“In the Kingdom of heaven everything is in everything else. All is one and all is ours. We are all in all as God is all in all.”
“Saying the mantra is like dismantling the wall that separates you from your true Self – union with God … ma – ra – na – tha … each syllable a brick, each repetition a course until the wall of separation falls.”
If you are The Walrus “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together,” according to The Beatles. Then we are all walruses.
According to John – the Beatle not the Apostle – The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. They certainly had the best tunes. But Jesus had a similar turn of phrase when he said “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20) A sort of reciprocal Russian doll thing going on there – and very mystical.
This is what is called ‘panentheism’. The term panentheism is Greek for “all-in-God,” pan-en-theos. A panentheistic belief system is one which posits a god that interpenetrates every part of nature, but is nevertheless fully distinct from nature. So this god is part of nature, but still retains an independent identity.
It is true that both panentheists and pantheists (see below) share the view that the universe and every natural thing in it is pervaded by divinity. However, since panentheism postulates that the universe is contained within God and not God in the universe, panentheists believe in a God who is present in everything but also extends beyond the universe.
In other words, God is the universe but is also greater than the universe. Often panentheists also believe that this God has a mind, created the universe, and cares about each of us personally. Pantheists on the other hand believe that the universe itself is divine and do not believe in personal or creator gods.
If there is God then nowhere can be outside of God. Meditation deconstructs the dividing wall that keeps us separate from the divine infusion. This TEDx video says it best:
“Where there is isness, there God is.” Meister Eckhart
“Saying the mantra – ma-ra-na-tha – is like walking on the slats of a rope bridge acrosss the divide from ‘I’ to ‘I Am’.”
Next time you wake up watch out for your first thought – play a game of thought tag with yourself. Can you tag your first thought? What is it? It will invariably have a sense of ‘I’ about it. “I wonder what time is it?”
The first thought is an ‘I-thought’ and re-inflates our whole sense of ‘me’ – this ‘I’ in a body … embodied. But if you could squeeze the input valve of this blow-up dolly called you between finger and thumb BEFORE the first I-thought rushes in … who are you?
You are pre-thought … yet awake. Pre to-do lists in the head … yet alert. You are literally without a thought in your head. Yet conscious. Ask: who is the ‘I’ in this state – before the thoughts rush in? And who is this ‘I’ in between thoughts? What is your natural state before the constructed ego re-inflates?
You are Being. Awareness. Isness.
Try it out next time you wake.
“Meditation is like lowering yourself in a bucket into the centre of your soul.”
“Think of the soul as a whirlpool and you will understand how we are to sink eternally from negation to negation into the One.” Meister Eckhart
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Do we? Do we, indeed? One of the great paradoxes of the spiritual path in contrast to other avenues of human endeavour is that in order to ‘add’ to our knowledge of the divine in us we need to ‘deduct’ what we already know. It is a process of unlearning not adding new learning. So we can welcome all circumstance into our life as an opportunity to let go of our old understandings and sink into the nothingness we may call god.
There is no new knowledge, new teacher, new technique, new practice which will ‘get us’ to god for we are already in the place we seek. It’s just hidden from plain sight. We do not need new knowledge … we need new eyes. The kingdom is both within you and amongst you. Luke 17:21
“The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re supposed to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there is no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness. ‘I am he and/ He is me:/ Spring nightfall.’ Abandon the self, and there you are.”
― Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle