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.

WWLD?

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.

Declaring Freedom, Choosing Oppression

At this time every year, Americans celebrate our freedom from tyranny and oppression. What irony. We decry others’ extremist behaviors; but we can’t see how, in our individual interactions, we are also tyrants and oppressors.

We wonder how those whom we’ve labeled “terrorists” can claim that their actions honor God. But aren’t we doing the same? At every opportunity—at least once weekly, sometimes daily on Facebook or Twitter—we oppress and terrorize others, typically in forceful, angry and condescending tones. We are “saved” from God’s wrath, and they are not. They must do, say and believe what we want them to believe. Or else.

Terrorism, tyranny and religion thrive on threats of extreme punishment (satanic torture that lasts for an eternity) and extreme reward (eternal bliss with vestal virgins). Both rely on the premise that God solves problems through punishments that exceed any human crime: He sadistically hurts or destroys all or part of His creation through genocidal floods, filicide (feel free to consult an online dictionary), torture, natural disasters, plagues and curses. Fascinating stuff. It gives new definition to the word “divine.”

We kid ourselves when we claim to love a God who not only lacks compassion, but is extremely brutal to others in our human family. How do we react to such a sadistic God? Actually, our options are limited. We can:

  1. Emulate this brutal behavior and call it “holy;”
  2. Spread panic by warning everyone within earshot that God is going to heinously brutalize them forever unless they believe that He has heinously brutalized others;

In the case of those who call themselves Christians, there are other options: We can realize that God is not bi-polar. Love is not vengeful or inhumane. If God is Love, God does not do things that Love does not do.

We also can carefully read the accounts of ancient scribes. Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong says that anyone who believes that everything in the Bible is true, simply hasn’t read it. Most quote the text that proves their point and discard text that contradicts it:

  • God could be in only one place at a time—in or out of the Garden of Eden—meaning that God is not omnipresent;
  • God didn’t know where Adam and Eve were when He returned to the Garden—meaning that God is not omniscient;
  • God gave some of His power to Satan—meaning that God is not omnipotent;
  • The number of animals who entered the ark, the number of days it rained, and the length of the stay on the ark constantly changed, sometimes in the same verse;
  • Jesus was born in a barn and in his parents’ home;
  • God is everywhere, but there’s only one path to get there—and other inconsistencies.

Let’s declare our independence from oppression and oppressing. Let’s unshackle ourselves from beliefs that denigrate God as an angry, vengeful and sadistic tyrant. Let’s celebrate our freedom to relax in the embrace of a God who loves us unconditionally—no matter what we believe.

Why the rule is golden

What if, at the end of the day, you will not be held accountable for what others did to you, only what you did to them—no matter what they did to you?

I don’t know about you; but frankly, this kind of accountability is scarier than the claim that God will burn my soul in a fiery hell. (By the way, if there are any physicists out there, please leave a comment or a link explaining how a physical element such as fire actually burns a non-physical soul. Or is that complication why it takes all eternity to accomplish this task?)

I admit that I probably spend more time thinking about this stuff than most folks, but I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans behave, because it’s such an accurate reflection of what they believe about Life and about God. Anoint my little pointed head with oil if you feel I’m off-base here; but if God is Love, “He” would not use torture as a tactic or a threat to correct errant behavior. And let’s face it: It hasn’t been very effective. That’s proof enough for me that the real God, the one and only God, does not solve problems this way.

What seems more a godly and powerful way to address sin/error, and what makes better sense to me, is the Law of Reciprocity. What is that, exactly? It must be important because all of the major religions of the world warn us to respect it. Perhaps these words are familiar to you:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and
the prophets.” Christianity

“What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the
whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.” Judaism

“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for
others what you would reject for yourselves.” Islam

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” Buddhism

Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s who life may
proceed?” The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle?—what you do
not yourself desire do not put before others.” Confucianism

“This is the sum of all true righteousness—Treat others as thou
wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor that hereafter Thou
wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.” Hinduism
Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions

Most of us don’t take these words seriously. By the way we treat our friends, co-workers, employees, lovers and even strangers, it’s clear we haven’t noticed that we hurt ourselves significantly when we ignore the potential pain that the Law of Reciprocity can usher into our lives.

