THE FOG – The One
Have you heard the one where Christian literalist claim that the devil hide dinosaur bones deep in the earth just so we would reject the idea that god created the world in seven days. Well if there is a devil then I think it would be more correct to say that he (probably male) created religion so man would always be arguing and killing each other in the name of god. Makes you wonder if the devil and god are real? The answer to this question could be both no and yes.
No, in the sense that these are simply words which are human constructs of the mind. Yes, in so much as the power and influence these words have are real. Real in that they are human projections of the mind which are capable of great evil or great good. In this sense both the devil and god are projections of the shadow side of our personalities. These projections make them real in context but not real in actuality.
To be actually real means something is grounded in reality. And this reality includes both the known and the unknown. Both darkness and light. The actuality of evil and goodness is a reality. But it is a reality we create. Not a creation of a loving god or an evil devil. Let us surmise that if we are the source of both evil and good then we must be the source of the devil and god. We create them and use them for our own purposes. The shadow nature of humans can and does exist in both the darkness of Plato’s cave and the emanations of light which he also tells us has the potential to enlighten cave dwellers. Karl Marx called religion “the opium of the people”. Sociologist call it “a unified system of beliefs and practices related to sacred things”. So which is it? Maybe it is a bit of both.
“The kingdom of heaven is here now. But men do not see it”
The Gospel of Thomas
The abovementioned quote from the Gospel of Thomas may help to shed some light on the question. Here we are told that heaven, another construct of the mind, is before us always in the present moment. But we cannot see it. So why can’t we see it? Maybe it is because we try to see too literally with our limited knowledge into the mysteries of life itself. As a result we invent words like devil, god, heaven and hell to try and make sense of these great mysteries. It is like trying to pull divinity down to our level rather than letting it lift us up to new heights. Human constructs of the mind are only limited expressions of the ineffable. Even science can only make some sense of the cosmos from a big bang theory. My question is always what was there before the big bang? Was it just a void of nothingness? A void we return to on the physical death of our bodies? And, what about our minds? Can and does the mind exist apart from the body? And if so upon death does it simply return to the world of nothingness? And if so can nothing really exist? And if nothing exist does this not imply by its very existence that it is something? Yikes!!! This is starting to sound like an intellectual three ring circus. These types of mental gymnastics are what a devil may want to produce in the human mind. But as humans we cannot help but to ask deep questions. At least some of us. For those who ask they may receive something in return. For those who do not ask, they probably don’t get much in return except more of the same. Hence the birthing of religious indifference. My god is bigger, stronger, wiser and richer than your god. So how do we discern these big questions without turning violently against one another?
It is for these reasons that many people turn their back on organized religion. However they may only turn to something else. This something else may be humanism, secularism, existentialism, new-ageism etc. Some may choose other human expressions in many of the sciences. But no matter what we choose we cannot escape religion. It seems our DNA is coded with a need to self-actualize and religion has a permanent place in our hearts. We only have to look at early cave paintings or the great artistic masterpieces to get a sense of this. Therefore we can, and do, make a religion of everything we touch. For example we only have to look at the religion of economics to spot the god of greed and its priestly representatives here on earth, the corporate bankers. It appears to me the people who reject religion become the most religious and susceptible to religiosity. I can’t tell you how many people I have talked with who say organized religion is dangerous and have simply turned to another spiritual or secular group which is organized differently but can be deemed just as offensive to someone else. Being less organized does not always compute to less dogmatic. All the while they may still be receiving the fix of “the opioid of the people”. What they accomplish is following another belief system which could turn out to be just as controversial. We seem to all bounce around from one religion to another. We may call it something else but in the end there is always some dogma attached to it. Even if I am a solitary worshipper of mother earth, am I not believing in something that has some type of belief system or dogma? The locus of control in this case may be my own internal dialogue directed by the voice of guilt, shame or any other number of shadow complexes. As humans we cannot seem to escape It. We move from pillar to post. Rather than trying to reconcile both inner and outer questions we try to convert and therefore build walls and not bridges. Grant it some are less dogmatic than others but we seem to need it. So how do we recognize the devil from the details?
