Immaculate Misconception.

I can distinctly remember the moment when my ego was born.

Well, perhaps not as dramatically as that, for it doubtless spent the previous time assimilating information & getting its bearings in the novelty of the new environment - ex-utero.

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Born into the world at some time previously, equipped with a mind that incessantly craved understanding - constantly, but subliminally making its own sense of life and living, endeavouring to create a stable and balanced psyche - from all the available evidence.

The physical body had done pretty well up to this point - it had been fed and watered, trained into various habits, it even managed to raise itself to its legs and master at first walking, then running at speed.

Now when I say understanding, I am referring obviously to the simple things - the basics - it was rather too early for quantum physics or landscape painting.
All this understanding gradually consolidated itself - forming a world which revolved around the nuturing of a mother, the strength of a father, the constant company of a twin sister - all unquestioned presences in this new world.
A world which assimilated itself according to how it appeared, to how it felt, to how it smelled and tasted.

Yes - I was entirely sure that the world and myself were solid, convinced by the inevitable falls during the learning process. The food that gradually replaced my diet of liquid also felt solid within my mouth, and required chewing and swallowing. My companions and the world they inhabited also showed all the signs of being as solid as I felt I was.
This was my world, in conjunction with a natural flow of happiness and sadness - instantly expressed with laughter or tears - a world which contained tiredness and sleep - daylight and darkness.

I had also learned by this time to utter noises, to shape noises into those I would hear, I learned that these noises represented things - different things.
My learning of this was encouraged and rewarded by the most positive reception - I learned that this was "good" - in fact I learned that I was "good" when my behaviour coincided with the wishes of those teaching me, of those nurturing me.
Of course, I was most happy to please.

On this momentous day - I remember being sat in a green armchair - daydreaming - when slowly it dawned upon me that I was actually the name that I had been given. It was an amazing revelation at the time, because this really had not occurred to me before. I realised that this name was referring to myself - that I was this person - and it was the same as this name. Quick subliminal calculations later, and I had it all worked out - that the same applied to my sister - and all my freinds.
I didn't speak to anyone about this at the time - but how clearly I remember this happening.

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Of course, what that name was associated with - was the solid, bouncy person - living in his solid world.

Still assimilating & accumulating, still naturally inquisitive, curious & craving understanding - as we all instinctively are - being satisfied and educated constantly, by all the evidence available to our sponge-like minds, and all sharpened to a point - the point indelibly etched at the base of all further learning - that I must be good - I am expected to be good, in all of its shapes and colours - goodness, in the eyes of others, is what life is all about.
I know this, because even my nurturing mother and father withhold their love, they change into angry, nasty people - if I am not good.

Of course, this is all happening in a cloud - a drifting bubble of easy happiness and playfullness. Every horizon presents itself as infinite, the colours of the world are vibrant and undiluted - every experience is a mystery of novelty - and I have not learned to care or worry - I am living at full tilt, with all the energy I could ever need.

Soon I am whisked away from the homely comfort, from the warm nurturing nest - to meet teachers, other children - to learn about reading and writing, numbers, playing in sand, strange tasting and smelling food - and being good.
I am me, my name, a solid body amongst numerous others now - all learning that everything we are taught is part of being good, including lessons about God, our heavenly Father - and how He also wants us to be good.
It's quite fun learning to write, playing with paint and colours and sand - I have lots of friends - and I'll soon be home again.

Very soon I am a product of good, I have a head that is stuffed full of being good.
Very soon, this being good starts to sap my energy - in fact, being good is starting to become tiresome - I'm starting to get my own ideas about what being good really is.
It's friends and fun and laughter - pretty girls, climbing trees, cycling downhill at speed, keeping secrets - occasionally being bad.

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A split has started to appear in who I am - the first of many growing contradictions - cleaving my world apart - contradictions which take sides - either with the rewards of being good, the love that is shown, or the fear of disobeying, the spectre of anger and disapproval - and of course all my badness creates within me a secret shadow of shame.
Such a deep secret that I am able to cover it up, and pretend, all the while, even to myself - that I am good.

All painted upon a human canvas, based on the evidence available.
What else can we do?
However, our jigsaw of understanding is stressed by being forced into producing a complete picture - when there is one crucial piece missing.

When that ego descended, and drifted into activity, what was really going on?

It was an immaculate misconception - at that point in time specifically, but also everything leading up to that moment.

The piece of the jigsaw that was missing was awareness - not awareness in itself, or I would not be able to have the experience or remember the experience - but an awareness of awareness.
All of my life had preceded that moment with awareness at its very heart - and proceeded after that moment also - but what was missing was the acute and conscious recognition of that awareness.

Its essential silence and transparency was lost amidst all the noise - but what was not lost was the constancy, the sameness central to awareness - the sense of "I" associated with all the experiences of that life.
It was always there - it didn't change dramatically from moment to moment - it didn't change at all in its invisibile & silent, subliminal presence.
It was the one constant factor amidst all the change, but it wasn't recognised for what it was - and so this constancy was unconsciously mis-attributed as belonging to the character now blossoming within the mind.
This sense of self, of being "I," was associated instead with the name, with the solid feeling body - and gradually the whole host of experiences encountered in life became attached around this association.
A picture was being painted of a life, a glorious technicolour picture deeply entrenched in the mind - of the life of a person answering to that name.

A real life, crammed with real feelings, imaginings, real experiences - present and past - were all being attributed - according to an incomplete knowledge of what was actually responsible for it - yet all the while, the real master, the silent one, the one who genuinely felt all the suffering and delight of being - was held to ransom, forced into obedience by an imposter ignorant that the master was even there, not acknowledging his presence at all.

Held hostage by a shadow, a reflection - a pitifully small version of what he truly was.

No wonder at all that there was pain and unaccountable frustration in that being - no wonder that there were contradictions accumulating between the master, already liberated, during his imposed imprisonment.

Maybe his crying will be heard - that's all he can hope for.

Fortunately there is a strange synergy, perhaps in ways similar to the well reported Stockholm syndrome, between a hostage and his captor - and the hostage can reclaim a useful influential power.
Secretly, stealthily - according to the pleasure principle - often conducted in the enemy territory of "the bad" - the master makes his crys heard - louder and louder.

A chance meeting here, chemical experimentation there, an interesting and captivating book - slowly & imperceptably - the master casts his spell - his one & only wish for recognition.
The jailer falls for his irresistible and convincingly persuasive charm, and starts to lend a sympathetic ear.

I shall stop extending this metaphor about liberation and bring in some pictures instead.

The circle represents experience - our entire world as perceived through our senses - our thoughts & our emotional existence - everything we have been and ever will be - is entirely enclosed within experience.
That is our reality - there is no outside to that reality - it is all internal, and circumscribed by the length, breadth and depth of our own experience.
Everything we have ever encountered, we have done so by experiencing, all of our learning, our understanding, our perception of ourselves, our perception of others - our entire lives - are contained by the fundamental of experience.

We may wrongly ascribe phenomena as arising outside, but they do not and cannot arise to perception other than within our circle of experience.
This circle is our inner world - of which we are the centre.
Our past, our present, all arises to that central point of "I."

At the root of all experience is awareness - it is awareness which allows experience to happen.

Our lives are one enormous canvas of undifferentiated awareness - onto which we paint the detail.

As explained in the tale above, we generally mis-attribute our sense of "I-ness" because we are consciously unaware of the presence of this awareness being causal to all experience.
This is only natural whilst it is the only perspective that we have.
Consequently, we believe ourselves to be according to the detail that we have painted - attaching our just and rightful values to the detail, rather than the blank canvas of infinite potential.
A confusion of differences - painted upon clarity.

We are aware of a constant and consistent presence in our life, but attribute it to a conceptually fixed and static persona - rather than the fluid potential of absolute liberty, constantly supporting and allowing our being.
Our lives consequently are described in terms of a multitude of experiences, of varying shades and colours - which they are, secondarily - but primarily our lives could be described as a singular experience - the constancy of being aware.

In a profound sense we are living in an Alice In Wonderland world, where we mistake the reflections for reality - and reality as merely a reflection or shadow.

In The Beginning

Available at YouTube.

When watching this short film - please - receive it into feeling - please, let it bypass, unimpeded - into feeling.

It is a film about you - you and me - our reality.

Please receive it into your reality - into your being.

It attempts to depict creation in a really simple way, using the abstract visualisation of number - thereby avoiding all sectarian or partisan division.

In such a way, it is hoped that ideas themselves can be represented - fundamental & critical ideas, devoid of any particular bias - and as such, the reality behind the ideas can be seen with a profound clarity.

After all - ideas are the inspiration for everything.

Simple, two-dimensional geometric shapes have been used at times to help illustrate the basic simplicity of these ideas - however, it must be respected that even the ideas behind these shapes themselves - do have a reality - and that reality owes its existence to the one, fundamental conception - the mysterious probability of which we are a part.

It must be said, that the story of creation is often framed as an "In The Beginning" story - and perhaps this could be due to our incapacity to frame outside of a reference to time.
We cannot conceive of an "Always."

However, the basic implications of this film do not ultimately depend on either "Always" or "A Beginning" - as the majestic conclusions are the same in either case.

I wish to present some of the content for further evaluation.

The film starts with words, against a white background - to suggest that we are witnessing an un-manifest singularity, which cannot "de-exist" - but which represents all potential.
The film labels this singularity as "One" - but in the sense of "All" - not yet in the sense of number.
Because this potential is so obviously a reality, "One" is more appropriate than "Zero."

Words carry meaning - a meaning which illuminates an underlying reality, a reality which can best be understood by feeling combined with intellect, rather than by intellect alone - so please try to connect the words to the enormous significance of their underlying reality, the meaning that they carry - the meaning which is being expressed by your very being - right now.

Only then will you be able to perceive the significance of "two" - being only an idea in the mind of One . . .

. . . by seeing the significance of the One, and the sublime originality & portent of this idea of two.
Remember - we are discussing reality - ideas on a universal scale - and quite reasonably, we will continue the questioning . . .

. . . questions that mankind has been asking - probably, since mankind.
The true answer to these questions being only discernible from the perspective of the One - from a perspective where they are no longer even questions.

So - from the perspective of the One - two cannot possibly be a reality - it can only be an idea, but this idea is the inception of the idea of number - the inception of an infinitely re-creative process.
This is itself an enormously profound inception - an idea within which, One itself becomes transformed, from a purely qualitative being - into a quantitative idea - an idea which when extended beyond One - conceives identity - the very possibility of other ones - of other realities - but, only as ideas in the mind of the One.

The idea (but what we perceive as our reality) of quantity, allows us to sum one & two - arriving at three - a new & third idea - our perceived reality of relationship - born automatically with the inception of two.

However, the potential for identity, for other ones, cannot be realised - therefore relationship itself cannot be realised - if "two" retains its self-knowledge as One.

So there has to be a process of forgetting - of de-science - a descent from omniscience.
"The nature of the One is hidden in the nature of the One's appearance."
A process which leaves identity up-for-grabs - available to the highest bidder, or shall we say, to the most convincing paradigm.

Nevertheless - the question of identity only occurs in the realm of mind - the realm in which it was conceived - the mind of the One.
It is only a matter of mind, not a matter of substance - it is the matter of ideas, not of being.

Which brings us nicely to some of the other graphics - importantly, this one - where we can visualise our paradigm (the conceptual realm) - and notice that all other realms are conceptualised within this realm.

Strangely, there is an anomaly in how we interact within our own paradigm - which appears to invert our notions of abstract and concrete.

Convinced, as we are, that the nature of reality is "concrete" and that the nature of our thoughts is "abstract" - however, close observation will reveal that realistically, it is the other way around - and that from a fluid and emergent "abstract" reality, from a continuum - we elect immovable and concrete "concepts."

Our thoughts, our opinions, although abstract and insubstantial in themselves - do have an irreducible and concrete effect upon our being - in both our unconscious and conscious interaction with ourselves and our environment.
An effect which is by and large influenced by the imposing nature of our senses (the perceptual realm) . . .

. . . resulting in our conviction of a concrete world - but a conviction which conveniently belies the constant and imperceptible change, happening in and around ourselves.
A conviction that belies the stark realisation that we ourselves are not concrete entities, on either the physical or any other level of existence.

But, a part of our very own paradigm is our concrete conceptualisation of "self" - a collection of references from our fixed perspective.
This is distinctly at odds with the nature of everything - which is change - emergence - process.

Close observation will reveal that this "phantom self" - is the product of everything contained within "The nature of The One's appearance."

In other words - it is the product of our existence within the mind of the One - it is concomitant with the possibility of identity, bequeathed to us by the One.

