From Chapter Eleven-- SCIENCE GOD and YOU-- The Ancient Theory of Everything
What part does SCIENCE play in your life? If you are like most, it provides only a faint backdrop against which to intellectually weigh the choices we make in building our worldview. Don’t think you have a worldview? Do you believe that your only hope, should you be diagnosed with cancer, is the medical establishment? How do you respond to dire threats that the world’s coastal regions will soon be under water? Do you believe the major happenings in the world are accidental or the result of purposeful action? Do you believe in Evolution or Intelligent Design? Do you control your life or are your choices dictated by “outside” events? Do you believe man is basically good or bad? Whichever you have accepted as truth--these and many other accepted beliefs about life comprise your worldview. How you see or understand the world around you in many ways dictates the path of your life—and your attitude about it. Will your choices make a difference at “the end?” For each of us it is worth taking a good long look at what we believe and why.
First we must look at how consensus is developed over time around certain accepted beliefs. It is important to know why we believe what we do, whether we have really thought it through or have just accepted consensus. Do you accept the scientific consensus that we evolved from cellular life which started with a “big bang”?
And conversely, why do millions of men and wo-men believe that some higher intelligence—a GOD, created life sometime in the past—life that has lived, died, vanished, flourished and succeeded to populate the world we know today? Why do they believe in “creation” which is equally as scientifically unprovable as the evolution described earlier?
The question brings us to YOU. Do you and I believe whatever we do just because we want to believe it? Will our beliefs shift as we get closer to the age at which our parents passed away? Were we somehow predestined or programmed to believe a certain way? Was it just our environmental conditions that taught us a worldview? Or was it something else? And what difference could an effort to understand life more fully really make? If we had had the opportunity to build our own worldview when we were young as opposed to just accepting the opinions of those around us, would it have made a difference?
“Science, God and You,” or something similar, should be the name of a self-discovery course taught in every secondary school and college, a prerequisite to choosing our life’s work and living our lives.
And we’re not talking here about a “secret” self- help means of getting “what you want.”
In Rhonda Byrne’s well-known book, The Secret, there is an element of truth in the idea that positive visualization and proper use of the “law of attraction” will improve what shows up in your experience of the world. This, however, only leads deeper into the illusory, temporary, material world— possibly, and temporarily, with more money in the bank or a nicer car. The more worthwhile goal is not a concentration on more material “success” in a temporary body, but the awakening to the unfoldment of unlimited permanent “success.” This success heals relationships, brings health and opens doors previously unknown and unforeseeable. These doors always lead one closer to God and, as the Bible said, to increased dominion over the laws of the world.
Mary Baker Eddy once explained the difference between the physical or space-time world and the spiritual or eternal world something like this: Imagine a short stick—say, a foot long. It has a beginning, birth, on one end and on the other end, death. It is finite, temporal. Now imagine a circular ring or hoop. It has no beginning and no end. Here it represents eternity, infinity. It has nothing in common with the straight stick. It can by its nature know nothing temporal just as the straight stick can know nothing of infinity. Neither can be part of the other. The “linear” straight stick as the material, temporal world represents our lives. They begin and end leaving behind nothing but a brief, conscious remembrance in usually only a handful of humans temporarily left behind, soon to follow. Religion, being of the world, is part of the straight stick. God, Spirit is the endless circle.
Ancient wisdoms handed down through the ages are concerned with finding a “bridge” between the two worlds. There have been many throughout the ages who have claimed to have made this connection, although “bridge” is a misnomer. It is actually a “leap of faith” because, other than faith, there is no real connection or bridge between the corporeal and the spiritual. In reality, we don’t need a bridge. We need a mental “frequency modulator” to convert our thinking from VHF to UHF—remember those old TV fre-quencies? Weak analogy, I know, but isn’t that what prayer and meditation does? It changes the frequency of our minds—it tunes out the coarse world vibes and allows the finer frequency of spirit to resonate into our being. When you get really good at it, it carries over into your daily life—24/7. Yes, it changes things. One can even demonstrate, as Jesus did, the dominance of the eternal spirit over the temporal material in the form of healing our relationships, our disease, lack and even death.
And now conventional science has even discovered that these two distinct “worlds” do exist. Scientists believe the “unified field” exists, and it definitely cannot be part of the “material world.” Scientists may not refer to the “world” outside space-time as spiritual or super-natural but cannot deny the existence of the unified field. They “discovered” it! Most likely, established science will continue to explain this unfathomable infinite field of eternal energy in some complex mathematical equations, but no, it’s not about math, it’s all about you and me and all others that ever were—connected in infinite, eternal Spirit. And Spirit welcomes us back!
As we have discussed, the world we recognize is a world of symbols—mental constructs that allow us to function together and communicate but keep us from knowing the deeper truth. To quote Alan Watts:
We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation…we are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world that actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.
And, conversely, he famously said:
To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water because if you do, you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.
So, can you know? Of course, you already do. You were born knowing and then you were taught to be a “stranger in a strange land.” And we all learned it well, so well we can’t imagine anything but what we see around us. It’s REAL! Isn’t it? I bumped my head on that table and it hurt! How could it not be real? By all scientific accounts we should be invisible. The molecules that make up our bodies are nearly 100% space and what’s left is only slightly more dense bundles of invisible energy. We are some really strange beings. We only see a tiny amount of the full spectrum of light energy. If we could see ultra-violet light, we would be able to see nothing else!
