As I stated in the initial installment of this series, I find a lot of wisdom in bumper stickers and keep a list of them handy for illustrating and driving home points I’m seeking to make in casual conversation or more public statements. Bumper stickers seem to have a marvelous ability to reduce a fact or principle to essence and convey the result in a form that, though possibly provocative, is generally palatable and often quite amusing. As I’ve had a lifelong interest in metaphysics and spirituality, I find these pithy little messages particularly suitable for challenging fundamentalist extremism and separating genuine spirituality from religious facades and pretensions. So here are some more of my favorites:
Religious nuts are hard to crack. They’re so embedded in shells of beliefs, doctrines, rites, rituals, rules and relics that even the most effective nut crackers generally fail to open them, and even if the shell is cracked the nut inside will often crumble in the process. Obviously God (or what I prefer to call the creative process of life) finds it almost impossible to penetrate and work with this material.
Religious beliefs and behavior, even though socially acceptable and seemingly innocuous, are actually evidence of spiritual derangement, of disconnection with the creative process, and are threatening to the life of the individuals embedded in these structures and the life of the planet. An illusory world has been created on this basis. This world and the human condition that pervades it are comparable to an insane asylum, and religions provide the primary impulse that spawns and perpetuates this insanity.
The root of the insanity may be found in the idea that meaning and fulfillment in life come from something external—beliefs, rituals, holy books, saviors, saints, temples, sacred sites, etc. The truth is that meaning and fulfillment come from within, from the pure and inexhaustible fountain of life at the source of every person’s being. When this fountain is allowed to flow into an individual’s thinking, speaking and behavior, the surrounding environment is watered and begins to participate in the flow. Delicious spiritual fruits result from this flow, fruits that are soft and pliable, unlike the hard nuts of religion that serve only to block the flow.
This is pretty much the story of human beings on Earth since their fall from grace. In the book of Job in the Old Testament, when the Lord asked Satan from whence he came, Satan said “From going to and fro in the Earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Human beings have been going to and fro in the Earth and up and down in it for thousands of years and, especially in these days of advanced technology, making record time. But except for a smattering of individuals who have discovered something of the truth of love and how life operates, the human race has been lost and has been making excellent time toward oblivion.
I have frequent dreams of being lost in a large city and struggling mightily to find my way back to some familiar landmark. The harder I try, the more lost I become. Panic sets in and I begin to make record time running or driving from street to street, around this corner and that corner, up this alley, through this backyard, across this field. It is exhausting and I finally collapse in a heap of frustration. Once again, we have a metaphor for what is being experienced by the whole body of humanity.
Here is a closely related bumper sticker to the one we’re considering: DON’T FOLLOW ME, I’M LOST TOO. At least the person is honest enough to admit being lost. Some religious, political and educational leaders give the impression that they have found the answers or even The Answer and have attracted many followers on this basis, when the fact is that they are just as lost as everyone else. Oh, and by the way, another bumper sticker that goes with this syndrome is WHERE ARE WE GOING? AND WHY AM I IN THIS HANDBASKET?
These games of lost and found can only be played by human beings who are enmeshed in the human drama and are looking for the answer in something external to themselves. It is this very involvement with externals that has created a world of illusion in which people perceive themselves as being lost. Disconnected from their own Inner Reality, directions and answers are sought in something from the environment, often some form of religious faith. Obviously, what is required is reconnection with the Reality, the I AM core of every person’s being.
This God center never has been and never will be lost, so there is certainly no need to search for it. No need to search for meaning and fulfillment or for enlightenment; I am already filled full of everything I need for fulfillment; I am already enlightened, which I discover as I shine the light that I am. When I am coming from this place in creative self-expression, I find my spiritual home, and my world transforms in record time.
This is unfortunately true, because the way 90 percent of human beings think is not really thinking at all; it is just reaction to factors in the environment. This reactive “thinking” produces all kinds of destructive effects. In fact, it has produced all of the violence, corruption, disease and all the other forms of human suffering peculiar to the human condition on this planet. We live in a mind-made world, and the deplorable nature of this world is the result of the mind being used in the wrong way. From the moment of birth, human beings are conditioned to “think” reactively, using analysis, deduction and so-called logic. The entire educational system is based on this. We are taught that the only way to achieve success in life is to analyze and manipulate external circumstances to so-called advantage.
It has been said that the human mind is like a parachute; to work, it must be open. The question is, open to what? To external circumstances in an attempt to solve problems and arrange things in a way that seems to satisfy my wants and desires? No, whatever created the mind never intended it to be used in this reactive way. The mind works the way it should when it is open to what I refer to as Source or Spirit, to the Fountain of Life bubbling up from within. When the pure water from this Fountain flows over the waterwheel of the human mind, fresh and enlightened thoughts emerge to enrich the environment. But when the mind is used reactively, stagnant water from the cistern of the subconscious is lifted up to the waterwheel and the result is the human condition with all of its corruption and conflict.
In other words, the human mind is properly a servant rather than the master, an instrument of control rather than the control itself. The expression “I think, therefore I am” is attributed to the philosopher Descartes. This elevates the mind to a position it should not occupy. The truth is “I am, therefore I think,” in other words, Being is first, then thinking. And when human beings come together utilizing this kind of creative thinking, magic happens as the possibilities inherent in Source are allowed to manifest. In the spiritual community of Sunrise Ranch, where I live, creative thinking and magic thrives in the Creative Field Groups and Transformation Groups that meet regularly—quite a contrast to what comes out of the think tanks and study groups operative in human government and academia.
This bumper sticker allows me to sum up pretty much everything I’ve said in this series. The way human beings have behaved on this magnificent planet has unfortunately put it in great jeopardy. There is a very real possibility that this Earth project could be thrown on the cosmic scrap heap. In fact I’m rather amazed that the greater Universe has for so long tolerated the “den of iniquity” that human beings have created and sustained on the planet. I can only explain it to myself by referring to what has been called “the grace of God.” Whatever it is that created this project evidently still believes that we can finally get it together.
And the only way, as I see it, that we can get it together and avoid blowing this uniquely beautiful creative experiment is to fully embody the love that fueled and formed the basis of its creation. However, what the world needs now is not love, sweet love, but the truth of love. It is the interpretations of love by the reactive human mind that have brought the Earth to the brink of disaster. It is impossible for the reactive and self-serving human mind to know the truth of love. It has to get out of the way; indeed it has to dissolve. And the only way that can happen is when primal spirituality is recovered—when our innate, intuitive knowing of the truth of love and of Being is actually expressed in living. Otherwise, it lies buried in the subconscious mind, and the reactive mind is in control.
So here is the formula for saving the Earth: Let us be the creator beings that we are by fully embodying the qualities of divine character in our living. It begins with the individual and works out from there to transform the Earth. The answer is not in religion; the answer is not in politics and government; the answer is not in science. The answer is in me and you and the spiritual body that emerges on the basis of our expression of the truth of love. Yes, I know that astronomers have discovered some other Earth-like planets in the galaxy, but frankly I can’t imagine how another planet could be more beautiful and offer more scope for creative expression than the one we have right here. So please, let’s not blow this unmatched creative opportunity!