God


I don’t talk about God much in this blog – you may have noticed that if you’ve been a regular reader. But today I want to talk about God.

As some of you may know, I worked for quite a few years with traditional Navajo (Diné) healers and counselors. While working with these men and women, I noticed that they rarely if ever used the word God. Rather they would refer to what we might call God as “the Creator”. This curious difference is what I am discussing in this post.

I don’t believe in God. I guess this would make me an atheist.

To me, the word God conjures up a person “up” there that makes things happen. He or she is someone we can speak with. We can bring to her our fears and dreams. She is a direct part of our life. Perhaps, she is our life.

I know that how people visualize this God varies a lot. Some people think of him as an aged Patriarch, like the one painted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. There are others who imagine a fertile woman whose life brings about all that is. And then there are others who, like Einstein, do not project a material God, but see it as the faceless force that allows everything to be as it is. But even in Einstein’s view, God was an entity – a kind of unseen being that conforms to the rules of physics and science in general. Einstein’s God was consistent and ultimately predictable.

When I walk in “nature”, I see everything as the Creator. Even walking in mid-town Manhattan, this too is the Creator’s work, but it differs from a forest, a place marked by diversity and complexity. In Manhattan, the force is entirely generated by the behavior of human beings. But we are as much a part of creation as the oaks, brambles, bugs, birds, bushes that make up part of the world outside of my home.

The Creator is that which is. It has no rules. It is complete in itself as itself. The Creator is no different from what is. The Creator doesn’t play favorites. A cockroach is as much an expression of the Creator as Donald Trump.

But why does the “idea” of the Creator matter? Is there anything here that can draw us to our Authentic Being?

That which is – is prior to all thoughts. While thoughts are also expressions of the Creator, they are always secondary to what actually is. But even more importantly, they tend to be artifacts of our cultural and social conditioning. They are reflections of our personal and unique self. This is why your thoughts will be different from mine at any given time. How you think of a song will always be different from how I think about that same song.

Unity with the Creator happens when we stop grasping for this thought as opposed to that thought. Unity with the Creator only asks us to accept the invitation to be open and that which we need to be most open to is our own unwillingness to be open to certain types of thoughts and experiences. That which we close down to is our lord and master.

Who is your Lord and Master?

While we see the Creator in the objects of the universe, we touch the Creator at the source of all of these objects.

Where is that place?

It is in the Open Ground. This is the place of Nothingness. But it is anything but nothing. Creation happens in the place that is utterly objectless, but possesses the ability to make any object. This is the Source and we are that.

This place cannot be grasped or visualized by the mind. It can only be as it is; mysterious and unknowable.

So how can we realize this place?

This is where the Journey takes over. We must go, first, to a provisional place. To get to this provisional place, we are required to assume temporarily that every object is an illusion. No exceptions. Nothing whatsoever is real. When we truly cease grasping onto any physical object, thought, or feeling as real, that which is the Source is sensed. This is sometimes called the Zero Point, the pivot, the Tao, and even the Creator.

To understand the illusory quality of every object, we need to understand, completely, that nothing can exist independently from its context. Thus nothing whatsoever possesses independent existence. Rather everything is connected to everything else and as everything it cannot be “known”. Because “everything” is in constant change, it is utterly empty of set substance of identity. It is all flowing in one seamless mass.

It is at the Source where we get centered. It is the place that we have never left and has never left us. It is the universal home – the place of no identity. Thoughts and feelings continue to arise, but they are seen to without substance or reality. They arise from invisible Source to ephemeral “isness”.

Then once we are centered in this place, we are able to welcome Home the infinite objects of this universe – the artifacts of the Creator in our immediate experience. When we are truly free of any identity, we are free to be any identity – the passing show. We return home – to the “thingness” of this moment.

The Buddha said, “Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.” What does this mean?

It means two things that are complimentary. One, that all objects – physical, mental, and emotional – arise out of emptiness. And two, when we remove the discriminating conditions of language, everything that is seen, heard, and felt is One as the totality. As One it reflects the emptiness from which it arises. The illusion that things can be separate and exist independently as themselves is something that happens only through the dissection of the totality by the mind through thought.

