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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Flickering of Spirit

The more in tune I beome with my own spirituality, and the more I share that with others, the more people I come across who are willing to share their views and beliefs. Consequently, I have incredible conversations – some in person, some in email - with quite an eclectic group of people. From New-Age to the oldest Religion on the planet - Shamanism, and including those who follow Christian, Hindu, Budhist, and Muslim teachings, and my friend the Rabbi, I hear so many truths - and they are all a piece of the whole.

There are themes that run through every belief system I’ve come across, so far, but it is the ideas that push the edge of my own understanding that call to me most.

This morning, I received an email from a young man who has a lot of interesting, mind opening ideas about faith and spirituality. While he was raised Christian, can quote the bible better than many Christians I know, and still holds Jesus in his heart, his thinking is as far outside the box as my most new-age acquaintances. For someone so young (I think he is in his late twenties), he seems to have done more spiritual growth than many people two or three times his age.

So I will ask you to read his words with an open mind. What he says will not feel right to everyone. Mostly I believe the problem lies in semantics. We don't have the language to describe that which we can't see, hear or feel. It's a little like substituting words we might use for smells to describe color. It just doesn't work.

To me, the essense of his words is very thought-provoking.I would not push any ideas on anyone. I only bring this up here because these kinds of discussions are the most interesting and important ones to me, right now. I would value whatever you have to say - whether you agree or not - and hope to read some comments that can bring out the same kind of explosions in my mind and Mind (The distinction should become clear, soon).

A small part of the email JB sent this morning:

Recently, my 'spiritual' path has led me to a realization that may be a culmination of all that I've learned. It is a sort of truth that I will in no way be able to escape, nor would I want to. So I'm gonna be honest and share it, and although it may seem strange or ridiculous, maybe it could be of benefit to you in some way.

Ok. My search for God, Love, Truth, Soul, etc has led me to this unavoidable realization: My own Mind is my God! And when I say God, I mean the real deal...I don't mean it as a way to devalue God, I see it in such a way that God now is realer and greater to me than I have ever imagined. And it is just that - Whatever I imagine, think or believe about God, it is contained within my Mind, my Mind gives me the power to imagine it, think it and believe it.

I know you're somewhat familiar with meditation and eastern thought, and one of the concepts is that our Minds need to be controlled. Like that [Osho Tarot] card says, 'The Mind is meant to be a Servant'. Well, we cannot even think or state that 'the mind is meant to be a servant' without using the power of the Mind. What we have a problem with is not the Mind, it is often the content of the Mind, certain automatic thoughts we experience, often irritating, worrying, or negative. To me, those thoughts are actually Good, because the Mind, my God, is so graciously showing me something I need to deal with, heal, work with, take care of. If I avoid them, it is neglectful, If I fight them, it is harmful - so essentially, I must treat them with love and respect, because just like those thoughts...I am part of my Mind.
I read this with a little skeptisism, at first. Yes, the concept of worshiping ones own Mind could be seen as blasphimous or even kind of crazy. We are not supposed to see ourselves as God...
Or are we?

Here is part of my reply to him:

The question of mind and Mind...

To me, Spirit (God) is like another dimension that is overlaying what we see and feel in the physical world. God is everything. Everything is God. It’s as if everything we experience in the physical world is the dream while the overlay - the Spiritual dimension - is what's real.

I can sense Spirit [God], but not with my mind... More like Spirit is in, around and through my mind and body. It connects me to everything else. The separateness is the illusion – and it is a necessary illusion.

So when you say your Mind is your God, I feel that it is close, but not exactly it. It isn't the physical brain, chemicals, electric impulses, etc. that are God or "You", it is this overlay of Spirit. I suppose it is not unlike the "third eye" or the sixth chakra. It feels as if "I" am inside my head, but my head, my mind, my body are all just a physical representation of me! It is the invisible connection between my brain-and-body and everything else in the universe that is God.

You say you feel as if your Mind is your God – to me it seems as if we are all God. That's how I see it, anyway.

So - the capital M - Mind vs. the small m - mind = Spirit vs the physical world.

There is a guidance that seems to come from the Mind, but there is also chaos and deception which comes from the mind. How easy it is to fool ourselves! How easy to distract, ignore, deny... and that is not God. The physical mind will lose it's brilliance, and one day it's light will go out completely. It is that overlay of Mind that will shine on... and it is that clarity of Mind that can guide us on a true path while we are here in these physical bodies.

The illusion of this planet, our physicalness, is necessary or it would not exist. We are meant to be here on this planet. There are obviously many lessons still to learn. Becaue we are all part of the same thing, the lessons learned by one faction of the whole will be gained by the entirety of Spirit. We can't all have the gift of understanding God or interpreting the Mind. If everyone had the kind of connection to Spirit you speak of, no one would fully invest in the physical world and learn the lessons we need to learn.

Sometimes I feel that I am completely connected to Spirit, especially recently. Maybe the lessons I still have to learn have more to do with things beyond this physical world? As I am letting go of the burdens of the physical world, and at the same time going through a letting-go process as my children grow up and move on, I am less connected to what is here and more connected to that invisible overlay - more Mind and less mind. More and more often I feel guided, moved by something I can sense almost as strongly as seeing something right in front of me.

Tomorrow, I'm doing a Soul Retrieval. To me, it is about fine-tuning that overlay - the Mind  - and bringing it more together, more inline with the Universe, and more to the surface of my mind.

I've had some fear as the Soul Retrieval gets closer. Part of my fear has been that I am moving closer to releasing the physical world with each step I take. While the Mind may be willing, the mind is also overwhelmed with the worldly need to survive, and so I think that is what the fighting, the fear, has been about.My mind is working very hard to hang on to everything because it runs on a physical kind of instinct - as opposed to the directed and guided Mind.

So… tomorrow is the Soul Retrieval.
I haven’t slept well in several days – between the dog waking me numerous times each night and the chaotic dreams that persist, I am tired. I’ve stopped worrying about the lack of sleep. I am going with “things are as they are meant to be”. Whatever state of mind (or Mind) I am in tomorrow, it will be exactly as it should be.

Last night, in the dreams – in which I am still sometimes on a ship, and am constantly in near total darkness – I saw little pieces of light in the distance. Sometimes the lights were stars. Sometimes it was more like seeing something out of the corner of my eye, and when I turned the light would be gone.

At 2:30, I went outside with the old lab and as I stood on the driveway, waiting for him, I watched the fireflies flickering in the fields. In my half-asleep state, the fairy light of the fireflies seemed a profound reflection of the lights in my dreams. I was thinking, just as Spirit is within us and we are all Spirit, these little flashes of brightness are also a part of the entirety of God. I saw each as a soul piece, a tiny part that was flying free in a field, showing off it’s brightness to anyone or no one and waiting to be reconnected to the whole.

And that’s when I knew I was ready for tomorrow. Sleep or no sleep, dreams or no dreams, tomorrow I am going to search for the flickering lights in my MInd - the Spirit that overlays my mind.

And I know that whatever I find will be exactly what I am meant to find.


  1. That I am a spiritual being having a human experience and not a human who sometimes has a spiritual experience works for me.

    I can relate to my mind is God kinda. That my mind is "a" or "the" god not so much.

    I work a lot with does in make a difference. Say if my mind is God than how does that effect me writing this comment. Stuff like that.

    It feels like and I believe that when I do something from the heart that it makes a positive difference, if I were to do something malicious than it would do harm. If I just exist I am only wasting.

    Different to what I do not know. Harm to what I do not understand. What I am wasting I have no idea.

    That all our minds are God would kinda work for me.

    A man, a woman and a child are granted an audience with God. The woman says to God. I have learned how to create life from dirt so I am God. God says show me. So she does. God says "Sweet now you need to get your own dirt." The man says "aha I told you your are not God." To which God replies "maybe you can make dirt."

    The child says "hi" and God says "hi"

    I wish you well on your Soul Retrieval.

  2. Interestingly, this is the second post I've read today concerning the nature of God.

    The God your friend talks about reminds me of Eat, Pray, Love. In the end, Elizabeth Gilbert comes to the realization that God has been insider her all along. (Or at least that's how I remember it.)

    The talked about the acorn having the potential of an oak as being one force. But then she said there was also the mature oak the acorn would become that was reaching out to the acorn and pulling it along. Or something like that.

    I've probably got it all screwed up to the point of incomprehension and I've already given the book back to its owner. But that is my memory of it.

    I don't think of God as being my own Mind, but it doesn't bother me if that's someone else's conception. I belong to a fellowship that allows for vastly different ideas of what a Higher Power consists of. It's all very personal.

    But I do believe in God and, like you, I feel guided by Him. The more time I spend in prayer and meditation, the more strongly I feel led.

    Thanks, as always, for a thought-provoking post. My prayers are with you during your Soul Retrieval.

  3. Shen, this is a very good post. I have to come back and re-read again to let it fully sink in. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hi Michael, As I read your comment, I can see your process of going over the concepts in my post. I love your open-minded approach.
    Also, I love that first paragraph - always good to be reminded of the distinction. (I was tempted to write reMinded - ha)
    I like the distinction hyou make between Mind as God as opposed to Mind as THE God. Big difference.
    you also make good points about moving forward, not just sitting here, not only "Don't cause harm" but also be part of the solution.
    As usual, I would prefer the child's response, in the last part of that parable. Are we all children when we are in the presense of God? I think maybe we are all children all the time... just another part of the illusion that we "grow up" when there is so much growth beyond that still to be done. Thanks as always for your support - I'll be sensing your presense around 11:30 this morning.

    Kathy, I still haven't read that book (Eat, Pray and Love). At first, I think I rebelled against it because it was so popular... it was like the current fad, or something. Everyone I saw on a plane, on vacation, in waiting rooms, seemed to be reading that book. I'm funny about things like that - usually avoid Oprah books, too.
    Probably, I should just get it and read it and make up my own mind...
    The fellowship... yes that is so much of what has made it possible for me to know all these people and listen to their ideas without shutting them down right away. I used to have a real issue with anything spiritual - I turned off at the first whiff! Now I find I have gone to the other extreme. I think I like this side better. It is good to hear it all, and like you I can think "That is not for me, but I'm glad this person has something that works for them."
    Thanks for your well-wishing about the Soul Retrieval.

    JBR, thanks for coming by.

  5. I'm not too sure about spiritual things at the moment Shen. I have been nrought up Catholic and have always loved Jesus and lived for him... but in the last few years things have grown frightneing and uncertain and I feel too awful to call myself anything other than 'floudering'when it comes to faith.

    I wanted you to know that I did eventually reply to your comment on my post about 'words from the den'... just to say that Iwas immensely moved by something that you wrote... the 'when you are ready it will all fall apart' thing... which is terrifying and also just.... understanding something that I haven't been able to even articulate.
    Thank you Shen. Thank you for your wisdom and your knowing. It brought me some comfort just to hear words that spoke so honestly and so wisely.



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