What isn’t God?

The Dyslexic Dog…
I have started this article by asking “What isn’t God?” Normally people may ask, “What is God?”  I thought a good point to come from might be to ask the opposite, to flip the question. When a dyslexic looks at the words,”What is God?”, he or she may see something that has a totally different meaning, it may read ‘What is Dog?’ Thinking it through, all humanity is just as confused as your average dyslexic in trying to understand either question; God is the greatest enigma. The brilliance of dyslexics (if they do not feel overly disadvantaged by not having the world of words sorted) will be in their ability to function comfortably in the world and solve problems in creative ways by looking at situations and finding a solution in a manner where they can wander unnoticed in the world of men and ‘things’ without a fuss.  The issue of being able to address / make sense of  God properly, is very similar to the dyslexics who, out of necessity have to learn to navigate the world differently; the more we explore the notions of God, it seems like the less capable we are of getting God to fit into a logical view, the crazier it gets.
The Problem with Academics
We could study hard, gather all get all the academics of the world together to write papers on the subject, and still be confused.  When I glance across to the Indian Subcontinent to try to make sense of the issue and look for some of the wise men who have lived there, I find that in the not too distant past there was a sage called Ramakrishna, a simple man. Although he and I have very different perspectives, I find him to be of great interest. Often, whenever somebody asked Ramakrishna a question on spirituality, he would say ‘go ask Vivekananda’.  Vivekananda was his student, and a scholar, a key figure in introducing some of the Indian Philosophies to the West. Ramakrishna was an experiencer of something sublime and wasn’t overly interested in the intellectual side of things, there was no need for him to be.  This scenario gives me a hint, confirms what I already understood, or it is better if I say ‘assumed’ that it is probable that the intellect is not the right lens to look through to see or experience God.  Although it is only one man’s perspective; something I have heard over and over again, the analogy of trying to fit the ocean into the bucket is a perfect description of the dilemma we have.
The Hopelessness of Zen
Anyone who has seriously explored the Zen Koan approach to self-transformation would have a deep understanding of not only why the system exists, but the (if I may say so) futility of the quest and trying to resolve the un-resolvable.  For those who are unfamiliar with Zen Koans, traditionally in some schools of Buddhism, a teacher would give a disciple (disciple = an horrendous and misleading description) /student a puzzle such as, “Why is a mouse when it spins?”,  another example would be,”What is the sound of one hand clapping, out of time?”  🙂 or some other, what would seem nonsensical puzzle to sort. Generally but not always, the teacher or Master would regularly check on the progress of the student (the word Master here means ‘one who has mastered him or herself’, in the same way as Jesus said to Peter, ” I am not your Master” when Peter addressed Him as Master”).  My reason for saying that the Master Teacher will not always check the progress is because most students would be out of there (the dojo/monastery) pretty fast, when they started to get a deeper understanding and an inkling of what was going on, that is unless it was natural for them to stay. Someone with half understanding would continue, and half-understanding is not knowledge, it is opinions, suppositions; awareness is not about opinions, it is about perception, the perceiver or experience; although anything is possible it would be seem a rare event for someone who had gone through the transformation process to stay in the environment, unless they were in some way incapacitated, very old, or were the future teacher who would take over the role as the Master, only fools wish to be Master.  As I see it, a Master emerges out of the depth of consciousness and has no agenda .  Many spiritual aspirants delight in showing how advanced they are spiritually, which in itself tells the world where they are really at. Monasteries and Dojos are for teachers and students, not for free men and women. Religious outfits represent what ones ‘limitation’ is or what one has aligned their thinking with, and is generally not about depth of experience, it expresses the tools that one is clinging to. They are halfway houses.
Believers and Faithers
In the last two paragraphs I have stated that the intellect is not the tool for getting an understanding of what I will refer to as the Sublime Consciousness.  Neither by studying the scriptures intensely, nor by the use of reason to unravel an enigma given by a teacher can we arrive at God; this is a strong statement, I don’t mind if you disagree, but it needs consideration, this is serious stuff.  So, what can we do? If it is true what I say that logic or attempting through contemplation of ‘a great Teacher’s puzzle’ to resolve what the dyslexic Dog is, is not going to work; maybe we ought to look at faith for a solution.  Faith is a fascinating thing, it differs from belief, in some cases it may crossover into being the same, this is a individual thing.  But, faith and belief are very, very different.  Belief we could get by default from our family, our ancestors, they stamp our bums at birth; we may have fear of damnation and grab on to what we think is the best choice available; or convinced by a good God salesman; we may be even tricked with smoke and mirrors and end up following a shonky guru because his story of the universe sounded fantastic and appealed to our emotions.  Faith seems to have a bit more street-cred (credibility), a person could have had some type of deep experience and from it, he or she is convinced and then uses the response to the experience as fuel for motivation. People of faith can come in all sorts of packets, some are zealots, extremists, and others will be the kindest most compassionate being you will ever met, and there are many flavours in between. Believers are different, and a lot of them don’t think too deeply, if they researched the crimes committed by the hierarchies of their religions, they would never go back, their conscious would eat away at them.  The thing with faith is it gives us a reminder that ‘something is doing I don’t know what’, a hint that there may be something beneath the surface of every day life.  And I am not saying that ‘believers’ don’t have character, there are lots of variations, but I will quite clearly say (and it will sound arrogant) believers are on the surface of religion.  They are attached to the ‘story’ of the founders of their religion/Faith,  and I am quite comfortable saying “it’s not IT”.
One Word, a Million Meanings
I have added belief to my list; I will be cautious about Faith, and this is because I consider ‘faith’ to be built on something else, it requires a little more thought.  But we need to be careful, interpretation is something that needs to be addressed.  When we say the word ‘Love’, we all have a different story about it, it may mean something tender to one person, to someone else it could include a mortgage, a white dress, couple of kids, whereas if you discuss it with Shams the teacher of Rumi, or Jiddu Krishnamurthi,  you may find yourself in unknown territory, you could easily be entering the doorway of transformation of your whole being.  Take the word Jazz for example, what comes to mind to someone may be oompah paaah, to others they may envisage old people eating lunch to the sound of overplayed instrumental musical standards resembling piped elevator music, and there are the hipsters who consider it to be blowing (improvising) over chord changes in a bar where you’d expect Miles lookalikes to sneak down the stairs at any moment. Interpretation is in the limitations of the brain capacity and awareness of the beholder. When we bring something to mind, there is always a ‘story, a history, often we come to a resolve that hasn’t had much exploration.  This is the problem with God.
Looking in Another Direction
I like the idea of looking at the questioner, turning it around on oneself.  In India, there is a great tradition of Self Inquiry, looking at oneself.  The problem we have with traditions is they come with a story, it may be true, it may be false; even if it’s true, something else arises, it’s not ours.  It may give us a goal post to aim at but in a world of charlatans where there is is self-interest and self-indulgence, half truths and personal agendas, it is a minefield; as we move down this ‘imaginary’ road, we need to step carefully.  We know from experience that even if something looks good, sounds good and is packaged well, it may not be what we think it is.  The spiritual road is scattered with refugees, casualties and those who have given their whole being, only to find out they have been duped.
Sorting the Questions
Although the questioner may ask questions, they are endless; it’s not unlike a child who wants to know everything, “Mummy, daddy, what’s that, what are you doing, where are we going?”, there are many valid questions, an anxious fearful mind can find a never-ending stream of them.  The mind (or more specifically it is better I say “that which creates thought”) is always pulling up things, stories and ideas,  that’s its nature; although the mind-space is essentially empty, there is something in that space, a part of us that loves movement, is always seeking, always reaching outwards, and continues to bring some kind of logical order to things.  Let’s look at a way of possibly resolving the questioning in some way, we can break it down to bring the ‘agitated thinker within’ to rest.  If we can create some peace and harmony within ourselves, our thinking, it will be easier to deal with the underlying issues and bypass the unnecessary nonsense.
So firstly: Who is the questioner?
Let’s address the age old question of, ‘who am I?’ A cave man, if he was asked, would have answered simply with a few grunts, then gone about his business, club in hand, chasing a bison around a big rock or running from wild beasts of the field who consider caveman a delicacy.  He would have been too busy to be distracted and comes into his moment of ‘what is essential’. It would be easy to say the caveman is dumb, he hadn’t developed his brain like modern man, that’s fair, but his intelligence helped him survive; if we turn of the power and communication grid, who will survive now?  Tens of thousands of years later we are stuck with the same enigma that billions have pondered over; some have made claims of solving it, some have even said they were God; heretics or Godmen?  Yes, humanity has evolved in some ways but many of those belonging to our species are still violent, outrageously self-centred and disrespectful to the world around us.  I am also reminded that the old Zen or Chan Masters may have also responded to the question in a similar way , “What is Buddha?” with a reply of “Go eat your rice?’ When we look to both those scenarios, of cave-person and Zen Teacher, the common thread is to ‘Bring back our awareness to where we are.’ Without over complicating it, this for me is a bit of a give away of where the answer may lie.  I could roll out a series of quotes from scriptural texts that address the issue but there is really no need to.  In essence, we are a point of Awareness,  maybe how we name it is not so important.  A face is a face whether it has a beard or is wearing make-up, a mask or a helmet, the perceiver at the heart of experience is what is critical.
When we see ourselves as ‘a point of perception’ it allows many possibilities to emerge; the changing worlds may take on numerous shapes or colours, but underneath it, the perceiver sits in silence and the show passes, it rises and falls.  The canvas of the Universes are in motion, but we, the ‘supposed me’ or us, is both ‘still’, ’empty’ and also I might use the expression for you to ponder, ‘an ACTIVE observer’ of the show (by this I mean we step into the puppet show of life).  This articulation of being dual in nature ‘still and something that changes’, is at the core of all experiences; for me when I dig in, the contrast is defined by Buddha’s teaching of Emptiness and Krishna’s elaborate / beautiful form as perceived by the Gopi’s,  or in a way is defined by the life of Jesus as he moved through the world and was a stream of compassion in action.
Secondly -Do we need a religion or a God ?
I love this question and lookin through my window it is easy to answer; my response is not necessarily one that would suit many people, it’s not really a concern, one’s God or no-God is a personal thing. I will be bold and say, “Most Gods are false Gods”; OK maybe I will be softer in my language, “Most Gods are temporary”, or if I say it another way, “I consider most Gods are like trainer wheels on a bicycle”… and that probably gets me back into deep water, it may sound arrogant, but the idea of gradually ‘deepening’ our understanding is fair, as is a quantum leap in consciousness; or better still the combination of the two. The Gods people have are generally small.  On such an important issue, maybe we shouldn’t mess around, it’s not a problem if people disagree about God, it is the way we treat each other when we disagree that is important.  If God were real, why would God be offended by a questioning humanity?  I find it critical to explore and question, we do not need to come to the same conclusions or worldviews; we can ‘deepen’ by getting an understanding of others.  I am a Jnana Yogi, but I hang out with Bhaktas (This means I have a perception that we all move in God, whereas my friendly pilgrim neighbours are seeking God).
Will the Real Jesus Stand Up Please