Now. Have you heard the one, about the One. You will notice One is in upper case. Until now I have used lower case for god. Now it is time to use the upper case for God as the One. When I want to feel the grandeur of God I look into a clear night sky. Living in the country the heavens can be sensational. I see each star and imagine each sun with planets orbiting around it. I imagine life on one of these planets. It could be a one celled micro-organism or some intelligence greater than ours. I imagine them standing on their planet staring back at me. It is at moments like this I find it ludicrous that anyone has any answers to the deeper questions of life. At moments like this I realize that no one is right and that we are all wrong. With this point of reference I do not need to join a group which only builds new walls and establishes new dogmas. If we are all wrong then we need each other even more than we realize.
If we can stop searching for and following gurus who claim to hold spiritual truth then we become less predictable to wolves and spiritual predators. The answers to the deeper questions can be found together when we welcome the One within the all. The various world traditions may hold part of the truth but none have a monopoly. So my truth may be accurate or false. But if I can accept I don’t really know then this is real progress. This can be the beginning of the tearing down of walls and the laying of the foundation of a bridge.
We are all individuals and can have our own direct experience of the luminous. As social beings when this happens we may develop a desire to share our experience with others. Then it is only a short hop skip and a jump to converting others. Then presto we have the infiltration of dogma. The ego must be fed and “I am” can be easily followed by “I Know” which may open the door of conflict.
If I can say “I don’t know” then I can certainly acknowledge that I don’t know what is best for another. What is right for me may not be right for another. Maybe for every person who ever existed there is a different truth and experience which validates. Just like the many stars in the heavens each of us has an orbit or path to follow. My direct experience of the divine is mine to have and share. But as direct experience emanates further from the source its meaning does not necessarily translate from one person to the next. Therefore truth may be individually revealed which may or may not be adopted by the collective. The fate of our collective future may depend on three simple words. I DON’T KNOW! Saying I don’t know means my senses are always open to ever changing possibilities. So as we emanate from the One, the orbit of emanation back to the One can always be evolving.
This may sound backwards but let’s consider that the most important discovery we can make about ourselves is not the pride of what I know but the humility of what I don’t know. So let’s stop looking down the road of what is the right religion, guru or secular institution and emanate towards our total liberation from the three poisons of: Ignorance, Attachment, and Hate
If we practice the mind set of “I don’t know” the ego can be released from the self-righteousness of these three poisons. Then we can benefit from the direct experience of liberation from the confusion of ignorance, the aversion of attachment, and, the anger of hatred.
To quickly summarize, it is a risky business to cut ourselves off from all forms of religion. To do so means we will be abandoning part of our authentic selves in the process. This opens the door even wider for the habits of our shadow nature to cause chaos in our lives and the lives of others. We must always remember that our essence is divine and as a result the divine can never turn its back on us because it would be turning its back on itself. Let us get over our fear of religion so we can reclaim its beauty. Religion is a human expression and when ignored can become the playground of the shadow. We should not be tempted to abandon religion in the sense that if we do we are going to cut ourselves off from one another and ourselves. No matter how much we try to eliminate religion from our lives it will never go away.
In the end maybe all various inventions of religion to date must be cast aside to make room for a new unifying universal religion. This new religion may be just as many and varied as there are people, past, present, and future. If humanity hopes to survive the dark denials of the collective future that awaits us all we need to wake up soon. If not now, then when will it be the right time for human beings on this glorious planet to wake up to the diversity and depth of our ignorance? The time is now for a new reformation of the soul from organized religion to a seemingly unorganized religion of the people of mother earth. This will no doubt be scary for many, especially the organized religions. But religion is just a means and not the end. The end is awareness of the divinization of mother earth and survival of the planet for future generations to continue the dream of spiritualization.
It is said that humility is the rightful heir of knowledge and intelligence. This is a good place to ponder the mythic wisdom of Lao Tzu.
When one forsakes humility,
they merely become cultivated and useful.
The humble may then employ these useful people
to become their officials and chiefs.
The Tao Te Ching