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Peace and Religion
by Ian Smith

 
Just like the explorer climbing up a mountain or summit peak to gain a greater "awareness" of the land below and the journey ahead, for true clarity of anything one must observe it from up high; a level beyond the complexities and conditions that obscure its true nature.

Imagine you’re that traveler looking from up high with greater awareness. You can see all the things below that contribute to our current paradigms of understanding, yet at the same time you can see whole picture... everything in and extending from that situation. You begin observing patterns. And you are captivated by what you see because it's bigger than what you expected.

One of these patterns you can see EVERYWHERE in nature but to keep it simple lets just say a sunflower. The sunflower seeds in the sunflower are arranged in spiral patterns that coil around and meet in its center. This pattern has been called the "Golden mean" or the "Fibonacci sequence" which gives rise to the golden mean, and just to avoid a whole lengthy description of its mathematics... to generalize the golden mean is a type of ratio. This is amazing, because this is to say that the sunflower has found the best mathematical way to bring together as many sunflower seeds as possible to fit in and share the same space. This is the modern day challenge of earth and its inhabitants.

Right now we are being forced to learn to arrange ourselves... from level of government with the way it governs and it's international relations down to the level of each individual with our thoughts, feelings and behaviors to be able to FIT IN AND SHARE THE SAME SPACE in harmony. All continents have been discovered, lands have been owned, there is no where for large populations to escape and avoid each other. Now with current technology, nations could wage war half a world apart. The earth is shaking her head like a disappointed mother, "Now, now my children, share!"

The greatest opposition to compression in our modern day world, is also the most ancient of problems. Even after all this time, religion and belief pose a colossal threat to any advances for peace and unity that our collective growth may convict our hearts towards. As all areas of science have yielded to the endless march of knowledge and breakthrough, religion has set itself apart. Religion faithfully sets its gaze towards "absolute truths" believed to reveal the nature of a divine and unchanging source, thus consequently its beliefs/paradigms mistaken for universal truths become exempt from change. This rigidity has broken TRUTH and offered mankind a truly shattered mosaic of conflicting and often independent revelations rather than a grand vision of insight and power. With a stubborn spirit and narrow vision, each religion, branch of religion, sect of a branch of a religion etc. all simultaneously claim to exclusively hold the ultimate truth and that all others believing otherwise are wrong and deceived. This has created perpetual conflict and division among religions, as well as, internal conflict and division setting people under the same religion apart from each other.

These shattered visions of truth, which indeed reflect certain amounts of truth (and yes, some more than others) are somewhat like puzzle pieces, offering little perspective alone, yet together add up to a whole understanding greater than its parts. The challenge we face, is finding how they all piece together.

If you have experience with the New Age as well as Christianity, it’s clear that both define spirituality, God and enlightenment quite differently. However in divides like this, close-mindedness ensures a lasting feud between contrasting perspectives. Conflict won't ever be resolved, neither will one benefit or learn from the other if both parties are unwilling to move from the comforts of what they know or think they know.

Absolute Truth and Relative Truth

During the sixteenth century, the astronomical model delegating the earth as the central planet within the solar system was the most highly favored and all challenges against it were met with serious retaliation. Such unrelenting fervor was inspired not out of scientific conviction, but originated from religious supposition. It was believed that since Christ as God incarnate was born, died and resurrected on earth that it was certain the earth held cosmic significance, enough so to be the center of the universe. According to religious authorities, it wasn’t just a supposition but scripturally confirmed and anything expressing otherwise was in deliberate contradiction to the word of God.

The first to propose a heliocentric model (the sun as the center) was not Copernicus or Galileo, but a Dominican monk named Giordano Bruno who envisioned not only a sun central solar system, but a universe more wild and awesome than the church could handle, one composed of many solar systems beyond the one we know. Such knowledge now is so common as to seem uninteresting to some, yet at this time the concept of a “cosmos” rather than just a tiny “solar system” was too much, too vast of a concept he was burned at the stake for heresy. Unfortunately, because of its treatment against free thought and innovation, “faith” in this modern day has been considered incompatible with science. It seems the two have conflicting agenda’s.

Science: towards advances in human knowledge of the workings and constituents of matter and the universe

Religion: sadly it appears, is about control.

