The Nature of Things

1. Almost all stories and teachings that I have read about how to connect with God require an altered state of consciousness. That is: meditation, adoration, drugs, brain injury, fasting, long distance running, isolation and silence.

2. Sometimes God comes as a spontaneous gift of revelation. Nothing can be done to make this happen.

So, the normal waking awareness is not enough for divine Union. At least, that\’s what we all believe. I personally think that divine union experienced as a result of one of the items in #1 above are yielding a false god; more likely just brain chemistry in action. God is really dopamine.

3. My main fear is of other people.

I live in a totally man made environment. There is very little about nature in my daily life. All of my daily challenges come from encounters with others. Most people don\’t like to identify this fact so clearly or admit that fear of others is the main driving force.

I\’ve spent my adult life chasing God. I\’ve claimed that the use of spiritual practices has made me a person of great inner calm. At this point in my life, I have rejected the dopamine God.

I am alive and very emotionally stable; but I have no actual purpose for being alive. Unless you say that faith in the eventual spontaneous coming of Revelation is what I am living for, then I don\’t have a purpose.

If I see my purposelessness as a horrible thing, very sad, then no wonder I try desperately to find a purpose in serving God. It seems ridiculous that a human race would exist with consciousness but utterly no higher reason for being alive. So, yes we are driven to find the higher. We can\’t stand being nothing. (Especially Americans).

Should I go participate in public service so that I can feel good about my existence? haha, no I\’ll just go consume some more.


Mystic Musings

One of the things that has bugged since leaving the monastery is whether I can be a mystic if I have a job and live in the world. See, I went to a monastery because I believed that you had to in order to achieve the necessary environment and teaching which would make a mystic.

The people who write books about enlightenment and mysticism are usually people who are able to achieve a life outside the work-a-day world.

Sort of like, if you were called to be a mystic then you\’d have succeeded at monastic living and have a teacher. If you have a job, you weren\’t called and God won\’t come to you. This worry about God is a false teaching and can\’t be true.

Living in a world of people who have not placed any priority on spirituality does lead one to think that only monks could be successful.

I am not able to talk face to face with anyone about mysticism. This means that instead, I am talking about work or running. So people think that these are whats important to me. But not so. Being a private mystic makes it less \”real\” because there is no ego validation.

Monastic or not, I feel my first priority in life is spiritual growth, connection with that mentality beyond my worldly consciousness (mysticism). And I am so dedicated regardless of whether my job hinders the relationship or not.

My life is my dream. I can change the God rules in my dream. In my dream, God just is with is. No need to a drastic mental or physical circumstance. Only thinking I can\’t hurts me.It is highly likely that all I\’ve learned about God from society and religion isn\’t helpful. I have a second hand God.

The real God would just be……

Truly, the relationship is there whenever I remember it is there; any brief moment of remembrance and boom, there it is.

I have to put some active conscious priority on my desire for God.

Hogwash (not)

Blogs about God can be boring. The God topic seems so \”something.\” I guess because I no longer get inspired by anything other than A Course in Miracles text. I no longer want anyone else\’s opinions.

More robots read this blog than people.

Many running blogs I find interesting. I love reading ultra runner blogs and hearing about long runs.

Why is this post called \”Hogwash\”? Because: Last evening, I took an evening off workouts and I gave God some space in my mind. After a bit of silent conversation, I thought, \”God is not hogwash.\” And so, I start from there by just taking up the listening position.

So, this morning, I woke up before the alarm, did my spiritual study, and hit the trail at 6. In my mind was the following God thought: I do not understand what anything is for and so I do not understand what anything means. I merely rise and go to Him in peace.

I kept that up for 6 hours and I jog/walked my way through 25 miles and 60 oz of water and other fuel. I think I will be able to complete a 50k in 2 weeks.

But the situation does need reflection. I realized that I have to do ultras because I want to be training for 6+ hours or have the opportunity to be on a trail for 7+ hours; not for swag or any sort of bragging. It is the idea of endurance which I so much seek. Endurance is eternity to me. I yearn for eternity. And, A Course in Miracles is my only solution to that problem. A number of friends are running the Boston marathon on Monday. Despite running a qualifying time of 15 min less than what is required for entry (which would have put me in the second qualifying bracket and I would have got in); I would hate the whole Boston experience. So I didn\’t enter. I\’m glad. I can think of nothing worse than being in huge crowds and spending big bucks and being pissed off about it for 3 days. Along with running a PW race.

Instead, I\’ll be in Missouri in 2 weeks quietly shuffling along for 31 miles, picking up my finisher medal and going home.

For me, its the very act of quietly shuffling along. I\’m the most unimpressive runner on earth.

After I got done with my run, I had a small green smoothie sitting in a cooler in the car. It was THE.BEST. SMOOTHIE.EVER. Loved it.

The Remedy for Everything

God is the only goal I have today.

That\’s it. As soon as I think that, my fears dissolve. That is, fear is not just fear. It is my goal of fear. Yes, all my fear is made by me to meet the goal. Once I am afraid, I have no chance of knowing God and knowing I am loved and cared for and safe.

But as soon as I shift my goal from fear to God, I feel fine. I have no goal in this world.

Today I had a bit of extra time. First I bought a new treadmill; a good one from an equipment supplier, not a box store. I need this to reduce my concrete running and to do hill workouts here in flat Houston.

Then, after a little \”work from home\” and lunch, I went out for a 9 mile jog in the park across the street.

An interaction with another person today left me with a low grade ego resentment. As I ran laps around the park, I sorted through my fear. After about 1 hour and 20 minutes, I realized I could give it to God. And so I did. It vanished.

Nothing can bother me if I stick to my goal: God is the only goal I have today.


My spiritual creed starts with a prayer: Father in Jesus\’ name remind me of

Your love for me and of my love for You.

And so, if God is love, then this prayer is answered. In every way my life becomes about remembering His love for me and mine for Him.

If I think He answered with a painful difficult situation to teach me, then I am seeing it wrong.

So, I have a problem with my knee which is probably a torn meniscus. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Did God send it as a difficulty for me to learn or is it an expression of love which I am seeing incorrectly?

I have no neutral thoughts. I see no neutral things. All the meaning I see is what I decided. So, do I choose a loving God or a tyrant?

What is the content of a torn meniscus? Not the form, the content. Am I filled with fear? If so, then I didn\’t choose a loving God but a tyrant.

You realize that society, history and the Judeo-Christian tradition teach that God is a tyrant.

I am forced to change my ideas of what I will do. I am an athlete, but the ego of running and racing is torn from me. Fitness becomes a quiet manifestation with no meaning in the world. Something which has no worldly aspect (ie, not where others can see and react), cannot be of the ego. Hence, it has the potential of being love.

Does it make sense that God is a choice? Yes. If I decided he is a tyrant, then that is what I think. If he actually is love, he wouldn\’t attempt to change me. He would wait until I wanted him; at which point He would send immediate help. Even so, it takes awhile for me to change my choices and beliefs, at least from my perspective.

No, the enlightened or special religious don\’t have an edge because of their position or religious validation. We all have an equal chance to live in God\’s love or not.

I want the content of my life (mind) to be love. And so, that is the help I am given.

The Core of Happiness

Last night as I was riding my Nordic Track, I felt so happy to be one of the few people who get up off their butt and go do something. See, eating peanut butter out of the jar and laying on the bed are options. I certainly could rationalize laying about.

But there is this inner core, this something else, which wants a life of activity, health, fitness. As I exercise, I feel happy. Maybe its just the endorphins. Ok, I\’ll take them.

I ponder the feeling. I know that my efforts to stay in shape are a symptom of my choice for happiness. I used to get pissed off when people said happiness was a choice. Years later, and after being A Course in Miracles student for awhile, I find that I can choose happiness. I can choose the Voice for God. I can choose that inner something as what I identify with, and not my negative troubled ego self.

I don\’t think the God connection is hard wired. I think it is something you can make if you divert your attention to it.

One of my phrases for today is: \”Father my freedom is in You alone.\” This thought helps me surrender the illusion of the world and return to God as my reality.

No Resolutions

I hope everything stays the same in 2012. I have no need but to keep on keep\’en on.

I moved and got a new job in 2011. So I hope neither of those things happens for years.

I find myself totally in love and dedicated to \”The Goal of God\” in this lifetime; as a student of A Course in Miracles. In fact, to say I am totally head over heals in love with God and the Course material is an understatement.

I\’m going to be 53 in a few days. When I was younger, I don\’t think I reflected on what that would be like. I can only frame my life in it\’s spiritual quest; of which endurance training is a part. I do not life in the main stream of society. Running and physical fitness is one of the ways I renounce the world.

I am the owner of a new duplex in Texas. I still walk downstairs and look around the living room and can\’t believe I own this place. It is very much a palace to me. It is also the most practical thing for me to live in given the current circumstances of my life. I do not know what anything is for. The purpose of God is all I really care about.

That I live in Texas was not in the plans for 2011. So I do have to wear the garment of the world loosely. I can\’t really say what the illusion I project will look like.

I have a spiritual creed. I occupy my mind with these thoughts, along with the ACIM work book lessons. When I am running or working out on my equipment, I keep repeating these spiritual thoughts instead of letting my mind wander down dark corridors of fear. The creed hasn\’t changed for months. I touches me deeply and I cling to it. Some of it can only be interpreted by Course students. Terms (like forgiveness, miracle, innocent, Christ vision, atonement, truth, love, holy instant, mind) have different meanings than those used by non-Course people.

Father in my soul\’s name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for You.
If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit, Grace means most to me.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Expanding love is my reality.

In the holy instant I forgive.
Miracles come forth as love expressed.
I am not alone my soul is here.
My soul is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is the Voice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ vision is where they put all their faith.
My mind holds only light and it shines out.
I see God\’s majesty in all others.

