Tag Archive | God

The Book of Job

ImageI started thinking recently about the story of Job in the Bible.  I don’t know about you, but I always disliked this story.  The story always left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I think many people feel that way about it.  However I recently began to see this story from an angle which makes more sense and teaches us about the nature of the human condition and the nature of suffering.  So the story of Job in a nutshell is:  Job is a happy guy who loves God, has a loving family and lives in abundance.  The devil one day challenges God and says that Job would not love God anymore if he did not have the abundance and happiness that God had given him.  To prove the devil wrong, God allows the devil to take everything from Job.  Job loses his family, his wealth, his land, his health, everything – except his own life.  When Job challenges God asking why, God answers him by telling him that he cannot know the depth and greatness of God, that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  So on the surface this appears to be a story about a mean God who would rather win a bet with the devil than protect one of his own.  But let’s go deeper and look at it from the higher perspective of oneness.  First, we know that in actuality God and self are not separate.  Thus God in the story can be seen as the higher self of Job.  The devil is therefore the lower self of Job.  One thing to notice is that things only start going wrong for Job when the devil enters the picture.  When it is just him and God everything is abundance and happiness, it is the devil’s willingness to bet against happiness that starts the cascade of negative events.  I do not believe in the devil, but there is an energy which the devil represents.  The devil represents the polar opposite of the higher self.  The higher self is always in alignment with the universe, the ‘devil’ is that which is not in alignment, it is that which allows you to believe that you are separate from God, separate from your higher self.  Sometimes this part of oneself is referred to as Ego.  To be clear, Ego is not evil, but Ego is the aspect of you which allows you to perceive yourself as a separate entity in the universe, and therefore can lead to a belief that you are separate from God (though it does not have to).  Ego is the ‘lower self’ not because it is bad or wrong, but only because distinct from the whole, rather than the connection to the whole itself, which is what the higher self is.

Many of us live in relative abundance while simultaneously worrying that if we lose what we have, that we would lose ourselves too.  Who would I be if I lost everything?  How would I survive?  If my happiness is gone, what is the purpose anymore?  In other words, if I lost everything, if the things that make me happy go away, would I ever be able to align with my higher self again (and recognize that ‘aligning with higher self’ could be considered another way of saying ‘love God’)?  We think it’s easy to align with our higher selves (i.e. – be ‘happy’, or ‘love God’) while we are in abundance, and that it would be hard if we are not in abundance.  This however is backward thinking, because alignment with source, with higher self, is where abundance flows from.  Abundance is not required first in order to have connection to higher self, rather connection with higher self is required first to have abundance.  Abundance means happiness, it does not mean material wealth alone.  Remember many who are very wealthy are also very unhappy, so that is not true abundance.  True abundance extends to all areas of life and translates into true contentment, joy and peace in life. 

Back to Job.  This is essentially a story, a cautionary tale of you will, of what occurs when the lower self (ego, played here by the devil) is allowed to challenge the higher self (God).  Because we are free beings, we are allowed to do this, we are allowed to follow our ego instead of our highest selves if we choose this.  From this perspective, Job is not a victim, rather this is a choice Job makes on another level.  This leads to disastrous consequences, in a word – suffering.  Job suffers when the ego is allowed to challenge his alignment with higher self.  Then when he is at the bottom, the lowest point, he asks a logical question: “why?”  God’s answer is that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  This is Job’s higher self trying speaking to the ego, the higher self trying to re-integrate with Job’s ego, by making him realize that the infinite aspect of who he is, is the part which truly has the power in this universe, and that the ego’s power is an illusion.  The ego of Job is disconnected and cannot know abundance, and will only know suffering.  The ego believes in limits, therefore it cannot know the abundance that the highest self does. 