Thus, the emptiness that we truly are is reflected in the Oneness that we perceive. It is one and the same. They are the two sides of the same coin.

In this way the Creator experiences her(him)self and you are that.

Advertisements
  1. #1 by Bob on November 29, 2010 - 9:14 am

    ” And you are that”. Those words, at this point in my journey, still at times seem like just words. Scott Kiloby said to rest in this awareness as much as you can, just watching thoughts appear and disappear. He also mentions that you can be in that midway point where you bounce between awareness and entering the illusion. He mentions at some point you will never leave awareness and no longer have to “think” about it. You know for certain you are that in which evertyhing arises.

    • #2 by Eric on November 29, 2010 - 11:46 am

      Scott’s advice is right on target. That which IS is this indestructible awareness. It is the ocean upon which thoughts and feelings are the waves. There are little waves and there are big waves. As waves, they are made of awareness.
      I think (ha-ha) that is can be misleading to some to apply the “term” “illusion” to thought, because that term seems to evoke separation between awareness and its content. This where Scott and I might disagree.
      The wave metaphor works a lot better in my experience.
      But here is where so many get tripped up. So read the next sentence with care. The seeker inserts his identity as “he who is aware”. That too is a thought – a wave appearing in awareness. Awareness has absolutely no possessor. It just is. So try to see how the ego inserts itself in this role and then that too becomes just another wave among the many waves.
      Then notice how LIFE just continues to happen.

  2. #3 by Bob on November 29, 2010 - 12:00 pm

    In defence of Scott I may have miunderstood some of what he said.
    The way you describe the ego inserting itself in the role of “me”, and my thoughts”
    seems to be right on. Life is just happening. Now how would this apply to your earlier post about greed. Isn’t greed then just a thought happening and then taken on by many of
    these greedy bankers of the world? We know that there are no separate individuals so isn’t
    it just greed in action. Wouldn’t those people have to awaken to this before there could be any real change?

    • #4 by Eric on November 29, 2010 - 12:07 pm

      I don’t follow the neo-Advaita herd (and Scott doesn’t either). But I diverge even more. That is why I don’t use the label “illusion” when referring to the contents of awareness. But I say this with a proviso (see below).
      The Liberation path is closer to Buddhism than Advaita, which sees its role as a healing response to suffering. Thus greed and its consequence of suffering is real. To negate authentic suffering as “mere illusion” is cruel and is also the energy the idea that keeps the shadow of invalidation alive in the self and the world.
      The dialectic of life tends to increase extremes until the opposing quality becomes temporarily dominant. I write about current events like Greed, because the more the truth is brought to light, the more free we can be of its illusory qualities. Everything that is seen has the potential to possess its inherent accurate qualities (as it truly is) or the illusory (false) qualities that ignorance imposes on them. One of the purposes of this blog has been to bring this ignorance to light.

  3. #5 by Bob on November 29, 2010 - 12:28 pm

    I am more in your camp. I have always wanted justice! However i found it just kicks up my adrenaline and nobody wants to hear about! There is an opinion (Mayan calender) that
    conciousness is increasing as we close in on 2012. They Mayans believed that we are on a timetable, a schedule that’s predetermined. With the increase in conciousness there will be a
    difference in how the majority views the world and their actions? Isn’t this a possibility?

    • #6 by Eric on November 29, 2010 - 12:37 pm

      As both an undergraduate and as a graduate student, my major was Latin American Studies and while I did not focus on the indigenous cultures of Latin America, my own direct experience as well as some of my studies focused on these remarkable cultures.
      The Maya believe in a 52 year cycle, but even those cycles are part of a larger cycle and several indigenous American cultures have asserted that sometime between 2011 and 2013 this age will come to an end.
      As I understand it, what they mean is near total end – an apocalypse of sorts. Following the apocalypse a new age will arise. In my discussions with several Navajo healers, they assert that most of the people now alive will not be re-born into the new age. The Navajo also believe in these vast cycles that must end in near total destruction and then a new age follows. This is the fifth such age and is called by the Navajo (in English obviously), The Glittering Age. How appropriate – don’t you think.

  4. #7 by Bob on November 29, 2010 - 1:00 pm

    Well you’d better hurry up and get your new book done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: