Monday, April 30, 2007

DIVINE RESENTMENT: Purposeful Bitterness

I sometimes hear people say that we live in a Universe that 'conspires for our good.' Does that include the 'bad experiences' as well?

Both the physical and psycho-spiritual realm(s) are comprised of positive and negative poles. Psychologically, that means that the so called 'negative' emotions are just as normal, necessary and useful as positive thoughts and emotions. Resentment is one such emotion. The term 'resent' literally means 'to feel or experience again'.

Re = again
Sent = to feel

When you recall or re-feel an old wound or past offense, this is resentment. I have heard many preachers rail against resentment as something that destroys the soul and body. These preachers tell us that we must forgive, or release our offender. Jesus told his disicples to forgive their enemies. To some extent they are right - we are not made to revisit old wounds over and over and over. This chronic dis-ease can be physically and emotionally harmful.

However, if the Universe is constructed intelligently, then there must be a reason for these old feelings to keep coming back. I suggest that each old would, offense, betrayal or abuse contains a divine lesson pertaining to our destiny. In other words, there is a valuable golden nugget in each deep rocky mine shaft of past hurt.

I am not talking about forcing yourself to concoct some nonsensical silver lining in the dark cloud, but to spend time reflecting on hurtful events if they keep coming back. An intelligently constructed Universe includes the gift of resentment, because with the return of the old feelings of anger, sadness and hurt comes a soul-making gift and subsequent psychic shift.


Jesus forgave his enemies because he recognized the necessity of their abuses and betrayals for his call. In the recently discovered Gospel of Judas, Jesus says to Judas just before he turned Christ over to the religious authorities, "You will sacrifice the man who clothes me." In other words, Judas's act of betrayal was recognized as part of Jesus' call and destiny. Even the horrific act of betrayal contained an element of perfect guidance. No wonder Jesus could bless his enemies.

According to John's Gospel, Jesus made an enigmatic statement about the work of what he called the 'Holy Spirit' when he said, "And when He comes, He will convince the world and bring demonstration to it through sin (missing the mark) and about uprightness of heart and discerning what is true and false." (John 16:7-8) Without getting stuck in the mire of sectarian interpretations, the general thrust of this passage indicates that the Holy Spirit would use even 'negative' emotions and experiences as means for revelation and insight. In other words, even 'sin' or the 'bad stuff' was part of the spiritual process.

Jesus told a story we have labled "The Prodigal Son", about a young man who wastes his inheritance on drunkeness and sexual promiscuity. The boy ends up broke, broken and working on a farm feeding swill to a herd of pigs. It is in the pig sty that he 'comes to his senses' and decides to return home and apologize to his father. One point of the parable is that revelatory wisdom often comes to us in those times we are knee deep in pig manure and table scraps. A mind filled with resentment is an opportunity to 'come to our senses'.


As an evangelical minister, I had a secretary who petitioned the church board to fire me for being too 'New Age'. She had caught me reading Shirley McClain's book, Out On A Limb. I felt a deep hatred for my betrayer and no matter how hard I tried to forgive her, resentment kept bringing her image and action to mind. I released and forgave her over and over but she kept coming back to roost in my mind. In a moment of insight, I realized that she was Spirit's appointed agent of my destiny. It was time for me to leave the church. She helped sacrifice the 'man that clothed me', that is, the old clothing of an evangelical minister that no longer served me. It was time for a new set of soul clothes. It was time to sacrifice that old aspect of my self.

Joseph of the Old Testament wore two coats. Both were violently torn off by others in order to further his perfect destiny. First, his brothers ripped his 'coat of many colors' off of him and sold him into slavery. Later, the mistress of the house in which he served ripped another garment off of him when she falsely accused him of rape. Both of these 'strippings' came as shocking betrayals and bitter offenses, each unjust and painful. Both of these 'sheddings' moved him into his destiny as Israel's deliverer.

I believe that we will be revisited for years or even decades by old wounds, no matter how often we try to forgive or release them, until we find the kernel of divine guidance in the deeds of our 'enemies'. Life is a series of shedding old layers of soul, like a snake crawling out of old skin.


In the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche (Soul), Psyche must cross a turbulent river, gather golden wool from wild violent rams and weave a new coat from the strands of valuable fleece. With the help of Eros, Psyche risks her life and succeeds. Each of us at various junctures in our lives stands psychologically at rivers of resentment andlook across into fields of violent feelings and hurtful thoughts. There is golden wool to be gathered and a new coat to be made from these periods and events if we want to move forward.

It may take years to find the gold, but once it is found, the forgiveness arrives effortlessly. If you are struggling to forgive an ex-spouse, a supervisor, an in-law or any other human being or organization that has 'betrayed' you - there is a good chance you have not yet recognized the act of destiny in the painful hurt. This does not excuse their action or negate your pain and grief. But if you can realize that even the 'negative' emotions are part of the soul-making Universe, it allows that possibility that even resentment is a gift that continually calls you back to the place of pain to find the gift for your destiny in an intelligent Cosmos.

If, as some contend, the Universe is in a conspiracy for your good, that means there is a con-spiring (with spiriting) that utilizes all events to weave the tapestry of your destiny. Grieve the injury, seek justice if there has been a criminal offense, weep and rage if need be - then look for the Divine Gift of gold in the avalanche of dirt and debris under which you find yourself. Just as meteor impacts, tsunamis and volcanoes rearrange planetary geography into fascinating new shapes, so too do psychological 'disasters' mold and restructure our individual soul-scapes in keeping with our personal destiny and unique soul-image.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The following account comes from a young married couple, Matt and Jill, who recently lost their seven year old son Luke to a sudden bacterial infection. When I spoke with Jill on the phone, I wept – that was all I could do. When the three of us met in person, I could only feel deep grief, yet not remotely close to the depths they were in. There were no solutions or quick fixes.

For those of us with children, it is the worst nightmare imaginable; our beloved and beautiful child is here one day, and gone the next. His room stands as a silent memorial to his dynamic life. His absence is palpable, and for the parents, getting through one minute of the day is an achievement.

This couple understands the soul-making nature of the Universe - that life is not always easy or filled with simple spiritual clichés, or five steps to a happy solution. They understand that in some odd and horrifically magical way, even the depths of grief and loss are part of this poem we call life – that it can expand one’s experience of soul into realms not possible through pleasure and gain.

They told me that some people try to cheer them up, that these positive folks feel very uncomfortable around pain and grief. That is our culture – we medicate, meditate, mediate and do everything we can to avoid pain and emotional conflict. We numb or ‘cure’ suffering, see it as the enemy with nothing of value.

Jill has carried on email correspondences with various friends and relatives. Many of these supporters lovingly try to cheer her up, to pull her out of the grief. However, an aunt who understands that a full life includes the hard stuff as well as the easy stuff wrote Jill and Matt the following email:

I have decided that I like the rain. I like it when it's cold and dark. I like seeing my own blood and thrill at the sting of nettles. I like being hot or cold and wet or hungry.....or mad or happy. I like feeling everything right now..... It makes me feel real....maybe before, I was "velveteen." Loosing sight of Luke this winter has given me an acute sense of self in this plane of existence. I am here to feel and think and do things and experience a lot and when I die I will know a lot more and I amazed. You are always in my head and heart....I like you there.....It makes me feel I can keep you safe........I love you too................................aunt Paula

Jill wrote this in reply:

It was so good to read your e-mail. The LIFE in your words was true and vibrant. It spoke perfectly to where I am today: This morning, while I was playing basketball with Tommy in the back yard, a neighbor came by and tried to talk us into "being happy" and "start living". This urge toward happiness is a not-so-rare request we get from people. I told them that we are living bigger than anyone I know and probably bigger than anyone who we know will EVER get to live. I told him that happiness is just one part of life, and if we deny ourselves the feelings of this overwhelming grief and bereavement, we miss out on a lot of life. Life is WAY more than joy. I will not dishonor the enormous presence that Luke embodied by "getting over it", "moving on", or "focusing on the positive". Most people out there are so fearful of the effects of this tragedy, they spend a lot of time wishing it away with distractions masked as "happiness". We are living more now than I've ever lived. These days, I can account for every moment. Now, every second has a purpose. Life is intense now. Life is raw. I feel like I GET it. And although this kind of living does have clarity, I would trade it ALL for Luke. It's certainly not worth it. I'd live that dull, pursuit-of-happiness, running-from-pain life if I could have my child back. But since I don't get that, I chose to experience this suffering. Right now, THAT'S where I feel Luke. My worst moments now are when I'm numb and "looking okay". In my sadness and longing for Luke is where I feel him and where life is. The biggest support we receive is in those who can experience this loss too. The only strength I see is in those who don't run away from this tragedy, but in those who feel it personally. There is no room in my world for fear-filled people who can do nothing but attempt to distract us with trivialities, "have a nice day" balloons, or reminders of how blessed we are to have two healthy boys and some sunny weather over the weekend. This void will not disappear by running from it. On the contrary, it will devour us if we don't face it head on and even embrace it.

Jill then wrote this email to me:

Michael, I remember our talk about "too much light" and "joy, joy, joy". It's true. Some people need that, but the mistake is in thinking that "joy" is on one end of the spectrum and "sorrow" and "suffering" are on the other. The way it really works is not like this:


but like this:


And the truth is, if one can accept deep sorrow for as long as it lasts, even if it's forever (as in our case) one might be able to experience deep joy too. And if not, well, as I said before, there's more to life than joy.

Michael’s conclusion:

There is little more to add. This is from someone in the midst of the stuff most humans dread. She is not writing from some academic chair or spiritual class at church, but from the midst of Job’s whirlwind. In my opinion, her words apply to what happened at the Virginia Tech and all around the world everyday. If we could reverse these horrific tragedies, we would. But as Jill so wisely wrote,

“But since I don't get that, I chose to experience this suffering. Right now, THAT'S where I feel Luke. My worst moments now are when I'm numb and "looking okay". In my sadness and longing for Luke is where I feel him and where life is.”

Visit Michael's web site @


Monday, April 23, 2007


"As a connecting link, or traditionally third position, between all opposites, the soul differs from the terms which it connects...It is not life that matters, but soul and how life is used to care for soul." James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psyhcology, pp. 174-175


I see war or conflict as a necessary and normal part of the Cosmos – whether these conflicts show up as comets smashing into planets, stars in perpetual nuclear fusion, rain eroding rocks or time wrinkling and withering once smooth skin. The cosmos is a place of war, and peace.

At some level, I disagree with the dogmatic ideologies of both Liberals and Conservatives ultimately. Conservatives see war as a solution and Liberals see war as something that must be ended. I see both as naïve and ignoring the evidence of nature and psyche. It is not a choice of being either in the red states or blue states. I refuse to be labeled either. When I see bumper stickers advocating War or advocating Peace, as though one could exist on this planet without the other, I find myself in disagreement with both.

I see a third way, not a synthesis or blending of the two extremes, but a way that sees both war and peace as normal and necessary for this game called the Soul-making Cosmos. The third way is that of soul-making. We are here to make souls, not to evolve into a peaceful planet or to conquer our enemies.

Some in the New Age Movement suggest that we are evolving as a species into a planet of peace. I see no paradigm shift toward eternal peace. That idea is New Age faith based dogma with no evidence behind it in my opinion, which is little different than the faith based dogma of the second coming of Jesus I used to hear as a Fundamentalist Christian. Both groups blame someone, sinful Adam or selfish Ego, and both groups see a future external solution, Jesus coming, or evolving into peaceful spiritual beings. I think both are missing the point of existence – we are here to make souls, and all of the opposites have been built into the curriculum for that process.

The Cosmos is a little like a football game which works well because it has rules for goal-making. Imagine being at a football game and hearing one group of bleeding heart liberals argue that the players ought to stop blocking and tackling each other, while the red neck conservatives argue that the players ought to be able to kick and punch each other. The game has rules to be followed for the purpose of goal-making. Similarly, the Cosmos is a game of soul making which operates by the laws of opposites, and neither the conservatives nor liberals will change the rules of the Cosmic game.

There is a Swahili Warrior Song—“Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the gods….so let us celebrate the struggle.”

Just as Jesus said ‘the poor you shall have with you always’, so I believe that war and peace shall be with us always. These opposites are a necessary and normal part of reality. Both exist because Reality is composed of both. Darkness and light, pleasure and pain, good and evil and all contraries exist to make soul. Some people will always line up on the war side and others on the peace side. This is how it ought to be. There have always been fighters and peace makers. If it is ALL God, how could it be any other way?

You see this necessary set of contraries in Hinduism, where Lord Krishna gives life and devours life, generates little babies and swallows men on the battle field. These opposites are necessary because each person is here to experience duality in order to make soul. Each human has a soul, an invisible character, an invisible ‘spiritual’ essence beyond but not separate from the physical body. Everyone is spiritual because everyone is making a soul each moment, whether an atheist or agnostic, Jew or Taoist, church-goer or lounge lizard.

The mystical poet, William Blake wrote, "Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.” Blake understood that it is in the clash of opposites that soul's are grown. He capitalized the different words because he experienced them as Living, ea ch One just as personal and intelligent as the "I" or "God" that many moderns typically and exclusively capitalize. Blakes Universe was comprised of many Teachers, including War and Peace. Some think Jesus was alluding to many classrooms when he said, "In my Father's house are many mansions (dwelling places or classrooms). Greek authors sometimes used the word 'mansions' as stages or phases.

Jesus understood this when he made shocking statement, "pray for your enemies and bless those who persecute you." Jesus was saying that our enemies are just as necessary for soul-making as our friends. We don't bless them because we are spiritual, but because they are necessary for our souls. No wonder they crucified him, he saw the Roman oppressors as soul-making educators.

Spirituality is not a little slice of life where you chant, pray and get high on Jesus or Energy Crystals. Spirituality is in the Contraries, in war and peace, cancer and health, loss and gain, eating gourmet food or taking a dump. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer peace, health and prosperity – but I also preferred to skip algebra and watch TV rather than memorize my spelling words when I was in school. That which is easier and which we prefer is not always the most beneficial.

I refuse to pick a side - Conservatives argue that we live by the sword while Liberals argue that we live by the olive branch. Both points of view are true, but as dogmatic ideologies they seem to ignore the very nature of an evolving cosmos which develops by perpetual discord that becomes order, and then dissolves like a cloud, only to reassemble again. The world of Nature is our teacher: Sharks kill seals while ants organize colonies, lions kill gazelles while birds sing songs in the Spring, frost kills leaves while the sun rises over a blue lagoon, people divorce while lovers share a first kiss, and on and on –

It is time for a Third Way, a way that honors the Contraries and sees the Intelligent Universe using all facets to make Soul, individually, socially and universally.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


For My Conservative Friends: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. May the true meaning of Christmas be first and foremost in your thoughts and actions this coming year.

For All My Liberal Friends: Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my Best Wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Oh, I don't mean to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor that North America is the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings, you are accepting the aforementioned terms as stated. This greeting is not subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself/others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher or wishee. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


The movie, The Secret, has really caught on, which means that the modern priesthood we call The Media has dubbed it newsworthy and therefore important. For those of us who have known about the so called Secret, it is exciting to see others benefit from a fascinating spiritual principle.

In my first blog on this topic, I warned of some dangers related to taking the Law of Attraction as a solitary principle. Keep in mind, my purpose is not detraction or subtraction from the Law of Attraction, but to help us avoid psycho-spiritual fractures from misunderstanding The Secret.

The Law of Attraction is a lot like physical exercise. It is very beneficial, but not everyone will get the same results. If you are sixty years old and begin to exercise and eat nutritionally, you will likely add years to your life, but you will not be going to participate in track and field events at the Olympics. Similarly, if you begin using positive affirmations and thinking successful thoughts, your life will likely get much better, but it doesn't mean you will be a best selling author promoting your book on Oprah. Of course you might, and you clearly increase your chances by practicing the Law of Attraction, but don't be shocked if it doesn't happen.

In the other blog I asked you to consider the issue of universal soul-making which sees failure and suffering as not only beneficial, but needful and necessary in a universe such as ours. The Law of Attraction is equilibrated by the Law of Balance - every positive must have a negative, light and darkness co-mingle to create a new thing.

Now I am asking that we realize that the anecdotal stories of unmitigated financial and personal success found in The Secret are not any more realistic than an older person expecting to become a professional athlete. Physical, mental and spiritual exercises do not always result in optimal external results. I have a friend who says, "An expectation is a resentment waiting to happen." In other words, if we begin any kind of program with the attitude that a specific result must and will happen, we are screwed before we begin.

Do your exercises faithfully, go to the mental gym and affirm your success. But if you are a mediocre singer or average writer, don't be disappointed if you don't become a celebrity earning a million dollars through your talent. No doubt you will become a better singer and writer, but that is most likely all that will happen. Please, prove me wrong.

The show American Idol is a great example of this misplaced use of the Law of Attraction. The producers and judges of that show have gone on record saying that they marvel at the self delusion many of these people experience as they affirm and positive think their way into humilation. All of the positive thinking in the world is not going to make Stephen Hawking an Olympic swimmer. Affirmations may help him discover the Unified Principle in physics, because that is his forte. But even then, he has no guaratee that he will discover the answer. Again, he may have a better chance by practicing the Law of Attraction, but it is not a guarantee.

Use the Law of Attraction, but be cognizant of your destiny and gifts, be aware that Universal Soul has included the Law of Failure as part of the soul-making curricula. Continuing with the old age analogy, our bodies naturally and necessarily decline in mental and physical acuity that we may use our weaknesses and mortality to add rooms to the mansion of soul we construct in this lifetime. Being mediocre and facing failure, rejection and delapidation is as important as success, praise and power.

Poem 13 of the Chinese Tao Te Ching says it well:

Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
you position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don't see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

It is easy in this success obsessed culture which exalts celebrities to the status of gods, to get caught up in formulaic magic tinged with delusions of grandeur. It is little different than the old west snake oil peddlers promising health to those who buy their bogus elixirs.

Use the Law of Attraction, but be careful not to abuse it. The Universe is larger than our attempts to control it.

For a great parody of The Secret, go to

Thursday, April 5, 2007


The brilliant and innovative author Kurt Vonnegut recently passed away. Vonnegut studied for a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago, writing a thesis on “The Fluctuations Between Good and Evil in Simple Tales.” It was rejected unanimously by the faculty. The university finally awarded him a degree almost a quarter of a century later, allowing him to use his novel “Cat’s Cradle” as his thesis.

Genius is seldom recognized and rarely encouraged by the established institutions of a culture. Their purpose is to churn out more of the 'same old' drones. This was true of the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. Whether 12th century Catholic priests or 21st century University Professors, the teachers in established institutions have an innate tendency to perpetuate themselves.

The danger is that these teachers are seriously educated, probably overeducated, in their 'specialty' and can be quite intimidating to those students not immersed in the particular subject. It takes a strong, creative, imaginative and self confident individual to challenge the thrum thrum thrum of the incessant and mesmerizing harp of the institutional tenured priests.

Thomas Edison's mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him "addled." This ended Edison's three months of official schooling. He recalled later, "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint." His mother then home schooled him. Much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker's School of Natural Philosophy.

Albert Einstein's father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Albert clashed with authorities and resented the school regimen. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning. Ten year old Albert Einstein called Euclid's Elements the "holy little geometry book". From Euclid, Albert began to understand deductive reasoning (integral to theoretical physics), and by the age of twelve, he learned Euclidean geometry from a school booklet and began to investigate calculus.

Bill Gates enrolled at Harvard University in the fall of 1973 intending to get a pre-law degree, but did not have a definite study plan. While at Harvard, he met his future business partner, Steve Ballmer. At the same time, he co-authored and published a paper on algorithms with computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou. Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen at MITS, dubbing their partnership "Micro-soft" in November 1975. He never went back.

There are several lessons from these examples:

1. Much Western education stifles individual genius and imaginative creativity. Emerson's classic essay addresses this beautifully, "Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members." And, "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist." Lastly, "What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think."

2. A single seminal book or idea heavily influenced many of these people. You will know when the book, idea or instructor shows up. When you find it, master it until it masters you. Don't worry about how 'popular' it is. Too many modern students superficially read hundreds of books, never mastering one. I recall reading a story about a fellow who had been shipwrecked on an island with only a copy of a one volume encyclopedia. He wore it out until rescued years later. He went on to become a sought after specialist in many arenas! Someone has actually started a Slow Reading School where, "Subscribers are invited to explore the possibility that a respectful reading of books that are thoughtfully written, whatever their age, is an exceptionally powerful means for generating new ideas relevant to the issues of the present day."

3. The same institutions that rejected the theses of these geniuses, calling them addled, eventually wanted to be identified with them. I recall reading that the minister Emmet Fox wanted to join a certain well known religious organization, but they turned him away because he didn't have credentials from their institution. Fox went on to grow a church from 50 to 5,000 members in a year. Guess who came asking him to join their organization?

4. Don't leave school thinking that you will be a Bill Gates or Albert Einstein, unless you are really moved to do so. The point is not to quit your educational process, but to confidently follow your inner daemon or imaginative guide. Like the Greek hero, Theseus, you may be good at many tasks, but there is one that calls you from the core of your being. Stay in school, but elevate your destined genius and imaginative call over all learning. Let the educational process serve you rather than indoctrinate you.



The tendency to distinguish between physics and metaphysics is becoming more and more problematic for me. If there is just one realm and one kind of reality, then there can be no physics and metaphysics. There is what is…


Westerners have been distinguishing between two kinds and two realms of realities since Aristotle wrote his works on physics (nature) and meta-physics (beyond nature) over 2,000 years ago. His teacher, Plato, did not make this distinction since Plato saw reality as One, or a continuum graduating from the lower shadow forms and moving all the way up to the Absolute Eternal Forms. He called this continuum the 'Divided Line'.
By using the notion of 'lower' on the scale of reality, it wasn't meant to suggest some things were real and some were illusions, but rather to indicate that humans operated with limited sense perceptions. Reality was unified, human perception was limited.

Plato's Divided Li ne portrays reality as a sort of ladder into the heavens. The ladder or levels exist because of our limited senses, not because one level was less real than another. The human begins at the bottom rung of the ladder with the shadow forms and moves upward, graduating to more substantial forms of sensory objects like chairs, then to mathematical universals like 2+2 = 4, then to Archetypal Ideas like Love, Beauty, Chaos and Death, and finally into the enigmatic Good or The One from which all else emanates. For Plato there was The One reality manifesting in various ways.

For Aristotle, there appeared to be two realities - physics (nature) and metaphysics (beyond nature). Most Roman Catholic, Muslim and Protestant theologies, since the Middle Ages, have been influenced by Aristotle. As a result our Western sciences and the collective Western mind are Aristotelian. We are dualists by nature . And we favor the physical side because we can 'prove' it, and because our focus on nature through science has provided so many amazing technological inventions for our physical bodies.

Therefore, the Western cosmos is divided into the realms of natural physics and of supernatural metaphysics, sometimes called faith and reason, or science and religion. This clearly suggests two separate kinds and realms of existence. Sometimes we break them into spirit and flesh, earthly and heavenly, divine and human, etc. For those of us who speak of a single reality, or make the statement, "It is all One", we must then ask how we can distinguish between physics and metaphysics.


The difference between the two positions seems to be that of perception or how we sense things. Plato seemed to teach that there is in the human make-up, especially in philosophers, a sense organ that can perceive beyond material objects and rational mathematical ideas. There is an organ that can 'see' and 'hear' on the higher levels of the Dividing Line. I call this Imagination. This is NOT the imagination of modern psychology which is comprised of material gathered by the five usual senses and then formed into fantasies and fictions limited to objects collected from the realm of the five senses. Plato's Imagination is an actual organ that perceives and gathers actual images beyond the human brain, not the imagination that is limited by data gathered by the other senses.

This distinction is huge. Let me repeat, this Imagination actually 'sees' into the imaginal realms beyond matter and mathematics. Notice that in the following diagram, the mind moves beyond sensory objects and mathematical reasoning into the Ideas that precede and stand behind the mathematical.

Plato said that most humans will perceive or experience very little beyond sensory objects and mathematical ideas. It takes a philosopher to get his head into anything above the mathematical section. The Hindu Bhagavad Gita indicates the same, "Among thousands of people, scarcely one strives for complete knowledge, and even among those who gain spiritual understanding, perhaps one will see Me (The Good)." (Gita 7:3) Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (The Good), and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

The hindu Bhagavad Gita calls this Imagination the 'buddhi' mind that goes beyond material perception and self awareness. It actually dips into the Depths. This is also the realm into which we are plunged in the mystery of 'dreamtime' during sleep. If this is true, then every human has access to the realm of Archetypal Forms, potentially. No wonder Jesus continually encouraged people to find 'ears to hear and eyes to see'. Some early Christians called this field of perception gnosis. Modern neuro-scientists today are talking about 'the God-part'of the brain, and a whole new field called Neurotheology.