Cave Men and God

    In her very interesting Cave Man Novels, Jean M. Auel makes spirits a very important part of the day-to-day life of these primitive people. Oddly though, they never seem to mention God, the Great Spirit, or any other term to reference a Supreme Being, or Supreme Spirit, at least not among the Neanderthal. Of course, these books are fiction and very much of the social order of these people is speculation, but I find it hard to believe there could be a fairly sophisticated society, with tribes, leaders, shaman, medicine women, and a set of rules or laws, coupled with a strong belief in spirits, and yet have no concept of a Great Spirit, a leader of the spirits and the spirit world. While Auel is probably correct in believing that these people recognized that people and animals had spirits and that spirits had much control over their lives, it is a natural extension of this to believe in a Great Spirit. 
    To my knowledge, the most primitive tribes that exist today or exist in recorded history have had some belief in a supreme being. Most often, that God is associated in some way with the sun, if not the sun itself. And, while primitive people, both ancient and modern, may think of God as a physical being much like themselves, others have always though of God as a purely spiritual being, often associated with the spiritual sun, rather than the physical sun.
    I think one of the best proofs that there is a God is the simple fact that almost every human society since very primitive times has had some belief in God and that, despite the best efforts of non-believers to stop it, the non-believers never seem to be able to succeed in convincing everyone that there is no God.

Share

Seeing Like a Baby

    A baby is fascinated with everything. Everything is new and strange to it, so it pays attention to everything. And a baby doesn’t have any prejudices yet so one new thing is just as interesting as another. It is just as fascinated by a humble dandelion as it is by the most elegant tea rose. A pebble is as interesting as a mountain, a caterpillar as much fun to watch as a squirrel. As we get older, and things become familiar, we loose that. Everyday things no longer seem interesting because we have seen them many time before. That is unfortunate, because the truth is, no matter how many times we have seen familiar things and familiar places, they are never exactly the same twice. We don’t notice the subtle differences however because we no longer pay attention. I have, for example, seen a number of people run a stop sign in the neighborhood they live in because the stop sign was new so they simply didn’t see it. They have drove through that intersection hundreds of times and there was never a stop sign there before, so now that one has been put there, they don’t see it unless someone points it out to them, usually the cop who stops them for running it. 
    Not only do things change more than we notice in a physical sense, but they also change on a spiritual level. We may not be able to see what is happening on a spiritual level—not without training anyway—but at some level we can sense these changes. We don’t even sense them when we rush past everything and never look around us because we have walked this path a thousand times before so we think we have seen everything there. 
    We need to think like a baby, or at least a small child, again. We need to look around us and be aware and interested in everything. See the big picture, and the small. See the school yard and the clump of wild violets. See the bird carefully building a nest one twig at a time. See the homeless family sleeping in an alleyway. See the changes in the climate and in the sun. And just maybe, you will manage to see a bit of the spiritual world in the corner of your eye before it disappears when you turn your eyes for a closer look. You don’t really need special training to do this. Just try it a few time intentionally and it will soon become a habit. If necessary, you can make a list and write down one new thing you see each day on your walk. Or write a haiku about it. Part of the secret of writing good haiku is noticing what other miss.

Share

The Random Action Problem

    Same people are firm supporters of the concept of random accomplishment. They think that the best way to build a brick building is to drop a load of bricks from a helicopter and hope that they will form a building when they land. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again and again and again. While theoretically this approach will work, the odds are pretty bad. In fact, it is so bad that no building construction company ever uses this method. The chances of it working are probably worse than 100 billion to one. 
    Some people thing that if they jump into a car and start driving and making turns completely at random that they will somehow end up exactly where they are supposed to be. This is almost as unlikely as the brick building scenario. 
    While it is certainly true that fate, or guidance from above, can cause us to make unexpected changes in our path, we still have to do some planning. This is certainly true when it comes to our spiritual development.
    Some think that by participating in random spiritual events, reading a random selection of spiritual books, saying some random prayers, that they will achieve enlightenment. That’s like expecting to get a masters degree by randomly wandering onto a college campus and occasionally sitting in on a random class. While it could happen, the odds are not good. 
    A much better approach to spiritual enlightenment, one that is much more likely to lead to success, is to follow a complete program of spiritual development, starting with the basics and getting more and more advanced at the appropriate pace for you. In order to do that, you really need to work with a reliable spiritual teacher and spiritual school.

Share

Dealing with God

    It’s funny how some people think they can deal with God as if they were haggling with a merchant in a European bazaar.
“If you cure my cancer, God, I will go to church every day.”
“If you help me win the lottery God, I will do your bidding.”
“If you reveal yourself to me with a miracle, I will believe in you God.”

    But God isn’t a rug merchant or a street vendor and you can’t deal with Him as if He is. In order for God to fully awaken your soul and spirit and allow you to be fully enlightened, you must agree to serve Him and obey His will without conditions, without bargaining, without deals of any kind. 
    And the other danger of trying to bargain with God is that the one who responds to your request may actually be Satan, not God. If that happens, you have than put yourself in the position of being in debt to Satan. That is not a good position to be in if you want to achieve enlightenment.

Share