It is a natural occurrence born of The nature of The One's appearance & The Experiential Realm (ourselves) - only possible through the ideas of number and relationship (relativity.)

Relationship and identity also give us the idea of four - ME & (you) - (you) & ME - for anything existent.
Flippantly summed up in the film as "by adding you - that is how we forget" (and, as it happens, that is how we "four get" by adding "u" to "forget." )

However, also making an appearance within our paradigm - is a conceptualisation of the One - which transforms it also from being fluid & emergent - into being objectified - compartmentalised and concrete, alongside our conceptualisation of self - making both concepts available to our attention, but in parallel with all of our other finite concepts, and with a degree of understanding consequential only to our relative paradigm.
We can see how this objectification succeeds in denying us the awareness of the One omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience - by objectifying it, we are excluding it - exactly the same process that we apply to ourselves.

What tends to be overlooked in all of this - is the degree of liberty bequeathed by the One - a liberty, not only to usurp identity, but the liberty to recreate - in infinite quantities - but that also appears to be a part of the plan.

It is the complete generosity of this liberty, a creative freedom unsurpassed, a love so total and all-encompassing - which grants us our autonomy of mind - our free-will - only limited by the constraints of relativity, the fourfold sphere in which this is all unfolding for us.
However, it is only an autonomy of mind - not of substance or of being - we cannot really create, only re-create - and only conceptually, with ideas within the paradigm - which is our "overall idea," our understanding thus-far - of ourselves and our environment.

Attention to our being will confirm that our basic nature, the root at the inception of identity - is awareness.
Wherever we place our attention - it is our intention which channels our attention - but that attention, wherever it goes - is a focusing of awareness.
As such, it can safely be said, that our attention can never escape our being - our being is confined within that attention, our being only exists within that area of attention - that area of attention defines our being.

Directing this attention within the paradigm (our conceptual reality) confines our awareness to this paradigm, where we find that this awareness itself is entirely entwined with and identifies with the conceptualised self within that paradigm.
The profound subtlety and silence of awareness itself is obscured by the noise of thought, by the imposing presence of gross and subtle mentation, as if the concreteness of thoughts themselves provides an attractive mass which magnetises and imbues our awareness with its own identity.
Our awareness habitually is attached to the concrete phantom of self - and thus can only interact with the paradigm, from within the paradigm itself.

So - in order to start again, in order to re-align the paradigm with reality - we need to extract ourselves, our awareness, from the existent paradigm.

When we start to do this - we discover that our awareness has no shape, it does not occupy a space, it is fluid but unchanging in its nature - we discover that it seems to be searching for an identity, but it can only find choices within conceptually concrete ideas.
In other words, its search for identity tries to be satisfied by any idea that appears in the realm of mind - this awareness, which is at the root of itself - is searching for its own identity - but from a realm that is within itself.
Rather akin to a tree identifying with a leaf.
It is searching within the content of The Experiential Realm, for the identity of itself, the very thing that gives rise to The Experiential Realm.

Without awareness - The Experiential Realm, or any of the content, could not exist.

However, when we observe closer still - we find that the origin of the search, the quest for identity - stems from the residue of the phantom self within the paradigm - attempting to concrete itself, yet again.
Awareness has been in such a close association with this local perception of self - that it has temporarily forgotten its own nature - which is totally abstract, and can be known only to itself.
A true "identity" basking in absolute liberty, saturated with pure potential - an identity restricted & limited only by the very same search for identity induced by imprisonment of the self within the paradigm.

Self (the true identity) cannot recognise its own true nature by appealing to The Experiential Realm. The Experiential Realm will only contain reflections, conjured up (conjure means "with the law" - in this sense, within the constraints of relativity) by its own existence.

Yet without this Experiential Realm, the quest for identity would not arrive - the question would not and could not exist.
Without the hiding and the forgetting - within itself, the One would have no cause to ask the question of itself.
Which is why it has to be a real hiding - a real forgetting - and it can only be real (from the perspective of the One) if the awareness of this hiding and forgetting is known by the very same conscience (knowing) as the One.

Hence - in its purest state, uncluttered by any other reflections of itself (the hiding) - the Self is aware that its true identity is none other than the One - the un-forgetting.
The Experiential Realm, within The nature of The One's appearance, can start to experience its nature as it really is . . .