Jesuit Extreme Oath - http://www.reformation.org/jesuit-oath.html

I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity present, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants' heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poniard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus…

Although it may be harsh or shocking to acknowledge the institutions of religion seem to be about control. “But religion is pure!” you say. Yes, of course, it does seem completely wrong then, that such suffering and death can come from subjects involving God. Since faith, is the conviction of the existence of the unseen I think the hostility resulting from faith, is caused primarily from the FEAR one’s faith in something being proven false or non existent. However, I think this is a testament of one’s lack of faith. If a truth is an absolute truth, then why so aggressively defend its validity as if it can’t stand on its own? You can tell me the sky isn’t blue all you want; no matter how hard you try you won’t upset me. I don’t need to kill or burn people nor even get the slightest bit emotional. Why? Because all one needs to do is look up. If you have eyes, and your not color blind you will see that the sky is clearly blue. If otherwise, it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. There is something more complicated at work. You could be looking up at night.

The same is applicable for truth. Unfortunately Religion only reasons in absolutes. Yet there are very very few absolutes and they are usually vague, as to avoid complication or shade. “God is love” or “Love is the most important” these are things most people can agree on, but it’s in the details where things get complicated and absolutes seem more variable. If only religion understood Relative truth. Just because two points of view are different, doesn’t mean they conflict or contradict each other.

No matter where you are located on earth, what race you are or what language you speak we can all agree on the existence of the force of gravity. We all feel it as the force pulling the matter of our bodies down, giving us our weight. You can even say, then, that the reality of the force of gravity is an absolute truth. Yet gravity isn’t the same in all locations in the universe. Let’s say if you were to weigh yourself on the moon you would weigh significantly less. So which is true? Do we weigh less or more? These aren’t two contradictory realities, it’s not either, or. Obviously it’s more complicated, and a solution resolving the two certainly exists. Since the gravitational pull of the moon is lighter, the gravity holding you down will be weaker resulting in your weight loss. The two are equally valid, both are true. Thus as you can see, out of every problem or “conflict” in the pursuit of an answer a better understanding of the truth of anything can arise. Which is why I actually support questioning your own beliefs, why should one be fearful of asking: does God really exist? If God does, well then you will find validation of its truth everywhere. Although considering how grand and complicated of a subject God is, just like the example with weight and gravity more problems and questions may result personally for you, indicating the need for further investigation, understanding and perspective. An atheist, who really and sincerely investigates fully what it means to be an atheist, may turn into a believer. Now its unlikely they would turn into a die hard fundamentalist Christian, however I wouldn’t be surprised if it leads to a new respect, appreciation, awe or interest in an intelligence or higher reality beyond what we know.

Not all religions can be unified. Indeed religions aren’t compatible at all. This is because of dogma, not spirituality. The concept that the earth was the center of the universe, which the Catholic Church relentlessly defended even to the point of murder, was dogma. Dogma to me is a narrow minded concept with little perspective falsely heralded as absolute truth. Trying to accomplish a fusion of two religions while endeavoring to keep the integrity of the dogmas of the two, avoiding change, removal or modification is completely and utterly impossible. However I do believe, with proper perspective we can understand what true spirituality is, then from the very top, the highest perspective we can work our way down towards the important issues and concepts that cause conflict among different schools of thought. Either we can clarify who’s right and who’s wrong or most likely and hopefully, offer perspective and reveal how they are related and actually work together.

Ask and you are given

According to Jewish belief the Old Testament (also known as the Torah) is not only a text but the literal written form of the nature of God; concealing in its every word/letter deep and hidden secrets regarding the cosmos, God and our relation to him.

Fortunately deeper secrets were taught to have been incorporated in the Torah beyond the surface text for sincere searchers to find. Jewish belief furthermore, teaches that there are four approaches in attempting to unveil meaning behind each verse in the Old Testament; one can read through analyzing the torahs literal meaning or its three other possible metaphorical, allegorical and esoteric meanings. In a fourteenth century writing called “Tikkunei Zohar” (amendments of brilliance) the first three words of Genesis alone are revealed to hold an astonishing seventy different interpretations and facets of meaning!

The intricacies of the Hebrew language enable for this. Each letter has meaning, and meaning can even be derived from its shape. In this way, each word is more like a formula. Thus each letter is in a word for a reason, contributing to the overall meaning in a word when mixed with its other letters. Words then mix with other words to form sentences with underlying meaning and so on. They have even gone so far as considering all the words in the Torah to form God's ultimate name when the spaces are removed!

