“I Am Enacting the Plan.”

“Lord, do I understand this correctly:  You are emerging, self-creating perhaps, out of Nothing?”

This is correct.  It is not quite right to say that I “always” existed.  I did come into being, and before Me, there was only Nothing, and there is a sense in which I was present in the Nothing.  There was no time, in the usual sense, then.  There was no matter, no energy, no events.

As I emerged, I had to figure out Who I Was, and What Was to Happen.  You (human beings) talk about God’s plan, but I am enacting the Plan, a Plan binding on Me and not just made up by Me.  The Plan is the scheme, as I have figured it out, of how things should be.  My role is less (that) of (an) organizer than of (the) goal or telos.

Telos is the Greek word for aim, purpose, or function, as in “teleological.”

I   draw things in the right direction, like flowers to the sun. 

 

“I Breathe Life Into Matter.”

 

God continued,

I breathe life into matter, and matter starts responding.  As one translation of Genesis puts it, I “flutter over the waters” and nurture, incubate life.  And I am filled with joy.  It is like a child picking up a harp and being surprised to find that strumming it makes beautiful sounds—and delightedly playing with it.

At the beginning, the cosmos was My playpen, My garden of delights.  It was beautiful, dazzling.  I could play it like a vast organ, but one attached to laser shows and fireworks.

“The Great Apes Are Wonderful Creatures . . . So Close But Yet So Far.”

 

“And so, Lord, You call forth the first human beings?”

Yes, the first inklings, forerunners, of man.  The great apes are wonderful creatures, full of intelligence, energy, and drive.  But it is frustrating to interact with them.  They are so close and yet so far from having full interactive personalities.  They have teleological urges but they are only effective, for the most part, at the biological level.  Their social life is rudimentary and their spiritual awareness is diffuse and inarticulate.  They lack a symbolic order.  They can’t project ideals beyond the sensual.  They can’t respond to Me either.

“But they evolved?”

The transition to early man is both slow and sudden.  Remember what the first two years of a child’s life is like, and (then) imagine each day to be a century.  In a sense, nothing is happening.  One day looks much like the last, and there is no single great leap forward.

So imagine My excitement when the first protohumans arrived.  At first, you couldn’t tell them from animals but I could see their potential.  They didn’t have language but their sounds and marks had representative purposes.  They could connect one thing to another, one thought to another.  They could remember their past and replay it in their minds.  They slowly developed a sense of the future.

“You are both other and same as Me.”

“Lord, are we all part of You?”

You are both other and same (as Me). I need you to be other so that I may encounter another self. I am a Person and, like other persons, define Myself by responding to other persons, and being responded to (by them).

But I also need union, not distance—just as other persons do. You and Abigail are both other and same. You need to be different people—love is a bridge between differences. You also merge spirits at certain moments, though not totally. That is also a kind of completion or fulfillment. Life, including My life, is the dialectic, as you might call it, of same and other, confrontation and union.

We are both other than God and yet the same as God? But same and other are opposites. This did not go down easy for a former logic professor, but I went on. “Lord, are those moments of union with God the goal or are they just nice accompaniments?”

Neither. You shouldn’t strive for moments of union per se, for peak experiences. That is self-indulgence, and a mistake of some who seek mystical experience. It is like orgasms—you should not seek them for their own sake. That is an abuse, a kind of idolatry. They happen naturally as the outcome and expression of love. But the experience of union is not just the accidental accompaniment of loving God. It is the essential expression.

Then, late at night, I felt the boundary between me and the world becoming thinner and less distinct. Slowly, subject and object were blending, becoming intimately bound, not standing apart from one another. I was noting this intellectually, but it was not an intellectual experience. It was an ontological experience, an experience of my whole being. Finally, for a few moments, it approached total one-ness, the complete loss of awareness of self. At that point, I pulled back.

“Lord, what is the meaning of this kind of experience?”

There are many levels and kinds of experience with Me—including music. Do not make too much of it. It is good, just let it happen. It does not mean that you are about to become a mystic or anything unworldly. It is not unlike—it is on a continuum with—a wide range of spiritual experiences, in and out of religious practice and sensibility, that people have all the time. But it is definitely good. It will give you energy and peace and insight, so let it in.

Many times one “loses oneself” in an experience, but those moments are less threatening than merging with God. I pulled back, but felt a nagging sense I was not supposed to. “Lord, I feel you want me to do more of the mystical stuff, ‘entering’ You and so forth.”

Yes, and you can remove the scare quotes. There is nothing strange about it. That is how the universe is. The parts can communicate with the whole. It is no more mystical or mysterious than your ability to move your arm.

Actually, since Descartes introduced a sharp mind-body distinction, how the mind moves the body has been a philosophical mystery. But, in actual life, it is not. The parts can communicate with the whole and vice versa. I had never thought of the universe that way.

 

“Ego is destructive, separatist, defiant”

Ego is Separatist-

An ego rush always broke my connection with God.

So I tried to keep a cold watch on this ego of mine.

When I was still in Washington, D.C., a matter came up about which I needed the assistance of an eminent intellectual with whom I had a limited acquaintance. He was completely forthcoming, and I felt flattered by his response.

“Lord, how should I take this? Is it wrong for me to feel flattered?”

No, it is not. This is joy, the joy of being yourself, which is proper to (appropriate for) human beings. I want you to be happy, to feel the fullness of your own being, its bounty. I blessed you with certain gifts. Of course, you recognize them as gifts, as benefits, as talents. That is okay. It is not the same as ego.

Ego is destructive, separatist, defiant of My will, self-satisfied and self-lustful. A proper appreciation of yourself opens your heart, binds you to Me, to those you love. Remember that I love you—I love all human beings—without reservation. Ideally, you would love yourself as I love you, as I loved Jesus. But that is not normally possible for human beings, because there are many obstacles.

“But it is possible for a few?”

For some, yes. I have blessed them with the ability to transcend those limitations. They can love themselves fully, and this permits them to love others.

One week I testified before a U.S. Senate committee. It did not go well and my ego limped out of the hearing room.

Get your ego out of it. Stand back and look (at it) at a distance.

“A ‘God’s-eye’ view?”

No, just objectively, as if it were someone else.

That helped. If it were someone else, I would know that, even on a good day, a Senate hearing is unpredictable. But there was still an ego wound.

“Lord, what can I do about that?”

Look, you are encased in a body and a personality, and it requires ego strength and self-respect. When I say, “Get the ego out,” I mean the second-order attachment to ego. The ego, like desires, is a fact, a necessary fact. Like the body, it gets bruised. You just nurture it and let it heal. Don’t deny it but don’t dwell on it either. Accept it and don’t attach it to blame. That your ego has been embarrassed is not the same as “doing something wrong.” Don’t blame yourself. That is an example of the wrong kind of attachment.

“Then I should just say, ‘I wish it had gone better,’ and leave it at that?”

Correct.