. . . the process of liberation can commence, liberation from definition, from identification with the finite, with appearances, with concrete concepts & from the quest for any identity whatsoever.
Liberty to avail of the whole of the mind of the One - not just a small prison of confinement.

Represented graphically by a paradigm of reality, a paradigm of "self understanding itself," the bigger picture emerging - a paradigm that gradually approaches infinity and eternity.

Illuminated by the light (real or metaphorical) of true understanding - appropriate, as it is that light of awareness which allows us to see darkness (real or metaphorical.)

Hence the plea to receive this into feeling, your whole being - & not just the intellect.

Jai Sat Chit Anand.

The Spiritual Enigma

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or those of us aware of the possibility of realising God-consciousness, there sometimes arises the dichotomy between our own metaphors, as to the nature of this specific journey.

For some of the time, it appears to be a journey of self-discovery and at other times the journey seems to be a reverend devotion to and appreciation of God.

Both of these metaphorical representations of our journey often borrow from each other's vocabulary - the result of our own fascination and our constant drawing of support and inspiration from a wide variety of sources.

Is this a case, as it were, of simply mixing our metaphors - or could there be weightier considerations as a consequence of this possible confusion?
Is it an example of burning the candle from both ends, tackling the quest from opposing directions - hoping that they will both coincide at the point of imagined destination?

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The two questions above already remind us that we should observe great caution - to never lose sight of the reality - the actuality - which is our subject matter.
We are exploring reality itself - ourselves - and must constantly seek to place any use of metaphors in their correct context - purely as metaphors.

Here we have arrived at the very reason behind this discourse - our inability to communicate with each other, and importantly to ourselves - without resorting to subtle or more obvious metaphors.

Metaphors are bridges or containers for meaning - however, they have a more insidious side to them, in that they influence perception - they determine perspective.
Words are metaphors - cultural memes are metaphors - a journey is a metaphor - even the pristine and precise languages of mathematics and physics - perceived objects - everything is a metaphor - a bridge or a container for an underlying meaning.
Nevertheless - that meaning can be derived from a belief, a consensus or an acutely intimate observation - the understanding of which may itself be influenced by the metaphorical context in which it was perceived.
This poses the intrigue - can meaning exist outside of any metaphorical context?
Do our metaphors allow us to filter and detect meaning, or do they actually invent & impose meaning?

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Ultimately, metaphors are constructed to bring order and lend a rational framework to two great unknowns, two mysterious enigmas and their relationships with each other, whether we realise it or not - everything alludes to two central themes.
To journeys of discovery & realisation, involving God and ourselves.
Journeys, rendered in metaphor - between metaphorical subjects - the reality of both journey and subjects being unknown.
Can the meaning be independent of the metaphor?

I feel that it is vital that we never lose touch with our original inspiration, a fundamental fascination - generated by the awe and wonder that we naturally feel, and the resultant inquisitiveness that compels our attention - aligning our lives to the quest for truth.
The journey that we are upon.

Along the way we will have encountered numerous disciplines, philosophies, creeds, theories, theologies, religious dogma, rituals, cults, orders, establishments - all setting out their own perspective, their own prospectus on truth - in their own metaphorical language.
Some we will have dismissed - one or two we may have adopted for ourselves, and become bent on adhering to a prescribed methodology to lead us towards our avowed goal - or simply find them useful tools of visualisation.
For truth appears to be approachable via any suitable metaphorical means, including our own, personal perspectives.

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If sincere and containing deep relevance to our desired journey, these metaphorical perspectives are about our individual relationship with the absolute - and contradictions in our relationship with ourselves - with echoes back to our first, emerging inspiration, surrounding the relationship between ourselves and the existence that we find ourselves in - about the inspiration to cultivate an accurate and living perception of truth, hopefully to end all contradiction in our being.
It connects to our first stirrings, our first awakening moments - moments which spoke to us directly or indirectly, hinting at an association with something spiritual and mysterious - bringing a curiosity to our assumptions about God.

At such a time we were possibly very much the natural products of our culture, and reflected a mix of inherited, indoctrinated cultural and societal memes - having already countless deep and unconsciously formed influences on our perception - a naive vision of God fashioned from the raw diet of parental authority and formal or socially subtle indoctrination - a vision that naturally engendered skepticism, seeming incongruous as our lives lead us away from those early influences and into our own search for liberty and independence.

