Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Be Good and Believe

Be Good and Believe

When I was young Christmas was a magical time of hope and wonder. The gifts were exciting of course, but they weren’t the whole show. What was more important was the sense of heaven being close, of Santa Claus descending from the ethers and bestowing his literal presence upon this earth. Even then I grasped that he was a real and eternal being.

Santa Claus is a Dutch or German derivative for “St. Nicholas,” a saint who lived in the fifth century. He was what the Christian world calls a wonderworker – someone capable of miracles in his own lifetime and even thereafter. His tomb in Bari Italy has been producing copious amounts of “Holy Myro” ever since he was laid to rest seventeen centuries ago. This sweet smelling fluid (thus the name, holy myrrh), which has brought healing to untold numbers of people, was analyzed by scientists at the University of Bari and confirmed to originate from the saint’s relics.

In spite of such evidence of the reality of sanctity, the world steals our faith in eternity. What is "Christmas" now for most people – adults and children alike - but a time of trouble and perplexity. We feel required to buy things no one really needs and do things no one really wants to do, because the celebration is all about THIS WORLD.

A good example of this is the ad that appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the DC Metro showing a shrugging Santa (as though Santa could be black and female) with the words, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake.”

The problem is that if there really IS nothing but this material world, then there really is no reason to be good, or even to endure life at all with its many difficulties.

Unfortunately, the typical reaction to such a message is not that it is a flawed and incomplete conception of the cosmos, but rather an assault on someone’s personal faith – that faith also being essentially materialistic. For instance, Patti Maquire Armstrong, author of Catholic Truths for our Children, wrote in response to these ads that her faith “is about our Daddy in the Sky loving us and waiting for us to be with Him in Heaven one day.”

God lives in the sky? The Scriptures are at pains to convey God as eternal, omniscient, spirit and love. But the contemporary definition of God as a physical entity residing somewhere in the material universe is common among people of many denominations.

Tim LaHaye, author of the popular “Left Behind” series of books and movies, says in Revelation Unveiled that “Somewhere, high in the heavens, out in the universe, a throne is set, which is the throne of God . . . Although the heavens are filled with stars wherever the telescope can reach, it seems that behind the North Star there is an empty space. For that reason it has been suggested that this could be the third heaven, the heaven of God, where His throne is.”

Children prefer to believe that God lives not far away in some remote corner of the cosmos, but here now – that he is invisibly present as a spiritual reality. His world is populated by saints such as St. Nicholas as well as angels and beings of great beauty and power whose presences can be felt and experienced.

Children also believe this other world can be reached not after death (if we’ve been “good”), but whenever we are able to find the way back to authentic childlike faith.


  1. They sure have hidden God very well, haven't they, our religious brothers and sisters?

    No wonder everyone is wondering where the hell God is.

    Because thinking God is in some remote place far, far away is hell.

    Isn't it said in the scriptures, "Look within"? Seems simple enough to me. Why all the complications?

  2. Oh, and with all of these Christian folk, it's all about escaping the present moment, the eternal right here right now, and imagining how everything will be okay, one day some day in the future ...

    When we all escape to some other, better place ...

    Isn't it ironic that they are all looking for God in every place except where God actually is?

    Because if God ain't in the present moment, if God ain't in the eternal right here right now, then God ain't. Because nothing exists aside from in the present moment, in the eternal right here right now.

  3. I always find it tedious that most American discussions about spiritual development presume everyone started from a Judeo-Christian background (majority is like ME belief). More hilarious that atheists are always justifying their stance by rebelling against monotheism as if that prooves anything. Even though I was born in the US, the primary "religeous" education I got when I was a child was "the only thing certain in life is death" and as to what happens after "simply could not be known". God was never an anthropormorphic deity. It was more "Mystery is God" or your guess is as good as mine. Unsettling at times but you learn to live with it. I enjoyed Christmas as much as the next kid and never felt conflicted as adults seemed to be. Logic is such a party pooper.

    As for what children "prefer" to believe, I tend to think they don't prefer anything in particular but exist in a state of awareness (not "self-awareness") and at the same time not even considering that which they "don't know/unaware of" until they begin to feel that state is somehow not okay. This begins a life long drive to start asking alot of questions from their external environment leading to and including folks like Eckert Tolle, Michael Brown, other charismatic authors with a flair for words, anyone above a grade school education, who despite I'm sure their own protests would be regarded as more "advanced" whatever that means. Even the Presence Process can become just another addiction no? if the idea of not continuing it or abandoning it creates a sense of insecurity/dependency as if you can't create something just as useful on your own. I know Brown strongly recommends finishing TPP once you start but I seriously doubt you will be forever lost if you choose to do something else if it feels more appropriate.

    In my own experience, "interpreting", "explaining", "concluding","symbolizing" etc. are learned habitual behavior and yet again one more addiction not necessarily innate which too often become substitutes for intuition and direct experience which for lack of better way to say it is more "lively". The attachment to our own ideas are so sticky, I really must stop, lol.

  4. Nesia, I appreciate this subject- thank you for so eloquently exploring it in our company. Outlining the emphasis of faith on the material plane- I had never thought of it like that.

    Um, I think this has to do with the mirror work you spoke about before. We're obsessed with a distant God? Behind some star? Instead of seeing a world opulently bejeweled with beauty? The God exile of the culture is the same God exile of the individual. We limit perceiving God's appearance in ourselves, our family, our people. Like you said with children- God seems closer for them. Little babies cannot get enough of seeing themselves in mirrors- there's a great sense of wonderment there! The same child that marvels at her own toes will just as easily be astounded by her mother's singing. Everything is loaded.

