The big question…
DOES GOD HAVE A PLAN FOR US?
EDITOR’S NOTE: I am excited to be able to use this space on the Internet as a place in which we can join together to ignite a worldwide exploration of some of the most revolutionary theological ideas to come along in a long time.
The ideas I intend to use this space for in the immediate future are the ideas found in GOD’S MESSAGE TO THE WORLD: You’ve Got Me All Wrong. I believe this new book (published last October by Rainbow Ridge Books) places before our species some of the most important “What if” questions that could be contemplated by contemporary society.
The questions are important because they invite us to ponder some of the most self-damaging ideas about God ever embraced by our species. For example, the statement that…God has a plan for us.
Much of the world believes in a God who has a particular plan in mind for every human being. This is a God who is said to have handed out to each of us specific talents and attributes, equipping each of us to undertake particular missions, perform discrete functions, and fulfill distinct and disjunctive purposes over the course of our lives.
Our job is to figure out what that plan is, and then to follow that plan as well as we can. Or, at best, to “go with the plan” as it makes itself obvious through the events of our days and nights.
Now comes The Great What If . . .
What if God has no specific plan for any of us? What if God has no preference in the matter of how we live our lives, or what we do, in the specific sense, with our days from birth to death?
Would it make a difference? Does it matter? In the overall scheme of things, would it have any significant impact in our planetary experience?
Yes. First, it would relieve us of the burden of having to figure out what we are “supposed” to be doing here, and how. We could end our search, stop our pursuit, quit our quest, and conclude what we have constructed in our reality as our sacred seeking for God’s sacred assignment.
Then, we could begin at last, in full awareness and in earnest, the journey upon which we really came to the earth to embark. This is not God’s “plan,” this is the soul’s desire. And this always has to do with what we are being, not what we are doing in and with our lives.
If we thought that God did not have a specific agenda in mind for us, we could pay attention to what our life has to offer us in terms of beingness opportunities, rather than what we think God has planned on our behalf (either for beingness or doingness). And we would stop seeing certain occurrences, coincidences, and confluences as “a sign from God” that we can now move forward with “God’s plan.”
As well, if we thought there was no such thing as God’s plan for us, we could drop many of the notions of religion, all the ideas of pre-destiny, and every imagining that a hidden agenda for us exists in divine mind, which God is simply not making obvious and clear to us (for reasons that are not evident).
We could also stop killing each other out of an idea that it is “God’s plan” that a nation of “God’s people” who believe in God and practice God’s will in a particular way must exist upon the earth—even if it requires the killing of thousands of other people to create it.
God has been telling us from the very beginning, and it is becoming more clear to us every day, that humanity’s Ancient Cultural Story about God having a plan for us is plainly and simply inaccurate.
It is okay now to remove this ancient teaching from our current story, and to stop telling this to ourselves and to our children.
If God had a particular plan for every human being on the earth—or, for that matter, for the human race as a collective—God would have made it known to us long ago.
God would have no reason not to tell you in crystal clear, specific, and direct terms what God’s Plan for you is. Why would God devise a particular course of action for every single individual on the earth and then not reveal it to any of them?
And to those who say, “God does tell us what it is. We are just not paying attention,” is this an assertion that God is talking directly to each human being, and that we are simply not listening?
And there are larger questions as well. Why would God have a specific plan for every individual in the world in the first place? What divine purpose would this serve?
Would it not serve a greater divine purpose for God to simply supply the power and to provide the mechanism with which all sentient beings might decide, declare, express, and experience for themselves who they wish to be, instead of having to follow a plan set in place for each of them ahead of time?
There is a divine purpose being served by life. But a purpose is not a plan. A purpose is the reason we’re going to do things. A plan is an outline of the things we’re going to do.
This experience we are all having on the earth is not just a happenstance, not merely the latest in a million-year-old sequence of biological events. There is more going on here than simply the living out of physical life for no reason whatsoever except to complete a process that began for us without our involvement or agreement. And that purpose is much larger in scope than the mere encountering and living through a series of pre-planned occurrences.
The agenda of God is that all life forms in the physical realm express divinity. Each soul, as an Individuation of Divinity, has an eternity in which to do this, and an infinite number of ways to accomplish it.
The soul willfully and intentionally uses life in the physical as a means with which to express and experience all the aspects of divinity that it is possible to experience. These aspects are limitless, thus, life itself would have to be without end in order to experience them. And so it is.
Each separate physical expression of a soul’s infinite life offers it an opportunity to select and express any aspect or aspects of its divine nature that it chooses. Thus, the soul comes to each lifetime with an agenda, but not with a plan. The soul’s agenda may be to express and experience compassion, for instance, or patience and understanding. But the soul does not come to physical life with a predestined decision to do so by becoming a nurse, or by writing a book on human psychology.
To reiterate then, an agenda is the underlying intention or motive of a particular person or group. An agenda has to do with purpose. A plan has to do with process. It is a specific way to achieve a purpose, to follow through on intention. God and the soul have an agenda, but neither God nor the soul dictates or plans how a particular person should, or is going to, fulfill that agenda.
Thus, it is not “God’s Plan” for a particular person to be in a car accident as a child, or experience the divorce of parents, or marry three times, or have no children, or have four children, or contract leukemia, or move to Nebraska, or become a famous painter, or meet just the right person at just the right time to move their career forward.
It is not “God’s Plan” for one particular person to be a minister rather than a professional football player, or another to be the dynamic leader of a country rather than a dynamic country music star.
It is God’s agenda, carried into the realm of the physical by the soul, for that soul to experience states of Being—the sum total of which equal the All that we call God. Or, as it was said just above: The agenda of God is that all life forms in the Physical Realm of the Spiritual express Divinity. Each Soul, as an Individuation of Divinity, has an eternity in which to do this, and an infinite number of ways in which it may be accomplished.
What are these states of being that represent the many parts or aspects of God? With this as our soul’s agenda, life invites us to be many things.
- Creative, for instance. Or compassionate.
- Understanding, for instance. Or patient.
- Helpful, for instance. Or generous.
- Loving, for instance. Or healing.
All of these are states of being. And these, plus many more, may be experienced in any moment of Evernow, individually or simultaneously.
Now you may think, “Is that it? It that all that life is about? I was hoping to actually do something. Something that really mattered. Something that made a difference. Something that contributed to others and to the world at large. Something that allowed me to feel fulfilled.”
Yet that is precisely what the agenda of expressing and experiencing states of being is all about. When we examine life closely we realize that everything and anything we could do with our life is nothing more than an approach, a method, a process, an impulse that leads us into a state of being. Every thought, word, and action creates beingness. That is their only purpose. As Conversations with God says: Every act is an act of self-definition.
As to how you can know what beingness your soul has chosen, simply look to see what brings you the most joy. What impulse calls you? What feeling magnetizes you more than any other?
When you truly internalize this, your whole life can change. And the next step following such a realization is the awareness that what you hoped you would be able to be by doing a particular thing in a particular way, you can be in any number of ways.
And that becomes life’s greatest freedom. The freedom from living as if a specific and particular kind of doing is required of you in your life in order for you to be what your soul deeply desires to be.
Now the road ahead is wide open. Now the path is yours to choose. Because you can be what you’ve chosen to be by doing anything—or by not doing anything at all. You can also decide to change what you choose to be, by simply changing your mind about that. And as you take the path that brings you the greatest joy, you can at last make a life rather than a living.
It is true that sometimes things seem to fall into place so perfectly in our lives that we are tempted to exclaim, “It’s God’s plan!” Or things may not work out the way we had hoped or imagined they would, and we may say, “God had other plans for me.”
Such figures of speech reveal to us just how deeply the notion that God has specific ideas for each of our lives has seeped into our culture. It would be beneficial, however, not to let those figures of speech turn into actual, factual conclusions about “how things are.” Otherwise, we will indeed be tempted to spend a huge amount of our time “trying to figure out how to figure out what God has figured out for us.”
We’ll measure every nuance, every energy, every event against whether we feel this is what God has in mind for us—all the while God has nothing in mind for us at all. Not in the sense of us being a “butcher, baker, or candlestick maker.”
Only in the sense of us using life to experience the highest and most joyful aspects of Who We Really Are and How We Choose to Be.
Indeed, the purpose of life everywhere, in every form, is to express divinity—physicality being the vehicle through which God experiences Itself as all that It knows Itself to be.
This is done through God differentiating Itself, then giving its multitudinous and magnificent parts the wherewithal to express life variously—but without specific instructions, directions, requirements, or plans of any kind for every individual expression.
Life forms in the cosmos have been imbued with varying levels of consciousness, or what might be called self-awareness. This inbuilt ability to know oneself as an Individuation of Divinity is present in all sentient beings, and is increasingly experienced by each such being through the process called evolution.
The evolving into the full experience and demonstration of Who We Are is the journey upon which every soul has embarked, and the completion of that journey is achieved in every moment in which our highest notion of divinity is expressed.
The process of life (as opposed to “the plan”) is that we all simply do this, in whatever way we freely and spontaneously choose, given the possibilities to which we are daily opened by the collaborative creation of all the souls co-creating with us.
Completion of the soul’s journey is, therefore, not something that is experienced once, but over and over again throughout the ongoing manifestation that is life itself—now and eternally.
There can be what seems like a down side to this for many people. Humans feel more comfortable when they feel guided.
They like to be instructed, directed, told what to do. As an emerging species, this is their proclivity. Like children, they feel safe when clear boundaries are drawn, and specific commands or orders are given. Then all they have to do is meet the requirements and they’re home free. This accounts for the immense popularity of religion. It allows humans to follow their deep inner impulse toward The Divine without having to figure out how to do it.
It is therefore a disappointment to some people to learn that God has no plan for us, no instructions to give us, no guidelines we must follow, and no commands to heed. It can be at once both freeing and frightening to realize that God’s agenda is for us to decide who we wish to be and how we wish to demonstrate that, not spend our life trying to figure out how to figure out what God has figured out for us.
Yet God is like the master teacher in an art class. The best art teachers do not tell budding artists, “Here is your canvas. Use this next hour to create. Oh, but make sure that there is maroon and a big splotch of orange in the picture, and be certain to place the orange in the upper right-hand corner. Also, I need to see a three-dimensional effect, and there have to be children in the foreground and a telephone somewhere.”
The master teacher knows that the purpose of education is not to put something into the student, but to draw something out; not to instruct, but to extract. And so the master teacher simply places before the student all the implements—all the crayons, sketch pencils, brushes, oil paints, watercolors, and dyes—needed to work in any medium, then says with a smile, “Joyously create!”
“But what if I don’t get it right?” the timid pupil cries.
“There’s no way not to get it ‘right’,” the master teacher assures. “This is art!”