The Authentic Self and the Idea of God

I have come to think that potential, a concept which I have been contemplating for years, can be thought of as the ultimate Everything-and-Nothing, the All-That-Is, which is commonly referred to as God.

This idea of God is not a religious one. It is not our own best guess at what a person with superpowers would be like. For these sorts of gods, one might as well believe in the Avengers — they are defined by human ideas of personhood and are really no different than the superheroes of our favourite stories.

In my cosmology, God is simply everything that is possible, in a singularity of infinite Oneness. However, God is not a Self the way people are. God is not a being with a defined personality and consciousness who experiences things and reacts to them. God, rather, IS all the things, and space and time and everything.

But again, God is not a Self or a person. For to be a Self is to be contained and limited — to be set apart from the universe as a whole. Without the defining edge between yourself and the world, you would be God. And your edges are really your limits, the things that you are not. Your limitations ought to be valued, then, if you value your Self at all.

In fact, it is these limitations of Selfhood that allow for people to experience things. Only Selves experience anything, for to transcend Self is to BE everything. You see, experience requires change, such as time or circumstance. And in my cosmology, God transcends time and circumstance and physicality altogether. Moreover, God is the very thing we are experiencing — no matter what that is.

To be everything, God must ultimately be morally neutral in our human eyes. Morality is entirely created by Selves — and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you understand what that means. It means we are each free to pursue our own sense of morality: ideally what we experience and feel as being right and sacred with respect to our understanding of our authentic Selfhood. We will each have different ideas, and that is no trouble ultimately because God contains it all and is entirely neutral. Naturally, God is not a judge.

We people and everything we experience are God’s potential made “manifest” through the simple fact that we are experiencing it. By our own experience of ourselves and the world, we play out God’s imagination. Selves experience what God dreams into being, and there is value in this.

It matters what we genuinely believe and value and call sacred. It matters because we are experiencing God and Self at once, only Selves can create a sense of meaning to it all. It doesn’t really matter what you value — it matters that you value it, and bring meaning to it, and ideally this is done with careful attention to Self understanding.

Self understanding is the discovery of one’s authenticity. What you truly value is what has not been forced on you, or the result of certain insecurities and fears. What you truly value may not be what you have been taught to value. Be honest with yourself, and as you grow in awareness, allow for changes in your values too. Finding your authentic Self is not really the end goal of life; nor is it a race to the finish line. However, it is vital that you continue to learn and experience who you are. At the very least, you will find that knowing yourself allows you to create less suffering for yourself!

I have written several posts aiming to get a person thinking about what they value and who they are. There is a sort of worksheet of questions here that will help get you started:

Also, this post about deconstructing your false desires may be of use to you:


A Retrograde Perspective of The Spiritual and the Physical

We are not alienated from the spiritual world. The truth is, it is the physical world that is hidden from us, and the material world is actually what is most esoteric.

Everything we experience comes to us from the mind. If you believe that mind (or soul) is immaterial, that the thoughts in your mind are not entirely made of physical matter such as atoms, then it follows that everything you can experience is also immaterial, since we do not experience or sense anything directly. The physical world is processed, rendered, and presented to us through the apparatus of the mind. Everything we see or feel or otherwise sense is a production of the mind. It is an immaterial representation of the material world.

Thus, we in fact only perceive an immaterial world — made of the same “stuff” as the spiritual world. Our senses are more closely related to the spiritual realm than the physical realm! Whatever the physical world is like, we have never perceived it; we have always perceived a “spiritual representation” of material things.

So the physical world is actually hidden from us and therefore is deeply esoteric, whereas the spiritual world is our ordinary, mundane, daily experience.

This is what I call a “retrograde perspective” (see here for more discussion of this term). It directly opposes what we commonly think about the physical and spiritual dichotomy. And it is a completely valid, yet opposite, way of understanding our experience as human beings.

If the physical world is actually hidden and esoteric, everything we experience being immaterial, then the spiritual world is the most intimate and ordinary experience we can have.