When I look at Jesus, from my window I see the greatest of men, some may call him God or a God, some may say his life was a a lie, a fabrication of the church to control the populace, and others will even say he traveled in Asia in the missing years between thirteen and twenty nine, married Mary Magdalene (who was not a prostitute and was the wisest of the disciples) .  When I keep looking, I see an institution that has grown around the name of Jesus, one with many different variations.  When I look further into history, I see anomalies, serious flaws, not with the person Jesus, but with what has happened over the last 2000 years.  The average man on the street does not know the history of the churches, the crimes against humanity, or where the scriptures came from, nor how they were chosen and complied.  If we are honest and look closely at religions and their Gods, the gurus and supposed Masters, we often see that there is a lot of hidden things going on that do not represent the values and ideals of the wise men that the sects have grown from; we are all aware of religious hypocrisy.  So what do we do, do we become atheists, skeptics, do we dump God?  The question asked earlier was ‘do I need a religion or a God?’ I could say quite confidently, “I don’t need religion, but I do need an inquisitive mind.  Answering about God, I will just say, “assuming that God were real, He/She/It will still exist without me, whether I am a believer or not”.  This thinking is leading me to a particular point, a resolve, and other questions arise, “If God is real, how do I experience God?”, although worship is important for some, is worship critical? It is not relevant to me, and I am not an atheist . I am not interested in the ‘story’ of God, it is ‘experience’ that is required.
Religion Without God
We know that although Buddhism is a religion, and we often see statues of deity’s and forms of Buddhas, Buddhism is not about God.  When you strip it back, its essence is about the Four Noble Truths, these are at the core of the Buddha’s teachings. They are:
the truth of suffering,
the truth of the cause of suffering,
the truth of the end of suffering,
and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.
We see clearly when we look into Buddhism that God is not necessary, and I am not saying there is no God, some type of core primal consciousness. The more I dig around in Buddhism I see it is about how we live my lives which is critical.  And although all religions are about ‘how we live our lives’, the focus changes within each religious institution.  I will also state that ‘truth’ is something to be cautious of, I see it as a temporary thing and a variable.
Thirdly – What do I need to do to live a Spiritual Life?
We know from experience that people do all sorts of rituals, mysterious types of worship, dunking themselves in rivers, splashing babies with water and making them cry, rolling on the ground with coconuts, hanging from ropes with hooks through their skin, covering themselves in dirt, almost starving themselves, over eating because they call it Prasad, carrying crosses, kneeling for hours, burying themselves in the ground, overheating themselves in hot-houses, going on pilgrimages, wearing ridiculous outfits…. numerous ways of trying to grab God’s attention and showing their worthiness, sometimes even exaggerating their worthlessness to make themselves more appealing, the inverted-ego at its best, a twisted form of wannabe humility.  And there are methods which seem more practical such as prayer, meditation, mindful walking and contemplation, various methods for bringing the thoughts to a restful place. There is a smorgasbord to choose from, so how do we choose? What has substance and what is spiritual bling? What’s exhibitionism and what is transformative?  So what makes someone ‘spiritual’, supposedly Holy?  Is that a worthwhile question?
Fourthly – What Supposedly Makes Someone Spiritual?
I have a problem, no not really, it is better that I say the world of men has a problem. Religion is divisive, spirituality can be incredibly arrogant, elitist; if we are not cautious it can fragment the community.  Religious people are often separating the human species into the ‘wheat and the chaff’, the holy and the profane, the saved and the lost; if they are are not doing it out loud, they are doing this in their thoughts, ‘us and them’ mentailty.
If I come back to a basic concept that underlies many religions, there is one God, or even if there is no God mentioned, there is unity at the core.  I won’t even blink when I say this but, “if a religion divides the human community into us and them, those congregations need to rethink their values”. When we look at the civilisations that have come and gone, there are numerous gods who have been the centre focus for worship or religious practice;  we know the game of ‘MY GOD is better than your god‘, there are many people willing to argue this point, personally I wouldn’t bother, my response is going to be ‘get informed’, get an education about the various approaches to God and come back in twenty years.  The deeper we go into a faith or spiritual practice, the more we notice that the water comes from the same source, the wells are different, but water is the same… we are digging for pure water without the coloring’s or artificial flavors.
What Really Matters?
I was asking ‘what makes someone Holy or spiritual?’  I think it would be better to ask “what makes a glorious human being?”,  “What makes our life worthwhile?”, “If there is a God, what would God value?” Or even if there wasn’t a God, “what is it best for us to value?”  I remember watching a television series about the Mahabharata; the Mahabharata relates to Hinduism. I am not a Hindu but there was a defining moment when Krishna spoke to eldest brothers of the two warring clans, one was a Pandava (good guy), the other a Kaurava (bad guy).  Krishna looked at them both and spoke the words, “although I love you both” and then he turned to the Pandava and said, “I must support you.”  For me, most of what I need to know is in that response.  I will take the liberty of saying,”if God were to choose something, someone, He/She/It would lean towards that which nurtures, that which brings harmony.”  We do know that the worlds we move in are a play of ‘rise and fall’, creation and dissolution, a contrast of light and dark, form moving on formless.
What Are We?
We are feeling beings; this feeling-ness is something that goes way beyond ‘tingles’. Although we can get what I would call ‘false-flag-emotions’, things that seem like something with substance but are really just surface experiences; we have a part of ourselves that echoes wisdom from another place; the feelings, these deep emotions speak to us on how to live, what really has value, and what counts, what has substance.   I know from the experiences gathered through my life; empathy, compassion, kindness, detachment, a clear conscience, flexibility, forbearance, honesty are some of the fruits most worth nurturing. If someone asked me how to decide whether their religion or spirituality was working, personally I think they could measure the success of their faith or practice by the growth in these values and whether they are embracing more of a diverse of humanity or if their religion has separated them out as a ‘chosen ones’. When people are tender, vulnerable, at the ‘edge’, that is the time when ‘equality of being’ needs to come to the fore; no-one above or below; our sense of humanity can peep through and it is best we leave our designer Gods at the door; we are in this together, one species moving through space evolving.
The Enigma of Being Human
The original question was ‘What isn’t God?’, we can ponder this deeply and the response will change shape from time to time, the unfolding process is like a tree that spreads out, old leaves and flowers fall off there is new growth; the roots of experience go deep into the ground and the trunk of our understanding becomes firmer.  There is an old Zen Koan which asks, “Does a Dog have Buddha Nature?”, this is also a very, very good question, it moves the focus of puzzle away from the individual, it nullifies our sense of ‘I’, the imaginary part of us which is what we believe ourselves to be; and like all Zen riddles, it is answered with our whole being, it is resolved in our transformation.  I will ask another pertinent question and it’s one we may ask ourselves each day as the sun rises, or for those of us who prefer to be up later starting the day with coffee and chocolate, “What does it take to be a human being who can add beauty the world, to be somebody who embraces both the religious man and the atheist, someone who has an open heart and leaves a trail of kindness wherever we travel?

Home Future Yogis for other interesting articles on consciousness and the mystery of Being

The Day My God Died

Some of us do ‘broken’ better than others; some fracture from the inside out and they don’t recover, they find an uncomfortable peace in addictions, destructive distractions; others go about their business and leave it till later in life to deal with, they wear it in their skin, illness, even bitterness, a thud instead of a spring in their step, listlessness in place of a sparkle; some have a dependence on being ‘broken’ and prefer to loop it ’round and ’round, unknowingly recreating a set of experiences that give a similar ‘feeling’ to the previous one and live it out again and again in another scenario.
Softening Our Heart

It would seem sensible for us as a community to learn to ‘hold’ each better, to recognise frailty, to be sensitive in what seems to be an outrageously unkind self-indulgent world, to go that extra bit with ‘unnecessary acts of kindness’, to be that big bellied Buddha wandering with a bag of goodies, spreading joy because ‘that’s the way we roll’, to maybe drop some of our differences of opinions at times and let people feel comfortable with what they have arrived at, to ditch our ‘king of the castle attitude’ – ‘right at all costs’ approach, to allow others to be, and do it without splintering our boundaries, by that I mean by not allowing breaches and crossing the line of what is acceptable behavior, some people take more than their share.
I have never met anyone who hasn’t hit a crisis point, and by that i mean found themselves in a situation where everything seems bigger than them; the passing of a loved one, having to let go of something precious, dealing with abuse, or being in a situation of ‘impossible love’, where the heart says one thing but the stars don’t align, they shine and then bash into each other, the beloved’s course seems to be heading off into some other galaxy without them; there are numerous scenarios and situations that bring us to our knees.
Finding an Ally in Things
Sometimes it is not people who hold us, we can feel too vulnerable to let people in, exposed, we don’t want to seem-needy, or can’t take that step to say ‘ouch f*cking ooooch’ for whadever sane or absurd reason, there is often a tendency to remain silent. Having an emergency crew (of things) ready with their ladders, fire extinguishers, life-buoys and gaffer tape is a good idea, every now and then we can be caught off guard. I don’t mean being hyper-vigilant either and having a SWAT team racing in with all their protective gear every time we cut our pinky…….. Me, I like chocolate, goooood coffee, the feeling of the sun on my skin, the gentle movement of the leaves in the wind, the shades of green – those brush strokes of the hidden master artist, an hypnotic melody that brings to memory something beautiful from my past, an inquisitive mind, seeing and feeling the future before it happens, the mystic poets, a silly sense of humor and something newish to learn, dissolving myself into music, singing mantras or dancing in my bedroom in the dark – occasionally bumping into things.  Things can hold us, particularly if we are people who are used to doing things solo.
I think it is important to be able to live in a manner as if everything were taken from us, our loved ones, our dearest possessions (the RING, Lord of the Rings comes to mind, that type of obsession permeates the community in subtle ways, we don’t want to be like that do we? Being a slave to objects), maybe we need to be stripped bare of the lot to find ourselves, or should I say to detach from the ‘known us’; and even if we are at 180 degrees from EVERYBODY else, to still know how to dig for and experience joy.  And this does not mean giving up everything, it is about our attachment to them, the power of the control people and things have over us, dependencies that we are slaves to. Some people might say, “well why would I want to live if I lose the lot?”  I reckon that’s the right question, and a very fair one.
False Gods
When my son died, so did my false God. It took me a while to realise I had a number of ‘hidden’ Gods. I was born with the idea that God lived in everything, this in Indian culture-speak would be called Jnana Yoga, a non-dual approach, the One manifesting as many; when you break it down it’s not rocket science, don’t need to look too far, just join the dots… same water, same air, same species, same sun, same doughnuts, there are too many hints that it is quite astounding that we humans miss the obvious.  As I grew up, I was indoctrinated into false Gods, the supposed God of the Christians, and a Father God. A tradition had grown out of the life of an extraordinary being who lived two thousand years ago, in time the churches and men of low wisdom and in many cases men of minimal integrity who were seeking control and power, superimposed a God over everyone, this God was supposedly pulling the puppet strings of humanity, judging and dooming, sitting on the shoulders of every man, woman and child, like an annoying parrot who won’t shut up, monotonous information in the subconscious being fed into everyone that we all become immune to.  And I am NOT implying ‘there is no God’, but rethinking what God may be is the beginning of transformation.
The Shattered World
It’s quite normal that we go about our business in a a semi-conscious state not overly questioning anything until our world explodes.  Experiences can break us, in fact let’s be clear here, traumatic experiences WILL break us, it’s WHAT emerges out of the ‘seed-pod’ embedded in the experience that we need to look at, explore, play with, and if we are serious, turn it inside out.  If I may, I will make an assumption that ‘grief, loss, despair’, the whole gamut of emotions which emerge from it are similar for most people, there may be slight variables in the intensity but they would be the same categories; it is the WAY we respond that makes the difference. So what do we do? Our world is shattered, we are so broken that we can barely move, everything hurts, the feeling in our chest is a throb, our every particle stings…
Taking Control of Ourselves
I did something extraordinary when my so passed over, I asked everyone to go away, not to talk to me about it, I changed the language, I said ‘he passed over’, I avoided ‘he died’.  We all have moments of ingeniousness in our lives and this was probably mine.  My idea of Bonsai Gum trees for Japanese tourists would be way down my list from this spark of wisdom.   I’ve done some far-out things but this probably is the one wise thing that eclipsed everything else, I really have no idea what motivated me to tell everyone to ‘mind their own business’; I guess this was because I was on the precipice and something deep inside, the ‘future me’ spoke.  We are social creatures and in times of great trauma it seems natural to get the people close to us to gather around and ‘hold us’.  So what was it that was going on in the deeper part of me thinking?  I went 180 degrees… this for me is usually where the wisdom lies.
The Past, the Present and the Future Now
