I have evolved a long way since my Southern Baptist ministerial days! I began my theological life as a liberal Southern Baptist theologian! There is a contradiction for you to ponder!! I moved to a Bultmannian, Tillichian liberal Protestant theologian, and then to an adherent of the Primordial Tradition in the school of Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, Julius Evola, Harvey Spencer Lewis, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Elémire Zolla, Alain Danielou, Jean-Louis Michon, Gottfried Leibniz, Aldous Huxley, and Plato. While Plato came the closest to satisfying me, in the end he did not! That satisfaction was reserved for the modern scripture, A Course in Miracles, when it came into my contact. It brought together the truths of Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Perennialism and modern psychology in a unique way. It remains the most satisfying theological system I have come in contact with! Therefore, my past decade or more has been devoted to an experiment in practical application of the metaphysics of A Course in Miracles. The system is very close to Platonic and Neo-Platonic thought, yet also provides the ultimate Advaita of the Hindu Vedanta. I am an Advaita Vedantin following the Metaphysical path of A Course in Miracles. At the practical level it has been my intention to see if I can live in the perspective and awareness of Oneness rather than the duality that is the common perception in this world. When I first approached this I spoke with my friend, Dr. Ken Wapnick, if it were possible to live a non-dualistic life in a dualistic world! He responded, “Of course! That is the purpose of A Course in Miracles. It takes a lot of hard work but it can be done.” He should know. He did it. Now that he has left his body, he has left us with an example of one who did just this in his life!
I have had some limited success in living out an awareness that is Advaita. I say “limited” because the longest I have maintained that awareness was six weeks. Yet those six weeks were the culmination to me of my theological quest. Other ACIM students have made similar attempts. The students of Tara Singh have, since his “death”, been meeting together to hold practical sessions on “Objective Thought.” That is essentially Advaita. Objective thought would not project the opposite!!! “Objective thought” would be impersonal, loving thought, shared with God! What would it be like to experience our thoughts shared with God? To me, the practical application of that would be an awareness of “not two.” Writing about this is extremely difficult! It would take, myth, prose and poetry to approach it. I attempted to do that in a connected series of writings I called “The Beloved and I are One,” in which I used my experiences at a nearby lake to serve as an artistic attempt to convey this experience in practical mysticism. It was good enough to get me my Doctor of Theology degree, but the experiment continues, the quest goes on until I can steadily hold the thought that “the eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me!” Then Peace shall reign over the storm and in stillness shall the voice of God be heard!
Love is the Home we seek for. In everyone and everything there is this memory of Home that we seek for. We have almost forgotten it but not quite. We cannot forget it. It calls to us like a whisp of a melody almost forgotten and yet too dear and too close to us to forget it. It is the certitude that we seek. It is the perfect lover and companion that we search for. It is the almost forgotten country from which we all came. Consciousness obscures it and makes us think there is a great distance between us. If there are two–I, as a consciousness, and Home as a place, then there is distance and time. Then there is journey and the perception of need. All of this perception of two is false. There is only “Advaita,” not two. The Home that we all remember is unconscious love, perfectly unconditional because it is impersonal, and full of Truth and Knowledge, an impersonal universe of spirit which is our only True Self. Lots of people go around preaching that “consciousness is god.” Well if it is dear ones, it is a pitiful god because it would mean that forever there is duality, that nothing exists without an opposite. There is no Ground of all Being! Being would exist only to be threatened by the other! Were this the nature of Truth, this would indeed be madness. We must awaken to see that “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” That Peace is the Home we seek and the love that fills it. Consciousness is the land of dreams, the land of separation. In this dream “I” proclaim I exist as an observer and the universe is outside of me to be observed. In consciousness I am separate from God and every other sentient being. “I” as a consciousness am dreaming and in the dream I search for Home and love. How do I awaken from consciousness? You see I do not want to promote more consciousness! That just puts me into deeper dream states which are all illusions!! God is not consciousness. Consciousness is the dream that “I” can separate from God and stand apart from Him and observe Him! Consciousness is the original madness!! There is no original sin apart from this original madness In God’s world, there is only unconscious, impersonal, Love which is also Truth and Knowledge. As long as you believe your little body self is real you will not be able to find this Home that you long for. The first phase of awakening comes when the fabricated little “I” can say, “I am not a body. I am free, for I am just as God created me; spirit, not physical, a part of Him, not separate, connected to all things that think they are separate and feel themselves in need. While I seem to be in this body I will serve them by forgiveness, love and kindness. I will awaken because the great time has come!!!!!”
(many concepts and terms I used here come from ACIM)
“A stillness has come to me which is unlike anything I have experienced before. The Love of God has come into my mind to take up abode. I am not alone, nor lonely, nor do I ever feel bored. I am actively experiencing the Love of God in my mind. I need no TV. The thought of it is humorous. I need nothing. I eat my meals while looking happily out my window at the beautiful clouds and mountains. I walk to the grocery store, talk to the street beggars with a smile and love in my heart while I pull out the change in my pocket and give it to them. I come back home and look at the clouds and the mountains and am more than content. Songs play in my mind of peace and the love of God. I write on Facebook, email friends, and pet the cat. What more need there be? I am still inside and need no entertainment. I know that I am a part of God and share his holiness and glory. I am at the gates of heaven. This is a stillness which I have not had before. This is not the stillness from nature, as beautiful as that is. This is the Love of God which has taken up abode in my heart and I want for nothing more; not fame, nor riches, not wife, nor position. I have found peace and happiness within the Love of God. And I am not alone here in my mind. You are here too. We are all one Mind and we are almost home. We are the Glory of God.
Pray for the Glory of God to fall, as we awaken to Self, One with God. In the Glory cloud will all our lessons be reviewed. In the Glory cloud will we climb up the ladder. In the Glory cloud will we see Jesus. In the Glory cloud we will know our Home. Soon we will be done with the troubles of the world. Soon we will just be what we are. We are the Glory cloud of God.
“The Glory of God is all I need.
The Glory of God is my Home.
The Glory of God is my peace.
The Glory of God removes all illusions,
None can stand in The Glory of God.
The Glory of God is all I want.
The Glory of God is all I seek.
The Glory of God is the will of my spirit.
The Glory of God is the answer to my deepest question:
“Who am I?”
I am the Glory of God,
As rays from the sun,
I am His Glory.
I am The Glory of God.
“I eat my food and pass my water. I pet the cat and watch the clouds, gather in the twilight and welcome the night.
“I teach my students and just stay in this Love which I never, ever, want to leave. It is my Home. It is my Highest Self. I am where I belong, and I am far from alone. You are here with me, and you, and you, and you, and you. “We are all here, Father. The Mind which you created as One has come Home to you. And you know we never really left. We travelled only in dreams while safely in your embrace. Our Love, Our Light will shine forever with You. And the Love you have for your Son is returned back to you as pure as it was when you created Him. Our song, in praise to You, is all that will be heard.”
“I thought that, for me, the most difficult part of staying in right-mindedness, and continuing my experience of the Love of God in my daily life would be to control reactions. Reactions can send you right back to wrong mindedness. But I have found that the Love of God actually gently protects me from reactions. I mean, there is just so much space and timelessness! I stood in a long line at the IGA today, without any temptation to lose patience. I just listened to the people’s thoughts and feelings as I waited. That’s another thing about the real Love of God…It is not evangelistic! I had no urge to try to persuade people! The Love of God honors our sleeping brothers! It is like Tara Singh said, “Some of our brothers are deeply asleep. That’s alright. Let them sleep. They will awaken.” The Love of God knows no pressure.
“Today I awakened from sleep rather early for me. I thought, ‘Jesus why am I up so early.’ I soon found out there was work he wanted me to do. This is life in the Spirit. We listen to an inner Voice that always speaks for truth, and we happily do as the Voice tells us. We have learned over the years, that those who obey the inner Voice will know the Love of God! May you know it today!! Peace.
That was my sharing with you. For six weeks the Christ Mind was almost totally me. It was the culmination of my life. Eventually, though, I faded back into Joe Shore, more loving, of course, and with higher gifting, but Joe Shore nonetheless.”
At first, I agonized over losing this state, but then it came to me that it had been a precious gift which I could not fully hold yet. But one day I shall be able to go into that
state and remain there…with all of you, my brothers! ❤
I have previously written about the relationship of art, form and meaning. The article is in this blog. I hope you will refer to it. Let us take as an example Schubert’s great song cycle Die Winterreise. These poems by Wilhelm Mueller take us past representationalism in poetry to a true existential meaning regarding the feelings within unrequited love. It is not enough to sing the notes Schubert has written and the words Mueller has written. That was the old way. Great voices sang these songs with individual word coloring and that was supposed to be art. It was art in a way, but far from all that the song cycle requires. The greater the work the more it draws from the performer the need to put existential truth into it. The singer must become this man who has been so hurt in love, and all without stage movement or costumes. He must use his mind to connect with the character who is saying these words that Mueller and Schubert have put into his mouth. The Stanislavsky method is perfect for just this demand. Just so, let me offer a few methods to help the singer bring Truth to this great work and deliver it to the people.
If you don’t speak German you will need to translate each word and write the meaning of it in your language. In my case that would be English. Then you take 3X5 cards and make flash cards. On one side you put the German word, and on the other side the English meaning. You then drill yourself so that when you sing the German words the English meaning will register in your mind. After a while, your brain will start to think in the German words. Next you read the poems and try to give a meaning to each phrase. This is called oral interpretation of literature. Only when you can deliver the poem with meaning do you begin to sing. Now you have the abstract meaning of the notes and rhythms to suggest to your mind how the character’s mind might insinuate each phrase. You make a choice before each phrase what your insinuation is. After doing a couple of songs in this way, it will come to you that you need to use your imagination to create a back story for this person who is undergoing this Die Winterreise. You write out a biography for him: his name, what happened to him in his early life; all of the psychological information that would make him come to this winterreise. Now you have a back story in your mind. We call these virtual imaginings “internal objects.” Your mind is filled with them as you begin to choose how you will intend each phrase. These intentions are called “the dramatic beat,” and they have to happen BEFORE the musical beat. Your mind must be working faster than the musical beat. If you let the music hypnotize you into its beat you will become a robot and sing without dramatic beats, choices, insinuations. That is what we normally see today. It will surely come to you that the character is undergoing severe feelings from experiences you have never had. Therefore you must find a way of identifying within yourself the essence of these feelings. That is what Stanislavsky meant by “substitutions.” You may have never been so desperately in love and hurt so deeply as this person but just as surely there are things that have happened to you which are of the same essence. Can you remember your first girl friend and how awful you felt when she broke off with you in grade school? Bring up that experience emotionally. Relive it and then sing a phrase thinking of that. It will bring life to it. Each song contains many such needs for substitutions. You rehearse them until you experience the essence of the substitution without having to think about “Peggy” rebuffing your advances in the second grade!!! The substitution doesn’t have to be of the same strength as the character’s, although the stronger the better, it must simple convey the essence of the emotion.
The essence of the method is to STAY CONSCIOUS within the events of the breath, the dramatic choice and the experience the words convey. Don’t let the music hypnotize you into just a singing machine! Let your mind be filled with internal objects before you begin to sing and while you are singing. It will help you to keep the mind moving faster than the music and give you the ability to chose a meaning for each phrase. When the audience experiences performance this way, it is far more gripping and moving than just the experience of hearing a nice voice sing words with a little bit of word coloring!!!!!!!
Inhale, say thank you
Exhale, say thank you
Look at the sunlight glinting off the trees and say thank you.
Look at the mountains and say thank you
Look at the clouds and the blue sky and say thank you
Feel the gratitude that comes with it all and say thank you.
Years before I ever knew about A Course in Miracles, I wrote this paragraph about my conclusions at that time about the metaphysics of the universe (or multiverse, if there are many). It is amazing how little it differs from the teachings of A Course in Miracles which I use to this day as my metaphysical framework. This is what I wrote:
“The multiverse that God’s Son created (and sustains) is not a “thing,” much less a collection of stuff floating in a vacuous nothing. The multiverse is a holographic training center for consciousness. We seem to be separate beings in a solid world but this is just part of the illusion. We are more like nodes of energy within one system, a complex version of Christmas Tree lights strung in parallel. Each “light” is a node of energy within the whole web.
The system is complex because it is holographic. The multiverse is a program that God’s Son is running. You and I are holographic characters within that program. What our existence is like apart from this program cannot be directly known. It can only be intuited or directly revealed to us by the Programmer. In the hologram known as the multiverse we appear to be separate individuals learning certain lessons. Individual life appears to be a consciousness training school where we learn by relationships. What it really and fully is cannot be known at this level. At each reboot of the program (reincarnation) we seem to lose memory of our previous classes. But some hints of our previous classes come to us as deja-vu or deep intuition. It may be that when we have reached a certain number of re-entries that deja-vu will deepen into a fuller awareness of the whole process and the part we are playing. But that fuller awareness could happen at any moment.
If the multiverse is a hologram then the obvious question comes up as to whether there is free will. Is evil real or just part of the program? It is quite possible to have a program which allows for some interaction within certain parameters. Individuals can make some choices which affect their “lives” in the hologram, but these choices do not affect reality.
The name of the program is “Heavens and Earth,” and in the beginning, God’s Son created it. He also created us, which means we are his thoughts. Is it any wonder that his thoughts seem like individual nodes of energy within a web? From this point onwards in the explanation of things we must explore intuition and to do that we use myth.
The creator of the holographic multiverse program has written in a part for himself. He comes into the program to give us the way to complete the program and end it. On this planet his name was Jesus.
His also gives us clues all throughout the program (The Holy Spirit), tips that spark our intuition. Another major clue is the program itself. On earth he has created a holographic world which, if you can see past the apparent brutality of nature, is so amazingly beautiful, filled with animals of all different shapes and sizes, and a vegetable world with just as much appearance of design. The natural world’s great beauty, organization and design are there to evoke deep intuition and some understanding that the holographic world we live in is a very important program. Seen in its beauty, rather than its brutality, the natural world gives us deep intuition of the Designer, His majesty and love.
Nature can be the truest church. The birds are the choir, and there is never a sour note. Sun, water, and life abounding are the preacher, and the sermon is never boring. How magnificent the Creator must be if I can see him behind the design of a mallard or a wood duck, a beaver, a trout, a redwing blackbird, and you and me. Once we awaken this much the world changes.”