You can give up the desire to have extraordinary or sacred experiences without turning your back on spirituality. Spirituality ought not be mere thrill-seeking but a deep hue that paints your perspective of mundane experience. When you approach spirituality as a hidden and rarely-seen thing, you intentionally alienate yourself from it. At first, this viewpoint might make spirituality seem more exciting and attractive, but a steady stream of rare and extraordinary experiences is inherently unobtainable, leading to disappointment and a weakening of faith in one’s entire spiritual belief system.

But if you let spirituality be ordinary, contained even in the most mundane events, your faith will be supported on a moment-to-moment basis.

And it is inevitable that blind faith serves an unseen master, whose goals are both unknown and foreign to you. Taking the perspective of the immaterial as ordinary experience solves this too. Your faith in spirit need not be blind at all, but the actual mechanism by which you see.

Imagination: Our Sense of the Divine and All Creation

The Divine Matrix, or the Field, are two ways of speaking about a very simple thing: the realm of potential, where all possibility is contained. Potential itself is responsible for the existence of all things. When we ask how all existence came into being, we aren’t satisfied with answers that require something to already exist, like the singularity before the Big Bang. But the only thing that can simultaneously be “real” and yet not actually manifest as a thing that exists is potential. Potential is simply possibility. Once the potential for something to happen is realized in the world — once it happens, in other words — it is no longer potential but a manifest thing. So if you want to call on something outside of existence to cause existence, your only choice is potential.

Things happen because they are possible — and given either infinite space, multi-universes, or infinite time, everything possible must happen. It is possibility that runs the show.

You might ask, “who decides what is possible?” and the answer is very powerful.

As Pablo Picasso once said, “Everything you can imagine is real.” This points to the stunning fact we have been dismissing all along: our imagination is not mere meaningless fantasy of unreality, but a direct sense of potential. If we can imagine it, we can be assure it must be real, given infinite time or space. If we can imagine it, we are connecting with the Field or Divine Matrix of potential.

There is grow evidence that we live in an interactive universe. No only are we all connected, we co-create the world around us. Our intentions can affect people and happenings no matter how physically separated they are.

So I believe that the answer to the question “who decides what is possible?” is, at least in part, all of us and anything capable of imagining possibility. We truly do dream the world into being.

It is time to put our power and connection to each other and the divine to good use by ending the stigma around imagination. Through the imagination we have access to all information about anything that ever happened or will happen, which explains remote viewing. Through the imagination we can created deeper, emotive intentions that change the world. Through the imagination we unlock our own potential and recognize the divine creative power within us.

Spiritual Healing in Dreamcraft

wild turkey meeting

I have been working on a practical spiritual modality that I call “Dreamcraft”, and having covered the basics of my cosmology and beliefs, it is time to approach the critical subject of spiritual healing.

I speak from the perspective of someone who is healing from severe sexual/physical/emotional abuse in my childhood. Previously I had studied shamanism for several years but found that it didn’t support my own values. I believe that we each have the power to do the work and joy of spiritual healing ourselves, and so the idea of elite people doing the work for us (as in shamanic practice), just didn’t jive with me.

Spiritual healing, in my view, need not be as esoteric as you may think; indeed, it ought to be practical with results that you can truly notice and feel. My viewpoint is that to heal from past pain, we must build new “skin” over those soul wounds. What truly hurts is the soul, and it must be understood through soul discovery and spiritual exploration.

We all have access to our souls’ powers and spiritual senses, as the soul is ever-present and here with us right now. And our imagination is our greatest spiritual tool, as it is a direct sense of potential itself. Imagination shows us all that is possible, somehow and somewhere. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Everything you can imagine is real.” This is something I embrace wholeheartedly: for I journey with my spirit to other times, other places, and other perspectives, as is the power of spirit to transcend these things — and I don’t worry about whether or not the experience is “real”. It is surely real in some way and that’s all I need to know. Even the Q’ero shamans of Peru, who claim a lineage going back to the Inca, like to playfully say that it doesn’t matter if spiritual experiences are imagined and made up entirely in your head, as our whole Earthbound reality is already “made up” by our minds.