I always find it interesting to put a new spin on an old story.  This story like many in the bible is easier to understand when we look at the symbolic nature of the story rather than trying to take it literally.  Humanity has evolved since this story was written, and the original way it was presented worked for people of that time perhaps, but it does not work for people now because we have evolved past this notion of the human as separate from the rest of the universe.  We have evolved past the notion of a punishing God.  This story still has a fundamental truth hidden within it, but needs to be looked at from a new angle to see it.

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

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The Dancing Cry of the Soul – Rumi

DancerLove is the dancing cry of the soul, calling the body to worship
Like a shining whirlpool, or a spinning mayfly
So is love among the skies.
I leap across the mountaintops, madly singing the song of all songs
I float through the ether, intoxicated, thrilled
… I think only of your love, your calling to me
And I dance the thousand dances of love, all returning to you.

It is not the play of children, nor the detached unity of wise sages
Unreal! Unnecessary!
Where is the beauty?

When I, like a glowing comet, may flash around your sun
Laughing, singing, with the joy of loving you!

Wine makes drunk the mind and body
But it is love which thrills the soul
When I approach you, I feel the mad pounding of love
The singing wonder
The joy which opens blossoms on the trees of the world.

Come to me, and I shall dance with you
In the temples, on the beaches, through the crowded streets
Be you man or woman, plant or animal, slave or free
I shall show you the brilliant crystal fires, shining within
I shall show you the beauty deep within your soul
I shall show the path beyond Heaven.

Only dance, and your illusions will blow in the wind
Dance, and make joyous the love around you
Dance, and your veils which hide the Light
Shall swirl in a heap at your feet.

Rumi

Questions You Can’t Ask in Sunday School: Where did God Come From?

Galaxy

This would have been a blasphemous question at one time, and there is always part of me that loves these kinds of questions.  If it was once blasphemous, and it still can’t be asked in Sunday school, then it must be onto something.  Growing up in a traditional religious fashion, this was one of my earliest questions – if God created everything, then who or what created God?  I remember hearing a story once about a culture of people who believed that the earth rested on the back of a giant turtle.  When an anthropologist asked what the turtle was standing on, the reply was – ‘that’s easy, it’s turtles all the way down.’  I’m not even sure this is a true story but is illustrates my point – the elephant in the room of all thinking about any God, or turtles holding up the earth – is where did they come from in the first place?  What creates them?  What is the origin?  Then, as I grew spiritually and begin to see God as consciousness itself, as consciousness which is the creative force behind all things and is also in all things including me and you, the question of where did God come from also becomes the question of where did we come from, where did everything come from?  What was the original impetus that created all there is?  Just as scientists struggle to explain the beginning of the universe, we begin to realize it is all the same question.  How did the Universe, or God, come into being in the first place, and why?

So, what does science tell us about where it all came from?  We know there was the big bang, but where did the energy for the big bang come from?  The answer is (drum roll please…) from nothing.  From nothing, came everything.  The truth is, scientists don’t really understand what banged or what caused it to bang, and all the evidence suggests that before there was everything, there was nothing.  The big bang was the creation of time itself, of matter, energy and space, none of which existed before the big bang.  So, as we grabble with the scientific explanation, let’s turn to religion to see what it has to say.  I’m no biblical scholar and I rarely quote the Bible (for me the truest scripture is within), but there are some gems in there and I always liked the first line of the book of John which describes the beginning of creation – it says – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  Everything was made through Him and without Him was not anything made.”  The “Word,” used in this sense, is the essence of creation itself.  It is the impetus, the vibration that has awakened consciousness and existence.  The Word is with God and is God.  “With” God implies outside of God – as something that is with something else is separate from it, even though it is with it.  But the Word also is God.  So God is simultaneously along side of creation (“with” it) and creation itself, and creation itself happens at the beginning – which must be the beginning of time.  God is both the subject and object of creation.

Furthermore, and here’s the kicker for me – “…without God was not anything made”.  It is the term “without” that strikes me here.  “Without” implying the lack of existence of God.  So, without God, there was nothing, with God, there was everything.  So, from nothing, came everything.  Sounding familiar?  This is what the science tells us as well, as strange as it is – everything came from nothing.  This first sentence in the Bible is not implying that God existed before creation, but that God was, and is, creation itself.  God is the big bang.  God is everything that exists.  God is the word, the word is creation, creation is God, and so on in an eternal loop.  There are others who will interpret this differently, but I believe this is a valid interpretation that is in harmony with what science tells us – that nothing, not even time, or God, existed “before” the moment of creation, and that everything, including time, and God, existed and was created at the moment of creation or what we call the big bang.  God popped into existence out of nothing.  God is creator and the creation itself.  The beginning and the end.  Ultimately, neither science nor the Bible give any specific cause for creation.  It seems that it simply happened.  The Universe has no cause.  But really this is not a surprise, after all the concept of ‘God’ would be the one who has no cause, but is the cause itself.  It appears the last turtle is standing on itself, and thus it is, in fact, turtles all the way down.

This is something I was spurred to write in response to Seven Hawking’s assertion that there is no God because there was nothing before the moment of creation – there was no energy, matter, space or time before the big bang, so there could not be a God.  He’s both right and wrong in my opinion, and much of it hinges on your perception of God.  Since I see God and creation as one, I see no conflict between the science of the big bang and the philosophy of God as creation itself and the creative force within creation.

Love and light

Rhea Jamil

Love and Karma

Heart-earth

The cycles of Karma have been perpetuated by love. How so? The origin and destiny of all things is love, the cosmic consciousness which connects all things is love, there is no getting away from that. We are all connected through karma, and Karma originates out of love as well. Think of it this way: could you go to heaven if your beloved is in hell? No, you never could. You might go, but your heart would remain with your suffering beloved and would never be at peace, and therefore you would never be fully in heaven, since heaven is eternal peace. In Buddhism, The Bodhisattva is one who achieves enlightenment, an end of their suffering, but stays in the karmic cycle out of their commitment to love, to be with those still suffering and show others the way. In a sense, we are all a kind of Bodhisattva, choosing to return to the darkness out of love. We are all one, so if you cannot go to heaven, neither can I. We will ascend or perish as one.

I believe what may have happened is this: in the beginning, we were one with source.  At some point, we decided to see what it was like to experience separateness. When we separated from source (which was done via the creation of an illusion that we were not of source), we became lost in unconsciousness. Since the Source sees us as beloved sees the lover, the source sent more and more parts of itself to bring back the lost ones back. This is like the shepherd analogy in the Bible, who will always look for his lost sheep. The source chose to not allow the lost sheep to wander forever in darkness, but has done everything it can to bring all beings back to itself, back to the light from which they originated. We, as humans, are all part of this divine project. We are the beings who have made this choice to go into the darkness and bring it back to the light. And in so doing, we have learned great lessons about what we are. We have learned by virtue of facing the energies which are not of source, namely fear, and in response we have expanded the energies which are of source, namely love. This love is not just love of what is good and beautiful and right. This is love that is unconditional, it does not require perfection, this is love that cannot be conquered by fear or darkness. This is the human love that stands strong in the face of suffering and has the power to transmute the dark illusionary forces into light. Our martyrdom has expanded the universe, which is built on love, since it has pushed the very boundaries of what love is capable of.

Your purpose, therefore, is to be the light in the dark place. The light is consciousness, the dark is unconsciousness. You brought the light here with you, it is you. Therefore your purpose is to be yourself. You release yourself from the cycles Karma by being the light that you already are, and then you become a beacon for others to release themselves. I believe Karma is much more forgiving than most people think, because the universe itself is without judgment, it is only here on this earthly unconscious plain that we judge. We are not here being punished for past misdeeds, rather we are here to learn how to shed the light in the darkness, and we have been willing to come here as many times as it takes for the light to fully penetrate the dark. In that process we have often gotten lost in the dark, but that is OK, it is all part of the process. In order to transcend the darkness of unconsciousness, one must fully experience it.  After all, you cannot transcend anything that you do not fully experience.

