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|Consciousness and Spirituality|
|Is the Aware Ego
God and Guides
thoroughly enjoy your newsletter emails. However, I am confused
and would very much appreciate your views on the idea of what
God is to you. There is no person called God, and certainly we
do not know God is a 'He'. Repeatedly I am bothered about exactly
what people mean when they use the term 'God'. I thank you very
much for your thoughts".
Dear Loreen — Let me say first of all that the reality of God, by and large, cannot be solved by the mind alone. It requires also direct experience of some kind. This is why the argument about the existence of God doesn’t go very far between people.
What complicates it additionally is that people who use the term can mean very different things. For example, if you are raised in a church background that teaches you about God but you have had no direct experience on any level of divinity you have only two ways to go. You can become an advocate of God and try and shoot down anyone who doesn’t advocate God. Or you may go the other way and revolt against the church and God because you feel that God doesn’t exist, hasn’t been proven and in general that people who use the name do too many bad things.
So the first differentiation
that has to be made is between the teachings we get about God
and the direct experience of God. The teachings generally give
us a set of rules about the way we should behave and what we should
The second differentiation that has to be made is the difference between God and consciousness. There are many people who have had very direct experiences of divinity but when you look at them a few years down the line, you may find them very judgmental and dogmatic and using their experience in a way that may seem quite negative to you.
What we have to realize is that an experience of divinity comes to us at a certain point in our life and is then used by our primary self system that is operating at the time. The experience itself may shift the primary self to some extent but when all is said and done, our primary self ultimately determines how we use the experience. In the immediate moments of a powerful experience of divinity we may feel quite transformed. How this experience gets played out over time depends on our basic consciousness –what selves are ruling our life.
Let us say for example that you have a direct experience of divinity/ God/ the intelligence of the universe/ a spiritual experience. I use all of these names because they tend to be used interchangeably by people. If you are power driven and have a strong pusher as two basic primary selves, ultimately these will be the selves in you that handle the experience. That is why so many individuals who have had these kinds of direct experiences can become so judgmental and rigid and can do dark things.
Another complexity is that many people who see themselves as spiritual have no use for the idea of God. They express care for the planet and for the universe and fellow citizens of the universe and any talk of God is unacceptable. They are committed to service to humanity and can be totally atheists or agnostics. This negation of God is not the negation of divine experience as much as it is the negation of centuries of rules and regulations about how we should behave — in short the rules of religion. This is a turn off for and more and more people. It is not that the rules are bad but rather that they arn’t balanced by direct experience.
One of the additional problems
with the word God is that it rigidifies what it is describing.
As you point out, God isn’t a person in the usual sense.
So the word God becomes over time a thing or a person or an old
man with a beard and then someone argues that it isn’t an
old man with a beard but rather that its really a female energy
or an hermaphroditic energy. Things get pretty crazy at this level.
Until the age of 28 I was agnostic and very proud of it. It was
at that time that I had a very profound energetic experience of
divinity and from that moment on divinity/ God/transpersonal energy/
universal energy was an absolute reality to me. I have never since
that moment discussed with anyone the issue of whether God was
real or not. Sidra and I have completed a new series of CDs and
the first set to be released will be coming out in the spring.
You will receive an announcement of it in this newsletter or via
our own mailing list if you are on it. It is a 5 set series of
my personal life odyssey and Sidra is the interviewer on the recordings.
The whole series really speaks to your question. In the meantime
I recommend that you read my autobiography — Embracing Heaven
and Earth — where I deal with my interior life experiences
up to the early 1980s.
Having said all this as a way of introduction, here is a short summary of what I see as a framework for considering the meaning of God:
1. There are two kinds of experiences to consider when we approach the subject of divinity -- personal and transpersonal.
2. Personal experience comes through
our personal experiences of life. It is largely a conditioning
process and it is how our primary and disowned self system is
formed. Transpersonal is a word that simply means experiences
beyond the personal, beyond the known experience.
3. Without realizing it, we are also in the hands of our instinctual energies. We have hunger, thirst, sexual and survival appetites that are built into our genetic structure. These all have to do with the instinct for survival so they are not personal energies.
4. In addition we have Psychological
Instincts or what Jung called archetypes. These are the built
in energetic structures having to do with our total psychological
and physiological makeup.
For example, you have genetically built into you the energetic structure of the good mother and also the witch mother. You have in you the energetic structure of the child, of the hero/heroine and many many others. How this manifests in your life depends on the culture and family and historical era in which you are raised and so they become mixed up with purely conditioned energies so that we don’t recognize how much of our behavior is determined by these psychological instincts.
5. Next there are the transpersonal energies. This kind of experience is in fact an experience. You may be thinking about something and suddenly you are filled with a new and different energy — a sense of the inter-connectedness of ideas. You feel something more than yourself.
You are hiking and you suddenly have a sense of nature and the physical universe as something apart from yourself. It is not personal. It is beyond the personal. It is the transpersonal.
A woman has a dream that Christ comes and kisses her on the mouth. She awakens with a sense of mystical awe. She has had an experience of another kind of reality.
You are meditating and suddenly you feel an infusion of energy pouring through the top of your head and it fills your body. It is beyond anything you have known. It is beyond the personal.
If it continues and begins to be with you more and more of the time then it no longer feels alien and transpersonal energies begin to move through you on a regular basis. You can be making love and suddenly the experience becomes a totally different kind of experience with your partner, one that takes you beyond anything personal, one where you feel the presence of “the other”, the transpersonal/ transcendental/ God and all the other names that people have used to describe these kinds of experiences of “the other reality.”
My personal experience is of
a transcendent energetic reality that that makes up the universe,
known and unknown. That energy channels through different cultures
and different people in a wide variety of ways and the objective
form of this channeling too often gets confused with the underlying
energy. I use the words inter-changeably though the basic experience
is energetic. There are an amazingly wide range of energetic realities
that are a part of us and that move through us. Enjoy your confusion
as you continue your search but have a good time while doing it.
One needs a sense of humor while searching for God for otherwise
this kind of activity can become a bit overcooked and heavy.
Warmest wishes –