Something was stirring in the friction between fear and love - and out of this - our spiritual journeys were born.

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The friction we felt, the questions we felt stirring in our hearts and minds - being generated by the constant movement of two gigantic and permanent states of being - like tectonic plates within reality - our relative and absolute states of existence.
Both in constant co-dependence with the other, both living side by side - as closely related as an object and its own reflection.
Our being in both states simultaneously, causing the fault lines to appear within our paradigms - stirrings - questions.
Questions which arise from our subliminally subjective and our demonstratively objective perspectives - questions arriving from our supplication to emotion and intellect.
Questions for which answers may bring all manner of confusion.

A beautiful and auspicious confusion.

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The mud has been well and truly stirred up, the detritus of our discarded paradigms, of all the metaphors we are outgrowing.
The mud of expectation and presumption - the brown murkiness of anticipation.

An impenetrable gloom, seen often through eyes that are blinded by the black hood of spiritual ego.

Another auspicious observation - for clarity beckons.

In our sincere and devoted attempts to further ourselves along our chosen spiritual path - it is often inescapable and unavoidable, that we actually increase the influence and insinuation of the ego - by the very willfulness of our own intent.
Our own previous revelations and insights can play a large part in blinding us, by causing anticipation and expectation.
Our own earnest application in re-educating ourselves, in updating our living paradigm - often results in an accumulation of objectification, as we shape each new discovery to fit within an existing, established or emerging pattern or metaphoric visualisation.
These metaphorical objectifications often insinuate themselves, re-conditioning our perspective and therefore our perception - drawing a subtle veil of the already known over the very truth we wish to experience - which is always freshly unknown.

Similar to driving a car at night - you cannot follow any course other than which is illuminated by the beam of your own headlamps.

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We may observe all of this process of the mind - and find ourselves discarding one perspective - one metaphor - for another.
We may oscillate between the perspective of God-consciousness (implying God) and self-realisation (implying self) - and whatever the metaphor chosen, that will become the beam - the journey proceeds along that imagined trajectory.

Again, let us refer back to our original inspiration - and see ourselves then - although we may well have been subconsciously cluttered, we had not yet formed our spiritual ego.
We found ourselves arriving into a conscious relationship with our naive concept of God, we found ourselves at the start of a journey in which we would approach and try to understand more about truth - and at this point, our egos refashioned themselves and started to become cluttered with all manner of spiritual detritus.
For we were deluding ourselves if we thought we would ever be able to understand - if we thought we would ever be able to satisfactorily objectify truth and simultaneously live a life that was consciously enlightened.

What has happened to our relationship with God?

Have we abandoned that at times, to be replaced by a metaphor of self-discovery?
Have we substituted a naturally progressing, mostly unconscious life with a subliminal awareness of God - for a self-conscious and pretentious life, filled with self-ordained ritual and stuffed to the brim with accumulated "new wisdom" & pseudo-science - and an ego that is more restrictive and inhibiting than ever our "old selves" were - obscuring any trace of God, rather than illuminating His presence?

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At a certain point along our journey - we may well have had that epiphany, that moment of enlightened vision - that "Yes - in truth we are all indeed God" - and our earnestness to live our life as to bring forth the full awareness of that implication becomes an over-riding obsession, the supreme challenge - for we know that somewhere, somehow - we have as human beings the means to realise that knowledge, to inhabit a living heaven on earth with every waking moment.
We have become trapped by our desiring the lure of some imagined state of bliss and enchantment, the cause of our ego's earnestness - and are side-tracked away from reality.

However, I am more and more convinced - that in order to witness that perpetual majesty, magic and mystery in our lives - of knowing, of seeing for ourselves that living realisation - we must include the ultimate gift of self-hood.
We cannot enjoy the blessings of that self-hood - by attempting to obliterate it, or destroy it with nihilistic philosophies of annihilating the ego - we merely need to understand why it arises - to penetrate and avoid its phantom lure.

Do we imagine that by closing the mesh of our perceptual filters ever tighter, by attempting to intercept reality with understanding, that we remove the residue of ego from our awareness?
No - by imposing strict metaphorical filters in that stream we simply are made more aware of ego - it is the grasping and clutching nature of the ego that has insisted on those restrictive filters being in place - in order for it to observe its very own predictions and expectations.