    But as the self-wonderment fades, then everything begins to lessen in sparkles, and a little one that began glowing can no longer see herself glow, hence sees no glow in others, and so certainly no glowing God amongst us. Must be somewhere else.

    There's two things taking place in the mirror work as it seems to me- there's the blossoming adoration of self- and then a real fascination with the magic of the mirror. How does it do that?!

    It's no surprise that we would try to make a Heaven- I mean- we would be crazy not to, wouldn't we? To be this cruel to ourselves for so many years and not wish for some kind of relief? I think of that relief as the adoration I crave from God. The thing is to make our relief immediate- like a mirror does- and personal. Personal adoration is universal adoration, and since everything given is also received... maybe if we give ourselves the immediate relief of our own love then God won't have to sit all alone gabillions of miles away behind the North Star!

  5. Nesia this is really beautiful writing! I appreciate all you moving that it's the child within us that percieves what is. Thank you once again. Beautiful comments too... I feel that when I live in a world where a' Saint' Or Bishop Like Nicholas, who has been revered for having been deeply kind and generous in giving his God conscious heart & monetary 'inheritance' to the needy and providing dowries for women so that they would not be sold into slavery, and he along with so many others who lived their experience from the essence of their hearts were exiled and thrown into prisons, so many in fact, that there was little to no room for those that murdered, pillaged and raped their fellow human 'beings', somthin' ain't right. In the few times that I have turned the tube on to check the weather forecast and I see some of the wealthiest people on the planet touting their branded wares for Christmas etc... again pretty funky. I appreciate the comments made about looking outward and becoming addicted to others, it is my feeling that there is vast truth in that, the attachment to our own ideas are sticky, love that... yet I respect it is challenging for those who attempt to express the inexpressible in their inner experience. I find it kind of amusing from my angle, that in speaking of Ekharte Tolle (charismatic???) and Michael Brown, it is suggested that people are looking 'outside' of themselves to them, when the whole of there message is to look and go within. I feel that my experience has been enhanced even more'inwardly' and hence radiates creatively outwards by them having the heart, balls and conviction to share from their experiential 'inheritance'. For me, The Power Of Now is a lighted signpost to a reality few ever even visit consciously, I just feel he was thrust as an adult into awareness in the NOW to share about it. Aside from the purity of a Childs awareness... obviously, many people are not even in tune with the intrinsic value of their intuition or the real deal of loveheartedness. It is far easier and more cozy comfortable to be blissfully unaware or sit perched on the mental plane than it is to dive into the dark unconscious or psyche with the flash light of awareness. There are far more feel good addictions and yeah, we are to find our own way absolutely, yet I feel we are guided when we seek and others are guided differently by the 'source' of all, along there Path. Michael Brown has two Books that were published by a publishing house but the guy has written his ass off, aside from and including other lengthy books that he generously gives freely. And stresses that everyones own experience is valid, but in his experiencial gig, like all, you bear the fruit of the work if you follow through. I am only able to speak from my experience, but my experience of feeling more consciously filled with life and being, is a gift. I am unwrapping truly deep heartfelt Joy, Peace and Love with childlike wonder in this little package called me and am deeply grateful to Old Saint Nick and all who share the gifts given them in their life experience.

  6. Phil, don't think for a second that New Agers, Power of Nowers, A New Earthers and Presence Processers, or the really progressive thinkers who believe it's not the Rapture who will save us but the Galactic Brotherhood who will beam us off the planet just in time for the pole shift are any different that the "Christian Folk" you are dissing here. Are you so ahead of the curve that you can belittle your religious brothers and sisters as misinterpreting their scripter and missing the experience of finding God? I think the Dali Lama, Ghandi and Mother Theresa were all pretty darn religious. And being a "Christian folk" who loves Jesus and has done TPP four time, I can tell you I am NOT escaping the present moment. And if you want to play victim to someone who makes you wonder "who the hell hid God" when he is "closer than your hands and feet," well I guess YOU are the one that didn't go within. That you are saying God ain't except in the places you mentioned (in the present moment, in the here in now) is YOUR experience....but it's not for you to say if other people don't see it like you do "God ain't." And scripture also says the last shall come first so I wouldn't be counting out ANYONE during this countdown to 2012. You are only in charge of the state of your own heart and as much as you have put down "your Christian brothers" here who you don't seem to think know their ass from a whole in the ground I don't see your writing as much different from going some remote island and trying to encourage naked idol worshiping natives worship your concept of "within" because their concept of God remains hiddent to you.

  7. "Personal adoration is universal adoration, and since everything given is also received... maybe if we give ourselves the immediate relief of our own love then God won't have to sit all alone gabillions of miles away behind the North Star!"

    How AWEsome is that?

    I ask about the true energetic state of containment often, and about sharing. I know when God speaks to my heart or truly reveals what is actual, the holding it in and pondering in gratitude, grows and vibes it out.

    Lately a song comes to me with the words changed, "Where have all the bloggers gone, long time passing"... More beautiful than flowers these feeling words grow. I guess I just don't get it. But, I do know, all you share in this heart space is a blessing CD. I so appreciate all and the appreciation grows. And I just plain miss the bouquet of hearts that shared here, I felt the concentration of love. Where two or more are gathered in my name…There I AM, ya know?