The Center of Truth [on finding "God"]
World 5.0 is the premise that we've had four previous operating systems (hunter/gatherers, farmers/clansmen, colonial city-states, and the Industrial Era) and that it's time for a new global operating system - World 5.0. By applying integrity, justice and balance to our problems we get an honest, transparent understanding of an issue, appreciate it in the widest context, apply research, and do the right thing. Why? Besides the obvious need for substantive change, the World 5.0 paradigm helps us find ourselves, and heal this tortured planet.
World 5.0 has at its core a context for being and change based on The Greatest Tao. This greatest merging of opposites has Life as the result, but the opposing forces are stillness and movement. Eternal Awareness is necessarily still, as it exists before and outside of time. Energy, by its very nature, is movement. Nothing in the physical world is truly still. Yet together they provide this universe, the backdrop to our evolutionary existence.
And then we muck it all up with the "G" word.
Words like God stem from the human desire to understand a world full of mystery. Even with modern science, the mystery of say, birth, raises more questions than answers. And this term, God, codified in numerous ways by numerous religions, then takes on quasi-human characteristics like 'ours is a vengeful God' and other inaccurate ideas. But let's let 'God' rest for a moment.
IT'S ABOUT TIME
First - About Time: We've heard it from physicists and mystics, theologians and thinkers throughout our history. Recently, Eckhart Tolle has written extensively on the topic. Simply put, there is no time but Now. The past and the future are constructs that frame previous and future Nows, but they don't exist. Awareness connects with Energy only in this moment.
Consider, many of us spend all our waking hours caught up in past issues or future concerns. Situations where we were hurt. Situations where we may be hurt. Indeed, it is fear that exacerbates the situation. But that doesn't affect the truth one bit. Regardless of where we "hang out" in our thoughts, we always operate from Now. It's the only temporal place there is.
The state of our culture is such that even a simple and obvious truth seems odd, if not ridiculous. We tend to give casual credence to a sort of third, third, third model, as though past and future share the same relevance and reality as this moment. Bah. The past is gone, tomorrow never comes. Spending the great majority of our energy intent on past and future events and possibilities is literally a waste of time.
It's analogous to place. We can imagine ourselves any place in the world, walking sanding beaches or enjoying an urban night scene, but we can only be one place - here, where we are. It's just that simple and true. Okay, let's let that settle in and consider it settled.
THIS BUSINESS OF NOW
This business of Now being the only time is not just an academic pursuit. If Now is the only real time, how we spend Now is critical to every aspect of our lives and culture, individually and collectively. Indeed, learning how to spend our Nows is the only real endeavor we can embark upon. When we're fantasizing, worrying or otherwise engaged in past/future dramas and issues, we are quite literally lost in illusion.
So, what are our options for Now? At some 80 million thought per day (a suggested average), we've got "time" for an awful lot of thoughts. But then, that's over the course of a day, that's not Now. Our options for Now are limited to a single thought, or a moment of non-thinking - which opens another can of worms that we'll address shortly.
A single thought, bubbling up from billions of potential thoughts, is what we have Now. It might be an idea, a bit of music, a worry, a passion - could be anything. But that raises questions as well. Where do thoughts "bubble up" from? How much control do we have over which thoughts "bubble up?" And what sort of patterns can we find considering these thoughts - especially in light of our moment by moment experience of this phenomenon that we call (human) Life on Earth.
I support the concept that, regardless of the myriad topics and monologs we have bubbling up in our minds, thoughts can be categorized into two opposing themes. These themes are best described as Love and fear.
LOVE OR FEAR
Love or fear. We like to pretend it's far more complicated, but the more we try to complicate this simple thing - this one thought at this one moment - the more we are forced into denial or led to the truth. We've been cluttered and clouded for so long it may take some Now to appreciate this truth, but the best way to confirm or reject this idea is by analyzing your own thoughts, and see if the results don't fall rather clearly in thoughts of Love or thoughts of fear.
Here's a primer on what to look for. Thoughts that touch anger, frustration, fear, depression, anxiety, helplessness, boredom, rage, grief, fantasy, domination, hate, control - all some form of fear. (A fearful state, like anxiety, can be addressed directly because it's an active emotion. A fearful condition, like depression, is the result of fear "locking us up" to the point where we can't even feel the fearfulness of the condition any longer, we're zombie-like. But that's for another time.
Thoughts that touch happiness, compassion, vibrancy, hope, courage, contentment, warmth, empathy, aesthetics, commitment, forgiveness, generosity, peace - you guessed it, such thoughts and feelings stem from Love.
What about gray areas? Snippets of tunes? Watching TV? Working the daily grind? What about "mindless chatter?" We may do some "emotion neutral" thinking, but even then it likely has a motivation based in Love or fear. Stalking and analysis of our thinking patterns and the thoughts that make them up will reveal the Love or fear behind them. And what could be a better use of time.
This brings us to a third option for Now - a moment of non-thinking. Let me repeat this because it seems so foreign - a moment of non-thinking. Non thought. Silence. Stillness.
We've become so ingrained with our cerebral processes that we've lost sight of what's beyond and behind our thoughts. Eternal Awareness. Maybe we call it "life force" or something. We tend to confuse awareness and thinking, but they're far from the same. Thinking is like computing, a linear process for solving a problem or improving a situation. Awareness is. It exists at a deeper level than thought. It is the thinker, connected to the unconscious source of our bubbling thoughts. As such, it can't be experienced through thoughts. Only when thoughts are reduced or still can we experience Awareness with clariy.
So that's Option Three. Once we are well on the road to ourselves, forget good thoughts and bad thoughts, loving thoughts or fearful ones, and get mentally and emotionally quiet. Allow some space in this Now. Be. And in this Now Aware Moment, we find our true selves.
I vividly remember, when introduced to these ideas some twenty years ago, believing that the idea of living without a constant churn of thoughts was impossible. I have friends who still believe that's the case. But I know better Now. I have long moments without thought, and they are some of my favorites. I know that through forgiveness, breath, integrity and cultivating positive energy we can experience a lovely peace, in spite of this trying experience of living in the world4 culture.
Let's see if we can take this one step further.
Here in America we are a self-described "Christian nation" where even our money states "In God We Trust." But our concept of God is all over the place. Some even think "God" was responsible for natural disasters. Here's what I think. Interpret the value by how true it rings.
God (if we can stomach a historically abused term) is our Source, and created the Big Bang, which necessarily created time. This was to expand his/her/it's experience of Self. Sentient life forms developed because God's essence is Life, constantly seeking growth and expression on higher and higher levels. In other words, we experience God as we experience Life. God is Life. God is the Life within each of us.
So far, then, we can conclude God is Life and God can only be experienced Now. Also suggested, 1) thoughts fall into two categories, Love or fear, and 2) awareness is greater without a constant stream of thoughts.
If we accept the premise that thoughts necessarily pertain to either Love or fear, and that God is an Omnipresent Source, then God must be connected to fear, Love or both.
The Old Testament suggests "a wrathful God" and similar monikers. That would suggest a God of Fear. Yet the New Testament, the testament of Jesus, says very clearly that God is Love. Both cannot be true, as Love and fear are in opposition.
Is God connected then, to fear? Hardly. God's peace [that of Eternal Awareness] is so complete fear is neccesarily a foreign concept. If this is true, can we then reach God through our fears? Can we plead with Our Source when we're scared shitless? Oh, I suppose. But we certainly can't commune with The Greatest Tao at such times.
Fear is incomprehensible to those without bodies. Indeed, if we look at ourselves, our thoughts and our fears, we find they are all somehow wrapped up in our physicality. What have The Eternal to fear? [If we are children of this Eternal Source, must not we be "like" our Parent - essentially eternal ourselves?]
The founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, contended that God is connected to Love, or more aptly God is Love. Hence we touch God with our loving thoughts. Further, if we suspend our thoughts and reach quiet awareness, our touch with God becomes a recognizable experience of peace and joy. [By extension God is Peace, God is Joy.] All this suggests our best efforts toward peace, love and happiness come from finding the quiet place within, where we link with God.
Where does that leave preachers and pastors and leaders of churches? Clueless, and worse, if they speak of salvation being connected to a building or a group or anything but This Moment. Unless they point toward our direct connection to God and each other, and teach how we can enhance that connection, they waste our time. After all, Now never ends, but it can surely be wasted.