If we open the filters completely - remove them entirely - all the detritus ceases to exist - the phantom has no cause to appear - and its reality was only ever in its appearance.
Ego is born from no more than an individuated point of awareness within the field - and the mental habits caused by mis-perception.
It is no more than the crest of an ever rolling wave - a vantage point, harmless other than the waste produce of its own intent.
Without that vantage point - there is no point to being human.

As human beings - the most suitable metaphor is surely one that revolves around our relationship with God in some way - calling it whatever we may - the Great Other, the Tao - realising that "human being" and "God" are after all only metaphors themselves, representing this experience which we cannot possibly understand - but nevertheless is a very real experience.
A relationship with an absolute respect of that reality - a relationship that permits us the blessings of human appreciation - of discovery - of peace - of love - of joy - of the awareness of being human - the ultimate gift of self-hood.
Rather a paradox - an enigma - but without it, by denying God in our metaphor we deny ourselves the possibility of any blessing.

So yes - we are God - and we are also God's witnesses - the perspective which permits the relative to gaze upon the absolute.
That self-hood is God's own unique perspective - allowing a restricted and pin-hole view into the totality - only possible through the focused awareness of individuated perspectives, creating the impression of separate observers, separate beings.
Yes - these unique perspectives are designed in such a way as to attract all manner of confusion, all manner of distortion and bias - but ultimately, they are none other than God's own confusion, God's distortion and bias of Himself.
Are they not God's own metaphors as well - tools to assist our journey - some, which we may find more appropriate for ourselves than others?

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Our journey is one that takes us back to its starting point - our relationship with God - still unknown - but unknowable in every moment - our journey has been no more than a focusing, an awakening, a cleansing of perception.
God - now unknowable consciously - a perpetual and awesome mystery still - an enigma living & breathing with us - and whose blessings we can only share in, with humility.

Having thrown aside all metaphor, or at least peeked beneath the surface of them - perhaps, at last - we will be able to see the truth clearly - in and all around us - understanding (standing-under) its nature as blessed human beings, with humility in our common relationship with the living and ever-emergent truth.
For we will never comprehend God and His mysteries intellectually - and attempts to do so merely obscure the reality - so we might as well simply just open ourselves to receive & share His many blessings in the sweetest way we can - as human beings - in His universe.

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"There was once a Hassidic fund-raiser who set out to raise funds for a worthy cause.
Knowing that in certain towns the Misnagdim (opposers of Hassidism) who lived there did not welcome Hassidim, who were considered a near-heretic cult, the Hassid took pains to disguise his Hassidic behavior, realizing that otherwise he would be thrown out of town without a penny.
On passing through one such town, he posed as usual as a misnaged.
His disguise paid off and he received generous donations, however one of the leaders of the community got inkling that maybe this fundraiser was actually a hassid. In order to try to discover his real identity, he went over to the hassid and asked him very bluntly, "What do you have to say about this Hassidic cult?"
The hassid thought for a moment and replied, "The cult? I know some of those hassidim, all day long they think and talk about themselves, and they don't talk about God at all.
The misnagdim, though, they think and talk about God all day and they never talk about themselves."
This answer pleased the community leader very much and he gave him an additional contribution.
Once the hassid had received all the money and was ready to leave town, he called the man over and said, "I'll explain now what I really meant before when I replied to your question.
You see, for Hassidim, it is obvious that God exists, God is an axiom, the question they ask is 'Do I exist?'
So all day long they are contemplating whether or not they exist, because God certainly exists.
But for a misnaged, the opposite is true, the fact that he exists is obvious to him, but whether or not God exists, that is the question, maybe God never existed?
If God exists is He present in my life?
Is there Divine Providence?
The misnaged questions this all day long, so he is always thinking about God.
That is what I meant." The hassid then took to his heels and ran off as fast as his legs would carry him.... This story clearly illustrates two different perspectives of our Divine service relative to our Creator.
The contemporary debate whether or not there is an Intelligent Designer to the universe, exactly pinpoints the position of the general public in America today. In Hassidic terminology this is called, "elokut behitchadshut" meaning that God is a conscious novelty, for were it not so, then God would be taken for granted and man would be questioning his own existence.
Hassidism offers the reverse perspective, seeing God as being obvious while man's own existence is a constant novelty, my own experience of existence is not the core of reality; it is merely some exterior shell that hides the true essence of reality, which is God."