This is a reprint from justgetthere and Chapter One is there too... you can find it here. I would have liked to have gotten back here sooner but various things got in my way. I even began this and then lost it when the computer rebooted; no idea of what I was saying now. So we come to Chapter 2 of Spiritual Survival in a Temporal World- just a working title.
You’ll be co-authors of this book with me because your input is going to determine some of the things that get talked about. In some cases it is also likely that something you send me, if it fits with the overall scheme and intention of this work, will find its way into the book as well with all appropriate attributions.
What we want to do is to locate the principles and disciplines necessary to give anyone who desires it, a leg up in their effort to be independent of the traps that surround us and to come deeper into the light that also surrounds us and is predisposed to fill us as well.
This brings me to one of the most critical points of the entire matter and one which many will wrestle with here and may cause them to discard whatever I say as a result of it and that is why you should pay careful attention to the way in which this is worded.
I will devote an entire chapter to this. So much of life is devoted to this; the architecture, the art, the lifestyles and so much more has come about because of humanities faith in a divine being or rejection of the same. Much good has come and much evil too and this is something that has become a stumbling block for many who see religion as (what it is) a business. Some people cannot accept the existence of a God because of the conditions that exist on Earth/ “If God is all powerful then why does he/she allow this?” Good question.
I enter upon this subject with trepidation and I must use great care. The idea that I could cover any length of ground in a short essay like this is ludicrous when millions of pages have been written on this; contradicting each other, provoking war upon each other and, over the long course of time, changing in presentation like a sidewinder moving across the desert sand. It’s appropriate that I mentioned a snake and we will address that as we go along. One image I would like to leave you with now is that which is presented in Hindu posters and if you’ve never seen one then google “Shiva” or “Vishnu” or “Brahma" and get yourself a graphic and look for the serpent, especially one that shows serpents over the head of the deity as a hood... a cobra hood... a brotherhood... just remember things said as we go. Keep in mind the serpent in the garden as well. This is the key element to understanding what is going on; always going on.
One can assume that in Heaven and in Hell (if they exist) that conditions are opposite in each case. One can assume that bliss is predominant in the one and suffering in the other. One might postulate that both of these are states of mind and if you are inclined toward Buddhism you have heard that everything is mind. I’d like to point out that Heaven, if it exists, begins where your feet touch the Earth. I’d also like to suggest that you don’t go anywhere when you die except right where you are (so you need to get there while you are here) and we are going to ask you to think about physics now.
Metaphysics and physics; I’d like the say that metaphysics becomes physics once science (or philosophy) has been able to capture it into understanding, just as lighting captured becomes electricity. No one knows what electricity is but we can use it to our great benefit. I suggest that God is the same thing and that the same applies. The more you understand something the better you are able to use it. So I want you to think in terms of usage and benefit and the fact that you can realize something like that will make you grateful and gratitude is key. Gratitude and compassion are phenomenal You really want to have both of these.
You want to have gratitude and compassion because they ensure more reasons to be grateful and more justification for mercy when it comes to you. Therefore-
Try to understand that just because you can’t comprehend something (and never, ever will) doesn’t mean you can’t use and benefit from it. If you have read any cutting edge papers on physics then you know that they have pretty much proved the existence of God. They have proven that everything is mind-stuff. I’ll go one further and say that we are all frozen sunlight. We are sunlight in extension. Loving it and what gives you life is good because it opens the valves to get more. The other possible relationship is resistance. You can be a resistor if that’s what you want. You can play any role. You have to ask yourself what you want and whether you want something better for everyone or if you are just out for yourself. This is also key. Are you self interested or are you more expansive? Do you think you are an isolated element that needs to feed itself or do you not know you have the power to feed the world if you will only let the light shine in your heart?
The power that binds you is the power that frees you. “Lead us not into temptation.” The devil is the way that the wicked see God. There’s only one and if you could contain your fear when the devil presents itself you would see the corona of the angel hidden behind the frightful appearance. It is ONE thing. It is one thing and the inexpressible simplicity of it is what leads to the endless complexity of terms and explanations. “Be still and know.” Things look one way and are another.
Forget religions. Religions are like lined paper in grammar school. Once you learn how to write capably you don’t need lined paper. Forget Jesus this and Mohammad that. If some icon works for you, fine but... truth is the same in every one of these systems. Truth is the body upon which the clothes of religion are draped and when the truth takes off its clothes the world disappears. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because religion is full of shit sometimes does not mean there is not sunlight to be found in the precepts.
I tell you these things because, if we are to create a community, real or virtual; if you are to realize your fullest potential, if you are going to try to achieve success where so many people have failed then you don’t want to leave out key elements and you don’t want to make rules and regulations against human freedom. At the same time, freedom is not license. Excessive repression and excessive hedonism lead to their own separate vales of suffering, even if the walls are thin and you can hear them next door.
My point? I’m sure I had one. Ah yes... in order to get where you want to go you need fuel. Your car needs fuel. Your body needs fuel. Your spirit needs fuel. You need to know where that service station is. In some cases it is a gas station and in some cases it is a kitchen or a restaurant and in some cases it is your heart. There, in the latter lies your kingdom of power and realization and the fuel therein is love. Everyone who gets good at anything gets there because they ‘love’ doing it. That’s all you need to know about God and all I’ll ever say about it... however convoluted may be the approach. Love what you do. This brings us to the first thing about how to survive on your way... elsewhere... work on loving and make it your first criteria... like a rusty pump it is going to take some priming but the water will run sweet if you will but try.
Back to those serpents. The serpent is radiant energy. Expressed in the animal kingdom it may be one thing, in the plant kingdom something else. In the human kingdom we can see people eating each other alive just like in the animal kingdom but maybe a little differently. This power feeds on itself. That is why it has its tail in its mouth. It’s the snake in the grass and it is the power of divinity over your head. Anything God has ever accomplished here has been through human agency. We are the hands.
So... you have to get right with yourself and the source of the power that holds you living in this moment and surrender is probably the best route and love is probably the best fuel. If you need religion it is there. If you need a direct connection look within; But before we go on to the tools and practices ...you have to accept that something is in control and it is a good thing, not a bad thing. You need to have some faith and you need to have the teacher write in your report card, “plays well with others.” I want to have some fun and fellowship without all of the personality games and insecurities thereof so... Make peace with yourself and then we’ll talk about techniques.
This book does not lead to Jonestown. This book has no connection to any religion. This book cost nothing but effort. The book profits no one but yourself. Take what you need and leave the rest.
'God's Not Dead' is track no. 3 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)