“Do unto others only what you’d want done to you” is the clearest and
simplest way to avoid the flip side of reciprocity. In Loud Mouth-speak, it
boils down to: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” But I’ll let the
scriptures speak:

“It’s nature’s rule that as we sow, we shall reap.” Buddhism

“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Christianity

“A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be
watered.” Judaism

“What proceeds from you will return to you.” Confucianism

“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree
so it will grow.” Hinduism

“Whatever man soweth, that shall he reap. If he soweth trouble, trouble
shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.” Sikhism

It’s difficult to ignore the simplicity and universality of the Law of Reciprocity when you see that so many religions teach the same message. And did I mention how divinely fair this law is: An eye for an eye, not eternal damnation for several decades of sin.

Besides being fair, the Law of Reciprocity, also known as the Law of Attraction, sets God free from a theater of endless tragedies. It lets God be godly, and maintain “His” focus on the Divine rather than the depraved. The Law requires no mind-numbing recordkeeping for numerous millennia, and it involves no demonic child abuse or other torturous tasks that do not befit a Spirit as divine as God.

If God can implant a steady stream of ideas into the minds of mere mortals to make our Internet speed faster, telephones and cameras smaller, and overall quality of life easier, it’s possible that “He” could also implant a self-correcting system of accountability in our souls that would make “His” life a lot easier. That system: The Law of Reciprocity/Attraction.

We can embrace the stories that depict God as an angry, vindictive, conditionally forgiving brute who helps some of “His” kids pass their cosmetology exams and win football games and lets pedophiles prey on “His” other kids, or we can write a different script—like this one, which has greater potential for attracting more joyful reciprocal circumstances than the script we currently have adopted:

INTERIOR: GOD’S LIVING ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT

God is relaxing when one of His kids runs into the room breathlessly. He looks up, smiles and lovingly strokes the child’s head.)

GOD
Well, hello there, my little angel. Why are you so excited?
JOY
Jimmy and Paul said they’re going to spend the afternoon on Earth. I wanna go, too! Can I go? Can I go?
GOD
Of course, you may go, Precious. There’s plenty of drama over there to keep you busy for several hours.
JOY
(Jumping up and down with glee)
OK. What do I need to take with me?
GOD
Sweetheart, you have everything you need right inside you. Can you see your Christ Light?
JOY
(Looking halfway down her ethereal body, and pointing toward the glowing ball of light)
Yep. It’s right there!
GOD
Well, all you need to do is keep an eye on It. It will remind you that I am with you always.
JOY
(Grabbing God around the neck.)
Thanks, Daddy!
JOY runs toward the door, then pauses and turns around.
JOY
Are you going to miss me?
GOD(Laughing)
How can I miss you if I’m going with you, Sweetheart? You haven’t even crossed the Veil of Forgetfulness at the entrance to Earth, and you’ve forgotten that already?
JOY
(Looking sheepish)
I’m sorry, Daddy.
GOD
It’s OK, Dear. You know that all is forgiven. I just want you to enjoy yourself this afternoon. Now remember, in human time, that translates to about 75 or 80 Earth years, but when it’s time to come home, you’ll know. And don’t forget that you still have free will. You can do anything you want to do over there, but the play rules are the same as over here.
JOY
I know: Don’t do anything to anyone else that I don’t want done to me, because I will reap what I sow.
GOD
That’s right, Love. Try not to forget that.And please remember to pause frequently this afternoon and look toward your Light. Just be still and think about my Unconditional Love for you. You’ll feel my presence, and you’ll remember that you are not alone. There is no spot where I am not.
Oh, and one more thing: There is a little troublemaker who lives on Earth. His name is Ego. He’ll be talking in your head so much that you’ll think that his thoughts are your thoughts. He doesn’t talk as gently as Daddy. One of his tricks is to distract you so that you can’t hear me when I talk to you, so quiet time will be important.
Ego wants to control you. He wants you to think that you are merely the body costume that you’ll be wearing over there, and that you are mortal like your body.
JOY
(giggling)
That’s so silly, Daddy. Who would believe that?
GOD
You’d be surprised. Ego is pretty clever. He takes advantage of the Veil of Forgetfulness. And he’s a liar.He’s going to try to convince you to lean on him instead of me,and he’ll try to make you do things to others that you wouldn’t want anyone to do to you.
You’re strong and powerful. You’ll be able to overcome him if you remember that you’re mine, and he has no power over you. Just don’t let him trick you into giving him your power, OK?