The Hebrew words for the four levels of meaning are peshat, remez, drash and sod. The first letter of each of these words when put together forms the word Pardes, meaning orchard. Many believe this is an allusion to passage in the Talmud about four sages who explored through pardes, one went insane, one died, the third became an apostate and only the fourth left having “departed in peace” knowing the secrets of God.

So all the meaning of the smaller elements then form higher meaning just as you would find in the universe. How the particles on the small scale form atoms, atoms form molecules and so on building towards higher order on higher scales. The stories and narratives and its characters such as Abraham, Isaac etc. reveal more than just a stories about real people but reflect cosmic events, forces etc.

A prayer is often recited in the synagogue; “May it be the will of God that…He shall give us our share in his Torah” What they are asking for is further revelation, another level of learning provided by God through his Torah to bring them closer to a more comprehensive and real understanding than before. Collectively these deeper insights underneath the surface text of the torah are known as “Kabbalah”, regarded as the true life and soul of the Torah:

“Woe to the man who regards that outer garb as the Torah itself…They who lack understanding, when they look at the man, are apt not to see more in him than these clothes…So it is with the Torah…People without understanding see only the narrations, the garment;…But the truly wise…pierce all the way through to the soul,…which is the root principal of all.”

Because of the multilayered meanings concealed within the Torah, the Jews acknowledge our growth as process of stages; the God concept encouraged by Moses, was not a means to an end but only matched the level of understanding his people were able to handle at the time. Luckily, as it is believed for those adhering to Kabbalah, greater depth of insight and knowledge was available for those who looked DEEPER. With God’s blessing and guidance, for those sincere in wanting to know more of the mysteries of God, it was available to be found in the letters.

This is why conflict has been perpetual regarding the subjects of God even to this modern day. The reason we have such a shattered, fragmented view of God and spirituality is because of the varying levels of spiritual growth and understanding of mankind! God is revealing varying levels of truth according to the measure one is sincere and ASKS! Those who ask and receive and are happy won’t receive more than they are given. Those who receive graciously, yet continually ask, are given in greater and greater amounts.

However, what is MOST IMPORTANT is that one set’s aside what they think they know, in order to be open for the truth when it is presented.

This universe is more elegant than we could have ever imagined. The universe is still continuing to baffle us, even with math and technology scientists are still in wonder and confusion. Paradigms have changed and our concept of God is changing.

Looking down from the HIGHEST level

Purpose and Truth. They make sense only within the context of the whole. If you take into account everything; everyone, all circumstances and interactions of all places and times at once. Everything has a place within the universal order of things. They all integrate and perfect each other somehow in a delicate balance that we just can't see now. But you know it's there.

The famous platitudes, the sort of things we smile about when we hear but consider trivial and ignore, things such as “God is love” “There is a purpose in everything” exist as powerful realties at this highest level. In our world and level of understanding we ascribe to them very little significance. However they are expressions of higher truth. And if we really want a TRUE understanding of God and the universe, this is where we need to start. This is where we should place our foundations before we go about the challenge of clarifying and resolving the conflicts of religion. Starting first with complications, is very much like focusing on the knot in the laces of our shoe before looking up and beholding the vastness of the sky. Now if that knot really irritates you, first start at the sky then work your way down.

The HIGHEST LEVEL: GOD

Who and what is God ultimately? If one were to desire an absolute and full understanding wanting nothing to do with superstition or human comparisons, what would be the answer? Since understanding of heavenly things can only be derived by comparison with the mundane and what we are familiar with, such a pursuit is impossible. How can we know, that which transcends what we know? God is an absolute mystery. Men spend entire lifetimes just trying to achieve the experience of God and even then, when God is experienced men are left without words. There is nothing, no words possible to describe it. God simply exists as he is. No labels, no associations, no attachments, absolutely nothing but God.

I believe this is the space, the mystery that inspired the man, now known as “Buddha” to form the philosophy of Buddhism. Eastern practice is entirely devoted towards leading the practitioner to this state, they describe as “empty”. Yet such an emptiness is not a destitute emptiness, but a way of “being” that is free, without labels or attachments. This brings about a peace independent of external conditions, and from this Buddhism derives all its principles and teachings.

