cannot be new; but it can be rediscovered. Some very special people have, over the years, extended themselves into this consciousness – Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Gandhi, John Lennon, Mother Theresa, and many others. I am hopeful all of humanity will – very soon.
Why does it have to be now? Why not at some other point in history, or in the future? It is because the cumulative impact of human activity has grown to the level where it now imperils the environment’s ability to support us. Our Mother Earth cannot sustain the current levels of human activity and population. Not only is the earth unable to measure up to humankind’s rate of consumption and generation of waste, we face the possibility, indeed the probability, of either being struck by an asteroid from Space, or of global war; all the while being threatened with a plethora of emergent natural disasters. Our backs are to the wall.
The behaviour of humankind must change, and this may only be achieved by virtue of a change in spirit. This requires an inversion of human consciousness – on a global scale. Left to itself, the ego is no more capable of guiding the individual, than the tail is of leading the dog. The choice to frame the mind’s cognitive processes in non-egoic terms begins each human soul’s journey of rediscovery of who and what we truly are; where we came from, and to where we are headed.
Who would draw wood from the structure of their own home to build a brighter, hotter fire? Soon the individual will have no home at all, and the warming fire will burn out – leaving the individual cold and unsheltered. Yet, this is exactly what characterizes our approach to development. Only parasites and cancers continue to expand themselves to the point of killing the very thing upon which their livelihood depends. No rational collective of humans could allow themselves to behave in such a way with respect to their own planet, could they?
It seems they can. How is this possible? How could we allow ourselves to manage things so badly; or to participate so enthusiastically in impoverishing the planet which births and nurtures us? Does anyone seriously believe our me-first attitude with respect to other individuals, regions, countries, Faiths, future generations, and Mother Nature, can result in a positive future? If so, these people are guilty of building castles in the air out of the ground beneath their feet. In truth we may have already dug ourselves a hole so deep, future generations will have difficulty emerging from it. The sole reason most humans do not seem to recognize the multiplicity of real perils we are in is ego. The divisive and reactionary, short-sighted way societies and governments are behaving is trademark egoic.
The ego is not equipped to understand that taking what it wants, when it wants, is leading to its own destruction. Ego is by nature too limited to comprehend this. Even when presented with the plain truth, ego will manufacture a way to ignore it. People, governments, and humankind, can no longer afford to ignore the obvious. We do so at our own peril, and to the peril of the generations that will follow us.
As soon as each of us begins to cultivate non-egoic awareness; as soon as we feel in our heart and soul that the time to do this is now, then we will have reached the turning point. We will have come to the nadir of the human experience and begun the journey upward and forward. We would then be about the business of building the societies of conscience that will do away with fear, coercion, and scarcity, as the primary elements of social control. The era of imposing conformity upon that which best thrives in a milieu of tolerance, individuality, and diversity – people – will come to an end. The doors will open to unparalleled opportunities for self-actualization on the grandest scale. Someday, each of us will begin to see one another in the same way that God, Who loves us all, sees us, and we will thrive. We will look beyond the surface and discover we are, all of us, much more the same than we are different – that contrary to the egoic perspective, we have friends everywhere and are never alone.
The task before us is deceptively easy to succeed in; though the consequences of failure are beyond our imagining. We only need to listen for, and be open to, the guidance that God/the Universe is communicating to us at every moment. We may only hear God/the Universe speaking when we are not distracted with listening to our egos. We will hear and understand the universal message when we are in non-egoic consciousness mode.
It cannot be stressed enough that God/The Universe is speaking to all of us, all of the time, and that we need only listen to be informed about what is true, and truly meaningful, in Life.
The limitations of this writing, for example, are a direct result of my own failures to listen attentively. The failure to listen results from allowing ego to dominate my thinking. That being said – and this is the beauty of this exercise – anything I am about to tell you, if it is true, and not something concocted by my ego, you already know in your heart of hearts. You will feel its veracity for yourself; you will be able to discern fact from ego-concocted fiction.
There are many possible futures for humankind; however, if we do not recognize the truth of the following statement, there will be no future:
No one – no child, no adult, no nation, no culture, no society, is truly living in isolation. Our separateness is an illusion perpetuated by ego and by the negative energy generated among humans and in Nature. We will thrive in togetherness, or die in separation and disunity.
Either way, our fate will be shared with every other living soul, and inherited by those who follow us.
The solution to our individual and collective woes is quite simple. We need to recognize that we exist within a duality of consciousness: the ego conscious and the non-ego conscious. We are suffocating our non-egoic consciousness ‘component,’ relegating it to the back-burner, by according so much attention to the ego. We cannot be simultaneously conscious both ways anymore than we are able to think two thoughts at precisely the same moment. The ego masquerades as our ‘conscious’ mind because we choose to be ego-conscious.
The mind chooses, actively or passively, where to place its attention, what to be conscious of, moment by moment. We must self-monitor, and acknowledge the degree to which we are allowing our consciousness to be dominated by ego. When we do this, we will see, without anyone having to point it out, just how egoic and how limited our thinking has become. Then naturally, quite naturally, and without any effort at all, we will discard egoic modes of thinking in favour of non-egoic modes.
We will, without any effort at all, behave true to who and what we really are.
We were born with non-egoic and egoic consciousness in perfect balance. What we were born with has been conditioned out of us – by our institutions, by religion – or rather, the face of religion presented by the ego-bound faith purveyors of the world – and by the imposition of contrary behavioural norms. That we should be, by nature, living in the non-egoic stream of consciousness, is what got left behind in the Garden.
We must emerge from ego. When we promote our non-ego to the level of active consciousness, we fill a vacuum in our awareness which ego is unable to fill. Following our emergence, individual and collective being will acquire a quality of permanence. The war between Good and evil will experience a quantum shift, favouring the Good. The shift will be to the extent humankind has cultivated, and promoted, non-egoic consciousness over egoic consciousness.
It is the mind’s job to select the reference frame within which the person interprets and interacts with the world. Ego is one possible choice. But ego represents only a small part of who we are. It is no more intended to be the whole person than the root is intended to be the entire tree. Ego is an anchor; the starting point of our journey, the point from which our awareness proceeds; but by no means is it designed to be used as a tour guide. Our path toward enlightenment features self-discovery and discovery of the outside world; proceeding in parallel, and in equal measure; and naturally – the way it is with children.
Jesus is quoted as saying, Be as little children…Do you suppose the journey, and how to get the most out of it, is what he was talking about?
Chapter I – A Paradigm of Existence and Consciousness
People need to understand the world, and to find their place in it. As an aid to understanding, we organize life’s complexities around some conceptual framework, which we develop over time. Unless you are God Almighty, this will involve a process of simplification; that you may better grasp and categorize what you observe and experience. But error accompanies the simplification; distorting the world we see, and informing our interpretations of events.
All models must admit to some degree of error because nothing in Nature is perfect; however this should not prevent us from trying. We must accept that our model cannot be perfect. We must remain open to new knowledge that might contradict some element of it. This will oblige us to reconceptualise, yes, but it will also bring us closer to the truths which we all seek. It is paramount that we maintain openness – an open heart and an open mind – to everything. We must remain actively engaged with our environs and never allow ourselves to go on auto-pilot, or to allow our presuppositions and preconceptions to gloss over an opportunity to grow in understanding and in spirit. We must never allow ourselves to sleepwalk through our lives here on Mother Earth.
The propositions in this book derive from an organizing principle which I developed to help me make sense of the world. I call it the Emanations model. I will provide a brief description of the model next, as it will be necessary to refer to it often. My personal take on the history and evolution of the universe and of human consciousness is as responsible for the theory as the theory is for my take on all the above. Each helped give rise to the current form of the other. The Emanations model is as applicable to the cosmos as it is to the human individual. I propose that the evolution of individual humans mimics the evolution of the universe, on a microcosmic scale.
I characterize the universe, and everything in it, as consisting of a series of emanations, which are of the same substance (consubstantial) and occupying the same space (coextensive). The First(1st) or Prime Emanation is God. The Second (2nd) Emanation derives from the first and is in the form of pure energy; this may be what Plato is describing as his World of Ideas. The Third (3rd) Emanation arises from the Second and is the material world. All living things are interconnected, energy-wise –spiritually- in the 2nd Emanation.
The interconnectivity of all things might best be imagined as a network or grid; each soul is a node on the grid, the way each leaf is a node on a tree. I will refer to the Emanations model often, and its meaning will become clearer. For the time being, a brief summary:
As the model pertains to the universe and Creation:
- There are three tiers (emanations).
- The tiers are coextensive; occupying the same space at the same time.
- The tiers are consubstantial: of the same originating substance.
- The second tier emanates directly from the first tier; the third tier emanates directly from the second.
- Unlike the other emanations, the Prime Emanation has no originator and no precursor. It does not derive from anything else. It could not have emerged from nothing, and is therefore unique among the Emanations, as having always existed; spanning an infinite number of Big Bang expansions and contractions. Something cannot come from nothing. What is of the Prime is therefore immutable and eternal. This is God.
- What has been emanated (created), is mutable and transitory. The second and third tiers are, therefore, impermanent and mutable.
- The reality the Emanations model describes is fluid and organically evolving.
- There is a feedforward-feedback loop operating across the emanations. No one disputes that the actions of God affect the universe; the Emanations model provides for the possibility that the actions of living souls affect God.
- The Second and Third emanations are roughly analogous to Plato’s Worlds of Ideas and Forms, respectively.
- The Second Emanation is ‘active’ consciousness. It is both self-awareness, and awareness of what is beyond the self. Consciousness of ideas and emotions, for example. Things in the Second Emanation, as opposed to the Third, are stable in their pure forms. The mind’s operation within its chosen mode of consciousness is a phenomenon of the Second Emanation.
- The action of the Mind is a two-stage process: first, one must choose how to be conscious, and there are only two possibilities. One chooses to frame one’s thinking in terms of ego (self-interest), or non-ego (interest in all things, including the self).
- It is in the third tier where ideas acquire material The sustainable purity that is a quality of things in the second tier must be ‘watered-down’ with something else to permit cohesion and stability in the third. Nothing in the third-emanation, material world, can exist in its pure form for very long. It is necessary for opposing aspects to maintain some sort of equilibrium with respect to one another in the third, since one or the other is necessary to function as the glue that keeps the whole thing together. Evil is attracted to Good, and Good to evil, albeit for contrary reasons.[i] If things were otherwise, entities would disappear as quickly and as randomly as they appear. Nothing would have a chance to grow, mature, or evolve; much less be born or die, and to actually know it.[ii]
- Consciousness, the I AM, is a feature of the First Emanation. The First Emanation corresponds to God awareness. It is awareness of the interconnectivity of all things – it is God/Universal consciousness. It is consciousness of good and evil, and of the universal balance among all the antithetical elements of the Universe, and how they interact with one another. The equilibrium-point is never static; shifting toward the extremes of evil on one side, and Good on the other. The amount and direction of the shift reflects the relative amounts of positive and negative karmic energies which are, at any point in time, circulating in the human individual. The cumulative consciousness of all sentient beings affects the bias of the Universal Equilibrium toward the positive or the negative.
- The Second Emanation renders the I AM consciousness into two streams: egoic – the starting point of our awareness- and non-egoic – the consciousness of all things, including the starting point. If you play Monopoly, ego is stuck on the ‘GO’ square; while non-ego is playing the entire board.
- Our egoic and non-egoic potentialities continually vie for the attention of the I AM. The non-egoic self is that part of God in us that is eternal and limitless. If we are the leaves of the Great Oak tree; God is the tree itself. Perhaps God’s ‘presence’ in the Garden was through the fabled Tree of Life.
- The I AM (consciousness) and soul are of the Prime Emanation; these are uncreated and eternal. We are discernable, one from the other, in the Second Emanation, as “spirits,” and in the 3rd Emanation as human beings.
- Our material component cannot survive physical death, but our non-material portion can. Although it is closely associated with the physical component we leave behind, ego manifests in the 2nd Emanation, where things are much more permanent and immutable than they are in the third. Death is not the end of you, but rather a mechanism of release from our material component. Death is our transition from the 3rd Emanation to the 2nd Emanation.
- By cultivating our non-egoic component, we revitalize our I AM, and our connection to the Divine. The viability of our spirit, after death, is determined by the degree to which we were non-egoically conscious, in life.
Emerging from the Emanations model is the awareness of interconnectivity among all things with souls. Interconnectivity, together with the paralleling of the evolution of the Universal Consciousness (the I AM of the Old Testament) with human consciousness (the I AM which is reprised in the development of each of us), implies that God is one individual, that God’s consciousness is the Universal Consciousness, and that what God is, and what God is conscious of, are the cumulative expression of all things conscious plus an ineffable part -the “X” Factor – to wit, the Mind of God.
To put it another way, individual souls are to God what the body cells are to the individual.
This interconnectivity is best imagined as a grid or network over which energies are exchanged and alter form. The Emanations’ Grid is the infrastructure over which energies are circulated and distributed. These energies are generated at all levels and impact all levels. God is sensitive to what humans do and feel; humans are as sensitive to what God is doing and feeling, if they have cultivated non-egoic consciousness. Intelligent design and divine intervention are attributes of the Universe. What individuals do, or do not do, think, or do not think, feel or do not feel, affects every other entity existing at every other level.
The Bifurcated Universal Consciousness: Where did Us and Them Come From?
Ego v. non-ego. Because of ego, the world we live in is, for many of us, not the world we should rationally choose to live in. The world which ego creates is a world of separation, coercion, scarcity, and mistrust – a world of us and them. And yet, this is the world that we have, actively or passively, chosen for ourselves, and for the children who are destined to inherit it.
We exercise Freewill at its most fundamental level when choosing between egoic and non-egoic modes of perception and behaviour. The quality of the choices we make with respect to the sustainability of our societies, cultures, species, and environment, is as much determined by the consciousness framework we are proceeding from, as the health of each plant is determined by the quality of the soil it is growing out of. At any and every moment we are, actively or passively, choosing between sainthood and sin. Non-egoic consciousness is as strongly associated with goodness as bees are with honey. It is the only way to actually be good.
You cannot coerce people into being good. You cannot force anyone into non-egoic consciousness – that would amount to relieving the individual of their freewill – a gift given them by God, not by you or me. Furthermore, taking choice away is the surest way to prevent people from transcending their own egoic tendencies. Coercion simply doesn’t work against ego; though, ironically, ego relies exclusively on some form of coercion in order to get what it wants from other egos. Since we tend to respond to another person’s ego with an equal measure of our own, the inevitable result of coercion is mutual entrenchment; inviting even more coercion – and nothing of goodness and permanence can ever come of that.
We must keep our egos out of things. This can only be accomplished by extending our minds beyond the level of ego.
Now comes the easy part:
Be non-egoic, cultivate your non-egoic self, and you will automatically connect with those who do likewise. There is a little effort involved; however you gain much more than the little that is required.
Much more effort is necessary when you try to control that which by its very nature, is not yours to control. The ego is ill-equipped to define and respect its own limits– that is the mind’s job. Ego can only feel and react. The ego-addicted mind rationalizes what the ego is feeling, and is enslaved by it to obtain what ego wants. When the mind is not operating freely, it cannot fulfil its primary function.
The mind abrogates its thought-management functionality the moment it chooses ego over non-ego. The promotion of appearance over reality in every human society since organized societies began, accounts for the modern phenomenon of ego-induced mental dysfunction. These days, it is more important than ever that things sound or look good, even when they are not. It has become the operative political strategy. It accounts for the federal Conservative party’s electoral success in 2011. It accounts for corporations’ successfully branding themselves as responsible citizens even though their employment practices sustain and encourage the very poverty and lack of opportunity their “charity” is supposed to alleviate.
Individuals are as driven by self-interest as corporations. Be prepared for it, and manage your interactions with the egos of other people – for your sake, and for theirs. This is important: You must learn to discern which mode the people you interact with are given to operating in. Their choice of consciousness frames their entire point of view, as does yours. The non-egoic self always encounters resistance in penetrating the egoic modalities of other people. You cannot force the door open, but you can knock. That is the only way in; the only way to truly resonate with anyone. Being non-egoic is your best chance of success. What should happen, will happen; but in its time, not yours. Patience is a key attribute of non-egoic behaviour. Patience is simply releasing the urge to exercise control over the timing of things that depend on the choices of other people.
The Attainment of Joy
Joy is the highest state of being. You lack nothing. You desire nothing more than what you have, right now, and you are thankful for all of it. You are untroubled. You believe in yourself. You willingly, and with gladness, provide aid to whoever asks it of you and to whomever you are aware has need of it. Your sense of completeness is unaffected by how others treat you, or whether you have many friends, a few, or none. Joy is peace of mind. It receives rather than takes. It offers rather than pushes. It collaborates rather than coerces.
The interconnectivity of all things is a foundational attribute of the Emanations model. The model suggests we humans are quite capable of having a positive impact on the viability of our species, and of the world we are living in – we simply need dispense with negative feelings toward other people and toward other living things. Humankind must change its relationship with the Earth Mother from that of conqueror (the Judeo-Christian biblical version) to that of Steward – the Canadian Aboriginal version. This represents a shift in humankind’s approach to development -from the unsustainable to the sustainable -and in our perspective on our place in the world: from ravenous exploiter of ‘limitless bounty’ we are today, to stewards and caretakers of the Earth Mother –if we want to be here tomorrow.
We will arrive at, in truth, the Aquarian Age, which was so beautifully heralded by the Fifth Dimension pop group back in the ‘60s.
The Emanations model suggests humankind has the innate capability to alter not only the material world (3rd Emanation) but also the Energy Field (2nd Emanation). We can even affect God (1st Emanation); however in the manner and to the extent that healthy and unhealthy cells impact the body. The model asserts that every living thing is both generator and consumer of energy. All things, even inanimate things, both affect, and are affected by, the energies of others.
Joy and Love are the most positive energies that can be generated – Love, from which arises the desire to create; Joy in experiencing the process of creation and in what has been created. All energies are generated by the soul; which may be likened, in function, to a magneto – a device which is capable of creating and converting energy. Our emotions are the by-product of the energies that our souls are processing. These energies will be either positive or negative, depending upon whether our souls are “spinning” to the left or to the right. The negative ones are like the heat of a resistance circuit – the elements on your stovetop, say. The positive ones are like the coolness of the air conditioner on a sweltering summer day.
Soul spin has three attributes: direction of rotation, speed of rotation, and rotational momentum. The soul’s direction of rotation can be either counter-clockwise (‘positive’ rotation), or clockwise (‘negative’ rotation). The speed of rotation reflects the emotional intensity of a particular choice of action – it is a function of the personal sacrifice, or personal gain, that is made. The soul’s momentum is a measure of the ease with which an ‘opposing’ force is able to effect a reduction of rotational speed, or in the extreme, a reversal of spin.
The soul is housed in a consciousness-filtering layer which I call the soul-sheath. The soul-sheath is characterized by its modality; the relative ease with which positive and negative energies migrate across it, on their way into, or out of, the soul. The soul-sheath modality is a function of the relative proportions of egoically and non-egoically motivated choices that one has made. The more egoic one’s thinking tends to be, the stronger is the soul-sheath’s egoic component. The stronger its egoic component, the greater the resistance it creates to the flow of positive energies across it. Meanwhile, the passage of negative energies is enhanced. When the non-egoic component is stronger, it is because one’s thinking is less egoic, and both the mind and soul have greater affinity for positive energies. This results in more positive exchanges of energy between and within people. For the predominantly non-egoic individual, their overall tendency is toward joy, as mind and soul are evolving toward reconciliation within the individual, with other individuals, and by extension, with God. Non-egoic consciousness modulates the soul-sheath energetically to facilitate the exchange of positive energies at the expense of negative ones.
Cultivating a negative soul-spin is contrary to the energies that sustain life in the long run and could eventually result in the depletion of the soul; which is to say, the Life-force.
As previously stated, the stronger the egoic component, the harder it is for positive energies to traverse the soul-sheath. Greater amounts of non-egoic energies will be necessary in order to affect the soul’s spin. The soul has little material mass, yet momentum is a function of mass. Momentum, in this context, refers to the difficulty experienced in changing one’s general attitude. A reversal signifies a fundamental shift within the individual from egoic to non-egoic. The stronger your non-egoic component becomes, the greater its influence, and the more difficult it will be for the egoic energies of others to affect your soul’s spin. That is why ego-bound people are quicker to anger and harder to please; while non-ego-bound people are slower to anger and easier to please.
Chapter II – Talking About Ourselves
…and man made God in his own image,
Ego. I am using the term a lot; but what do I actually mean by it?
When I use the term ‘ego,’ I am describing the behaviours and patterns of thinking that derive from an egoically-oriented frame of mind. When I use the term ‘non-ego,’ I am referring to the behavioural and thought patterns that derive from a mind with a non-egoic orientation.
The ego is not who we are; the ego is not what we are. It is a minor component of the total package making up the human spirit. Ego functions to distinguish one individual from every other individual. Ego is akin in functionality to the tokens we place on the Monopoly game’s GO square. It provides a point of view through which we observe and interpret the rest of the game board, the movements of the other tokens, and our personal interactions with both. But ego represents as much of the human spirit, as the token does of the person who is buying up properties and rolling the dice. If the gameplay were left entirely to the token, well, what do you suppose would happen?
Ego is a point of reference; it is not the whole of who and what we are. The ego is to the individual, what the root is to the tree. The ego comprises as much of the individual as the root does of the tree, and is as crucial to our viability as the root is to the tree. Without a healthy root, the tree cannot survive. On the other hand, without a healthy above-ground presence, the root cannot survive either. Therefore the root and the tree-body exist in a critical interdependency which determines the long term viability of both.
If the tree root were an entity unto itself, its existence would be entirely underground. It would have no sense of anything else, apart from that which is also underground. The root would be conscious of itself and of the environment it interacts with – what it can “see” and “touch.” For the root, there is nothing more. No sun, no wind, no birds – nothing. Owing to the limitations imposed by its subterranean existence, it cannot be conscious of all that exists above ground.
Now, connect this root with a tree-body, and look at the whole picture: nutrients are exchanged between the root and the tree-body. Each nourishes the other. Each depends upon the other for survival – if one crashes, so does the other. Yet they are completely different from one another: the one knows how to do osmosis, but not photosynthesis; the other knows how to do photosynthesis, but not osmosis. The tree-body and root perform true to their respective purposes: the tree-body does not draw nutrition directly from the soil, and the root does not draw nutrition directly from the sun. If either took on the duties of the other, duties for which it is not equipped to fulfil, the tree would die. The roots do not contain chlorophyll and have no exposure to sunlight. They cannot, therefore, cannot be in charge of photosynthesis; a process which is necessary to the tree’s survival.
The tree analogy departs from its usefulness in explaining human consciousness when we try to characterize the thing that is overseeing the entire process; what is coordinating the interaction among these two very disparate, yet inseparable entities. The tree-body and root do not choose or consciously regulate this interaction; it just happens. The root provides the tree-body with what the tree-body needs, and accepts from the tree-body what the tree-body gives.
Human consciousness is likewise structured; the roots of the tree representing our ego, the rest of the tree portraying the non-egoic portion. But sentient beings rely on an additional interactive system for survival; one which defines them as sentient beings. This system has three parts: the conscious mind, its elective mode of consciousness, and the innate capacity to choose. We choose what to be conscious of, minute by minute, second by second, nanosecond by nanosecond. The mind facilitates this process by actively choosing to extend itself, or to not extend itself, beyond that which the ego can be conscious of.
Simple. But this is both a blessing and a curse.
There is more to life than meets the ego. There is an entire universe beyond what the ego is capable of understanding and utilizing. We pre-empt our own happiness when we accord ego a disproportionate amount of attention and influence. The ego, by nature, is preoccupied with itself; and feeling quite complete being this way. However, the ego cannot appreciate the value of things it is not aware exist – the list is as long as the universe. To do that, we need our non-egoic component; else we will experience not the life that is; but a fiction ego has created for us.
The condition of the human soul is what Joseph Conrad explores in Heart of Darkness. Conrad’s idea was, the further removed we are from external social controls, the closer our behaviour becomes true to what we really are. What we are, Conrad proposes, is so cruel, so savage that, were we able to look upon our own souls, we would exclaim, “The horror! The horror!” …but this is only half the picture. Colonel Kurz does not express the general, immutable condition of humanity; only that of the ego-bound.
The Relationship between the Soul, the Ego, and the Non-Ego
The soul is the ‘magneto’ of the human spirit. It provides our life-force. All things with souls are to God/the Creator, as all cells are to the human body. The soul is connected energetically to all other things with souls. Souls are ‘miniatures’ of the Great Soul. Like God’s, our souls contain good and evil potentials – irreconcilable, yet able to coexist at this stage precisely because they are potentials. Like God’s, our souls can generate positive or negative energy, and depending on their tending toward one or the other, they could sustain themselves, and their human spirit, indefinitely. It depends on how we choose. The mind is our finger on the toggle switch.
The soul is encased in a soul-sheath matrix. The soul-sheath acts as a consciousness filter. The soul-sheath may be modulated energetically, preferencing the energies associated with ego over non-ego, and vice versa. To promote either consciousness to the level of the active conscious, relegates the other to sub-conscious by default. An individual whose conscious thinking is dominated by ego will posses a sheath likewise dominated, and preferencing negative energies. The extreme case is that only ego-compatible energies will pass into and out of the soul. The flow of positive, non-egoic energies, into and out of the soul would be blocked because they are incompatible. The non-egoic component of the sheath operates in reverse fashion. It facilitates the passage of positive energies and impedes the flow of negative energies.
Our behaviour reflects the consciousness mode we have chosen to cultivate. The chooser is the I AM. The highest level of consciousness – and, it should be mentioned here, the aim of every spirit’s evolutionary process – is God consciousness; it is the acceptance of good and evil, each one in their proper measure, along with the recognition of goodness as being the only viable, operative strategy, for living Life. The egoic component of the soul-sheath is sufficiently reduced to permit the flow of positive energy from the soul to the mind, unimpeded. The inference here is that the more non-egoically conscious one becomes, the more receptive one is to the energy of the Divine, and the less impedance the ego is able to create. Conversely, the more egoically-conscious one becomes, the less receptive one is to Divine energy, and the greater the impedance created by the soul.
In order to become everything we have the potential to be, we must cultivate non-egoic consciousness. As we recover what we were born with and what is, in fact, our natural state, the Light of the Universe will illuminate our souls and minds. We will each of us discover who and what we, and all other living things, truly are.
The surest indication of being ego-bound is not being aware of the potential in every single one of us. There is an Angel in you – but the root (your ego) will not permit you to ‘see’ what is above ground.
When Jesus said, Do not hide your light under a bushel basket, I believe this is what he had in mind. His “bushel basket” is what I conceptualize as the soul-sheath. A non-egoic bias permits your soul’s light to easily be seen and shared by others.
The Case against Egoic Dominance
Ego times two is the arithmetic of conflict. There has never been a confrontation between two people that has not been ego-to-ego. One cannot control the ego of another without some form of coercion; and no ego can respond to being coerced other than to become further entrenched – that is precisely how problems among people begin. One can, however, control one’s own ego. This does not mean to supress your ego; it means, rather, to set it aside; allowing your mind the opportunity to process more information, and to broaden its perspective on any given situation. This allows you to see the entire picture, or at least, a lot more of it than the ego has the patience to acquire. You may then be assured of doing what is best; even what is best for your ego – though it is not equipped to understand why. Ego is too limited to be an individual human’s general manager; only the mind is qualified to do that job. Cultivating a non-egoic perspective is the only way leading to peace; within and among individuals.
Ego is the lowest level of consciousness
The ego’s level of consciousness maps to the bottom floor of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It is the level at which the satisfaction of urges has it greatest appeal. This is the only point of entry through which the dark energy of the universe, personified in Satan (Judeo-Christian) or Shaitan (Islam), can gain entry into your mind and soul. While your mind is operating in non-egoic mode, you are as susceptible to negative influences as Shaitan is to positive ones. Because the ego is reactionary by nature, you cannot let it be the last voice you listen to (or the only voice you listen to), before you act. It is crucial that you do not allow your ego to monopolize your thinking, because the ego is limited and weak, and cannot see the ‘big picture.’ Ego is reactive, rather than proactive.
As Canadian society recognizes Maslow’s principles, and restructures itself to facilitate the progress of every citizen through Maslow’s hierarchy, more Canadian individuals will attain self-actualization. A society of self-actualized individuals – can you imagine just how much value they will represent to one another and to the world?
Our children, and our children’s children, need never be anxious about the future again.
The Egoic Quest for Superiority
The ego constantly evaluates. It is forever drawing comparisons between itself and others. The ego is addicted to the ‘good feeling’ in any way it comes. Ego wants to feel good, about itself; at any cost: to the truth, or to others. It is as overly-critical of faults in others, as it is blind to its own faults. The ego must find a way to feel superior to others, else it will feel inferior. This fixation provides the basis for control and self-esteem issues. The ego-bound mind wastes much of its time and resources rationalizing its own judgements; connecting the dots with facts of its own manufacture, as is necessary, so that the fact will fit its theory. Ego is completely invested in seeing what it wants to see, rather than in wanting to see what is. The non-egoic mind also compares; but whereas ego attempts to misrepresent the facts attending upon situations and people where it suspects itself inferior, non-ego strives to better itself by deconstructing situations and emulating the superior example of other people. In the case where it perceives itself to have an advantage, non-ego strives to help others to become better.
The Ethical standards of the Ego
The ego bases its ethical standard entirely on desire – what it wants – as opposed to basing what it wants upon an ethical standard. This implies the ethical standards of the ego are forever changing, and adapting to circumstances. The ego is able to accept no other form of control other than that of its own making – even the ostensible acceptance of, or acquiescence to, the control of others is based entirely upon the ego’s perception of value to itself in doing so.
The innate sense of survival is the key to compelling the ego into doing right by anyone, or anything else, other than the ego. Ego is even incapable of identifying and pursuing what is best for itself, only it cannot know that. Still, what the ego desires, above all else, is to survive. Smokers, for example, are 50% certain to die from smoking. Ego will permit the individual to deduce that they are among the 50% who will not. The ‘non-ego’ will complete the picture by observing it is equally likely that the individual is one of the 50% who will, and that these are terrible odds.
The Allure of Self-confidence
Just because a person acts as if they know what they are doing, it does not necessarily follow that they do. Canada’s erstwhile prime minister, Stephen Harper, was able to stand before us and speak very confidently on how his government’s policies will benefit all Canadians – even while he is enacting social and economic policies most people would have hoped had gone the way of the Dodo; policies which are leading this country toward social, economic, and environmental ruin. The confidence that is supported by ego is totally, and without exception, sustained by ignorance and denial.
Despite what they say, or make themselves believe, Harper et al. do not represent all Canadians -so long as there is a single child, or a single mother, or a single elderly person, in this bountiful country, who is living rueful of today and fearful of tomorrow. No one should be afraid of not having a roof over their head, or food to eat, or access to developmental opportunities. NO child should be allowed to grow up in a milieu other than the most nurturing, safe, and optimistic. As long as there are so many with so little, how can anyone rationalize living the sort of material existence the so-called 1% of society’s members are living?
Your Emotional Barometer
If you are feeling happy and you do not know why; simply enjoy. On the flip side, if you are feeling any negative emotions; anger, sadness, fear, and the like, then it is important to stop and take an inventory of your thoughts. Consider what you have been thinking about for the last while. Is there one thing, or are there several things? Does it concern something which has happened, or something which could happen? Very probably, you have been thinking these things while your hands are busy doing something unrelated –the dishes or mowing the lawn, perhaps. Something is responsible for the negative emotion, and taking a thoughts inventory will help you track it down faster than your mom did your dirty socks.
You will see patterns and trends to your mode of thinking. Most times, you find that you have been reprising some issue from the past, or entertaining some anxiety about the future which has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the ego. Either way, you must discipline yourself to not allow the issue to occupy your mind and play over and over again. You feel in accordance with your thoughts. You will exhaust yourself, and you will not get anywhere.
You must short-circuit the mental processing that is creating the negative emotion and energy within you. The culprit is always ego. Even if you find these negative thoughts are in response to being unfairly treated, no matter. In every case, what is being done to you by others is never more defining of you, than how you choose to be. No one else can define you. You choose your actions, and your actions define you.
How others value you, reflects their value. How others behave toward you is how they are choosing to be. How they are choosing to be can never be a reflection of your value.
Meditation: Cultivating Non-Egoic Consciousness
A wonderful side effect, if not the goal, of meditation, is the peace of mental discipline. Its myriad spiritual benefits notwithstanding, meditation directly targets the mind. It disciplines the mind to ‘listen.’ The reason meditation promotes a sense of fulfillment and peace is because the universe itself is “communicating” its peace and knowledge to us, all of the time. We do not hear the message of the universe because we are simply not listening for it. Most of us do not even know the universe is speaking – to not just a few of us, but to all of us. It seems as though only a few -Mohammed (BPUH), Jesus, Moses, Mother Theresa, for example – have heard the Word of God. The important thing is not that these great souls were chosen by God; but rather, that these human souls chose to listen. The rest of us have not heard the message because we are not listening – in fact, for the most part, we are not able to listen. We are not able to listen to the universe because our ego is always talking and monopolizing our attention, like a spoiled child. The ego will continue talking so long as we give a mental ‘ear’ to it.
We all know it is nigh impossible to hear, much less understand, what another person is saying to us while we ourselves are speaking. No one is able to talk and listen at the same time. The ego is always talking. Ego is pleased to be the sole occupant of your mind, the focus of your mind’s attention. It is the mind that meditation targets and trains, to direct its attention away from the chatterbox ego, toward the voice of consciousness which is, à la ego, always speaking. However, unlike the ego, the voice of the non-ego is soft-spoken and nurturing. The speaker is God/the Universe. It is soft-spoken because, unlike the ego, it has no urge to self-satisfy, or to control – only to serve. Its primary function is to serve and to extend that which was created out of Love.
The Ego is Preventing You From Having Peace of Mind
Consider this a moment: Peace of mind is no more the absence of uncertainty, than courage is the absence of fear. Peace of mind does not come from having a certain future, or a certain quality of future. Peace of mind comes from not being distracted from the moment with worry about the future.
Anxiety about the future is a trademark of egoic consciousness. In the mind’s basement, where the past is stored, or in the mind’s attic, where we pile up our speculations about the future, the ego is rearranging things – more often than my mother did the living room furniture –according to what it wants, what it fears, what it rues. Ego accomplishes all of this without ever having ventured from the mind’s main floor, to wit: the present. Ego has a fatal tendency to ignore the mundane present, because the past and future are much more exciting. They are easily manipulated into being the ‘present’ the ego desires and falsely creates for itself. Ego manufactures situations to which it can emotionally (and, more often than not, negatively) respond. The imagined future and the remembered past, are the ego’s preferred theatres of operation. Here, the ego is able to exercise complete control with respect to the contents in either. Power and control, above all else, are what the ego craves.
The past may only come alive again if we reprise it in our thoughts. It is our ‘thinking’ about the past that gives it new energy by bringing it into the now. We feel the emotions associated with the events we recall into our ‘active’ conscious, every time we think of them. The ego is especially given to reprising past injuries to its own person and rationalizing (to itself) the wrongs it does to others. If we – the I AMs – were to allow it, the ego is happy to go on doing this indefinitely, unto the end of our natural life span. Guided solely by ego, we expose ourselves to the risk of dying without ever having lived. Having to live with so much ego-engendered emotional turmoil, how is it possible for anyone to feel peace?
Just how does becoming engaged with the present help anyone to be at peace? Well, if the mind is not busy listening to the ego’s incessant chatter, what would the mind be doing? If we were to eliminate the past, save for the lessons to be learned from it; and plan for tomorrow but leave tomorrow to take care of itself, save for our plans – what is left for our minds to be occupied with? Only with what is happening, now – right now. The regrets of the past and the anxieties about the future are banished from the mind – such relief! The ‘gut-tightening’ urgency with which the ego informs everything is absent. You now have the luxury of time – and you intuitively sense this (not to mention feel it in your gut) – because the ego is silent on the past and future; because you are not listening to it.
What is true, what is real…all that is, is found in the present moment. Pay close attention to the present moment, and you will not miss a thing. Someone is talking to you? Now you are able to listen completely. For all the time you are listening, you are not in an ego-conscious state, and you offend no one by being a good listener. You are talking? Talk as concisely as possible, enough to clearly communicate your meaning – you will offend no one by talking just long enough to make your point, and by allowing them ample time to make theirs.
Whatever the outcome of a situation, it immediately loses its emotional effect very soon after it has past – or at least it should. A bad situation only last as long as it is active. The emotional effects, however, can continue to live. Given that emotions do not long survive the thoughts that sponsor them, the bad emotion will soon follow the bad situation, if the mind remains engaged with the present.
If you are not ‘present’ in the past or the future, you will be robbing the ego of opportunity in its primary area of expertise. You will be in the present, where your entire being, along with everything else in existence, resides. You would not have chosen to leave your skates in the bedroom closet for when you are at the rink; how is it that you would choose to leave your mind in the past or future for when you are in the present?
The present is peace of mind. The present is good situations, bad situations, and neutral situations, at any time and in any order. Bad situations follow good ones as easily as good situations follow bad ones. Good situations are restorative and peaceful. They are never unsettling in a negative way. By being present, the bad situations you encounter and the negative emotions they engender will be short-lived. They will be replaced by something good, or at least, neutral; in short order, as is the customary pattern.
Sadness is a response to something that has already happened. Anxiety is a response to something which could happen, but has not happened yet. The past and future are the regions in which the ego does its best work in its efforts to maintain control over you. If you keep yourself present, you will experience the peace of self-control. You will feel the joy peace of mind brings to your general state of being.
Peace of Mind is the absence of inner conflict. The inner conflict we experience, emotionally, arises from the tension in existence between our egoic and non-egoic components. An attribute of ego is resistance; acceptance is an attribute associated with non-ego. One must reconcile the two aspects of our consciousness in order to relieve the tension. Reconciliation cannot come of resistance – that much should be plain. Reconciliation can only come of acceptance. Since acceptance is an attribute of non-ego, reconciliation – peace of mind – may only be accomplished when our minds are in a non-egoic state and everything in the now is being ‘framed’ that way. Consciousness of the magic and beauty in life is felt by the egoic as well as the non-egoic selves, just as the roots of the tree share the sun’s benefits with the leaves directly experiencing it. Each time we extend ourselves, if even for a moment, we will get a taste of this, and the ego will look to the non-ego for the peace and joy all souls ‘live’ to discover.
Our so-called ‘egoic-selves’ and ‘non-egoic-selves,’ terms I often use in this manuscript, are simply aspects, or phases of the I AM. These are constructs deriving from one entity; they are not real. There are not two ‘selves’ in every human being; rather every human being has two sides, like the proverbial coin; but the coin is still one. It is the I AM – actuated mind, which has its finger on the trigger – choosing how to be conscious and, it follows, what to be conscious of.
Depression and Other Emotional Dysfunctions Are Due to Ego
Ego prefers to focus on itself. Ego is the source of emotion, positive and negative, and of self-interest. Ego seeks satisfaction. Ego needs to control. The more the mind is preoccupied with itself, the more it turns in on itself, and the more emotion will frame the mind’s thought processes, judgements, and perceptions. The quality of the mind’s work is determined by the I AM’s relative emphasis on ego. Our world is ‘darkened’ only to the degree we allow ego to be a factor in it. With ego in control, the mind’s cognitive outcomes are determined by our emotions; rather than our emotions being determined by the mind’s cognitive outcomes. The latter case describes how things are supposed to work. Emotion is a natural effect of the mind’s outputs (our thoughts). We have it backwards when our thoughts are the product of our emotions. Emotion is ill-suited to be a cause. Emotion is a reaction and can provide no value to the mind’s evaluative processes. It should not be a factor in our thinking until the evaluation is completed. Only then should we direct our attention to the emotion, and begin to evaluate that – separately. Otherwise we are, at least in part, reacting and beholden to emotions which are in fact the ‘echoes’ of past thoughts. The more we allow ego to have a stake in our consciousness, the more our minds will bend our perception of what is, into something else – what was, say, or what might be, or what we fear will be. The more we view the world through the lens of our egos, the more our memories of the past and anxieties about the future will consume the present. The more strongly emotions are felt, the more our minds are occupied with them (the harder it becomes to resist). The spiralling of our minds’ consciousness, into emotion and away from true perception, eventually leads to ‘emotional breakdown,’ or living entirely in a world of our own manufacture –because we have so far isolated ourselves from the peace that exists in the moment.
Have you ever noticed, after a relationship breakup in which you were the ‘dumpee,’ the radio is playing one song after another about lost love? When things were good, the radio didn’t play so many! The truth is, radio stations are always playing songs for forlorn lovers, especially the country stations, and the disk-jockey doesn’t even know who you are, much less heard about your broken romance. The dj has not changed her repertoire, but you have. It is because, when we are feeling blue, our tendency is to think blue, and we focus on the blueness of the world; it is what we have become much more conscious of. Consciousness of one thing displaces consciousness of any other thing, since we have only one mind, not several, and we can be conscious of only one thing at any given moment. And because thinking blue breeds blue thinking, we progressively isolate ourselves from the things which would buoy us emotionally and lift us out of our blueness.
The mind occupied with blue thoughts cannot at the same time give consideration to good things. It can therefore not be evaluating fairly; for good is never entirely absent from anyone’s life, at least not for very long, if at all. The mind chooses to dwell on the bad things, and in doing so, ignores the good. We cultivate misery. Even if we do not think, “I choose to think only ‘blue’ thoughts,” we have made that choice. We must choose rather to look for, and give some thought to, the positive. This is hard to do when you are blue. Here’s something that I find helps:
When I am feeling sorry for myself, I need only look around. It is easy to find someone whom I would not want to exchange places with. I only have to consider for a moment, what life must be like for that person living on the street, that young paraplegic in a wheelchair, that blind person, that person who can only get around on a scooter, that parent whose child was murdered, and my own situation no longer seems so bad or untenable. The sadness leaves me.
The egoic persistence in dwelling on past troubles, if it is not worrying about the future, invokes negative, draining, emotional energies that will in time become the general mental/emotional state of the individual, and mental pathology the inevitable result.
The Good Side of Bad
Whenever bad things happen to us, ego is first to react: we might feel hurt, bereft, anxious, angered, or jealous, depending on the situation. If bad things happen often enough, the mind is obliged to filter them, or risk becoming dysfunctional due to unremitting duress. The bad things in life provide ego with something to do; something which will make the ego feel important; but for as long as we maintain our focus on them, we give the bad things life. We continue to feel the bad things that happen to us long after they happen – we are paying the event emotional interest; having ourselves endure much more than the event per se is worth. Why would we choose to do this? Why would we allow our souls to labour so, under the weight of consumptive, egoic energies? Yet this is what we are choosing, when we do not elevate our consciousness past consideration for our pain. But the pain does not belong to us; it belongs to the event; in order to free ourselves from the pain, in order to leave the pain in the past where it belongs with the event, we must keep our minds trained on the present – the exact same place where it in fact exists. This is the only place where peace of mind is actually attainable. When present, there is no past to regret and no future to be anxious over. There is only the doing, the creating, the now.
Bad things can have the effect of propelling us into the present simply by making it too painful to continue living in the past. By forcing us to elevate our consciousness to the non-egoic, we are put back on the road (albeit a wee bit roughly, at times) to life’s ultimate destination – joy.
When people think suicidal thoughts, they are in ego-mode; the mind’s focus is entirely on itself. The mind is not engaged with respect to anything existing and happening outside of itself; save for that what it can draw upon in support of its current state. In such a state, one’s mind is busy with things that have happened, and/or things that have not happened. The present is excluded. The ego has completely taken over. The mind is fully engrossed in the pain one is feeling. The mind cannot, therefore, be performing any sort of non-egoic activity.
But that which exists outside of the mind, exists whether the mind is aware of it or not; and that which exists outside of the mind, is only perceptible to the mind while the mind is not absorbed in itself. When the mind is not absorbed in ego; then non-ego will absorb the mind. Cultivating non-egoic consciousness puts you(the mind) in the moment; where all that exists (including you) happens to be. The world of non-egoic reality is always the present; but beyond ego’s control. It is eternal. Ego exists in the present too; but it insists on having utter control over it. The ego cannot remake the present; but it can build a sandbox for the mind to play and pretend in. But as we all learn as children, you can only play in the sandbox until mom hollers, “Supper’s ready!” and you must leave the toys behind when you go back in the house.
If the mind is not in the present, it is not where it needs to be for the sake of the individual; where what is real can always be found, and nothing unreal is found. The individual whose mind is focused inward upon itself, can only ‘experience’ the present through the filters of sadness and anxiety. Sadness is the emotional residual of things past; anxiety, a response to things that have not happened; both are entirely constructs of the ego. Neither the future or the past can possess any substance; but the emotions they give rise to can –even to the point of harming your mind, body, and soul.
While the mind absorbs itself in thoughts evocative of emotional pain, sadness, or guilt, it is the ego that is opening and closing the door; letting some thoughts in, while keeping others out. This is not the ego’s job. It is the mind’s job. But the mind is on coffee-break, and the ego is an incorrigible opportunist: behind the first negative thought, a thousand more are lurking. Once the mind’s gate opens to the first one, a tsunami of emotionally and spiritually deflating thoughts are able to rush right in. The ego thrives on crisis, and will not shut the gate of its own volition; so the mind must eventually resume control of its duties. It cannot perform its job as gatekeeper if it is absorbed with what has already come through the gate, and waiting for more of the same to come calling.
Keeping such thoughts out of your mind can, at times, require a good deal of effort. It may require an intensely focused effort. It will definitely require constant vigilance. People commit suicide, so we know the mind can convince itself that suicide is best. The benefit, so ‘reasons’ the ego-addled mind, is that the ‘pain’ will stop; but you have no way of really knowing this, given that at least part of you ‘survives’ the transition from this world to the next.
Anyone who has committed suicide is now present entirely in the 2nd Emanation. If in the transition, the ego is left behind (or rather, its ability to affect the mind’s perception is left behind), the individual would know things were not at all as bad, ‘on Earth,’ as they had believed when they committed suicide; it only seemed that way because they were able to focus only on the bad things – things compatible with their general mood. They could not acknowledge the good things, which were, nevertheless, also present. They might also be aware of the suffering their suicide has created for others: parents, siblings, buddies. The love these people felt for them, their self-absorption kept them from appreciating. They could not detect the light shining all around them, because they were engrossed in the shadow being cast by their own mind.
The best thing the people left behind can do for the departed is to set aside their profound sadness. For as often as they can do this, they open up a window through which the non-egoic world is visible. The mind will be able to perceive the certainty of reunification with their loved one. It is, in fact only in the 3rd Emanation sense that they are actually separated. Owing to the limitations imposed by 3rd Emanation existence, and to the distraction of ego’s incessant chatter, we acknowledge this only on occasion. We afford ourselves mere glimpses of the greater reality in which we exist through our mind’s window; as only a portion of our neighbourhoods is actually visible to us through the kitchen window.
The ‘living’ and the ‘departed’ will sense togetherness again, and for a much longer time (eternity) than they feel separated. Recalling from Gladiator, the words of Juba to the grieving Maximus, whose family was murdered: “You will see them again, only not yet….not yet.”
Cultivating happiness, celebrating life, and entertaining fondness for your departed is the best way to send them happiness, because your pain will be felt by them, when you are feeling it. Happiness. What better way to pass the time until you ‘see them again?’
Ego Is the Source of All Limitation
Ego is the product of the mind which is choosing to cultivate it. But we are more than ego; we are consciousness itself. Descartes acknowledges this with his famous existentialist mantra: I think, therefore I am. Ego is intended to be our starting point; far from being all of who we are. Ego is the lowest level of consciousness. We need simply keep ‘me’ in proper perspective for the mind to keep the gate open to our higher consciousness, God-consciousness, and to revitalize the mind and spirit. God-consciousness is not just consciousness of good and evil, it is consciousness of good and evil in their proper balance. Non-egoic consciousness is God-consciousness and is, therefore, primary. Ego comes about in precisely the opposite manner. Because the non-ego is our natural state of consciousness, upon becoming aware of anything at all, we first become aware of what is. At some later juncture, we learn that there is some independence existing between us and the world we are living in. So, first we become aware of everything, after which, we become self-aware. Self-awareness is ego territory. Ego is a secondary consciousness because we are first aware of what is; an awareness which includes, but is not limited to, the ego. It is through cultivating non-egoic consciousness we neutralize the interference ego is running against the messaging that occurs between the Divine and the soul/mind. Ego seeks even to control this messaging, because it does not understand it – how silly. How trademark egoic.
It is by cultivating non-egoic consciousness that we become open to the positive, soul-nourishing energies of life. An egoic soul sheath readily permits negative energies to pass across it, into and out of the soul, while it generates resistance to the passage of positive energies. The non-egoic preferencing for knowledge and the awareness of what is, is the key to our development as human individuals, and by extension, the fruitful development of human societies. If we choose to fully cultivate non-egoic consciousness, we will remove the only barrier between us and the power and awareness of the Divine/God/the Universe; a barrier we have built for ourselves. When we choose ego, we forfeit this ‘higher’ awareness. We are giving away what we already have. What we leave ourselves with, is the world created by ego. That is not the world God created, nor is it the one we would want to live in. It is a world of scarcity, violence, fear, distrust, and uncertainty. Very sadly, it is the one we are living in.
The Ego and Addictions
Everyone wants to feel happy. Everyone wants to feel happy all of the time; because ‘happy’ feels good. ‘Happiness,’ is a mental attitude; a state of being. It allows one to perceive goodness where others cannot. ‘Happiness’ is also a feeling. Attitude is one thing – feeling, quite another. Feelings, happy or otherwise, are a powerful enticement to the ego; for reasons not the least of which is emotions are the creation of ego. The ego’s preoccupation with itself is beyond remedy, by nature. It cannot exceed its purpose; however the mind can still conscript the ego to ‘oversee’ tasks for which the ego is not designed, yet too willing to accept. It is, quite simply, the dominance of ego over the mind, or more precisely, our mind’s acquiescence to ego, that is preventing people from being truly happy. Ego will confuse immediate satisfaction for happiness, because of its enslavement to feeling. It follows that the ego-bound mind is also a slave to sensation. It is upon this basis the ego-bound mind is performing its gatekeeping duties. Ego puts up a shield to emanations of happiness that have no potential for immediate self-gratification. Joy over someone else’s good fortune, for example, is an energy ego will not allow in, though it could not do the mind and soul anything but good if it did.
Happiness feels good and we all want to feel it; but there are only so many things in life that can appeal in this way to the ego. Our choices are limited because ego limits our choices. That is how we come to be oblivious to that which life freely offers us. Instead we are predisposed to choosing an inferior something else. The ego craves immediate satisfaction and the mind will choose this, though it knows dissatisfaction follows close behind. The trough of dissatisfaction is often deeper than the peak of satisfaction is high. The sensory cycle of satisfaction – dissatisfaction cannot lead to a general state of happiness; because ‘happiness’ is an attitude, whereas ‘sensation’ is a reaction determined by attitude. Perceiving the world through the lens of ego can lead, ultimately, only to misery.
Drug and alcohol addictions are the direct result of the value which ego places on easy and immediate satisfaction. The good feeling passes quickly, and we re-administer our ‘poison of choice,’ over and over again, in ever-increasing amounts. We are trying to reproduce the effects that arise from having a non-egoic attitude; however, without expending the effort or taking the time to cultivate it. Ego is an attribute of consciousness, but represents only a very small part of the now; it defines our particular locus, our place, within it. Only the mind possesses the capability to be fully conscious in the now; the mind is who you are. The ego cannot be trusted to operate ‘the mind’s gate’ anymore than the fox can be trusted to mind the henhouse. Try as either may, they will inevitably revert and act true to their actual natures.
Ego obliges us to pay a high price for the ‘service’ it provides. Food addictions provide momentary relief but compromise our health; alcohol relaxes us, but leaves us a headache and perhaps some not-so-fond memories behind. TV provides easy distraction from our daily cares, but does much of the ‘thinking’ for us; allowing our cognitive abilities to atrophy.[iii] The reactionary behaviour of ego prevents the mind from considering the downside of pending choices. It keeps the mind focused on the quick-fix. As we continue with our addictions, ego is oblivious to our steady spiralling downward- physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. As time goes on, the hole ego digs for us gets deeper; it is moving us further away from the very joy we all seek and which is our goal and purpose in life.
The physical body is strengthened by controlled, as opposed to reactive, physical exertion and repetition; likewise the mind is strengthened by non-reactive cognitive processes, such as reasoning, evaluating, and choosing. The mind that continues to exert itself in a controlled, progressive fashion against ego’s dominance, will eventually strengthen against it. You will find yourself more proactive and less reactive. Your attitude of peacefulness will become progressively less fragile. You will experience an enhanced awareness of the goodness which is in continuous emanation. Because you are now open to them, the good feelings will come in a steady stream.
Ego Will Not Allow You To Truly Be Yourself
While in non-egoic mode, ‘self-confidence’ is never a factor in what you say and do, because your focus is fully on doing. Your attention is not, as when ego is involved, divided between the doing and the anxiety you are feeling with respect to how others may be judging your doing. You are not afraid to act, because you are acting out of concern for something other than self. If what you have done turns out to be a mistake, you will quickly get past any feelings of sorrow, guilt, or defensiveness and get on with the process of rectifying the error and learning what you can from the experience. You would be devoting your full attention to this situation, and doing things better the next time.
Being true to who you are is easy in non-egoic mode, because you are as focused on the business at hand, as an apple tree is with growing its apples. The apple tree does not have to strive to be an apple tree; neither need you strive to be what you truly are. Be what you are and you will produce your own fruit as effortlessly, and as truly, as the apple tree bears its apples. This is how God intended things to be. Do not allow yourself to become distracted with being this, or being that.
Ego and Emotional Tiering: Where ‘us and them’ Comes From
What happens to others never affects you as much as if had happened to you, or to someone close to you. Emotional tiering is a phenomenon only the ego can sustain, because the ingredients of tiering – self-absorbance, judgement, and separation – are ego’s defining attributes. It is only ego that can cry over the loss of its own child and not be moved to tears over the loss of a child killed in a Syrian chemical attack; or the picture of a soldier carrying the lifeless body of a Syrian child who drowned during his family’s escape from the violence of their country’s civil war – so much for the promise of joyful hope each newborn child naturally brings to the world. The ego-bound world is betraying its children. The free mind of the non-ego will be moved to tears and a profound sadness, followed by the indomitable resolve to act…
The Ego and Parenting
The ego is by nature resistant to any control but its own; but we know from the experience of raising and educating children that the ego can be trained to self-manage. There are things the ego is simply not equipped to understand the ‘why’ of, and in this regard it is especially crucial that we parents lead by example; relying on coercive measures as little as possible. Coercion results in entrenchment. Coercion must be used with exceeding rarity, else the child becomes ‘hardened,’ or cultivates a habit of playing the part rather than being the part. The child could internalize their emotions; inevitably, after a time, some sort of social/psychological pathology will result.
Discuss the issue at hand with the child; but not for too long. Explain what would likely happen, if they got or did what they wanted – say, stay up for the late show on a school night. If the child continues resisting, allow them to do what it is they want, and to experience the consequences – within reason and without endangering the child. If, for example, the child wants to stay up late the night before their early-morning-little-league hockey game; tell them what it will be like for them in the morning if you were to say ‘yes.’ If they insist on staying up, let them; then make sure they are up in the morning and on the ice no matter how much they complain.
Whatever you do, do not reverse your stand after the child realizes their mistake. It is very hard, but you simply must not. My mother would often give in to me, when I acted up, partly because she had such a soft spot for children, and partly because she wanted us to have all the joy she did not have as a child. On one occasion, I had gone too far, even for her. She had had enough, and I was not allowed to stay up and watch a playoff hockey game between Toronto and Chicago. I wailed from behind my bedroom door until I fell asleep. Knowing her, she was probably out there in the rec-room watching the game and wiping a tear or two from her eye. It was very hard for her not to give in; but it was one of the best things she could ever have done for me.
Non-egoic Consciousness Is Not the Source of Make-Believe
Non-egoic consciousness is, rather, one side of the duality of consciousness existing in each of us. It is the extension of awareness beyond the subjective, into the objective. As we extend our awareness further beyond ego we become more mindful, more aware, more present. We become better acquainted with our 3rd Emanation surroundings, our 2nd Emanation surroundings, and of the Prime Emanation. There is nothing other-worldly about any of this. The 1st and 2nd Emanations are as much a part of our surroundings as the 3rd Emanation world is. There is no need to brainwash ourselves into believing what we are told, or have doubts about: for the mind that is completely unburdened by ego, there is only knowing. As we cultivate non-egoic consciousness, the effects of ego diminish and our minds will continue to open. Our perceptions will be less affected by what we desire, or are afraid of seeing; becoming truer to what is.
The further we extend our consciousness beyond the subjective, the closer we will be to reconciling ourselves, our actions, and our world, with God. The more our minds are open, the closer we come to knowing what is on God’s Mind.
The Ego is Responsible for the Promotion of Appearance Over Reality
The promotion of appearance over reality informs every major human activity – from people putting on makeup, to businesses and politicians putting on people. We devote much of our time and resources to appearances because the reality falls woefully short of the expectations we have of other people, and that other people have of us.
We did not create the world, or other people; nevertheless, ego will want to control even that which it did not create, and knows little about. This is not actually possible, and so the ego has no choice but to substitute a reality of its own creation for the one that exists. In order to make this ‘work,’ we must convince ourselves and everyone else, that our version is the real thing. That is doomed to failure because other people have egos, and will be, to some degree, promoting their own ‘realities.’ Then there is the reality per se…
Upholding appearances is the de facto mode of operation for governments and corporations, not just people. Appearance v. Reality is a common motif in Shakespeare, and in the world’s ancient classics.
What else but ego can explain our ready acceptance of the chicanery we are often fed by our political and business leaders? How is it that we allow our politicians at election time to buy our votes for a few dollars in tax-cuts? Why do we accept budget-balancing as a heroic achievement, in and of itself, without having considered the egregious social and humanitarian evils we render ourselves complicit in: poverty, pollution, the enfeebling of our democratic institutions, and of our future?
Ego is reactive and always in search of immediate satisfaction, redress –you name it. So long as our politicians are saying what the ego wants to hear, we will vote for them. We might notice the people we elect to serve and to lead in the House of Commons are behaving more like salespeople. The Harper Conservatives, to use a modern example, provided Canadians daily examples of how deeply committed they were to selling us a bill of goods; rather than to providing us with good bills. The current government, led by Justin Trudeau, does not appear to be this way.
Ego can only play a zero-sum game
The ego’s worldview is binary. It has, or it does not have. It wants, or it does not want. If one ego acquires a hankering for something which belongs to another, it might take it, even if it meant leaving the other with nothing. Some, save for the most ego-entrenched, may experience guilt afterwards. This is one example of the egoic cycle of reaction-guilt. To assuage any feelings of guilt, we might invest serious time in rationalizing how it is we are deserving of our good fortune and the other is not. These feelings are due to an element of non-egoic sensitivity. Those who do not experience the egoic cycle of reaction and guilt, are the extreme case; their ‘hearts’ are hardened, their minds are closed. Even the most non-egoic falls victim to their ego from time to time. It just isn’t possible to be perfect in the 3rd Emanation. The partnering between ego and non-ego is as timeless as that of good and evil, light and darkness, male and female, and of the universe.
Self-consciousness is Ego-consciousness
From an early age, I have been prone to anxiety whenever people happened to be watching me. I dreaded getting into fisticuffs in high school where the other kids would be standing around watching. I did not want to embarrass myself by losing – or by winning – in front of all those people. I was woefully self-conscious. I remain afraid, to this day, to get up and speak in front of people; yet, when I am called upon to speak without any forewarning, I can do so without nervousness. One time I found myself in front of a large class; it was not until the moment I became conscious of the fact that I was not nervous, that I began to feel nervous! I had allowed my mind to be distracted from what I was doing, what I was present in, by ego. As I became more conscious of my nervousness, I was less conscious of my purpose for speaking, and less effective.
My reason for speaking was to communicate a message – what other reason can there be? People never come to hear you; they come to hear what you have to say. How ridiculous to have to point this out, yes? But that is exactly how ego ‘thinks,’ or rather, compels the mind to think. The ego specializes in making everything about ego.
Self-consciousness impairs our connection with the Divine, not to mention the world we are in. The knowledge and power of the Divine is available to anyone who is open to, and engaged with, their surroundings. If we are overly focused on what is going on between our own ears, we cannot be, at the same time, in Divine-reception mode.
A story from the Christian New Testament is demonstrative of this egoic process: Jesus invites Peter to step out of the boat, and join him across the water. Peter does so without giving a second thought to the fact that he must walk across the water to do that. He steps out of the boat and onto the water, then begins walking toward Jesus. After a moment, ego grabs his attention, and this sinks him like a boat anchor. Ego reminds him of the impossibility of what he is doing, while he is doing it. His mind, distracted, begins to switch from non-egoic to egoic mode. Jesus admonishes him for having so little Faith; but I believe ‘little Faith’ to be a euphemism for allowing ones mind to be distracted by ego.
Faith is not believing, Faith is knowing; only blind faith is believing.
Ego, Not Money, is at the Root of All Evil
Money helps to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. Money is not intrinsically evil; neither is it qualified to be a ‘Holy Grail.’ Money has no value of its own, but rather acquires its value, second-hand, from what might be obtained with it. Its value is therefore implicated in the perception of the buyer or seller.
Perception can be a funny thing, however; it can be fickle, mutable, à la ego, and cannot be expected to reasonably determine the value of anything. If you do not think so, please explain to me how a professional hockey player can earn 20 million per season, whereas an oncologist, entrusted with saving peoples’ lives, earns perhaps 2% of that? Which of these accomplishments has more intrinsic value: the hockey player who scores the game-winning goal or the oncologist who successfully removes a child’s brain tumor and provides the youngster with the opportunity for a normal life?
Rarely is the amount of money that changes hands in a particular transaction, determined solely on the basis of a product or service’s intrinsic value. Were it otherwise, the first Europeans to trade with North Americans could not have, in all good conscience, accepted native gold as payment for their glass beads. They would have felt an obligation to pay what the gold was worth to them. Instead they exploited, then annihilated most of the indigenous. Those who were not moved out of the way of European expansion, were reduced to second class citizens in their own lands.
The story of the European expansion exposes the egregious evils which human beings are capable of perpetrating one upon the other, when money, something in and of itself valueless, becomes their primary goal and forms the basis for standards of human conduct.
The true value of money is determined by the hand that wields it. The ego-bound mind will use money in accordance with its nature; and its nature is to be self-serving.
At the root of all evil, all sadness, all disharmony, is ego. At the root of all goodness, all joy, all peace, is non-ego. Non-egoic consciousness opens the mind and the person to Truth and Joy.
Ego and the Inversion of Values and Priorities
In university I sketched out a fantasy novel that I am still intending to write. I wanted to call it Topeth, named after a district in Old Testament Jerusalem where worshippers of Baal and Moloch were purported to use children for burnt offerings. The general motif of the book is inversion. Although I had yet not named ego as the culprit, I wondered at the curiously inverted value system people and societies in the real world appeared intent on cultivating. What we should rightly consider least desirable, is what we actively seek. We appear to view our health and the environment as fair exchange for personal wealth and global competitiveness. We allow millions of Canadian men, women, and children to wallow in poverty. We spend billions annually in additional health care and justice system costs that derive directly from poverty.
Do we not have it backwards? Should we not put some of the billions that we are pumping into healthcare, straight into the hands of the poor, and annihilate the great social evil that poverty is?[iv] Would it not make more sense to focus our efforts on root causes rather than symptoms? So long as we focus on symptoms, the problems will continue. Ignoring them will not help us; the disease will continue thriving just below the surface. By not committing to end poverty, and by using the money instead to keep up with the increasing, poverty-induced, loading on healthcare and on the criminal justice system, we are simply putting good money after bad. The money is sure to run out; but the disease will still be there.
The inversion of values is an outgrowth of our promotion of ego to active consciousness; relegating our non-ego to the subconscious.
Ego Is Not a Seeker of Wisdom
While absorbed in self, we put a spin on things which draws upon our habitual expectations, fears, and desires. The reality we perceive is, therefore, real only to us. Other people have different expectations, fears, and desires, and different realities. The degree to which our perception is affected by ego is proportional to the degree we are self-absorbed. Our discernment is affected by what we expect to see, fear to see, or desire to see. We are not able to properly evaluate situations because our egoic bias will have led us to form an opinion; before we have fully explored the facts. ‘Exploring the facts’ is something the ego will rarely find necessary; because it sees what it wants to see – and so it already ‘knows’ the facts.
How then, can we advance along the path which is leading to truth, happiness, and fulfilment? It is quite easy: we need only acknowledge our avoidance of taking that first step in the right direction. The beauty is, one step is all we need to take, and we are there. Conversely, the steps in the direction ego is taking us are many, and we will never arrive at the ‘goals’ ego is setting for us.
The Ego and the Development of the Child – Mind
I believe the evolution of consciousness begins at conception. At the point where the child-to-be-born becomes aware of anything at all, it is simultaneously aware of what is within itself and what is outside itself – only it does not yet know the difference.
The fetus begins to move, and to feel itself move. It becomes occupied with the movement of its legs and arms, its fingers and toes. It also feels movement in the form of vibrations coming from the outside. Eventually it will realize that there is a world out there. For the moment, the world it knows is the one inside the placenta. That the unborn child is aware of and able to react to external stimuli is observable in its response to sounds originating from outside. At this stage in our development, we find everything interesting; this might be music or speech, or something other; regardless , the unborn individual is fully ‘present’ and fully engaged – in other words ‘fully conscious.’ It will pre-empt its current tack and pause to listen. It is, in fact, the I AM that ‘hears’ the new sound, and makes the decision to direct It’s (the mind’s) focus toward the new sound.
What I infer from this is that we begin life with a ‘super-consciousness’ perfectly apportioned with egoic and non-egoic components in their proper measure. It is the mind which is responsible for maintaining this balance. If the mind becomes overly preoccupied with its inner doings – absorbed in its own thoughts -a structural imbalance occurs, and its ability to improve itself, or its environment, is seriously compromised.
Once born, the child-mind’s functions are in full swing. The child-mind’s general inclination toward non-egoic consciousness is evidenced by the accelerated pace (relative to that of adults) in which it acquires new knowledge. At this point, the child-mind is fully engaged, aware, truly conscious. As the child grows up, the child-mind is assailed on all fronts by the processes of socialization. Depending upon the quality and intensity of these forces, and individual resilience, some individuals will navigate the development from child to adult better than others.
When the child reaches school-age the process of institutionalized socialization begins. This is something very different from the family kind. The child will encounter ridicule (aka ‘bullying’) precisely at the time it is reaching out to others in the world; not only to learn about others, but to learn about itself. It will tend to take the world as honest, since as a child, that is all it knows. The danger of bullying, is not that there is any truth in it; but rather that the innocent child-mind will accept it as true. The child will begin to see its true self (which, as a child, it is always true to) as inferior, and seek to become something other than what it is. It is no more possible for the human individual to be other than what it is, than for an apple tree to provide the squirrels with acorns. And why should it? As trees, both are of equal value.
The child-mind now experiences conflict and uncertainty because, in the extra-familial socialization process, the game board and rules are changed. The child-mind learns to supress its I AM consciousness, as this will only invite more trouble. The ego positions itself as the child’s best friend, and is now well on its way to becoming the sort of citizen that is acceptable in an ego-burdened society.
It is the misguided application of socialization which is responsible for the child-mind’s developing a predominately ego-conscious, reactionary mindset. For this, it is the ego of governments which bears primary responsibility (more these days than ever before in Canadian history). Socialization is misguided when governments seek to make uniform that in which variability and independence are inherent qualities. The damage is greatly compounded by the taking for granted of the great gift which Nature and God have given us. The gift is that we are incomparably more the same than we are different. Socialization is misguided when it does not develop and build upon the things in which we are inherently similar.
Making a lot out of little, while making little of a lot, is trademark egoic. Ego always insists on making “mountains out of molehills.” It makes much ado of the imperfections of others, while being saintly-tolerant of its own.
So long as the ego predominates our social mentality, the cognitive and spiritual development of society’s members will be impaired, twisted – even halted. Society is the farmer who is responsible to provide an environment which is propitious for growing strong, healthy trees; trees which will one day bear good fruit. The key to the farmer’s success lay in the quality of his stewardship. The gauge of his success is the quality of the fruit his trees will one day bear as adults and of the seeds they produce for the next generation.
It is this way for all living things.
The ego of Institutions of Faith
A collective of individual egos comprises an ego of its own.
Recently, I was talking with a relative who is a by-the-book Christian. Invariably, the topic gets round to who will be ‘saved,’ and who will not be. This person cannot be blamed for repeating what he is hearing every day, all day, on evangelistic radio and TV. This person believes everyone, including the adherents to other versions of Christianity, will go to hell if they are not saved. By ‘saved,’ he means you follow the Christian faith the exact same way he does, interpret the Judaeo-Christian scripture in the way he interprets it; which is in the way he is being programmed to[v], everyday, all-day, by the radio evangelists.
One day he told me, it is incumbent upon all true Christians to correct the thinking of the Moslems and of all others who do not acknowledge Jesus as God,” I nearly lost it. It is patently not incumbent upon anyone of us to correct the thinking of others in matters of Faith; that is entirely between the individual and God. There are no exceptions.
I wonder, what could he have meant when he said, each of us must “accept Jesus as his/her personal saviour?” Clearly, “personal” meant something more than “of, or relating to the person,” because someone besides the two principals in this relationship, and existing outside of it, is dictating to the person in this person-God relationship how it should be. Think about this for a moment. I wonder if there are not times God wonders, “I don’t remember saying that….” And then wondering if He/She isn’t getting senile.
Different becomes wrong only when it is ego doing the translating. Ego abhors diversity, even though diversity is, by all the evidence, a staple operative in the Divine’s creation strategy. Only ego is able to find something wrong in the way others choose to worship God; and find nothing wrong in doing lethal violence to those who worship God in a way different from theirs.
Quite evidently, Institutional Faith – in all of its forms, is as susceptible to ego as individuals are. No Faith institution can be ego-free if its leaders and members are not. All Faiths depart from their own teachings and aspirations if they condemn others for what others believe. Condemnation and judgement remain common among people who worship a man that said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Condemnation is a feature of ego’s obsession with control; the selectivity of facts when making its case, is another.
It is wonderful when people of different Faiths gather and compare notes; they learn much from one another, and do not feel obliged to convert or be converted. This is the way of non-ego. Non-ego naturally recognizes and respects that what others believe in their heart of hearts is between them and God (i.e., personal) and to respect their beliefs; that Truth, in all its beauty, can only be transmitted uncorrupted if it goes straight from God to the person; that anything one tries to explain about God will be compromised to the extent their ego and their institution’s ego plays a role in both the conveyance and the reception of the spiritual message; and because no one person is able to communicate in its entirety, the Mind of God, save for God Him/Herself.
Can you imagine any one person being able to speak for each and every other person living on his street? No one can do that. Each person on the street must speak for themselves. It must be the same with God. Only God is able to speak for God, and perfectly communicate the perfect truth. What any living individual understands of the perfect truth will involve some departure from the perfect truth. No human individual can know the whole truth, because none of us living have experienced everything there is in the universe to experience, nor may any of us attain a perfect and enduring non-egoic consciousness in our 3rd Emanation tenure. Perfect, in this sense, implies being completely and unremittingly free of egoic modes of thinking – which is impossible for any of us. What is possible, is making the decision to direct the mind’s attention outward and away from ego, and to watch out for when ego is trying to assert control upon things over which it has no say. What one has to do is easy; the fact one must do this all the time is the hard part. It is impossible to be perfect, even in this. Only the ego can imagine that perfection is possible; and that it goes without saying, that it is the standard of perfection.
None living have experienced death, so what would qualify any of us to be experts on what happens after we die? What anyone says about the subject should be taken with a grain of salt. It is the Divine, not the ego, that is able to discern truth from untruth. And we may only understand the Divine’s message perfectly, if we are perfectly non-egoic. Even a moment’s perfect knowledge may be unattainable to us while we are resident in the 3rd Emanation.
With all my heart, I encourage you to leave judgement to God, and cultivate respect and tolerance for the differences in others, because no one knows everything; but the totality of human knowledge, when taking into account the contribution of every soul that has ever lived, must be great indeed.
Working with, for, and not against one another, is our only hope for a viable future.
One may reach the city of Toronto by taking any one of a number of roads. Although the starting point and direction can differ, one’s chosen path must have a certain quality or it will never permit you to arrive at your destination: it must lead, continuous and unbroken, to the city. Reaching God is comparable with driving to Toronto. Institutions of faith are the roads humans avail themselves of to reach God. Like roads, institutions of faith must have certain qualities or they are not useful as institutions of faith. To wit: love, service, honesty, non-violence, and the protection of the vulnerable from the strong.
The fact that people worship eclipses any concern over how people worship.
Ego Cannot Tolerate Diversity Among Institutions of Faith
The ego of Faith institutions has been responsible for the most shameful exhibits of violence in all history. Christian fought with Jew, Jew with Moslem, Moslem with Hindu, for millennia, over Faith, though they share the same fundamental tenets – not to mention worship the same God – you know, the One who Created us.
Violence done in God’s name, contravenes God’s Message, and therefore, departs from God’s Will and Purpose. There are no exceptions.
Since one God – one Creator is responsible for all of the variety of the universe, and because diversification appears to be a fundamental operative in God’s creation strategy, the notion of any one Faith having absolute authority is absurd. It is precisely diversity in worship that is fulfilling mankind’s relationship with the Creator. Diversity is bringing us all closer to reconciliation with God; whereas it is the elements of exclusivity in various faith doctrines that is holding us back. Since no Faith, on its own, is able to represent the fullness of God, the nearest we can come to full knowledge of God is through the respective contributions of the world’s religions, taken together. With respect to full knowledge, the differences among Faiths are additive, not mutually exclusive.
A relation of mine enjoys listening to Bill Gaither – who sings the Lord’s praises in a style attractive to the octogenarian crowd. Being in his eighties, this style of music has great appeal for him. One time, I agreed to sit and listen to Bill Gaither with him, if he would sit and listen to Led Zeppelin with me. “No,” he says, “those guys are into drugs and things of the devil.” I replied that anyone who performs and creates at that level cannot be into much of anything besides music, and that the message in many of Led Zeppelin’s songs is as spiritual as Bill Gaither’s. My relative could accept none of this, yet, how is it possible for anyone with a paucity of Spirit to have written songs like Stairway to Heaven and Kashmir?
Clearly, what is motivating the relative to accept the message in Bill Gaither’s music while rejecting the message in Led Zeppelin’s, is the manner in which God’s message is being expressed. The difference is in form (the surface), not in content (the message). The obvious differences are superficial; the deeper one delves, the less we become conscious of differences, and the more we become conscious of the deeper meanings; the closer we get to the truth, to each other, and to the Creator. It will be extraordinarily difficult to get to this point if our spiritual leaders, whom we trust to speak on God’s behalf, preach anything other than other than inclusiveness and profound respect for all other faiths.
Intolerance among peoples and faiths have motivated the most terrible and violent crimes of “righteous” judgment. In truth, no war of faith is justified because all faiths prohibit killing.
The ego’s moral and ethical standards are based on emotion, not reason. It only knows what it wants, and what it does not want; and is creating ‘standards’ to reflect this. The ego of society is partly a reflection of the egos of their members, with a disproportionate amount of influence garnered by society’s wealthier members. Egos can collaborate, but only to the extent which, and for as long as, the self-interest of the respective parties is met. Societal ego is the reason why democracies need leaders, charters, constitutions, and institutional oversight. The procedural requirements of individual democratic societies to promote cohesiveness and self-actualization among its members are also needed to promote cohesion among the societies that make up our world. That is why the world needs a United Nations with the power to protect human rights, regulate multinational corporations (have the power to establish globalized tax rates, for example), monitor and regulate international money flows, and a military under a peacekeeping mandate to intervene in inter- and intra-national wars.
Societies are obliged to buffer out the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous public opinion’ in order to sustain a deliberate, overall forward progress. If government, law, and mores were to change in lockstep with public opinion, societal and national progress would be a case of two steps forward, one step back – and this is the optimistic scenario.[vi] But leaders, too, have egos, and we cannot exclusively rely on them to do what is best, especially at the times we most need them to: the times when we voters, as a group, happen to land on the wrong side of an issue with important, long term consequences.[vii] When leaders act contrary to public opinion, they risk not being re-elected. The Charter and Constitution help to keep wayward, ‘voter market-driven’ leaders and their policies in abeyance, but even they have imperfections; readily exploited by powerful private interests with self-serving agendas, and the money to bankroll their aims through the courts. The visionaries of Canada’s past, starting with Sir John A., anticipated this and provided several institutional checks and balances to keep Canada on the rails.
The designers of Canada’s constitutional framework chose a bicameral system of government, which features an elected House of Commons and a non-elected Senate. The Senate is able to provide a check on our elected representatives, precisely because senators are not elected. If its members are of high personal integrity, and if all ties to their former political associations are cut the moment they become Senators, then the Senate is an institutional check Canadians can count on. The current attack on the Senate is nothing more than political opportunism: the Harper Conservatives are exploiting the malfeasances of a few Senators in order to garner public support for its abolition. Whatever the Conservatives’ public reasons are, the truth is the Senate imposes a hurdle which these reactionary, knee-jerk, pathologically ego-bound politicians do not want in their way. If they could, the Conservatives would do away with yet another institutional check -our judiciary. Since they cannot do that, they are passing laws which will incorporate ministerial discretion and mandatory sentencing in an attempt to limit the power of judges. They are simultaneously attacking Canada’s Fourth Estate media: commercializing and politicizing it as much as possible, to manipulate public opinion into support of government policy. The Conservatives, and the private interests they represent, are not succeeding here in Canada; as the October 2016 federal election clearly indicates. If they ever do, the Canada we know and love, the one past generations of young Canadians died for, is lost.
We voters have egos, and ego is what politicians play upon at election time. How often has something seemed appealing at first, but, upon further reflection becomes less appealing, even undesirable? We have all had this experience; that is why mother’s advice is to “always think twice.” Our egos speak loudest and first; but it is our minds, guided by our hearts (aka ‘rationality’), that give us the chance to re-think, re-evaluate, and ultimately do what is best for us, and for others. That is why it is important for us voters to spend time in quiet and deliberate reflection upon what the various political parties are saying, and also upon what they are not saying.
The current state of humanity is echoed in how societies are structured. The root source of dysfunction in both is ego. Societies are, in their essential natures, cooperative. It is out of the cooperation and collaboration among societal members that societies derive strength and viability. The greater the cooperation, the stronger the society. The greater the division, the weaker the society. Ego is the source of separation and division; while in unity, there is strength. The more of a factor ego is in how we relate to our country and to one another, the weaker our social fabric becomes.
If any disparity exists between what a society offers and what its members’ need, it is because of ego. Economic polarization, social anxiety, the dearth of developmental opportunities for many young children, teens, and adults – these are symptomatic of a society in which ego is running the show. Paralleling the entrenchment of such social pathologies, at times even inspiring them, is the evolution of a legal system that is become decipherable only to lawyers; one in which people and corporations with enough money to purchase high-powered legal expertise, simply invent new ways to get around or use to their advantage.
Examples of Extreme Societal Ego and How the Media Plays a Role
How can society allow a child-murderer any opportunity for a normal life? A man who murdered his own children now receives supervised forays away from incarceration. Is our society morphing into the Canadian version of the one satirized in A Clockwork Orange? Have we become too soft on violent crime, or have we become more enlightened? Society is reluctant to punish anyone who was not ‘in control’ of their senses at the time they committed their crime. This is prima facie laudable, but forgiveness for violent crime against innocent and defenseless souls may be an admirable quality of the relationships which form among souls, and between souls and the Great Soul, but it is not useful in a social context. Violence against defenseless people is a predatory and cowardly act. It is patently anti-social. The only solution is to permanently isolate the perpetrators from general society. They should live out their natural lives in the company of those who have also done violence to innocent and defenseless men, women, or children. They may participate in prison society, such as it is, and they may have the opportunity to become productive members of that society and to do penance, until the end of their ‘natural’ lives, for all of the opportunities they denied their victims. Then, and only then, is forgiveness on the table: involving the spirits of the violator, the victim, and God.
One of the most heinous and violent crimes in 2012 was perpetrated upon a 30-something year-old Chinese national, in Quebec. The murderer savagely attacked his victim, who was vulnerable and could not defend himself. The murderer then dismembered this poor young man and mailed his body parts to various institutions and individuals across Canada.
In reporting this case, the media juxtaposed the murderer’s modelling pictures with textual descriptions of his cowardly and violent actions. Perhaps an entrepreneurial sort had perceived market value in this terrible and tragic story. The media reporting occasionally turns monsters like these into celebrities, although this is not their intent; nevertheless, somewhere, some lonely, angry person is teetering on the edge and receiving some perverse form of inspiration from reading or watching the news coverage. The media may unwittingly be providing pathological malcontents with ideas on how they too might make a name for themselves.
Any media claims to freedom of speech are nothing other than egoic if, for them, their right to report the news is more important for them than the right of individuals to be safe.
‘If it bleeds, it leads…’ so goes the old adage; but what if the leading is helping to cause more bleeding?
Apart from a very brief and generalized description of what was done to the victims, the perpetrators name, modelling pictures, and specific details of what they did, should never reach the public. Why are these details necessary? The victim is no less dead, and the crime no less egregious, regardless of how detailed the report is; by limiting the details, we are providing less fodder for potential copycats.[viii]
What the media might focus on is the lives of those already convicted and imprisoned. Their stories should be replete with details of the ardours of incarceration; perhaps these will discourage others from committing these crimes and encourage them to get help instead. Whatever we may dream up in the way of an effective deterrent, it must be something that will resonate with the ego, because only a pathologically self-absorbed, ego-bound individual could possibly think of doing such terrible things, in the first place.
People akin to the monster who murdered poor little Tory Stafford must have a real sense of what is in store for them when they get caught – and they will get caught. They must imagine life in prison to be something they could not bear; perhaps leading them to seek help before they hurt a child.
The ego, whether individual or institutional, is reactionary, selfish, and limited. Media-ego will juxtapose a murderer’s good looks and charm with descriptions of their diabolical conduct – thereby creating the ‘spice’ that helps to sell copies. It will not consider that morally, spiritually, or mentally dysfunctional people could elevate these murderers to rock star status because of the disjunctive associations they see forged in the media.
Liberalism Will Not Work Because of Ego
So long as we allow ego to direct our actions and frame our perceptions, society is not viable and real progress is unsustainable. Human relations will never evolve beyond that of competitive; what collaboration there may be will happen between individuals and between societies that are being presented with a common threat. But once the threat is removed, former ‘friends’ might then turn on each other. Each will now have a new enemy, and the opportunity to form new collaborations of convenience –it goes on and on…
The way in which societies approach one another reveals the preponderance of an egoic mindset among their respective members -particularly those in positions of greater influence. The tendency of some societies to view their relations with other societies purely from a position of self-interest, is evidence of a citizenship that tends to take the same approach toward one another, and a leadership that entertains a similar perspective toward the people it is supposed to serve. The cohesiveness and viability of such societies is founded upon convenience. On that basis, no society can last long. Governments must first engage all of their citizens, for their citizens to have the opportunity to truly engage and collaborate with one another. Societies so formed will, by their nature, look out for their neighbours; protecting them from the aggression of ego-bound societies and providing humanitarian aid when disaster strikes.
Unity, collaboration, tolerance, respect, and trust are the prime operatives of viable and enduring societies. Ego views collaboration as a means to an end; not an end in itself. This is anti-social. We need only collaborate, and all good ends will take care of themselves.
The ego is motivated by the prospect of immediate gain. Ego is not motivated to collaborate unless it perceives value for itself in doing so. Yet, it is precisely in collaboration unsullied by concerns for personal gain that individuals do what truly is best for them. It is the energy of collaboration, not the value of collaboration, that is of primary concern. If we live our lives in a spirit of collaboration, the value will come on its own. Fortunately for us, collaboration is a fundamental attribute of the human condition; but unfortunately, our natural gregariousness is often buried under the weight of daily cares and an ongoing sense of material insufficiency. That is why it is crucial for society to ensure all of its members have their material and educational needs met; then competition among individual members of society (for jobs, material needs) will be less of a factor; collaboration, more of a factor. The individual will continually receive and provide the energies of collaboration and community. This is the natural state for human beings. Consciousness of competition will occupy us less; consciousness of collaboration and community will occupy us more.
The plant grows from its seed, forms a root, then emerges from under the ground to access the sun’s energy and continues growing, just as Nature intended. Human individuals must, in like fashion, emerge from under the weight of ego, to access the energy of collaboration and community, so that they too may develop as Nature intended. In a society of naturally conscious individuals, the sense of community and sense of self are not conflicting, but complimentary. To grow beyond ego does not mean to lose it; rather it is the fulfilment of what it is to be human. The plant begins life entirely below the surface and must grow above the surface to continue to maturity; nevertheless, a part of it (the root), must remain below the surface, or the plant will die. As more human individuals rediscover their own ‘above-ground’ portion (the part of us which is beyond ego), their awareness of the interconnectivity of all things will naturally lead to a sense of just how fundamental an operative collaboration is; and societies will be renewed and invigorated.
The goal of liberalism is to produce a society of individuals who perceive the value of, and entertain the highest sensitivity, tolerance, compassion, and respect for, every other individual. Instead, we appear to have a society with its fair share of self-serving people.
But when enough of us come to rule, rather than be ruled by ego, liberalism will work, and work very well: it provides us with the philosophical framework for progressive and sustainable societal, economic, and environmental development.
The same era that conceived liberalism, also produced the likes of Thomas Paine (The Rights of Man) and Jean Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract). This was the intellectual and philosophical milieu in which Sir John A. Macdonald grew up in. The great philosophers of that day recognized that it was necessary for humankind to progress to the next stages of development; anticipating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. They recognized, as self-evident, the right of individuals to be free (from the egos of others) in order to be all they can be (requiring freedom from their own egos), and society’s duty to provide a milieu in which to make this happen.
A liberalism unimpeded by ego will guide individuals and societies toward enlightenment, prosperity, and peace.
Getting Ego to Toe the Line
A cab driver once complained to me about drivers illegally using the lane dedicated to taxis, buses, cyclists, and private vehicles bearing three or more passengers. We agreed the police needed to ticket these drivers or they would go on cheating.
If you have to coerce people into doing what they should be doing for the common good of their own accord, you must hit them in the pocket-book – that is the best way. If it costs more to put out an additional bag of garbage, people will be motivated to produce less garbage. If energy costs more, people will be motivated to find ways to use less. Ego seeks to control as fiercely as it resists being controlled. It begrudges being told to create less garbage, say, but it values its money more, and so, it will comply.
This is the root of the problem: We are too little concerned with how our actions affect those with whom we share the world and the generations to whom we will leave it. By all appearances, the threat of penalty is the only available tool for motivating egoically-bound people into doing the right thing. Coercing the ego does not, however, resolve the core problem. In fact, it may exacerbate the problem since it is encourages people to do the right thing, but for the wrong reasons.
The utilitarian approach could have been partly inspired by Machiavelli’s The Prince – the origin of the famous motto, the end justifies the means.
Should we allow this approach to guide our dear Canada’s development? Utility, unguided by conscience and vision, is as dangerous as intellect, unguided by heart – only the wind knows where our wonderful country, and its spirit of selfless promotion and preservation of peace, at home, and in the world, will end up.
A society which takes up a utilitarian approach, does so to the detriment of the value system upon which it was originally structured. Society can only prosper and endure when it is operating on the basis of a clear set of values that is pragmatically and progressively implemented. A utilitarian value system could, over generations, result in a society we of this generation would abhor. On the other hand, a purely ideological approach always ends up a failure, since it amounts to nothing more than someone’s egoic substitution of their version of reality for that which actually is real. Saying things are ‘so,’ does not make them ‘so,’ but that is the only way governments adopting an ideological approach can govern. Such governments are social and economic parasites; they sap the nation’s strength, and rob the majority of its citizens of their long term prospects. They rely on propaganda to keep their less wealthy citizens ‘happy.’ A society founded on utilitarian values will end up being as stable as a home built on muskeg. That society could easily morph into something monstrous and unintended.[ix]
Utilitarianism can be an effective tool when used in a proper context. It would be useful to provide fine-tuning of initiatives and policies so that they are better reconciled with the times. The policies themselves derive from social values that derive from a social vision. The liberal pragmatist is, potentially, as dangerous as the ideologue, if pragmatism is used to guide the formulation of new values rather than to facilitate the fruition of foundational values.
The value system per se must be developed with a sense of universality and near-immutability, rather than of fashion. For example, American society is founded on the right of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Canadian society is founded upon freedom, tolerance, and social justice. Can anyone living in either country look around and say these values are universally applied? If they cannot, it is the government and the people who elected them to blame: in the words of Lucas McCain, The Rifleman:
The danger is when people start getting careless about how their country is being run.
Utilitarianism versus ideology – for the moment, lets forget that utilitarianism is also an ideology. Only ego can find appeal in the extreme application of either. The non-egoically conscious will know that societies and individuals cannot do with just one or the other; that a balance must always be struck between the two.
The Ego and the Wealthy
Jesus equated a rich man’s chance of entering Heaven with that of a camel’s to squeeze through the eye of a needle. He may have been referring to the interaction between the ego and the soul. We have already seen how an egoically modalized soul’s sheath acts to interfere with the exchanges of positive, nutritive, life-sustaining energies between the soul and the rest of Creation; while at the same time enhancing the exchanges of negative, consumptive energies that may ultimately destroy the soul. The stronger the ego, the more pronounced are the effects. Rich, successful, celebrated individuals may have a harder time overcoming their egos than poor, unsuccessful, uncelebrated individuals, because success and the accompanying material comforts are highly addictive to ego – so addictive, in fact, that ego can become totally absorbed in them. There are many sources of joy, but material wealth, beyond a certain point, is not one of them.
The ego instinctively classifies everyone in its environment with respect to possessions, attractiveness, wealth, intelligence, etc., and uses them to benchmark its self-image. Where it finds itself wanting, it will restructure differences in order to make the comparison more ego-favourable. Ego could spend all of its time occupied with these things, and not consider any of it as time wasted. The problem, which the ego cannot recognize, is that upon physical death, these things are completely irrelevant. An individual’s wealth is no longer useful to the individual.
In life, wealth is a great impediment to social and individual fulfilment if the individual regards it as the primary measure of one’s worth. It is what one does with one’s wealth which determines this. If you have a cheap shovel that you use to dig drainage ditches, and your neighbour has a very expensive shovel that he uses to clobber people over the head with, is the neighbour of greater value because he can afford the more expensive shovel? Obviously, it is what one does with the shovel that marks one’s value, and what greater value can one person manifest than to make their world a better place for those now living (plant, animal, and human), and those yet to come?
The Ego and the After-life
What people choose to do with their wealth is revealing of their spiritual state, not their wealth. This is what is relevant after we die. I define the human spirit as consisting of the soul, the mind, and the soul-body. An individual possessing a healthy trio will not have died the-one-per-cent wealthy, because the individual will have felt compelled to allocate any excess beyond a comfortable living toward creating opportunities for people in their own families, their communities, their world. An individual with a strong ego cannot be in possession of a healthy trio because the stronger the ego, the thicker the soul-sheath’s egoic component, therefore the less positive, restorative nourishment the soul can receive.
Ego is a powerful influence in the 3rd Emanation, with consequences potentially beyond time’s measure. It’s power might end upon physical death, but at that point, the spirit’s quality is set, and cannot be changed.
Imagine that when we die, we are presented with three doors: the first, leads to that 2nd Emanation world of pure ego, aka “Hell”; the second, leads to the 2nd Emanation world of pure non-ego, aka “Heaven”; the third leads to some spiritual-consciousness middle ground. This third world is what my own religious tradition might call ‘ purgatory.’ If reincarnation is real, this region of spiritual indecisiveness and ambiguity may be the ‘staging area’ for re-entry into the 3rd Emanation, material world. Perhaps it is the state of our spiritual triad (mind- soul- soul-body) upon physical death, that determines which door our spirit may pass through. I cannot believe entry into Heaven is contingent upon being true to a belief, or upon whether the Creator is in a forgiving ‘mood.’ That door could simply be the one that is most compatible with the individual’s preponderant spiritual energy state: egoic, or non-egoic.
It could be that each one of us, upon physical death, devolves into our two aspects: an egoic portion, and a non-egoic portion. Upon physical death, we may become separated into two distinct, yet intimately connected entities. Our egoic portion heads ‘south,’ while our non-egoic portion goes ‘north.’ If this is true, then, we best be as non-egoic as possible while we are here, so that we conserve and generate as much of the soul-sustaining energy of the Universe as possible; while retaining as little as the soul-consuming kind as possible.
Does the Ego Have a Purpose?
The ego is the starting point. It is not all of who we are, nor is it all of what we can be conscious of. The I AM implies that we are much more than ego; that we are much more than just ‘me.’
The ego is what differentiates one soul from every other soul; from every living thing that has ever, or will ever, exist. It enables diversity and independent action. It represents our entry point into consciousness; just as Kindergarten represents the child’s entry point into formal education. The ego is no more qualified to direct the life of the individual, than the Kindergarten student is to oversee a Mars mission for NASA.
Our ego may have existed prior to our being born into this world, and might not exist after we leave it; but it is what connects us to this world.
It is important to recognize that the Ego is per se a secondary development, in the same manner that the root is a secondary development of the tree. The tree begins as a seed which differentiates into roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. The roots perform important functions on behalf of the tree: providing for the tree an anchor and an entry point for nutrients and moisture.
In the grand scheme of things, the ego is our personal game-board’s ‘Start’ square. It is the point from which we are obliged to set out to explore, participate in, and extend Creation. The object of the game is to discover and act true to what we are. When we are given to thinking what others can do for us, rather than what we can do for others, we are learning little from our journey.
It is critical for us to start out fully mindful so that we do not allow our consciousness of ego to separate us from our consciousness of Creation. Being mindful will allow us to understand our role, the role of others, and our true purpose. As time goes on, we will discover that many things which we thought important, actually were not. As consciousness of self consumes less and less of our mental focus, consciousness of people, the world around us, and God, will draw our attention more and more. We will discover greater purpose, peace, and contentment.
Ironic, is it not? The less we are preoccupied with our own welfare, and the more we are concerned for the welfare of others, the more good we do ourselves.
Evil is a Construct of the Ego-bound Mind, Not a Primary Attribute of the Universe
All creation is presupposed by Love. Love is the desire to bring something into being. Evil, on the other hand, is a reaction to Love and Creation. All things must first be created(an act of Love) before they can be destroyed(an act of evil). Nothing appears to exist without something, contrary in impulse or quality, also existing. All existence may be deconstructed into that which is created, that which exists in reaction to what has been created. The Creator of the universe is not created. The Creator simply is. All attributes of the Creator: Consciousness (the I AM), Spirit (Mind, Soul-body, Soul), Light, Love, and Goodness, are also primary, eternal, uncreated. They, like the Creator, simply are.
Evil is a secondary attribute of the universe. It can only come into existence after goodness does, because it is a reaction to goodness. Goodness is a primary attribute of the universe and of God. Evil is the product of the ego-burdened mind.
While we clothe ourselves in ego, we insulate ourselves from the Divine.
There Is More to Life Than Meets the Ego
Jesus is believed to have said, blessed are those who have never seen me and yet have believed (John 20: 29). Jesus was admonishing the person who could not believe without first seeing Jesus pull a cat out of his hat, but I had not understood why. I felt it was unreasonable to expect anyone to believe such extraordinary things just because someone else had told them it was so. Believing is not knowing.
Now, I think am beginning to catch on. Jesus understood that the mind, defrocked of ego, would be able to perceive his spirit and his actions very clearly; that those people would tell other people, who would, if similarly defrocked, perceive the spirit of the teller and the truth of what they were being told. In the world of non-egoic consciousness, believing is knowing. The ‘knowing’ would be as easy as seeing what lay on the other side of the door, when it is opened. Those bound by ego would need to see Jesus perform ‘magic’ with their own eyes for them to believe that there was something magical -something they could not see- which permitted him to do these things. Jesus is quoted as saying that he did this or that, so that the people ‘may believe.’
Those who rely on seeing with their eyes, in order to know, are seeing the world behind ego’s curtain; whereas those who do not need to see with their eyes are blessed with the perceptiveness of a mind and heart that are open to and receptive of the wondrous Heaven that is all around them. Ego-bound people, even those who have seen with their own eyes, are not nearly so fortunate or blessed.
‘Believing’ is ego territory. Believing is not knowing. This is as true of religious belief as it is of any other kind. Faith is not believing. Faith is knowing. Therefore, Faith in God is knowing God. The quest to know God is every soul’s quest, and that which is driving our spiritual development. The individual can only come to know God by first being mindful of the existence of God, and this may only happen if the mind of the individual has chosen to cultivate non-egoic consciousness. The non-ego allows us to discern evidence of not only some thing else, but some one else; that someone being God. We will need no convincing, by others or ourselves. We will never feel defensive; we will see differences in our understandings of God and creation as opportunities for expanding our knowledge of God, not as challenges to our respective belief systems. The non-ego will cultivate knowledge of the commonalities among all the Faiths, and learn from the differences; not get hung up on them, the way ego does. The differences among Faiths, though many, are as significant as the differences among snowflakes; no two are exactly alike; still it cannot be disputed that they are all snowflakes.
The Only Way Ego Can be Healed
The dysfunction of individuals and societies is entirely because ego has too much power and influence.
You are not able to ‘correct’ the ego of another person. Any resistance ego encounters along its way serves to further entrench it; therefore, one’s ego must be healed from the ‘inside,’ to wit: by the individual. The more emphatic your efforts, the more the ego of the ‘target’ will entrench itself. The ego’s dysfunction may only be healed by the individual possessing it. The healing process is actuated by the mind of the individual. The mind is the gatekeeper; it decides what to let in, and what to close the door on. With discipline, patience, and support, the ego can be healed.
The healing process must proceed from the inside out; still, from the outside there is much which can be provided to support it. You must appeal to the mind of that individual; to plant the seed, as it were, and allow that person to manage things from there. If the outcome is not as you had hoped, try planting another seed, but never force things. Even though you are proceeding with the best of intentions, if your friend’s ego feels threatened, its reaction will be to shore up its defenses –and you might end up worse off than when you started.
The ‘inside’ is the soul. The energies the soul generates and the ‘filters’ that are applied are accomplished under the auspices of the mind. The energies themselves flow over the grid connection. The Grid connects every living soul to every other living soul in the universe. This includes the Great Soul of the universe –God’s.
If the inside is the soul; the ‘inner’ world is the world of souls. This world is without limit, since God is without limit. The external, material world, conversely, is a world characterized by limits; it is for this reason that ego is able to obtain any credence in it. Each of us is limited by our physical boundaries, our strengths, our education, the quality of our neural connections, our lifespan, our understanding, our discernment, etc.; but the 3rd Emanation world is only the ‘crust,’ the ‘outer-peel,’ if you will. It overlays the world of the 2nd Emanation. In the 2nd Emanation, things happen at the speed of thought, in comparison to which, visible light moves at a snail’s pace.
In the 3rd Emanation, we encounter limits. We can only go so far, so fast, and for only so long. We can do, or say, only so much. But if one is truly present, one becomes conscious of something which lay beyond the surface of things. This is the mind beginning to free itself of its egoic shackles, allowing it to ‘see’ what is beyond the ‘looking glass.’ It is expanding its awareness into the 2nd Emanation.
Who but God can say what limits upon personal happiness and self-actuation exist there? What limits would there be upon sharing, support and collaboration, upon understanding and tolerance, upon discernment among individuals? Can you imagine how much better the 3rd Emanation world would be, if we allowed more of the 2nd Emanation world’s light to get past our egos and shine on it?
I believe Jesus was describing the 2nd Emanation, when he said, “The kingdom of Heaven is inside of you, and it is outside of you.”[x] The world of the 2nd Emanation; the internal eternal.
Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.” [Gospel of Thomas (3)][xi]
We need do only one thing in order to make all of this happen…
Be conscious of what we truly are.
Society’s Promotion of Self-Assertion is Blatantly Egoic
In today’s society, self-assertiveness is regarded as a basic requirement for success. The best among us are also the best at asserting themselves: does this not sound a wee bit egoic?
Assertiveness is an asset only when you are advocating on behalf of others, in a just cause – otherwise it is ego.
Defending the rights of others is providing service. It is protecting the weak from the strong; the minority from the majority. If before doing something, you always give consideration to the impact on others, and you always seek solutions which benefit all sides, you cannot go wrong. The win-win is the only quality and enduring outcome.
All One’s Problems Are Because of Ego
The Mind’s preoccupation with its inner goings-on (ego) is the primary cause of mental pathology and dysfunction in individuals and in societies.
Ego is reactionary, self-serving, and limited. It is the author of the interminable cycle of reaction and guilt. It is fragile and easily damaged. It seeks affirmation from outside – affirmation from other egos – rather than confirmation of the awareness which appears to originate from the inside, but which is actually coming from God/the Universe.
Ego is the source of all control and self-esteem issues. The emotional baggage we carry with us is our cumulative response to the disparity between the world our ego desires, and the one it believes it is living in. We become progressively more focused on lack, and less focused on what we have. Our general attitude becomes more akin to the proverbial glass being half-empty, rather than half-full. As each day passes, our bags continue filling with the discrepancies between what we desire and what we get from the world; and the bag grows heavier with time. We need only put down our bags to be relieved of their weight. Oddly enough, we refuse to put our bags down; choosing rather to be burdened by them wherever we go, in every situation we encounter; even casting their weight onto other people.
Before we collapse under the bag’s weight, we must make a simple choice. We must decide between two universal ‘forces’ which are fully opposite: the egoic and non-egoic modes of consciousness. Humankind has been in ego mode since its eviction from the proverbial Garden. With each age come and gone, there have been individuals who discovered and pointed the way back to the Garden. These individuals were blessed with a powerful knowledge, the moment they began cultivating consciousness of what is beyond the ego. They were re-connected to the universal circuit; to awareness of the Divine. They were regular individuals who made a highly irregular, but simple choice. This is a choice each one of us must make. The outcome of this choice could be eternal life or eternal death (with the proviso that one might get another “kick at the can” if there is such a thing as reincarnation).
It is important to recognize that the apparent pervasiveness of ego in our world is in fact the consequence of the mind’s over-attention to one side of the universe’s consciousness dichotomy. The non-egoic has always been with us; but by us, it has been, by-and-large, ignored. The ego is a part of us; but a very small part. The non-ego is a part of us, and a very big part at that. Yet it is ego taking over so much of our world; to the point where it now threatens to destroy us.
We cannot destroy ego; but ego can destroy us, if we allow it to. We must choose to not let it become our primary focus. We need to direct our minds’ attention away from it; outward and past. When we do, we do what should come as naturally to humans, as growing fruit does to trees: Divine Energy will flow in and out of us, unresisted and unconstrained. When we do, we will complete the universal circuit; rather than disrupt or create resistance to the nurturing energies flowing across it.
This is the whole reason we exist: we each have a role in bringing our universe one step closer to functioning as smoothly as God most surely imagined it can. This requires only a little effort on our part – far less than the effort required to survive in the world ego creates for us.
The mind free of ego truly engages the world; permitting us to see the world as it truly is. This allows us to see one another as we truly are, because our hearts and minds are now open. Our vision is unobstructed by ego. We cannot control the ego – our own egos will resist and entrench as surely as the egos of others will. We may, however, train our minds to extend beyond ego. As we get better at it, we will better appreciate the miracle of the world and of the people and living things we share the world with. After a time, the egoic bias of the soul-sheath will reverse itself. It will become easier for us to give and to receive Love and to perform all of the actions and feel all of the emotions that are associated with Love. Our minds’ function will be enhanced, because it will be progressively less focused on itself. Our Grid connection will open further to the positive energies abounding in the Universe, and resist the passage of negative energies. The soul will receive all of the life-sustaining nourishment it needs from this connection; while having to absorb less of the corrosive kind – the kind that enervates the soul and enfeebles its life-force.
Jesus is quoted as saying, “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). ‘Losing your life’ is the process of rediscovering the non-egoic state of consciousness which all humans are born with. “Losing your self” is simply the act of reaching out to and embracing the real world; a world that extends far, far beyond that which can be discerned with the physical senses. You are not losing yourself, simply becoming as open and focused (mindful) as when you were a child. It amounts to nothing more than a mental ‘reset.’
Perhaps this is what Jesus meant by being ‘reborn’: it is the process of rediscovering and re-engaging the fullness of the world you live in?
Chapter III – Our Universe
Big Bang theory holds that the universe and everything in it, was at one point in time packed into a single, tiny ball, of near- infinite density. Collapsing further under the force of its own gravity – also near infinite – our ‘little bundle of joy’ got to the point where it could contract no more without spontaneously exploding; physicists define this as the critical mass threshold. The universe continued to shrink, the critical mass threshold exceeded, an explosion occurred –and the universe was expressed. After a time, the Big Bang ‘shrapnel’ cooled and coalesced into nebulae, galaxies, stars, planets, etc.
At the point of critical mass, there was but one active consciousness – the I AM. Unitary and alone.
Then God thought, “Let there be light.” The appearance of light is the first observable phenomenon in the universe. There would not be anyone but God to observe just yet. God’s seminal creative expression happened at the precise moment critical mass was exceeded. Some scientists expect the universe to reverse its Big Bang impetus, as the force of the original explosion dissipates to the point where the gravitational attraction among celestial objects overtakes it.
At that point, the universe will start to contract. Eventually, all that exists – all light, matter, and energy – will once again end up packed into the tiny ball our story began with; and, one may assume, the Big Bang repeats.
Let There Be…Darkness?
Recently, the Hubble Telescope returned images from the remotest regions of the universe. Astronomers noticed things were further away than the force of the Big Bang can account for. They conclude that the universe is expanding faster than anyone thought. Two critical observations arise from this: First, the energy of the original explosion is not the only mechanism of expansion in the universe. Second, given the existence of other forces of expansion, gravity might not be enough to reverse the expansion; theoretically, at least, the universe could end up in random dispersion and zero energy state. No energy, no light, no life – just random chunks of material floating around aimlessly and forever.
How do physicists and astronomers explain our universe’s surprising rate of expansion?
Dark Energy and Matter
The existence of a dark version of matter and energy had not been determined by observation or direct measurement; its existence had, rather, been inferred, after astronomers noticed the light from far away stars was bending on the way toward Earth. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity states that gravity will affect light the same way it affects matter and will actually bend light.[xii] But there wasn’t anything visible, between us and these distant stars, massive enough to produce the gravitational pull necessary to do the job. Whatever was responsible, it had to be something invisible, and astronomers backed into the discovery of dark matter and energy.
Astronomers have dubbed this light-bending phenomenon, Gravitational Lensing. They also believe dark energy plays a secondary role in the hyper-expansion of the universe, by interfering with the gravitational pull among objects composed of light matter.
Scientists speculate the universe is 70% dark energy and 25% dark matter, by mass. The remaining 5% is light’ matter – the material we can actually ‘see.’ Given such large quantities, the gravitational pull that ‘dark’ material can exert is enough to bend light, and to interfere with the gravitational attraction among light matter objects racing outward from the Big Bang epicentre.
Only gravity can reverse the expansion of the universe. If the expansion cannot be reversed, we will end up with a universe of randomly distributed objects at near-zero energy state. Lifeless. In this scenario, how would the universe ever recover? If the universe is God, and God the universe, could this mean the end of all things?
The existence of dark matter had been postulated since the 1930s. Dark matter produces little, if any, light. Brown dwarf stars may contain dark matter; but their contribution to the universal inventory is thought to be quite small.
Dark matter is non-baryonic – the technical term for material that is not made up of atoms, electrons, neutrons, protons; or their subunits, such as quarks and gluons. Dark matter has no electrical charge. It cannot interact, electromagnetically, with baryonic, aka light matter. If, for example, you or I were to step on an area of dark matter, we would fall right through – as though nothing were beneath our feet.
The fundamental forces operating in the universe – gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force –may affect dark matter differently than they do light matter.
Might Einstein’s famous equation governing the conversion between light matter and energy,
E = mc2
(in which E is the amount of energy possessed by some thing, m is its mass, c is the speed of visible light), also apply to the conversion between dark matter and energy? In that case, what value might c possess?
The material making up the cosmos is also found in living things. The dark matter and energy of the universe is in us, if it is in the universe we are part of. An article appearing in the Huffington Post[xiii] ponders this very idea. Light and dark matter, light and dark energy, ego and non-ego, consciousness(or the lack of it), are all a part of the immutable fabric of God and the universe. What is changeable, is which side of the universal consciousness dichotomy we choose to give our attention to. What we are conscious of, our souls will engage with. If we are in ego mode, we will generate and exchange the energy associated with ego.
Matter – Anti Matter and the Two Seminal Universes
Antimatter was discovered in 1932. Antimatter is composed of antiparticles (go figure!). It appears that the components of baryonic (ordinary) matter each have their antimatter ‘ alter ego,’ but the universal inventory of antiparticles is thought to be quite small. Positrons, for example, are the antimatter equivalent of electrons; but have a positive charge. Anti-protons, anti-neutrons, and anti-nuclei might combine to form elements such as anti-helium. It is thought that when ordinary matter and antimatter come into contact with one another, the result is the utter annihilation of both, and releasing a disproportionately large amount of gamma radiation in the process. [xiv] One version of the Big Bang asserts the bang resulted from the collision of two primordial universes; one made of matter; the other, of antimatter.
But how would the existence of antimatter account for the universe’s increasing rate of expansion? Currently, some are putting the blame on antigravity fields generated by the antimatter leftovers of the original collision.
Particles of matter have masses comparable to their antimatter analogs. They generate comparably strong gravitational forces among objects of their kind. However, antigravity and gravity are mutually repulsive, and the repulsion effect is used to account for the universe’s faster rate of expansion.[xv]
I will not bet my whole bag of marbles on the matter-antimatter Big Bang scenario, as is. I do not think it is essential for the respective universes to have existed separately, and that they simply ran into one another. Rather, I am inclined to think the ‘universes’ would be coextensive; occupying the same space, but not at the same time, and that there was enough ‘time-space’ existing between respective bits of matter and antimatter to avoid touching. But what scenario might account for the harmonious coexistence of mutually destructive elements on the one hand, and the catastrophic Big Bang explosion, on the other?
Prior to the original explosion, the universe of matter and antimatter underwent compression to the point where adequate separation was no longer maintainable. There was literally no way for the matter and antimatter to ‘dodge’ one another, and the explosion happened.
My Version of the Big Bang – (Don’t laugh; everybody should have one )
Cyclic motion is a fundamental operative of Nature. The progression from night to day and back to night, the four seasons, the phases of the moon, waking and sleeping, breathing – these are but a few of an infinite number of examples. The lives of all living things are affected; humans, as much as any other species.
The universe, the Body of God, is a living thing. The universe’s ‘exhalation’ corresponds to the Big Bang expansionary phase; it’s ‘drawing in of breath,’ to the Big Bang contraction phase. During the latter phase, the non-ego informs the conscious mind, and the ego informs the subconscious mind. There will be an increasing sense of ‘oneness,’ on the part of all sentient beings. Upon the ‘exhalation,’ the universe’s operative consciousness will have switched to ego, and sentient beings will feel an increasing sense of separation. The Big Bang is the point of inflection marking the end of the non-egoic phase, and the start of the egoic phase.
During the non-egoic phase, it is as if all souls are being gathered in and reconciled unto the universe (God), and to one another. When this phase ends, and the Big Bang occurs once again, the total reconciliation of all that exists is accomplished, and then undone in an instant. Reconciliation is a fundamental aspect of non-egoic consciousness. During the non-egoic phase of the cycle, the Mind and Heart of the Creator are busy formulating the Creative Idea. The moment the Idea is formed, the Big Bang happens, and the universe (the 3rd Emanation manifestation of God) is born.
All that was united in a tiny ball, is now separate and mutually distinguishable. Whereas the contraction phase gathers all of these elements together into one soul, one spirit, and one mind; the Big-Bang phase features the decomposition of these into a limitless number of independent souls, spirits and minds.
The ego is now the mind’s default mode of consciousness. This means ego has the ‘pole-position’ with respect to being ‘heard;’ and that sentient beings will tend to see the world from a self-ish point of view.
But this does not mean non-ego is no longer able to be a significant force. The will, however, must exist to access it; because now it is ‘buried’ under ego. It is no longer on the surface, but this does not mean creation stops, or that love disappears. The Mind of God still thinks, the Heart of God still loves, and the Spirit of God still acts.
Consciousness is eternal; we are part of that consciousness and therefore eternal. We are distinguishable, one from the other, because of ego. Each one of us exists independently; it is a consequence of the exhalation phase of the eternal cycle that we are more self-conscious. It is an effect of the contraction phase of the cycle that we grow less self-conscious, and more occupied with consciousness of God, the universe, our place in the larger scheme of things, and of course, of the needs of the souls we share our homes, communities, and world with. As we become more conscious of ourselves, we become less conscious of God; the extreme being we have no sense of God at all (atheism). Conversely, as we become more conscious of God, we become less self-conscious; the ultimate goal being total reconciliation with God, and with all that exists. We remain individual, only now we are fully mindful, fully present, fully engaged, and not preoccupied with our individuality.
While the expansion phase is ongoing , we are inclined to think too little of God, and too much of ourselves. We take ourselves way too seriously – some of us, enamoured of the luck and success we are enjoying in life, might even think of ourselves as gods(Nero, Jimmy Jones, many leaders in ancient times), or believe our wealth is purely because of our personal quality and hard work, and the poverty of others is because of their lack of quality and laziness; that random chance is not a factor. Well, imagine if Bill Gates had to grow up in today’s Congo. Do you suppose he would have still ended up founding Microsoft?
Free will is possessed by all sentient beings. As the expansion phase progresses, the contribution of sentient beings, aside from God’s, becomes more of a factor: they grow more self-conscious and less God-conscious. They are more likely to use their free will in a selfish way; less likely to use it in an unselfish way. For example, we are increasingly more likely to plunder and corrupt the Earth; rather than to act as stewards and be resolute in doing whatever it takes to heal it. During the contraction phase of the Eternal Cycle, those living at that time will tend to think and behave non-egoically, according to the ‘spirit’ of the cycle they are in.
Can the Universal Light-Dark Matter Ratio Affect Us?
There is good in the world; but for the starving, the violated, the poor, the kidnapped children of Congo’s Boko Haram, the murdered students in Mexico, the victims of terrorism, and the young people seduced by terrorist groups, how much can that be?
Auschwitz. Nagasaki. Anywhere from 40 to 75 million lives were destroyed in WWII; in only six years. The magnitude of horror visited upon the men, women, and children caught up in the business of waring nations is unimaginable for us in these days. Most of our generation, save for those unlucky souls living in the Middle East, cannot imagine that it is possible for anyone to have so much hatred toward others, yet the violent insanity which was begun by Adolf Hitler still happened. Humans showed themselves capable of perpetrating the most egregious evil upon other humans – even upon children.
That misery, oppression, and war continue to proliferate in this day and age is absurd. So is our continuing plunder of Mother Earth, even though our behaviour has brought us close to the ‘point of no return.’ We are not, as group, behaving rationally, if we put short term economic growth ahead of things like, oh, climate change, or Mother Earth’s ability to provide for us and to absorb our waste. We continue to develop and burn fossil fuels, despite the damage to the environment and to our health. Some entertain the dream of colonizing a dead planet – a dream which would cost a tonne of cash to realize; rather than invest in renewable, sustainable, non-polluting energy technologies, and saving this one. How can we be so silly? Well, if ego is calling the shots, the cavalier dream of going to Mars will somehow seem more enticing than the prospect of rolling up our sleeves and nursing the Earth Mother back to health.
A trip to Mars, or avoiding global catastrophe. Which would you choose?
Connecting the Dots
In the Emanations scheme of things, all souls are producers and consumers of energy. All souls are connected. The energy exchanges that occur among souls are facilitated by the Grid, a karmic device in which every soul is a node. The internecine antipathy which is preventing humans from unifying against their common peril, mimics the dissociative influence of antimatter and dark matter upon the evolution of the universe.
To briefly summarize the manner in which these dissociative processes play out among humans:
- Dissociative energies are felt by humans as negative emotions, such as jealousy, hatred, anger, depression, etc.
- The egoic bias of the soul sheath is due to the mind’s absorption with self; seeing the world entirely from a self-ish perspective, rather than seeing the self from a ‘global’ perspective.
- The mind’s willful preoccupation with its own doings causes it to be ignorant of the Prime and 2nd For the ego-bound mind, the 3rd Emanation world is all there is. This is because the mind is interacting with the world exclusively through the physical senses. The physical senses are 3rd Emanation phenomena. To be conscious of the 2nd and Prime Emanations, you need to employ your 2nd Emanation senses: intuition, ESP, clairvoyance – that sort of thing. To do that, you need to be in a non-egoic frame of mind.
In the absence of countervailing associative tendencies, could the existing dissociative tendencies ultimately drive the universe to soullessness and death? ‘Shaitan,’ ‘Satan,’ or whichever personification of evil you prefer, is busily replacing God’s Creation with one of his own; one over which the bad guy, not the Creator, is master. But Satan’s idea of perfect is a dark, zero-energy universe. How could anyone wish to be ‘lord’ over something like that?
Milton explores this very theme in Paradise Lost. Some time before the appearance of Man, Satan, the most beautiful of God’s angels, got it in his head to be master over Heaven. This would mean mastery over God too; which is impossible, of course: all things created by God exist within, and are a part of God-the universe. Since no part can be greater than the whole, this venture of Satan’s was doomed from the beginning. Satan refused to accept this, lost the war, and was cast into Hell. He was defiant(and stupid) to the end:
“Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven,” Milton’s arch-demon proclaims.
Satan chose to be master over a place like Hell, than to serve in Heaven. Who could make such a choice? One who values power and control to the point of ridiculousness. They would rather rule over a cesspit of their own making, than serve, share, and collaborate in a beautiful world that everyone is working for, and which is made by God.
Milton’s depiction of Satan provides us the quintessential portraiture of ego: the absurd and inevitable outcome of ego-dominated thinking. Satan aspires to something that is certain to result in profound misery, and ultimately, his own death.[xvi] He desires ‘short term’ control above his own life. Could we be that silly?
Chapter IV – God and Us Humans
God and the Gift of Freewill
God so loved the world that He placed the future of the world He created into human hands. What greater love, or greater trust exists, than to put your life’s unfinished work in the care of someone else? Your dream home: imagine leaving the finishing/interior decorating to someone you don’t even know, after having designed and built it, yourself?
God has bestowed upon humankind the ultimate gift and ultimate responsibility: free will is as important as life itself; because without it, we would be robots. Without it, we would be incapable of making our own decisions, incapable of creating, of loving – in short, of ever being able to evolve beyond ego.
God had no option but to give us free will; an option with terrible consequences if things were to go wrong. Free will provides the ability to choose between contrary worldviews: one of ego, the other of non-ego. Not to choose is the same as choosing ego. We are accountable for the choices we make, because we must live with them; moreover, others have to live with them. The choice is simple: to be stewards of God’s Earth and extend God’s Love; or continue to draw the life out of God’s Earth and continue the tradition of human misery we began six millennia ago.
Free will gives us the responsibility to choose life or death for ourselves, for humankind, for the Earth Mother, and for all the Life she gives birth to, and nurtures. To have so much responsibility is overwhelming; however, our saving grace is the simplicity of the solution: we need only form the intent to do good, and good things will happen quite naturally. Forming the attitude to do good opens us up to the Divine. We become conduits of Divine Goodness, and we become the miracle that created us in the first place.
Our intent is what will save or sink us – it is that simple.
It is that easy.
What is our worldview these days? Do we hold sacred all that God created? Do we hold sacred the humans God created, or do we behave as if some are more sacred than others? Can we actually permit ourselves to believe that God created variety among humans, just so one group could subjugate another; or among species, just so one species’ predominance could ensure the destruction of all the others? Of course not – yet, this is the situation we humans have created for ourselves.
Most of us are acquisition-driven. A relative few are driven by the desire to reduce material disparity in society and our world. We attach such value to material possessions we might conclude that life offers little else. We base the measure of ourselves and others on how much wealth we can accumulate, rather than on how much our personal success can be leveraged to relieve the deplorable and often life-threatening conditions that our fellow souls, many of them children, are living in. We ignore the direct contribution our zeal for material accumulation is making to the misery in our own communities and across the world. We ignore the direct contribution our materialism is making to our own misery, by preventing us from progressing through the upper levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
If oligarchic democracy is here to stay, future generations of humans will be thankful for oligarchs who understand that their extraordinary wealth is an opportunity to make outstanding contributions to the benefit of this generation and those that follow.
Made in God’s Image
In creating anything with a soul, God extends Himself. Humans have received not only the quintessence of Creation, but also the gift and responsibility of free will. This was necessary in order for God to extend His Love and therefore His ability to create. Humans possess the most highly developed capacity for free will among all souls on Earth. On that basis, we may be viewed as the nearest-to-perfect copies of God in all of Nature. Perhaps we were indeed created in ‘the image of God,’ as is claimed in Genesis 1:26-27.
An inference of the Emanations model is that we are extensions of God, rather than separate entities; albeit free will allows us the choice to behave as if we were separate. On the contrary, we are linked through commonalities of purpose and origin with God and one another, in the same way the cells of the human body – with the exception of cancer cells – are linked within the individual. This has two implications:
First, while we linger in negative, egoically-couched thinking, we are putting up resistance to the flow of positive karmic energies between us and the Grid; weakening the positive impact of God’s Love upon our lives and upon our world.
Second, as we humans enhance our connection to the universe by thinking ‘happy thoughts,’ doing good by others, or by just being positive, we are removing all resistance to the impact of God’s Love upon our lives. We will, by the strength of our connection, tap the universal stores of Goodness and Love (Agape). Humankind will thrive, God will thrive – Heaven and Earth will become more reconciled; until they are indistinguishable. This grand reconciliation represents the fruition of humankind’s ultimate purpose.
How God Laid Out the Universe
Why did God create the universe and us along with it? The simple answer is, in order to experience life, to know Him/Herself, and to extend Him/Herself – to be all God can be. On the point of gender, I will use ‘Him’ as a convenience only. God is both ‘Him’ and ‘Her,’ since God is all things.
From the moment of the Big Bang, God devolved into aspects of Himself. God is therefore male and female, light matter and dark matter, good and evil; anything and everything that is – is God. The only aspect of Creation that may change, from God’s original pre-Big Bang state, is the general character of His composition: the equilibrium between light and dark energy or matter may shift toward one side or the other; the quality of the undifferentiated, unspecialized matrix from which all material things derive, may become more or less capable of forming cohesive structures.
Given their current understanding of dark matter and energy, astronomers conclude that it is possible for dark energy to propel the universe into a permanent state of lifelessness. If that is possible, then, in keeping with the general constitution of the universe, a state of eternal life for individuals is also possible.
Let us go back in time and revisit the little ball that began our story. When God thought, “Let’s get things started” – at which point critical mass was exceeded and this universe came into being – everything that emanated from the Big Bang seems to have had an opposite; an ‘alter-ego,’ as it were. Light was accompanied by darkness, good by evil, female by male, electrons by protons, matter by antimatter, ego by non-ego.
After the Big Bang, the darkness outside of God was exposed because it now had an opposite; at the moment of light’s creation, darkness became real also, inasmuch as it was now possible to be conscious of it. As much as light is associated with creation and life, darkness is associated with destruction and death. Every elemental attribute of God is co-expressed with its opposite. In this grandest of creative moments, destruction was also engendered – Yin and Yang.
The term “emanation” is meant to differentiate among perspectives on the universe. If the first level of existence, the Prime Emanation, is Unity (God); wherein all is contained and reconciled, then the 2nd Emanation represents the fractionation of unity into competing opposites. At this level, everything exists in terms of its opposite: you cannot have light without darkness. The 3rd Emanation represents the comingling and coexistence, albeit transient, of opposites.
The Mind’s Place in the Emanations Model
Opposing elements at the level of the 2nd Emanation are in dynamic equilibrium. Everything at this level is energy. It is the level of thought –the level at which the mind operates – however I am inclined to believe the mind per se is of the Prime Emanation: the level of consciousness – the level of the I AM. Each time we entertain negative thinking we shift the energy equilibrium, ever so slightly, away from the left (the positive and the non-ego) toward the right (the negative and the ego).
The opposite is also true.
The mind chooses its active mode of consciousness . This choosing is simply a matter of directing our attention toward this or that. We have only two choices: to direct our attention inwardly, or to direct our attention outwardly; to be driven by our needs; judging the world according to how it impacts us (for good or ill), or be driven by the needs of others; judging ourselves according to the measure of our impact on other souls, and on the world.
Because we think one thought at a time, no one can be conscious of what they lack when their focus is on what someone else is in need of. Lack evokes sadness. In fact, whether we are feeling lack, or contentment, entirely depends on where we chose to place our mental focus: on ourselves, or on other people and things. The first case leads to frustration, because the ego becomes used to whatever it has, and soon wants more of the same, or something different. The latter case leads to satisfaction, because when you help someone, you feel complete: you do not feel any need for them to keep needing you. When your worldview is framed in non-ego, love is the prime motivator, and creation is the prime actuator. Whether you are building or writing something (as I am doing), or you are helping someone out of difficulty, you are creating something to make life better, for yourself and others. It is the goal of creation to continually make things better than they are; how can it be otherwise? It is consciousness of the disparity between the way things are and the way things should be, that gets the proverbial ball rolling.
It was consciousness that led God to create. He became aware that, outside of Himself, there was nothing to experience, much less anyone to talk to. He was conscious of the nothing beyond Himself because He ‘looked’ beyond Himself. I AM is therefore not limited to the ‘I.’ Creation proves that God is so much more than ego – as are we. God could not be contented with only Himself– He was able to imagine so much more of what was possible –take a look around and see. It is self-evident that the Mind of God, the I AM, chose the non-egoic, because He created independent beings with free will, living outside the control of His ego, rather than to be alone.
No mind thinks more than one thought at a time. No mind can be simultaneously egoic and non-egoic. The act of creation is the inevitable outcome of the non-egoically conscious mind. God proceeded to create other minds, operating independently of one another, and of His; minds exercising free will and obliged to choose, moment by moment, thought by thought, between egoic and non- egoic modes of consciousness.
There is only one point in the evolution of the universe where there could have been a unitary consciousness: the moment of the Big Bang. At any other time during the Big Bang cycle, many minds are conscious and operating apart from God’s. The Eternal Big Bang cycle features two phases: the post-Big Bang expansion is the ‘Separation phase.’ The Big Bang contraction is the ‘Reconciliation phase.’ During the Separation phase, sentient beings progress toward being less conscious of God; during the Reconciliation phase, sentient beings become more God-conscious.
Free will gives us the opportunity to elevate our consciousness and to form intentions. Our intentions inform our actions and generate energies which emanate throughout the Grid and the three emanations.
Life In the 2nd Emanation
In the 2nd Emanation, physical distance has no relevance. Does it take you any longer to imagine being at the South Pole than to imagine being in the next room? Spirit entities, released from their 3rd Emanation instantiations, may find themselves at any place, any time, simply by forming the intention to go there. Want to read ‘War and Peace?’ Imagine it being in hand, and it is.
In the 2nd Emanation, thought and action are indistinguishable. This is the level at which the spirit (the mind-soul-soul body triad) functions. In the 2nd Emanation, the spirit’s general quality might be fixed, and not likely to evolve further, until such time as the soul is rebirthed into the 3rd Emanation. Individual souls will then have the opportunity to make different choices to further themselves along the path of spiritual development toward joy, knowledge, and peace with God and Creation.
The Basic Elements of Creation
I said earlier that God created because He was conscious of being alone; of the fact that, outside of Himself, there was nothing. I also said, all things are included in God. If God created us in response to the nothing outside of Himself, how could creating us have changed anything? Since we are a part of God and cannot exist outside of God, though we think and act independently, the nothingness that God was conscious of still exists. The nothingness outside of God still exists, but within God there is now something other than a singular consciousness.
The state of the world reflects the culmination of human thought. What happens to us is almost entirely of our own making. For us to create a better world, we must generate, in our thoughts and deeds, goodness toward every other sentient being. Whether it is reciprocated or not, is not the most important thing; rather it is that we have done something, anything, that is good and loving.
The expression of goodness resonates with everything and everyone who receives it. An expression of goodness toward a particular person might even set that person’s soul to spinning aright; developing a soul-sheath modality that is predominately non-egoic. These fortunate recipients may begin emanating goodness, for goodness’ sake, themselves. As time goes on, more and more positive energy will accumulate in the Grid. We and our children will be the happy beneficiaries of what will naturally follow. In fact, there will come a day when the human race attains a pervasive state of joy. Once we have experienced this en masse, the world will never return to the current level of scarcity, competition, economic polarization, intolerance, and mistrust. In the television series, Jesus of Nazareth, the Baptist says: Before Kingdoms may change, people must change…
This is truth…and we will.
Every good thought you have, every time you make a point to discard thoughts and feelings of fear, jealousy, and condemnation, you bring yourself, and by extension, your world, one step closer to God’s utopic vision.
Humans relate to each other, as the cells which make up our bodies do; they are at the same time independent and interdependent. The cells of the body are organized within an operational framework of collaboration and commonality of purpose. Cancer cells, however, kill the body because they act contrary to this framework. Rather than collaborate on the host’s behalf, they plunder it; they expand their presence to the point of destroying their host -the very thing upon which their survival depends. Humans are also obliged to operate within a framework of collaboration and commonality of purpose, or the body of humanity will succumb to the disease of ego, as the cancer-stricken eventually do.
If we do not change our attitude and behaviour toward Mother Earth, global-scale catastrophe may soon be upon us. But do not worry: if we continue to deny our responsibility as Nature’s most advanced species to be stewards of the Earth, she will still make a comeback one day. But it could be without us.
Chapter V – Humanity
Are we the same people in our middle age, that we were at 21, or at 10; or even as newborns? Well, you know the answer already: yes and no. Save for the physiological changes, one might be hard-pressed to describe how one is the same, and how one is different, from the child we once were. Our evolution can be traced back to the moment of conception. At the point of conception, an unimaginably complex process of cellular production and differentiation begins. We do not create anything outside of ourselves, or inside, for that matter, since everything is being created for us by the women (our moms) whom God entrusts with our safekeeping – until we are grown enough to live independent of the womb.
How much of your early years do you remember? I still recall bits of my terrible-twos; but before that, nada. ‘Remembering’ is a process in which the grey matter is ‘hardwired’ to physically store our ‘data.’ It does this in much the same way a computer does: first we form the intent, consciously or not, to recall something. Next, we search our storage for items relevant and piece the memory together. At this point the mental picture is fully formed in our active conscious mind, and we can consciously work with it. Similarly, a computer retrieves ‘memories’ from where they are stored on its hard drive and places them in RAM. Here the data is readily available; but the computer’s ‘brain’ (the CPU) cannot do anything with the data sitting in RAM; it must select what it needs from RAM and bring pieces of the ‘memory’ into its registers.
