Wholeheartedness is key. To once again know ourselves to be the heart of Life as God created Life, we must be wholeheartedly committed to serving God in this role as an act of our free will – and apply for the position as if we were applying for the most rewarding and amazing career we could imagine. At first it may not feel like an expression of freedom to do so. It may feel like an act of obedience or surrender as if contrary to our freedom to do whatever pleases us. So long as we equate being free to being neglectful, thoughtless, indifferent, undisciplined and wild in self-indulgently pleasing our individual selves no matter the cost to others, we will resist restoration to the heart of God. Under that false definition of “freedom,” our egos will continue to convince us that pleasing God means sacrificing what’s important to us. When we value individuality above community in unbalanced ways, we cause suffering – to ourselves and others. To foster the continuation of such unbalanced living, the ego will continue to value pride as the alternative to shame and argue that cooperating with God’s will is humiliating and can only be done at a great cost to our pride.
The ego is correct that submitting to and cooperating with God’s will and learning to live within the heart of God in line with the Divine Constant is not prideful. But neither is it shameful. It is having the humility to reconnect with true power rather than A) remaining disconnected, isolated, lonely and devoid of the joys of healthy intimacy and B) trying to hide from deeply dissatisfying feelings of powerless and loss. The experience of being restored to alignment with God’s will is vastly rewarding but not on ego’s terms. So long as we value ego’s terms, we’ll resist God’s terms. The choice is stark. We cannot live by both ego’s fear-controlled, loveless terms and God’s courageous, love-enriched terms. We must eventually choose one or the other. And we must choose wholeheartedly and remain committed to that choice no matter how the ego tries to tempt us to return to or compromise with ego’s terms. As we gain progress in implementing our choice to forego the ego entirely, we’ll become increasingly eager to continue making that choice.
For a while, it will seem as if doing what pleases God requires that we do what does not please ourselves. That sense of loss will continue only as long as we continue to mistakenly identify with ego as our “self.” That God’s will for Life and our will for Life are one will is not immediately evident to us because our ego-oriented habits will not immediately give way to the new set of habits we will acquire as we master the discipline of living within the Divine Constant as an expression of God’s unconditionally loving heart. One of the most persuasive arguments the ego will present in favor of remaining loyal to the ego and avoiding learning to live as G.O.A.L. will be to point out that awakening to our emotions and becoming less numb to our hearts requires that we become aware of the negative emotions that the ego convinced us to store away earlier in life. Under the ego’s influence, it is true that instead of processing our emotions on a current basis we bottled them up and allowed them to accumulate. The ego will argue, “Look, you’ve stored up a lot of pain trying to avoid feeling it earlier in life. Do you really want to feel that pain now? Why not keep bottling it up and avoid feeling it as the ego allows you to do?”
Yes, the pain is there, stored up from years of habitually avoiding being honest about your emotions. With God’s able assistance you will be empowered to look directly at this pain, be honest about it and grieve through it to the brighter life beyond it, where pain will no longer accumulate as a plague upon your heart and mind and motivate you to participate in cycles of violence – as victim or victimizer. You gain God’s assistance by asking for it and being wholeheartedly committed to receiving it in all the forms it takes. You can remain enslaved to pain (and to its accumulated version called “chronic suffering”) by continuing to live by your ego’s false identity and obeying the ego’s demand that you condemn and punish yourself and others for “sins,” wrongs and guilt that can be forgiven instead. Or you can become free of pain and suffering by envisioning life beyond the pain, beyond the suffering and beyond the ego and engaging in the process of grieving to attain relief, a process through which your vision of the Divine Constant draws you like iron filings to a magnetic field. Which option really pleases you? Are you really pleased by the prospect of enduring pain and suffering forever as you condemn yourself and others to it by identifying with ego or are you likely to be more pleased by the prospect of ending pain and suffering? Endure or end pain and suffering? Is that really a difficult choice? The main difficulty in the choice presents itself at the beginning – are you willing to take the risk that the Divine Constant exists and will prove to welcome you to life within it? Are you willing to risk giving up the power to inflict painful revenge in order to discover your natural power to share love and healing instead? Your sense of risk will gradually fade the more you experience the fruits of your exercising faith in God and allow God to prove Eternity’s favorable faithfulness to you.