God is not symbolic. Love is fact.
His peace is always firm. Love I believe.
Into Your hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens from the dream.
Eternal Silence lives It\’s life in me.
Still and silent Love has set me free.

Truth is my commitment. Joy I am.
Love is my intention. Silence seen.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want.

The Yoke of God

There are people who decide to put their lives in service of religion, whether secular or monastic. As a result of taking up these responsibilities, they receive the approval of the religious community and the belief that God is also happy with them. As they carry out their religious role and responsibility, they also have engaged certain chemical functions in the brain called the dopamine reward cycle.

So the result of religion is a steady drip of dopamine which provides a sense of well being. Like any addict, the person will defend their religious practices to the death; maybe not even knowing that they are defending an addiction, not anything that really has to do with God.

Wait a second! What did I just say? \”…not anything that has to do with God?\”

Yep, either God is every where and equally FOR everyone no matter what, or God is a selfish angry bastard which I want nothing to do with. All religions think they are special to god. The bible describes the angry version of god. I studied the bible in various venues from Roman Catholic Seminary to atheist publications to scholars in Ivy League universities. I no longer believe it is 100% true or sacred. While beautiful and containing wisdom, there are plenty of other documents which are beautiful too.

It is very difficult to leave a belief system because you lose the dopamine reward it was providing. To do without the approval and the dopamine is very frightening and depressing. But, to think different thoughts than the main stream of people, you have to step out of the stream. It is difficult to dare to be different. It is difficult to brave the disapproval of the group.

If there is one monastic practice I\’ve kept strongly, it is renunciation of the world. But I live here, so I renounce by taking myself out of the mainstream. There are numerous ways to not-go-along with the group. When you add them up, it produces a different out look on life. To have different thoughts, you have to get away from the main stream thoughts.period.

I don\’t want my life to be one dopamine reward cycle after another. I don\’t want my God to be a function of dopamine. In not-going-along, I lose my dopamine rewards. So happiness and life satisfaction has to come some other way. God has to have some other basis for being.

I do study some spiritual material, but it is not an evangelical matter. I can\’t even explain it here. The text has to be studied and digested. It\’s thesis is not at all what is taught to most people.

God is Love

I went to sleep last night thinking my spiritual quest was in such a shambles. My structure has fallen apart. I don\’t believe anyone else\’s teachings. As a side note, my life is in limbo as I haven\’t heard back about a major variable.

Today, Sunday, I did my usual sleeping in and I got up with no idea what I\’m doing. I sat down with my coffee and wrote, \”Spirituality. Pittsburgh. KC=just show up and do your best.\”

Then I closed my eyes and remembered the nurturing presence I call love. I have faith in love. I trust this love. I surrender to love. (Somehow the thought of surrender put angst about Pittsburgh to bed).

God is love. But we never really know God. We know love; especially if we are willing to explore love in its abstract form. We don\’t know God. Even those who have had the big enlightenment don\’t know God. This is because the enlightenment is experienced through a biochemical reaction in the brain; which can be reproduced through various physical means. Love doesn\’t do this. It is illogical to identify love as anything more than pure is-ness.

God is love. Not just what Paul says in Corinthians (patient, kind etc.), but the underlying substrate of everything. I mean the substrate of the atom, nurturing the photon. I mean the substrate of the universe, nurturing the birth of suns and galaxies. As a substrate, love just is.

Love is. I can sit quietly and feel nurtured by love. This nurturing feeling is a return to the birth of my consciousness; the time when I came to be. That time is now. I am always now and never before or to be. Now is the meaning of love. My feelings are my faith. The truth is that this love just is. If love is a consciousness, it is a different consciousness than mine. Our relationship is carried out in the intangible such as surrender, trust and faith. Love is not graspable and this quality is what makes it truly God.

Today is a beautiful day outside. I am going to load up my hydro-pak and go for a suburban hike.

Sun Worship

I was reading someone\’s poetic reflections on the beauty of nature at sunrise and sunset. It sounds good on paper, but my American life in the city doesn\’t provide anything charming or mystic about the sun. Its just plain old freaking hot; so turn on the AC.

I do have an inner sun (the God part), which I could say is the only sun I appreciate. If I appreciate the mysticism of nature, its more in the silence of predawn hours when I am out running. Or the call of the first bird. This morning, I ran in the predawn heat and humidity; but it was peaceful.

Should I stop believing in God since I have no proof? I am the type of believer who says, \”Who then made all this?\” The physical world is an illusion. The energy behind it is more what I mean by creation.

I\’m also the type of believer who says, \”Into your hands I commend my spirit.\” After I surrender my life like that, I really do feel at peace with what ever outcome happens. If I was merely an animal, I wouldn\’t need to do this consciously. If I was merely an animal, I wouldn\’t have to decide if I want to live either.

Deep down under all that I am, before you get to the God part, is hatred for being alive. I am aware of it, and its effects on my life. I don\’t know what the cure for it is; so I just deny it power over the life decision and give it donuts instead. That seems to work!