Many pilgrims explore the validity and meaning of God or Absolute when investigating spiritual life, existence, and the afterlife. It seems there is nothing scarier than to ponder an endless oblivion at the end of living, or while living, for that matter.
As humans, feeling there is something more after death, and believing in an enduring personal soul or spirit in an afterlife seems to draw and sustain many to a higher power or God.
I applied a Christian framework onto God for more than 40 years. God seemed like a devoted loving parent, promising an afterlife in Heaven, if all the dogma and doctrines were practiced and obeyed.
A belief in existing as a personal soul that would unite with God upon physical death and spend eternity with God in an afterlife was at the core of these personal beliefs.
Upon reflection and inquiry, this concept of God implied God was changeable, flexible, and able to exist in a relative relationship – God and other – creator and created – bound together in a relationship (relativity) enduring through time and space.
The belief implied that God was divisible, not already everywhere and everything, and that some things were created in the image of God and somethings were not. This belief implied that God was not timeless and ever-present since God was not with those folks or things labeled as evil or assumed to be living in hell, whatever hell is, or those not believing in God.
Is there a clear line of who is accepted by God and who is not worthy of God…does it depend on a particular set of beliefs and an allegiance or commitment to these beliefs? All beliefs and dogma are concepts. I even taught this dogma to children and adults in Sunday School classes for decades in the Baptist and Methodist Church.
My powerful urge for teaching about the love and divinity of God and for dwelling with God heaven fell away here during a long dark night of the soul, and later in 2011, in a shocking shift of perception and identity.
Now reality is perceived as impersonal awareness which appears spontaneously and uncaused as appearances arising upon relativity (subject and object). You and me. Up and down. Here and there. Now and later. Here and there. Good and bad. Birth and death. Past and future. In relativity, all things may appear true and factual until they are not, meaning relativity is changeable and dynamic, illusory appearances only.
For instance, humans once believed the world was flat, but no longer. Humans believed man could not fly, until in seven short seconds, Orville and Wilbur instantly changed that beliefs. And mankind would never walk on the moon, until Neil Armstrong did. And we’ll never make it to Mars…or Pluto.
Science is now moving towards the paradoxical world of quantum physics, yet another concept…moving awareness beyond relativity and into empty particles, dark matter, and entanglement. This is the fascinating world of exploring the nature of invisible particles and matter just by changing what or how a particle is being observed.
But no matter how deeply we investigate what is appearing, what is will remain as a concept, an idea, an opinion or a collective belief, because it is appearing in an illusory relative world — the world where the brain/mind creates all concepts and beliefs…including the concept of Absolute and the study of potentiality, waves, and particles in quantum physics.
I spent decades meditating (and still do) to reconcile the scientific facts with spiritual beliefs. I was deeply spiritual all my life and who was I if I was no longer spiritual in the way I was accustomed? And who was this “I” in relation to what science calls dark energy, which comprises 95% of the cosmos?
And for a while, the mystical teaching of Christianity and the scientific information of quantum physics agreed with my relative and logical brain. St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross wrote at length about the illusory nature of the separate or personal self. Their teachings lined up with the ancient teachings of Lao Tsu, the Buddha, Jesus the Christ, and Wu Hsin, all describing an unchanging, indivisible, omnipresent, and timeless God. An Absolute God resonated for years in the heart, down into the bones and marrow, until it didn’t…the shift in 2011 blew away all concepts…including the concept of God.
Yes, it makes logical and scientific sense to see and imagine God as Absolute and not relative. It feels good to an imaginary personal self as it offers a belief, a hope, a concept that perpetuates and lasts beyond the relative realm…survives the concept of death and enjoys an afterlife.
This is a hard realization to comprehend by a relative brain/mind.
In short, all perceptions are illusory appearances of impersonal awareness perceiving itself. No separate self can awaken or be enlightened. At best, an illusory character can realize itself as an illusory character in a dreamy illusion of impersonal awareness and laugh out loud at the possibility of escaping or enduring beyond the moment.
The duality, the relative world, is the only platform, or place, if you will, where impersonal awareness knows itself as conceptual, as itself and as other, by spontaneously appearing as itself as separate, here now, in the timeless now.
Such mystery! And if you wanna call impersonal aware presence “God,” , then feel free…but most folks will picture a dualistic God created of their beliefs when you speak the word “God” as most humans crave an enduring existence beyond this moment and beyond death of the body.