Only our egos resist God’s will. Our true nature as created by God does not resist. It remains receptive to God’s presence, power and purpose as a beloved child remains receptive to the caring presence, power and purpose of a trusted, nurturing human parent. (Much of our resistance to trusting God as a nurturing Divine Parent is rooted in our past experiences with human parents and other authority figures whom we expected to care for us on favorable terms but instead treated us according to ego’s terms and – by neglect, abuse or both – failed to express the qualities of God’s care and caused us to feel betrayed. Now many of us fear being betrayed, rejected and abandoned by God as well as by others.) As we let down our ego’s guarded stance towards God as Supreme Authority and Caregiver and risk exploring the ego-diminishing experience of God we will be amazed and delighted by what we discover. The wonderful features and benefits of being human that we’d not known or encountered before – or thought we’d never know or encounter again – come alive and energize life more completely. We feel the magnetic field of God’s love flowing through and around us and become convinced that we are detecting what scientists have not yet been able to detect. In this experience, we will know that we are the God-detectors and that our subjective experiences of God are like the responses of iron filings to a magnet’s magnetic field. Being susceptible to magnetism, the iron filings cannot resist aligning themselves with the magnetic field. Being susceptible to Love’s Power because we are created by Love, we similarly cannot resist aligning ourselves and all we are with Love’s energizing invitation in our hearts.
Our struggle to let down resistance and trust takes place within our wills and minds. God has no struggle. God is wholeheartedly committed to our well-being and always has been and always will be. God knows no other way to Be. The struggle is ours, between our ego’s orientation and our divine, natural orientation. God trusts that our nature as created offspring of the Origin of Life will ultimately prevail. There is a struggle within each of us only because we’ve been raised to believe in the ego as our identity. Our minds have taken up that concept of ego-identity in powerful ways to do our best to adopt it and adapt to it. We put our faith in those who taught us to be egos and in the rules, roles and rituals by which we learned to belong as an ego in an ego-oriented society. We may feel betrayed when we discover that “obeying” God’s authority is not humiliating – as it may have been for us to obey human authority figures. We will discover that “obedience” to God’s will is not a sacrifice at all. It’s a privilege. It’s a decision to cooperate, collaborate and co-create with Love’s presence, power and purpose so as to cease to feel little or no personal significance, power or purpose within our own lives. We will come alive with our own incredible personal presence, power and purpose because we aligned our wills with the Divine Constant and learned to live wholeheartedly committed to all it asks of us to be true to ourselves.
We are not our egos. The ego is a false identity we adopted to survive in the modern, ego-dominated society where God’s true nature as the Source of Love has been denied – at best relegated to an accessory to modern lifestyles and at worst discredited and discarded altogether. God is not a handbag, necktie or other accessory to Life. God is the main point of Life, all that makes Life worth living. Modern lifestyles that relegate God to a minor role or dismiss Divinity from the team are not actually lifestyles. They are deathstyles masquerading as lifestyles. They are deathstyles to the same extent to which they define God, the Creator and Sustainer of Life, to be irrelevant or indifferent – or worse our hostile adversary. As we learn to restore God to supreme relevance and benevolence at the center of our lives, we will awaken in our hearts to experiences of the Divine Love that have otherwise been missing in action in our lives. Without God, our lives may be filled with endless action but still be empty of love. Divine Love will be our reward for “obeying” God and discovering that our free will is truly an honored element of God’s will. In fact, our will cannot be truly free unless it honors God’s will as its source. The negative connotations of “obedience” fade away as we realize that all God asks of us is to consent and cooperate in allowing God to deliver us from ego and its fears so that God may gracefully deliver to us all our hearts desire. The ego asks for our compliance with its subtly manipulative, seductive tyranny. God invites us to openly, honestly and transparently explore investing our wholehearted consent and cooperation within the Divine Constant and with each other so as to create together the world beyond ego we may have sometimes dared to hope is possible.
Learning to relate to God as a gracefully generous and gentle lover requires renewal of lost trust. It requires that we trust a Power Greater Than Ourselves to have our best interests in mind and at heart and to show us step by step how love reliably works within the Divine Constant. The process of trust-building between ourselves and God requires that we risk trusting and appreciating (instead of judging and condemning) each other too. Through experiences of broken promises and other types of violated trust that we’ve experienced at the hands of other people’s egos, we have learned 1) not to trust God or each other, 2) not to feel our emotions or be sensitive to and aware of our hearts and the hearts of others, and 3) not to talk about things that really matter (as Claudia Black points out in her helpful book*). To rise beyond ego means to let go of the ego’s dysfunctional rules of distrust, heartlessness and superficiality and move ever deeper into and throughout Life’s enriching, adventurous journey as explorers, pioneers and settlers, not to displace anyone but to find our own place within the infinitely expansive Divine Constant. In contrast, modern society majors in maintaining distrust, heartlessness and superficiality as our steady diet and as the defining features of the tightly defended, closed comfort zones within which we cower as egos.