JOY waves and reaches for the door knob.

JOY
I won’t, Daddy, I promise. I love you!

GOD

I love you more, Sweetheart. Have fun, and remember that:

  • Life is always fair, so don’t do anything to anyone over there that you wouldn’t want done to you!
  • God is never far. I am the Light and the Love within you.
  • Don’t believe anyone who tells you that death on planet Earth is “the end.”
  • And this is very important, Baby Girl: Remember that absolutely nothing is unforgivable. No matter what anyone does to you, forgive them as quickly as you’d want to be forgiven if you’d made the mistake, OK?

JOY
I will, Daddy. See you shortly!

GOD
Absolutely. You’ll be back here before you know it. Now scoot, so that you will be home before dark.Have a wonderful time today. When you get back, we’ll talk about all the things you did over there. OK?

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS

Why the rule is golden

What if, at the end of the day, you will not be held accountable for what others did to you, only what you did to them—no matter what they did to you? 

I don’t know about you; but frankly, this kind of accountability is scarier than the claim that God will burn my soul in a fiery hell. (By the way, if there are any physicists out there, please leave a comment or a link explaining how a physical element such as fire actually burns a non-physical soul. Or is that complication why it takes all eternity to accomplish this task?)

I admit that I probably spend more time thinking about this stuff than most folks, but I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans behave, because it’s such an accurate reflection of what they believe about Life and about God. Anoint my little pointed head with oil if you feel I’m off-base here; but if God is Love, “He” would not use torture as a tactic or a threat to correct errant behavior. And let’s face it: It hasn’t been very effective. That’s proof enough for me that the real God, the one and only God, does not solve problems this way.

What seems more a godly and powerful way to address sin/error, and what makes better sense to me, is the Law of Reciprocity. What is that, exactly? It must be important because all of the major religions of the world warn us to respect it. Perhaps these words are familiar to you:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and the prophets.” Christianity

“What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.” Judaism

“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves.” Islam

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”  Buddhism

Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s who life may proceed?” 
The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle?—what you do not yourself desire do not put before others.”  Confucianism

“This is the sum of all true righteousness—
Treat others as thou wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor that hereafter Thou wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.”  Hinduism

Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions

Most of us don’t take these words seriously. By the way we treat our friends, co-workers, employees, lovers and even strangers, it’s clear we haven’t noticed that we hurt ourselves significantly when we ignore the potential pain that the Law of Reciprocity can usher into our lives.

“Do unto others only what you’d want done to you” is the clearest and simplest way to avoid the flip side of reciprocity. In Loud Mouth-speak, it boils down to: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” But I’ll let the scriptures speak:

“It’s nature’s rule that as we sow, we shall reap.”  Buddhism

“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  Christianity

“A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”  Judaism

“What proceeds from you will return to you.”  Confucianism

“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree so it will grow.”  Hinduism

“Whatever man soweth, that shall he reap. If he soweth trouble, trouble shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.”  Sikhism

Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions 

It’s difficult to ignore the simplicity and universality of the Law of Reciprocity when you see that so many religions teach the same message. And did I mention how divinely fair this law is: An eye for an eye, not eternal damnation for several decades of sin.

Besides being fair, the Law of Reciprocity, also known as the Law of Attraction, sets God free from a theater of endless tragedies. It lets God be godly, and maintain “His” focus on the Divine rather than the depraved. The Law requires no mind-numbing recordkeeping for numerous millennia, and it involves no demonic child abuse or other torturous tasks that do not befit a Spirit as divine as God.

