Either we’re having a spiritual experience here or we’re not. Either what’s going on right now in our lives — and the whole of our life itself — is leading us to a Larger, Ongoing Expression after what we call our death, or it is not. If it is, life will invite us to have one kind of experience. If it is not, life will offer us another kind altogether.
If we’re going to make some sense of this physical, emotional, and psychological daily encounter, we’re going to have to decide: are we spiritual beings or are we not? If we are spiritual beings, what are we doing here on Earth? If we are not spiritual beings, but exist only at the level of physicality, what is our best response to the events of life?
There’s almost too much going on here for a simple physical being to deal with in any way that makes sense. Too much tragedy, too much sorrow, too much heartache, too much loss and pain and struggle and stress for the Mind and Body to absorb and just go on as if none of it happened — or as if all of it happened, but none of it mattered.
The aftershock of life’s events takes its toll on the mental and physical vehicle that we call Human Beings, and if there’s no other dimension to us than that, the mechanism is sooner or later going to break down.
In most cases, sooner.
Only if there’s some overriding factor, some Larger Process, some Grander Reason, something going on here that offers more than meets the eye, can anyone survive this life of trial and tribulation and turmoil in any way that allows or produces a settling into Joy.
Oh, we can experience moments of happiness, yes. Fleeting whiffs of bliss during the windstorms now and then, yes. But the balance of bliss versus blast is way out of whack, as we find ourselves hit over and over again with life’s barrage of challenge after challenge, loss after loss, wave after wave of grief after grief. One hates to sound childish, but in honest terms, it doesn’t seem fair. And it certainly doesn’t seem worth it.
So what’s the point? What’s the point of going on, of heading into more windstorms, of pushing onward only to meet up with more loss, more pain, more blasts and barrages? Is this the only thing there is to look forward to? Is this the best that life can do? Is this the destination that’s supposed to make us jump out of bed in the morning eager with anticipation of the day’s journey?
Where is the fun, the thrill, the excitement, the unbridled, bursting happiness of our youth? And if not that — if that is not for us, as adults, to have — where, at least, is the peace? The comfort? The restful security and surety and safety of knowing that one can, if nothing else, count on being loved through all of this? And what is the purpose of the exercise, anyway? Why are we having to go through this?
These are the questions that the Mind begs to have answered. We need, at least, some reason for throwing back the covers.
Is that too much to ask?
Is it too much to ask for a reason?
(Watch for Part II of this exploration, coming from the author of Conversations with God. In the meantime, feel open to offer whatever response to Part I you may feel arising.)
I was doing a public speaking event recently and I was asked about the very first message on page 5 of the 3,000 pages of the Conversations with Goddialogue. “What does it mean?”, a member of my audience wanted to know. I gave what I thought was a pretty good answer, but I remembered that I had written about this extensively inConversations with God for Parents.I want to share that with all of you here, because this is a question that I get frequently, and it’s probably good for those of us here to look at this and discuss it once in a while.
To me the CWG message that We Are All One means exactly what it says. The conversation elaborates, telling us that All Things are One Thing. There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing there is.
This means that we are One with each other, One with all of Life, and One with God. There is no other way to interpret it, as I see it.
CWG is telling us that you are me and I am you; that we are part and parcel of Everything. We are intermingled as differing energy forms in a Larger Form that includes All That Is. And so, we are not only One with each other, but One with the Earth and every living thing upon it. One, as well, with the Universe. And One with that Divine Essence that we call God.
The implications of this for the human race are staggering. If we believed this was true, everything in our lives would change. Everything in our religions, in our politics, in our economics, in our education, and in our social constructions. And everything in our personal lives as well.
In our religions we would see the end of their seemingly endless competitions for human souls. Religions would stop insisting on portraying themselves as the One and Only Path to God. They would assist us on our own personal path, but they would not claim to be The Path. And they would cease using Fear as the chief tool in their arsenal.
They would stop teaching that unless we follow their doctrines, we are going to spend eternity in the everlasting fires of hell. They would be a source of comfort and guidance, of ever-present help, and of strength in times of need. Thus, religion would serve its highest purpose and its grandest function.
In our politics we would see the end of hidden agendas, and of power plays, and of the demonization of those with opposing points of view. Political parties would stop claiming that their way was the only way. And they would work together to find solutions to the most pressing problems, and to move society forward by seeking common ground.
They would seek to blend the most workable of their ideas with the most workable of the ideas of their opponents. Thus, politics would serve its highest purpose and its grandest function.
In our economics we would see the end of Bigger-Better-More as the international yardstick of Success. We would create a New Bottom Line, in which “maximum productivity” was redefined, and in which our endless drive for profits-profits-profits was replaced with a sense of awe and wonder in the universe, a reverence for all of life, and a dedication to creating a world in which each person can live in dignity, with basic needs being met. Thus, economics would serve its highest purpose and its grandest function.
In our education we would see the end of propaganda substituting for history, and of subject-driven curricula, where emphasis is placed on memorization of facts, rather than on the fundamental concepts of life which we want our children to understand: awareness, honesty, responsibility.
We would see a democratic school in which children have as much to say about what they are to learn and how they will learn it as teachers, and in which we do not use the environment to pour knowledge into children, but to draw wisdom out of them. Thus, education would serve its highest purpose and its grandest function.
What We Are All One does not mean is that what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine. Not in the ordinarily understood human sense of those words. The concept of Oneness does not eliminate the possibility of personal possessions or individual expressions.
We may find ourselves experiencing a higher level of desire than ever before to share our personal possessions with others when we realize that there really are no “others,” only and merely Additional Versions of the Self—yet we are not required to give our possessions away, nor are we authorized to take another’s possessions from them.
Each human expression of the Divine may experience itself exactly the way it chooses—and what we gather and what we share becomes a striking aspect of that individual expression.
We Are All One also does not mean that we are all the same, or that we do not have a personal and singular and very specific identity. The Parable of the Snowflake, which first appeared in the book The Only Thing That Matters (Emnin Books, 2012, distributed by Hay House), explains this for children in a wonderful way.
I offer it for your reading here…
Once upon a time there was a snowflake. It’s name was Sara. Sara the Snowflake had a brother named Sam. Sam the Snowflake.
Sara and Sam both lived a good life—but they feared for the day that they would die, melting away into the nothingness. Then one day the Snow Angel appeared to both of them. “A snowflake is eternal. Did you know that?” the Angel said, and then the Angel explained:
“The very first snowflakes in the history of the world are the snowflakes that are falling today. They fall from the sky as highly individualized physicalizations. There are no two snowflakes alike. There never have been, in all the history of snowflakes.
“The flakes are awesomely beautiful in their individual design. No one who watches them falling from the heavens can fail to see their exquisite splendor. People run outside when snowflakes fall, beholding their breathtaking magnificence.
“As they land, they merge with one another. People call a huge collection of them on the ground simply ‘snow.’ They don’t say, ‘Look at that big pile of snowflakes.’ They say, ‘Look at that mountain of snow.’ They see all the individual snowflakes as One. And indeed, the snowflakes are One with One Another.”
The Angel went on…
“Soon the sun comes out and the snow melts, each flake disappearing, one by one. They don’t, of course, disappear at all. They simply change form. Now they are water, rippling together in a sparkling puddle or flowing together in a little stream.
“The sun continues to work its magic, and soon the water itself disappears. Or seems to. Actually, it, too, simply changes form. It evaporates, rising into the air as invisible vapors and gathering there in such concentration that they are visible again—as clouds.
“As more and more vapors gather, the clouds become heavy with their moisture. Soon, once again, the moisture falls, raining down upon the earth. And if the temperature is just right, the falling rain turns into snowflakes again—no two snowflakes alike. Ever. In the history of snowflakes.”
Sara and Sam were never so happy in their entire lives. Suddenly, everything was what you might call . . . crystal clear.
And so, in the snow we see the Cycle of Life and the Story of You.
Glad I had a chance to share that with you here. As I said, it’s good once in a while to take a look at some of those early messages from Conversations with God.
People, people, what are we doing to ourselves…? Has the time not yet come when we will rise up in gentleness and love, and yet with sweet and resolute determination, to say: Enough. Now that’s just enough—?
Are the people in North Carolina really going to go along with this direct legislative assault on gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people?
How much more hatred can a civil society put into actual law and still call itself civilized? Do you know what the law, passed in a rush-rush session of the legislature in North Carolina, actually does?
It is not simply legislation that makes it illegal for lesbians, gays, and transgender people to use the public restroom of the gender with which they identify — and therefore with whom they feel the most comfortable. It goes much further than that. It actually prohibits local governments from passing non-discrimination laws that would protect persons of differing sexual orientation within their jurisdiction.
But wait. It doesn’t even stop there. The so-called Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act bars all people, gay and straight, who are employed in North Carolina from suing any company that it feels has mistreated them — which until now they could do under a state anti-discrimination law that has been in place for 30 years. This little provision was snuck into the fine print of the more publicly debated “bathroom” legislation.
So now, if you live in North Carolina and feel you’ve been fired or mistreated because of your gender, your race, or your religion, you can’t do anything about it in state courts using state law, thanks to this business-friendly, poor-people-unfriendly law. (You would now have to use Federal courts and Federal law — a far more complicated, expensive, time-consuming, and thus discouraging process for low-income plaintiffs with job and housing discrimination claims.)
Why are we doing this to ourselves? Have we not yet had enough?
And what is the Big Deal about the sexual orientation of people in public bathrooms? I need to tell you something. Thirty-five years ago I traveled on assignment for Project AIDSAT (Agency for International Development/Space Age Technologies), under the aegis of the State Department. I remember my first day in Ouagadougou, the capital of what is now known as Burkina Faso, but what was then called Upper Volta. The team members working with me who were stationed at the U.S. Embassy there chuckled when I went into the restroom and came out shocked. There were men and women in there. In the same restroom. (My surprise was that I simply hadn’t expected it.)
That’s right. The public bathrooms were unisex. And this was over 30 years ago. No one thought anything of it. There were no attacks by men against women (or vice-versa), I saw no unruly behaviors, I heard no inappropriate comments, I experienced no invasion of privacy. Everybody behaved like grown-ups, simply using a public convenience to perform a natural human function.
No one thought anything of it.
The government did not have to pass a Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. But this, of course, was an “undeveloped” nation, not the sophisticated State of North Carolina in the advanced nation called the United States of America.