The Divine Constant is not our ego’s comfort zone (or status quo, sheltering bubble or closed social system) but it is our Natural Self’s native creativity zone within which we come fully online and enlivened and dare to take the risk of changing for the better and unfolding to be all God created us to be. It is not the realm where human scientists can detect all phenomena and control all experiments on human terms. It is a realm of risks. Some experiments may blow up in our face and splash egg on our egos. Yet, even experiments that seem to end in ignoble failure contain valuable lessons. Within God’s grace, no matter how our explorative experimentation may progress as we discover more about who we are and how to express ourselves, we remain secure in our knowledge that we are loved and cared for by a God who is wholeheartedly devoted to us personally – each and everyone one of us singly and all of us collectively. God’s solidarity with each and all of us is unshakeable, even during our most adolescent phases and fascinations. And God is wholeheartedly committed to our learning and making progress through all of our experiences as divine “works in progress” who are ever evolving and emerging to be, represent and express the more comprehensive nature of God’s mind, heart and will.
We are God’s will power set free to either live according to the Divine Constant or repudiate it and remain apart from it until we tire of being apart from it and opt to join with it as an expression of our freedom. Freedom is what it’s all about. That is why Martin Luther King, Jr. reported after his encounter with God that he was “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last.” My life purpose is to encourage us to all join MLK Jr. in fulfilling the dream he asked us to envision with him. He saw what God was seeing and rejoiced to share with us what God had shown him. So every visionary dreams of doing to the ever-evolving enhancement of the quality of Life on Earth.
A visionary’s inspiration of the Divine Constant:
Fast forward several decades, the Divine Constant remains constantly honored:
And articulated in a variety of ways:
I propose that we are here on Earth to explore the fullest expanses of Life in the context and under the guidance of Love as shared with God and each other. We are not here to pursue our lonely, misguided explorations as egos in the context of isolating fears that deprive us of the immense joys of sacred, enthusiastic, heartfelt intimacy. We are here instead to serve each other as expressions of the Divine Constant, encouraging all of us to participate in that renewing, ancient territory. Let us agree together to value all that God holds valuable and offers to share generously. Let us let go of all the valueless that ego once convinced us to value. It feels miraculous to realize that God encourages us to try new experiences beyond pride and shame and guilt and blame and there – in the beyond – engage with Life playfully as innocent children are free to do if given that latitude by those who watch over them as authority figures. That is the latitude God grants us. It is also our hearts’ desires come true.
Could life be as simple as deciding to wholeheartedly have faith in a benevolent and merciful God who has no need to argue with anyone nor punish or make anyone feel guilty or ashamed for disagreeing or being different? What would it feel like to be totally safe while expressing a creative idea or heartfelt feeling to which the mainstream majority may at first react adversely? What would it feel like to say, “Hey, I have something to say that’s controversial and I’m not sure if it’s correct, but I feel the need to say it anyway because I believe it may be helpful?” and not be ridiculed or in any other manner made to regret speaking up? What if such uncensored freedom of expression allowed solutions to social issues to arise from the depths of our hearts as we listened to the Spirit of Love within us? What would it be like if we all did our best to be nonjudgmental as God is instead of defending our egos and projecting our fears on one another?
It is easy to project fears upon the defenseless innocents and make them play the role of scapegoats. Would it not be more honest and require more courage to recognize our own fears directly and admit how we’re tempted to pretend we are not afraid? Would our relationships work out better is we did not allow our undisclosed fears and their resulting temptation to pretend to dictate how we think, speak and act? The ego counsels that we hide all our emotions, including our fears, but also our anger, sorrow, peace, hope and joy. It counsels that we project images of pride (or second best, shame) as substitutes for honest emotions caringly expressed within our relationships. The ego tends to characterize anger as an expression of power when in fact it’s an expression of deep-seated feelings of powerlessness. In contrast, the Spirit of Love counsels that we find within our hearts the courage to stand together humbly as honest citizens and live at peace with one another. The Divine Constant welcomes us to be a constant source of peace, hope, joy and love and a model of emotions of all types expressed caringly. Constantly. Can we be it? Yes, we can, by God’s grace and with God’s empowering assistance.
Would it not be amazing to discover how right both scientists dedicated to the highest principles of science and believers in God dedicated to the highest principles of sacredness have been all along in seeking to be more than superficial observers of Life? May we all learn to look deep into our hearts and there find persuasive cause to see eye to eye and cease to take an eye for an eye. May we discover within our shared experience of the Divine Constant that
I – I = O and
I + I = WE as US (Wise Explorers as United Spirits)
amid a never-ending quest to experience our deepest satisfaction as GOAL.
*Black, It Will Never Happen to Me, 2nd Edition, MAC Publishing, Bainbridge Island WA 2001.
© Art Nicol 2015