Namaste,

Rhea Jamil

Love and the Law of Attraction – Part II

Fire-heartMost of you are probably aware that there is some subtlety to the law of attraction.  It is not as simple as just “wanting” something.  If it were that simple, we would all have exactly what we want, all the time.  It is true we can manifest anything, it is possible, however the most powerful manifestations, those which truly bring joy and balance to your life, are always those which are in line with the divine whole or source – in other words, it should be connected to your life’s purpose, which is the aspect of source that you came here to express.  This is the wisdom of many faiths which finish their prayers with “thy will be done.”  In the end, your desires must align with the universe.  This is why sometimes you start off on a path of something you think you want, only to be met by numerous obstacles and difficulties.  It can feel as if God does not want you to do what you are doing, and in a way that is not far off the mark.  Sometimes what you think you want is not exactly what the universe had in mind (or in heart, as it were).  It is not aligned with your soul’s purpose, and so the universe has ways of pushing you onto your destined course.  When you are on your destined path, you will find that the universe conspires with you to create it – if you are not in resistance.  Resistance can manifest as a belief that you cannot have it, a belief that it has to be hard, or fear of how you would make it work, or even fear of the responsibility that would come with success.  

It can be tricky to tell the difference between when you are on your right path and things are going wrong because you are in resistance, and when you are just on the wrong path and the universe is trying to nudge you back in the right direction.  However, if what you truly want is coming from your heart, then it will always be aligned with your soul’s higher purpose.  If you are meant to be a musician, you will be born with music in your heart.  It will be unstoppable, you will desire it all your days.  The problem is that you may, like the majority of people, choose to ignore your heart and follow your head instead.  Your head which says – ‘no, that is not practical, you need to do X instead since that is what everyone else does’.  Then you find when you try to do X, it does not work out.  You may be able to manifest some degree of X, but it will be less than perfect, because it does not come from the true desire of your heart which is aligned with the source and your purpose.  Instead of fulfilling you, it will feel hard, like you are fighting an uphill battle.  This is because you are manifesting X from your mind instead of your heart, and because your heart will always be in music, the universe gives you mixed results for X which is coming from your head.  If you follow your bliss, what is truly in your heart, and you do not resist it, you allow the universe to show up and help you, then you will manifest your desire. 

The key here is the heart.  The reason many fumble is because they are making decisions from their head.  Most of us live in our heads.  The heart, however, is so much more powerful than the head.  This is shown even scientifically – the heart has a stronger magnetic field than the brain, and the heart has a cellular memory.  People who have heart transplants will find that they suddenly have a love of and aptitude for music or art when they didn’t before.  Then, not surprisingly, they find out that the heart donor had the same gift.  We come here with the pre-programming for our destined path.  We are born wired with our destinies, but that wiring is not in our brains, it is in our hearts.  The key is to tap into that wiring and follow it to its outcome.  That is when you will find the law of attraction working for you, because it is coming from love, which is the essence of source, and thus source is called to show up for you.  Figure out what it is that you love, that you truly love.  Not what others told you that you should love, not what you think you should love, but what you actually love.  What gives you a feeling of bliss?  Seek that out and sit with it.  Let it in fully with no resistance.  Any resistance is coming from your head, not your heart.  Allow yourself to feel that bliss with your whole heart.  This is a feeling universe, not a thinking one.  The universe will respond to your feeling a thousand times more strongly than to your thinking, especially if that feeling is bliss that comes from love.

Love and Light

Rhea Jamil

The Sum Total of Creation

Bee-flowerA single and separate omnipotent being is how many envision God. However, on the mystical path one’s view of God expands and it becomes apparent that the creative power of the universe is shared, not controlled by one being. All things in existence have a piece of the universal power – from the smallest bee visiting a flower to the largest of celestial bodies, to all the divine and mortal beings in between. Creation is not limited to a separate omnipotent being. A bee visiting a flower is an act of creation. All life is capable of creation, and in that way the divine creates itself over and over, every second of every day. Creation is not something that happened one day in the distant past, it is something that is inherent in every moment of this experience we call life. All beings are cut from the same divine, eternal cloth. We are all one, and all our energies together are the sum of the whole universal creative omnipotence.

Rhea Jamil

The infinite moment

infinity

When I was a child I became fascinated the concept of forever. I tried to imaging it – forever – something that never ends. Since I grew up with the notion that eternity in heaven awaits us, I would try and imagine that. I tried to imagine existing in heaven, or in any form, forever. I tried to imagine a timeline stretching out into space and going on and on forever. And try as I might, I just could not. It even frightened me a little. How can something go on forever? Have no beginning and no end? If you really put your mind to that question it is bound to drive you a little insane. That is because we are wired to think in a linear manner. If you are thinking linearly, there is no way to understand the infinite. A line has to have a beginning and an end. Something has to come before, then after, then again after that, etc. The infinite is non-linear, it does not have a before and an after. In fact it does not have any quantity at all. You cannot add or subtract from infinity. What is infinity minus 1, or infinity minus a zillion? There is no such number. Even a zillion is still a set quantity, large as it is, it is not infinite. There is no number in existence that can express the infinite, because there are no quantities in the infinite, it simply is.  To help begin to grasp this concept let’s look at something which is infinite which is part of your common experience: the moment that we refer to as “now.” When did that ‘now’ moment begin? You could say, well, it began a second ago. But that is not the case, because that second is now in the past, it is no longer now. When does now end? You could say it will end in a second, but again, that second is in the future, it is not now. In reality, now has no beginning, and it has no end. You cannot add or subtract from the moment we call now. It is infinite. It is the only moment in existence. It is the only moment you ever have creative access to, so it is all there is.  Past and future are only in the mind.

Physics even tells us that time is an illusion.  Physicists cannot come up with any ‘proof’ that time exists.  In truth there really is no time, there is only now. However, what we perceive as time is actually the space in which evolution occurs.   Evolution can only go in one direction, thus our perception of the linear nature of time.  The past is therefore the space that contains our earlier forms, it contains the progression of evolution of your being to what you are.  The past can be learned from, but does not need to influence your Now.  The Now moment is a new creation, an opportunity to evolve and to release what needs to be released.  Quantum leaps are possible and happen all the time, former ways of being do not need to be clung to in order to evolve, in fact clinging is what impedes evolution.  In actuality the past has no bearing on the Now other than what we give it. 

The future, like the past, does not really exist, however the ‘future’ is about trusting within the Now moment, which means living without fear.  Future is where fear lives for most of us.  When we learn to live in trust instead of fear is when we begin to awaken to the infinite Now, and that is when those quantum leaps of insight, awareness or inspiration become possible.  We cannot cross the gap with fear, it will always block our path.  Trust is the only way forward.  That is when we embrace the moment and harness its creative power, without needing the past to tell us what to do or how to do it.  Are you an athlete who has experienced the ‘zone’, or an artist who has become completely consumed in your art form to the point you lose track of anything but your own self expression?  Have you ever had a lightning bolt of insight or inspiration that just ‘comes’ to you? These are the experiences of knowing the infinite moment.  You have no fear in those moments, you also have nothing from the past which holds you back.  You are connected to the infinite.   Meditation is the quickest way to find this space intentionally.  Sit quietly and observe your breath.  Let all thoughts that come to you pass through without judgment.  Observe your thoughts without becoming or identifying with them.  Find the awareness behind your thoughts.  Slowly the stillness will seep in and in that stillness, you will find the infinite Now. 

-Rhea Jamil