I find that spirit exploration is a valuable practice for spiritual healing. Spirit exploration can be achieved in light meditation, or even a daydream — it need not require intense discipline, years of hermitage in a cave, or lengthy meditation in the lotus position. Close your eyes and explore, that’s what your spirit is meant to do. Get in touch with what your soul can sense. You may be surprised at how spontaneously things seem to happen — at times, you will feel that you aren’t actively imagining at all, but simply experiencing.

Where do you start in spirit exploration? This will be the topic of a later post, but you can visit your child-self, at different ages; you can meet other souls — like spirit guides — who may have something to tell you; and you can reach out to your higher self, the one who transcends time itself, for whom all lives and all time happen all at once, eternally and infinitely. The higher self is a concept of your ideal and infinite being, and getting to know this aspect of your soul will teach you things you didn’t even know about yourself now.

We should, I believe, be taught from an early age to explore our souls. What do our souls truly desire and need? Not material things, since soul is immaterial. What do our souls value? What truths do they live by? How do they see existence and how we ought to live? What are our souls’ powers and potential?

Another thing I believe we ought to be taught when we are young is to critically examine the things we believe — for when we are mistreated we learn to believe things about ourselves that aren’t true, and perhaps aren’t even logical. All belief is just perspective. If you have been taught to believe that you are ugly, unworthy of love, a bad person…you need to turn this around in order to heal. I like to use what I call “retrograde perspectives” to show myself other ways of seeing and thinking. For instance, you can go your whole life walking across the land…or maybe, just once, you could feel yourself “walking” by turning the Earth with your feet. You can imagine opposite ways of seeing just about anything. Retrograde perspectives show us new, imaginative ways to get out of “thought ruts” and cast out false beliefs that we carry from old wounds. If we don’t change our thinking, these false beliefs will continue to wound us, and the pain goes ever deeper.

Finally, healing from the past means making your present moment a good, safe place to be. For me, that meant cutting off contact with my whole family (and none, unfortunately, were worth forgiving — I believe forgiveness requires contriteness and/or apology and/or an intent not to continue hurting someone. Forgiveness and compassion are not concepts well-suited for atrocities and extreme behaviour). So one must consider the people that one surrounds themselves with, and the things one is doing in their present life. Are you working towards growth and healing? If you’re barely keeping your head above water, or if you are surrounded by drama, you won’t be able to heal — you need to create a firm foundation in the present first.

Thought Experiment Stories: Part One

“What do I want to do with my life?”

You avoid thinking these words most nights but the question remains, silently persistent, like a shadow you can’t outrun.

Maybe nothing mattered, anyway.

Maybe everything mattered.

Or both, at once.

“But what do I want to do?”

The question is bigger than you think at first. Who is “I”? What is “want” with regard to yourself? What is “life” and what constitutes “doing” something with it?

You realize you don’t even know who you are, or what you are, in the first place. 

“I don’t care!” you hiss at the shadow, the question in the corner of your mind.

But how do you know you don’t care, if you don’t even know who you are or what you care about?

“Nobody thinks about this stuff. I don’t need to. If it was so damn important…they’d teach it in school.”

But you can’t say you know anything if you don’t even know who you are.

And how do you know what you need if you don’t even know who you are?

You’re getting annoyed. It feels like arguing with someone particularly obtuse.

“I…” you say, falteringly, “I…am consciousness stuck in a body.”

You roll your eyes at yourself, because this, you figure, is the problem: impossible questions and answers that don’t get you anywhere.

Is consciousness not body? Is it material or something else?

Suddenly, like a light flooding a hallway, you feel there’s something to this, like there’s a chance you could actually get somewhere.  “No, I don’t think consciousness is material. It’s something else.”

Are non-material things limited by space? Do they really inhabit places? Is your consciousness stuck in your body?

“Maybe not. But if consciousness doesn’t really live in the body or the brain — if it isn’t even physical at all — then it doesn’t die and it doesn’t have to go anywhere.”

You frown at yourself because you’re just thinking out loud and no one’s allowed to come to their own conclusions like this. Maybe Einstein, when he did thought experiments, but not you.

Still, you can’t help it. It’s like instinct, or some kind of gut-logic. Nobody told you to believe this but it’s what makes sense.

