We Are As Gods?

‘We are as Gods and might as well get good at it.’

So wrote Stewart Brand in the opening line of his first Whole Earth Catalog in 1968. This became the rallying cry for many a Flower Child. It was the perfect slogan to fuel the rising curiosity in spirituality that was being inspired by the hallucinogen induced psychedelic experience and the influx of Eastern mystics with their talk of meditation, yoga, and enlightenment.

We are as Gods.

An idealistic concept, and a goal worth striving for, especially for a young and enthusiastic seeker. To behave as a God seemed as good a way as any to reach a higher plane of consciousness, and if many followed this path it might even create a kinder, gentler world.

We are as Gods.

Not exactly. If we look closely at our own experience, we will discover that at the core of all experience there is only one thing going on – one infinite and eternal source for all appearances. Therefore, we are not as Gods . . .

We are as God.

There is only one source of being. Call it whatever you want – God, Divine Spirit, Consciousness, Aware Presence – but there can be only one, not many.

And because there can be only one, you, I, we, must be a manifestation of this one source, and thus, at our root we are all the same.

Why only one? Set aside your story for a moment – who you think you are, including your sex, race, beliefs and opinions, what you have accomplished or failed at in the past, and what you plan on doing in the future.

What’s left? With all sense of a personal self set aside, all that’s left is a sense of being, a sense of being aware that you are, a sense of being aware that you are aware. And does this awareness have any limitations? Any boundaries?

Can you find a beginning or an end to this awareness? Does it come into existence and then disappear? Is it ever not here?

No beginning or end can be found to this aware presence, or a time when it is not present. You have to be present to say that it is not present, which, of course, is an obviously absurd statement. Therefore, you must be awareness itself, infinite and eternal awareness.

We, you, I, are as God, and we might as well get good at it. And the good news is that once you recognize that your essential being is God, or consciousness, or whatever name you give it, you won’t have to get good at it, because there is only one way you can act, and that is Godly.

THIS STILLNESS

This stillness, its quiet, with no beginning,

this silence before the word,

before it could be said, all in the One Moment

lit by the morning, aging into light,

as the autumn promises with its resplendencies

the return of another summer,

the transformation from darkness

into transparency of this, given

so we might understand

this awesome This,

the one eye seeing this fragility,

this delicious tasting,

no matter how brief.

~ RC Williams (1931-2015)

Closer Than Close Encounter

For many of us the title brings to mind the great Spielberg movie, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’ This post is definitely about a close encounter, but, with a nod to Rupert Spira, we could say a ‘closer than close’ encounter of the only kind.

Just as the images on the screen – spellbound humans exchanging hand signs with an endearing little alien – is just a temporary appearance and has no affect on the screen whatsoever, so to does consciousness, that which knows both the knower and the known, the witness and the observed, stand undisturbed by anything that occurs in it.

A closer look at our experience shows that there is only one thing going on – that there is no division between the experiencer and the experience – the seer and the seen, the hearer and the heard, the knower and the known. Can you find the point where the hearer ends and the sound begins? No. It is one seamless experience – hearing – that takes place in the boundless field of consciousness.

And where do we go to find this boundless field of consciousness?

The instant you realize that there is no direction you can go to get any closer to the original source of your being – where can a cloud go to find the sky? – the only thing that remains is an all-pervading stillness and peace that can best be described as love.

And this is as close as it gets.

Now Showing: THE PARADOX

For someone who is deeply interested in the nature of being, the most important thing to discover is that there is no individual self. There is no ‘me’ that we’ve come to identify ourselves with. There is no one to improve, no one to get liberated, no one to be born, suffer, and die.

To get at the centerless center of our being, a serious seeker may ask ‘Who am I?’ But don’t get sidetracked by the question. Don’t waste your time with answers like ‘I am a man or woman who is of a certain age, has a family and a job, practices a specific religion and votes for the popular candidate.’

The individual self can be likened to a character in a movie that thinks and acts as though she or he is real. But it’s obvious that these activities don’t really belong to the character, they belong to the screen, come and go on the screen, are made of the screen. From the screen’s point of view, there are no characters. It only knows itself, just as consciousness, the aware presence in which all people, places, and things arise, only knows itself.

When the movie ends, the character on the screen disappears, but the screen remains unstained by anything that appeared on it. Similarly, when our thoughts, sensations, and perceptions come and go, which is their very nature, consciousness remains untouched, unchanged, ever-present, and aware. Always.

Now shift your perspective from being caught up in the movie, from being a character in the movie, and simply, naturally, notice the screen. Be the screen. Be unlimited consciousness. Be yourself.

Actually, you don’t have to make an effort to be anything. Any effort would be on behalf of a separate self that we’ve discovered doesn’t exist. So what can you do? Absolutely nothing. Absolutely not nothing.

The paradox – we are and we are not; we can and we cannot. In the helplessness of the situation, Richard Sylvester might suggest that we just relax.

In this non-doing doing, all vestiges of a personal self fall away and we stand revealed as our original, naked, innocent being. All residual concepts of self and other dissolve in what can be called the nameless, endless, absolute knowing of all-embracing oneness.

Warning: Total Waste Of Time

We tend to spend a lot of time on the idea of ‘time’, yet when we look for it, just as when we look for an individual self, it can’t be found.

Where’s the past or future other than a thought? Can we follow a thought to some location? Has time travel been invented? Time is a practical tool, but when it’s used as a vehicle towards something like spiritual advancement, e.g., ‘Just a few more years of intense meditation and I’ll be enlightened,’ watch out. You’ll never get there. The progressive path never ends.

We can’t go anywhere in time because there is only this. Ever-present this. But just for fun, let’s name some of the ways we use time (might not be enough time to list them all):

All in due time

All time high

All time low

Big time

For the time being

From time to time

Give it time

High time

In the mean time

In the nick of time

Long time

Lost time

Make time

Marking time

Not enough time

No time to lose

On time

One time!

Out of time

Play time!

Plenty of time

Running out of time

Saving time

Short on time

Small time

Time!

Time after time

Time bound

Time flies

Time heals

Time in

Time is dragging

Time is money

Time is not on our side

Time is on our side

Time off

Time out

Time passes

Time’s up!

But to discover that you are not an individual self is well worth the time, which, you’ll be surprised to find, takes no time at all.

Why would we want to discover that we’re not an individual self? Its absence reveals our unnamable, invisible source as an open, loving, limitless field of knowing. And being limitless there can be only one – no separation between any thing. All is embraced in the all-embracing all.

How does one discover that they are not an individual self? Take the time and look for what you are not. You will experience your body-mind as an unending parade of short-lived thoughts, sensations, and perceptions, none of which can be considered the real you. The real you is that which is ever-present and unchanging. That which experiences, yet cannot be experienced.

We say that there is no time like the present.

But experience says that there is no time, only presence.

We are not that which comes and goes. We are that which knows the coming and going of all things. We are that in which all things arise and with which all things are made.

And who is it that knows this?

The Timeless One.