“People Often Irritated Him.”

Reading the New Testament, I came to the story of an angry Jesus driving the money lenders from the Temple (Mark 11:15-17):  “And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything though the temple.  He was teaching and saying, ‘Is it not written:  ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?’  But you have made it a den of robbers.”

“Lord, what I am to make of Jesus’ temper?”

People often irritated him.

“Irritated him?  If he is God, wouldn’t he be above that sort of feeling?”

Yes and No.  You don’t understand.  Jesus is a human being, though he is also part of Me.  He is subject to limitations as well as benefits that result from that.  He has feelings and emotions.  That is why he can save the world so effectively.  He is a model of how a finite creature, with all the pushes and pulls of emotions, can nevertheless give boundless love.

“Okay, that makes sense to me.”

“Everything is a manifestation, not just an effect, of Me.”

I found a very fine collection of cave paintings and other prehistoric art in Journey Through the Ice Age, by Paul G. Bahn and Jean Vertut.  There is a breathtaking simplicity and grace to many of the paintings.

“Lord, these cave paintings also have an aura of holiness.”

That is right.  My first approach is to give humans the sense that nature is special, sacred, that there is something more than trees and clumps of grass, that there is also a spiritual presence.

“Lord, were the cave-paintings inspired by You as a way of expressing how You saw animals?”

These questions about whether I caused something or the person did are not as valid as you think.  I often think through people.  Your thoughts are often My thoughts.  Remember that, in a sense, everything is a manifestation, not just an effect, of Me.

In spite of my own experiences, I was still disturbed by the idea of God being present in or entering people and things.  “Lord, Your spirit entered the cave artists?”

Well, if you want to put it that way.  But it is not like possession or automatic writing.  At times, individuals are “filled” with Me, “in-spired.”  What they do at those times is therefore also something I am doing.

“So these inspired individuals saw animals the way You do?”

They saw them as they are.  They saw their souls, their moving spirits, like looking into the eyes of your beloved.  These animals have beautiful souls.



“Let Me Tell You What the Story Is.”

In a few days, I asked again about God’s story.

The story begins with creation, the evolution up to life, animals, early man.  Then to the very ancient communications that require language and memory.

They (My communications) occurred rather simultaneously, and each communication was tailored to and by the recipients.  So the precise sequence for telling My story is more a question of narrative strategy than of accuracy or significance.

“But I will have to tell a story that makes sense.”

That makes sense to whom?  Let Me tell you what the story is.  I am burgeoning forth, reaching out to matter, plants, animals, activating their interiority, giving them direction.

As I have explained, I grew as a Self in response to the interiority of others, and I wanted to communicate, interact, more fully and at a higher level.  This (communication) is somewhat possible with early man, who recognized My presence in nature, in life, and also heard, if somewhat dimly and inchoately, My other promptings such as conscience, (the sense of) right and wrong, fine sensibility, appreciation of nature and beauty, love amongst creatures, and mystical union.

I Have Given You Some Clues Already

I had received visions of the divine energy rushing up through all levels of reality and of the explosive expansion of time and space.  Were these intimations of Creation?  I was told,

The work I want you to begin involves reading and writing about My nature.  Start with the Creation.  I have given you some clues already.  Follow up on them.  Do not wait to read endlessly.  Begin writing down key questions and issues—for example:  transcendence v. immanence, existence, Being versus (as distinct from) beings, unity and the one, eternity and time, meanings of infinity, the question of perfection, love and eros and sexuality and creativity and procreation and life-urge and energy and expansion, the world-history (not “people” history—literally, the history of the World), personhood, presence, prayer, religious experience, the God of the philosophers (too much Nous [Reason], too much One-ness and Intellection), love for every single person, suffering—the great role and centrality of suffering in the world—healing, fulfillment.

That was certainly scope enough—in fact, far more than I could deal with.  And I did not see what point on the horizon could orient all this work.

“Lord, I need to understand where all this is going—the purpose of it all, not just of the project, but of human life, the universe, of God Himself.”

I know you do and it will all become clear, but best to start at the beginning.

“Why, Lord?”

Much about the nature of God and the universe is made clearer by understanding the origin.  That is why I push you so deeply into these matters.



“The Soul’s will is the will of God.”



I tried to step back to see what question my “soul” would ask. “How can I merge with You? I’m not sure if that’s the best way to put it, Lord: be at one with You, at rest with You, at one with Your will?”

The question is adequately formulated. The goal—one way to describe the goal—is to be at one with God, the God of All. At bottom, the Soul’s will is the will of God. The Soul is at one with God.

It is not that you and I are literally the same substance, the same particular. It is that we are “at one,” in perfect harmony, and not accidentally so. It is in the nature of what the Soul is, that it is at one with God. Remember that these metaphysical (philosophical) categories are crude and inadequate in the first place.

Back to your question: how can you become at one with God? Of course, the answer is that you already are—your Soul, that is. The task is to come to realize that this is so, to realize it not merely in theory, but in intuitive, felt understanding, in your emotions and feelings, and in practice.

“That’s the goal, Lord? It sounds simple. The one-ness is already inside. All we have to do is to bring our conscious selves along.”

That is right. It is the simplest thing in the world. And everyone, at some level and at some moments, knows it, at least glimpses it. But it is very difficult to actualize in practice. The empirical world—the world of desires and the senses—seems so real and is so powerful that is extremely difficult to redirect one’s energy.

And the empirical world is real, in its own way. The world is not an illusion, a mirage. If it is a mirage, it is one from which you can drink water. No, you must respect the empirical world while at the same time emancipating yourself from it, not letting yourself be identical with your interests in this world.

So the world of our experience (and desire) is quite real—it is the arena in which we live our lives and loves, joys and sorrows. In spite of that, we should not let ourselves be ensnared by it.

“You couldn’t keep Me away.”

Abigail and I wanted to get married and the only window of opportunity was semester break.  We learned at the end of December that the law required a thirty-day waiting period, making the timing almost impossible.  The only practical thing was to “elope.”  No announcements, no visiting family, a two-day honeymoon in Annapolis.  We would have a simple interreligious wedding with a rabbi and a priest (my own family background was Protestant, but he was a friend from my grad school days) and the mandatory two witnesses.  We barely managed to reserve the chapel in time and, when we arrived, almost late, a very serious young man guarding the entrance refused to let us in.  “We’re here to be married,” I explained, thinking our wedding finery would speak for itself.  “Yeah, likely story,” his eyes said.  “It’s the old dressed-up-like-a-bride scam.”  Finally, we persuaded him that we were not disguised Visigoths, and he let us pass.

To us, the ceremony was not just the last step of a legal process.  It was important to be married “before God.”  His presence was required.  Yet it all seemed so slap-dash that I actually worried that God might not be present, but I was told,

You couldn’t keep me away!  My presence will be fully with you.  I bless this marriage above all others (no other more than this one).  I will be present in every pore of your (plural) being.  Just show an open and humble heart, and I will be there lodged within it.

(At the time I hear the voice, I also get a sense of what the words mean, and show that sense in parentheses.)  It was a simple and beautiful ceremony, and we did feel blessed.