Oh My God

Dearest Readers,

One of the things I enjoy most is having meaningful discussions. Small talk is okay but I’d much rather have Deep Talk. Why chit-chat about the weather when we could be talking about the Meaning of Life?

My all-time favourite subject is God. Whether we talk about ‘God’ as a word that soothes or rankles or ‘God’ as a deity who exists or doesn’t, everybody is going to have something interesting to say on the topic.

On a recent outing with a friend, he mentioned a phone call he’d had with his mother, a spiritual person who relies on God for guidance.

“She’s always talking about God and I’m like, Mom, I don’t believe in God.”

I’d previously had all kinds of spiritual conversations with this person so I was curious as to what he really meant. Did he mean he didn’t believe in a man with a beard directing human activity? Did he mean he didn’t believe in religion? As I’ve written here before, language is key, and finding the right language can open the door.

“You don’t believe in God and yet I’m wondering if you experience the Universe as participatory,” I asked him.

He thought about it for a while and then said, “It’s my experience that sometimes it feels like I’m getting kicked around and other times I feel like I might be being guided.”

At that moment we passed a church with a banner that read, “What about God and Science?”

“I think it’s worth noting the appearance of that banner right now,” I said, pointing up at the oracular question looming above us. Hmmm…

Another conversation with a friend who identified as a ‘militant atheist’ in one breath and a ‘very spiritual person’ in the next prompted me to interview him to ask him more about his dichotomous stance. During the interview he ended up saying, “I am God. You’re God.”

I knew what he meant. He didn’t mean that he’d made the world or that I had but rather Whatever Made The World was currently operating in us, present in us. We aren’t It, per se, but we are of It. The Quakers have an apt way of putting it: “There is that of God in Everyone.”

Later, the friend who’d said he didn’t believe in God but did feel, to some extent, that the Universe is participatory, texted me his appreciation for our conversation.

“I think it’s cool that you are constantly expanding your definition for the human journey beyond any spiritual/religious lexicon,” he wrote.

He’s right about my ‘constantly expanding’. There was a time when I was positively evangelical in my views, which made having any kind of meaningful spiritual dialogue near impossible. Coming up against my own rigidity has forced me to move beyond language and labels because I’ve learned the hard way that the more I cling to my own beliefs as ‘right’ and my own labels as ‘true’ then the less any kind of real connection can take place.

And that is what I am looking for. Real Connection. Yes, it is much easier to dis-connect. To hide away and disengage. Even when I’m in the presence of others I can cut myself off. Because it takes real effort to make a Real Connection. Being Present requires a certain amount of letting go and a certain amount of waking up. Either way, it’s work. And sometimes I don’t want to do the work.

But I do it anyway. And I keep on doing it. Because if the Universe is participating in my life then I’d like to participate right back. We are still evolving here. Our current experience is just a blip in the Evolutionary Time Span. If the God conversation lands us in a debate about religion or embroiled in a dogmatic argument then we have missed out on an opportunity to find our Common Ground.

What is our Common Ground? It’s pretty simple. We all belong to one species: Homo sapiens and we are all made up of trillions of atoms. All of us. We are all made of the same stuff: Energy.

What is Energy? Why does it exist? We don’t know. But we all get to decide our own answer. We all get to interpret Energy or God or That Which is Beyond the Intellect however we darn please. And as long as we don’t get caught up in thinking we have the right answer or the best interpretation, then we should be able to unite in our Common Ground and move forward together. I can think of nothing more pressing in today’s world.

From the fires of love,

Celia

Pray Tell

Dearest Readers,

Tired? Grumpy? Lethargic? Despairing? Anxious? Overwhelmed? All of the above? You’re not alone. On any given day I can experience any number of these fear symptoms. Lately, my number one solution has been simply to pray.

Get quiet, ask for Direction, listen. All of these actions constitute prayer and with them comes the exquisite sensation of simply dwelling in the Presence of God.

I heard someone recently say that for her God was a person. That works for her so that’s great. For me, God is not a person. God is the Spirit of Unity Back of All Things. God is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, the Condition of Possibility of any entity whatsoever.

Neither of those definitions are mine, by the way. They came to me and I grabbed on to them. They make sense to me. They back up my experience. And that is how I have come to know this God. Through experience. Not because someone told me what to believe. The experience of this Power is why I have I faith in its existence.

But despite my faith I am still self-reliant. And my self-reliance causes me to suffer. I overwork, I future-trip, I judge, I worry, I sabotage myself. I operate on Old BS (belief systems) instead of trusting Higher Guidance. And then I end up in chaos of one kind or another, whether it’s just a wee little bit or full-blown doesn’t matter. I still find myself there. Sigh.

It is at these times of inner crisis that I remember to pray. Not just pray like I do everyday, sorta kinda doing it because I gotta. But praying deeply. Taking the time to BE. Be with God. Not wonder, not question, not say a few deferential words. But connect. Rest. Dwell in the Great Presence.

When I embrace the Sacred I am so embraced. The Divine enters and fear disappears. I remember who I am.

Inspiring Message of the Day: Today I will take time to pray deeply. Shedding all thoughts but One.