If God can implant a steady stream of ideas into the minds of mere mortals to make our Internet speed faster, telephones and cameras smaller, and overall quality of life easier, it’s possible that “He” could also implant a self-correcting system of accountability in our souls that would make “His” life a lot easier. That system: The Law of Reciprocity/Attraction.

We can embrace the stories that depict God as an angry, vindictive, conditionally forgiving brute who helps some of “His” kids pass their cosmetology exams and win football games and lets pedophiles prey on “His” other kids, or we can write a different script—like this one, which has greater potential for attracting more joyful reciprocal circumstances than the script we currently have adopted:

INTERIOR: GOD’S LIVING ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT

(God is relaxing when one of His kids runs into the room breathlessly. He looks up, smiles and lovingly strokes the child’s head.)

GOD 
Well, hello there, my little angel. Why are you so excited?

JOY
Jimmy and Paul said they’re going to spend the afternoon on Earth. I wanna go, too! Can I go? Can I go?

GOD
Of course, you may go, Precious. There’s plenty of drama over there to keep you busy for several hours.

JOY
(Jumping up and down with glee)
OK. What do I need to take with me?

GOD
Sweetheart, you have everything you need right inside you. Can you see your Christ Light?
 
JOY
(Looking halfway down her ethereal body, and pointing toward the glowing ball of light)
Yep. It’s right there!

GOD
Well, all you need to do is keep an eye on It. It will remind you that I am with you always.

JOY
(Grabbing God around the neck.)
Thanks, Daddy!

JOY runs toward the door, then pauses and turns around.

JOY
Are you going to miss me?

GOD
(Laughing)
How can I miss you if I’m going with you, Sweetheart? You haven’t even crossed the Veil of Forgetfulness at the entrance to Earth, and you’ve forgotten that already?

JOY
(Looking sheepish)
I’m sorry, Daddy.

GOD
It’s OK, Dear. You know that all is forgiven. I just want you to enjoy yourself this afternoon.
Now remember, in human time, that translates to about 75 or 80 Earth years, but when it’s time to come home, you’ll know.
And don’t forget that you still have free will.
You can do anything you want to do over there, but the play rules are the same as over here.

JOY
I know: Don’t do anything to anyone else that I don’t want done to me, because I will reap what I sow.

GOD
That’s right, Love. Try not to forget that.
And please remember to pause frequently this afternoon and look toward your Light.
Just be still and think about my Unconditional Love for you.
You’ll feel my presence, and you’ll remember that you are not alone. There is no spot where I am not.

Oh, and one more thing: There is a little troublemaker who lives on Earth. His name is Ego. He’ll be talking in your head so much that you’ll think that his thoughts are your thoughts. He doesn’t talk as gently as Daddy. One of his tricks is to distract you so that you can’t hear me when I talk to you, so quiet time will be important.

Ego wants to control you. He wants you to think that you are merely the body costume that you’ll be wearing over there, and that you are mortal like your body.

JOY
(giggling)
That’s so silly, Daddy. Who would believe that?

GOD
You’d be surprised. Ego is pretty clever. He takes advantage of the Veil of Forgetfulness. And he’s a liar.
He’s going to try to convince you to lean on him instead of me,
and he’ll try to make you do things to others that you wouldn’t want anyone to do to you.

You’re strong and powerful. You’ll be able to overcome him if you remember that you’re mine, and he has no power over you. Just don’t let him trick you into giving him your power, OK?

JOY waves and reaches for the door knob.

JOY
I won’t, Daddy, I promise. I love you!

GOD
I love you more, Sweetheart. Have fun, and remember that:   

  • Life is always fair, so don’t do anything to anyone over there that you wouldn’t want done to you!
  • God is never far. I am the Light and the Love within you.
  • Don’t believe anyone who tells you that death on planet Earth is “the end.”
  • And this is very important, Baby Girl: Remember that absolutely nothing is unforgivable. No matter what anyone does to you, forgive them as quickly as you’d want to be forgiven if you’d made the mistake, OK?

JOY
I will, Daddy. See you shortly!

GOD
Absolutely. You’ll be back here before you know it. Now scoot, so that you will be home before dark.
Have a wonderful time today. When you get back, we’ll talk about all the things you did over there. OK?

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS