God is greater than you can imagine — and so are you!
BY DAVID RICKEY — The very idea of God is, by its nature, beyond the comprehension of “mere mortals”. So, we tend to conceive of God in ways that are limited by the level of our own evolution.
Deepak Chopra, in “How To Know God” describes various attributes of God that actually reflect the level to which our own awareness has moved. For example, if we are still basically functioning at a “fight or flight” level, we conceive of God as warring, defending or protecting.
Mystics, from Meister Eckhart to Eckhart Tolle, and some quantum physicists are able to perceive a “God” who is much more at one with all of the universe. Indeed, the astrophysicist Bernard Haisch, in his book “The God Theory” speculates that the Universe is really God — infinite conscious intelligence — seeking to express itself and experience itself.
We human beings are one of the more refined versions of that journey and intention. I once said to my Bishop: “I am as much the Son of God as Jesus was, except he did it better.” Apparently, according to Haisch, I am right.
It’s time to use our divine gifts to help others
As divine expressions, humans have pretty close to infinite possibilities. And we have about as much responsibility. At one and the same time, we have the vast resource of infinite intelligence available to us, and we have the vocation/purpose of using that intelligence to co-create the world we inhabit — bringing it into the fullest expression of its divine potential.
How do we work at this? First, simply by acknowledging it. It is no longer useful (if it ever really was) to think of God and our truest Self as separate. To say “I am God!” is not hubris, it is Truth. But I must immediately add: “And so are you!” We must own this truth and also honor it in every other form of life. This is how we can “Love God and Love our neighbor as ourself”.
Secondly, we need to do the work of clearing away the effects of the development of the Ego which has engendered the sense of separateness. Deep meditation practice is the most useful tool I know of to bring us back to the awareness of our divine essence. We can learn to watch our thoughts, see when they are limiting, either of our own potential or of another person’s — as we do whenever we judge or demean another being.
We need to stop thinking of ourselves or others as small. When we realize that who/what we are is an expression of infinite potential, we then can relate to each other and to all living beings in a way that nurture that expression at every encounter.
Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong said that the moral question is simply this, ” Does this action/choice enhance or diminish Life?” Our moral calling is to act always in ways that enhance life and the possibilities of creative growth.
Turning the world around with compassion
Third, we need to nurture, out of the awareness of our divine potential, deep compassion. I see this as not so much taking on the suffering of others as not accepting suffering as necessary, as a stimulus to growth. When we experience suffering, the immediate response ought to be, “There has got to be wisdom to remedy this.”
Compassionate living is, then, sensing when Life is being diminished, then acting in ways that turn that around. And we have the resources of infinite intelligence and wisdom to draw on. So then we can quiet our minds enough to tune into the vast reservoir of wisdom to find the remedy, trusting that it is there. As a monastic friend of mine pointed out: “It’s one thing to volunteer at a soup kitchen. It’s better to find the solution to poverty so that soup kitchens aren’t needed.”
As we look at the unmitigated disaster in the Gulf, the overwhelming poverty of Haiti, or the life-wrenching effects of the global financial meltdown, now is the time to recognize that we have the response-ability to solve these problems. We have the power of the entire universe behind us, urging us to do this. We have no excuse.
David Rickey is an Episcopal priest, Soul’s Code co-founder, and counselor in San Francisco who holds a weekly ministry at a residence for the elderly in northern California. Read David’s previous article for Soul’s Code: Guilt, shame and the whole chakra thing. Follow David on Twitter.
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