I have something that I have always done, it’s a type of time-travel, not the H G Well’s jump in a machine and arrive ahead or back in time version of time-travel, it’s more  related to  my thinking. For a number of years now, I have gone back through my life from the present moment and visited the younger me and also gone to the future unborn me; this may not seem overly important and slightly absurd, but I would say, of all the ‘hey, what’s your secrets?’, this would be the one thing that if someone could bottle it, financially they would instantly be in the top 1% of wealthy bods.  It’s not just in my thought I do this, I imagine my whole being travelling back and forwards and out into the cosmos.  There is a close relationship between my ‘unborn me’, with the ‘go away’ technique I used when my son passed over.  If I jump around a little in ‘who I am’, or to be more specific, what this means “if I consider myself to be more than, or to have OTHER points of awareness apart from the ‘known’ everyday nine to five , three score and ten (75 years life expectancy) “, what I would also describe as the ‘I am a body with five senses limited being’, other possibilities for solving complex problems emerge.  It was Einstein who said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” Einstein was known as a physicist, but when I look at him, to me he is a visionary; without the inquisitiveness to understand the nature of things, we may as well just measure objects and archive the info; but when we have a deep passion for understanding, a desire to expand human consciousness, whether it be through science or mysticism, the spin-offs and benefits will open new vistas and humanity evolves.   The enemy of the ‘elite’ is an evolving humanity.
Rethinking Death
Death was my problem, or better still ‘my reality’, my son passed over and I was at the cemetery standing next to his coffin all alone, how do we as ‘feeling’ people deal with this? This is not just MY problem, it is everybody’s issue, it’s going to slam everyone, our beloveds will leave here and eventually according to most logic, people say we must take this journey ourselves, we may have concepts of Gods, Saints or Holy Men/Women guiding us, but let’s keep it simple, we are going solo.  In life, we can have short term bliss, lovers, objects, sunsets, holidays, all sorts of passing moments, but when the pain is in our chest, when our heart is broken, what can we do?  We can’t run, even if we try, the shadow of death follows us, its sting seems to have no remedy, at this time when our dear ones pass over, we are on the edge of madness, some never recover.  So what do we do? Each of us has a ‘genius’ that casts a light over our world of shadows, at this time of despair my genii woke up, he said to everyone “f*ck off”, nothing personal, just “go way please, you are in my way”; I did not want other peoples half-assed stories of reality, either true or untrue.  Some may consider it to be one of those moments when we close down our emotions and become numb; in a way, in all honesty there was a hint of that, but at some other level beneath the surface, there was something different going on, something more powerful and sublime.  I will call it the future-me, my Future Yogi came into my present. This Yogi, Yoda-type lives outside the five senses, this is where the possibilities lie, this is where I went.
The Power of Contrast
When we are in a dark room, there will generally be a tiny gap of light that shines through somewhere, obviously it would be missed in daylight in the same way that when we go about our everyday business, everything is ‘leveled’ over and the subtleties are bypassed; the stark contrast of a few small glowing particles of light against the blackness gives a lot of power to the brightness; suddenly what may have seemed meaningless, missed or insignificant at other times becomes greater.  In the darkness of trauma, there are small glimmers of luminosity; it takes a bit of courage to stride across a dark room and peep into the source of the light, but that’s the thing with grief and despair, it’s almost ‘do or die’, not death of the body but death of our feeling for life; people can continue to live but are numb,they  run on automatic and then lose themselves inside the ‘layers’ of the world; these layers consist of the ‘things that keep us busy, preoccupied ‘ to avoid feeling and questioning.
The Future Now
The future is both unborn and already present,  that statement would resemble nonsense to some people and without clarification would almost sound a little ‘Zoolander’ (movie comedy about fashion models) the “essence of water is wetness.”  🙂  However, coming from someone who has risen above or should I say stepped outside, through or past trauma, I suggest that the statement ought not to be disregarded too quickly, it requires consideration. Some people wear trauma in a way that it ‘defines them’, this is understandable, but trauma can be approached in a way that it is trans-formative. We as a rule live in what most of us call the ‘present’; we could take a type of Buddhist stance and say ‘well our thoughts are over active and we are always off somewhere else, come back to the moment’ but keeping it simple, I will say the present means ‘look at clock > check time > that time is now’,  we will just try an easy definition without any new age interpretations.  But here’s where the brain explodes 🙂  and I could without too much trouble make this sound like a stoned rave, but as I am not a drug taker, it’s not.  ‘Now’ is constant along the timeline of life, we are always in ‘now’. this NOW, has an entrance and exit point EVERYWHERE.
The Meeting Point of the Rivers
So how does the death of God fit into this? How does it all come together? What is the connection between time, trauma and God that I have mentioned?  For me the glue is in the ‘experiencer’, the point of perception at the heart of these three things mentioned.  The experiencer in his or her thought is stuck in time because of an over-identification with the body, this body-thing that we lug around is a bit of a trickster; if there is too much focus on it, we live in fear, we become unnecessarily preoccupied with how we look and create a world of objects to lose ourselves in, this over-indulgence takes the attention away from the ‘perceiver’, although he/she always knows that it is more than the body, there is a type of forgetfulness that we naturally drop into.  With trauma, the focus goes on the experience that the experiencer has gone through, a story emerges that defines the world of the experiencer and the story usually  ALWAYS ‘gets in the way’ of new emerging life.  This ‘God thing’ (without sounding disrespectful) also diverts the attention of the perceiver/experiencer away from itself, it is looking outward, seeking, God is often in the distance, by this I mean at some time in the future there may be a meeting or coming together with God, or in a way ‘God is looking down’ or watching over.  This understanding of God, although it may feel nurturing  to us and creates a feeling of safety, may possibly only be conceptual, a hope a dream.
Coming Back
My God, my imaginary one died with my son Joshua.  For quite some time I had assumed God had betrayed me, and this was a serious dilemma, my life had always been about God since I was born.  However, as my beautiful life unfolded, I came to realise that this God was not real, it was a ‘learned God’, a false God.  The passing of my son led me back to something more sublime, something I had to find myself, something I was born with that was hidden from me for sometime by things that belonged to the world of men and false prophets. I am grateful for what I was given, and although it was at times a painful journey, I found my way home, back to myself.