You don’t need to fully comprehend the dream nature of the temporal world to experience the freedom from it.
Here’s some good news. You know all those seers, shamans, prophets, the Buddha, and all the rest who had some ability to see the truth and live it-- even the Christ who walked on water and rose from the dead? They weren’t rocket scientists. They didn’t have to understand calculus or become a world chess master. You don’t either. All you have to do is make a conscious effort to let go of the world’s attraction! That’s all they did. Well, Jesus was born without it, but he was different! Does that mean you will starve to death or have to live under a bridge? No, that’s part of the beauty of Spirit being real and the material not being “substance.”
You can’t but increase your peace and supply by seeking and getting closer to your spiritual self.
In fact, as we let go of the importance of our physical ego or personal identity, the “world” loosens its grip on us and we learn a little more about our spiritual identity. What we learn can only bring peace to our lives and make our lives better. This is because we are creating them—matter is thought, remember? As our thoughts change, we are more at peace. When we are more peaceful we do attract more health and well-being whether we are a lawyer, a plumber, a nurse or the leader of the free world.
You can unlearn the limiting beliefs that have been piling up on your image of yourself as the person you see in the mirror. Even when not meditating you can practice and learn to let go of habits that sap energy and peace. Thoughts create what we perceive, and there are both conscious and subconscious levels of thought. We can let our meditation work on the subconscious level, and we can consciously work on the rest. This is what the Bible called “throwing off the old (mortal) man.” The old man or woman is the one totally controlled and immersed in the world. The new man or woman realizes that there is no one to blame for anything he or she perceives but him or herself and begins putting on the “new man.” Do you have to begin some ongoing psychological struggle lying on a psychiatrist’s couch for years trying to uncover your “hangups?” No, it’s much simpler than that. We all have some combination of world-taught habits which we can agree to ourselves to let go of. You can accomplish much and “prove the concept” like Miguel Ruiz suggested in his famous 1997 book, The Four Agreements. Just do one test and then you will know:
Take one of the four agreements-- say the one about not taking things personally. Can you agree with yourself to stop taking things personally? When you “take something personally” you are assuming that what the other person said is real and you accept it as part of your reality. It saps a certain amount of your energy. But try this: Agree with yourself that you will notice when you are taking something personally and consciously let it go, knowing that the words spoken by another actually have nothing to do with you or who you are. Instead of dwelling on them, don’t. Just let it fly over. Realize that the other person’s “reality illusion” has nothing to do with yours! You will quickly begin to notice something. You gained a little energy and peace. In one day you can know—you can learn how letting go of the world works and what the benefit is. Once you see clearly what happens when you let go of one unnecessary thought you can awaken to the good news that letting go of all negative thoughts and assumptions (and even some good ones) is possible, doable and more liberating than anything in the world.
There is only one problem and one solution.
You have moved up a rung on the ladder—the ladder out of “the muck and mire” of worldly attachment toward enlightenment! This is what the Bible actually means when it says to “build your house on the rock” of Jesus’ teaching.
The “rock” is the knowledge that you are created in the image and likeness of our spiritual God. You are not “of the world.”
You are learning that the world is illusion. And did you have to take up residence in a cave in Tibet? No, in fact, the hustle and bustle of the modern world gives you daily opportunities to practice the art of detachment. Not abandonment. You can, as Jesus taught, learn to be in the world and not be of it. The real you doesn’t belong to it. You can experience the gradual release from the negative effects caused by the acceptance of the world as something outside of you and out of your control.
Think of this process of releasing the world’s hold as “forgiveness,” that is, forgiveness of yourself and forgiveness of everything and anyone around you. You forgive yourself and everyone else for imagining themselves to be material beings fighting for life. When you see it this way, it becomes easier to see even your enemies as just other spiritual beings caught in the illusion. They can’t hurt you but you can help them by seeing them as they really are. A Course in Miracles says it this way:
Forgiveness is the means by which we will remember. Through forgiveness the thinking of the world is reversed. The forgiven world becomes the gate of Heaven, because by its mercy we can at last forgive ourselves. Holding no one a prisoner to guilt, we can at last become free. Acknowledging Christ in all our brothers, we recognize His presence in ourselves. Forgetting all our misperceptions, and with nothing from the past to hold us back, we can remember God. Beyond this learning we cannot go.
ACIM Preface, page xiii
Jesus, said, “the kingdom of God is within you…you cannot serve two masters—God and mammon…for you will love one and despise the other.” The lesson is to learn to love God, Spirit, the Spirit in you. “Let the dead bury their dead.” You must put the oxygen mask on yourself first to be able to help the children (others). You learn to understand the world as something your mind is participating in creating. It’s not outside of you at all. This is what is meant in the Book of Romans [8:28] when it says “all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His will.” All those who believe in the power of Spirit, the only true eternal substance, are joined in the Love that connects us all. To the extent we turn toward “the light” and away from acceptance of the world’s reality and control, we experience “the peace of God.” Matthew 6:22 [KJV] says, “The light of the body is the eye. If, therefore, thy eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light.” We must learn to be single-minded. We must choose to believe wholly in spirit. When we do, our experience will be of a peace that “passes understanding.” We will still be in the word, but no longer of it. Once you experience this, even the tiniest bit, you will know it is true. YOU CAN KNOW.