Thursday, January 15, 2009


Yesterday morning, in that half waking state which often brings unusual perceptions, I saw vividly the words: “You will be heard”, as if typed on the lower part of a piece of paper which had some sort of innocently pleasant images above. The message was accompanied by a strong feeling of electricity and great importance which startled me.

I immediately associated “You will be heard” with my efforts to pray before I fell asleep late that night.

Prayer – which might be defined as human efforts to communicate (often verbally) with a higher power – is a vexing subject, as many posts in this blog attest. If “giving orders to the universe” is a form of prayer (see my previous post), I am back on that subject again because my prayer these days is based on myself as a lens focusing the power of the Source to achieve desired results. My words and mental images form effects which the Source will create in the human world. . . or so I believe.

The unusual thing about the night whose morning brought the message was that I had struggled over the dilemma whether or not to include among my positive orders for the benefit of myself and others, any negative commands aimed at people who are creating pain and injustice in the world. I knew the spiritual teaching that I should never let anger and hatred or a desire for revenge affect my wishes, and that praying bad things on others will rebound to injure me.

But during these days of the unholy Israeli massacres in Gaza I couldn't help feeling outrage of the most extreme degree, and so a few days ago I decided to let myself go and try to focus the Source on the destruction of those who are killing many hundreds of people, a third of them children, inside a relatively defenseless enclave forced on its population by their Israeli occupiers. My anger extended not only to Israel and its supporters in the United States, but also to the idea that there was some biblical “God” who was allowing such a thing to happen.

So for several days I did my best to focus the Source on those horrible murderers and asked for and visualized their defeat and destruction. As a concession to certain spiritual teachings I also tried to replace the bloody carnage with images of peace and of people moving back to cultivate the lands which the Israelis had stolen from them. I also tried to see myself in the role of a dispassionate gardener who must cut off a diseased branch in order to save the tree. I tried not to feel any hatred. A surgeon who removes a leg so that the body can be relieved of pain and poison is not motivated by anger or a desire for revenge, but instead by a positive desire to bring health.

Be that as it may, the night before the morning message I realized that a nagging discomfort I felt was coming from my “negative prayers”. Apparently I could not focus a destructive design to rid the earth of a source of injustice and pain without polluting my own spirit with anger. So, with a sense of guilt because I felt I was abandoning a good cause, I decided to end my prayers for destruction. That was not because I felt sorry for the people I might hurt, but because of a spiritual principle.

I do not know which of my words will be heard, but I know that “You will be heard” came to me with authority and created a feeling of ecstatic happiness. I was in an elevated mood throughout that morning, feeling that I had been favored with communication of a very unusual kind even though I have only my intuition to interpret it.

Please note that I have written extensively about Israel and its supporters in the United States in my other blog, VIEW FROM THE MOON.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


These ideas came to me as I was thinking about the manifest inefficacy of prayer in the form of begging a deity to grant favors. Every year whole churches full of people are obliterated by storm or sea or earthquakes while earnestly beseeching their God to save them. Prayers for justice are answered by the victory of missiles and bombs. How many sick or dying people are not praying for relief as their condition worsens?

Spare me the arguments about “God's mysterious plan”. The fact is that in this life, on this planet, we see no evidence that a helpful deity is influenced by prayers to let one person succeed and another fail, or this tribe or army be victorious, because one person or group is better at praying than others.

I believe that our misguided concept of a potentially helpful God who is amenable to appeals to sympathy is related to the notion of a Creator molding man from clay scooped from a river bed. That widespread “mud” creation myth in different versions puts God in the place of a potter at his wheel, turning out creatures to populate the earth and then bringing them to life. This leads to the idea of a Master managing his creations. The general conclusion of such creation myths throughout the world is that the Creator was not merely creating robots to serve his needs, or to play with as toys, but instead that the Creator assumes a managerial role and is concerned with the welfare of his creatures. “The Lord is my shepherd.” And if this anthropomorphic Creator continues as a manager, some of his creatures may be able to get special favors if they play up to him in the right way, or fashion words or rituals to gain his approval and help.

A more accurate image of creation than the potter is that of a spring bubbling up from the earth to form a pool and overflow into as stream, or a fountain spraying water droplets into the air, or a fire throwing out sparks. An erupting volcano's lava populates the landscape with forms, but it is a spontaneous creative action rather than the planned art of a human potter.

When we conceive of the Source as a spring of being bringing potentialities into existence, rather than as a managing and judging superperson, we are on the path to looking to our own creative imaging and actions to form our condition and our destiny. You learn that instead of being a begging child you are a lens which can focus the brilliant power of the Source to achieve effects on ourselves, other people, and our universe. Thus I admired a poster I saw on the wall of an Olympic champion's room. A man stands looking up the vast expanse of the sky, saying “These are my orders for the Universe today.

Start them young! (From a Christian website.)

“DLTK's Bible Activities
Old Testament Bible Crafts for Kids

Creation Craft
Uses a gingerbread man to explain the creation of man!
Age 3+”

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Once we realize that we can know nothing, and that nothing matters, the charge, “You're wasting your time” has no meaning.

The notion that what we do is “worthwhile” only if it meets certain criteria evaporates like morning fog in the incomprehensible vastness of the Universe and the insoluble mystery of Being. This brings a certain sense of freedom – as did my realization long ago, as I looked up into the sky for that judgmental God I had been told about, that “Nobody out there cares!”. We no longer have to feel guilty if we aren't doing something “useful”.

My Romanian friend, Adriana, does higher mathematics for her own entertainment, and she told me that she sometimes asks herself, “Why am I doing this?”, just as I ask myself why I am playing computer games and learning 3D modeling and animation instead of doing something “constructive”.

The standard of activities becomes what interests us and what gives us pleasure – particularly if it keeps us in Now and leads us not into the temptation of the past or the future. The idea that we must be accomplishing something like making money or getting published or preparing for an examination or performance no longer torments us. If a man wants to spend his life lying around on beaches and riding waves, more power to him. If I would rather play Super Mario Galaxy or build a palace in Second Life or learn about ancient astrology instead of doing something that qualifies for the mythical title “useful”, more power to me.

I'm not implying that I, personally, can dispense with all values, however arbitrary they may seem. I'm talking only about how we choose fill our time – and I say that you can tell much more about what a person really wants by how she chooses to spend her time than by what she says she wants. Witness the man who wants to be a great author but spends his time figuring horse racing systems.

Speaking for myself, it feels like a good thing to try to decrease the amount of pain in the world, even if governments like Israel and the United States devote themselves to increasing the amount of pain in the world. Justice feels better than injustice. Honesty feels better than dishonesty. And most people are happiest if they can arrange to create a comfortable, tidy, attractive environment. The relative desirability of activities might be measured by those kinds of feelings, but hopefully without any sense of “should” or guilt.

For me the greatest pleasures beyond food and sex come from learning and creating. For somebody else it might be training horses or learning Greek or sailing or fishing. But let none of us be chained to the galley bench of “useful” or “worthwhile”.