Future Yogis Home


The Trap of Karma

As the mystical East has gradually seeped into Western culture, it has given us many gifts, ways of managing thought through meditation, numerous yogic systems that cover all areas of our being from the inside to our most exterior visual particles; Sacred texts from outside time with their tales of entities in their flying machines from other worlds and planets, well sculptured wisdom,  the accumulation of trillions of hours contemplation on our core nature, and the ‘Nature of Being’ in general.  Such glorious things full of truths and a very fertile field of misconception.
The Upside of Karma
In the West we have ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ deeply ingrained in our subconscious, even my atheist friends would give that a social-media ‘like’.  But when we imbibed ‘Karma’ into our vocabulary, we obtained a new tool for not only putting our thinking and feeling of vengeance at rest, we also ended up with a little guy who sits on our shoulder and says, “Yeah, nah, yeah, better not do that”.  We acquired another filter, a brake for the wayward thoughts, and to keep the ‘wild horses of the senses’ in order, to add a little restraint by thinking ‘nah, it’s going to hit me hard on the rebound’.  Karma is useful for keeping the community in check.  We don’t need to dig around too much to see it is a core principle of Hinduism and Buddhism; it’s likable at best, but it does feel like a tsunami when it ‘hits ya’.
Karma Sucks

Oddly enough I am not big on Karma, and I don’t mean that I don’t wish to experience the affect of karma slapping me with its backwash for my supposed ‘misdoings’.  It’s not that at all; getting paid a fair price for your work or for the avocado crop is reasonable in any mans language, and if you stomp on someone’s tulips, the idea of a ‘fair is fair’, an equal response is OK.  There is something else, and I call it the ‘Karma Trap’, and will attempt to articulate the hidden issues.  If we don’t address it at some point, we will be stuck on the wheel of life forever.  As we know at the heart of the Buddha’s teaching is ‘what causes suffering, how to get rid of it, and getting off the wheel of life’, there are  other tenets but these things are the main focus points. There are many interpretations of these core ideas, and I think it is good to see diversity, even if the meaning of them is somehow misconstrued, at least people are thinking, and so long as it doesn’t delude a lot of others, thinking for ourselves is better than blind faith; sometimes concepts are just markers in someones evolution, by eventually seeing the flaws in them, they become a lighthouse for others. Blind faith only strengthens untruths or partial truths; blind faith may carry us for a while along particular pathways of our lives, but ultimately things need addressing eventually.
Going ‘Round and ‘Round
Does it ever stop? This karma thing, it does seem like an endless audio or video loop; same, same then back to repeat from the start again?  If we read the scriptures,  the ones from the supposedly mystical East, we will find references to the ‘Guru’ taking away our karma; other texts will say, “if we do enough Karma Yoga (service to the world around us) it will dissolve”, or “if we do Japa (repetition of the Holy Names of God) , eventually things will be OK, rest assured you are going to make it”.  Then there is Jesus, if we look at His life, some people will say from their perspective, he absorbed the ‘sins of the world’. One of the translations of what Buddha said, goes something like, “All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states”.  We don’t have to look far for attitudes, wisdom and PARTIAL truths about karma.
The Limitations of the Questioner
Recently I watched a very good question and answer live-stream session online, it was facilitated by a man from America with plenty of experience with ‘things of the Spirit’ from the Indian tradition, and from life in general; his answers to the questions were all sensible, suitable to the level of understanding of the questioners.  But “here’s the rub”, a questioner will always bring to the table their story of Spirituality.  A question is often but not always, being asked according to a limited understanding, it’s like a child saying “mama, how come you are so big”, we know from experience that the mother may not be tall, everything is relative to our individual perception, from the lens we look through. Usually, unless it’s J.Krishnamurthi,  Nisagadatta, or someone with an extraordinary depth of experience, the (supposed) Guru will say something that will put the thoughts of the questioner at ease.  After the question is answered, the questioner may walk away with something to work with or may even have their problem resolved, their thoughts will come to rest for a time.  Personally, if I were given the answerer’s-seat, the questioner would not be let off so easily, things of the Spirit are serious stuff, it is not ‘cafe society chat’, or like going to a doctor who looks into the eyes of a patient with a feigned sense of caring, and gives a bottle of  colored aspirin; we could die any day, it may be someones last day on earth.  If we start to dig into the questions, in most cases there will always be sensible answers for them, but the parameters of the questions will be confined to a limited view, a story of what that person ‘believes God to be’, or is based in linear-thought, this means “if I do this, this and this, eventually my result will be ‘whatever'(you fill in the gap there)”. The world spins around, sunrise – sunset, repeat; and the ‘arrow’ of time goes from A to Z, with milestones on the way.  There is another way, and this is closer or in line with  what the great Jnana Yogis would say. We will look at karma through this window and not through the one people are familiar with, the ‘user-friendly’ version that they like to hear, are attached to or have built their lives around; we are going elsewhere, if not, it is a waste of time writing on this subject; adding to the ‘old story’ is meaningless.
Question Everything
So how do we put an end to karma? Is it possible? Is it true what the Sages and great scriptures say? Is it absurd to doubt what people say is Truth?  I think we need to stop and think a little, put a limiter on the ‘yes, yes, true, true I believe it, the great ones have said it, so I must follow’ and absorb it into my thinking because it sort of fits with ‘what I know’. That type of thinking is fair, it shows dedication and devotion, but it is dangerous. We don’t need to take it on; and no we are not betraying God by questioning the validity of things.  Any God worth anything would love the honest-seeker.  When a child asks the mother, “Why mummy, why?” , the mother is patient,very  understanding and is delighted the child has an inquisitive mind, it’s a healthy sign of growth.  If we just keep gathering information and stacking it up as a belief system, we become secondhand human beings, dullards…. great minds come out of questioning, by saying, ‘I want to be sure, I will test it myself, I have doubts, I don’t believe you, I am not a slave to limited social consciousness.” We need vibrant minds.
Do we as individuals who are not deeply entrenched in Eastern traditions have the right to question it all? It is Sacred to some.  And also, those who are born into those cultures, do they have the audacity to challenge those who have gone before, their forefathers, the elders, the very core of their traditions ?  Absolutely! We do not need to play ignorant and hand over to others, this is not necessary; we are far greater and wiser than we think, we just need to move aside what is in the way .
The World is Flat to Some People
We as a species, the greater community are what I call Flat-Earthers, we get stuck in social consciousness, we stay there for a long time and it takes a lot to change the ‘normal’. There are a number of people who are back in pre Pythagorean thinking who still consider the earth is flat, or have recently, due to viewing a very unscientific youtube video, altered their understanding about this beautiful rock spinning in space and assume that we have been duped and the planet is really flat; we will let these people be.  ‘Flat-Earthing’ is also applicable to ‘karma’, there are various things that people assume to be so; things, opinions become part of communal-thinking and are often not questioned, this can be a problem.
When we look at ‘karma’ closely, we will see a number of things.  By ‘learned nature’, we are very judgmental people, the biblical ‘eye for an eye’ revengeful god is often waiting to raise its hideous head; in the minds of some people,’karma’ can very easily become one of the ugly god’s arms, or cerebral tools for ‘smiting’ the evil doer.   Humans as a rule, love to see the bad-guy get belted, Hollywood has built its fortunes on this type of thinking, the movie empire-monster in its quest for trillions of dollars and to control / influence the thought of the common-man, has quite regularly made villains out of good people, glorious cultural groups have been vilified into being the enemy of white America. ‘Karma mentality’ for many is running in the background like a software program, when someone stuffs ‘him/her/other over’, the software kicks in and says “karma gonna get you asshole’, then they go about their business, a slight throb from the pain of the experience but there is a moving-on because ‘karma will fix it’. There are many aspects to the subconscious karma software; it is used as a moderator in our lives, this is good, yeah nah yeah, maybe sometimes, but when we grow up, or better I say ‘forward into the future’ we see something else. Having the ‘karma brake’, we are more inclined to think, “mmm bad idea, if I do that, the tsunami will get me if it’s real bad, or if it’s a moderate misdeed, the ‘dumper’ on the shoreline may knock me over and the salt water and sand will get in my bathers and not be overly pleasurable’.  I did previously say ‘forward to the future’,  the ‘us’ that matures and is wiser, does not require the karma software to moderate our behavior.
Jumping out of Linear Time

We are bound in space-time, and this is the problem; we naturally have a linear mentality… doctor spanks us when we are born; when we pass-over, our loved ones bring flowers and see the good in us that they often missed as we became over-familiar and our sparkle was hidden by the mundane of what the insensitive call ‘everyday life’.   Just on the other side of death, some believe is that moment when life’s experiences get tallied, and a direction is decided upon…  one guy at the gates of Valhalla talking to his buddy says, “what we gonna do with this one?”, his co-gatekeeper replies, “It’s borderline, send him back to planet earth to sort stuff out”, it’s a very good playground for transformation, there’s plenty to do around here.  Is it true? It doesn’t really matter to me in the scheme of things; let’s look closely at this.
Instant Karma