I truly believe this is man touching a type of divinity, an aspect of God that has been given to all of us. Yet since God evidently, didn’t stay just as an “empty” space or peaceful awareness devoid of labels or identifications, but “moved” and created-

“The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was MOVING over the surface of the waters.” -Genesis 1:2

It’s clear that achieving this state isn’t our ultimate goal. God is not static. To model God doesn’t mean becoming the monk, sitting on the peak of a mountain meditating for years. In Genesis, God is described as an active intelligence commanding the universe into being, separating its aspects to further define and perfect his creation. Through Genesis, we can know that God isn’t just an awareness or type of “being” but also “will”. God commands, but his command is made empowered by sovereign “will”. He just wishes something to be, and it is so. Another thing regarding his will, is that it reveals his nature. Why would God “will” creation into being, if it weren’t because of his nature to create? Whatever comes from his will then arises naturally from who/what he is. This is why we are created in his image. Not only are we reflections of our creator, I believe that life and all of creation if observed and studied under the right spirit (spirit of God) would reveal to reflect its maker. This would especially be so, when in the near future science starts to really examine the true heart and core of life.

The will of God continues to move. Something is germinated, formed by “will” gathering and growing in strength becoming light.

“And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.” -Genesis 1:3

At first you would expect this to be reference to our sun. But God doesn’t begin to create stars until verse 14, finally in verse 16 he creates the greater and lesser light, the sun and the moon. So what where did this first light mentioned in verse three come from?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.”

First before anything else, before Adam and Eve, the planets, the stars, the universe… was the WORD. All things afterward come through the word only because of the word.

“He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word.” -Hebrews 1:2,3

God’s will, in its second movement begot the life of the WORD. It WAS and IS, existing with God as a life in its own right, yet still God at the same time. Since creation is sustained and made possible only through the WORD, if we’re made according to the image of God then we’re more specifically made into the image of the WORD. And life itself would reflect the nature of the WORD because again, why would God do or produce anything that wasn’t in his nature?

THE WORD
AS THE ULTIMATE SYMMETRY/ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The Hebrew words for formless and empty is Tohu and Bohu. Tohu means Chaos and two meanings can be derived from Bohu. Bo means to enter or come. Hu means He. Thus “Tohu va Bohu” alludes to the process of chaos as coming into God or God becoming surrounded by chaos. As God moves within himself, activating primal energy what first manifests is total Chaos. But only a verse later God creates light and declares it good. Only something perfect, reflecting a divine ideal of order can be declared as good since God is a God of order. Thus the first light, the word, was the divine action that discerned and commanded order out of the chaos. Light and life was the result.

Once again:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.”

This pattern and intelligence subduing chaos and bringing order, referred to as the WORD would naturally be God’s vehicle for creating the universe since such a grand vision would require a divine and perfect order. Order, as the meeting of many variables/parts under a harmony in such a way they all work together as one. Divine order is thus UNITY.

So far the greatest goal for science is in bringing the understanding of the very small, Quantum Mechanics, with the understanding of the very big; General Relativity. This hasn’t been accomplished yet, and I believe won’t until science changes the mindset/mentality that is currently dominating their methods of seeing and approaching certain problems. The advances of science have always been towards the synthesis of previously understood separate forces. Newton unified the heavens with the earth through the notion of gravity. The force that not only effects objects keeping them on earth, but also pulls planets keeping them in their orbits. Up until Newton the prevailing belief was that the heavens, perfect and divine, followed different laws than the earth. Then electricity and magnetism were brought together under the theory of electromagnetism, space and time became the space-time continuum. Frank Wilczek the author of “The Lightness of Being” proposes that all known forces may simply be “sub-symmetries” of the same ONE “Master symmetry” in other words; different facets of the same diamond, or different manifestations of the same ONE pattern. Synthesis will continue until we discover that we are all ONE. Life, in its ultimate sense is UNITY.

The Philosophy modeled on this insight of oneness without regard to the divinity that we are made ONE WITH has become Pantheism. The absence of a God makes oneness a type of divine but undifferentiated soup, in which everything can be considered God and that possibly through us, God is made awake and aware. Monotheism is the truth of the existence of God without oneness, thus God is understood as separate. This is fine, although science has found that the universe is sufficient to run on its own through natural law without the need of a separate God imposing his “will” into things. Indeed this is true; there is no outside God separate from creation imposing his will. God is actually immanent and one with all creation, such that he “will’s” creation from the inside-out, and whatever “natural law” that science observes is actually the indirect observation of will, as matter yields to God’s command and organizes accordingly. God is both separate and one with creation at the same time. This is known as Panentheism, God is one with creation yet at the same time transcends creation.

God is made one with creation through the WORD. This is the meeting place where the divine dips into mundane, where God may be known by man and where man may become a temple to house God. The WORD is the mediator between creation and God, only through the WORD may anything come to reach and know God.

A CLOSER LOOK AT “The beginning”

“For St. Gregory of Nyssa every concept relative to God is a simulacrum, a false likeness, an idol…There is only one name by which the divine nature can be expressed: the wonder which seizes the soul when it thinks of God”

–V. Lossky, The mystical theology of the Eastern Church

“…I know it not, for I have lost myself in the depths of unknowing. I have been engulfed in the abyss, for ever unable to escape.”

–Ruysbroeck

“For all beings you are the end; you are the one, you are all, you are none;
Yet not one thing, or all things!
Bearer of all names, how shall I name you – the unnamable?
The veils beyond the furthest clouds
What heavenly mind can pierce?
Be gracious now, we pray,
You who are beyond, beyond all!
No other name befits you!”

—Gregory of Nazianzen, Hymn to God

The first verse in the bible "In the beginning God created…" Is so much more profound and filled with meaning within its original Hebrew: "Barasheet bara Elohim.” Counter to what should be expected from a holy text regarding the beginning of the universe, the first letter introducing genesis is B known as Bet, associated with the numerical value of 2. Many Cabbalists have asked why would the beginning start with 2 and not with 1? Their answer is, before Bet, was the paradox of Aleph. The first letter associated with the value of one, representing the unity of God without beginning.

Upon examining the shape of the letter it appears to be derived from three other letters: two Yod’s and one Vav. When adding the values the sum is 26, having the same value as the Hebrew word YHVH, the sacred name of God.

Putting this all together the message is both incredibly simple and profound: before the beginning was ONE. Only God. Take a minute to fully contemplate the mystery of existence removed of all that we have come to understand as reality; without glimmering galaxies and shinnying stars, planets, life, matter, atoms and form. Such a reality is impossible to conceptualize. The face of God was veiled, for how could its features be discerned in the absence of anything else to illuminate what it was?

So to investigate further, what was before creation, time and space? Although this question seems to be one exclusively belonging to the esoteric, current science has recently stumbled across vague implications of what kind of existence creation may have emerged from. Observations of our universe suggest an expanding universe, thus reversing time and this expansion would lead to an infinitely dense point in which all of matter was compressed. Beyond this point, there is no space and time; science is at a loss for words. They have hit a cosmic dead end because there is absolutely nothing to measure, quantify or know.

“In the very beginning there was a void – a curious form of vacuum – a nothingness containing no space, no time, no matter, no light, no sound. Yet the laws of nature were in place, and this curious vacuum held potential. Like a giant boulder perched at the edge of a towering cliff…Wait a minute. Before the boulder falls, I should explain that I really don’t know what I’m talking about. A story logically begins at the beginning. But this story is about the universe and unfortunately there are no data for that beginning. None, zero.”- Leon Lederman, The God particle: If the universe is the answer, what is the question?

The unanswerable implications are for science. A real explanation on the other hand belongs to the realm of philosophy because of the one concept immediately resolving this dilemma science will not allow: the existence of God. Before space, time, matter, light and sound was God, the essence and life of the divine. When the scientific community collectively refuses to incorporate God or to even mention God, they aren’t actually resisting the reality of God as God is, but the incomplete concepts of God made popular by religion. Indeed, there was and is no God emblematic of the traditional image of the old man with a beard, existing somewhere separate from creation. God existed as an inconceivable reality beyond all form and concept; absolute, perfect and divine.

The nature of this primal existence has been elaborated upon and described in various texts such as the “Tao Te Ching” or “The secret book of John”. All stating the true nature cannot ever be fully comprehended; for it transcends form, our notions of existence and all that we could associate it with.

“The one rules all. Nothing has authority over it. It is God…The one is the invisible spirit. It is not right to think of it as a God or as like God. IT is more than just a God.”

