In the Pulse of Spirit last week I wrote about Monumentally Big Idea #1—heaven. Heaven is the dimension of the reality in which we live that we cannot perceive with our physical senses alone. It is the spiritual home that is always present and available if we are open to it.
Here is Monumentally Big Idea #2—God. Clearly, the reality pointed to by this word is far more than an idea. But the idea that people hold in their minds about that reality makes a great difference to what is actually known and experienced.
So many people have rejected the very idea of God because of some of the images and ideas of that reality. I love Michelangelo, and the Sistine Chapel is beautiful. But I don’t really think that God is an old man with a beard. I don’t believe that God requires anyone to be sacrificed as is sometimes taught by Christianity and was practiced by the Mayans. I don’t believe that God is sitting someplace above the earth judging us. I don’t believe that the reality of God is far away.
If the word God has meaning, it relates to Being. What’s real is that we live in a world that is not just stuff. When you look out your window and see a tree, a rock, a deer, a bird, you are not just looking at matter—it’s not just stuff. It is more than matter moved by energy. We live in a living world, and by “living,” I don’t just mean that it has biological life or that it is moving around. There is Being revealed in all of Creation. This world isn’t just a something. It’s a someone, because within this planet is the reality of Being. It’s not a dead planet that is somehow moving around. It’s a Being. It has Universal Soul. This is the most essential idea about what God is. God is Being that is present in all of Creation and within all people.
Something happens when we look around at the world and treat it as if it’s just matter and energy. It gives us license to do anything we want with it. With that attitude, there is no honoring of the Being that’s present in all things. We can strip the earth of the resources we think we need. We can create chemical processes that disturb the circle of life, like plastic that never rots or PCBs that pollute our rivers.
It doesn’t really matter if we believe in a distant God far removed from our immediate life, or if we consider ourselves more scientific or humanistic and don’t believe in God at all. If we see the world around us as only matter and energy, we give ourselves license to consume and abuse it as we see fit. In the process, we dehumanize ourselves. We lose our soul, because when we do that to something else or to someone else, we end up devaluing ourselves. We end up being soul-less as a human being. If you believe that all around you there’s no Being, it’s just stuff, you end up experiencing yourself that way.
Unfortunately, Buddhism goes there for some people. There’s no God; it’s all some idea of consciousness. Thankfully, there are some signs that Buddhists who have had that idea are awakening to the understanding that it’s not enough to see the world that way; that, in fact, there is Being within everything. There is Being within you, and there’s Being within me. The outer dimensions of that Being that we see walking around in other people is obvious enough. It has flesh, it has form. We could call that beingness selfhood. We could call that a human soul. But there are dimensions of Being that you cannot see. The parts that you can see are a reflection, and maybe even an open window to the parts you cannot see. Sometimes you see another person and you see the reality of Being. They are not just flesh and blood, not just bones. They are not even just a human personality. You see them, and there is something beautiful beyond words. You’re not just seeing a beautiful face. You’re seeing the reality of Being through that face. You are seeing the reality of God.
If that word God has real meaning, doesn’t it include the wonder that you see in another person, when that person is open and transparent and revealing all of who they are? When that happens, they are revealing not only the finite bits, not only the flesh and bones. (And probably not too much of that. Mostly you see clothes walking around with the flesh of the hands and face poking out.) They’re revealing a little infinity in the finite. There is a higher level of Being than the flesh itself that is present.
Very simply put, heaven is the place where invisible dimensions of Being live. Heaven is where God lives. It’s so easy when we begin to talk about these things to see how super-active the religious mind gets about all these things. Most of those ideas relate to something in the future or in the past, or in a reality that is distant from the individual. There are ideas, concepts and beliefs too numerous to count—the Christian ones, the New Age ones, the Hindu ones and the Buddhist ones, the Jewish ones and the Islamic ones. And then there are all the individual ones that people make up—archangels and all the channeled entities, the Pleiadians and all the rest.
Can we simply be satisfied knowing that the ground upon which you and I stand is holy ground? It’s holy ground because yes, it’s physical form; but the reality of Being, the reality of God in heaven, is here. It’s here in you, it’s here in me; it’s here in all things. This is holy ground. This is a holy world in which we are living. There are dimensions of Being that are much higher than the flesh. And we can be here, and we can be awestruck by it, without having all kinds of wild ideas about the higher reality we are knowing. Let’s just be awestruck and tune in to what struck us, and then feel its relevance for this human world in which we live.
Let us be guided by that holiness in how we connect with another person. Let us be guided by that holiness in how we do our work and how we walk upon this earth. Let us begin every day with that reverence. In that reverence there is the opportunity to attune to the wisdom of Being and the wisdom of the heaven in which it abides. There is the opportunity to be inspired by it, to receive the direction of it, on an intelligent basis, not on a wildly fantastic, impractical basis; on a very practical basis, using human consciousness for exactly what it was made for, which is to attune to the pattern and the intelligence of Being that could inform everything that we do. When we begin to operate on that basis, we see how the disconnect that there has been in these areas of human life has created such ignorance, and ignorance goes to destructiveness in the living of a human life. If you multiply that experience times the billions of people who are having it, there is the state of the world in which we live.
If we start with an assumption that the people around us are inanimate stuff—energy and matter—and we do not see the God-presence in the people around us, it’s not hard to do the things to other people that are done on Planet Earth today. In fact, what else would people do when they think that way? It’s not hard to function in a way that leads to the decimation of species. After all, it’s just matter and energy. It’s just stuff. Maybe we can create some better species in a test tube.
No, there’s a pattern to what life is meant to be on Planet Earth, and there’s the part that we have to play in that pattern. Who knows how wondrous and magical that part could be? It seems that, up to this point, we have only glimpses of how we can live in tune with the circle of life and with the Creator, knowing that the higher reality of who you are and who I am is the Creator. It is Being. Is there some God some place, some being some place, and then us here, separate from that, something else than that reality of Being? Does that make any sense at all? In religious consciousness, apparently it does.
That’s why I say our spirituality is too important to hand over to religion or spirituality that’s prescribed by somebody else. I’m not necessarily advocating for a departure from organized religion or a particular spiritual path. I’m saying that whatever we choose in that regard, let’s own our spirituality for ourselves. Let’s know it for ourselves, and then live and speak and act in the authority of the depth of our knowing. For real. This is something that reaches far beyond an intellectual knowing. And yet, we are made in heart and mind to know this and to function on this basis, and to live a life that’s directed on this basis.
This poem of mine is in praise to the reality of Being, cast in its feminine nature. I wrote this on the passing of Princess Diana. It was one of those times when the world came together. Here was this princess that we all wished could be Queen. There was a goodness about her. There was a loveliness about her, a kindness, and care for her people. There was the reality of Being that she showed to the world.
So there was this great sense of loss when she left, and in that sense of loss there was also a longing to know the holiness of Being. That holiness is available to us in this very moment and in every moment of our lives.
Praise to the Queen of Heaven and Earth
Praise to the Queen of Heaven and Earth;
She in whom all things are conceived, born and nourished;
All the creatures who walk on the ground,
The fox, the deer, the ants and all,
All the birds of the air and the fish of the sea,
The sparrow, the cockatiel and the salmon,
The fierce hawk, the gentle dove and all,
She in whom the grass grows,
And in whom the apple tree, which gives its fruit, is nourished;
She who receives the lily petals when they fall from their stems,
And who receives the baby’s tears,
Who hears the prayers of the poor and the rich alike,
And who receives all as her own.
Praise to the Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Our hearts are carried to you on the wings of our songs,
And in our labors of love,
Sanctified in your rich heart which is our own,
In your work of love which is carried out in our days
Carrying your blessing
As a kiss on our forehead,
As violets in our hair,
As a golden locket over our heart,
Reminding us of how precious you are.
Praise to the Queen of Heaven and Earth.
You walk among us in our children,
In our closest friends, and friends unknown;
In our lovers,
And as our mothers,
In those who know you and serve you above all else,
And in ourselves.
Shining as bright as the noonday sun,
Or hidden like the sliver moon behind a cloud,
You walk among us as we have eyes to see.
Praise to the Queen of Heaven and Earth,
All is given to you.
All lives in Thee.