Part One: 2015
Way back before there were planets and people and stuff, god was sitting around thinking and he got real lonely. The notion that he was IT forever for eternity splintered his mind. We are the splinters. Of God's mind.
Think about it.
But not till your mind splinters.
Which reminds me of a story.
God was walking around one day because he had Nothing to do, in fact there literally wasn't Anything to do because Nothing had been created, including God, but God didn't know this, nor do she know Anything else.
It so happened that at a certain point and time--even though at this point and time there actually were no points and no times--God happened upon the Universe. Naturally, not much was going on, in fact Nothing was going on, but that didn't stop God (who didn't exist) from giving the Universe a poke to see what would happen.
Well, all hell broke loose! All heaven too, for that matter, but speaking of matter, it was at this point that all matter seemed to come into being. "Seemed to" being the crux of the matter.
For at the exact moment (and there are only one of those) when God gave the Universe a poke with that nonexistent--?finger?--a disturbance was set up in Nothing and the disturbance reverberated through Nothing for an infinity, in fact bouncing off the very ends of infinity and setting up reflected reverberations throughout all of Nothing.
These reverberations organized themselves, as reverberations are wont to do, into endless armies of vibrations which immediately began vying for the position of Chief Nothingness, and it all became a Matter of one vibratory mass trying to suck all the energy out of another, with the winner growing too fat and imploding into smaller reverberations, themselves repeating the same endless quest for Big Buzziness.
Now God, seeing that he had created a Maelstrom of Madness, a predatory universe, an unforgiving chain of cause and effect, turned around and walked away, and hasn't been seen since. There have been plenty of contenders for the vacant position ever since, but all of them were just predators, big and small.
And so it goes.
Part Two: November 29, 2017
The above 'Part One' was written as part of my book Meetings of Possible Ways two years ago. That book was meant to be a baseline rendering of my state of mind and belief system at that time, a sort of picture of where I started, its writing completed before I would allow myself to begin my unworlding practice. So it remains unedited since then, as is. And since then, I've had 29 milestone unworldings and dozens of Big Dreams. As expected, my belief system has changed.
As regards the nature of God (if any), religious experience (if any), and enlightenment (if any), the balance of this chapter will try to convey where I stand by now.
First of all, the experience that prompted this writing.
Throughout the day and evening, approximately a week ago, I was performing the Breath of Flight for hours on end while reading the biography at the beginning of The Gospel of Ramakrishna and whenever I came to a description of one of Ramakrishna's religious ecstasies, I started shedding tears of joy. I thought this was kinda weird since I am not religious, and I don't know enough about Hinduism to get emotional about it. I don't even like the word 'God'. But I found it interesting that during his life, elder Hindu teachers unanimously declared that Ramakrishna was an incarnation of God. Same thing white people say about Jesus.
That night I dreamed that the oldest of my two older sisters was driving me someplace but had neglected to take me where I wanted to go: to the post office. I was in the back seat, very groggy. We got out of the car at a place where conveyances were available. Canoes or something.
I decided to walk to the post office to get my messages.
I found myself in the Men's Frat House, late at night after a party that no one had cleaned up behind. The men were all in their rooms; I could hear them talking. The Dream Usher was urging me to go upstairs and go exploring through the dark corridors, but I was afraid of getting caught in a frat house at night by a bunch of drunk teenagers. So I flew/slid down the stairs which kept getting longer. The stairs were carpeted in red, the color of emotion. This was a relatively lucid dream, that's why I was flying. This sort of physical feat in a dream is always ecstatic whether I become Officially Lucid or not.
In the morning, I learned that the dream itself had been a precognitive message. I got an email from my other sister saying that she had gotten a text message two days earlier from the sister I dreamed about, saying that our stepmother was dying in the hospital. It didn't sink in for a few hours that people weren't communicating with me promptly. When it did sink in, I got more emotional about that than I did about my stepmother's plight. Her condition had been expected to turn critical any year and I kinda suspected that this was the year, so it wasn't a shock. But if you read the first entry in my online dream journal, you'll see that the first dream I recorded once I began my practice in November 2015 involved being taken prisoner by two evil sisters and escaping from them with the help of Nitpicker and Potwatcher as taxis. Suffice it to say that my family needed a scapegoat for reasons I won't go into.
The main point is not how my sisters have always treated me but that my dream hinted that they were not disclosing messages, not 'taking me to the post office'. The message of the dream was clear when I found out what was being kept from me. I had a good relationship with my stepmother from the day we met, while my sisters never cared for her until her health went bad and then they started being nice to her.
Interestingly, while I was shedding tears of joy over the ecstasies of Ramakrishna, my stepmother was suffering from a major stroke, the one that would finally finish her off after 20 years of similar agonies.
So that is the recent background for what I'm about to state about God. Don't wrack your brain trying to figure out the connection.
If you study Hinduism you'll find that their God is many gods and goddesses. I'm no expert on any of this, but the way I see it--and I don't think I'm just making this up--their notion is that the Hindu gods are personifications of the energy of nature, creation and existence, and this energy is actually pure awareness. Ramakrishna taught that true mystics directly experience the reality of God as awareness while most religious people just parrot the rituals and traditions of their dogma without ever having anything like a true religious experience or behind-the-scenes insight. He taught that the trappings of religion are for young mystics and religious parrots alike, but that enlightened ones didn't need to practice any religion. He also believed that all religions led to the same mystical experience, and he put this into practice. He was not a scholar, couldn't even read, but he had proven to his own satisfaction through direct experience that all religions are a path to the same God.
And that God, which he praised ecstatically through his whole life, is the direct experience of existence, which is pure awareness. He taught that if you were to strip the trappings of the world we are caught up in, away from the raw experience of existing, then you would experience God.
It occurred to me the other day, while mulling this over--because I love Ramakrishna as much as I am not comfortable with the notion of a person called 'God'--that awareness is inherently personal. The root word of 'personal' is 'person'. So for me, it works out like this: God is a person in the sense that awareness is the very core of existence or personness. I believe that awareness is infinity is reality is existence is soul is oneness. I believe that we all have the same soul because pure awareness--oneness--is not divisible into entities or individuals. I do not believe that I 'have' my soul and you 'have' your soul. I believe we are the same infinite soul and this infinite, pure awareness is naturally talented at being able to reincarnate as every human who has ever existed or will ever exist, as well as manifesting itself as frogs, rocks, trees, rivers, Nazis, etc.
So, what is awareness if not personal? This leads to the conclusion that the stuff of the universe is God, God is everything, yada yada yada, we've heard all this before. The crux of the matter then is not to sit around yik-yakking about it, but to get down and dirty with awareness and experience it. Experience the fact that you are the universe.
Ecstasy is not an emotion; it is sixness: Noticing. Appreciation. Gratitude. Am I grateful I exist? When I strip away all the trappings of the individual and the world, yes I am. Grateful enough to shed tears. So here's how it works: when I think about my silly sisters, it might keep me awake and give me an ulcer, but it doesn't make me cry. When I stop thinking about the silly sisters of the world--all of them at once--I sometimes weep tears of joy.
I don't think I have the ability or desire to write something in this vein that will make readers weep ecstatic tears of joy, but I do think there is a longing in each of us to realize and to experience from the core of our being that the miracle of existence is without beginning or end, beyond description, flawless, and it's going to remain that way no matter what. Maybe it's when we quit stifling that thought that tears flow with a mind of their own.
So we come back to personal experience. If it were possible to cross the border, to visit the area of so-called Nothing and return, and to describe it as it is in clear terms uninhibited by belief systems, then this would in time lead to worldwide Knowing and consequently the elimination of fear. But so far we do not know how to do this.
--Robert Monroe, The Ultimate Journey