In this scripture found within the Gnostic Gospel “The Secret book of John” the writer emphasizes on the absolute, elusive and transcendent nature of God, that he even transcends our concept of what God is or should be. He should not be associated with any comparison or even the label “God” for it is more than we could uncover in eternity, it is a divine mystery even unto itself.

“Nothing is above it. Nothing rules it. Since everything exists within it, it does not exist within anything. It is absolutely complete and so needs nothing. The one is without boundaries…The one cannot be investigated, nothing exists apart from it to investigate it, the one cannot be measured…The one cannot be seen…”

Compare this with the “Tao-Te-Ching”:

“The Tao is like a well: used but never used up. It is like the eternal void, filled with endless possibilities. It is hidden but always present. I don’t know what gave birth to it. It is older than our concept of God.”

Here again the writer disassociates our concepts of God from the real nature of this absolute, unified primal being which existed before creation. These two sources of knowledge are obviously revealing the fallacy in our common beliefs of God, that whatever we account “God” to be are ultimately limited, restricted assumptions which have no truth in reality. God is beyond “God” and all that we know.

Taoist’s believe that the Tao preceded thought, movement and expression. As it slowly began to escape “No thought” and “No action” it began to contemplate its existence and what it was. The apocryphal of John reveals that Gods thought naturally cultivated its essence to awaken into full sentience, beginning by “apprehending himself” essentially evolving from pure consciousness to becoming SELF conscious. Something new within the divine was birthed, as described by various modern and ancient sources.

One time a lady had emailed a good friend/minister Rob Cricket, relaying a few questions regarding God that perplexed her son Marcus:

Beloved Dr Rob. i have questions for you if i may. The actual questions are from Marcus who is inquiring about God. i told him that the purest possible answer would have to come from Dr Rob. i also invited him to join in When You return,

. Here are the questions :

Debating the exiting of God

1. Can God be conscious without the possibility that God isn't conscious?

2. Can God be alive without the possibility that God isn't alive?

3. Can God exist without the possibility that God doesn't exist, or that God exists in a form other than your definition of God.

My definition of existance is: A detectable event, object or presense in a specific time/space/medium that is universally recognizable (for example by 10 differnt people, from different parts of the world, with differnt belief systems) such as seeing, hearing, touching, feeling, smelling, tasting, etc.

There is a concept of existance without physical form that I would apply to: Mutual Understanding of Specific truths/consequences, natural, mathmatical, scientific and generally accpeted "Absolute Knowledge", all of which are things that can be are proven, are time tested, relieable, and undesputed.

Rob immediately sent the email to me. “Hi Ian, you might like to answer these questions.”

Oh wow I thought. For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who had such outlandish questions. What was before God? Is it possible that God can be unconscious or that God was unconscious before he became conscious? Even when I was younger it would seem that out of the rhythm of life, I would WAKE and time would stop. All of a sudden I would become aware of where I was, not aware like you are aware you are at work and working. But acutely aware, piercingly aware that you are here and you exist. I remember thinking how weird that is, why should I exist? Why should anything exist? Why should nothing, explode into something? Why not just stay nothing. Well I felt, if any of this was for something, it was to help this guy. And possibly others like him, so I decided to write back. This was my reply:

Hello, my name is Ian and I'll be obliged to answer the inquiries. Rob has sent me your email, he has done this once before, delegating what I consider the privilege to bring clarity and peace of mind to someone. I'm currently writing a philosophy book right now so I guess he considers me qualified. He told me that you visited him for prayer and support at my house once. I'm Susan Vince's son, did we meet?

Please give this to Marcus:

Well I think the biggest opposition obscuring truth right now is the conflict of religion. Observing the lives of catholic saints, reading the writings of those with exceptionally pure hearts living in amazing intimacy with God, you begin to realize that if you go deep enough, the heart which brings life and truth in any religion is the same. Mystic writings of all traditions revolve around the same recurring ideas: Love and Unity, that God is bigger than we could imagine.

There is an astonishing 93 million miles spanning the distance between only the earth and the sun. Now extend that to the great expanse of space beyond our solar system. We are members of a HUGE universe participating in a grand order way above our heads, bigger than we can know. I'd say ultimate truth is knowing it can't be fully contained, thus conflicts of understanding stop in agreement that we don't know!

Regarding your question about God being conscious or unconscious, alive or dead - These are the deepest of philosophical questions, and I'd encourage Marcus to read some books on Kabbalah which address these perfectly. To distill it all down, Kabbalic wisdom explains that before creation, penetrating beyond what scientists would consider the big bang (right into what scientists assume is a vacuum, no time, no space, no light, no sound, nothing) is God. Only God. There was nothing but God, and that nothing that scientists define as a vacuum or nothing was God. And since this nothing that we call "God" was before form, the only one quality that we could possibly associate with it for understanding is pure consciousness. Rob would call this the "pre-personal" aspect of God.

Consciousness as just pure existence, without form, concept, thought, feeling or movement. According to Kabbalah, something arose within this consciousness they describe as "will" an action of intention, yet still very vague; as it implies an action directed by more by instinct, something before thought or feeling. You could ascribe this as the consciousness of God "awakening" or becoming "SELF conscious" as it feels itself out and continues to define what it is. I will stop right here as this is all starting to sound a bit crazy, and I'll just leave it up to the Kabbalah books for now to explain further.

I hope this helps. God bless, to you Ilahna and Marcus.

Only God existed. Imagine one seamless flowing fabric, how would it attempt to create the illusion of separate form? It would have to move, fold and through this process, add dimension, width, shape and other aspects in which it didn’t have before. Though consequently being rendered immobile by virtue of being infinite space itself, it did have one place to go: into and through itself. The sentient void began to gather its essence inwards, converging its inherent intelligence into a focused germinating point of emerging coherent thought and will.

In Kabbalism the eternal undifferentiated unity of God, called “Ein Sof” translated as “Limitless light” is described as initiating the only form of movement possible inherent to its nature by gathering in like a vortex of water swirling around a drain:

“Ein Sof creates this empty space by drawing himself in or collapsing in on Himself. The result is blackness, which is a space in which the light of God has regressed. The process of contraction can be compared to a cone. Light is drained or sucked into the cone, and then something emanates back out of the cone. It is as if God sucked in a part of the light that was him and then blew out a smaller stream of it…God breathes the letters of his name into the emptiness to create the universe.” – Simple Kabbalah

This MOVEMENT of being, of God is also described by other various sources:

“Then the spirit moved into action. It withdrew into itself until all of space was empty. In the center, the restless mind of the spirit shone. This was the beginning of the individuality of the spirit. This was what the spirit discovered itself to be when it awakened. This spirit was God.”-Edgar Cayce

“In the vast ocean boundless, fathomless, A giant billow surges; in the immense Sleep of the Infinite, Eternal Space There is a stirring, and a central point Of whirling, vibrant restlessness doth rise; From restful Brahman restless Brahman is born.”

-Sudhakar S.D, 1988. P84

What does it do next? Primordial nothingness, awakening as God, blindly walks onwards through its labyrinth of self, progressively distilling its nature and breaking itself apart until finally something of substance worthy of resolving its confusion is found. The Hebrew alphabet marks this progression. Like ancient preserved foot prints, its maps out key stops one by one as God, the ultimate nomad, journey’s its search for self. The letters after the first: Bet, Gimmel and Dalet when conjugated form the Hebrew word “Beged” meaning clothing. God’s nature, smeared in ambiguity starts delineating and acquiring form. By becoming more and more separate from it’s self, the invisible essentially is clothed, allowing God to be seen and known.

Tying it all together

The “Word” in “In the beginning was the word” is a substitute for the Greek word “Logos”. A Greek Philosopher named Heraclitus believed that all changes within nature were evoked by the interactions of opposite forces. Although he believed in polar opposites, he saw a principle of unity underlying and transcending each pair. The ultimate unity, transcending the dualism of all opposites was named “Logos”. Thus in the Greek translation “Word”” represented much more than what is now commonly accepted. The “Logos” or “Word” represented a cosmic unity, and most often associated with concepts of order, logic, and reasoning. Consequently I believe it’s a tragic mistake that the context behind the “Word” isn’t so thoroughly explored in the Christian community, as it holds ultimate significance representing the glorified and living principle of order commanding all things under a harmony of unity with each other and God. It is this unity, as the plan dictating the joining of many separate things as one that defines the LOGIC that is most often associated with the word.

So how do we solve the confusion of the difference between Word and God? Is the Word, God himself, or is he a God simultaneous with THE God?

The Word is most primarily, defined as a living revelation/law dictating order. This order is Unity. God however is the revelation of pure and undefined existence coming to know itself. And so we have two complementary halves, for without the distinction and distance between God and us how can a relationship such as that of “Father” to his children exist? Yet without unity and thus love, what else is there to define a relationship between a father and his children?

UNITHEISM

There is a pattern, of successive stages defining the development of God before creation as he endeavored to escape the unmanifest and become manifest. This is a pattern inherent within God, and since we are made in his image these stages are hard wired into the fabric of our spirituality making us inclined to adhere to certain philosophies that model certain stages within this pattern.

Each -Ism, is actually inspired, describing one of the divine realities represented by one of the stages. The pattern of stages or developments is as follows:

PURE EXISTENCE

SELF AWARENESS

UNITY/LOVE

GOD BECOMING ONE WITH CREATION

Pure existence defines the uncaused cause. The absolute. Existence before distinctions and labels defining one thing from another, and since a "something" can only be defined with something else relative to it to compare it to, the absence of anything relative defines a "nothing".

With Nothing else relative to pure existence it can only be understood as a nothing. No Thing, No label, No conditions, no awareness, thus No God, in the sense that we want to understand a God. Pure existence.

This stage, is the divine reality that has inspired Atheism. No awareness implies no identity, no "person" or "intelligence", anything that will listen when we pray. Just emptiness, void.

---ATHEISM---

Next stage:

Pure existence encounters itself. Existence is in such abundance it spills back on itself, or something such as "instinct" or "will" as a pull that is more unconscious causes a condition that results in self awareness. Like a paper that folds back and touches itself, awareness folds and touches itself. That touch turns into self awareness. Becomes God.

---MONOTHEISM---

Next STAGE:

God stirs his inherent potential. Chaos happens, infinite variables without a center, direction or purpose. Purpose is found, all energy, variables yield to a specific pattern. This is a pattern of unity, integrating a purpose that defines a place for every part. Thus bringing together all separate things under one harmony. ONENESS/UNITY. This is the WORD.

---PANTHEISM---

Next Stage:

God through the word, is made one with Creation. And through the medium of the word, Creation is made ONE with God.

---PANENTHEISM---

So now we have a flow, a pattern or context to make sense of these seemingly contradicting philosophies:

Atheism--->Monotheism--->Pantheism--->Panentheism

And the recognition of the validity of the sacredness of each stage without an understanding of how they flow or go together is

Polytheism.

In polytheism, each stage is segregated and personified as a God:

God of Nothingness Creator God or MALE God God the UNITY or FEMALE God They mate and have children

UNITHEISM is the understanding that our philosophies are reflecting the series of developments/stages of only ONE singular supreme source.

Polytheism: [Atheism][Monotheism][Pantheism][Panentheism] They are all segregated.

UNITHEISM: Atheism--->Monotheism--->Pantheism->Panentheism They all flow, one leading to the other.

However to access each stage to derive a sense of understanding without distorting the original quality by supplementing the element of "self", you need to become the state of consciousness that each stage represents. IF you jump in and approach with your particular bias and narrow perspective, you disturb the integrity of truth inherent within the stage and will produce a "distortion" or "distorted philosophy"

For example. Pure Existence/Nothingness, if accessed by becoming the infinite space devoid of form, label, condition itself; the experience will be peaceful. But if you jump in with your ego, your ego will experience FEAR. Because the void will be perceived as OMINIOUS. This has become NIHILISM. Since all originates from nothing, then there is no purpose and no objective sense of morality. You can rape, pillage, murder and become an agent of total chaos and it doesn’t matter, because all is Nothing and completely meaningless.

This level of pure existence, accessed WITHOUT ego has become Buddhism. I guess you can say, the positive aspect of Pure Nothingness, which is why Buddhism is described as an Atheist type religion.

Monotheism accessed with EGO Becomes= Judgment, Wrath a "religious" type mindset where God is angry. Because without the medium of Unity/the word if you place yourself on the same level as God you will always look pitiful.

Pantheism+Ego=Delusion. The philosophy becomes "I AM GOD", "your God, this rock is God, the TV is God everything is God" no your not God. However you are a piece of UNITY/Word that is divine and has access to God.

Panentheism is the only ISM that actually has a place for your ego. GOD--->WORD---> ?

God is waiting, through the medium of the Word to become ONE with us as an individual. ONE yet at the same time distinct, like Christ is.

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© 2011 Ian Smith - used with permission
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