What are you thinking?

“Consciousness doesn’t care if there’s a body or not, so death really doesn’t change a damn thing. It’s like the afterlife is already here — right now — and there’s something going on, something that’s not physical. It’s who I am, at least partly…and I want to pay attention to it.”   

And for the first time in years, perhaps since you were a child jumping off benches half-believing you could fly, you felt encouraged to think — to imagine — to take the universe head-on.

Why not?

Perspectives, Experience, and States of Being

Perspective, generally, consists of the limitations of our belief systems, through which any and every experience is understood. Perspective limits experience by defining it, but we cannot experience anything without some perspective through which to make sense of it. Thus there are no absolutes, no “real truth” or anything of that sort. However, that doesn’t mean that perspectives are somehow bad. It’s how you use them that counts: because your perspective shapes you and your world. If you control your perspective, you control your experience too. 

How do we really know if our perspective is working for us? There are some clues to be had in our emotions — because emotions are to our consciousness what sensation is to our bodies; a way to judge how we are doing. But trying to simply conjure up the perspective of “feeling good” or “happiness” rings rather hollow. That’s why all those well-meaning instructions about the power of positive thinking haven’t helped you yet: you want more than to just feel good, don’t you?

There are four main perspectives to see things from. These four perspectives represent four different states of being. If you analyze your decisions, your desires, your values, and your goals through these four perspectives, you can look for trends or flaws in your thinking. Because the perspective you carry with you now should be a balance of these four states of being: the four perspectives ought to be held simultaneously as lenses through which to analyze your experiences. 

The Four States of Being

  1. Physical Existence. This is the state we feel we are “naturally born into” but it isn’t the whole story. It is the physical experience of the body and what we sense by its physical sensory apparatus. This is a perspective that tells you to tend to your body, your comfort, your health needs, and avoid injury or death. If you stop here and only perceive life physically, you will likely be selfish — wanting only your own comfort, unless benefiting others also benefits yourself. Instant gratification tends to be the rule here.
  2. Consciousness or Spiritual Existence. This is the state of the thinking mind. From this perspective, the body is not all-important, and the needs of the present moment must be tempered by the possibilities of the future. From this perspective, you may feel “ungrounded” or fail to tend to responsibilities that your body or society demands you fulfill. Spirit is not limited by space the way that physical being is; so it sees past what is manifest and possesses the power of imagination. Imagination gives us hopes, goals, and fears, as well as allowing us to worry about how we’re being judged or perceived by others. 
  3. Infinite Self/Higher Self/Authentic Self Existence. This state is imagined by the mind by removing the limits of both time and space from the self. The self then exists all-at-once and does not “need” anything — it is complete, has access to all the learning spirit could do given infinite time, and thus has abstracted wisdom from these infinite experiences. This imagined state provides a unique perspective: what would you desire in life if you had already experienced all there was? What does your authentic self value? What does your authentic self believe? The perspective of the authentic, infinite self allows us to see past the limits of society, the present moment, and everything we think we value, and get down to what the self is all about. 
  4. Infinite Being Existence. This state is imagined by removing the limit of separation between self and other, as well as the previous limits of space and time. All that can exist, does exist, and is united in a single, whole perspective. This perspective helps us see beyond the self and understand that “self” and “other” are just limitations we’ve defined, through which to understand our world. Self and other need not be separate, and this creates the fundamental value of compassion, balancing the purely physical self’s egoic desires and fears with an outlook that values the entire system in which you live. 

The four main states of being offer us ways to look at any situation or decision to be made, and examine it from four different perspectives. A belief or choice should hold true in each perspective. For instance, if you want to do something that will hurt others, you will quickly realize that this conflicts with the “Infinite Being” perspective, and then you can use the other perspectives to question why you thought you really wanted to do such a thing. 

Also, if you feel “stuck” not knowing what to do with your time, you can evaluate your life through the four perspectives and find something that is fulfilling at all levels. 

Your perspective is your god-like power to choose how you will experience it: but the key is to wield this power with a careful balance, satisfying all states of your being and existence.