We were talking about karma, the thing mentioned in John Lennon’s “Instant Karma gonna get you” song, and in numerous Buddhist and Hindu texts, we know it has a lot of baggage, as we also have; and many of us feel it is probably true; the logic is, there would need to be a sense of order to maintain balance in the Omniverse we move in, observe and experience, it seems fair from a limited view.  I started this article challenging the idea of karma.
Here’s the issue, and I will go straight to Buddha, he’s always moderate and sensible.  As mentioned already, the core of His teaching is about what causes suffering, how to stop it and how get off the wheel of endless rebirth.  If we solve that, then karma takes care of itself.  The Jnanis (the yogis of seeing the unity in the diversity, those who see the roots of the tree growing into everything, and the ground it sits on) will always remind us that ‘movement’ is movement away from ourselves,  a ‘going away’ from what we are.  Buddha was a Jnani, the Buddhists may disagree, if they are busy being Buddhists they will; Jesus was the greatest of Jnanis, the Christians will disagree, they are busy wanting Him to save them and are caught in the crucifixion instead of rolling away the stone and letting Him go free; the resolve to all problems is Jnana.  Some translate it as ‘knowledge’, that’s a misleading interpretation.
Karma is Going Nowhere 
Karma implies movement.  With the karma viewpoint, the world is seen as a flat-line of experience, it goes in an order that may suit an accountant, a statistician, it may even be close to the thinking of the world of classic-physics, or in a way resemble an ordered database a little . With a ‘karma view’ we are always measuring, always wanting or chasing something in the future that is better than what we already have or is equal to the ‘accumulation of our goodness’.  Living our lives like little kids, be a good kid and mummy or daddy will give us a lolly.  This is so childish and has zero to do with spirituality and is indoctrination.  We end up turning God into a big parent, someone or something that is waiting or wanting to adjudicate on our every action; it is fear based.  This God is nowhere to be found apart from in our heads; I am not trying to kill God. This ‘God thing’ will exist without my opinion.  I remember a great Sage saying to a friend of mine ‘God is very big’, he repeated it a number of times to my friend.  When we have a small view of what God is, we put limitations not only on God but also on ourselves, our potential and we associate with small, safe beliefs.  If we are always ‘adding up points’ , we will always be in strife; when are there enough points? When will we be good enough?  I won’t even blink when I say this, but the answer is “never”; God in this case becomes deeply ingrained with our feeling of self-worth.
Getting off the Main Highway
Even if the the flat-line jumps in and out of bodies from lifetime to lifetime, it is still a small view.  What’s happening is a person is extending the ‘womb resident-baby-child-teen-middle age-getting wrinkly,  put me in a box stages’ beyond the parameters of the body and making a longer string into other time spaces.  The worlds we move in are not linear, they are imaginarily linear, we make it linear because it is easy to manage, it fits into our story of the the world, the tale of man is written by idiots and very few question it. The question when it is asked is often answered with somebody else’s story of God.  It must be thrown out the window, we need to be insecure, shaking, fragile, unknowing, unhindered by the thoughts of others, until then we are attached to belief systems; attachment is the great obstacle.
For Every Action There is an Equal Thought
Confusing the idea of ‘for every action there’s got to be an equal reaction’ equals ‘karma’, is small minded, this is the major problem.  We are bigger, much larger than the body, sublime, wondrous; and we are not bound by the body, it is ‘thought’ that binds us.  Knowing that the problem is ‘thought’, takes us into other areas, it leads us into understanding consciousness, and a quest for seeing the construction of the world clearly. The world is in constant motion, it is not static, it is only still when we look at it, then it’s off again.  Seeing this reordering, is the beginning of the  end of the limited thought. Everything rests in Emptiness, it all comes out of the living Silence and is always present.
By stepping out of the world of ‘karma’ does not mean ‘do what we like’, there is a responsibility,  knowledge brings about obligation, but not in a forced way, it is common sense.  When we see that everything is from the same tree, we don’t poison the tree, we nourish it.
To Be or Not to Be
We have a choice, we can stay with karma, the path of endless becoming, always seeking, never being good enough because we don’t have enough points to get the golden handshake of God…or we can let go right now, this takes courage, this means that everything we have ever believed to be true must be sacrificed.  This is the crucifixion of the self.
Tilopa 2.0

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God is Not Catholic or Pastafarian

Not so long ago there was a guy in Melbourne who wanted to get an Australian drivers licence, he fronted up to the Motor Registry Office to get his obligatory licence photo and to the bewilderment of the staff, he put a colander on his head, he claimed to be a Pastafarian.  Originally his wearing of the strainer-hat was rejected by the counter staff at the office, but ultimately he won out and the licence mug shot was given the green light.

Spaghetti Worms 
What prompted me to write this post is because a friend of mine is suing the Catholic Church for crimes against humanity, he did a simple post on a social network that caught my eye.  The post had a gorgeous sunrise over a beach and there was text heading that said ‘God is Not Catholic’.  This uncomplicated and rather eloquent post, opened the can of Pastafarian spaghetti worms.  Many of us who experienced abuse by the Catholic clergy as children have very strong views on where God isn’t; in my case I have spent my whole life since I was ten trying to make sense of the crimes, and more accurately ‘what is or isn’t God’.  Although I am clear that I am standing at the gateway, staring into forever at the undefinable and trying to fit the ocean into the bucket; every time I attempt to say ‘this is IT’, ‘IT’ moves, ‘IT’ gets bigger or infinitely minute, ‘IT’ becomes more mysterious and I resemble a physicist trying to resolve the millions of issues relating to atoms. This God thing is not conceivable by the human-mind, I know this for sure.   It is easy without too much questioning, no-blinking, quite logically say what God isn’t, this is a no-brainer.

Exhibitions of Devotion
I think most of us have seen the ‘pomp and circumstance’ of Bishops and Cardinals dressed up like they would be far more suited to an out-take scene from Alice in Wonderland or the Beatles Magical Mystery tour (sorry John and George); long gowns, staff in hand, ridiculous head-wear, self-important expressions, the nonsensical bowing and waving of arms, the haughtiness, hideous opulence, wasting of flowers, smokey myrrh and frankincense odors… it is beyond my comprehension how any community would tolerate this nonsense and not twig that something was not right. The story of the Emperors New Clothes always comes to mind. “Houston, Apollo here, come in Houston”, we have a very serious problem back on Earth.  And it’s not that I don’t like dress ups, I always try to look my best, it’s just that when your dress-ups have an agenda and are placing you in a position between God and men, we are heading for strife. I wiil say with great confidence, “everybody is hypnotised”

Men in Dresses
The global community is unaware of the scope of Catholic abuse, there are snippets regularly in the news, it may seem incomprehensible, but if you want to get a clear understanding of it all, multiply by thousands what you hear on the news about the issues and you will start to see how BIG the problem is; and I say this because I would be one of the more informed people in the country about it this topic.  I would like to be able to see the good side of the ‘being uninformed about the magnitude of the issue’, maybe there’s a way to frame it in a manner and to follow the line of thought of ‘see the good in everything’, or ‘ignorance is extremely blissful’.  But considering the impact on the individuals, the suicides,  those who have destroyed their lives with intoxicants, the mental health issues and the way it affects the families of those of us who have experienced the crimes, I struggle to see the light in this darkness, and not for want of trying; this dilemma has taken up a large percentage of my life.

Dropping the Robes in the Sand
From my perspective, beyond doubt, I can clearly say it chased me away from the church, at fifteen I said to myself ‘God’s not in there’, but intuitively due to the inquisitive nature we humans have, I felt ‘something is doing I don’t know what’, and was confident there is a bigger intelligence, a totality that resonated through things, in people, all creatures and across the skies.  The idea that the care-taking of such a sublime thing is in the hands of a bunch of guys in dresses who have alienated themselves from the community, many of who think it is their privilege to have sex with boys and then pray to God for forgiveness and then do it again, is absolutely absurd, unreasonable and so small minded that it seems incomprehensible that so many people can be duped into believing their version of the story of Jesus; it’s just not sound. And the excuse that “it’s only a small number of clergy who commit these crimes”, is an uninformed totally uneducated view. From my readings, it is clear to me that a great human being passed through the world, but the idea that the guys in dresses are the caretakers and are responsible for our destiny, is questionable, particularly when you look at the formation of the church, it’s choices and the hideous crimes committed; if the God these people speak of is represented by the values exhibited by Jesus or any great Sage, He/She/It would not select a group such as those in the church. The ‘we have all sinned’ rhetoric does not work for me at all; the small misgivings of the man on the street does not generally include the slaughter of humans because of a religious agenda, and most of us well balanced emotionally intelligent people, have much clearer and respectful boundaries with children.

Time Out 
Solitude that may be found in a monastery or church can be important, yes.  I will say from my personal experience that ‘time out’ of the world of madmen is critical. Being out of the loop of madmen is good,  it’s similar to how it’s not until a junkie stops using and stands back and looks at the big picture of the impact of drugs, the condition of the people around him and sees the tragedy of it all, it becomes clear. Following that line of thought, when we are immersed in the ‘play of life’ we can really only see a small perspective, it’s easy to miss what is going on over the fence, the lens is too small, everything is too familiar and there is little breathing space.  Time in solitude is a healthy thing for most of us, and it is in this ‘space’ that we can begin to unravel the world of men, to see what we do to each other, we can come face to face with our dark side and say, “i am never going back to that place”, then we take full control of our life instead of being kicked around by our thoughts, and following them in the opposite direction for what is good for us.

Redefining the Foreverness of God
Standing on the beach on clear moonlit night, it’s there that we can see the shooting stars, a hint of the enormity and beauty of it all; the men in dresses lose their power here, God – whatever that be, does not know them; they are strangers in His/Her/Its house, their mad ramblings about being guilty, repent, fear of the Lord, gloom and doom,  on the third day the faithful will be rising from the grave; the hundred and forty four thousand chosen ones; when we put that stuff under the microscope we can see it for what it is. When we feel the sun on our skin, sand between our toes, hold the hand of someone dear to us, or dive into Emptiness and ‘lose’ the world, that’s closer to what those on bended knee and joined palms are seeking.

Letting Someone Else Think for Us
There are a number of reasons why men and women hand over their thinking about what God is and leave it to others.  Simply put ‘it’s easy’.  By taking on a story of how things are, knowing there is a God and IF we get enough points together, one day we get to heaven, we can go about our business, then when the body runs out of fuel we can pick up the certificate as we go through the Pearly Gates.  Game, Set, Match, too easy. Really?  We can go through the motions, be a nice person, say all the right prayers, pull God out of the pocket in times of great trouble; for me that does not have enough depth.  A sense of order about God seems good; we know Jesus supposedly lived two K years ago, we believe this to be true because the “Bible tells me so”….. But hey, any thinking person  who has explored the structure of the churches, the history of the texts, the crimes, the abuse of power; even simple things like the missing years of Jesus….. will tell you something is drastically wrong.  I am not saying Jesus did not exist or there is no God, it is just that there are so many things that just aren’t right, blind faith does not suffice for any man who is prepared to ask a few basic questions.

Changing Outfits and Going Nowhere
So what can we do?  Do we become a Buddhist instead?  No maybe not, do we need another somebody to tell us what IT is?  But maybe we ought not discard the ‘Buddha perspective’ completely, the Dhamapada (collection of Buddhist sayings) is sensible; Tibetan Buddhism (a loose term for the Vajrayana teachings) has magnificent material on keeping the mind in check and an emphasis on compassion, whereas other religions focus on faith, or relationship between God and individual, the techniques and approach when we push aside the statues, pictures, beads and outfits, can help move aside the ‘nonsense’;  Taosim helps us normalise the chaos and come into harmony; and then we have the Ramayana, the tale of Rama with guidelines on being noble, how to play each role in the community to its best-est, with Hanuman the wise monkey ever faithful as a model; and the Bhagavad Gita, the Sing of God describing the battle for the hearts and minds of men, the book that many people erroneously think belongs to Isckon (the Hari Krishna movement).  As we know, there are numerous other approaches East and West, some do have substance. The idea of taking a bit from each and creating a personalised version is fair, but not really sound, it may put the mind at rest, go about our business and we can throw God or whatever IT may be into the back pocket, but all we have is a collection of ideas, concepts.

Wherever I Lay My Hat
So if we ‘leave the monastery’, the church, the safe zone, what’s going to happen? There is a natural tendency for many people to religion hop, to jump from one spiritual group to another to change from orange outfit to maroon, a bit like those bods who are collectors of stamps in their passports, they usually say they have ‘done Cambodia, are going to do Uzbekistan’, running from one destination to another, not really feeling or getting inside a culture.  I always liked Alan Watts, his best work was the Wisdom of Insecurity, a magnificent book, the title may be misleading.  The book covers the very thing I am talking about.  If you leave the monastery, church or whatever be your flavour, the ‘space’ does not need to be filled with something else, no new philosophy required to cling to; there is great freedom in Emptiness, this IS the wisdom of insecurity, not stacking up more info or religious, spiritual stories to fill the void; no story to ‘protect us’.  An important point to get to is understanding that ‘questioning does not betray God’, the God most people have is a creation of their thoughts, and I am not saying there is no God; it is our ‘picture of what God supposedly is’ that needs addressing, it’s a fantasy, a story.

Getting Rid of the Middle Man
And this is the problem with organised religion, it tells you what God is, and then sits itself between that vision and you; there is a potential for abuse of power.  And nobody does it as good as, or it is better to say worse than the Catholic Church, and I don’t say this out of spite, nor do I have a ‘bee in my bonnet’, as an experiencer of Catholic crimes I made it my business to find out the extent of the breaches of power, the crimes against humanity.  And I will say it quite openly, without blinking, without malice, the general populace has absolutely no idea of the scope of what has gone on.

  • God is not Hindu, but there is something in Hinduism to explore; great men and woman have come and gone in the land of Bharat (India), they have spent thousands of years mastering the craft of answering the important questions.
  • God is not Christianity, but Jesus showed us how to live with empathy and compassion to be selfless.
  • God is not Rastafarian, but if God needed a musical groove, singing about Jah would definitely be in the front runners.
  • God is not Taoism, but we can bring our lives into harmony with small-nature and the rest of the omniverse .
  • God is not Buddhist, but we can learn to understand suffering and manage it.
  • God may be the Beloved to some, seen and felt in all of the creation and in the foreverness.
  • God is definitely not Pastafarian, when it rains your head will get wet.

    Tilopa 2.0 – with love