When it is time for a new computer, you would not take the hard drive out of the old one and use it to replace the drive of the new one, for obvious reasons. First, it is used, and not likely to last as long as a new one. Second, you can easily transfer all of your files from the old computer to the hard drive of the new unit. The fact that some of the programs you used to run (especially the old DOS games!) might not work on your new system, obliges you to leave some of your past computer life behind.
When humans reincarnate, they cannot bring the old ‘hard drive’ with them into the new life; their prior existence grey matter has long since turned to dust. Nor could memories that were hardwired into the brain be preserved, unless another way exists to bridge the ‘reincarnation-gap.’ There has to be a non-physical, energy-based means of doing so. The Jungian racial unconscious could describe one such mechanism.
The Grid provides the ‘infrastructure’ responsible for facilitating memory transference across generations and individual incarnations. We know that the first three dimensions -length, width, and height -are only relevant in the 3rd Emanation, material world. Time exists as a linear construct in the 3rd Emanation; but is a bona fide dimension of the 2nd Emanation. It has the quality of being reversible (a characteristic of the Big Bang Reconciliation phase). Because of this, discrete mathematics can no longer provide an adequate descriptive model, and we must resort to quantum physics and calculus to characterize 2nd Emanation phenomena. In the 2nd Emanation, all things exist on a continuum with respect to time. Spiritual life is not discrete, though the physical forms it gives rise to in the 3rd Emanation, are. It is not possible to define the beginning of this continuum, anymore than it is to mark the beginning of a circle. We can only say, at a given point in time, we are here, or there; somewhere along the arc. Our spiritual life has no beginning and no end. If we exist at all, we are eternal; and it is the eternal infrastructure of the Grid which is facilitating the passage of individual and collective memory from one 3rd Emanation instance (incarnation) to the next. Reincarnation is, therefore, not a possible feature, but rather an inherent feature of existence. We are primarily energy; an admixture of light and dark forms, just as the universe is, and the Grid is what holds the whole thing together, and all of its parts in communication.
Think of the Grid and Emanations this way: emanations of energy originating in the 1st Emanation permeate through the 2nd and into the 3rd Emanation; while the energy ripples responding from the 3rd Emanation navigate through the 2nd to the 1st Emanation. These emanations of energy are like waves moving across the lake, striking the shore, then rebounding back out toward their source. The outgoing wave (with respect to the 3rd Emanation) is somewhat different from before it struck the shore.
Psychiatry acknowledges that causal relationships often exist between pathologies of the mind and body. Psychiatrists do not always know, in particular cases of mental or physiological dysfunction, which leads to the other. The role environmental factors play is well understood, but the role the soul plays may be a surprise to most people. The soul is a factor in our health, whether we understand how or not. Master Sha, in his book, Soul Wisdom, asserts that our three aspects – mind, body, and soul – are wholly integrated.
The soul has no capacity to think, remember, and evaluate. For these it requires the mind – the I AM. The soul is one-third of the Mind – Soul – Soul body triad which comprises the permanent essence of every living thing. I believe the holy triads of individuals who have passed on, would appear to us as ghosts, other spirits, and angels.
The holy triad appears to support cognition and the ability to discern between itself and all others. I cannot consciously recall any past existence because the physical cells I would require for the purpose are now dust. In fact, a conscious attempt may actually create static and limit my ability to recall; by interfering with my soul-connection to the Grid. It may be as if the need to know how I know, is actually preventing me from knowing. In this case, it is not the mind, but the mind bound by ego, which is responsible. The non-egoic mind is open to knowledge from wherever and whenever. The non-egoic mind focuses on discovery and discernment. Herein lies the virtue of meditation: achieving the discipline to bypass the ego-conscious mind to get at the subconscious level. The subconscious, once accessed, becomes the active conscious.
I often describe the relationship between the spirit and the body using the analogy of the driver and the automobile: the spirit is the driver – the body is the automobile. When the automobile becomes inoperative, the driver does not die along with the car (exclude accidents for the sake of the analogy); he or she simply obtains another car. The Driver persists, even though the automobile does not.
The Good, the Bad, and the Crusades
The body dies. The spirit does not die -at least not right away. When the body de-energizes and decays, as must all living things, the spirit (the holy triad of mind, soul body, and soul) will be granted a new one if it reincarnates into the 3rd Emanation. The soul-body is plainly visible if the perceiver’s reference frame is the 2nd Emanation; but if one is observing from the 3rd Emanation, using only their 3rd Emanation senses, they are effectively blind to what is going on in the 2nd. The organs responsible for sight, sound, and smell, are not useful tools for interacting with the physical world. No one would think to touch a thought, or a ghost; how is it that anyone can expect to see them with their eyes, or hear them with their ears?
I believe people are capable of ‘seeing’ through the ubiquitous veil of sensory interference that ego puts up in the 3rd Emanation which allows them to perceive and engage 2nd Emanation ‘objects.’ Certain mental dysfunctions cause people to see what is not; on the flipside, special mental acuities exist allowing people possessing them to see what really is there. Freedom from ego is the way to unlocking this faculty in each one of us.
A salient example of the Yin and Yang phenomenon was the Crusades. The crusaders of the First Crusade (1099) committed great evil against the citizens of Jerusalem (Jews, Christians, and Muslims). They murdered nearly everyone – men, women, and children – after taking the city. Furthermore, the nobility and Roman church took advantage of the religious fervour of the lower classes to abet an invasion which was motivated purely by greed. Their terrible deeds notwithstanding, the crusaders returned home with the Arab world’s medical knowledge; enabling Europe to emerge from the medical dark ages. Some good came of the great evil of the Crusades.
Another example is the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre. An opportunistic right-wing U.S. administration used the attacks to gain public support for a new social order wherein the application of due process and constitutional protections for individuals are no longer guaranteed.[xvii] The Bush administration ‘increased’ public safety at the cost of unprecedented levels of government intrusion into the privacy of its citizens. This could be a case where ‘the cure is as bad as the disease,’ and the Yin-Yang is in balance. In fact, it only appears this way: the U.S. already had ample means in place to prevent such an attack; it was a breakdown in collaboration among various security agencies (ego), which was primarily responsible.
Lastly, an example of a lot of good with a little bad: taxation. In the world of egos, aka today’s socio-political climate, taxation is a suicidal word. The party which vows to raise taxes is a party that will not be governing any time soon. Given this, it is understandable that governing-hopefuls avoid the word; however we non-political, straight-up Canadians should not allow ourselves to think this way: taxes are the fairest way to distribute wealth, in the way of services and material support, across society. Extreme inequality of wealth may only be rationalized if extreme inequality among citizens is acceptable. I will stress here that no group or individual can be characterized as better for, or more crucial to, the general health of society than any other. Despite how many of us like to over-value ourselves with respect to the value in others, all are essential, and our mutual engagement is essential. Let the employer/manager see how his/her business runs without any labourers, or the labourers, without any employers/managers. By treating everyone as essential and providing the proper support for material, educational, and healthcare needs, societies renew and strengthen themselves; societies broaden and deepen the resource pool upon which they rely. This promotes social engagement, thereby strengthening a society’s intrinsic vitality.
I said, earlier on, that 3rd Emanation existence is imperfect and time-bound. This does not apply to the intent that engenders them. Intent is 2nd Emanation level; and it could be purely good or purely evil. A simple example is the government policy which has an adverse effect upon some of its citizens, but helps many others. The money budgeted for one program, for example, is not available to finance other programs.
Conversely, entities in the 2nd Emanation can, and do, exist in their pure forms. Consider the components of the atom. Electrons are negative-charge particles; distinct from one another. Protons are positive- charge particles, also distinct from one another. Protons and electrons exist at the level of the 2nd Emanation in their pure state; but in the 3rd combine to form atoms. The fact that things can exist in pure form is a distinguishing feature of the 2nd Emanation.
The Soul Body
The soul-body relates to the physical body in the way that an entity in Plato’s world of Ideas relates to his world of Forms – the perfect expression, imperfectly expressed. The ‘imperfection’ of the 3rd is why everything material ages and passes away. Because all things pass, how can anyone expect to live forever?
In the greatest of goods there is a little evil; the reverse might also be true. This is Yin-Yang. That is why Plato averred nothing in his world of Ideas could be copied perfectly into his world of Forms. Something is invariably ‘corrupted’ in the translation.
The soul is to the body what the Sun is to the solar system: without it, the body would be lifeless. The soul is an energy matrix. Its function might best be described as a ‘karmic’ magneto; able to accept and to generate energy – positive or negative. The quality of the energy it accepts and generates is determined by the ‘egoicity’[xviii] of the mind. Because the soul is energy, it has the potential to remain active, and to persist forever in its current form.
The soul’s quality is changeable; its compositional matrix being determined by the modality of the soul-sheath. The soul’s modality is determined by the accumulation and character of the choices one makes. Put another way, the soul’s modality will be egoic to the extent the mind’s is.
The soul’s direction of rotation (soul-spin) determines whether it is placing positive, or negative energy, onto the Grid (and in the process, developing its modality). At the end of our soul’s gestation period – aka our physical lifespan – a general tendency will have been established according to the number of times we chose to do good rather than evil, the number of times we chose selflessness over selfishness.
The post-gestational quality of your mind, soul, and soul-body is likely fixed; because you are no longer obliged to choose among two mutually exclusive, competing modes of consciousness, as you are while in 3rd Emanation form. If you were a “baddie” on Earth, if you were, on the balance, ruled by ego, your soul will continue to generate negative energy with an intensity determined by your soul spin’s rotational velocity. If, on the other hand, you sought to be a good person on Earth; if you generally sought to give, rather than take, to understand rather than to be understood, to forgive rather than to be forgiven,[xix] then you will certainly experience an intensification of joy and peace of mind in the next phase of your life. In the worldly phase, you were blessed every time you chose to do good rather than to do evil; every time you put the needs of others ahead of your own.
At this point, it is worth recalling that the most likely fate awaiting the predominantly evil, aka ego-conscious, post-natal soul, is that it will eventually consume itself and become lifeless; the mind and soul-body along with it. The spirit will persist, for a time, as a negative entity in torment, interacting with the energies of like spirits. Most Faiths believe something of the sort. Despite my expectation for utter disintegration of the egoic spirit, God may have something different in mind. With God, anything is possible.
A teacher of the Course in Miracles once told me that the soul cannot be destroyed. If that is correct, then negative soul spin and negative energy are not fatal; the type of energy being stored up and disseminated by the soul would be of no consequence. The soul does persist beyond physical death, but it is the quality and duration of its afterlife that is in question, and over which the teacher and I differ in our opinion.
The soul that generated negative energy on Earth will continue to do so in the afterlife (2nd Emanation), right up to the moment it consumes itself. Conversely, the soul that predominantly generated positive energy on Earth will be generating and receiving positive energy in the afterlife. While negative energy does indeed energize the soul body, it does so in the way refined sugar energizes –without providing bodily nourishment. Obliged to nourish itself, the physical body begins to consume its own fat and muscle tissue, progressively enfeebling itself. The soul body, on a negative energy diet, in like manner, will begin to consume its own matrix in search of the nourishment the soul is not capable of providing.
It is incumbent upon us to choose non-egoic consciousness and behaviours, in order to facilitate our soul’s generation and reception of positive energies; providing nourishment to our permanent selves. A healthy spiritual diet, which comes of the intention to do good, will ensure our continuance beyond physical death; and by virtue of the positive energies our souls are generating and disseminating across the Grid, we will be helping others to achieve the same.
We know that some collaboration among individuals is necessary to create life in the 3rd Emanation – excepting of course among entities that are asexual. “Create” is not technically correct, however, since the life being ‘created’ existed in its spiritual form (the triad) in the Prime and 2nd Emanations, before appearing being instantiated in the 3rd. The soul animates the human body, and the body’s incarnation on Earth requires the sexual union of two individuals. Sexual union is requisite to the propagation of most species. The individual so ‘created’ is a 3rd Emanation instance of the individual’s permanent being. The process of 3rd Emanation instantiation is an intermediary step belonging to a greater process. What we call ‘birth,’ is more properly described as the ‘extension’ of our pre-existing spiritual being into the 3rd Emanation. God is unitary and eternal. Everything that is an attribute of God must have existed, in one form or another, for as long as God has. God in fact did not create life. God extended life – His Life. When we say, “God creates” we are in fact describing the act of moulding that which already exists, into new forms. Likewise, everything we create is a rendering of that which already exists, into new forms. This process is known in the canon of physics law as the Conservation of Mass and Energy, described by Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc2.
Ultimately, then, God is all there is, and we are all a part of God. God’s Love for His creation, Agape, is the most fundamental operative of the universe and responsible for all the goodness, both realized and anticipated, within it.
The fact that life can be created between two people who hardly know each other, let alone love each other, is further demonstrative that what is created in the 3rd Emanation, is insignificant in comparison to the spiritual “substrate” underlying it. The holy triad, the spirit, of an individual has existed within God from the ‘beginning.’ Whereas the duration of the physical body is like the arc of a circle, having a discrete beginning and end, the spirit, or soul body, which it gives rise to it is like the circle itself: comprised of an infinite number of arcs, each with their own beginning and end points. Spirits are ageless. They have no beginning and no end. So, when I use the term “create” with respect to God’s activity, or ours, I really mean to extend that which already exists, into new forms.
Our bodies do not even qualify as a low-definition image of our soul bodies. When compared to the substantiality of the soul body, the material body pales to the quality of illusion – a wisp of smoke, nothing more. This must have been why Jesus was so focused on ‘the heart’ – and by this I believe he meant the spirit – in everyone he met. He knew that what was visible to the eye represented so little of the complete package that, per se, it was of little significance; rather more of a distraction than anything else. What was invisible to the eye, the soul body, was much, much more significant and worthy of attention.
It was much more real.
The preceding paragraphs answer the question, “Did God create or extend the Life that existed within Him?” We know that God could not have been created, and since God comprises all life and is all life, then all life existed with God from the very beginning. What is constantly changing and what we refer to as ‘creation,’ is the newest instance of something that already existed. Things are born; they grow, mature, and then die. Species appear and disappear. Everything at this level is transitory; however, every living thing is based upon a very specific blueprint- the mind/soul/soul body Triad.
Why things change, how things change – these considerations are within the purview of science and the humanities. Science is continually illuminating the material world, and may have begun to get a sense of something significant existing outside its traditional purview – a sense of the Divine, perhaps. Science will one day discover more of what lay beyond the 3rd Emanation, to wit: more of the 2nd Emanation. Did God create all of this? Well, yes and no. God extended life, and life is extending itself. Like God, all of life’s attributes have existed since the beginning.
The Mind – The Prime Triumvir
I have described how the soul relates to the spirit, and how our the 2nd Emanation spirit (triad) relates to its physical, 3rd Emanation instance. It is now time to establish how personality is involved. Our personality is reflected in the choices we make, and also in the way we interact with and react to the world. But personality is a behavioural construct: and we humans do not always act in accordance with it: the most callous individual might occasionally empathize and commiserate; the most sympathetic individuals can, at times, act or speak cruelly. How might we account for these reversals in our normal patterns? It is because personality is not the person and that personality does not ultimately determine the choices we make. ‘Personality’ is the result of the mind’s choice to be egoic or non-egoically conscious. The mind’s choice determines how the individual interprets and responds in a particular engagement, and therefore, the outward form of ‘personality.’ But the mind, the I AM, is the chooser.
The mind is not the ego. The ego, like the personality, is a construct; it is not a part of who we truly are. It serves, at minimum, to differentiate each from the other, but, at the point of total reconciliation with all that is (aka God-consciousness), the ego has little relevance. We no longer think of ourselves as Joe or Josephine; we just think. We just are.
Our actions reflect how we have chosen. Our actions are the ‘fruit;’ not the proverbial tree. Ego is a 2nd Emanation phenomenon, and like all 2nd Emanation phenomena, there is an immutable something in the Prime Emanation which gives rise to it. Ego is a form of consciousness; but consciousness itself presupposes it. Consciousness belongs to the Prime Emanation. Consciousness – the I AM – is who we are. The mind may be differentiated into two distinct forms: egoic, and non-egoic, according to the way it is choosing to be conscious. The mind is what does the choosing; therefore the mind is who we are.
The mind observes, evaluates what it observes, and imagines; it discerns but does not judge, it imagines, and then creates, what is not. The mind is consciousness. Consciousness is I am. Consciousness is who we are. Consciousness is what we are.
We’ll shelve the discussion of ego for now. Suffice it to say that the ego is comparable to the Faustian version of a bad angel perched on the character’s left shoulder, opposite the good angel sitting on the right. The ego is the ‘fruit’ of who we are only for as long, and as often, as we are listening to the bad angel.
God’s purpose is to create. It is likewise our purpose. God ‘creates’ by extending Himself. In extending Himself, He created us; thus we are “made in His image.” Free will gives us the choice, and the opportunity, to create what we will. What we will is truly an extension of ourselves, if and only if, we are non-egoic. We would therefore create, as God creates; experience, as God experiences: experiencing what our minds have chosen to create.
Depending on the choices we make and the consequences of those choices, we will experience an emotional reaction; repeated often enough, the emotional reaction becomes our default emotional state. Our default emotional state ‘colours’ the lens through which we view the world; but the quality of our lens, the clarity it affords for seeing the world and people as they truly are, is determined by our choice of consciousness. It is our mind choosing whether we are true to God and ourselves (the exact same thing) or whether we are going to construct and ‘live’ an ego-contrived illusion.
The choices we make have the effect of imparting a positive or negative momentum to the soul. We know which way our souls are spinning by virtue of how we are feeling. I believe feelings are the expression of changes in the soul’s energy-state: comparable to the generation of heat from exothermic reactions, or the absorption of heat in endothermic reactions. Humans will absorb from, or express to others, sadness, happiness, anger – any of the emotions humans can express. If this is true, there is a most significant inference to be made:
If you are feeling angry, sad, anxious, or alienated, it is ultimately by your own choice. You can only feel this way if you have first made the decision to be conscious of these things, and not something more pleasing. Your chosen mode of consciousness is imparting a negative impetus to your soul, and draining it of the energy of Creation. Conversely, being happy, showing love, understanding, mercy, forgiveness, and so on, is presupposed by your choosing to be non-egoic. This puts a positive spin on your soul and is a regenerative influence upon your soul’s constitutional matrix. You will ensure a positive soul spin by showing love. Be ever-ready to offer it. Love has always been a gift from the soul; it is not something which can be taken or earned. I believe that the Holy Spirit is the incarnation of Love.
Here’s how I think it works: Giving expends energy of the positive ilk, producing an energy-packet loss in your soul that is immediately replaced with an infusion of Divine Love. The Love of the Divine, Agape, is all around you. It surrounds and infuses givers the way water surrounds and infuses fish. It enters your soul whenever you make room for it; and you can only make room for it by giving. When you give, you are not seeking to be filled; replenishment just happens. This is why truly giving people are never truly exhausted – they always have it within them to give more, when the situation demands. This is why the ultimate selfish act, in the way of doing what is truly best for yourself, is altruism. You are, with each act of giving, being replenished with the Love of the Divine.
In order to be refreshed and revitalized, you must give without conditions, or the expectation that your giving will be properly (in your opinion) acknowledged by the recipient.
The Knower and the Known
The defining attribute of the mind is the capacity for awareness –the capacity for knowing. The mind is consciousness itself, and belongs to the Prime Emanation. It is, ultimately, who you are. It is crucial to differentiate between what is known, and the mind that knows it. This is what I hope to convince you of:
Your thoughts are not you, and you are not your thoughts.
You are, however, the owner of your thoughts, and as such, you are obliged to manage them. You must choose which thoughts to direct your attention toward(to be conscious of) and to develop, and which ones to release. That is what the mind is supposed to do. The mind is the Knower. It is a question of the difference between consciousness, and consciousness of…you are consciousness, the I AM.
A metaphor may be helpful:
The painter has a palette containing a set of many colours. The painter will choose from these colours according to what it is he/she wishes to create on the canvas. The painter will deem which colours are appropriate to the final product. The final product is that which the painter has deliberately formed the intention to create.
The painter is the Knower, the Mind – you. The appropriateness, of a particular colour, to what you are producing, is determined by your mode of consciousness: egoic or non-egoic. The colours on the palette are your thoughts. The ones you dwell upon are the ones you choose. These you paint your world with. The ‘painting’ is the world you are creating for yourself.
Thoughts are no more the Knower, than the palette of colours or the painting, is the painter. The painter’s subject could be anything; from the world to the painter herself; regardless, it can never amount to being anymore than a painting. Not one of us could confuse the painting for the painter; how is it that we are able to confuse our thoughts and perceptions for who we are? Consciousness is the painter. Consciousness is who we truly are. I AM. Only ego is capable of believing in I AM THIS, or I AM THAT. Truly conscious people are not limited by ego; therefore the I AM…
We are, however, able to infer a painter’s intent from their painting, and from their intent, the aspect of consciousness that the painter has chosen; Intent is the Knower’s state of consciousness: the mood, as it were, of the I AM. Intent defines the connection of the Knower to the World in which the Knower lives and interacts. The aspect of the Knower is changeable, and, it follows, the quality of its connection to the world. The Knower, however, is unchangeable and permanent.
The Emanations Model Revisited
The soul of the individual exists in the Prime Emanation. It is uncreated, undifferentiated, and utterly reconciled with God. The soul has all of the Prime Emanation’s potentials: positive and negative, good and evil, etcetera – as yet undifferentiated. The definitive attribute of all living things is that they have souls; for without souls they would be lifeless. The soul provides the energy, the mind provides the awareness, and the soul body is the individual’s 2nd Emanation instance and 3rd Emanation blueprint.
This perspective obliges me to recall the fallaciousness of our country’s legal distinction between the fetus and the person. Whereas Canadian law provides that the fetus is a person only upon separation from the mother; given what we know of the soul, we are obliged to admit the individual is a ‘living’ entity, from the precise moment of conception, onward. That it is reliant upon the mother to support its development for a short while, is no more reason to deny its right to life than it is to deny that right to any person who cannot look after themselves and depends on others in order to survive.
Without a soul, the individual is lifeless. Conversely, and more to the point, with respect to the legal definition as issue here, with a soul, the individual is alive.
The distinction between fetus and person is at the same time both arbitrary and foolish. If left to its own devices, the fetus will separate itself from the mother in less than a year. It will dedicate itself, the entire time it is in the womb, exclusively to being capable of living on its own; independent of the mother. It is only by our direct interference, with rare exceptions, that this does not happen. To conclude, therefore, that what is being fashioned in the womb is not a person until a certain time afterwards, is arbitrary, and runs completely afoul of reason. The Canadian Charter expressly upholds the human rights of individuals. It expressly prohibits the discriminatory application of these rights with respect to the disabled. The individual inside the womb is, for a short while, ‘disabled;’ while it is developing, it is relying on the mother’s assistance to eat and breathe for it. By the Charter, the legal distinction between a ‘fetus’ and ‘person’ is illegal. Only ego is capable of entertaining such blatant disregard, for so obvious a fact. Without a soul, the product of the sexual union of two individuals would remain lifeless. The soul drives the development of the fetal individual, reprising the first act of creation – that of God creating the universe.
The soul is capable of generating both positive and negative energies. The soul links the individual to God and to all Creation through the Grid. Each soul represents a node on the Grid. Soul energy is converted to matter according to Einstein’s famous equation. Souls are therefore the source of all matter and energy – light and dark – comprised of the same material which is the basis of all existence.
The mind of the individual determines which of two possible filters through which it views and interacts with the world. Its job is to actively manage the “gate,” if you will; to be ever vigilant; to keep the gate open to certain kinds of thoughts, while keeping it closed to others, and effectively determining its mode of consciousness. It is not possible for the mind to be operating in both consciousness streams simultaneously, any more than it is to think two thoughts at exactly the same time – still, the mind’s agility is such that it can flip back and forth between the two so quickly that they appear to be concurrent. As with computers, one mind can multitask, but it takes two working in selfless collaboration to truly multiprocess. With respect to the soul’s constitution, the mind is what guides the process of differentiating the soul’s undifferentiated material. It imagines what could be, either for good or for evil, and then creates it. It is the mind’s choosing which is the prime determinant of the constitution, and output, of a particular soul, for better or worse.[xx]
Our emotions, thoughts, and intentions exist in the 2nd Emanation. If perception is reality, then, at this level, the mind is creating that which is compatible with the consciousness mode it has chosen to operate in. When ego is driving the filtering, perception is unreality; therefore, what is created by the ego-bound mind is unreal. There is a feed forward / feedback loop operating throughout the emanations. The general tendency of the mind’s choosing one mode of consciousness over the other determines the soul’s composition; while the soul’s composition influences the general tenor of one’s thoughts. A ‘conscious’ effort to be non-egoic is the only way to improve your soul and mental states. The cultivation of non-egoic consciousness is a form of exercise, just like jogging is: the more you do it, the more you are able to do, and the better you are able to do it. Letting slip into ego, conversely, is analogous to sitting on the couch and operating the remote.
The physical body belongs to the 3rd Emanation. Our brains, and the cellular networks which store our memories, belong here. In the 3rd Emanation, energies interact, combine, and alter form, but nothing remains pure and static for very long. In the 2nd Emanation, things may endure in a state of purity, or impurity; but, in contrast to the 3rd Emanation, their state is unalterable. A defining characteristic of the 3rd Emanation is that it provides opportunity for spiritual development – free will being the catalyst.
Nikos Kazantzakis captures the quintessential purpose of 3rd Emanation existence, in the following passage from his book, The Last Temptation of Christ:
the dual substance of Christ-
the yearning, so human, so superhuman, of man to attain God…
has always been a deep, inscrutable mystery to me.
My principle anguish and source
of all my joys and sorrows
from my youth onward
has been the incessant,
merciless battle between
the spirit and the flesh…[xxi]
I take the “spirit and the flesh” to mean the two sides of the universe’s consciousness dichotomy. Kazantzakis says the soul is the arena in which the universe’s opposing forces vie for influence; but it is the mind where these opposing forces duke it out. It is in the soul where these battles are felt.
- The soul of the individual is the microcosm of the Universal Soul; the undifferentiated substance and motive of God. It is perceivable at the level of the 1st All that is, is, at this level, non-specialized -save for its unique quality as the material from which all other materials and energies derive. It is capable of generating good or evil – positive or negative energies, light or dark energies, or matter in any form. The soul is the life-force, representing the energy on the left side of Einstein’s equation, from which all the materials (and light) of the universe derive.
- The mind of the individual is the microcosm of the Mind of God. It is independent and has the capacity to exercise free will. The mind is the gatekeeper. It chooses how it will be conscious. When we choose ego, we are effectively un-conscious. This simple choice fully informs our interactions with, and view of, the world and God’s creation.
- The soul body of the human individual is the microcosm of the Soul Body of God. It is the blueprint upon which the universe is based. The 2nd Emanation corresponds to Plato’s World of Ideas.
- Together, the soul, mind, and soul-body comprise our spirit, our permanent being, our holy triad.
- The ego is not something we can completely rid ourselves of. Its presence in our spiritual matrix is necessary insofar as it is required to differentiate one individual from every other individual. Fractionation is a feature of the 2nd Emanation; whereas reconciliation is a feature of the Prime Emanation. Ego facilitates the process of distinguishing one soul from every other in the Second, but may interfere with the process of reconciliation in the Prime.
- Ego is, therefore, always with us. We would not be fully conscious, complete beings without it. Our total consciousness is who we totally and truly are. Egoic consciousness is limited because its perspective is limited: it is self-centred. It cannot think inclusively or progressively. It can only think in exclusive, reactionary terms. Whereas ego-free individuals proact, the ego-bound react. The tension felt in the mind is the result of life’s unmitigated requirement for us to choose, minute by minute, act by act, between egoic and non-egoic perspectives. Ego functions best in providing consciousness of other, albeit dubious alternatives. This is necessary to the exercise of free will.
- The ego will be the first voice you hear speaking in your mind; the trick lies in making sure it is not the last you listen to, before you act. The ego is necessary to the implementation of free will and the prosecution of God’s ultimate purpose -to extend Love and Creation. The presence of ego abets this process, albeit in a backhanded sort of way, by permitting us to know the difference; presenting the opportunity to not extend God’s Love, and to repurpose Creation for selfish, ultimately destructive ends.
- Our human experience appears to begin with the ego and non-ego in a healthy balance; but the mind could develop an unhealthy predilection for egoic perceptions because of the adversity individuals inevitably encounter(the cluttering of John Locke’s tabula rasa with ‘experience’). This is simply a defence mechanism, more often than not. The ego-bound mind makes-believe ego is the individual’s saviour, but in fact is leading the individual away from salvation. The individual’s true saviour is non-ego. The saviour is who you really are. Some refer to the non-egoic mind as the higher-self. Just to be clear: remember there are not two selves; only one self, the I AM, with two potentials.
Purity is a state supportable in the 2nd Emanation. The state of the soul in the 1st Emanation at the time of physical death may remain static until such time the 2nd Emanation spirit is instantiated again into the 3rd Emanation, where the opportunity is presented for change; thus further reconciliation with God.
This means if you were generating, on the whole, positive energies during your time on Earth, you will most likely continue to do so in the 2nd Emanation -potentially forever. If you were generating negative energies for the most part, you are likely to continue doing so from then on -right up to the point where your soul is consumed by the “all-sugar” diet you have been feeding it.[xxii] For these people, their entire essence might be permanently destroyed.
It is possible, perhaps even likely, that God provides these souls with another opportunity in the 3rd, sometime down the road. Reincarnation is intended to provide opportunity to break the ‘sugar-addiction,’ before the point of no return is reached. I want to believe that, in the end, no one is left behind; that we will all enjoy eternal life and a general state of wellbeing. The purpose of life is a life of purpose,[xxiii] but the goal of life is to create and to share happiness. This is not a choice God can make for us. It is rather a choice each one of us must make for ourselves; one that God hopes we will. Why else do you suppose He would have created us?
- All that we need do to progress spiritually, is prevent ego from having the final say. To give it the final say is tantamount to giving your five-year-old daughter the final say on how to spend your weekly paychecks. The ego is too limited to manage our lives properly.
- Acknowledge the ego for what it is: a state of mind framed by only two things: the pursuit of immediate gratification and the pathological addiction to control. Both are anathema to the spirit. The mind bound by ego would actually trade its entire future for a bowl of lentil soup.[xxiv]
- The ego is innocent because it is not equipped to properly appreciate anything other than how things affect it. It cannot intend evil because it is only concerned with what it wants, and what it does not want. But it can still do evil, because morality and ethicality are considerations of the non-egoic sort.
- We are consciousness. The mind chooses the form our consciousness takes. We can be truly conscious and alive (non-ego), or truly unconscious and dead (ego). Free will was given us by God so that we can choose how we want to be; but consciousness is what we are. The mind is the facilitator of free will and the arbiter of modes of consciousness.
- Together, the triad of mind, soul, and soul-body comprise the complete individual.
- The physical body is 3rd Emanation expression of the 2nd Emanation spirit; Plato’s perfect idea, imperfectly expressed.
- We avail ourselves of Divine wherewithal simply by intending to do good. Behind the intention to be good, is non-ego. It is the distraction of ego that constricts the flow of nourishing energies to our souls over the Grid connection.
- We cannot hear or sense God at all if we attend to ego because it never stops talking. While we are listening to the ego, we cannot be conscious of, or in communication with, anything, or anyone else.
- The ego does not care to know the truth. The ego might tell us, for example, that there is no global warming; or that social tiering is not detrimental to the viability of societies. But the deleterious consequences of global warming are already quite visible and gaining momentum. It is self-evident that two-tiered societies imply the existence of two kinds of citizen, when there can only be one, just as there is only one type of human being. And of course, only ego is capable, out of its unbridled ignorance, to proclaim that there is no God.
In order to cultivate non-egoic consciousness and become appreciative of the beauty in life and in one another, we need only self-monitor. We simply detour our thinking every time it becomes self-centred. That’s it. The moment we actively desist from egoic modes of thinking, awareness of the Divine spontaneously begins. The Divine wants to guide and assist every soul through its evolution, but the ego is concerned only with what it judges itself to be lacking in; this based on a very limited capability for knowing. It does not listen to the Divine, or for that matter, to anyone else. Being thus limited, the ego is unable to understand how it is solely responsible for the harm it is doing to the individual.
When we are non-egoic, we increase the capacity of our Grid connection and our capability to accept the Divine Energy (Chi) abounding in the universe. When we fall back into ego, we constrict the flow of Chi through us, and provide impedance to the circulation of Chi in the universe.
Hamlet’s tragic flaw was that he could not make up his mind. Rather than accept and act upon what his intuition and the ghost of his dead father were telling him, Hamlet alternated between rashness and indecision, with tragic results. Each of us has a tragic flaw, and we should determine what that is. We need to do this so that we may progress in our spiritual evolution toward self actualization, joy, and eternal life.
Nothing can remain alive if it continues to expend more energy than it receives, and nothing dies while it is energized. We are properly energized through the act of giving. In the act of giving, we function as conduits of God’s Love. We are choosing to fulfill the very intent God has in creating us: to extend His Love.
The hamartia of humankind is that we are afraid to let go of the very thing which is denying us, our loved ones, and the world we live in, most of the joy and beauty of living – ego. It is the hubris of ego that is preventing us from seeing ‘The Garden’ all around us, and from appreciating that we are destroying it. It is the pathological self-focus of ego that prevents our consciousness of a universal and timeless truth:
You gain manifold by giving.
This is not counter-intuitive; but it is counter-ego. Ego is limited in its awareness and can only appreciate scarcity and separation. That is not to say ego is incapable of giving. It does mean, however, that ego cannot give without attaching conditions, in order to get something in return.
It is so simple a notion, I cannot believe it took this writer as long as it has, to grasp what Jesus, Gandhi, Mohammed, John Lennon, all Faiths, and the Christ, are clearly messaging us:
- Give without expectation; you will receive without limit
- If you are prepared to give all, be prepared to receive all as well
- Take, and all that you have will be taken from you
What you call your God, how you worship your God, the things you do to honour your God -these are all expressions of one root process: Love. Show Love. Give Love. Unconditionally. Never Force. Never Take. The tenets and outward forms of a given Faith are not the most important consideration, for without Love underlying and supporting them, they cannot be bona fide tenets of Faith.
This means, for example, that there can never be a holy war; for war is violent and coercive; neither of these being attributes of unconditional love. Still, the adherents of many Faiths make war upon one another. Religious wars are about coercion and ego. They are not about faith or truth. The Bible, for example, tells us to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” not, “Do violence unto others before they do violence unto you.” I am certain the other Faiths also express this, each in their own way.
There can never be a just or holy war.
There can never be social exclusion of individuals, any individual, because of who they are (this is not to say, however, that certain individuals should not be kept separate from society, and given the opportunity to atone, if they have violently victimized others). Love is boundless and all-inclusive. If you show only love, extend love (Love, I believe, is personified in the Holy Spirit), then you can never go wrong. You could never, say, start a war over religion; you would readily accept the religious practices of others, and never try to force your belief system upon them. You would help them to build their own place of worship. You would never tell someone they are going to hell because they call their God, “Allah,” or because they call Jesus, “God.” You would allow them to worship and come to God in the way they need to, since this is entirely between them and God, and there is no place for a middleman. If the person in question shows love – does right by others, and does right by Mother Earth – he/she is extending love – God’s Love. What can anyone possibly find wrong in that?
It is possible not to believe in God at all. I do not believe God will condemn anyone for that. It is the effect of egoic entrenchment to block one’s sense of God, and in allowing that, we condemn ourselves. By wallowing in ego, we actively deny ourselves the Grid’s positive, soul-nurturing aspects; most especially the life-sustaining energies that circulate all around us. At the same time, we increase our exposure to the Grid’s negative, soul-denaturing aspects; in particular, energies that are soul-corrosive: anger, jealousy, greed, callousness, dishonesty. I do not believe the God who made us would condemn us; our fate is determined wholly on the basis of our choices and the application of free will.
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.[xxv]
An apathetic mindset will conduce a soul-energy ‘slow leak,’ arising out of making and persisting in the choice not to act.
The apathetic soul maintains a tenuous connection to the Grid and is no longer supplying or receiving much energy. This state of non-contribution allows evil to do what it will, unrestrained.
The mind and soul body reflect the state of the apathetic soul as clearly as the car’s headlights reflect the state of its battery. Is the apathetic soul condition resolvable? Is it recoverable? The answer must be “yes,” since with God, all things are possible. Jesus, was, for a time, fully resurrected in the 3rd Emanation, three days after leaving it. If it is possible for Jesus to be resurrected, then it is possible for the apathetic soul.
Death is the absence of energy. The apathetic soul is not completely devoid of energy. It is, rather, ‘asleep.’ It can be re-awakened, if aid is provided. We will know when the apathetic soul is alive again, the moment the individual begins to re-engage the world and to create. Their soul has reacquired its capacity for generating positive energy and for extending God’s Love.
Clearly, apathy is an egoic response. Ego is not truly concerned with anything besides itself. Its concern for other people and things is completely couched in the value they represent to the ego. Remember, in the egoic extreme, an individual sees the world as being all about them. In the non-egoic extreme, individuals are all about the world, and each other, without ever having to think about it.
The Grid Connection
The Grid is the infrastructure that supports the circulation of Divine Energy among all things with souls. Depending on the direction of rotation, a particular soul contributes positive-light (Love-Creative) energy or negative-dark (Hatred-Destructive) energy. The third possible condition is apathy, in which the soul ostensibly does nothing, and in doing nothing, is abetting the progress of evil. When the soul spins positively, it gives and receives the motive energy of creation. The relationship of the soul to the Grid reflects the intimate relationship between God and what God creates, or rather, extends: Himself. This relationship points to the definitive attribute of all life:
Everything which is an attribute of God is also an attribute of that which is created by God, since everything created by God exists within God.
It is similar to the concept of inheritance in the object-oriented program model. If God is immortal, and God creates a soul, then the soul is immortal -because God is. God wants to create because God has a mind which is forever imagining, and a soul ever-ready to provide the loving impetus for bringing into being what His mind imagines. God is able to create because God is alive. The individual is able to create because the individual is alive. For as long as the individual is creating, their soul is being replenished with the energy of creation. The energy each soul is generating and expending goes throughout the Grid. The universal inventory of energy is constant; however the quality of that inventory is affected by the contribution of each and every soul. Over time, the Universal Energy Balance(UEB) will shift somewhat, favouring the negative or the positive, evil or good, dark or light, according to the overall net effect of these choices.
All beings that cannot exercise free are contributors too; however their energy contribution is fixed in quantity and quality. Unless their numbers change, their contribution will not impact the UEB in either direction.
Karmic energy is part of Divine Energy. We affect the Grid by choosing to do evil or good; by giving and receiving, with or without conditions. Right action enhances our Grid connection’s ability to channel positive energies while at the same time impairing our connection’s ability to channel negative energies. This is done by modulating the soul sheath’s polarity. A soul is alive for as long as it remains positively energized, and a soul will remain positively energized for as long as its Grid connection is open to the transmission of positive energies.
It was not ego-consciousness which compelled God to create us; in fact it was precisely the opposite. If God/ the Divine were driven by ego, He might not have created us at all, or if He had, it would have been for the express purpose of entertaining Himself with worship and cries for help; helping those who worship him and encouraging them to perpetrate great evil upon all those who do not – including innocent children. As ridiculous as the thought of God behaving so egoically is, the egoic pattern of behaviour matches, to a great extent, the God of the Old Testament. It is more likely the God of the Old Testament reflects the ego of the Hebrew elite: if God really was so beholden to his own ego, He would not have given us free will, because He would have wanted to micromanage His creation; to have absolute control, just as a puppeteer does over his puppets. If God were all ego, He would have created only one kind of person, and allowed only one type of culture, since uniformity makes the job of control orders of magnitude simpler. On the contrary, God appears to have included variation among the primary attributes of creation. Variation is everywhere – even ‘no two snowflakes are the same.’ How many mistakes do you suppose the Big Guy is capable of making? God must have seen wisdom in diversity within and among species, still people of every sort (save for those not bound by ego) wallow in bigotry, and continue to miss the point He is making. People will even resort to violence in order to convince others that theirs is the only path to God – His ubiquitous example notwithstanding. This is the face that the egos of men have put on religion – this is not, however, God’s Face.
God made man in His own image,
Then men made God in theirs.
Some did get the point. They were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, adherents of Faiths long forgotten, or even Beatles and Led Zepplin-ers. They have a sense of the connection between all people and all living things. They feel what other souls feel. The empathic sensitivity afforded by an open Grid connection motivates them to help, rather than to take advantage of, other souls, because whatever they do to others, it would be as if it were being done to them. Given this, they would want as much good for others as they would for themselves.
The Grid is the “circuitry” conducting Karmic energy throughout the Universe. As you sow, so shall you reap, Jesus once said; a reference to Karma. This begs the question: “If Karma is real, how is it that Jesus, who showed kindness to the Romans and to his own people, would be rewarded for his goodness with ridicule, calumny, abandonment, and a most violent death? How is that Karma? Jesus did not appear to reap what he had plainly sown.
Karma does not always provide immediate results. To borrow from yet another of Jesus’ metaphors:
the farmer plants the seed but waits until harvest to reap his reward. At harvest, he reaps something much greater than the seed he planted…
Now, that is often how Karma works: in the 3rd Emanation, you cannot expect to receive immediate and equal value for what you have given.
As for Jesus, he gave all of his love, strength, courage, and wisdom. In the end he was rewarded with all the love, strength, courage, and wisdom of the universe. Because he gave so thoroughly, his connection with God and the universe would have been wide-open and thoroughly receptive to the positive, nutritional, sustaining energies of the universe.
Jesus’ karma permitted him to interact with 3rd Emanation entities even after physical death (Mary Magdalene, the Apostles) . In the 2nd Emanation, since things can exist in their pure forms, Jesus might now experience pure joy, love, and knowing (Faith by another name); tools with which to counter opposing energies and continue the eternal struggle to keep evil in check. He and other kind souls are still fighting to maintain a proper universal balance. He need no longer experience the doubt he felt in the Garden of Gethsemane; nor the anger he felt toward the temple money-changers; security, certainty, and happiness are Jesus’ eternal reward. It is the goodness he gave to others, visited upon himself.
From the standpoint of the Emanations model:
The Grid paradigm reveals two major attributes of God, which, being attributes of God, are attributes of all that is within God; which is to say, everything created by God:
- We are intrinsically immortal; it is only by our own choices that it is possible for us to forfeit immortality.
- In giving and receiving without condition, we enhance our Grid connection’s affinity for positive energy, thus availing ourselves of the wherewithal which is ever present in the universe. The attachment of conditions to giving and receiving is an attribute of ego, and creates resistance to positive energy exchanges as it preferences the negative kind.
The corollaries are:
- By giving and receiving with conditions, or by doing evil, we cultivate a bias in our Grid-connection for channelling negative energies. This could, potentially, result in our soul’s utter disintegration.
- Negative energies energize; but they cannot provide what is needed to sustain and renew the soul’s matrix. Like sugar, negative energies provide fuel without providing nourishment. Negative energies are corrosive to the soul’s constitutional matrix. They permit the soul’s matrix to degrade to the point that, like a dead battery, it can no longer provide or hold a charge.
We have the potential to be fully empowered, by God and the universe, because we are a part of God and the universe. The phenomenon of empowerment suffices to explain how people like Abraham, Joseph (son of Jacob), Moses, Solomon, Jesus, Mohammed, Ghandi, and John Lennon, were capable of doing such great things – though none of them, during their 3rd Emanation instances, were perfect people. These great souls were not larger than life people which God parachuted into the throng of humankind; they were ordinary people who came to fully sense their relation to God. In that they were special. Awareness of God is what opened them up to the power of God and the universe. These people became conduits; choosing to allow God’s Love and power to flow through them, never resisting. They might not have even know it was from God, but they do now. The sort of “greatness” these particular souls exhibited, all of us have the capacity for – otherwise we would not be human. We need only listen for God’s voice. Some might prefer to call this, “the voice of the universe,” or their “inner voice.”
Jesus once said:
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel,
but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house (Mathew 5:15).
Well, the candle has already been lit for you; it is what gives you life. When you choose not to show love to the world, you place a cover over that “candle.” No light will escape; but neither can any enter, and you imperil your own existence. When you choose to block the flow of God’s love, you at the same time prevent yourself from receiving it.
In fact, “opening up” amounts to no more than the relinquishment of the ego’s control over your mind, to the ‘light’ within you. Allow it to work, to do its thing. Do not become anxious over how your light might be perceived by others, for that is an egoic attempt to control them. Remember that ego is pathologically addicted to control, especially over others.
No human being exists in isolation. Humans are connected to and exchange energy with God and all other souls in the universe, over the Grid. Separation is an illusion that can only achieve credence inside the sandbox of the egoic mind. Free will allows us to choose the type of energy we exchange with others over the Grid.
Predestination and Free Will
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
How might predestination and free will be reconciled? In truth, they cannot. Predestination describes an a priori process of Divine selection which determines who is going to Heaven, and who is going to hell. The Calvinist doctrine, in its purest form, proposes that you do not get into Heaven unless you have been selected by God –this is established before you actually do a thing to deserve it. Potentially, despite a lifetime of selfless dedication to the cause of the vulnerable, someone like Mother Theresa could still be hell-bound because of an arbitrary choice. This clearly violates the principle of free will and the process of Karma. Calvinism unwittingly allows for the possibility of a preselected Hitler getting into Heaven, and an unselected Ghandi, Mohammed, or Jesus, going to the other place. Really?
A note to philosopher Calvin: Come on, man!
If Jesus doubted in the Garden of Gethsemane, then afterwards resolved to fulfill his purpose, he was exercising free will –the gift ‘the Father’ gave him. He could just as easily have chosen not to fulfill his mission. His own soul’s status was determined by the choice he made to extend his consciousness, therefore his actions, beyond the limits of ego. His choice was what gained him entry, or re-entry, into Heaven.
If, as some ideologies posit, the human soul experiences multiple incarnations along its path to God-consciousness, then the existence of predestination could be supported in this way:
During the nth-1 instantiation of Jesus’ spirit (his nth incarnation being the one in which he was crucified), he so nearly succeeded in achieving God consciousness that it was nearly certain the next time around he would. Not a gimme, mind you; but about as certain as the team leading by ten scores with a few seconds remaining may be of victory. Jesus himself doubted, just before crossing the finish line. Jesus chose to fulfill God’s purpose.
I do not support Calvin’s doctrine of predestination. Even if Jesus had reincarnated several times prior to 6 B.C.E., moving incrementally closer to God-consciousness each time; even if, on the basis of his previous life’s accomplishments, it was a mathematical certainty the next time around he would be the window through which God’s Light shines upon the world, the most crucial and defining act on his part remains the choice he made at Gethsemane, when the opportunity to choose anything but the cross was still his.[xxvi]
Free will is a primary attribute of Creation and therefore inalterable. Predestination is the appearance of something else. Being an appearance, it lacks substance and is completely false. Predestination and free will are mutually exclusive notions. Predestination cannot be an attribute of Creation if free will is –and I hope I have convinced you that free will is.
Heaven and Hell and What Happens When We Die?
When my youngest daughter was four, she broadsided me with the question every parent must dread having to explain to their child: “Why do people die?” To this I replied, “People are like caterpillars. When they die they go into a cocoon and come out a butterfly,” meaning, of course, an angel. This made sense to her. Until that moment, I had never thought of death in that way.
Years later, my mom asked me why she had to die? Cancer was only a few days away from taking her, and I well remember the aspect of innocent enquiry her face took on as she asked the question. It was as if she had come full circle in her own life and was once again a child; her spirit leaving the world in the exact same way it had entered.
I am not inclined to believe in a place called ‘Heaven;’ or a region within the 2nd Emanation, spatially separate from everything else; where Heaven is located. If a place like Heaven (a utopic place) exists, then it is coextensive with everything else in the 2nd. Heaven must exist within God, not apart from God. It is most certainly not a place where God can sit on a throne. I am inclined to believe the terms “Heaven” and “hell” are referring to polar energy-states, rather than spatially separate areas in the 2nd Emanation. Heaven and hell are distinguishable in the same way the subcomponents of the atom are distinguishable from the perspective of quantum physics. The spatial relationships existing among the subcomponents of the atom are of such a nature that, among all sciences and religions, only quantum physics is able to properly characterize them.
One important difference between Newtonian(classical) physics and quantum physics is the ability to fix an atomic sub particle’s location in time. Just as no two components of the atom may be in the same place at precisely the same moment without denaturing or destabilizing the atom, Heaven and hell must either be physically separate – in a Newtonian sense -or they are physically coextensive, while maintaining a quantum-like separation in time.
The Emanations model infers Heaven is all around us. The notion of a ubiquitous Heaven was proposed in the apocryphal Gospel of Judas, where Jesus says,
The Kingdom of Heaven is within you, and all around you.
The substantive and permanent portion of the human individual is the spirit. Although it does not readily lend itself to perception by our physical senses, it nevertheless forms the major portion of what we are. That part of us which is perceivable by the physical senses is a veneer, a container our spirits need to get around in, in the 3rd Emanation. The incarnation of the spirit into its human ‘physical’ form might be an example of Plato’s notion of the imperfect expression of that which is perfect.
Whereas in the 3rd Emanation, the thought inspires the action, in the 2nd Emanation, the thought is the action. In the 3rd Emanation, however, things need to be actuated – pushed or pulled – by some mechanical means, visible or invisible, after the mind has formed the intention to act. In the 2nd Emanation, things happen at the speed of thought. This is incomparably faster than the speed of light.
I believe there have been people who came to be aware of this, and were able to use this 2nd – Emanation attribute to good effect while they were 3rd Emanation – resident. This might account for Jesus’ ability to perform miracles, and to out-think those clever Pharisees and Sanhedrin who were trying to entrap him.
If our consciousness survives physical death, just what sort of life might we then expect? The soul is key. The soul was contained, but is now free of, the limitations of the earth-body. Its functionality does not change after leaving the material body. It remains an integral part of the human spirit.
If our soul spin were negative, we would continue to generate and receive negative energy; we would continue to suffer, and to motivate suffering in others, just as we did on Earth – but with greater speed and efficiency. We might even be able to influence the choices of people in the 3rd Emanation – if they are so impaired by their own ego as to accept our energy. But we will never know joy -the highest attainment of spiritual being. Quite the opposite, we will be miserable; our only respite perhaps being taken in the perverse joy of knowing other souls are miserable too.
In Mathew 8:5-13 Jesus encounters a centurion whose servant is dying. When Jesus offers to go to the centurion’s home, the centurion says it is not necessary, that Jesus need only say the word, and the servant is healed. Jesus appreciated the centurion’s sincerity. “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” The centurion’s faith was knowing; the perceptive capability which comes of a healthy Grid connection and non-egoic consciousness.
Jesus perceived the centurion’s goodness. The centurion similarly perceived the goodness and love in Jesus. The energies of the two worked together to heal the servant. This was how faith made the servant whole again. Perhaps that was why Jesus commonly asked the people he was about to heal, if they (or in the above case, someone who deeply cares about the infirm person) believed that he could heal them. Jesus, the centurion, and the servant were connected to one another, as are all living things with souls, over the Grid. They would have connected intimately, without ever having met before. Both Jesus and the centurion were energetically in tune with one another, and with the servant, or the healing could not have been possible. Because of their great love for one another, they were in fact extending God’s Love across the Grid, from their souls (nodes) to the soul (node) of the servant, and from there into the servant’s 3rd Emanation body. They were simply conduits of God’s Love; and it was God that healed the servant.
Faith is not ‘blind;’ it is knowing. ‘Faith is but the highest level of perceptive acuity – a level that is only possible when Love is the lens through which the mind is perceiving the world. When the mind is in non-ego conscious, Love is the lens through which the world is perceived.
John Lennon of the Beatles shared his own knowledge of the ability of love to ‘conquer all,’ when he sang:
All you need is Love.
Love is all you need.
It really is that simple.
The Laws of Attraction
Opposites attract. Likes repel. Every child with two magnets and a good science teacher will know this. With respect to human behaviour, however, things are a little more complex. The mode of consciousness is the determinant of whether opposites attract and likes repel, or the other way round. In ego mode, opposites do attract, while likes repel; but in non-ego mode, there is affinity for likeness. There is an aversion to opposition which is paralleling the motive of reconciliation.
I use the term ego to describe the mind which is ego-bound. Left entirely to itself, the ego feels inferior around goodness. Ego never likes to feel inferior. Its reaction is to attack the goodness in others, find a way to undermine it, so that it can start to feel good about itself again.
The Three Worlds of Gulliver: In the movie, Gulliver shipwrecks onto the shore of a very strange land. He is different from anyone who lives there -not only in size, being many orders of magnitude larger than a Lilliputian- but also in spirit; Gulliver is motivated to be good, purely for goodness’ sake. He desires no reward. He is a kind-hearted, peaceful man. But the Lilliputians wish to leverage the opportunity presented by his great size and strength in their ongoing war with their neighbours, the Blefuscudians. The two tribes are disputing which end of the egg is the proper end to open for eating. He resolves the dubious conflict without using violence. Since Gulliver refuses to annihilate their enemy, the Lilliputians conclude he is the enemy, and in league with the Blefuscudians. This is the ego’s ‘if you aren’t with me, then you are against me,’ way of thinking. Gulliver is forced to flee Lilliput for his life.
Gulliver had no selfish motive. He desired no personal reward, nevertheless the Blefuscudians and the Lilliputians took to manufacturing sinister ‘realities’ about him. They did this because the notion of someone offering help without conditions or expectation of payback was totally foreign to them and they could not trust it. They made themselves believe, without any facts to support it, that Gulliver had a personal, insidious agenda. At the end of the movie, Gulliver explains this strange phenomenon for the viewer:
“People attack what they don’t understand,” says Gulliver to his friend.
The Lilliputians and their adversaries could not accept that Gulliver had no other concern save for the Lilliputians and Blefuscudians should stop fighting over eggs.
Gulliver’s friend observes how much fear and mistrust there is in the world – everywhere – not just in the Kingdom of Lilliput. He wonders, “How can one overcome so much fear?” Gulliver’s answer:
Gulliver’s story has many parallels to that of Jesus. Whether or not Satan actually met Jesus on a mountaintop and offered him the world if Jesus would bow to him just once, the episode demonstrates the Law of Attraction of Opposites. The goodness of Jesus and the conscientiousness with which he extended it to others is without question. No wonder Satan went after him. Jesus was so intensely good that he drew to himself the attention of the most evil being in existence. This was inevitable. In our interactions with one another we may observe the same sort of thing; however it is not always overt, and people may do it without even realizing it.
Another example is the child abuse accusations targeting Michael Jackson. For the life of me, I cannot believe a person who creates a theme park for children called Neverland, where children never have to grow up, could also have it within them to do such a thing. MJ’s enjoyment of the company of children was not borne of disgustingly perverse, predatory lust; but rather because children would be ‘real’ toward him. Being children, they could have no appreciation of the significance of being one of the greatest artistic talents ever –and one of the wealthiest. They would not swayed by it. They would have no hidden personal agendas. To them, Michael Jackson would be just another adult, and they would behave, in his presence, as children. He wanted to experience, albeit vicariously, their idyllic world -a world he himself could hardly have known, given that he was already working when kids of that age begin elementary school. If there is any truth to the accusations directed at Michael Jackson, that truth weighs heavily on his soul, and will surely affect his afterlife prospects.
Why have so many purveyors of love and compassion met with violent ends? I am thinking not only of Jesus, but also of Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Princess Diana, and many others. There is a saying, “Only the good die young.” Perhaps that is true.
It may be useful to reprise an earlier observation about ego: it is always the first to arrive at a conclusion and the first to speak, because it already has all the ‘facts’ it requires, in order to render judgement. The ego is an incorrigible reactionary; it is loathe to allow time for proper consideration. It already knows what it wants, and that’s all it needs to know. It is crucially important not to allow ego the last word before you speak or act. If you are “quick to judge,” it is because you are allowing your cognitive processing to be short-circuited by ego.
But humans can also display attraction for kindred spirits, or likes. Those projecting goodness attract and are attracted by others who are also projecting goodness. The non-ego conscious individual is sensitive to the interconnectivity of all things. One is never alone even in places where they have never been before, among people they have never met, because they and the people in their physical proximity will readily perceive they have much in common; enough to be friendly and comfortable conversing with one another, if not to view each other as brothers and sisters. In the world of non-ego, one never need fear being judged – what they do might not be for everyone; however what they do is no threat to anyone, and so it is tolerated and accepted. No one is preoccupied with making a name for themselves, because they are consumed with giving their life the kind of meaning and purpose that can only come of providing service to others. Interconnectivity ensures that the good things we do, and the positive energy we generate, can only benefit everyone and every thing. Each time we rise to a non-egoic state of mind, we benefit ourselves and others.
Of the wonderful potentialities and realities that exist in the world, our ego may gain some knowledge, through a trickling down of awareness that has its origins in the non-egoic mind state. In the world of non-ego, diversity replaces uniformity, collaboration replaces competition, tolerance replaces coercion, understanding and compassion replace judgement and condemnation, sharing replaces hoarding. No one, but no one, spends a dime on something that is not needed to survive and develop while there are other people, especially children, in their neighbourhoods and in their world, who do not have what is needed to survive and thrive.
This is not to say that buying luxuries is inherently evil or immoral; neither is it to say being rich or well off is inherently evil and immoral. What is morally reprehensible is accumulating wealth while there are children who are not being properly provided for. In the non-egoic world, no individual would buy that new BMW if they knew the difference in price as compared to a Ford or GM could provide opportunities to children and parents who otherwise not have had them. Those who are not bound by ego will not permit the continuance of a social milieu (poverty) which, being infertile as sand, can only produce unhealthy adults from seeds which contain the blueprint of near-perfection.
An attribute of goodness is that it is cumulative. No act of creation – Creation itself being the quintessential expression of God’s Love -will involve the destruction of any other creation, but might build upon it. Each act of creation brings something into being which previously was not – it is the whole of creation, of God, which is involved in the Holy Spirit’s (aka Love’s) continuous improvement program. Evil, on the other hand, is compelled to destroy that which already exists.
Projection and Resonation
Projection is interjection of your own perceptions, reactions, and fears into someone else’s life experience. It is a subjective (aka egoic) process which always results in a watering down of the truth and consequently, error in judgement. The absence of facts does not greatly concern the projector, because the ego is adept at creating enough ‘facts’ to fit its judgement.
How the ‘target’ is feeling; their motivation, their thoughts – the projectors think they already know. Projectors form judgements which are in fact based on their own expectations, feelings, and motivations. Their judgement of others is a reflection of their own state of mind; not at all that of the person they are judging. Projectors miss important objective clues because they are too busy manufacturing their own. Projection operates very much like a Freudian dream: each personality in the dream is really an aspect of the dreamer’s own consciousness. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel:
Still a man sees what he wants to see,[or dream]
And disregards the rest…[xxvii]
Resonation is the effect someone is having on you. Suppose you encounter a stranger on your morning walk. The stranger wishes you a genuinely warm “Good morning,” as you pass by. Notice how this makes you feel. Now, suppose you are the good natured stranger; wishing others a warm “Good morning,” as you go by. If someone responds with a non-committal stare and silence, or worse, fear because you, a stranger, spoke to them -notice how that makes you feel. This is resonation.
When the energy exchange is positive, you need do nothing – just feel good and go with it. You will pass this energy along to the next people you encounter. On the other hand, when someone puts their negative energy upon you, effort is required on your part to resist responding in kind (egoic response). You will divert or dissipate this energy; your mind and soul collaborating so that your soul will not resonate in the same mode as the offender’s. The most effective way to neutralize the influence of negative energy projection is to extend your mind’s focus past the ego-level response; wallowing in your ego only serves to facilitate the absorption of negative energy into your soul. The attack reveals much about the projector; little to nothing about you. The non-egoic mind will frame its approach to confrontational people with these three notions:
- The confrontational person(s) believe they have a good reason for acting that way, and it is worthwhile to try and determine what the reason is, and
- The reason existed long before you came around, and
- It’s mostly about them; don’t let your ego turn it into something about you.
If you adopt the non-egoic approach with difficult people, what happens is, your soul will quickly ‘catch its breath;’ regaining its positive aspect by a switch in mental focus; from confrontation to resolution, and from ‘righteous’ anger to empathy. You restore your soul. If you return “tit-for-tat,” your soul continues to generate and receive negative, corrosive energy. Your egoic entrenchment is deepened. You learn nothing from the situation, and you have nothing worthy to offer.
The unfriendly person may have just been diagnosed with terminal cancer; or they may have lost their job. Given knowledge of this, would you not respond with sympathy, compassion, and understanding? When you encounter confrontational people and situations, the best thing you can do for yourself, and for the other person, is to speak little and listen lots.
If we can project goodwill and by doing so, attract goodwill (or its opposite, Evil – depending on which consciousness is predominating among those we interact with), what might we do when there is no one around to exchange positive energies with? What if there are no opportunities to do good; say, to pick up trash left by others in your neighbourhood while you are on daily walk? How then might we keep our positive energies flowing?
Positive energy is generated by showing love and performing loving acts.
The times when there are no opportunities to provide service to other people, are opportunities to pursue ours and God’s ultimate purpose – creation. Whether it is building something new, writing a novel, or starting a new community program, these are the times to do it. No matter how low or downright cranky you might be feeling, you will feel happy again (the restoration of your soul’s positive rotation and momentum) by creating. This is no lie. Try it some time. Once you truly get going, notice how good you feel. Joy signals a condition of right-wise or positive soul-spin.
If such a simple thing can have such a profoundly regenerative effect, it is because the process of creation is so fundamental to the operation of the universe and to the spirit of God, like walking and breathing is to us. Creation is both the means, and the end, of life. In life, there is nothing more significant for us to do, but to create and to serve. It is our life-purpose. There can be nothing of greater spiritual benefit to ourselves and to others. With respect to creation, Love serves as both motivator and implementer.
But if love motivates all creation, how does one explain the creation of, say, weapons of mass destruction?
In creating the universe, God perforce made manifest the streams of egoic and non-egoic consciousness. He did not per se create evil. Evil was, rather, a side-effect of Creation. Egoic consciousness is encapsulated within an expanded framework of consciousness which also incorporates the much larger non-egoic component. The potential to behave egoically is therefore present in all sentient beings; however the individual can only think and act egoically if he insists in being focused that way. It is the behavior and intent arising from the mind’s ego-cultivation that can turn to evil.
At the moment of the Big Bang, ego was co-expressed along with non-ego; but at the precise moment critical mass was met, the universal consciousness was unitary -singular and uniformly non-egoic. Whether it is because God was alone at that exact moment, or because all sentient beings, having achieved utter reconciliation, were conscious in exactly the same way and now thinking in lockstep – our aspect of permanence supporting the latter – the effect would have been the same. There was consciousness of nothing beyond self which motivated God to create something. The creative act marks the point where critical mass is exceeded, the 3rd Emanation universe begins to form, and consciousness is no longer singular.
As time moves forward, consciousness becomes more fractionated, and ego becomes more of a factor. Individual sentient beings become more conscious of ego, and its ‘pull’ grows stronger. It becomes more certain that evil will manifest just as Good will. The individual mind oversees the process.
Good has incomparably higher standing in the universe than evil does. The difference between evil and Good is, whereas Good can only create and collaborate, evil can only destroy and coerce. The former can only lead to peacefulness, contentment, and joy. Goodness and Love are primary attributes of the universe; whereas evil and hatred are secondary, reactionary attributes – their existence and operation contingent upon some act of Creation having been accomplished first.
The interaction between Good and evil is expressed in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; the Big Bang scenario being its grandest demonstration.
Good and evil are inextricably linked. The admixture of the two is Yin and Yang. Inherent in the creation of weapons of mass destruction is the potential for either Good or evil. Good if they are never used; instead providing a means to prevent a much stronger country from attacking a weaker one; evil if they are ever used, at any time, or if they are used to coerce. It is for us to choose.
At Nagasaki and Hiroshima, in 1945, we chose poorly. In today’s world, Iran and North Korea aspire to become nuclear powers, and have even threatened to use them pre-emptively. This could spawn an all-out global nuclear confrontation, in which there will be no winner. The egos of these nuclear sabre-rattlers render them silly enough to think that they could win in a nuclear war.
In defiance of common sense and despite being presented with irrefutable logic, there remain people who foolishly persist in the expectation of an apocalyptic renewal for humankind. The survivors of such an event, however, will be terrible disappointed. They will not see Zion descend from Heaven. They will not hear angelic heralds proclaiming the advent of God’s Kingdom on Earth. Our legacy to post-apocalyptic children will be ashen, wind -swept landscapes trembling under sunless, starless skies; accompanied by the ‘sound’ of birds forever silenced.
Although biblical prophecy has the expectation of a catastrophic cleansing of the world before the advent of God’s Kingdom, these expectations were formed on the basis of ancient events which were by no stretch global. God’s Kingdom can only arrive by virtue of a wholesale inversion of human consciousness. In all truth, God’s Kingdom cannot ‘come,’ because it is already here. It’s just that we are ignoring it.
The “wholesale inversion” of consciousness implies that non-ego will become our default mode of interaction with one another, and with the rest of Creation. The mind will no longer need to extend itself beyond the level of ego in order to be conscious of, and fully experience, Joy. In fact, your own capacity for Joy will be infinitely expanded by the soul’s rediscovered ability to sense the Joy flowing into and being generated by the souls of others. It will be as if their happy experiences had happened to you. The corollary is, your soul will react to the sad experiences of others, as if they had happened to you.
With the advent of God’s Kingdom, the neutralization (but not the destruction) of the egoic half of the Universal Stream of Consciousness will be effected, since all minds, now unburdened by ego, would never have cause to re-engage it.
The Age of Aquarius, heralded in my youth by the angelic voices of the 5th Dimension, will come to pass and humankind will find the Garden.
Ego and non-ego would have been competing just as strongly for attention in the mind of the scriptural author, as they do in our own. It is necessary to accept that the authors of scripture were human; like the rest of us, they would be prone to filling in the gaps in their knowledge with what they want to be truth. We must also accept that the distraction of ego ensures we cannot always be listening to the Voice of the Divine even though it is always speaking.
Our to-and-fro between egoic and non-egoic modes of consciousness is very subtle. We might not be aware it is even happening – and that is the best-case scenario. Those contributors to the world’s scriptures who were genuinely and divinely inspired to write about God were certain to have made a few, or even a great many, innocent mistakes.
The worst-case scenario begins with the writer having a political agenda, and ends in presenting, as the Will of God, the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. I am thinking of the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian bible. Plainly, there were times when these scriptural authors chose to promote their agendas over God’s Truth; because God’s express Will for humans has always been to respect all life. Would God create a group of people, put them in Canaan, and then promise the land to the Hebrews, or anyone else? What kind of God would do that? Why wouldn’t God have obliged the Canaanites to set up homes in some other land; knowing He was going to promise the land to the Hebrews? He could easily have saved many Canaanite and Hebrew men, women, and innocent children, from misery and slaughter. What kind of God would not do it that way? Please think about this. No realtor is stupid enough to sell a home to one family, when they already have a contract with a different family. How can anyone believe God is more stupid than a realtor?
I do not mean to imply that all scripture, or even the greater portion, is false; but I strongly advise against a fundamentalist interpretation of scripture. We must, so as to honour the lives and sacrifices of the true heroes and heroines of scripture, and the Truths scripture contains, be careful to separate objectivity from egoic subjectivity, fact from fiction, in order to know the ‘gospel truth.’
The hand which penned the scriptural texts was not God’s, but human. Most scripture began as oral tradition which later took on written form. What people do, and how they do it, is entirely disposed of their free will – there is no way of getting around this. If God left the communication of His Message to the choices made by Mohammed, Gandhi, Jesus, et al., He would likewise have extended the same latitude to the scriptural authors. Anyone who tells you that their hand was moving on its own as they wrote, is living in a world of egoic fantasy. I do not believe God would find it meet to violate free will in such an obtuse manner. Only ego is able to seriously consider doing that.
The role the author’s ego plays in deviating from God’s intent is only one-half the problem; the other half is the role of the reader’s ego. If the reader’s understanding were not a significant part of the truth equation, why are there so many interpretations of scripture – from literal to metaphorical; orthodox to heretical – and why have these interpretations evolved over time?
God speaks through every living person, some of the time; God speaks through no living person, all of the time; since no person is non-egoic all of the time.
The Power of the Individual
Every soul that has ever or will ever exist, is connected to the Grid. The Grid is God’s “circulatory system.” It is also God’s “nervous system.” The Grid fully exists and operates within God. The connectivity of the Grid facilitate and maintain the exchange of energies, positive and negative, among all things with souls in the universe. Each act of unconditional giving “catalyzes” the spontaneous reception of Divine Energy; and it is for this reason our “spiritual batteries” can never be drained by giving. While the soul is energized, the spirit lives; with one important caveat: whereas positive energies supply the soul nutritionally as they energize, negative energies provide only energy to the soul, the way refined sugar does to the body. After enough negative energy is applied, our souls may lose their ability to hold or accept a charge, and the spirit will die. Soul apathy describes a condition wherein the individual behaves as if their soul were dead. The soul and the spirit’s fate is entirely determined by each individual, by conscious (or unconscious) application of free will; not by anything on the other side of its Grid connection. When you choose to do good, you open the door to goodness; and goodness comes flooding in from the Grid. When you choose to be selfish, a door still opens; but it is the door through which only egoic energies can pass. Perhaps God intervenes in these situations the way a good parent would (so that the ‘child’ is able to experience the consequences of their dubious choices as a ‘sting’ rather than full-force), the concept of free will notwithstanding, rather than allow a soul to perish. Finally, nothing God creates can die in the way we humans think of death. Physical death is not the end at all, but a transition, a point of inflection along the continuum of the human spirit’s development. The change in venue is quite radical; but can it be any more upsetting than the experience of our birth, when we are so indelicately expelled from our nice, cozy placental environment, squeezed and pulled on, and then suddenly finding ourselves out in the cold air?
My mother demonstrated throughout her life, that we are capable of giving far more than we would ever think possible. She could not help giving; even though as a child, she had very little. Rather than pursue material gains for herself, she made do with less, so that her children would have more. Whenever we needed something, we went to her. Five children, one of whom had polio – and a husband, sisters, and mother to boot. Somehow she managed to keep up. She gave without restraint or condition. Because she built no barriers to the outpouring of energy from her soul toward others, there was nothing blocking the way for Divine Energy to enter her soul. By virtue of sharing her soul-energy stores, her own soul is filled, nourished, and fortified.
So long as we give without attaching conditions or expectations, we offer no resistance to the replenishment of Divine Energy, and our souls end up better off than before we gave. When we are not experiencing opportunities to give, we keep our souls spinning right-wise by creating something. When we encounter negative people or situations, the energies could precipitate a momentary, spontaneous spin reversal, or drag, upon our souls. These lapses are often associated with the egoic cycle of reaction and guilt.
Creation is a fundamental operative of the universe. Without it, nothing could exist outside of the infinitely dense little ball which contained the universe. Everything is created out of Love. Because you express love in the intention and in the act, creating energizes and nurtures your soul. The more you create, the more Divine Energy your soul will process. The creative act permits us to scuttle the ego-captained sinking ship, and to know the Joy God experiences.
But there are situations when we might not be in a creative mood – say, when we are ill and bed-ridden. When we are in pain, we tend to become very selfish, because the pain is clamouring for our attention, and we respond by focusing on it. As we get older, many of us become angry and cantankerous, under the burden of health issues and disappointments which have accumulated over time. Over the years, bad things will have happened to us, deserved or not. We may have, at times, been unjustly maligned, ridiculed, rejected, cheated, harassed, bullied, or lied to by the ones we love and trust. We have had personal disappointments: many of our dreams were perhaps not realized. We are met with misunderstanding; but most of the time, we are ignored. We want to get on with our lives in peace, to be loved, to feel worthy, and for others to see us the way we want them to.
When we are in pain, the tendency is to focus on the pain. The pain can be either emotional or physical -and one can easily lead to the other. Our mind’s focus on the pain will encourage the negatively spinning soul to spin faster, or the positively spinning soul to slow down, since it has opened the gate to these energies. If the eyes are the window to the soul, the mind is the soul’s gatekeeper; facilitating the flow of one type of energy across the Grid connection while at the same time blocking the other. Remember, when the gate has been opened to negative energies, it is closed to the positive kind, and vice versa, since the mind can only think one thought at a time.
The degree to which physical and emotional pain impact our spirit is wholly determined by the degree to which the mind’s attention is directed by ego. While we indulge ego, everything we think, say, and do, is bound to be affected: the world is suddenly become all about us, and we become all about pain.
Have you ever wished “Good morning” to someone with whom you happened to make eye contact in passing, and simply ignored? Did you find out afterwards this person had lost their job, or had been diagnosed with cancer, or was the recipient of some other negative, life-altering news? How could you have known? And when you came to know, did you not feel even worse; recalling your own negative reaction to theirs? Guilt is a powerfully negative egoic response.
The person may be forgiven in this situation, and, of course, so can you. Neither of you meant to make the other feel worse. Neither of you would want to make another feel worse under any circumstances; yet we often do just that, out of ignorance, fear, anxiety, or-any one of the plethora of negative emotions associated with ego. This is how negative energy is engendered and propagated among people. We can generate, without realizing, a whole lot of negative energy; and it all ends up on the Grid.
The foregoing describes one of the most basic mechanisms associated with egoic consciousness – the egoic cycle of reaction and guilt. Remember that ego is the only aspect of our consciousness that ‘feels.’ When we react to the egoic behaviours of others, our hurt often becomes anger, and we might reciprocate with ego of our own. After the egoic fire of our anger has reduced itself to embers, we are often left feeling badly about how we left things.
Does your emotional or physical pain really matter? Of course it does – to you, because you are the one feeling it. Feelings are of the ego precisely because they are yours. Your feelings also matter to everyone who cares about you; but because this is an egoic response to what is happening to you, and not to them, it is impossible for them to feel it as intensely as you do. Do you want to suffer more? Do you want those who care about you to suffer more? If the answer is yes, then continue to focus on your pain; this will reinforce your soul’s negative spin, and what you communicate in your words, acts, and body language to those who love you will cause them to feel more miserable also. If the answer is no, then resolve to do your best to set your pain aside as much as you possibly can. Accept your pain, for your sake, and for the sakes of those you care about.
In the last months of her life, my mother endured intense pain. Yet she remained a mother until the very end, and not a cancer patient. She never gave voice to the pain which was eating away at her. One of her last projects was to cobble together a photo album for each one of her children; an extensive collection of photographs spanning our entire lives. She chose non-ego up to the very end, and, as hard as the end was on her, it would have been worse, had she taken the egoic route. She was the most courageous person this I will ever know.
This is the simple truth – we are generating energy all of the time. Our energy has no where to go but onto the Grid. We are affected by the energy others are putting on the Grid. We can, however, easily avoid the negativity of others and disrupt the egoic cycle of Reaction and Guilt by r consciousness – no one else does. Not even God wants to take it away from you.
It is important to recognize that the thoughts which randomly enter your head moment by moment, you do not yet own. You do, however, acquire ownership and give them life, by dwelling on them. The longer you hang onto them, the more they become yours. It is for you, and you alone, to choose which of these thoughts you will give life to, and which you will not.
You are not your thoughts – you direct your thoughts. You are conscious of your thoughts, yes, but you are the thinker, not the thought! You are the I AM.
What is you is that which makes a conscious decision to admit certain thoughts, while discarding others – you are consciousness, and consciousness is of the mind. The key to managing your emotional or spiritual pain lay in directing your attention elsewhere, including toward how to assuage the pain, and even heal the cause. “Seek and ye shall find,” Jesus was quoted as saying. If you are looking for pain, you will find it. If you are looking for Joy, you will find that to. Even when pain is present, all the while you are looking for Joy, you will not feel the pain, the pain will not exist for you, until you are once again conscious of it. It is, of course, nigh impossible to ignore, to not be conscious of excruciating pain; but it is equally true that, the more you are distracted by something else, the less you will feel it.
If you want to experience Joy, direct your attention toward the things which bring you joy.
You can think only one thought at a time – true multiprocessing can only be done by several processors working together, and individual human beings have just one, albeit together, we are many. While you are contemplating something joyful, you cannot, at precisely the same moment, be conscious of the pain you are experiencing, even though it is still there. The mind is very powerful. Do not ever forget this.
The more Joy you are feeling, the more positive energy you are putting on the Grid, and the more you are wanting to serve and create. Underlying this: your soul is becoming more positively energized, its matrix more viable, as the energies expended in non-egoic activities are replenished with the energies of the Divine. Your soul is spinning faster and gaining momentum in the positive direction, as the soul sheath further modulates toward the preferencing of positive energies and the rejection of negative energies. The more energized your soul is, the more alive you are. The more alive you are, the more momentum your soul has acquired and the harder it will be for any external (or internal) influence to slow, or reverse, its direction of rotation.
One Fall day, on my way to work, I noticed a man cheerfully wishing “good morning” to a group of people as he passed them. His cheerfulness was so genuine, from afar off, I had assumed that he knew them. When the distance was closed between us, he wished me a cheery “good morning” also. I responded in kind. Continuing past, he then wished me “good day.” The man continued on his way, offering a merry “good morning” to everyone he met along the way. I realized he didn’t know any of the people he was so cheerfully greeting. He appeared to be an “average Joe” by the look of him; but he was performing a world-class job by extending God’s Love – to people he had never met; who are, nevertheless his brothers and sisters because they too were created by God.
That morning, I had awoken with many different negative scenarios running through my head. I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed – an indication that my soul was labouring under the weight of my ego. Then I passed this man on the boardwalk. As the distance between us increased, I encountered the people he had left in his wake; they were all smiling, and they wished me a “good morning” too.
Because of him. Because he was pumping his positive energy onto the Grid, opening up the souls of those he encountered, who subsequently put more positive energy onto the Grid in their turn.
The Mechanism of Egoistic Separation
People often engage in spying on one another. Before the Smartphone, I believed this was a behaviour exclusive to governments, spies, police, and of course, neighbours with small side-windows.
We of the big city are also wary of strangers. We react to their presence with caution, by default; as if they were more likely to be a menace than not; as if they are not fellow souls. We are often mistrustful of one another and constantly on the alert. Watch people on the subway, bus or elevator – anywhere strangers are obliged to be in close contact. Eyes dart back and forth; cycling from faces to mindless subway poetry and advertisements, then onto nothing at all. We avoid direct eye contact, because when we make eye contact, we have connected. That stranger ‘knows’ you exist. That stranger also knows you know they exist. Now your ego’s control of its surroundings is shared with that other ego. This makes your ego uncomfortable, and you break off eye contact in favour of studying that poster of the puffy faced, teary-eyed woman blowing her nose. We are so accustomed to doing this, we are often unmindful of doing it at all.
Might it not be better to strike up a conversation with those we do not know, if we are obliged to sit together for a short period of time? This is what folks in small communities are given to doing. We would discover 99.99999 percent of the time, these strangers are no threat at all – that they are souls trying to make their way, just like us. As for the others, inform the police about them.
The separation we feel from souls whom we share our world with is ego-created fantasy. Ego is constantly creating a world of its own, wherein it has none of the foibles it so readily perceives in others. Ego creates the illusion of separation, of us and them, to protect itself from the judgement of others, to be sure; but also from self-judgement: so that it can justify hoarding what is necessary for its survival and wellbeing, to the extent of creating a shortage for other, less fortunate souls.
It is easier to judge others than to understand them, since to understand others requires mental effort and patience; neither of which are to be found in great supply in the ego’s emotional stores.
We must refrain from condemning others. We must infuse our interactions with the honesty of a child; while extending trust tempered by discernment. In this way we are able to avoid separation; that among strangers being the most obvious, because strangers, in good time, with sufficient contact and non-egoic interaction, inevitably become friends.
People connect with one another through ego’s ‘wall’ – modulating the wall’s porosity according to the level of trust they feel. The more porous the wall, the more honest the connection. In the most spiritually intimate relationships (sexual intimacy, only takes on meaning if it is expressive of an underlying spiritual/emotional intimacy), the wall has become so porous, it is no longer a factor; meaning ego is no longer a factor.
This wall, we might imagine, permits us to control the energy we are sending and receiving over our Grid connection. If we are feeling animosity toward someone, say, we can still extend the semblance of positive energy by smiling, and they will be none the wiser. Our walls are therefore something we can use to hide behind; however its effectiveness in this regard is tantamount to that of a child putting their hands in front of their eyes and concluding that because they cannot see others, others cannot see them. The ego-wall affords comfort in maintaining the duplicity of appearances.
The promotion of appearance over reality, a dominant motif in several Shakespearean dramas, can fool the ego, but not the Grid. You cannot pass off negative energy as positive, or positive energy as negative. The Grid is itself discerning. It can only, by virtue of Karma, return negative energy across the link where negative energy is received, and positive energy across the link where positive energy is received. It cannot do otherwise, since it is the modality of your own soul sheath which is preferencing the propagation and reception of one type of energy over the other. This is not to say one cannot return non-egoic energies for egoic energies sent your way; in that case, your ego is simply not involved. Because of your non-egoic perspective, the Grid restricts the flow of negative energy into your soul, while it is encouraging the flow of positive energy out of your soul. From the negative sender’s perspective, the Grid connection operates precisely opposite.
We begin by being true to ourselves. We cannot be true to others, or tolerant and respectful of others, unless we are. We should never have to bear condemnation from our fellows because of how we think or act, unless it interferes with their free will. Every issue between people must be resolved on a collaborative, rather than competitive, basis.
Separation from others is an illusion only ego is able to maintain. The most viable and durable relationships among individuals are those founded upon honesty, because honesty is the unshakeable foundation of trust, and trust is the operative principle in all viable, enduring relationships.
Without honesty there can be no trust; without trust there can be no relationship.
Without tolerance, there will be very little honesty.
Signs of Which Way Your Soul is Spinning and What To Do About It
If, without conscious effort, you are generally considerate of others, of the effect your actions might have on them, in either the commission or omission, then you are blessed with a right-wise soul-spin. If you are slow to anger and quick to please, your soul has a positive momentum; a resistance to negativity, cultivated by the steady diet of goodness which you have been feeding it over the long term. As your soul’s matrix becomes stronger, it develops greater inertial mass, and it becomes harder for an external source to reverse, or even slow, your soul’s positive, energy-generating, right-wise spin. The mind’s vigilance over itself, over the thoughts it chooses to be conscious of (and the energies associated with those thoughts), is related to its function as gatekeeper. If the mind is not committed to monitoring itself 24/7, it cannot properly perform its root function, and this creates a serious deficit for the individual in terms of their prospects for a positive life journey. The energies associated with your thoughts directly impact your soul’s quality, the health of your spirit – soul, soul body, and mind -and your physical body.
The mind is Aristotle’s Prime Mover in each of us.
It is fairly straightforward to generalize about the way your soul is spinning. Unconditional giving is a feature of non-egoic consciousness; it benefits both the giver and receiver. The moment we add conditions, however, the ego is in command, and we put up resistance to the Divine Energy that is trying to fill the ‘space’ in our souls that our giving has created. We know the mind which operates outside of ego-space is truly conscious, truly mindful. Such mindful individuals, by nature, exemplify a service-oriented approach to life – all life. With respect to soul-spin, therefore:
Positive Soul-spin supports and is indicative of:
- Giving without conditions
- Receiving without conditions
- Forgiving without conditions
Negative Soul-spin supports and is indicative of:
- Giving with conditions
- Receiving with conditions
- Forgiving with conditions
Giving and receiving generate negative energy if conditional, and positive energy if unconditional. You may infer your soul’s direction of rotation and soul sheath modality from the quality and ease of your giving and receiving. The giver’s motivation for the act derives from the soul’s direction of rotation. The receiver’s response to the act is, in like manner, indicative of their soul’s direction of rotation.
The giver’s response is determined by their state of mind, and the modality of their soul; it has nothing to do with your gift. If you are giving purely for giving’s sake, and if you form no expectations as to how the gift should be accepted, then your mind and soul are weighted toward non-ego. If however, you become disappointed, perhaps even angry, because your gift is misused or unappreciated, then your soul sheath modality is biased toward ego.
Any act of giving is greatly diminished when you attach conditions on how your gift is received. No act of Love, if truly unconditional, can result in anger or disappointment, because you will have formed no egoic attachments. The functionality of the soul sheath helps protect you from forming attachments and buffers you from any egoic reaction on the receiver’s part. For that matter, the non-egoic quality of your soul-sheath will help to deflect any sort of negative energies which others might direct toward you. Your soul sheath is your shield.
Unconditional giving requires detachment from the outcome. Unconditional receiving requires detachment from the intent.
In the case of someone whose giving is motivated by a sense of obligation, consider only that this person has just reached out to you. Show genuine gratitude for their gift. Genuine is easy, because you have nothing in mind regarding the giver’s intent. Your genuine appreciation permits the light within you to be visible to the obligated giver. This may momentarily disarm their ego, because the outcome is far more positive than expected, and your souls may directly connect. This brief, honest interaction can be very powerful. This could be the first step in the obligated giver’s recovery of positive soul-spin – and you have played a role in this.
The Obligated Giver
When you are the obligated giver, the sadness you feel if your gift is underappreciated, is the drag of ego upon your soul’s rotational momentum. The “heaviness” is the sensation of your soul being slowed down; but it is also indicative that your soul is spinning positively. If your mind transitions quickly into figuring out how to get them something which would give them joy, you are doing well. The short-lived duration of your sadness indicates your soul is spinning in the right direction; though the reaction itself is egoic.
Other Indicators of Soul Spin:
The Thoughts You Dwell Upon Are Generally Either Positive or Negative: When you do not consciously direct your thoughts, ego takes over the job for you; one for which it is as qualified as a five year-old would be to captain the Maple Leafs.
The thoughts which enter in during periods of mental passivity are indicative of your state of soul-spin. Acknowledge them; classify them as positive or negative, speculation or fact, regret (about the past) or anxiety (about the future),then direct your attention elsewhere – consciously – even if it is the simple action of your putting one foot in front of the other, in order to help you release these thoughts and the negative energies associated with them.
A thought can create an emotion; and emotions can predispose you to a certain way of thinking. Energy is the motive of life, and we provide our thoughts with ‘life’ when we hold onto them. Dwelling on sad events makes you sad; the more you think about them, the unhappier you feel. Thinking about future outcomes may make you anxious -the more you fret about outcomes, the more anxious you feel. Given this, why would you choose to engage in modes of thinking that have no basis in reality and can only cause you to feel miserable? Why would you not summarily reject such modes of thinking and replace them with the peace of the here and now?
One of the mind’s most important functions is that of a gatekeeper. If we are not actively and consciously opening and closing the gate, then we risk allowing all sorts of unwanted, unwarranted, and unproductive thinking to take us over. Whether we decide to be active or passive gatekeepers, we are responsible for the emotional and spiritual suffering that results.
…think only happy thoughts, and you’ll fly like me. – Peter Pan
Need I explain the metaphor?
Feelings of Lack
Trust this if nothing else:
When you are feeling as though you are missing something, your soul is being de-energized. To compensate, provide service to someone who both wants and needs it. While you are providing them assistance, you are not at the same time conscious of the lack you were feeling earlier. How do you feel now? Your circumstances have not changed. Only your mental focus has. See how simple it is?
Interpreting the Acts of Others:
It is not particularly fruitful to apply a subjective interpretation to a particular person or event, whether it be positive or negative. One must take care to approach every situation objectively -the objectivity afforded by non-ego. You will know that you are operating outside of ego-space when you hold no hopes or expectations –no emotions -positive or negative, with respect to what you may discover or the outcome.
Impartiality ranks first among considerations to get at the truth of something. Putting a positive interpretation on something which is in fact negative, is inappropriate and egoic, even if well-intended. One must never forget that the purpose of existence is to find our way to that state of lasting joy. Since nothing permanent can have its basis in falsehood, any time spent spin-doctoring is a total waste. Truth trumps anything that is untrue.
Whatever we aspire to be, we must always begin and end with the truth. We must never depart from it. Truth often gets in the way of ego; ego often gets in the way of the truth. Whereas non-ego is motivated by the desire to know more about this or that, and is rewarded every time by the acquisition of new knowledge, ego is motivated by the need to affirm what it ‘thinks’ it already knows.
Feelings of Fear:
“I spent most of my life worrying about things which never happened,” Mark Twain once said. There is no place for unreality in reality. All that we need do is stop worrying about things that are not real. Since no event or situation in the future can be real today, we have no business being preoccupied with them. While we are pondering personally (or globally) catastrophic future possibilities, we give them energy, and therefore, life. With enough energy applied, our fears acquire substance, in the form of emotional and physical disease. Just as ‘the lie, repeated often enough, becomes the truth,’ our fears, thought upon often enough, become our reality.
Feelings of Loss:
Sadness is an emotion associated with the past. ‘Loss’ is related to something which has already occurred in the past. Neither the past nor the future, in and of themselves, are able to offer anything substantial to us in the present. The only substance either can take on, is what we give them. If we choose to carry the past around with us, we put upon ourselves a tremendous burden; one of our own making. Would you go to the grocery store and purchase what you think you may need a year from now, in addition to your immediate needs? Why would you pay for and carry all of that extra weight, for things that will certainly be rotten and long since discarded before the time you actually need them? No one would do this. Why then, do we burden ourselves with worries about the future?
But thinking about events of the past gives them new energy as well -and new life. We feel their weight all over again. Why would we do that to ourselves? Wasn’t the pain of the original loss, and the time it took to get over it, enough for us? The extra burden of worry and regret which we oblige ourselves to work under as we struggle to make a better life for ourselves and our loved ones gets heavier as each day passes. It is ridiculous to do this, so why do we?
Whenever we focus our attention on past events, they are ‘reincarnated’ into the present. The past becomes the moment once again, but only for as long as we allow.
Consciousness is life; whatever we are conscious of, we give life to.
The tenor and intensity of a particular thought will either energize or de-energize the soul; this dependent on the type of energy and the state of the soul . Positive thoughts and positive acts energize the soul positively. Positive energy will decrease the rotational speed of the negative spinning soul and increase the rotational speed of the positive spinning soul. The end of the negatively energized soul is at worst, non-existence; at best, another opportunity to advance this soul’s progress by reincarnating it. The end of the positively-energized soul on the other hand is, ultimately….well, there really can be no end, can there?
Making Light of Someone’s Misfortune:
I was walking down Queen St. East when I came upon an accident scene. Some poor young man had walked in front of a truck, tripped while crossing, and was struck. The ambulance had already left, but a blood smear at least 2 feet long remained in front of the truck – it did not look good for the victim. As I was waiting to cross a connecting street, two teenage boys came up behind me, talking about the accident. I heard one quip “Hey we get to see some real blood.” A moment later, I heard an elderly passerby comment, “Well that’s what you get for J-walking.” I was in shock. I wondered if either of them would be thinking the same thing if this had happened to them, or to someone they cared about. Of course they would not. These people were so disconnected from the human tragedy they were witness to they could only express judgement or joke about it. Clearly, these individuals were in a condition of negative soul-spin.
Other Signs of Negative Soul Spin:
- You are more interested in speaking (telling others what you already know) than in listening (learning from others, thereby expanding what you know).
- You are given to desiring this or that specific outcome, before you have enough facts to know if it would even be good for you. Getting too serious, too quickly, about a romantic interest would be one example…
You cannot be on the negative side of things if you are not on the ego side of things. Negative soul-spin is the direct result of allowing one’s consciousness to be dominated by ego. The more you indulge your ego, the more you let it operate your mind’s gate, the more negative energy you will receive and generate, and the more miserable you will be.
Government, Social Structure, and the Evolution of the Human Spirit
Governments, societies, and communities proceed through the life-stages of birth, maturity, and old age, just as individuals do. That healthy equilibrium between egoic and non-egoic modes of consciousness which exists in childhood, becomes lost to most of us, as ego further emphasizes itself in our life experience. By the time we have matured and are on the inevitable downslope, life has given us ample opportunity to learn that too much self-interest plus too little interest in others equals misery and isolation.
The neoconservative mindset is the political institutionalization of a selfish old age. We cannot afford to indulge ourselves any longer, nor can we afford to allow those who are self-indulgent materialists to determine our social values and the future of our country, ourselves, and our children. The Conservatives at one time were of a progressive nature – but that was a different party, comprised of different people, and ending with John Diefenbaker and Joe Clark. The neoconservatives are anything but progressive. They may more accurately brand themselves as the Regressive Conservative Party of Canada. Fortunately, many backbenchers in the current government are in rebellion against their own executive. Hopefully, they will one day reconcile the party with its operative, if not foundational, vision: a socially progressive party; proceeding from the centre, with a slight lean to the right.
It appears the Conservative governments of the new century –Canada’s most recent rendition being the Harper Conservatives -are restructuring their respective societies and guiding the evolution of global society according to a business model – one in which the financial bottom line is the prime determinant of our national, social, moral, and human values.
Who we will give aid to, and whom will we not? Who we will let into the country, and whom will we not? What we will do for the environment? The business social model esteems the parameters of production as the highest ‘virtue.’ How happy the employees are in their roles, is only relevant to the point where it favourably impacts the parameters of production without unfavourably impacting the bottom line. Business will base its hiring practices on the cost of the skills it needs –now. Those who govern according to this model will recruit skills from overseas, and leave nothing to do for their own citizen, leaving them no future, and nothing to live on.
In such a nation, and in such a world, the business model values the appearance of right-action more than the reality -advertising and branding are far cheaper than producing a quality product. It is as if these politicians actually believe that saying, “Things are this way,” or “Things are that way,” makes it so.
Saying so does not make it so.
How is it that Canadians are letting their governments get away with such nonsense? Not only the Conservatives are doing this; they are simply less subtle about it than, for example, the Ontario Liberals. As for the federal Conservatives, they are simply opportunistic beneficiaries of increasing division between Canadians, political cynicism among Canadians, and the age of hyper-connectivity and 24 hour news channels. There is so much more information available, and so little time for most of us to properly verify what we are being told, that politicians can get away with saying whatever they want, and no matter how much ‘hot air’ they create, there will always be people ready to believe it because it is what they want to hear, and they innocently want to trust their political public servants.
There are many people who entertain no qualms whatsoever as to the extent they are prepared to “colour” the data they provide in order to further their personal agenda –political or otherwise. With so much misinformation readily available to Canadians, any challenges to a government’s bogus claims is easily swallowed up by a sea of counterclaims. The neoconservatives have successfully reduced matters of fact to matters of propaganda: with so little interest in their custodial responsibility for information relevant to the Canadian nation (witness the destruction of the long form census) and which is presented to Canadians and to the world, they are basically telling Canadians what they want them to believe, while at the same time making it harder for Canadians to independently verify the facts. Canadians are progressively being forced to make belief-based choices rather than facts-based choices. The neoconservatives understand that, under these conditions, most people will choose to believe what they want to believe; and if they are given a thousand dollars or so, they will want to believe the Conservatives. The neoconservative approach is patently egoic: the promotion of blind-faith over reason, or in today’s parlance, ideology over evidence-based policy, is no different than the ego’s compulsion to frame reality in completely subjective terms.
To state the outcome of the neoconservative approach to governing requires few words: the dissolution of Canadian society and the end of Sir John A. MacDonald’s national vision.
United we will stand. Divided we will fail.
We appear to be failing. The lines of dissent are drawn along many dimensions: culture v. culture, region v. region, economic class v. economic class. We dishonour the lives and efforts of Sir John A. and of all the others who shared in the formation of Canada’s unique national character. Throughout our history we have taken on the dirtiest jobs with no consideration other than to be about the business of doing right by others. We exemplified, in an international context, the very motif of this book: service to others despite the apparent cost to ourselves.
Not only is the spirit of Canada under attack, so is the Canadian Earth Mother (aka the environment), who sustains us. We compromise generations of future Canadians, coast to coast, north to south. Our current values-paradigm, promoting economic growth, market economies, and materialist-based ethics, is leading us down the primrose path. It is not hard to understand that if we continue to grow, we will soon have more people living at one time than the Earth can possibly sustain; we will be placing more stress on the environment than the Earth Mother can tolerate; more toxins than the Earth Mother can assimilate.
What is plain to right-minded people seems to have been missed by the folks on the political right. Canadians gave the neoconservatives a majority in the 2011 federal election. If a general state of happiness is the superordinate goal of society – and who can seriously argue that it should not be – then engaging in the unbridled pursuit of material acquisition is exactly the wrong thing to be doing; that is, if you want to achieve any lasting state of viability for yourself, your children, and your children’s children.
Business exists to support the aspirations of society, not the other way round. If business should form the overarching goal of society, society will look and function like a business. Most of society’s members will experience a general state of happiness akin to that which you feel working an arduous 40 hour week at a low wage; and you will be ‘let-go’ in the form of insufficient benefits, when you are no longer useful. A relative few and decreasing number of citizens will experience material comfort in the present, or be able to save enough for the future to live off of, as we enter into an age of slow economic growth. So long as the return on investment is greater than the growth in the economy, more money and political power will end up in the hands of fewer and fewer people.[xxviii] The neoconservative mindset will do nothing to ensure the wealth inequality does not grow to socially deleterious levels.
Viable societies are structured with the goal of promoting happiness among all of its citizenry. This will include, but is far from limited to, material security. Businesses, on the other hand, are structured with the goal of promoting happiness among investors; and there is only one way to accomplish that: by realizing the greatest profit. Businesses will not survive for long if they are not making a profit, nor will anyone want to invest in them. Businesses are obliged to sacrifice long term viability in order to make profit in the short term – a strategy which, ironically, most often serves to ensure a business’s ultimate demise. Businesses are reactionary, not visionary, by nature. Plainly then, societies must be structured upon a different model than businesses are.
Be As Little Children
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Mathew [18:3]
These words attributed to Jesus are just one example of his observing the value children present to adults as role models.
Watch children at play, or doing their homework. Observe how present they are in everything they do. At some level, they appear to engage everything and everyone around them. Nothing escapes their notice. They react to other people, but by nature withhold condemnation, or at least do not dwell upon it. They tend to adapt their world view to include new information (non-egoic process), rather than modify new information to fit their world view (egoic process). To make sense of what they do not understand, they rely on their parents’ interpretation; trusting that it is correct, implicitly trusting that their parents were as perfectly educated as they themselves are being perfectly educated by their parents – that is, until they are teenagers and firmly entrenched in their own egos.
We sometimes provide our children with bad examples. Perhaps the worst is choosing to live with a double standard, in order to get along in a world as unreasonable in its demands as it is unforgiving in its judgements. Children learn by observation. Though we instruct them one way, pragmatism might demand that we act in another. The divergence between what we say as parents and what we do as individuals does not escape their notice. As parents, we must carefully consider what example we are providing to our children, because we can be sure they are going to learn by it.
The best teachers learn from their students, and this helps to make them better teachers. Strive to learn from your children the things which make you a better parent. This will benefit you both. If all Canadian parents did this, former PM Pierre Trudeau’s dream of the just society would easily become the Canadian reality in only a generation. Imagine, a land of unimpeded opportunity and happiness – for all of its citizens.
It is up to us.
Non – Judgement
A child is not afraid to be themselves; to show their own light and to appreciate the light in others. This is because they are not distracted with concern over things which come naturally to them. Children do not judge, especially on the basis of outward appearance. Ego focuses on outward appearance; but the non-ego, by default, incorporates the entire package into its perception and understanding. A healthy, ego-bound adult might be uncomfortable with the situation of someone who is wheelchair-bound; rather than engage them in conversation, or at least wish them a ‘Good morning,’ they may act as though the person is not even there. A child, however, is just as likely to engage the disable person, as not; depending on what else is going on. The point is, a child would not ignore a person in a wheelchair, simply because they are in a wheelchair.
Who is more in touch with reality, the child who sees the whole person, or the adult who makes believe the person is not even there? And which of the two human-interaction scenarios do you suppose a soul obliged to live life in such a chronically debilitating situation would find the most engaging?
When my eldest daughter was nearly three, I took her shopping for clothes at Saan’s in Thunder Bay. While we were there, two young ladies in wheel chairs were brought in for shopping by their volunteer caretakers –God bless the volunteer caretakers. Daughter saw them, forgot all about shopping, and went straight over to them. The first words out of her little mouth were, “Why are you riding around in those?” I smiled at them (sheepishly). I watched them for signs if she might be a bother, but they were all smiles. My little girl was engaging two other souls and sharing so much joy with them.
What is most significant here, is that my child understood by default that the condition of these two young women in wheelchairs represented no barrier to connecting with them. The wheelchairs did not define them; the wheelchairs were a way for them to get around. She readily saw the person beneath the surface. I, the adult, did not – not until my daughter showed the way.
The wheelchair-bound want us to see them, not the chair. And that which is waiting in each of us to be seen and heard, is the triad of mind/soul/soul-body(aka the human spirit). Children naturally connect at the soul level until the ego begins to make gains and tip the balance. All children begin life fully mindful, with ego and non-ego in perfect balance.
For my part, these two women, and the joy they displayed during their interaction with my daughter inspired me to let go of the pain of a broken family and to get moving with my life again. It was never the same afterwards. My daughter accomplished all of this – without even having to try. She just did – because she was a child. As children, we do not judge the way we learn to later in life.
People who judge others, build a prison for themselves as they do. The act of judgement creates separation for the judger from the judged; but it also promotes a generalized isolation for the judger, which increases over time. Ironically, judgers (for they are people too) seek affirmation from and connection with like-minded people; people that are given to viewing other souls and the world, in the same way they do. Because judging (as opposed to discernment, which does not include an element of condemnation) is a feature of ego, judgers are pathologically addicted to their need for affirmation.
The “bars” we erect for our prison cells are the standards we develop and apply to the people around us. Our egoic over-focus on affirmation blinds us to the existence of bars other souls have erected and which differ from ours –for no two egos are exactly alike. But the bars our egos blind us to are as important as the ones that ego allows us to see. We cannot form viable relationships with only half a person; but ego develops such a complex ‘values system’ that ‘half’ is the best two egos will ever achieve. If we are the judgemental sort, we can only build relationships of convenience with other people.
The self-image ego projects to the world serves as armour to protect it from the judgement of others; but which is, in fact, a reflection of the judgement it passes upon others.
We serve ourselves much better by rejecting judgement in favour of discernment. To quote a line from the Prayer of St. Francis,
Lord, grant that I may seek rather
to understand than to be understood.
Seeking to understand is the default pursuit of the non-egoic mind. Seeking to be understood is the default pursuit of ego.
With respect to the judgement others put upon you, Steven Jobs once advised a graduating class:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. [xxix]
Steven Jobs is guilty of thinking as a child; worse, he is advising others, a graduating class no less, to do the same. He is advising us to put down our facades, allow others to see who we truly are, and realize our true potential. He wants us to recognize that, if others take exception to us, it is, in fact, their problem. So long as you are not tromping on someone else’s right to follow Steven’s advice, you are fine.
Remember: A child lives the only life a child knows – its own; not one chosen by ego. If you want to achieve joy, if you want to be reconciled with God, and with all that God has created, then be as you were when God first determined that you should come into the world, “Be as a child,” and judge not.
It bears repeating here that judgement is not discernment. Judgement includes a component of condemnation. Discernment does not involve the condemnation of others. In not condemning others, you remove a major impediment (the prison bars erected by the ego) to true connection with others.
And the better off we will all be.
Chapter VI – Where Do We Go From Here?
The short answer:
Cultivate non-egoic consciousness.
The rest will take care of itself.
That being said, here is the long answer:
There are several threads we need to pursue with all of our collective strength and resources. Before identifying the specific measures needed to restore our environment and Canadian society to viability, we must begin by acknowledging our responsibility for the status quo. It is purely by virtue of our own choices that we had a decidedly un-progressive Conservative government, that Canadian society is now become both socially and economically polarized -to the near-breaking point -and the environment, humankind’s Earth Mother, is all around us imperilled. Democracy can only be democratic to the extent we individuals are willing to work in order to make it so. It is seductively easy to let those who tell us they know what to do, do everything for us. They may or may not know, but how can we tell?
We begin by choosing to become knowledgeable with respect to social, governmental, and other quality-of-life affecting issues. We cannot make informed decisions, if we are not informed. I believe our erstwhile Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Kevin Page, knew this and invested everything he had to give, so that Parliamentarians and Canadians would have the opportunity to make informed decisions. We remain forever indebted to this man.
Awareness presupposes right action. If we are not aware, we may easily do harm, or allow others to do harm, to Canada and other Canadians, without intending or even realizing. We cannot do right if we do not know what to do; we will not know what to do if we are not informed. Let each of us take advantage of the grand opportunity that is provided us by Mr. Page. In order to do so, many of us will have to re-evaluate our own personal priorities and commitments.
As John the Baptist said in the movie, Jesus of Nazareth:
Before kingdoms can change, people must change.[xxx]
The philosopher-musician Michael Jackson put it this way:
If you want to make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and then
Make a change.[xxxi]
And, finally, in the words of the Mahatma:
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.[xxxii]
Governments and societies must do everything within their power to remove all impediments along the individual’s path to being all that he/she has it in them to be. The individual must always endeavour to be true to him/herself, and by extension, to their family, neighbours, community, society, and past and future generations; in short, to every other individual soul God will ever create.
Without a government and society which truly and relentlessly pursues the best interests of all of its citizens, the individual will fail. Without individuals who truly and relentlessly act in the best interests of all other individuals, the government and society will fail.
Individuals are the building blocks of society. The best way for society to ensure its own viability is to hold paramount the happiness of every individual in it. Individuals perform at their best, and are best motivated, when they are happy and free from anxiety and regret.
The recent trend toward the socio-political right is a bottoming out of the human condition. It represents the last gasp of ego-dominated thinking, and of the societies and leaders ego begets. The mindset and vision many of our leaders appear to have cultivated is reactionary, short-sighted, coercive, divisive, and intolerant. This approach to governing has never worked; yet the attitude seems to be a pervasive feature of modern governments and societies. War can only be justified, scripturally, if it is in defense against aggression;[xxxiii] otherwise, thou shalt not kill. Judging by the current state of the world, it does not appear to be God’s Voice that is guiding many of the world’s leaders’ actions and interactions, but rather the voice of ego. A salient example is the continuing absence of a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis; another is radical jihadism. The examples throughout human history cannot be numbered.
I would like to end this section with a quote from Sri Chinmoy, who was made known to me by a nice lady named Margaret:
When the power of Love
Replaces the love of Power
Man will have a new name:
I interpret this to mean that when each of us learns how doing for others trumps doing to others, we will exist in total reconciliation with God; at which point we become conduits through which God’s Love and Message flows throughout the world. This will happen when non-ego replaces ego as humankind’s default mode of consciousness. Only ego can interpret Sri meaning that, each of us is god. That is patently false, and as ridiculous as one human blood cell believing that it is the human individual. All that exists was created by God, and is part of God. There is only one God; but there are as many ways to express God’s Love and Mind, as there are conscious beings to act as conduits.
The mind of ego is concerned with answering the question, what am I? The mind of non-ego just knows: I AM.
The end of ego’s dominance heralds the beginning of a wonderful new age. Individuals will not lose their distinctiveness; they will simply lose their preoccupation with it. Their focus will simply shift from what the world is doing for them, to what they are doing for the world. They will shed all impediments to their happiness.
What are the conditions society must create, in order for its citizens(and by extension, society), to achieve self-actualization and to ‘be all that we can be?’ Maslow’s hierarchy provides an excellent basis upon which to structure the answer to this question. Proceeding from bottom to top, Maslow postulates the fulfillment of the individual in five stages:
- Physiological Needs – Clean air, water, healthy food, viable shelter, sleep, sex
- Safety and Security
- Love and Belongingness (community)
- Self – Esteem
- Self- Actualization – Vitality, creativity, self-sufficiency, authenticity, playfulness, meaningfulness.
The shift to the political, reactionary right is imperilling the chances of a growing proportion of Canadians to fulfill even the lowest level. To ego, so long as the ‘I’ and its ‘tribe’ have comfortable shelter and enough to eat, nothing and no one else really matters. In a society of egoic individuals, nearly all of the time and energy of the economically-vulnerable is used up just to keep them from falling out of the bottom of the pyramid. More than three million Canadians are struggling with this.[xxxiv]
Many Canadians are so occupied with making ‘ends meet,’ they have little time and energy to properly inform themselves about what is happening, and about where our nation is heading. This of course does not apply to the denizens of the wealthier classes who might have resources and energy in reserve; what they need to know, they can pay someone to provide them with. Please note that ‘the wealthy’ in Canada and around the world are not the problem, neither is a certain degree of wealth inequality the problem. The phenomenon of wealth accumulation is the problem Canada and the global community are now facing.[xxxv]
Although it may be arguable that the Conservatives would have succeeded in bringing us (up or down) to Maslow’s second stage – Safety and Security – I believe the price to be exacted from Canadians is one of Orwellian magnitude. Since they have taken over the government, Canada trends apace toward fear-based and socially/nationally divisive government. Most of us big-city folks are running around in a state of mistrust: of strangers, neighbours, people whose skin colour is different from our own, or who worship God in a different way.
Fear-based government – a trademark of totalitarian regimes – will prevent us from ascending to Maslow’s third stage, Love and Belongingness, en masse.
The election of a government such as Harper’s is symptomatic of a society whose fabric is perilously weakened. Those people, judging by their policies and national vision, are incapable of achieving the best for all Canadians, or of appearing serious in the attempt. By the time of the 2011 federal election, this should have been obvious to us voters; still, we gave the Conservatives a majority.
Individual citizens may have already navigated the bottom two tiers of Maslow’s pyramid, but will find themselves bogging down in Maslow’s third stage – Love and Belongingness. Community. Reaching out to others. Giving and receiving at one and the same time. With the exception of smaller, more rural communities, we have widespread marginalization of individuals amidst rampant mistrust and fear. The democratic base, or at least 90% of it, is therefore divided, preventing any potential and truly effective grass-roots initiatives from taking hold; preventing us from ever truly being unified and casteless; this in turn preventing us from ever getting truly (and practically) accountable government.
‘Community’ needs to be renewed. No individual should be marginalized – unless they are a threat to others. The mechanisms for achieving all-inclusiveness are discussed in the next section. For now, it is enough to say that inclusiveness can only evolve out of a milieu of tolerance, mutual respect, compassion, and trust – all attributes of non-egoic consciousness.
No relationship, however convenient, is viable if it is not based on trust; and there can be no trust without honesty. There will be little honesty without tolerance and the highest regard and respect extended to all of God’s creations.
The second highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy is Self-esteem. This is a no- brainer, and requires little discussion. All too many people enjoy tearing down other people even to the point of driving children to suicide. I recently heard of a young girl of only 11 years who killed herself and left the message to the effect that she was just a bad child who no one would want. How can anyone come to think of themselves in this way? How can a young child of eleven come to think of themselves in this way? Each time I think of her, I feel the tears coming. She never wished harm upon others, or thought the world would be better off without them. Because of her way toward others, she would be inclined to believe that no one would say such terrible things to or about her, unless they were true. She hadn’t yet learned about people who tear others down in order to keep entertained and to bolster their egos.
Bullies, whose souls spin negatively, build their self-esteem by destroying that of others. The ones they target are most probably those whose souls are rotating correctly and are in fact reconciled with God’s purpose for humankind. Sadly, these children were lacking the support they needed, and were feeling too unworthy to even ask for it.
Souls thus targeted by bullies convince themselves that they are no good and somehow deserving of this treatment. Given they could not do it to someone else, they conclude no one would do it to them, unless they deserved it. So great becomes their shame, they might not dare even tell anyone what is happening to them, and what they are thinking to do in order to make it stop. This is so sad. The ones who are victimized and driven to suicide are fortunate in one sense – they have been released from the 3rd Emanation. With their new existence and the corollary diminishment of ego, they now know they did not deserve to be bullied. They now know that the ones who made them feel bad enough to commit suicide, are in fact the ones who were sorely deficient. That young eleven-year-old is probably right at this moment doing everything she can think of doing to ‘turn the corner’ and keep the bully from doing further violence to themselves and to others.
These victims of ego are now free. They are aware of who and what they truly are. They will be back one day, to help return the material world (and human societies) to proper balance. They will help to fix the disconnect among people, and between people and the environment.
People need to feel that they are worthy. People feel better about themselves when they feel included, when they do not feel condemned for being different, when they feel acknowledged, listened to, respected. No individual can feel this way if others cheat them, lie to them, ignore them, or dishonour them by presenting a face that is not their true face.
The top of Maslow’s hierarchy is Self-Actualization. Vitality, creativity, self-sufficiency, authenticity, playfulness, meaningfulness. It is interesting that Maslow has identified creativity as the individual’s highest achievement. Creativity is both an end in itself, and the means to an end. Creativity is both the expression of Love and an operative in the evolution of the universe.
The concept of self-actualization, plainly stated: As you could be, so you must be. These are the words of a Toastmaster World Champion, Mark Hunter. No society can apply this goal to only a fraction of its members and continue to be viable. Conversely, any society that maintains the goal of self-actualization for all of its members, will remain strong indeed, since, according to Maslow, all of the requirements for social stability must be met before the actualization of the individual can even happen.
Forming the intent to create a lasting state of joy for ourselves and for others, ensures success on all fronts. In doing this, we honour our responsibility and commitment to past and future generations. Please do not allow the noble natures and sacrifice of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mohammed (PBUH), John Lennon, and Jesus – and of all innocent victims of violence – to amount to so little as it appears these days.
What might Maslow have recommended for Canadian society, were he charged with the task of directing it? What follows is a series of specific steps he might have considered taking, so that the citizens of Canada and of the world’s nations are enabled straight to the top of Maslow’s pyramid:
- Cultivate a non-egoic perspective of Community and of the World –
We must promote our innate social-consciousness to the forefront, while at the same time relegating the “egoics” to the backbench.
- As we cultivate non-ego, we learn to discern right from wrong in a social context. We learn how best to get along with others, from members of our own family to strangers. We require fewer police officers, since fewer people will be committing crimes; in particular, violent ones. We avoid the social and national tragedy of the totalitarian police state. This is the direction in which we have been led by the Conservatives, and in a less obvious way, by the Liberals. Justin Trudeau may be the first Liberal exception to this claim, since his dear papa was guiding our nation.
- Loci of community will emerge and thrive. Ego-manufactured suspicion, intolerance, and separation will no longer be a factor in human relationships. There will be safer, happier, communities. There will be fewer people marginalized. There will be fewer cases of addiction, mental illness, and suicide. Why? We people will be caring for and engaging one another; this to such an extent that the unhappy circumstances we see others living in will move us to tears, and then action. It will be as though it is happening to us. Unless I am mistaken in my belief in only one version of Canadian citizen, if it is happening to any of us, then it is happening to all of us. We will regard a community member’s misfortune as an SOS, and respond with offers of help, rather than turn our backs on them, putting their misfortune out of mind. It will also be an opportunity for individuals to take initiative, rather than passing everything off on the government and upon government institutions.
- Restore the Environment – If the Earth Mother cannot support us, we are in serious trouble. We must, with all our will, rescue the environment from ourselves. We will be saving ourselves in the process. To do this we must:
- Reduce the global population to a sustainable level – we cannot continue with the business paradigm of growth, growth, growth. Nothing can grow Inevitably, if a species does not experience periods of positive growth followed by periods of negative growth, the absence of the growth-decline cycle ensures extinction for the species. Cancer cells ‘know’ this.
- Our world can only absorb so much waste, and only so fast. We must reconcile human activity to the environment rather than continue fooling ourselves into believing that we can re-engineer the environment to accommodate even higher levels of human activity and waste. Hasn’t global warming and desertification taught us anything?
- Invest in green energy solutions and innovation. Even if their original plans prove faulty, the fact that provincial governments in Ontario and Quebec, among others, are leaning “green,” shows they have taken the first bona fide step toward achieving green. If we seriously get going on this, without politicizing the issue, it might not be too late for us to develop technologies that will satisfy our energy requirements while allowing our dear Earth Mother the opportunity to heal Herself. Vision blended with commitment inaugurates a process of change that is both proactive and pragmatic. In thinking green, governments and citizens provide themselves an opportunity to take the lead in developing practical, long term solutions which the rest of the world can follow. As a bonus, an early start will provide commercial opportunity, down the road, while we act in defense of our planet. We need not persist in developing energy sources that poison and destabilize the environment, not to mention the world economy. Global warming, cancers, and disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon, the Valdez, and the human tragedy of Lac Mégantic – need I say more?
- Understand that Wealth is Not the Holy Grail –Money and the pursuit of wealth were never intended to be the endgame of social progress, but rather stepping-stones in support of the self-actualization of individuals and societies. A wonderfully safe, happy, and prosperous society is certain to arise out of the collaboration among self-actualized individuals. Business is required to fuel society’s engine. Business focuses on the generation of wealth. But societies do not exist only to create wealth anymore than individuals exist only to consume. There is much more purpose for us, and the societies we form, than that. Maslow has identified four more levels for us to navigate before we reach our ‘destination.’ The role of business is to provide the means to a much greater end than profit-making.
Society does not exist to support the goals of business; rather business exists to support the goals of society.
Societies around the world are economically polarized. The wealth at the top depends upon business and on the accumulation of capital; it is natural wealthy people should want society to be structured in a manner that facilitates these goals. Structuring a society according to the business model is wholly inappropriate to the success of society and of business processes within society.
- Embrace Diversity – The Francophone- Anglophone-Aboriginal plurality has historically provided Canada with a unique national character. It has been far from perfect for the Aboriginals, and it is for this generation of Canadians to offer whatever assistance our Aboriginal brothers and sisters need in order to become ‘all they have it in them to be.’
Canada is home to members of nearly every ethnicity and nation on Earth. We are still evolving and will soon become the very paradigm of collaboration, trust, and tolerance the entire world needs to follow in order to survive; or we will fail. The adage, United we stand, divided we fall, is not a ‘wouldn’t-it-be-nice’ kind of thing; in these days it is the formula for survival.
- Incorporate Consideration for the Future into the Initiatives of Today – What effect will the decisions we make now have on us twenty-five years from now? Fifty years from now? Even further into the future? And not only the choice to utterly reject the development of non-renewable resources. We need to include choices in behaviour as well. Specifically, we must make a choice to collaborate, not only across ethnic boundaries but economic-class boundaries as well. If we do not pool our resources and work collaboratively; if we do not choose peace over war, collaboration over coercion, tolerance over imposed uniformity, sometimes less over always more, a viable and sustainable environment over a conveniently manicured one, we doom ourselves. We must also work toward interspace travel since one day our Sun will supernovae and the Earth will be consumed, along with everything living on it. Long before that happens, odds are we will get walloped by a wayward asteroid. Long before that happens, we will have destroyed one another through war, exploitation, and exchanging appearance for reality at every possible turn. Do we really want the lack for trying to be our generation’s legacy to those who are living on the Earth at that time?
- Recognize that individuals are ultimately responsible for the world’s problems – In other words, if we do not clean up our own shops as individuals, then by extension humankind and the world will fare no better. The buck stops (but also begins) with each one of us.
- Restore our judicial system to its true purpose – Create a system of justice and government accountability which is based on deterrence and intent. This will involve rethinking our prison system.
Our justice system must be redesigned in order to serve its highest purpose: not rehabilitation, or retribution, but deterrence. No victim has ever been helped by punishing or reforming the perpetrator. What the perpetrator has done cannot be undone. It is best that the crime never happened in the first place. Describing what to do would require volumes. For the purpose of this writing I simply assert we will need to forego our egoistic sensibilities and realize that criminals in the penal system must be subjected to an arduous life -the kind of life no one would want – as proper reward for choosing to do what no victim wanted them to do. The human rights of violent criminals must be respected, however due consideration of the fact that they chose not to accord any such consideration to their victims must be given. The prospect of life in jail, as it is currently advertised, is just not cutting it. The prospect of a life in prison must so inspire fear among people that they it would be easy for them to choose not to do the crime. The quality of prison life must be commensurate with the crime’s effect. Those people who murder children, for example, should never have a life outside of prison, because they denied their victims any future at all. But society should not act as evilly as these people have done, and so the death penalty is not an option.
Gandhi has said, There are many causes for which I am willing to die; but none for which I am willing to kill.
No death penalty.
What sort of punishments could we consider? We might make the incarcerates do labour for several hours every day, perhaps making the length of the workday commensurate with the severity of the crime. We might render their accommodations and ‘free time’ more Spartan. The length of the prison term would of course match the crime. In the case of sexual violence, especially against children, the term must be natural life. By the perpetrator’s own hand, the child’s life is changed forever. If any such person claims they are ‘truly sorry’ for what they have done, and then asks for their own life back after a few years in prison, `a la Guy Turcotte, has done, how penitent can they really be?
Having said that, we protect everyone, from sinner to Saint, with our Charter of Rights and Freedoms/Canadian Human Rights Code (CHRC) – even those who do violence and murder to children. We protect child-killers from the abuse of their fellow inmates and custodians. This encourages more of these terrible crimes because the perpetrators know, even before they commit the crime, that they will be protected from anything similar being done to them in prison if they are caught. Although we Canadians believe that a truly progressive society will extend its values and support to even the most wretched among us, these values receive woeful misapplication when applied to the treatment of violent, predatory criminals. We ignore the reality of our current approach even as it sets the stage for the next wave of violence against the innocent. The notion of making life miserable for anyone is anathema to Canadians in general. This is very much to our credit; however, a life of ardour should not be construed as compounding the crime. Rather, we must see it as offering an avenue of atonement; one that the criminal may or may not choose. The ‘humane’ treatment of violent criminals is not helpful to anyone – even criminals are denied an opportunity which is best afforded in an arduous environment: the opportunity to fully and properly atone for what they did.
- Recognize that the application of business models to societies represents an inversion of natural processes –The apparent shift to the right in Canada and elsewhere is a fear-based, reactionary phenomenon; one which benefits no one. People in recent years experienced such heavy financial losses (especially among the middle class), that many now have chronic ‘economic-anxiety.’ This inclines us to give an ear to people like our erstwhile Harper neoconservatives -those who trump themselves up as being capable of making the hard economic decisions, for everyone’s good. It sounds good, but has all the substance of a corporate jingle.
What the neoconservatives really mean by “making the hard decisions” is to focus on certain parameters and demographics, while treating others as if they are of no consequence, or simply paying lip service to them. Anyone who was paying attention in Grade 8 Algebra knows if Z = X + Y, Z can only be equal to X if Y = 0. If we let X represents the Canadian business/investor classes, and Y represent all other Canadians, does anyone really imagine they can solve the equation by setting either X or Y to 0?
Canadian society cannot remain viable if it is governed in a manner that arbitrarily denies to its own citizens the support which, as members of society, they have self-evident right. This right is not self-evident in the world of ego. When we elected the Conservatives in 2011, we were not voting for something -to wit, the neoconservative vision; but rather against something – the status quo. Ironically, many of those who gave their trust to the neoconservatives in the last election are not any better off; neither are their children and loved ones better off.
You cannot allow the market to structure social policy. You cannot allow the market to determine the value of the individual –unless you look at other people as nothing more than commodities. Societies must structure business with one goal in mind: to enhance the opportunity and means for each member to get to the top of Maslow’s pyramid.
- Accept that socialism is not dead; rather the traditional egoic application of socialism by individuals and governments is on the way out – I watched two television pundits discussing the death of socialism. They were saying no one wants socialism; that socialism never worked. When they say, “no one wants socialism”, they mean until there is not enough food on the table to feed and clothe their children, or enough money to take their sick child to see a doctor, or permit them to play hockey, or go on to university or college, and make a better life for themselves and their families. I believe socialism’s past failures are not the result of some flaw which is systemic, but rather the result of the egoic misconstruction of the ‘welfare state’ by self-serving national leaders who saw socialism as a means to advance political agendas and social controls; in much the same way as religion has been used as a social regulator. Many here in the ‘West’ are no longer as motivated out of fear of God’s judgement as they appear to be by the possibility of missing a profitable opportunity.
These same pundits also agreed that “capitalism works, albeit not perfectly, but most of the time.” With respect to the times it does not work: we have children starving, young women earning a living on the street, homeless people, people stealing in order to eat, children growing up in a milieu of poverty, drug dependency, violence, crime, and no viable opportunity to make something better for themselves and for their children. This is not only unacceptable in a country as wealthy as Canada, it is criminal. We don’t see it that way, yet, but we will.
- Reverse Globalization’s Effect on the Working Poor -The working poor? Hello? For Canada and Canadian workers, Free Trade and Globalization have been a disaster, a disaster other government policies are compounding. We Canadians have adopted legislation to protect Canadian workers (employment, health and safety, unionized labour, human rights, and even privacy laws). We have adopted legislation to protect the environment, but are now facing direct competition with businesses in countries that have not. The cost of legislative compliance to Canadian businesses is huge. This creates a distinct competitive disadvantage for Canadian businesses vying for markets within Canada and around the world. In order to compete, Canadian businesses must keep production costs comparable to that of global competition. If the cost of materials is the same, and the cost of doing business due to government policies is fixed, then the only real opportunity for Canadian business to pare costs down into the global competitive zone is through reducing direct employment costs (wages and benefits, including retirement benefits).
Our environmental and employment-related laws have resulted in Canadian manufacturers opting to produce in underdeveloped countries where the cost of doing business is significantly less than at home. At one time, our manufacturing sector was the best-paying sector, with the capacity to employ the most workers.
Here is how globalization has played out thus far with respect to Canada and Canadians: We ship our value-added, job-creating, manufacturing capacity to the U.S. and Mexico and also overseas. We hope to make up for these losses by expanding the sectors of primary resource extraction, service, and retail. Most of the new jobs our government is creating to replace manufacturing sector jobs are in retail – the so-called “Mc-jobs.” Retail pays their workers less, much less, than value-added manufacturing is able to. This has directly resulted in the erosion of the middle class in Canada, widening economic inequality among citizens, and hyper-expansion of the fastest growing class of Canadian citizen: the working poor.
Canadian investment in China is driven by the need to avoid the costs of doing business associated with Canadian social and environmental values. The pursuit of profit is in nowise motivated by social conscience; were it so, investors would be loath to invest overseas, and governments loath to enter into trade agreements that provide greater advantage to people with ample funds to invest and spend, while further disadvantaging those who are struggling to provide for their children. They certainly would not invest in places where the workers are being treated badly. Would these investors tolerate their own families being treated in this way?
We, as a society of conscience, must avoid such blatant hypocrisy. Those countries with whom we establish a business relationship must be dedicated to achieving the Canadian standard of social conscience; otherwise Canadians are suborning the gross mistreatment of other human beings when we trade with them. The reality is, even at home, we are persecuting many Canadians by dooming them to a life of low pay, low benefits, and little or no opportunity for their children – children who happen to be our Canada’s future.
How do we address the effects of our own hypocrisy, among them, the plight of workers in other countries? Tariffs per se are not the answer, because they will invite strongly negative reactions from egoically minded trading partners and will hurt Canada economically. If we are unable to apply a naked tariff on goods entering Canada so as to provide Canadian manufacturers a fair playing field, might Canada adopt a different approach and achieve the same end? Could Canada discover a way to preserve the Canadian standard of social conscience at home and establish the Canadian standard of social conscience abroad?
Here is how we might accomplish this: we first determine the cost of doing business in Canada that is directly attributable to our labour and environmental controls. For each type of business, we determine a specific tariff; for example, in paper manufacturing, we might levy $50 CDN per tonne of newsprint we buy from China. The environmental portion of the tariff would be used to offset the cost of sending Canadian environmental contractors to China to implement the necessary technical upgrades to match Canadian environmental standards. The rest of the money collected from tariffs, that is, the portion that pertains to the fair treatment of workers, could be applied toward the continuance of humanitarian aid to every country that lacks the wherewithal (but not the commitment) to support social, environmental, and employment programs comparable to Canada’s.
The effect of this approach will promote global-market competitiveness while preserving (or building) people-oriented, socially-conscious societies, at home and around the world. This way is much more effective than bombing the heck out of people.
Rather than import the lower social and environmental standards of our competitors, let us export our higher social and environmental standards to the world.
- Tiering of Health Care and Other Services – We must abolish any sort of tiering of services. Unless I am mistaken, there is only one type of Canadian, and therefore no bona fide justification can exist for providing different levels of service to Canadians, determined by ability to pay. Healthcare, education, due process, and an adequate standard of living, are things a society must provide to all its members for it to be, and to remain, truly viable. Two-tiering is contrary to the direction in which human societies must evolve in order to remain viable. What we should do is:
- Adopt a user-fee system – where the total cost borne by the user does not exceed a certain percentage of their gross income. A supporting formula must be designed to accommodate the fact that some will need to avail themselves of more services than others.
- Adopt an effective sin tax – Simple. If you smoke, the price you pay for cigarettes will include the projected health care costs you will likely incur as a result of yours (and my) bad habit. If this renders cigarette manufacturing unprofitable, even better. An effective sin tax would also apply to alcohol use and alcohol-related crimes, to recreational marijuana use, to fast-food, and to driving your own automobile to work when public transportation is highly accessible. The formulae governing the sin tax structure would perhaps be similar to that which insurance companies use to establish rate structures.
- The notion of universality must be redefined. Limit universal benefits to those who need them – people retiring with savings or holdings above a certain threshold should not be paid CPP and OAS benefits even though they paid into it. They have been amply rewarded by Canada and by God in being able to retire on the fruits of their own labour.
- Establish a National Community Network That Is All-Inclusive -We simply cannot have people spending their whole time, just passing the time. We simply cannot have people going through life feeling as though they do not belong anywhere, that there is no place where they are welcome and may feel part of. The sense of community – a natural phenomenon in small towns – becomes lost for perhaps many individuals living in big cities. We need to re-integrate the marginalized, and not allow them to stay lost in the crowds. Everyone needs to belong somewhere. Involvement ensures that everyone is doing something which is of value to someone else. Anything which needs doing can be done by someone, and with all of the volunteering going on these days, perhaps some of the time pressure on volunteers could be relieved by mandating people having no other employ, but capable and with time on their hands, to perform these tasks. This type of work would of course be supported by a guaranteed minimum salary, sufficient to keep them above the poverty line; something every working-age, independently living Canadian should be entitled to. The administrative logistics of such a network may be discouraging; however I am hopeful that if we divide up the bigger areas into smaller scale administrative units, and allow these administrative units to establish their local job-priorities, we may yet create net value for individuals, for businesses, and for society.
Building Society From the Ground Up
There are compelling reasons to reinvigorate the family’s standing as the atomic building block of Canadian society. Societies of humans are as beholden to Nature and natural processes as animal societies are. Individuals are organized into families. Families are organized into communities. Communities are, in their turn, organized into counties, then provinces and territories; finally culminating in our dear Canada. Canada itself forms a part of a global organization of societies.
The Family is the first level of organization. Think about the significance of this for a moment…
No society or nation, built upon a crumbling foundation, is able to remain standing for long – any more than a brick which rests upon bricks that are crumbling is likely to stay in place. In social organizations, no level above that of the family can maintain viability if the family itself is not viable. The family represents the first level of social organization. It is the foundation upon which all societies must be built., and an unavoidable step in the spiritual evolution of individuals.
