Is that your Love crammed into that box?

“Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving somethingand it is only such love that can know freedom.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

I was watching “A River Runs through It” on Netflix the other day, and smiled when I saw a wooden carving above the pulpit that said, “God Is Love.” Scriptures say that God is Love [1 John 4:8]; but most of us don’t know what that means. We can’t comprehend the vastness, the power and the unconditional nature of real Love. The same can be said for our comprehension of God.

God in a BoxWe see God through the only lens we have: Human. Our vision is myopic at best, egoic at worst, and assures distortion of the image. Our visual field is somewhat of a box—containing and confining. We’ve placed God there, where we can observe but not experience.

We’ve created and publicized God as looking human, living in the beyond. Before we could fly above the clouds, we believed that God and heaven were there. They weren’t; but at least there was sunlight, which is more than we can say for the darkness that astronomy and astronauts have found in the Deep Beyond. And oh by the way, they haven’t run into God up there, either.

Frankenstein is a rank amateur

We have bestowed upon God a crazed, conflicted, sociopathic human personality that would be natural for anyone confined to a box. In the bat of an eyelash and with the severity of whiplash, our God performs acts that are as angelic as forgiveness and as demonic as genocide.

Our God issues violent threats of eternal damnation, causes excruciating pain and suffering upon innocent devotees such as Job and Jesus, causes the sun to shine upon the wicked and the good, and welcomes prodigal children home—no matter how errant they’ve been. Did I mention that He’ll bring a pox upon your house? Not really. But He’s ordered you to kill your kids if they’re disrespectful.

According to scripture, a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways [James 1:8]. What does that say about the God that we’ve created? More important, what does it say about us as creators?

Love me, or you’ll regret it!

Our God is so small and humanly insecure that He demands worship. The scriptures we’ve written say that all things work together for good for those that love God [Romans 8:28]. What does that imply about those who don’t? Have we created a quid pro quo God for whom love is a mere trade?

Our limited perception of what God is and what God does makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us to wrap our arms around the notion that Love grants free will to Its beloved. Always and forever, as the song says. Wish it could be on Earth, as it is in Heaven.

If asked, we will tell you that we believe that God has granted us free will. Despite that, we’ll also tell you that we believe that God has gifted us with commandments. Our gaze is so transfixed on the God Box, we seem to have forgotten that commandments are the antithesis of freedom. Commandments control; they don’t liberate.

It’s amazing that it doesn’t occur to thinking people that it would be extremely sadistic for God to grant us total freedom, then brutally punish us throughout eternity for exercising that freedom. Wait a minute! We’re here for less than a century! Even if we sinned every day we’re on the planet, eternal punishment far exceeds any crime. That’s simply another dramatic illustration of how tragically we’ve demonized God—and how thoroughly we misunderstand Love.

The worst job in the Universe

Our God is so small and tyrannical that even though He is sovereign and can do anything He wants, He chooses the mind-numbingly tedious and distasteful task of keeping records of how we use our freedom, every minute of every hour in every time zone for every body. Why would God spend His precious time that way? Oh yeah: So that He can have documented justification for brutally torturing us at a later date. Please, are we talking about Satan or Love?

Beyond not being divine; that story line is disturbingly diabolical. It would be more merciful for God to simply force us to do what He wants. It would spare us the misery and spare Him the drudgery of watching bad acting on every stage on Earth for centuries—without intermission.

But oh! Forcing us to do the right thing wouldn’t grant us freedom, would it? And, boys and girls, if it ain’t freedom, it ain’t Love.


Let’s put our thinking caps on and consider: What would Love do? Well, real Love probably would create a what-goes-around-comes-around world. Haven’t we been admonished to judge not and condemn not? Not one but three gospel writers tell us that “with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” [Matthew 7.2] In the Old Testament, it’s “an eye for an eye.” [Exodus 21:23]

Of course, the scribes were not referring to us as we know ourselves: as mortal bodies. We’ve seen many a body’s lifetime end without reaping what it sowed. But we’re not physical bodies. We acknowledge that with the belief that God will punish us forever. I’m sorry, physical bodies don’t last forever.

We are eternal souls, not the physical characters we’re portraying here on Earth’s stage. As souls, we will not escape the karmic ricochet.

Life is always fair

If God is Love, Life will always be fair. It’s the first Drama Queen Workshop Principle. In a whatever-you-do-will-return-to-you world, we have total freedom to choose our outcomes; we are punished by our sins, not for them. That frees us to choose our own karmic butt-whipping. It also frees God to have more joy-filled days. And hey, who deserves it more?

If we don’t know what Love is and what Love does, is it any wonder that so few of us truly experience it? Is it any mystery that we feel emptiness and longing? We yearn for that kind of love from others because inside us, where God really lives, Love seeks its own.

Remarkably, God’s love is so intense and the freedom it grants us is so overwhelming and unfathomable that we separate from it and from each other. Now God sits over there—in a heaven we’ve created in the Great Black Vacuous Hole beyond Earth’s atmosphere with no gravitational pull, performing menial and maniacal tasks, and woefully confined to a box.

And we lie over here, lonely and dying for unconditional Love.

Love as real as an avatar

Part Three of a three-part series

I apologize for the extended pause. Now, back to our other-worldly love story…

I recently stumbled upon a really cool nail salon in Chicago’s South Loop—a yummy combination of great price ($35 mani-pedi) and elegant decor. And the pièce de résistance: “Sex and the City” DVDs play non-stop. Take your time with those nails, please!

Yesterday’s encore episode was about judgment—more accurately, about being judgmental. It reminded me that practically every human being on Earth judges others, and it’s always based on superficial stuff: looks, job, bank account, race, religion, sexual orientation, whatever we decide is important.

