25. The Sheer Edge of Reality

Jesus and many others since have said “God is within.” New Thought faiths reveal that “God is all there is.” But if I accept and believe that I am, myself, an embodiment and Expression of God, “one with all that is,” then in a way, there is no more God to turn to. No God to thank, no God to look up to. And if there is only an in-here God and no more out-there God, there is no more help. Are we on our own in the cosmos? That might be the loneliest thing that can possibly be experienced. For me, and for a whole lot of human beings I think, “oneness with God” almost feels like an abandonment. So I still keep a version of God from my childhood that I still need, on the back burner, for somebody to talk to when things get too rough or too lonely or too hard.

Yesterday at twilight I prayed. It was not my usual silent or softly-spoken prayer. It was one of those out-loud-prayers where you rant at the evening sky like a lunatic. At one point I broke down in a flood of tears when I said out loud to God, “It’s just so big.” (The work, the book I’m writing, my soul’s assignment.) “it’s so much bigger than I am. You’ve GOT TO help me do it! You’ve got to help me!” Sometimes the skies open up, not this time. No bush caught on fire, there was no sudden shift in consciousness, no revelation, and no epiphany, only the absolute silence. It’s hard these days not to believe that God is mad at me.

But I know that the image of a rewarding-and-punishing, loving-and-abandoning God is not real. It’s something we human beings made up, one of many versions of God we’ve created, trying to help ourselves understand. These versions of God are as real as we make them, and what we believe, we will receive. The constant loving and sheltering God of my childhood still exists, when I can become a child again and live life with a child’s trust. But how can I? Now I know too much. I’ve seen what life can do. I have too much work to do, and always I fear the ever-faster passing of time.

In the empty calm at the end of that prayer, I remembered the first time I did this, or rather, it happened. It was twilight that time too. Years earlier a friend had confided in me  that he believed twilight was the time when the mind was at its thinnest and weakest point, and that there was a danger of slipping through to the other side, and maybe not being able to get back. That scared me, but I was young and happy and I soon forgot about it.

When my first out-loud-prayer happened, decades later, it was enirely spontaneous and I drifted into it without realizing. Then suddenly I heard myself talking to Something, all by myself in an empty room. Shocked and scared, I stopped. I listened carefully to the silence, and I wondered fearfully whether I had lost my mind.

I hadn’t, but somethjing had happened. Something had broken through to a different level. I was sobered by the experience, and I would be again, four years later with the first “message” I received from “somewhere else,” which I eventually came to call the Inner Counselor. It was just before I came to California and my whole life changed. The inner voice had said: “Take faith in yourself, for God has had faith in you, and the gift is already given.” I didn’t understand what it meant, but I knew then and I know now, that it was real, and it was a personal gift to me. In my 40 years since, I have learned that it was no big deal. Everyone has this. God commonly speaks to everyone, most of us just don’t want to tune in.

Life rolled on. Today the world is crashing around us, there is violence, death and disasters in great numbers never before seen in history. And yet we hardly notice, because we are so bedazzled by our amazing techno-toys and devices that take us to instant fantasy worlds. Mass killing has become perfectly normal to our children now, because they practice video murder-games several hours every day, see hours of  violence on TV every night, and the Nightly News is not much different from their video-games. Statistics report that most kids start practicing the skills of cold-blooded murder at age 5 and by age 12 have killed thousands of other human beings, calmly and casually, in their minds.

There is the relentless loud clamor of  flashy advertising, everything exploding in flames to sell cosmetics or cereals. Rich good-looking people drive dangerously recklessly just to sell cars, and the increasingly frequent explosions of rage, hate, and assault among perfect strangers in fast-food restaurants and drive-by shootings on the “Breaking News” is an everyday thing. All of this is so much louder than the still small voice within you. It has become more important right now than ever before in history, to find a space of solitude for yourself for a while every day, turn off the tempting illusions and fantasies of those addicting techno-toys, and listen to what is true, in you.

Most of us are brainwashed and hypnotized without realzing, and we’re unable or unwilling to wake up and see reality, because reality has become technologically counterfeited in so many realistic, beguiling and entertaining ways that massive numbers of humanity have slipped through the thin membrane of sanity to the other side, without even noticing it.

You have the choice, and you have the power at any time, to wake up. To turn off the noise, and come back to listen for your own voice of truth. It can give you back your life. Not a hi-def virtual one, a real one.

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