This is where the liberal philosophy has either gone awry or been hijacked: societies cannot be built directly from individuals any more than houses can be built directly out of grains of sand. There must be an intermediary step in the process. The family unit is that intermediary -the first stage agglomerative mechanism for viable societies. If we want children to grow up capable of forming durable connections with others, we must cultivate a milieu which favours this particular outcome. It is in family where newly born souls receive their first opportunity to learn about, and to experience, personal connections and hierarchical organizations. Their first socialization experience is framed in an environment of nurture. Members of your own family are, by nature, more emotionally invested with respect to your general wellbeing than they would anyone else’s, including their own. That is natural.
Imagine the death of a neighbour you are quite fond of, and note how that makes you feel. Then imagine the death of someone you care deeply for – perhaps one of your own children. Note how that makes you feel. Both will profoundly sadden you; however, the intensity and depth of sorrow you would feel for the loss of a neighbour, although it is great, cannot compare with what you would feel over the loss of your child; a loss you would carry with you for your entire 3rd Emanation sojourn.
The structure of hierarchies is such that any corruption at the top will diffuse into, and permeate the levels below. A society which is governed by ego-bound people cannot remain viable, because they will enact policies designed to weaken and ‘dissolve’ the family unit, for example. Governments given to ego believe that uniformity is desirable; when Nature teaches us that diversity and variability are a specie’s best defense against extinction.
The egoic interpretation of legislative power and social responsibility weakens the social fabric. Furthermore, no legislative system or system of government can be made immune to the abuse and wiles of ego. Efforts to cover ‘loopholes’ ultimately render them cumbersome and stultifying.
Oftentimes, as with the federal Conservatives ‘poison-pill’ approach to policy making, the corruption of ego is enacted into law and becomes institutionalized.[xxxvi]
A society can only be as healthy as the individuals which comprise it, and only to the extent these individuals are working together. If the seedling is given proper support and nurture, it will grow straight and eventually produce good fruit for itself and for its neighbours. A healthy family milieu is the first step Nature and God have defined for the individual on the road to becoming happy and socially responsible.
Chapter VII – We Are One Body
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?[xxxvii] 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.
God and the World
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.
The Christian Trinity Is Only ½ the Picture
The Prime Emanation, God, is all inclusive. Everything that was, is, and will be; all that is good, and all that is evil, is in God. Nothing that exists, exists apart from or outside of God. Active within and throughout the Prime Emanation are the Mind and Substance of God. The non-egoic and egoic streams of consciousness are present, but are inactive until the Mind of God directs Its attention toward one or the other. If God is all things, then the Christian Trinity cannot represent all of God, since their Holy Trinity does not include all of God’s aforementioned “alter – egos.” The Holy Trinity must therefore be accompanied by some sort of unholy trinity. Taken together, these two manifest God’s full potential.
God is not male, nor is God female. God is the potential for both. God is both. God is not only Life, but death as well. We need to rethink the trinity model in order to reconcile it with facts such as these.
‘Gender’ applies not only to human physiology, but to human spirituality as well. An affinity for ego is an attribute of the Masculine spirit; non-egoic affinity is an attribute of the Feminine. Human females and males are a combination of both spiritual modes, and to varying degrees. There are women egoic to the point of being more spiritually male than some men, and there are men non-egoic to the point of being spiritually more feminine than some women.
The Holy Trinity:
The Holy Trinity manifests in the non-egoic universe. It becomes active the moment the Mind of God frames Its consciousness non-egoically. From this moment, the universe becomes 3rd Emanation incarnate through the Big Bang – Plato’s Idea/ Philo’s Logos made manifest.
The Christ = Life /The Life Force – the Logos (St. John’s Word).
The Mother = Producer and Nurturer of Life (in collaboration with the Father, Life is manifest in the 3rd Emanation in all its forms). This is the universal Feminine Spirit (aka the Sacred Feminine).
The Holy Spirit = The motive of Life and of all Creation: Love.
This describes the Holy Trinity, the way I imagine it. It is the basis of all life and the inevitable outcome of God’s non-ego. A world reconciled with the Holy Trinity is a world of collaboration, tolerance, peace, sharing, joy, and self-actualization. It would be a world where everyone is given to thinking in terms of what they can do for others; rather than what others can do for them.
The Unholy Trinity
The unholy trinity presides over the egoic universe. It becomes active the moment God’s Mind frames Its consciousness in ego. It is a secondary phenomenon. The unholy trinity is able to manifest its destructive purpose only if something exists for it to destroy. It must be preceded by Creation; by God first choosing non-ego.
The antichrist – Death/destructive force; Death made manifest; destruction made manifest; deafness to the Word/blindness to the Light of the world (and of Creation).
The father (not what is understood by the Christian “God, the Father”) – the destructive act/the progenitor of death (in conjunction with the antichrist, death is imposed upon the material aspect of all living things). Collaboration with the Universal Mother to ‘birth’ the 3rd Emanation; but in the process, the seed of death and destruction, followed by renewal, is also planted.
The unholy spirit is hatred, separation, polarization; the source of us and them. It is the spirit associated with ego.
This describes the unholy trinity. It is the basis of death and destruction. The world that promotes the unholy trinity, is a world bound by ego. It is a world of violence, coercion, mistrust, fear, economic polarization, and unfairness; a world where appearance is routinely promoted over reality. A world of chronic insufficiency; a world where you are never left with enough time in order to properly attend the needs of your loved ones and community. It is a world where people for the most part think in terms of what the world can do for them, rather than what they can do for the world.
I believe the voice of the Christ has been heard through Abraham, Moses, the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the Mahatma, John Lennon, Mother Teresa, and so many others. The Christ communicated through the music of John Lennon and Led Zeppelin, among others, in my own time. The Christ has presented the same message through different individuals; each to their own people, in a format appropriate to their time and culture. Wars among religions are, at their root, wars between cultural egos, since it is the same Speaker, delivering the same Message, upon which each of the Faiths is based. Only their outward trappings differ. There cannot be any one Faith claiming authority over any other. Only God, the One we worship, has the right to tell us how we should talk to Him, and what we should give. We would not tell someone what they should do to help our neighbour, or how they should talk to him; we would let the neighbour do their own talking. How is it that we are often so ready to accept the voices of others as being the Voice of God? So long as the adherents of each Faith remain true to their own Faith, and to their inner voice, they will remain true to God and to their life’s purpose.
The following is a graphical rendering of the Emanations model. It illustrates how the 3rd Emanation world relates to the 2nd Emanation trinities. The Prime Emanation, God, is understood to encapsulate all that is depicted in the diagram:
|Fig. 3 – The 2nd and 3rd Emanations and the Trinities
In this model, the Holy Trinity is in the superior region of the 2nd Emanation (“superior” because it is creative). Birth must precede death; without life preceding it, there would be no such thing as death (the reverse is not true). Creation – the 2nd Emanation Region of Light is therefore superior to the 2nd Emanation region of darkness.
Good trumps evil because Goodness is an attribute of non-egoic consciousness. Good is reconciled with things as they truly are, and seeks to make things better. Evil, on the other hand, is an attribute of ego, which tends to see things as it wants them to be.
There are two types of death: physical death (an attribute of the 3rd Emanation in which ‘life’ is transient), and spiritual death. Spiritual death does not often coincide with physical death. Jesus survived physical death because of his goodness, as did Mohammed(PBUH), Abraham, Isaiah, the Buddha, Gandhi, Lennon, and mom, to name but a few.
A Course In Miracles
A chance café-encounter with a teacher of A Course In Miracles revealed a fundamental difference between us on the question, “Is the Divine aware of the duality of Good and evil?”
The teacher believes, true to the book, that the Divine cannot know evil. The Divine can only know love, because that is what God is -love.
I cannot ascribe to the teacher’s belief. To say the Divine, God, is unaware of anything, offends reason and the notion of Divine omniscience; however this is not my main argument. For that, I will use the Emanations model…
The Grid connects everything across time and space. This not only allows for prayers to be heard and answered, it also means the energy each node (each soul) puts up on the Grid is “felt” by every other node on the Grid. Our souls are connected in much the same way as laptops on a Wi-Fi network. The Grid is part of the Divine. The Divine will sense the passage of egoic energies within it like we might, an intestinal cramp.
I may go on ad nauseum presenting arguments against the notion of Divine ignorance. I believe The Course In Miracles, albeit a fine book, is also proof-positive of how any philosophical framework becomes ridiculous when taken to the extreme.
Now that I have dropped the gauntlet, what is my answer to this? The answer is not so convoluted as the question, or as the book which purports to answer this question.
Each one of us may recall a time when we have been wronged. Certain people may have said things about us, that are both terrible and false. The fact that people are speaking and propagating falsehoods about another soul compounds the evil they do. We are aware of the hurtful untruth being spoken about us by others; but we are also aware of the truth, and no lie can change it: we and God know what we have done and not done, said and not said, felt and not felt. We are therefore aware of truth and untruth, of good and evil – of the duality – and so is God.
At the same time, we ourselves are not people given to lying about or doing evil to others. We cannot feel good about manipulating people, in any fashion, just to achieve our own ends. We can only feel good about ourselves, act true to ourselves, be true to ourselves. We are compelled to speak the truth as we believe it, and to care about the situations of others -including those we don’t even know. We do not feel anything good when we criticize and condemn. We cannot feel good when on the attack, even when it is in response to our being treated unjustly and unfairly. We would certainly not lie about others, and we would not return evil for evil.
Returning evil for evil is patently egoic. We, God, the universe, are much, much better than this.
Our awareness of the duality bears no relevance in determining how we interact with others. External events bear no relevance in determining the kind of people we are, and how we behave toward others – these are for us to determine on our own. To allow an external influence, any external influence, to co-opt our thinking and behaviour, is to give away the precious gift of free will.
Because we have chosen not to allow the ‘dark side’ of this duality to steal the gift that God has given us, does not mean we are oblivious to the dark side’s existence. It simply means that we choose to operate on only one side of an existential duality. We choose to extend love and goodness as much as we can. We aspire to a general state of unconditional giving, unconditional receiving, and unconditional forgiveness. It means that we are aware of the duality, that we will be vigilant, but that we will remain true to our purpose and ourselves.
The choice to not return evil for evil, is the product of enlightenment, not ignorance.
Many people should agree that Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and the Mahatma were sent by God, or, at the very least, thoroughly embraced God’s Message, then translated it for their respective peoples and times. All of these people were reacting to the great disparities they were observing, between the Will of God and the status quo -poverty and oppression topping the list. All of these Great Souls were reacting to, and attempting to resolve, the very duality this teacher claims God is not aware of.
The Divine is aware of duality, but It extends only love. Evil manifests because other souls choose to be egoic and open the door to it. The disparity in existence between the world of God and the world as it is, the Love of God is busily addressing .
Do not confuse God’s operative strategy, extending Love – for ignorance. God is aware; however God is not a reactionary – ego is. The Divine is aware of both Good and evil. God chooses to spend as much time as possible operating on the non-ego side of the duality.
It is the product of the choice God makes, which the ‘Teacher’ and authors of A Course In Miracles have confused for God’s inability to know evil.
I met with this teacher of A Course in Miracles a second time. The subject of our discussion was wisdom. Is it something that can be learned, or is it something innate – you either have it or you don’t? As you may appreciate there is much to discuss here. I believe we agreed on wisdom being the capacity for discernment, say, between true and false, right and wrong, good and evil.
The capacity to discern is prerequisite to our effectively using free will. If we cannot discern, we cannot properly choose. If we cannot discern between right and wrong, how can we expect to make the right choice?
Is Wisdom innate, or can it be learned? We know people who seem gifted with ‘street smarts.’ These people can tell a con from someone who is upfront and guileless. We also know people whom we might call naïve -by all appearances, bereft of street smarts. The reality, however, is that both have wisdom; it is simply that the naïve person resists acknowledging what they are, in their ‘heart of hearts,’ already ‘wise to.’
The naïve person suppresses knowledge of anything that would warrant action on their part that they would find undesirable. It could mean, for example, that a person for whom the ‘naïve-one’ has developed feelings, is in fact not the right person for them. By rights, they are obliged to end the relationship. But more afraid of being alone than they are of being hurt in the new relationship, the naïve person chooses to maintain the illusion of hope. Acknowledgment, in their mind, equates with being alone again. They are alone, whether they admit to it or not. In the meantime, while their soul energy is consumed with egoic fantasy, they are missing opportunities to find the right person.
Wisdom is truly innate. The emergence of wisdom within the individual is nothing other than the conscious choice to use it. Wisdom is an attribute of non-egoic consciousness. Non-egoic consciousness is active everywhere on the Grid, and is everywhere impeded and resisted by ego. To access the total wisdom of non-egoic consciousness in the universe, we need only extend our minds beyond ego. With respect to the mind’s inputs, ego acts like a dam on a river – regulating consciousness as befits its purpose. Of course, ego lacks the wherewithal to make proactive and informed management decisions; it will not fare any better than a child at the controls of the hydroelectric dam would. The best course to follow, for the purpose of this metaphor, if not for the river, is to remove the dam altogether; allowing the flow of non-egoic consciousness to come to us unresisted.
Wisdom is an attribute of consciousness which leads to all positive energy-generating choices. It is an attribute of the open, extended mind; a mind which is free.
If we are conscious, truly conscious, then we have wisdom.
Is Violence Ever Justified?
Jesus asked God to forgive those who were about to crucify him. I cannot believe, however, that Jesus would have been so tolerant of violence if it were being done to others. If Jesus was willing to die for others, he would have at anytime, anywhere, placed himself between an attacker and an innocent victim. He might have physically engaged the attacker – up to the point of neutralizing the aggression – to save the victim. Does anyone think he would have stood by, while a Roman soldier murders a young Hebrew child; and do nothing but ask God to forgive the Roman soldier for murder?
If we may assume Jesus would have tried to save the child by physically interfering with the assault, I will go on to say that violence, if wholly intended to save vulnerable people from harm, and there being no other recourse, is justified. Only then.
Two wrongs don’t make a right; but in ego’s world, they make justice. I used to bastardize the aphorism in that way. I was referring to the concept of dispensing justice. No matter what the context, violence is still violence, and it is still wrong. That is why capital punishment is wrong. It remains incumbent upon all souls to find a better way to protect the innocent from violence, and to offer opportunities for atonement to the perpetrators. Atonement is not forgiveness, a process which plays itself out entirely between the victim, the perpetrator, and God.
Chapter VIII – The End of Ego’s Primacy: the tail no longer wags the dog
A Parting Word – The End of Ego’s Primacy / The Beginning of the Aquarian Age
All people have had challenges in their lives. Some of them turn out cranky and miserable, others turn out caring and loving – the sort Gordon Lightfoot is singing about in Rainy-Day People. My mother was one soul that had very little as a child – by random chance she did not experience the love that is every child’s God-given right to receive and every parent’s God-prescribed duty to provide. What she lacked as a child, she made sure her own children got, times ten. Others, having grown up in an environment similar to hers, might have turned out mean, selfish, abusive, and opportunistic. If both types can be the product of the same sort of environment, what could explain such diametric outcomes? I think you already know what I am about to say…
There are but two roads provided for you to tread in life – the egoic road or the non-egoic road. The universal dichotomy forms the basis of all existence. You must choose for yourself which path. On the non-egoic road, you will sometimes encounter potholes or steep hills; however the direction in which it is leading is toward joy.
Blessed are the poor, the long-suffering – Jesus once said.
This project began with an unassailable belief in God, humankind, and a positive outcome for humanity and God’s Creation. I had not yet figured out how all that was going to be achieved. I just knew that it would be. And so, I began to write this book, in hopes of finding a solution I could believe in. I developed the Emanations model as an aid to help explain and organize the world I live in, into something I could understand and hopefully share with others.
I began at the beginning, or rather, a beginning – describing the origins of our universe, our planet, and of ourselves. I did this to establish context. I wanted to ask questions and explore possible solutions. Finally, I wanted to be able to propose solutions to some of our most pressing social problems.
What I ended up with was a great surprise – I had acquired a profound awareness of the interconnectedness of all things – that the fate, or rather, the direction of God, the universe, and of humankind, are one and the same. The future path of humankind, will be determined, in part or in whole, by us; by virtue of free will. The future is truly in our hands.
Karma describes a universal communications and delivery system which is, conceptually, very similar to the human circulatory system; except that it is energy making the rounds, rather than blood cells and plasma. This energy is called Chi, and this is the lifeblood of the universe. Humankind must recognize that any expression of negativity is returned in like measure and that the only viable operative strategy, on the individual and collective levels, is to think and act in a way that will engender positive energies: Love, Goodwill, Honesty, Trust, Tolerance – that sort of thing. We must learn to appreciate that the cumulative effect of the energy exchanges among and between humans and their world, shapes the world, and by extension, the universe.
We stand at the threshold of the Aquarian Age. The “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius” is contemporary with the Advent of God’s Kingdom. What will determine the timing of either event will not be God per se; rather, it will be us. The Advent will occur when we are generating enough positive energy so as to neutralize the accumulation of negative energies in our world. We will have set aside all destructive modes of behaviour – even those in response to the negativity of others – when we no longer permit ego-consciousness to frame our thoughts, actions, and connections to the world – and to each other.
The choice confronting humans is not whether to do good or evil, but whether to remain beholden to ego, or to be free from it.
God’s Kingdom on Earth
Everything which is, is of God. Jesus is part of God; no less so, Mohammed. When either of these great souls spoke the truth, they were proceeding from a state of reconciliation with the Christ, permitting the Christ to communicate through them, to us. Jesus and Mohammed may have existed as spiritual entities in their Holy Triad forms before they were born into the 3rd Emanation world – I do not know; neither is it really all that important. What is important, is that they were here. The Christ-Spirit I am referring to, however, has always existed.
The extraordinary capacity for courage and love which these individuals cultivated toward others is a definitive attribute of leadership; whether it be Jesus, Mohamed, Gandhi, or Lennon, or others of like “soul-stature,” I am confident they will appear, with the Advent of God’s Kingdom, simultaneously at the pinnacle (providing leadership) and base (providing service), of the kingdom hierarchy. God’s Kingdom will not be ruled by Christians (because they follow Jesus), or by Jews (because the Jewish God told Abraham his offspring would be the rulers of many nations), or by Muslims, because Mohammed was the “last prophet of God”, or by Hindus, because Gandhi was Hindu. For these great Souls, it will be business as usual; they will continue to lead by example. They will not sit on thrones and lord it over all Creation, for all eternity– that would be the ego’s interpretation. Such leaders do not see themselves as “lords;” but rather, servants and stewards. Has what we know about their lives not sufficed to make this plain to us?
The true Masters are those who Serve.
Jesus was killed at the behest of his own people even though the Romans pulled the trigger. He must have felt great shame ever since then, over the actions of churches, sovereigns, and rank-in-file adherents who oppressed, murdered, lied, and did violence in his name. Jesus only preached “turn the other cheek.” He took what he preached so seriously that he silently endured the cruelest abuse without hitting back. He stood toe-to-toe with Satan, who threw everything he had at Jesus – still, Jesus stood his ground and did not back down. He had so fully incorporated non-egoic consciousness into his nature, that he spent his last breaths asking God to forgive the very people who were hurting him. Jesus is a great soul; however this was not the only reason he asked God to forgive them. I believe he recognized that anyone capable of wanting him crucified and ridiculed was in hell already and not likely to emerge from it without Divine Intervention.
Although Good trumps evil, neither can ever completely annihilate the other. God’s Kingdom on Earth may be expected to show a little bad together with all that Good. Science will attest that disparity and potential are what keeps things moving. It is important to reduce disparities, say, the gap between rich and poor, as much as possible; however uniformity, even uniform Goodness, is an egoic aspiration and would result in the utter dissolution of Creation. Whichever spiritual/consciousness mode is predominant in the universe, its opposite serves to keep things glued together, and to keep things evolving. Yin and Yang describes that existential process which prevents the universe from ending in random-scatter and permits the universe to renew Itself with another Big Bang.
We need not be perfect, nor can we, nor would we want to be; in this world, or any other. There is only stasis in perfection; which, among individuals, means never being “out of character,” and among groups, means “everyone the same.” Life is the process of evolving toward perfection, on the one hand, while resisting uniformity, on the other.
Life is really about “living;” there is no goal or final outcome; only ego “thinks” there needs to be; the rest of you is happy to just be.
In God’s Kingdom we will have put away our weapons along with our mutual mistrust. We will have turned away from hoarding our wealth and resources, so that others around the World and in our own communities might escape poverty and have viable opportunities to improve their circumstances, and those of their children. In God’s Kingdom we will no longer engage in activities that endanger the viability of future generations.
We have framed our world in ego since the very beginning of organized societies – after we left the Garden – and it should be clear to us, after the passage of so many millennia, that the egoic approach simply isn’t working.
We have, after all, one choice remaining. How will we choose?
Chapter IX – The Commonality Among Faiths
In this section I am looking for parallels among the major Faiths – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism – to promote the idea that across time, cultures, and distances, the message coming from God/the Divine has been the same message. If that is so, why then have we persisted in killing one another for seven millennia? Why do we continue to deny one another the right to life, free will, comfort, safety, community, tolerance, and equal opportunity – rights given them by God? Why, after all of these years, have we not accepted that violence, intolerance, coercion, mistrust, and dishonesty can produce nothing of permanent value for anyone?
The answer is simple enough: ego. Ego cannot tolerate even the slightest departure the world may take from the “truth” it works so hard at cultivating for itself. Ego is operating wherever humans are involved -particularly in matters of religion. Here it is too easy to fall into the trap of needing to be right. The rationale might go something like this:
“If God is the leader of our Faith, then God’s Will is being communicated to us through the apparatus of our Faith. How can we be wrong? Allowing that another Faith might be right is like saying ours is wrong, is like saying God is wrong. God cannot be wrong; therefore the Faiths who differ from ours have to be wrong.”
And so it goes…
Now, to the list of commonalities. These are the ones which I have found. This list is by no means complete, and only includes what I call the ‘major Faiths.’ As for my approach, I began with my own religious tradition. We learned all about The Ten Commandments in Grade One, and I use them as a basis of comparison with the other traditions. What would you add to the list?
I The Lord Is. The Lord is not guided by His Ego; neither should you be.
II Respect God. Do not use God’s Name to curse.
III Give one day of the week to the Lord and God’s Creation.
IV Honour your Family. Honour your Father and your Mother. Look after your Sister and your Brother and your Children, and the unfortunate in your community.
V Do not kill.
VI Never Lie about Other People, or Betray their Trust
VII You shall not take anything that belongs to or is intended for another.
VIII Always work to ensure no one is lacking in what God has intended for them.
IX You shall live as Stewards of the Earth and of Humankind, in such a way as to honour God, our Ancestors, our Children, and also future Generations.
X Resolve to be part of the Solution, not the Problem.
XI Dedicate Your Life to Service.
I – The Lord Is
Catholic Version: I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me (Deut. 5:7, KJV).
Jewish Version: You shall have no other gods but me (Exod. 20:3, KJV).
Muslim Version: There is no other god beside God (Al- Quran, 47:19).
Hindu Version: God Exists. One Absolute OM. One Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara (Shiva)
Buddhist Version: Belief in non-creator deities; some Buddhists revere the Buddha as a god (but not a creator-god) while others do not.
In first grade I was presented with my first textbook – a child-friendly version of the Catholic Catechism. On page one, there was a depiction of the Earth set against a starry background. The text below introducing God and saying something to the effect that…”God has always been.” I distinctly remember thinking to myself at that moment, “How could something always be?” Apparently, the notion is difficult even for a six-year-old to accept; how much more difficult for an adult! As an adult many years later I had occasion to revisit this question. I found my answer in asking another question – Since something cannot come from nothing, something had to always be, so if it was not God, what was it?
Those who run around like Chicken Little, proclaiming there is no God are, in my view, blind; spiritually-desensitized by their ego. Those who claim their version of faith is the only true version, or that they are the only ones qualified to speak for God, are just as wrong as the atheist, and for the same reason – ego. I so conclude because to reason the non-existence of God, or, that any one book could contain all there is to know about God, is only possible if one is deliberately and in every possible way blocking the most visible evidence to the contrary.
Only ego is capable of doing this. Only the ego-bound are able to think and feel this way without knowing there is something egregiously wrong in doing that. One who is atheist has chosen to separate themselves from the facts, to ignore what is self-evident, to ignore any and all evidence of something greater than the self and of being an integral part of something far greater. Ego both creates, and is sustained by, its own illusion.
Rather than conviction, disbelief in God is a reaction to the face of God shown to them by other people. It is preoccupation with the silly things people say about God which is preventing atheists from discerning the truth in what people say about God. With ego, it is all or nothing. If the ego catches someone in a lie on a single point, then it tends to be skeptical of everything this person says. The all-or-nothing approach is a perspective of ego; one that limits its ability to discern. The ego can discern between for and against, or right and wrong, for example. It cannot accept shades of grey, or anything supporting the notion that variability among people and in Nature is not only acceptable, but desirable.
American playwright and anthropologist Robert Ardrey averred that it is precisely variation that species use to ensure their future.
Three of the major Faiths – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism – aver theirs is the only true Faith; that those who live according to any religious standard but theirs are misguided and perhaps even hell-bound. Throughout their history, each Faith has experienced internecine struggles, each perpetrating violence, in the name of God, upon the other, and upon their own. These individuals do not appear to have been bothered by the utter imbecility of one group condemning to hell the adherents of another, in the name of the God whom both groups worship.
Hinduism, to my knowledge, does not aver ascendancy or authority over any other Faith. Furthermore, there are many versions of Hinduism, and none of these claim ascendency over the other versions. The Hindus agree there are many paths to God, and welcome discussion of their respective differences as opportunities to refine their own beliefs.
Faiths call God by different names. They all refer to the Mind, Soul-body, and Soul which imagined, and then created the universe. All of the Faiths have established a scriptural ‘authority.’ Each cannon is believed to have been communicated directly from God to their prophets, perhaps involving heavenly intermediaries. Most of these scriptures were written down centuries, if not millennia, after the events they describe. The Jews received the Pentateuch from Moses, who received it from God. The Christians claimed for their own, chronicles written by people with, at best, second-hand knowledge of Jesus’ ministry, nearly a century after his death. The Muslims, received their scripture from Mohammed(PBUH), who received it from the Angel Gabriel.
Adherents of the respective faiths might privately acknowledge that they do not believe or follow all that is in their scriptures; neither do they believe it is necessary to, in order to be true to their if you do not believe every word, then you do not believe any word. Does this all or nothing approach not sound suspiciously like ego? Hmm?
With respect to religious differences, I do not see anything worth going to war over, do you? Doesn’t the fact that we worship trump any differences over how we worship? Still, from their inception, most faiths have made war upon each other. They have gone to war, in the process murdering innocent men, women, and children, over what to call God, who His chosen people are, and who was Her greatest spokesperson. The Hebrews justified the slaughter of innocent Canaanite men, women, and children, in Exodus, because their scripture promises that land to them and to no one else. The Crusaders ‘gallantly’ charged into their holy wars shouting “God wills it!” and, “In the name of Jesus Christ,” despite Jesus being so demonstrably anti-violent that if you knew only one thing about Jesus, you would have known this, and could not possibly have missed it. The Moslems have their jihad, which some have egoically interpreted to mean, virtue in the murder of non-believers, who could be Shia, Sunni, Christian, or Jew.
God would never tell anyone to do violence against another one of His children; any such order attributed to Him is someone’s ego speaking. Is there a single parent who would tell one of their children to murder another of their children, for the purpose of not having to share the family home with them? How then might anyone conclude God could order one of His peoples to murder another of His peoples, so they need not share the ‘Promised Land?’ I realize there are all kinds of clever theological arguments to rationalize murder, but show me the parent who would order such a thing and I will show you someone who should never have been a parent, and also someone bound by ego and bound for jail. I entertain no doubts about God’s parenting ability. Do you?
VIOLENCE IS NOT WILLED BY GOD – it is willed by ego. It was ego which motivated the Israelites to slaughter Canaanite men, women, and children, together with the Hebrew belief that it was the Will of God. The Israelites were only mindful of the need to find a place of their own. They were not considerate of the Canaanites, or of any other indigenous group, who got there before they did. The Hebrews had emerged from 400 years of oppressive enslavement by the Egyptians and were tired of wandering the desert. There was no willingness among their leadership to include the needs of the indigenous in consideration of their own. This is a normal reaction. Long and intense suffering, such as the Hebrews endured in slavery, is perfect ego-fodder. Hebrew parents would have seen their own children experience horrible oppression, the while wanting to protect them from it –but incapable of doing so. Does any parent know pain greater than that of seeing your own child suffer, and not being able to take their pain away?
Pain has the effect of drawing people “deeper” within themselves, where they are no longer sensitive to the pain felt by others. Some Hebrews were, as were their leaders, seduced by ego into inflicting upon others the very suffering that had been inflicted upon them.
The ego cannot stop even there. The sorry situation ego is responsible for creating, ego must somehow rationalize, or it will feel guilty -recalling the egoic cycle of Action-Reaction-Guilt. The challenge for ego is to make itself believe its own actions are justified, though they be, by all appearances, identical to the terrible things others have perpetrated upon it. No small task here – I’ll warrant there were many among the newly emancipated Hebrews who could not find themselves capable of murdering innocent men, women, and children, solely on the basis of how terribly the Egyptians had treated them. It would have been necessary, therefore, for the leadership to find a way to manufacture support for the slaughter they were about to inflict upon the Promised Land’s current occupants. Such a directive came, just in time, from God Himself. Really? How fortunate. No one would question the Will of God.
The Hebrews were exploited and brutalized by the Egyptians for four centuries. Their only crimes were: in not being Egyptian and in believing in just one God. Interestingly, an Egyptian New Kingdom pharaoh, Akhenaten, introduced the notion of “One God” to the Egyptians, some thirty years before the birth of Ramses II, the pharaoh of Exodus.[xxxviii] The Hebrews were no threat to the Egyptians; but they were perceived as threatening to the Egyptians because they would not accept slavery. But ancient ego, just like the modern kind, is able to imagine all sorts of threats without any help from anybody. When the Hebrews left Egypt, they were determined to never be put in that situation again. Their determination was borne out of the severe oppression they experienced. With this experience fresh in their psyches, there were only two ways they could respond:
- The way of ego: No one is going to do that to us again. We will find our own land. If someone is already there, we will take it from them, just the way others would have taken it from us. We will make it ours…because God wills it.
- The non-ego way: No one is going to do that to us again. No one should ever treat anyone that way. We will find our own land. We will endeavour to make peace with our neighbours and to work collaboratively with them. We will never raise arms, except in defense of ourselves and our neighbours against the oppression and aggression of others.
At that time, sadly, it was ego which had the final word.
Today, the Jews are still fighting for their homeland; but they continue to expand their current turf into areas that ethically and morally belong to the Palestinians and into lands taken from other peoples in the 1967 war. Israel’s conservative governments have been provoking their neighbours and some of their neighbours have been provoking Israel. This, some 3400 years after establishing the land purportedly promised them by God. After all this time, you would have thought the Jews, and their neighbours, would come to realize there is no changing anything with violence.
Violence exchanged for violence is simply a game of tossing logs into the fire of ego which is burning between respective nations. But so long as they, and their neighbours, choose to not extend their thinking beyond the level of ego, they will never perceive their own folly, nor the lack of justification for the evil they continue to perpetuate upon others, and others upon them. Non-egoic thinking reveals that violence is by nature reactionary and therefore cannot result in anything of permanence. Non-ego informs people that it is folly to wait for the other side to take the first step toward peace, because they might never do it. Non-ego knows that if either nation were to make the first leap of faith, they are, at the least, assured of planting a seed of peace which may resonate and grow into the very solution both sides need. I believe President Obama recognized this in his approach to a deal on the Iranian nuclear program and the lifting of economic sanctions.
I wonder if it would not be better if only those who are directly responsible for a war – the leadership and the people backing such leadership – were in the front lines, and doing the actual fighting and dying. Those directly responsible for starting wars would be tossing themselves, together with their ego, into the fire. I believe this might have occurred in ancient times. If disputes among nations were settled like that today, I suspect there would be no wars. There would also be a lot less people having to get along in life without mothers and fathers, wives or husbands, brothers or sisters.
The Lord Is. To truly know that the Lord is, and what the Lord is, one must escape the limitations of ego. The egoic interpretation of God’s Will and Message has been responsible for all of the “faith”- killings perpetrated and experienced by humankind over the centuries. The ego’s insistence on being right on all points, introduces error, apostasy, downright lies – even atheism. One must cultivate non-egoic consciousness -in this way, one is able to discern between what is true and what is not true; between the God’s Truth and ego’s fantasy.
II – Respect God
Catholic Version: You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain (Deut. 5:11, KJV).
Jewish Version: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (Exod. 20:7, KJV).
Muslim Version: And do not make [your oath by] Allah an excuse against being righteous and fearing Allah and making peace among people (2:224).
Hindu Version: No law against blasphemy per se; however the Indian Penal Code forbids insulting religion (God) or someone’s religious beliefs.
Buddhist Version: Buddhism was derived entirely from human experience, although Buddha himself was promoted to godhood by his followers.
One must know the truth, about someone or something, before being able to form a proper attitude toward it. Awareness begets truth and is the first step along the path toward respect. Therefore, let us begin by being truthful about God. We must always discern between what we see, and what we want to see. A non-egoic mindset leads to seeing things objectively, as they truly, and fully, are. Ego leads to seeing things subjectively, as we want them to be, or at least, as we expect them to be.
All scripture was written by people; but not always by eyewitnesses to the deeds of the heroes and heroines whose deeds and sayings are being presented. It is patently ridiculous to expect anyone tasked with reporting on events from seventy years earlier to do much better than guess at who said what to whom, when, and in what order; or who did what to whom, when, and precisely what their state of mind was when they did it. We know from experience how details get lost, facts invented, or changed inadvertently in the retelling. Remember the game, “Gossip?” How then can we hold our own scriptures, whose origins were, at best, in oft-repeated oral tradition; at worst, in deliberate, politically-motivated fabrications, as being God’s Truth; the final Word of the Almighty?
The study of scripture to the exclusion of all else, leaves us wanting in the knowledge of God and of God’s Will. We require other sources – the primary one being God/the Divine, Who is communicating with us all, all of the time. God /the Divine will help each one of us to get the most out of scripture. That egoic insistence on perfection and primacy of scripture, though written by individuals long dead, is often distracting us from what God is really saying, right now. Scripture provides a template to aid in the understanding of God. It was written by people who, for the most part, were seeking to understand God. But scripture is not suited to being our only source of spiritual knowledge. It should be just as obvious that God, and God alone, can communicate God’s Will, as it is that your wife, not your golf-buddy, can best tell you what your wife has on her mind. God /the Universe is communicating Her Mind to us all of the time. The more non-egoic our frame of mind, the more cognizant of God’s Message we will be.
No one can listen to two people talking at exactly the same time. It is the same with the mind. Your understanding of the world is the result of your having to choose between ego and non-ego. You cannot listen to both voices at the same time, any more than you are able to think two thoughts at the same time.
The formalization of oral traditions into written scripture has had the effect of blocking the very processes of improvement and renewal that were responsible for producing scripture in the first place. To take a two thousand-year-old writing, with all of the currency of a weekly newspaper’s sports section, as final scriptural authority, can only cause trouble. It becomes increasingly difficult for succeeding generations to reconcile the wisdom of the ancients to their own times. Those who make their careers out of interpreting scripture, oftentimes manufacture interpretations so thin and incredible that they can hold no appeal for honest, independent-thinking, open-minded people.
The general cynicism among Canadians, toward the talking heads who have become their government, is resulting in low voter turnout. Paralleling this, is the growing cynicism toward religion; likewise being manifest in low attendance at religious centres, particularly among young people. While the officials of Faith institutions try to imagine new ways to engage youth, the root cause for non-attendance is ignored; just as the root cause for low election turnout is ignored. The root cause is lack of credibility in both cases.
With respect to faith institutions, the credibility problem is caused by ego’s penchant for making the world (and God) all about the ego, its sifting through scripture for self-affirmation, rather than enlightenment, and by its desire to have the last word. It is pure egoic fantasy that there can EVER be a “last word” attached to anything so timeless in nature as God is. The authoring of scripture was never meant to end. Scriptural authors are expected to continue with the job begun by the ancients. God meant them to continue to enrich, update, and add to their respective scriptural canons, with the goal of maintaining the pertinence of God’s timeless Message in today’s world. How have people come to make themselves believe that, for the last 1400 years, God has had nothing more to say to us? And if they don’t believe that, why haven’t any of them bothered to write something new?
The problem is ego’s limited cognitive capability. We declare that God is perfect.[xxxix] Ego reasons that anything perfect will not change, for if it did, it could not have been, in its former state, perfect.[xl] Therefore God cannot change because God is perfect. If God cannot change, anything purported to be the Word of God cannot change either, or it is not the Word of God. Once adopted, the scriptural canon of a particular faith cannot be changed, or it was never authoritative. The religious institution is therefore obliged to not add to, subtract from, or in any other manner alter its canon; for to do so would be an admission of fallibility. The scripture is declared God-inspired, therefore, if the scripture is fallible, then so is God. God cannot be; therefore the scripture cannot be – or so the argument goes.
The outcome of such reasoning, of such egoic reasoning, is that nothing of the canon can be added, changed, or deleted – ever.
Ego affects institutions as surely as it does people. If a given faith “knows” God, it follows that it provides a definitive explanation of all matters relating to God; such as the Will of God, and the way to God. Ego predisposes faiths to view any other faith’s version of God as apostasy and “false doctrine,” or else admit theirs could be. “One God, and only one way(ours) to get to know God” – sounds suspiciously like ego to begin with. Considering humankind’s experience with God’s Creation, the significance of diversity, variability, and change, within the grand scheme of things, should not have escaped our notice. It is a very small step for us to take, albeit with huge consequences, to view pluralism among faith institutions and scripture as God and Nature’s rule. Apostasy, heresy, etc. are natural processes which have the effect of increasing our knowledge of God; rather than watering it down or corrupting it.
Can anyone really think that they, and only they, know God so completely as to qualify them to fully inform others about God, much less write it all down? Not one among us can fully explain how the same elements found in rocks and minerals also become the building blocks of life; how then can any of us permit ourselves to believe we are able to fully explain God; not only for right now, but for all time?
We expect the teachings of faith to possess this quality of immutability just as we expect God to; but this is an expectation only ego is capable of forming. No human can fully know, or express, the Mind of God. Anyone claiming to is maintaining a secret agenda for good or ill; or has become ego-bound to the point where they have utterly beguiled themselves out of reason. The non-egoic thinker will automatically question what they read in their scriptures and discern what is God’s Truth from what is the writer’s agenda. The non-egoic thinker will realize that there is much more to God than the written word, any written word, is capable of revealing; that most knowledge of God is revealed through exchanges between the minds of sentient beings and the Mind of God – often through intermediaries, ‘heavenly’ or ‘earthly.’ Because God is all things, knowledge of God is simply not attainable from one source.
The Great Bard’s Hamlet says as much:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.[xli]
I, for one, remain skeptical that God encouraged the Hebrews to destroy the people that were already living in the land God had promised to them. Why would God not have required them to negotiate some sort of deal of mutual benefit to newcomers and indigenous alike? God is Father to both Hebrew and Canaanite, is He not? If you believe not, please explain to me who made the Canaanites? Today, the Jewish people are presented with an opportunity to do right by those who call Canaan home, just as they do. Not so very long ago, the world was presented an opportunity to do right by the Jews, and the Jews have come home. How many of us are given the chance, presented in both cases, to so perfectly right old wrongs?
The need to claim exclusiveness and authority for a particular scripture is ego’s need. The only way to separate truth from untruth in scripture is by viewing it through the lens of non-ego. You will seek to further expand your spiritual knowledge among the scriptural traditions of other faiths; not limiting yourself to your own. You will note in which ways scriptures converge and in which ways they diverge. I would guess all Faiths agree on God’s Love for Creation, for humankind, for all things with souls. But they depart from one another, and from God, in their insistence upon being the only way to God, and God’s only voice.
In order to respect God, one must know God. In order to know God, one must look past the ego, and see things as they truly are. To know God, begin by forming a general attitude of inquisitiveness toward life, and openness with respect to the answers life provides you with. Question everything. Allow your “head and heart,” in equal measure, to guide your assessment of whatever anyone (including the author of this book) wants you to believe about God.
III – Give one day of the week to your Family, Friends, and Community; God and Creation
Catholic Version: Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day (Deut. 5:12-15, KJV).
Jewish Version: You shall remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy (Exod. 20:8-11, KJV).
Muslim Version: O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew (62:9).
Hindu Version: No holy weekday.
Buddhist Version: No holy weekday.
Each day of the week is the same as the next. The cultural tradition I was born into reserved Sundays for God, Family, and Community. When I was a child, stores and bars closed for the day; factories ceased production. In those days, most folks in Canada had Sundays off. There were not many distractions from the opportunity to connect with family and community on that day.
These days, things are different. The Canadian demographic has changed. Many Canadians are not of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and for these people Sundays may or may not have special cultural significance. The business model has also changed: Sunday is for many, a regular work day. I do not propose that Canadians, regardless of religious denomination, should reserve the same day of the week for family, friends, and religious observances; I am, however, proposing that each of us dedicates one day of the week.
These days, we are looking for a minute here – a few minutes there, to accomplish our community ‘obligations.’ In this we are sorely remiss. We need at least a full day each week, where the focus is on family, community, and other people; not on the job, the neighbour’s weedy front yard, the hockey game, the 6 pm news, and our selves. We need to do this so as to remain grounded and capable of maintaining a positive perspective in a threatening world. We need to refresh ourselves socially and spiritually, to take a break from ourselves, just as surely as we need to have two days off from the job, out of every seven, in order to refresh our bodies and minds, and to avoid wanting to strangle any of our coworkers J. If we do not, we risk drifting so far into bad habits and attitudes, that we no longer recognize them as bad habits and attitudes. This one day observance provides us with the opportunity to form substantive personal and community connections, and to more fully appreciate them.
So, for one day a week, focus your mind and efforts on things that are truly valuable. That which is truly valuable, our God has already given us. If we do not acknowledge these gifts on a regular basis, we will soon take them for granted. We might not realize how blessed we were, until after they are lost.
What has God given us which is of value? Easy one to answer. First, we have been given life. Second, we have been given love. Third, we have been given free will, which permits us to choose the world we want to live in. What better way to acknowledge these gifts than to:
- Take an hour or two one day of each week, to gather your family and/or circle of friends together in prayer to your God and to learning and elucidating your scriptures; even adding to them.
- Reserve part of the day for doing things in which family, friends, and neighbours can participate. From grandmother to grandson. This could include a few hours of volunteer work – like cleaning up your local park or your street.
- It would also be a good idea to invite your neighbours over for tea on a regular basis – does not matter if they are younger or older than you – they are your neighbours. Do this, and in an emergency, your neighbour is not only closest, but also most willing to help.
This is not easy. Friends and neighbours may belong to different faiths, not to mention different generations. Here one must be flexible. There is nothing wrong with establishing new traditions to match your personal circumstances; this is, after all, the way every tradition has its start.
The important thing to recognize is that we must afford sufficient, contiguous time for bonds to form among human souls, in the home, and in the community. You would not bake a cake for a few minutes here, a few minutes there, and expect a quality result. Neither can you expect to form relationships of quality, if you accord your time to family, friends, and community, in a haphazard way. Because of the conflicting demands placed on our time, it is easy to go weeks, even months, without making proper time to connect with families, friends, communities – and our God.
Reserve a day for family and friends, and for prayer. Reserve time to perform community service on a volunteer basis. Cultivate community, inclusiveness, and tolerance.
Family and faith institutions are of their nature suited to the task of community building. These micro-settings are able to provide the social intimacy individuals need to acquire the tools and perspectives that are favourable to building strong communities and lasting personal relationships. We must start with re-institutionalizing the family as the atomic unit of Canadian society. Only the family unit keeps individuals together in a continuum from newborn through old age. [xlii]
How might we organize families to facilitate collaboration among them in their communities, and among communities? A Muslim cabbie I once took a ride with explained to me how this could be done: by utilizing the mosques, churches, synagogues, devalayams, and temples – anywhere people regularly gather.