Judging others is one of our favorite sports, and Ego is our defensive coach. No chump, Ego is as resilient and relentless as its invincible cousin, the roach, and apparently as ubiquitous. Wherever it goes, judgment tags along. The pair has been spotted as far away as the fictitious planet Pandora, a gaseous moon inhabited by the Na’vi, a peculiar looking breed of humanoids. (But who’s judging?)

Even on Pandora, eyes can be deceiving. Ask Neytiri, a young Na’vi maiden from the Omaticaya tribe, who spotted someone in the lush forest. He appeared to be a kinsmen: Between 9′ and 12′ tall? Check. Blue-striped? Check. Jaundiced-eyed? Uh huh. From the Omaticaya tribe? Not so much.

Actually, he was an American named Jake Sully, an imposter, an avatar cloned to look like a tribesman. Instantly, Neytiri drew her bow and arrow, aimed, and prepared to shoot.

How many of us can relate to that? Who hasn’t hurled verbal or visual arrows at perceived enemies, hoping to pierce their hearts, shatter their egos and knock them to their knees (ideally, at our feet)? When we’ve gone that far, it ain’t easy to back off. And something seemed to be telling Neytiri to do just that.

Woodsprite dances on Neytiri's bow

Neytiri aims

She struggled as we do when our intuition tells us that we’re making a big mistake, and our ego is screaming, “Destroy!” Neytiri aimed again.

Suddenly, a Woodsprite—a seed from the revered Tree of Souls—landed on her arrow, then another and another. Puzzled, Neytiri paused. The wispy jellyfish-like Woodsprites then floated onto her target, the American interloper. She eased her grip on the bow. What was going on? She wondered.

By dispatching the Woodsprites, the Omaticaya’s Divine Spirit, known as “Eywa,” was sending Neytiri not only a powerful signal, but clear direction: Inside the avatar beats a heart that is pure.

On Pandora, a pure heart is revered. The body in which is beats—even if it is flawed—is precious. Neytiri backed off.

Unlike the Omaticaya, we don’t always receive visible clues when the Divine communicates with us. We typically have to listen for a still small voice that’s deep inside. Complicating matters, our egos insist that we should dig in our heels rather than admit that we have misjudged.

In this case, Neytiri decided to accept direction from the Divine, a decision that not only altered her life, but all life on Pandora. It was no mistake that Jake had been sent to Pandora instead of his twin brother. The eternal soul within Jake’s manufactured avatar and physical body had a destiny: Save Pandora from the American invaders. It had been his soul’s purpose since The Beginning.

Forced to spend more time together, Neytiri’s judgment of Jake, and his of her, gradually transformed into “namaste,” a Sanskrit word that means, “The God in me sees the God in you.” When they proclaimed to each other, “I see you,” they weren’t referring to visual sight. Physical eyes judge and separate. Real sight is magical: it sees the heart, the divinity, the true beauty and perfection of another.

Only those who understand that they are spirit—made in the image of God and having a temporary physical experience—can see the beauty and divinity within themselves. These are the only souls who are fearless enough and feel worthy enough to give and receive unconditional love—and can graciously release those who can’t.

After all, anyone can say, “I love you.” Few can say, “I see you.”

In Memoriam: Life as we once knew it

I watched in wonder as the debate over Notre Dame’s invitation for the President of these United States to speak at this year’s commencement hit a fever pitch of judgmental rhetoric—led by those who call themselves Christians. Fascinating stuff.

Maybe I’ve been watching the drama on Earth from too far away. I’ve obviously lost the ability to zoom in on the important stuff. I certainly missed the moment that “judge not and you will not be judged, condemn not and you will not be condemned” ceased to be central to the teachings of the radically non-religious Jewish rabbi named Yeshua. People on both sides of the issue claim to be his followers; but they clearly don’t walk his walk.

The Loud Mouth is brash enough to call out non-Christlike Christians; but the President, who consistently confronts hot topics directly, without being confrontational, delivered a speech that appealed for both sides to disagree if they must; but do it with Christ-like civility:

“I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it—indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory—the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

“Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”

As the resident bull in a china shop, let me take this debate to a place where our President couldn’t: To “The Beginning.” At the heart of the abortion issue is this: When does Life begin—and does a woman have a right to choose to give birth to an infant body?

Much of the debate rages around whether Life begins at conception or at some stage in the development of an embryo or fetus. The presumption here is that Life is physical—and that a human can give It, take It, save It, or even make It miserable. Perhaps we have forgotten what Life is—Life with a capital “L,” that is.

Have you ever seen Life with your physical eyes? Where was It? What was It doing? What did It look like? What was it wearing? Can you draw a picture of Life? Have you ever photographed It? How old was It?

What does Life look like at birth? At death? Can you describe it? Have you ever thought about it? Have you considered the possibility that we have made the words “life” and “body” synonymous?

When Life leaves a body, the body dies. Does that mean that Life is dead, too? Unless you send me evidence to the contrary, Life—like Spirit, like Soul and like God—is invisible to those in the physical world. And, unlike those in the physical world, Spirit, Soul, God, and Life have no beginning and have no end.

We have forgotten. That’s why this Memorial Day weekend, I honor the Divinity that we once knew as Life: The powerful, invincible, God-like essence that we temporarily abandoned to slip into costumes called human bodies and solve problems by disrespecting, maligning, berating, battling and killing those who disagree with us, or belong to a different army, tribe, gang, race, gender, sexual orientation, political party or religion.

I mourn the loss of our memories. We have forgotten that at “the end of the day,” our souls will not be held accountable for how others treated us—only how we treated them. If we remembered that—even if we forgot what Life really is—Memorial Day would be just another day on the tiny planet called Earth.