Some might argue that institutions of faith no longer have credibility; this in reaction to the personnel scandals within them and the general failure to modernize God’s Message. But none of the faith institutions ever codified violence, sexual abuse, deception, or greed into their governances and scriptures. Their malfeasances arise out of the waywardness of people employed by these institutions; people who have chosen to act contrary to the dictates of their own faith. It is the people and the leadership of these institutions, not the institutions themselves, that are wholly responsible. The ensuing, ill-advised cover ups, are also due to the choices made by individuals within the institutions – not the institutions themselves.
It is a grievous miscalculation to equate the failures of these individuals with the failure of the institution. Does anyone hold Jesus responsible for the murder of innocent Muslims, Christians, and Jews, simply because these Crusaders proclaimed “In the name of Jesus Christ!” and “God wills it!” as they rode to the slaughter? Remember, Jesus was that guy who, after being ridiculed, maligned, and then crucified, used one of his last breaths to ask his God to forgive the people who not only did these things, but were standing around watching him suffer. Jesus was so imbued with God/the Divine’s Love he was incapable of expressing anger even then.
IV – Honour your Family
Catholic Version: Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee, that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Deut. 5:16, KJV).
Jewish Version: Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee (Exod. 20:12, KJV).
Muslim Version: And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. (17:23).
Hindu Version: No rule or tenet per se; however honouring your mother and father is likened to honouring God .
Buddhist Version: The Itivuttaka: Living with Brahma are those families where, in the home, mother & father are revered by the children.
Honour your father and your mother. Look after your sister and your brother and your children, and also the unfortunate in your community.
Your mother and father took care of you all the years you were incapable of taking care of yourself. Resolve to return to your parents, in their age of dependency, what they willingly gave to you, in yours. You also honour your parents by extending the love and care they gave you, to your children. Only in this way can you fully acknowledge the value of their gift to you. Do not shut your parents away in an old folks home unless it is critical to their wellbeing. Find a way to keep them with you, so that they may live out their days among people they have had a lifelong, socially-intimate connection with. It is the obligation of the state to provide material support to the elderly; but to expect the state to replace the spiritual support of love ones is unreasonable.
The people are the heart of the state; but the state cannot be the heart of the people.
There is no better way to acknowledge what your parents did for you, than to care for them in their old age.
Children are the future. There is no worthier occupation than in nurturing and instructing them. There is no greater responsibility for humankind than to prepare the best possible future for every child to inherit.
There is no greater asset to humankind than its children.
Because ego has provided the context for our actions since “civilization” began, humankind is today in such a “hole” socially, environmentally, and economically, that the future of this generation’s children is imperilled.
There is no greater responsibility for humankind than to preserve a viable future for every child to inherit.
V – Do Not Kill
Catholic Version: Thou shalt not kill (Deut. 5:17, KJV).
Jewish Version: Thou shalt not kill (Exod. 20:13, KJV).
Muslim Version: Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a Soul unless for a Soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely (5:32).
Hindu Version: Yamas: Ahimsa. Non-violence(Western Hindu).
Buddhist Version: The Five Precepts: No killing – respect for Life.
Here is a commandment that requires no revision whatsoever; even after three thousand years. The commandment is clear. Unequivocal. Even so, the human chronicle of the last three thousand years is one of bloodshed, exploitation, and oppression. Today, 33% of the world’s population is Christian, 21% Muslim, 14% Hindu, and 0.22% Jewish. Nearly 70% of people are beholden to their faith to observe this commandment; yet killing is being done in great numbers every day.
Governments murder their own citizens. Worshippers are murdered for the way in which they worship. Parents murder their children. If parents are not trustworthy, who is left to be trusted? People murder over power, politics, money, drugs, romance– for any reason you can think of, or for no reason at all -every day. Yet nearly everyone believes violence is rarely justified. If a consensus exists, deploring violence for what it is, how then is it possible for violence to continue to flourish the world over?
Ego. It is how people are able to justify the violence they do while at the same time condemning others for doing violence. Apart from self-defence or the defense of others, violence is never justified. When the immediate threat of violence to your person (or some other person) is removed, you are never justified to use violence, much less kill. Capital punishment and wars of aggression are an inexcusable blot on the human soul. They are state-sponsored, but this does not mean they aren’t murder.
We may use God to rationalize violence, but God has already told us not to kill. The Christian religion has its basis in the life of an individual who so deplored violence, he could not resort to it -even in his own defence.
I believe God prohibits capital punishment because it denies to the soul She created any further opportunity to evolve and become better. Suppose there is someone, tried and convicted of first degree murder, awaiting execution. Suppose that, while on death row, this person becomes truly penitent – so penitent, in fact, they look forward to being executed; that they might properly atone for what they did to their victim.
The timing of their execution is the difference between whether they are bound for Heaven or for hell. Had they been executed before their penitential moment came, we might have denied them their epiphany. We may also have ensured their soul’s destruction – a soul created by God, not by humans.
We would not want to destroy a single soul, nor the triad it forms a part of, for all of the potential for goodness contained therein. Neither should we risk unleashing a repeat-offender upon society. The only solution is to reward murder with an irrevocable life sentence. Dr. Guy Turcotte murdered his two children. If he were truly penitent, he would not have petitioned the courts for his release; for the chance to build a normal life for himself. If he were truly sorry, he would want to go on atoning, until the day his own life ends, from inside the prison.
He would not be pleading to have his life returned to him –that being the very opportunity Turcotte denied the two young children who were entrusted to him by God.
VI – Never Lie about other People, or Betray their Trust
Catholic Version: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
Jewish Version: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Muslim Version: And They (Servants of God) do not testify falsely (25:72).
Hindu Version: Yamas: Arjava. Honesty, renouncing deception and wrongdoing(Western Hindu).
Buddhist Version: The 5 Precepts: No lying – respect for honesty.
Imagine a place where people never, ever lied. In such a place, the speaker would feel only the obligation to share and to inform; to provide the listener with all of the facts necessary in order to properly exercise their free will. Imagine a business world that diligently upholds its social obligation, rather than just paying lip-service to it. Imagine a world where people are motivated to interact with you, a stranger, as often when you are in need of something, as when they are in need of something from you. Imagine a world where you are not pressured to buy more than you need, while billions we share the planet with never have enough. Imagine a world where the political motif is informed entirely with the spirit of public service, rather than self-service, partisanship, and ideology; where democracy is not being perverted into a game of “Machiavellian Pursuits,” wherein there are only two objectives: to obtain power and to maintain power.
Social and family values will be lost if honesty does not provide the base upon which everything else is built. The point where further honesty is to the detriment of the speaker cannot be where honesty ends. Honesty to the point of convenience is not honesty, it is convenience. This, we know, affects societies as well as institutions and individuals – oh, and politicians.
Honesty among individuals fosters trust among individuals, and trust among individuals fosters viable organizations of individuals. There can be no relationship without trust; and there can be no trust without honesty.
Now, contrast what should be with what is:
We have governments made up of individuals whom we expect to lie to us; and so we have irresponsible government (accountable, it seems, only to the people who place and maintain them in power, as opposed to the whole of society). We have religious institutions, founded on truth and justice, whose members sometimes lie (such as when they say their Faith is the only true Faith, or when they say killing “the unbeliever” is the way to God and Heaven). We have media people whose jobs are to impartially deliver and interpret the facts; but who oftentimes present facts in a way intended to provoke a certain response from the reader. We have individuals in positions of authority who attack and malign others for doing the very things they themselves have done (recall the Jimmy Swaggert – Gorman fiasco). We have police beating up and killing innocent citizens, mentally disabled citizens…and so on.
The result is widespread cynicism toward governments, religious institutions, police, the media; institutions whose raison d’être is to promote and protect the best quality of life possible for society’s members. The aforementioned institutional genres are properly called the “estates” of society. The term “estate” refers to society’s five “foundational components:” the Clergy, the Nobility (or in modern term the 1%), the Common people (our Middle Class), the Media, and the Poor. Every one of our society’s foundational estates now lacks credibility, because of the actions of some of its members. We all know what happens to the house built upon a shaky foundation.
These days, people stay away from institutions of Faith in droves, and often lack engagement when they do attend. The rich seem to view others as an opportunity to acquire more wealth; rather than see their wealth as an opportunity to help others. The Media no longer enjoys the credibility it once did, because journalists are obliged to report the news in the way their editors require them to; the editors, in a way pleasing to the owners – otherwise everyone is out of a job.
And what about the Poor? They are the most rapidly expanding economic class in Canada and around the world; this because of the greed of people in the other classes and the misguided priorities of governments. I say “misguided” because an enlightened society will sense that it becomes structurally weaker to the extent it tolerates poverty; most especially in terms of wasted potential, opportunities, and the social anathema poverty begets.
In order to get back on the rails again, we first promise to be true – to ourselves and to one another. We need to be tolerant, for in the absence of tolerance, too many will be obliged to lie. And if too many lie, we forfeit the chance to develop into a society of conscience, equanimity, and collaboration – one led by an accountable leadership that does not mislead the people it is serving.
The patrimonial advice Polonius sends son Laertes off to school with describes the general foundation of success. It is the basis upon which individuals, no matter their role, must proceed. Individuals who start with the truth always produce the highest quality of family, friendship, community, faith institution, public institution, and government:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.[xliii]
VII – You shall not take anything that belongs to or is intended for another
Catholic Version: You shall not steal.
Jewish Version: Thou shalt not steal (20:15).
Muslim Version: As to the thief (man or woman) let their hands be cut off, a retaliation for what they did, a punishment from Allah (5:38).
Hindu Version: Yamas: Asetya. Non-stealing, non-covetousness(Western Hindu).
Buddhist Version: The 5 Precepts: Do not steal-respect for others’ property.
Imagine such a world. Imagine you could leave your front door unlocked when you went away, leave your keys in your automobile, lose your wallet and have everything returned to you. I lived in such a world for half my life – it was a little town on the north shore of Lake Superior. In a small town, you knew everyone and it was 99% likely that anything lost would be returned, and anything not nailed down would remain in its proper spot nevertheless. As for the other 1% – well, you knew who took it, and what to do to get it back. This is the traditional understanding of theft – to take someone else’s property. I would, however, broaden the meaning of the word to include all that God intended a soul to have.
With this provision, theft is no longer limited to material possessions, but now includes
free will, quality of life, developmental opportunity, and the opportunity to have children and to properly raise them.
When we ascribe to the expanded definition, we take a quantum step forward along the path of social and spiritual progress. Theft now describes the act of taking what someone has and the act of withholding from someone that which they are in need of. There is no shortage of examples to draw upon; however at the top of my list would be to deny any child the right to grow up in a safe, nurturing, and loving environment.
For as long as there are children in Canada not growing up this way, I cannot myself abide the mega-dollars the Harper Conservatives were spending on PR, such as the Queen’s jubilee, the royal family visit to Canada, and the shameless self-promotion/propagandizing that they have been wallowing in since being handed a house majority by the “voters-who-don’t-vote” in the last federal election.
Next on my list would be to deny a home to anyone; the most egregious case I can imagine would be that of allowing or being responsible for the homelessness of an entire people. For the failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the blame belongs entirely to ego. Both Palestinian and Jew are reasonable in their expectation of security and safety for their families and way of life. But I do not hear the Hamas faction arguing for Israel’s right to exist; neither do I recollect the Netanyahu government advocating for the Palestinians’ right to precisely the same thing.
Because of the oppression the Jews have experienced over several millennia, I cannot help but think they know better than any other people-nation, the utter tragedy of homelessness. I cannot help but hope the Jewish experience will render them especially sensitive to those who are now living the darkness they themselves had lived for so long. In the spirit of Gordon Lightfoot’s Rainy Day People, I entertain the hope that the Jewish experience will motivate them to champion the cause of the vulnerable and homeless people-nations around the world. Israel could be an advocate that the world truly needs; and their unparalleled resourcefulness guarantees success.
Israel should never allow others to be oppressed as they were, much less contribute to the cause of it. You would think both Israeli and Palestinian would combine and apply their considerable talents for one purpose: an end to the violence being perpetrated upon their men, women, and children. No free-from-ego Jew, Christian, or Moslem can be oblivious to the hypocrisy of inflicting upon others precisely that which you would not want others to inflict upon you. That would be a clear violation of the Golden Rule; and both sides have been guilty of this in the past.
The denial of land to homeless peoples is not the only context for this kind of larceny. What of the theft of natural habitats? Human expansionary “development” is responsible for the diaspora and extinction of countless animal populations. Not only are we destroying the environment that the world’s flora and fauna depend upon, we are destroying the environment we depend upon.
It is not God’s Will for us to “organize” the natural environment to the point of reinventing it – He has already put much thought into it. It is not God’s Will that we should destroy the “worlds” of those species that happen to be in the way of what we define as progress. Whether we acknowledge it or not, Nature is self-regulating – it is already reacting to the violence we inflict upon our Earth Mother, and should we continue with this ego-driven re-organization of what God has made, we will achieve the same end as the cancers our behaviours currently emulate. Some of us are already planning to leave this planet and go to Mars; I don’t see this as human progress; but rather as a cancer metastasizing. Until we learn how to properly respect the Earth which bore us, how is it we can even think to wander off and compromise yet another planet? More ludicrously: rather than seriously invest in the healing of our sickly but still living planet, we are dedicating money to making liveable and colonizing a planet that is already dead.
The cancer metaphor does not fully describe what humankind is doing to Mother Earth and Her response. Whereas cancer expands itself to the point of destroying the organism supporting it, humankind can only destroy the hosting organism’s ability to sustain humankind and some, but not all, other organisms. The hosting organism, the Earth Mother, will survive; Nature will survive. Life on the Earth Mother will make a wonderful comeback – perhaps this time, without us.
Am I able to make a case for “lying” as theft? Lying appears in the context of theft when it is used to obtain something from someone who might, if knowing the truth of the matter, not have given it. Lying to sell your product or overstate its value, for example. Although value may be established by some other means, such as market value, there must be a limit. “Buyer beware” should not appear in our business ethics vocabulary. Rather it should be “seller beware.” This would be the case in a truly “just-society.”
During election campaigns, the tolerance of misdirection, and even outright lying, is one of the Canadian electorate’s greatest failings. In this case, we are allowing our right to know the ‘whys’ and ‘why-nots,’ indeed, our democracy itself, to be taken away. The common egoic response is to get frustrated with the status quo and proceed to elect someone else; however, like the pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the politicians we elect end up behaving too much like those we voted out of power.[xliv] We get nowhere. Politicians continue to make promises they are unable, or do not intend, to keep. At the same time, the politicians currently serving Canada appear to have honed promising the moon, while mollifying with a pebble, into an art form. They sound promising without promising anything. They diligently criticize the policies of their opponents, even when they would do, or have done, precisely the same thing. What frightens me is that they do not appear to experience any discomfort in playing falsely with the people they serve.
Very recently, a provincial Liberal government misled the people they are duty-bound to serve, about the cost of cancelling power infrastructure projects in ridings they very probably would have lost had they not done so. The compensation paid to contractors as a result of the cancellation might have been used to thwart the closure of hospices dedicated to serving the needy in our communities; an opportunity these politicians gave away in favour of enhancing their status in the provincial legislature. That any government would consider doing what this government did is as revealing of a problem in government, as a fox is of a problem in the henhouse.
The theft of innocence. At some point, we might have convinced ourselves of our eternal devotion to a romantic interest, only to find ourselves, in a matter of only months, professing the same thing to someone else. Romantic feelings are natural; however once the ego -spin-doctor extraordinaire- gets hold of them, our words, spoken in all sincerity at the time, end up mere trappings with which to couch the natural urge in; but with devastating consequences. Just how do you suppose the rejected feel? I have felt this. I’ll bet you have too. I’ll bet nearly everyone has. You feel worthless. I knew that I couldn’t do that to her, so I was given to conclude the new boyfriend was a much better person than I.
Rationalization is an egoic phenomenon, and the ego will automatically rationalize the hormonal urge as true love; and rejection as utter worthlessness. The mind not bound by ego is able to discern between love and sexual desire.
Becoming involved with the wife/husband – girlfriend/boyfriend of another is a form of theft that requires little explanation. The ego will try to convince you that the current object of desire is the one, the only; that you must be together. But experience teaches us the fires of romance only burn so bright for so long. No relationship in which ego plays the main role is able to maintain its initial intensity for long. There must be connection along other interpersonal dimensions, or the relationship is going to end. At some point, ego must defer to a non-egoic framing of the relationship; otherwise, the hapless participants will be obliged to move on and experience the same process all over again. No one would pay as dearly to see the same tired “b-movie” twice. Why would any of us choose to be on its Dramatis Personae?
Theft of Life is so serious it has a commandment to itself. Any taking of life is a crime against God and the universe. Self-defence and defence of the vulnerable are the only exceptions. Self-defence is only self-defence up until the threat to one’s person, or to one’s sovereignty, is neutralized; beyond which, it is murder. Capital punishment must never be used to punish crime. Once incarcerated, the evildoer is no longer a threat to society.
Not paying your fair share of taxes is theft – whether you are an individual or a corporation. No one likes to pay taxes; you cannot even experience the joy of giving, because the government is taking it from you. But if we cheat on our taxes, or, if a particular government does not oblige corporations and wealthy individuals to pay their proper share[xlv], then the primary mechanism to control wealth distribution is compromised. It is hard for any of us to support any taxation because of how governments spend their time and our money; however taxes fund social programs and build infrastructure. The few dollars you might cheat the government out of, ends up cheating the child whose parents cannot afford the cost of house-league hockey. He or she will have to sit out and watch their friends play; wishing to join them, but because they are of a poor family, they cannot.[xlvi]
The ‘lesser-than-everyone-else’ feeling that poverty forces a child to cultivate runs deep, and one never gets over the feeling of being ‘lesser-than.’ The society that fails to ensure equality of opportunity for all of its members, especially its children, cannot remain a viable society, much less ever be a just one.
VIII – Work to ensure people have what God intended for them
Catholic Version: If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
Jewish Version: However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you. Deuteronomy 15:4.
Muslim Version: Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity),- for them is a great Reward. (57:7)
Hindu Version: Yamas: Daya. Compassion and the conquering of callous, cruel, insensitive feelings toward others/ Niyamas: Dana. Giving without thought of reward(Western Hindu).
Buddhist Version: Observance of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path will produce the outcome of consuming only enough to achieve a milieu of health, safety, comfort, and opportunity while sharing your excess with those who do not have enough.
God intends for every soul to be happy. If we permit ourselves to be anything other, we have done ourselves, and others, a great disservice. Children must grow up in loving, nurturing, safe environments. Teenagers must approach adulthood feeling good about themselves, their prospects, their world. Wives must trust their husbands and husbands must trust their wives. Parents should never be anxious for the safety, health, or happiness of their children. Labourers should never be wallowing from payday-to-payday; anxious about today’s prospects, fretful about tomorrow’s, unable to improve on either. The elderly and disabled should have the opportunity to live as fully and independently as possible.
Imagine if each one of us gave just two hours a week helping someone in our neighbourhood obtain more of what God intended for all of us to have? If we all participate, I will warrant God’s Kingdom is not far off.
IX – Live as Stewards of the Earth and of Humankind
Catholic Version: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15
Jewish Version: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15
Muslim Version: In the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, men and women are viewed as God’s vicegerents on Earth. (2:30) God created nature in a balance (“al-mizan”) and mankind’s responsibility is to maintain this fragile equilibrium through wise governance and sound personal conduct.
Hindu Version: The Laws of Manu Chapter VII (Western Hindu). For, when these creatures, being without a king, through fear dispersed in all directions, the Lord created a king for the protection of this whole (creation).
Buddhist Version: Buddhism idealizes and emphasizes interconnection, thereby creating a mindset that creates a productive and cooperative relationship between humans and nature.
The ego is unable to appreciate the folly in assuming God, and what God created, can be remade subject to the will of humankind -whom God also created. Microsoft’s Excel won’t tolerate a circular reference on a spreadsheet, but ego routinely looks the other way as it formulates your life perspectives.
Things just won’t work that way. No matter what one is considering, one cannot rebuild something without first understanding the complete process and the processes relevant to those processes (and so on, and so forth) and then figuring out how to fully duplicate all of its functionality; including the functionality of self-regulation, maintenance, and renewal. We will very probably never acquire total knowledge over ourselves, much less over the Earth Mother who birthed us. We have behaved as the all-knowing masters, which we are not, for as long as we have been ‘civilized.’ We artlessly plunder the environment (what’s up with this fracking business, anyway?), according little, or no consideration to the effects of our activities upon ourselves, our neighbouring communities, countries – or upon those who will inherit the world from us. While ego plays its games, an environmental black-hole is forming that will suck all of us into a place from which we might not be able to escape.
Today’s First-Nations Canadians encapsulate in their traditions the attitude, knowledge, and skills which permitted humans to survive here for several millennia before the Europeans. Now the time and opportunity is upon us to undo the damage we, and our ancestors, have perpetrated upon the Aboriginals and upon the land whose bounty they rely on as much as all other Canadians do. The aboriginal traditions of cultivating spiritual intimacy with the land and environmental stewardship, recommend them for an integral role in shaping national environmental policy.
The Aboriginal approach to the environment is expressed in these Eight Tenets:[xlvii]
- Inseparable relationship between people and the natural world
- Respect for all aspects of the environment, everywhere – not just in the community
- Recognition of the dependence of people on the physical environment
- View of the land as sacred
- Responsibility to future generations
- Respectful and responsible use of resources
- Preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural environment
- Belief in the link between environmental quality and quality of life
In the world of today, these tenets point the way to a viable future for all people. If we do not someday breathe these tenets like we do our own air, we will not have any air to breathe…nor water to drink…nor food to eat…
We didn’t inherit the earth from our parents. We are borrowing it from our children.
– Chief Seattle (Beckford, Nadhee, 2011).
Is there any more to say? Live as stewards of the Earth. Seek ways to restore the Earth Mother’s health and vitality and purity, rather than new ways which will allow us to continue to plunder her. We cannot take from her faster, or more, than She can give, and She will give all that She can. As we plunder her further, She is able to give us less and less.
For the sake of our children,
Live as stewards of the Earth.
X – Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem
Catholic Version: Blessed are the peacemakers (Mathew 5:9).
Jewish Version: Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14).
Muslim Version: O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another (49:13).
Hindu Version: Yamas: Daya. Compassion and the conquering of callous, cruel, insensitive feelings toward others/ Niyamas: Dana. Giving without thought of reward(Western Hindu).
Buddhist Version: Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth(Dhammapada 223).
Was there ever a conflict between two people, groups, or sovereign states, which has not been ego à ego? Being part of the solution does not always mean having to be right. At times, it may be better for one side to give in until a better opportunity is presented for reconciliation. The “rightness” of your thinking may yet be acknowledged by the other side –if and when they are ready to. But if you press each time you believe you are “in-the-right,” then ego is a factor as well. If your ego is already a factor, you can bet the egos of the people you are contending with are also factors. Ego cannot resist reacting to the egos of others. The longer the egoic head-butting goes on, the deeper the two sides are entrenched; the more indelible is the line dividing the two positions -to the point where the line, not the issue, is stymying resolution. When egos are managing the interaction, things quickly devolve into a “pissing-match.”
Two people engage in an argument. They face one another from across a burning campfire; the campfire represent the negative energies (or emotions, if you will), which intensify as the argument progresses. Each person brings their own supply of logs. When either of them defends their position (in effect, denying the position of the other), or attacks the other’s position (in effect, supporting their own), they toss another of their logs onto the fire. The fire burns brighter, and more furiously, with each new log.
Conversely, whenever the response of either side is to seek to better understand, even empathize with, the opposing argument, their log is taken from the woodpile, and permanently set aside. If one finds they more often seek to understand rather than to be understood, their own pile will eventually draw down to nothing. They will find themselves with no pressing reason to keep arguing. They might even end up being the sort of person others go to, in order to resolve arguments, rather than to start them.
Now, what do you suppose will happen to the fire, if one of our campfire confrontationists chose not to provide the fire with any wood? Well, the fire would burn less brightly, and for a shorter period of time. Eventually the other person, no matter how cantankerous their mood, will run out of logs, and the fire between (and within) them will go out. Be advised that there may be some residual embers left over, and the fire could easily erupt anew should someone toss in a fresh log.
You are choosing to be part of the problem for as long as you continue to feed the fire; you are part of the solution when you no longer feel the need to toss logs. Then it will be you, and not the ego, handling your side of the confrontation. You, not the ego, will do the talking; but before saying a word, you will have invested every effort toward understanding the position of the other. When someone comes at you angrily, start with this thought: People always have a reason; what is this person’s reason? It might indeed be something unrelated to you, or the moment. Inevitably, when you take this approach, the fire will burn less brightly, and for a shorter period of time. When both sides come to the point of bona fide interest in the other person’s side, neither side will continue throwing logs; and conditions are propitious for producing a win-win result. This is the only way for people to reconcile with any permanence.
You need do nothing to remain a part of the problem since ego is by nature reactionary and will respond to every log the other side tosses with one of its own. In order to become part of the solution, you simply need to direct your mind’s attention past ego (therefore past the fire) and you do this the instant you consider what is motivating your confronter to this behaviour. One half of the secret is knowing the ego is always talking if there is an ear to listen –the other half is knowing you do not have to listen.
In time this will come naturally. We do not remember how difficult it was to learn how to walk; now most of us take walking for granted. It is the same regarding the cultivation of a non-egoic approach to the world.
XI – Dedicate Your Life to Service
Fantasy? Perhaps – but can you not think of a single role individuals regularly play, where service is freely given, and with no expectation of reward? I can – the role of being a parent. I remember describing parenting this way: “You laugh when they laugh, you cry when they cry.” You are more concerned with their success than your own. Realizing your own dreams becomes less important to you than seeing the dreams of your children realized. You are honest with them about your mistakes in hopes they will avoid doing the same, et cetera, et cetera. A more selfless (in the sense of egoless) relationship than that which naturally exists between parents and children is not possible, any more than that which exists between God and us.
Your primary focus is to provide benefit to the world; the benefits you obtain from the world will issue naturally from this. Be both parent and child in your interactions with others. Serve at every opportunity, and allow others to help you when you are in need.
Addendum – The Four Forces of the Universe and the Emanations Model
Physicists believe they have identified four elemental forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force. The four forces identify with aspects of the Emanations model:
- Gravity – Reconciliation, the Law of Attraction – see Laws of Attraction, in Chapter V – Humanity. Reconciliation, of all that is created, is the superordinate motif of God and the universe. Gravity is the superordinate motive of the universe and is the ‘material’ phenomenon associated with non-ego.
- Electromagnetism – Emotion, fields of positive and negative energy. Electromagnetism is the energy ‘field’ that surrounds a conductive ‘core,’ created by virtue of the flow of energy through the conductive core. The Right Hand Rule: Point the thumb of the right hand, while making a fist, in the direction the electrical energy is flowing through the core. The fingers will indicate the direction of circulation of the electromagnetic field around the core. The soul is the conductor. The soul sheath is the electromagnetic field.
If the quality of the energy flowing through the soul is: positive – the ‘thumb’ is pointing ‘upwards,’ and the fingers are indicating that the electromagnetic field flow is counter-clockwise (right-wise soul-spin). Divine Energy, from the outside, flows into the left hand, passes through the soul (the conductor core), then out through the right hand to the person you are helping, or the thing you are creating. The direction of energy flow through the core is determined by your conscious choice to be egoic or non-egoic. If you are non-egoic, the energy is positive (the ‘thumb’ is pointing ‘upwards’); if egoic, then the energy is negative, and flowing ‘downward.’ The soul sheath is the electromagnetic field that results from the flow of energy through the soul. Counter-clockwise (right-wise) circulation is felt as one of the positive emotions –joy, for example. Clockwise (left-wise) circulation is felt as one of the negative emotions –anger, say.
The direction of the electromagnetic field is the direction of the soul’s rotation, and the direction of rotation is being determined by the direction of energy flow through the soul. The direction of flow is the result of your conscious decision to be ego conscious, or non-ego conscious. The energy you choose to generate, positive or negative, is the energy you are refilled with.
What you sow, so shall you reap.[Galatians 6:7]
When giving, the ‘thumb’ is pointing upward. From the perspective of the Giver, the electromagnetic field is counter-clockwise, recalling the right-wise soul spin associated with non-egoic consciousness. As the Giver provides energy to the Receiver, he is receiving energy from the Divine at the same time. As the Receiver receives, the electromagnetic field created by the flow of energy into his soul is opposite to that of the energy flowing out of the Giver’s. According to the right-hand rule, it will be clockwise, recalling that left-wise soul spin is associated with ego. While consciously receiving, the Receiver has a transient egoic spiritual configuration.[xlviii]
The Receiver may be tempted to continue tapping into that source to acquire more of what it needs, perhaps to the point of running the source dry. The Giver, meanwhile, gives where there is need and only for as long as there is need; she has no need to keep on giving to the Receiver; and while she gives of herself (no matter to what or whom), she is replenished with Divine Energy. The Receiver is receptive to the Giver’s energy; whereas, the Giver has opened themselves up to receiving Divine Energy by the act of giving. Anyone can see that it is far better to give than to receive. Live to give, not to take (or receive)[xlix].
It is better to give, than to receive. [Acts 20:35]
Strong Force – the force that holds protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei together. It is strong enough to overcome the powerful repulsive forces between like-charged particles. The Strong Force is Love.[l] It is strong enough to overcome the dissociative forces which are associated with ego.
- Weak Force – the weak force is responsible for radio-active decay. The weak force is dissociative and could be the precursor of the universal forces of separation, which receive their ‘incarnation’ only through the ego. The weak force is the material phenomenon associated with ego.
The strong and weak forces exist in a dynamic equilibrium. At the precise moment of the Big Bang, the weak force (dissociative) has spontaneously overwhelmed the strong force (collaborative) and the equilibrium is momentarily shifted to the extreme right. As the Big Bang Expansionary phase proceeds, the weak becomes less dominant, and the strong more dominant, until they achieve a point of precise balance. This marks the end of the Big Bang expansionary phase. As the universe collapses in on itself, the strong force increases in dominance relative to the weak force. At the precise moment critical mass is reached, but not exceeded, everything in the universe is reconciled with God, and is contained in that tiny little ball. At this point, the strong force, Love, is at its highest point; the weak force is at its nadir.
If the forces of dissociation are at their lowest, and those of reconciliation at their highest, the interactions between the strong and weak forces, while being able to account for how the Big Bang expansions and contractions play out, are unable to account for the Big Bang per se. The strong force is too strong, the weak force too weak, for the tiny ball to begin unravelling into a universe. The point of critical mass represents total and utter reconciliation of all things, but gravity (the force of reconciliation), pulls the ball further inward, causing the ball to exceed critical mass and then explode outward.
Inside the pre-Big Bang tiny ball, it is many minds working as though they were one Mind (God’s). The universe is in a state of total reconciliation, making free will moot. In the post-Big Bang universe, it is many minds working independently, but by their free will, choosing to work for one another, and for the world. For God. This is the universe of non-ego. It will be a world of us; no longer us and them. A world where reality trumps appearance, love trumps hate, tolerance trumps coercion, giving trumps taking, and peace trumps war. A world where the wolf may truly lie down with the lamb [Isaiah 11:6].
The Big Bang is the main plot of God’s Creative Opus, but there are an infinite number of subplots unfolding in parallel. Without the strong force to keep mutually repulsive elements together, gravity might not be sufficient to reverse the universal expansion and the universe might never return to its tiny-ball state. Without the weak force, the cycle of birth-maturation-decline-death-decay-rebirth cycle is disrupted and nothing is renewed. Throughout all Nature, while the Big Bang universe is progressing, the subplots of existence are playing out. Sunrise – sunset, Spring – Winter, waking-sleeping, the progression of the Seasons – all are examples of the subplots operating in support of God’s primary theme. The Big Bang cycle itself is a process of Divine renewal, as well as one of universal reconciliation.
It was consciousness of nothing beyond the Self that motivated I AM to create. The universe is the body of God. The life-cycle of humans is delineated by birth (creation: the Big Bang), growth (the expansionary phase), maturation (the contractionary phase), then death (the moment of total reconciliation of the human spirit with God). Then the next thing each individual hears is:
Let there be light…
and we do it all over again…
[i] Whereas Good seeks to restore the universal balance; evil seeks to skew the balance in its favour.
[ii] The discovery of the Higgs boson particle could change our view of the universe. It is now being theorized that massless particles, such as quarks and gluons, obtain mass through their interaction with a Higgs boson field. For details on the Higgs boson, and on the Standard Model, which originally theorized its existence, see the Wikipedia article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson
[iii]There are exceptions to this on television, however: Steve Paikin’s, The Agenda, among others.
[iv] According to an article appearing in the National Post, 28 September 2011, poverty costs taxpayers 24B annually. According to a report issued by the National Council of Welfare, a federal government advisory board. The report says it would have cost about 12B to bring everyone out of poverty. Poverty costs manifest through shelters (because of inadequate housing; police and prison costs, healthcare costs, lost productivity). Diane Finley, minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) is quoted as saying: “The best way to fight poverty is to get Canadians working. Our government is squarely focused on job creation as part of the economic recovery, and through the Economic Action Plan, we have created 600,000 new jobs since July 2009.” Hmmm….recent (2015) reports from Statistics Canada and CIBC are telling a very different story about the welfare of working Canadians, the working poor, not to mention those who cannot find work, or those who are too old or too disabled to obtain work.
[v] I refer the reader to George Lakoff’s The Political Mind. How the political parties structure their messaging is the subject of the book. Mr. Lakoff discusses the science of framing the political debate; the idea being, the party who is able to set the issues during the writ period, can program the voter to respond positively to their party’s stand, and in the same breath, respond negatively to the positions of the other parties. The radio-evangelists use the same technique – repeat the same message over and over, and the brain will hardwire some neuron connections so that you will respond to the same stimulus in exactly the same way, time and time again.
[vi] Witness the 19 October 2015 result, after having given the Harper Conservatives (those guys who replaced Canada’s Progressive Conservative party) a majority in 2011.
[vii] The Canadian Senate has earned its salt performing their role as Sir John A.’s ‘chamber of sober second thought.’ There is nothing to change but to mimic what Justin Trudeau et al have already done when they cut all party links to Liberals now working in the Senate. The PM nearing the end of his or her tenure may still pick senators; only from now on, when one becomes a senator, one must resign one’s party membership.
[viii] I have heard that people who suicide by jumping in front of a subway train goes often unreported. The idea, I was told, was to avoid giving ideas to other potential suicides. That is very good thinking. What I am suggesting here is that the media might consider expanding their self-regulation to include child-murderers, serial-killers, rape-murders, and the like.
[ix] The Harper Conservatives are using their democratic majority to undermine Canada’s democracy(the democracy that allowed them to come to power; but now that they are in, they want to make sure they stay in), to denature her socially and environmentally, so that they might plunder and exploit her for everything of value. They deliberately and completely ignore the severe short and long term consequences to our nation and to future Canadians (not to mention the sacrifices of past generations of Canadians); even spending upwards of a billion dollars of public money at a time when poverty is more prevalent than ever before, and the economy is imploding, on television commercials to convince Canadians that everything is ‘so,’ when in fact everything is not ‘so.’ They pay lip service to democracy while they try to change our laws and constitutional framework to destroy democracy, and direct an increasing proportion of our country’s wealth to the haves and away from the have-nots.
[x] Lambdin, Thomas O. (n.d.). The Gospel of Thomas . In The Gnostic Society Library: The Nag Hammadi Library. retrieved May 3, 2015, from: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gthlamb.html
[xi] Lambdin, Thomas O. (n.d.). The Gospel of Thomas . In The Gnostic Society Library: The Nag Hammadi Library. retrieved May 3, 2015, from: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gthlamb.html
[xii] Landolfi, Rob. (March 27, 2016). How does gravity alter the trajectory of light? In PhysLink.com. Retrieved March 27, 2016, from: http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae661.cfm
[xiii] The article can be read here: m.huffpost.com/qc/entry/7425108
[xiv] For an excellent article on matter – antimatter, please go to: http://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/cern/ideas/antimatter.html
[xv] Zyga, Lisa. (April 13, 2011). Antimatter gravity could explain the universe’s expansion. In Phys Org News. Retrieved March 25, 2016 from: http://phys.org/news/2011-04-antimatter-gravity-universe-expansion.html
[xvi] Though Satan’s soul may die, evil itself, of course, cannot, anymore than ego can; they are both fundamental attributes of existence.
[xvii] The 2011 version of the Harper Conservatives shamelessly used the cowardly attack on Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in 2014 to gain public support for their so-called antiterrorist legislation, Bill C-51, and with the same despicable aim as the Bush administration: to remove the citizens’ constitutional and charter rights to privacy and due process.
[xviii] Okay, I invented a new word here. By it, I simply mean the extent to which something is egoic or non-egoic. I use it as a convenience only.
[xix] These words recall the prayer in the movie, Mother Theresa, starring Olivia Hussey.
[xx] This recalls for me John Locke’s idea of the tabula rasa, or clean slate, which every human soul enters the world with. Interestingly enough, the notion extends back to Aristotle and even prior. Plato, on the other hand, averred the mind pre-existed somewhere else, before being instantiated on earth, which is the way I am also leaning.
[xxi] Cite properly: from the book by Nik K.
[xxii] Remember: Egoicism, in any of its forms, renders the soul preferentially receptive to and generative of ego-compatible energies. Negative energies sustain the soul / soul body in the same way sugar sustains the physical body: without providing any nourishment. No entity, physical or spiritual, is sustainable for very long without nourishment; a regimen of ego-compatible energies will only destabilize the soul matrix as the soul consumes itself in order to supply the missing nutrition, and will eventually cause it to disintegrate.
[xxiii] Cite this. It is from Deepa Chopra The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (I think) – this citation might have been lost during reformatting – check early versions –it might still be in there.
[xxiv] A reference to the dubious biblical story of Jacob and Esau. That anyone, no matter how blind, could mistake one of their grown children for another, is utterly ridiculous; then the purveyors of this tale would have us believe that the elder brother was hungry enough to trade his inheritance for a bowl of soup…..Ah, come on, man! How do we know that the author of the tale intended it as a bedtime story for his children? This is more likely than intending it to form a part of scripture.
[xxv] Edmund Burke.
[xxvi] This last point forms the basic dramatic question in The Last Temptation of Christ.
[xxvii] Simon and Garfunkel. The Boxer.
[xxviii] Read Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century.
[xxx] The quote is actually from the movie, Jesus of Nazareth, and is spoken by John the Baptist. It does not actually appear anywhere in the Judeo-Christian bible. The truth of this statement, is, however, irrefutable.
[xxxi] Properly cite: www.azlyrics.com retrieved 30 October 2014 “Michael Jackson Lyrics. Man in the Mirror.
[xxxii] Cite properly: retrieved from mobile.brainyquote.com 30 October 2014. No title. Quotes appear by themselves.
[xxxiii] Citation: St. Thomas Aquinas, the just war, Summa Theologica
[xxxiv] This figure is from a Star article, based on Stats Can info. There is a wonderful infographic provided by tvo (it’s on the phone and I’ll copy it into the info sources for this book). There is also the www.makepovertyhistory.ca which is quoting 3.5 million in poverty. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
[xxxv] I refer you to the writings of Thomas Piketty. His opus, Capital in the 21st Century, provides a thorough analysis of the problems the modern world is facing, and the way out. His suggestions are not an attack on the wealthy, or the employer classes. He simply notes that market capitalism is not self-regulating with respect to the distribution of wealth. At the risk of oversimplification: if an apple is taken to represent the Canadian economy, and the apple increases in size by g% every year(the rate of economic growth), and if the first bite taken from the apple every year is r% is the rate of return on capital, then if r > g, then that ‘first bite’ is growing faster than the apple itself is, and there is less and less of the apple remaining after that first bite, over succeeding years. That means there is less of the apple to be paid out in wages, government infrastructure and social programs, and the other things societies rely on their governments to do. Eventually, a war or social upheaval occurs, as a sort of economic ‘reset.’ The cycle delineated by Piketty has repeated itself throughout history, but there is a way to avoid the ‘hard boot’ and Piketty’s book explains what to do. It preserves wealth but recommends a progressive tax on wealth, which can be structured to support small business, while obliging corporations to pay their proper share. Only progressive government policy, and financial transparency, nationally and globally, is required to avoid misery and violence. This dubious pair are the certain outcome of wealth inequality. Wealth inequality is the certain outcome of an unregulated market capitalist economy. The progressive tax scales must be properly structured, but the overall strategy must be to tax so that r is always lower than g; that way, the size of the ‘first bite’ can be regulated to achieve a socially optimal wealth distribution.
[xxxvi] I have in mind the Conservatives’ anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-51. The ‘sugar’ of this poison-pill is measures facilitating a more pre-emptive approach to fighting jihadism. The poison is permitting law enforcement to do end runs around the constitution and charter, the things that define the Canadian spirit and vision, and also Canadian democracy.
[xxxvii] This recalls the story about when the parts of the body were deciding who should be the boss of the man: the brain said, since I do all of the man’s thinking, I should be boss; the eyes said, since without us the man would be blind and helpless, we should be boss; the stomach said, since without me the man would starve, I should be boss; the legs said, since we take the man wherever he needs to go, we should be boss; then the asshole applied for the job. The other parts of the body laughed so hard the asshole became mad and closed up. After a while, the brain got foggy, the legs got wobbly, the eyes got crossed and unable to see. They all conceded and made the asshole boss. This only goes to show that you don’t need to be a brain to be a boss, just an asshole.
[xxxviii] This might not require proper citation, but make sure the years are correct.
[xxxix] God is perfect. But ego is not able to understand perfection the way God does. Perfection is change; but ego believes perfection is in stasis. The ego has a natural resistance to change.
[xl] That is why ego is always seeking affirmation from other people. If it has done anything inferior, then it must be inferior, so goes ego’s thinking. Ego can only see life as a static and binary, rather than evolutionary, with many interceding shades of grey between two poles.
[xli] Hamlet I.v.167-8
[xlii] Reinvigorating the family will probably involve some major backward shifts, socially: 1 – primary income-earner families. 2 – mom, or dad, not working until children in school fulltime. 3 – children not attending school fulltime until they are 5. Let them be children a little while longer.
[xliii] Hamlet I (iii)
[xliv] That being said, the Pearson, P. E. Trudeau governments, and, most indicators are, the Justin Trudeau government, belie this statement.
[xlv] I define “Fair-share” as the level of taxation that is necessary to ensure every Canadian lives above the poverty line and has equal access to affordable housing, education, health, legal, and all of the other services governments are obliged to provide society’s members with.
[xlvi] This recalls a story my father told me from when he was a boy. He was a fishing enthusiast, but his family could not afford even a rowboat. Every Saturday morning, he got up early, gathered his fishing gear, and went down to the boat docks. There was a boat he cleaned, with the hope that the owners would take him along fishing with them, in the way of saying ‘thank you.’ But each time he was disappointed: the fishermen did thank him, and then left him standing on the dock, wanting, wishing, hoping – disappointed and feeling unworthy.
[xlvii] Beckford, C. and Nahdee, R. (September, 2011). Teaching for Ecological Sustainability. In Ontario Ministry of Education. Retrieved October 18, 2012, from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/WW_Teaching_Ecological.pdf.
[xlviii] But not exclusively so: sometimes, the Receiver has opened to receiving because the Giver needs to give. In this situation, there is an obvious egoic component involved with the Giver, and a non-egoic component on the behalf of the Receiver.
[xlix] This line comes from Les Misèrables.
[l] However else anyone chooses to define it, ‘Love’ is the spirit of creating and giving. ‘Desire’ characterizes ‘love,’ only in the egoic sense of the word.