I’m learning that I don’t need to know hows, whys, and wherefores before I commit myself to something good. That’s what following our bliss/following the Spirit means to me: first commit to the good that I love, then cooperate in the process of figuring out the details. That’s the sequence that honors me, the good, and everyone else involved.
Reverse that sequence and we become slaves to how, when, where, and what. That might not sound so bad, because we’re so used to living that way: governed by and even at the mercy of forces, times, places, and things. Not only is it no fun being wagged, it tends to not make much sense. Our sense of meaning, purpose, and personal power are much enhanced when we start with why and make the decisions ourselves. We sure were conditioned to operate otherwise, though.
What good reason could there possibly be to want something good while thinking it isn’t going to happen? Or what reason for thinking it won’t happen if we’re sure it’s good? Why wouldn’t it? If it’s good, why do we even question whether it will happen? Why not just assume that it will?
Those might sound like odd questions, ones that we wouldn’t take seriously; but I did. I’ve tried hard to find believable reasons for thinking that good things aren’t bound to happen, but can’t find any. (By the way, that’s not the same as claiming that bad things won’t or can’t happen, just in case you were tempted to go there. ;-)) It sounds preposterous to some people, I know, because they tell me. And then I try to find out why they think so, and they can’t tell me. They think it should be obvious to me and can’t believe that it isn’t. In my experience, believing something to be obviously true when we can’t explain why we think so is not the result of a rational process of thoughtful investigation, deliberation, and logically drawn conclusions, but a sign of psychological conditioning, something I’m very familiar with. Some call it brainwashing.
Somewhere down inside there are parts of us that were abused into believing that good alone isn’t good enough, as if formidable aspects of the universe and even the One behind it don’t want good things to happen, especially not really good things. If no such malevolent aspects exist, what’s left to stop good from happening, even fantabulously wonderful good? I’ve looked hard for evidence of such anti-good and so far have found none. I’m still looking. Let me know if you find some. Am I overlooking cruel, malicious, wicked people? No. I just differentiate between what we all are capable of when we’re pushed past our limits and who we truly are. What we do indicates what we are able to manifest, not necessarily who we are or what we want to manifest. What we genuinely want defines who we are. I haven’t found evidence of anything we call “evil” that cannot be explained by good people being corrupted into doing bad things. We all were, at some point, innocent–even if our innocence was robbed the minute we were born. What corrupts us? Without exception, abusive treatment.
Instead of wondering if good will happen, we should have some courage and challenge: If it’s good, and especially if it’s really good, why wouldn’t it happen? And why would we want it if it weren’t good? Wouldn’t we change our minds as soon as we found out that it wasn’t good or that something else would be better? It just shows how poorly we figure into the ways we were conditioned to think, as if the simple fact that we want something isn’t enough reason for it to happen. It makes no sense, and no one I know of has explained how it does make sense. So how can intelligent, well-intentioned people be so certain that what they want won’t happen “just because they want it to,” especially since they can’t say why? It’s bizarre.
Instead, we automatically feel compelled to find reasons to justify what we want before we’ll let ourselves believe that it will happen, as if we’re used to living with enemies that we need to convince and force instead of friends who want only to help. Our conditioned behavior suggests that’s exactly what we’re used to. So we come up with very imaginative–even magical–theories and convoluted schemes to try to get what we want given that the odds (we presume) are stacked against us. Why would answers to logistical questions be more important and more confidence-inspiring than the fact that we want something that’s good? That’s a priority reversal. It’s to assume that the universe is perverse, even insane, as if physical “fact” outweighed spirit, intention, and honest desire for welfare, betterment, and love.
We are not tools; we are creators. As creators, what we decide to do matters more than the constraints we’re given. Overcoming constraints in imaginative ways is a broad definition of art, as far as I can see. Even engineers and mechanics create works of art. Eliminate constraints or fail to overcome them imaginatively, and art doesn’t happen. Nothing was ever created by letting circumstance dictate desire, only by desire transforming circumstance. That’s the priority that makes everything happen, both good and bad. So why were we conditioned to accept an anti-creative prioritization as the norm? What’s up with that?
Spirit comes before physical manifestation, desire is more important than means, and the mere fact that we want something is the most important thing to God, Gaia, Source, the cosmos, Love itself, everyone who loves us, and the One behind it all, just like it’s the most important thing to us when it comes to our children and loved ones. If we love them, seeing them get their heartfelt desires satisfied–seeing them truly happy–is our deepest joy, deeper even than the question of whether their desires are “good” or “bad” or “right” or “wrong.”
So why do we doubt our most sincere and devoted Lovers, as if the Love given to us were inferior to our love for them? Why do we need others to convince us of our worth before we’ll believe it ourselves? It makes no sense. In fact, we matter and they matter so much that we literally find it incredible. What makes that so hard to believe when it’s so obviously true, and what accounts for our inability to genuinely appreciate ourselves when appreciating our loved ones makes such clear sense? Nothing rational, that’s for sure. Abusive conditioning is the only realistic answer that I can find.
Better ones than I believed and do believe that the bowels of the whole universe and the One behind it feel moved by our simplest heartfelt desires and immediately start arranging to satisfy them; but physical manifestation takes time–kinda implied by “physical” ya know! 😉 We can be so distrustful that we don’t expect anything to happen beyond whittled-down, watered-down, diminished versions of what we really want. It’s easy to tell when we’re doing this, because we don’t allow ourselves to consider what we want until after we’ve determined “what’s possible.” Is that truly about realistic possibility, or is it about avoiding disappointment? Then, run out of patience for the little we allowed ourselves to expect, we often don’t stick around long enough to obtain it, having distracted ourselves with our own puny efforts to “make it happen,” ranging from marginally effective to flat-out counterproductive. Priding ourselves on our “accomplishments” is usually 1 part accomplishment, 1 part aggrandized self-promotion for the little we managed to pull off, and 8 parts denial of factors that were completely beyond our control, any of which would have spelled failure had they not gone our way.
Jesus faulted people for the smallness of their faith, not because there are plenty of reasons that prevent us from getting what we want, as if we face huge barriers and adversaries that only great faith could overcome, but for thinking that there are any sensible reasons which prevent us from getting what we want when there actually are none. Our abused, beaten, denigrated selves tend object to that idea like a knee-jerk. We can think of all kinds of reasons that could prevent us, of course. We’re great at that kind of thinking. The weird thing is: the reasons that we have the least reason to believe are real are the ones that can cause us the most trouble. The devils we know are not as threatening as the specters we fear might jump out of the unknown and bite us, even though a little reflection shows that most of the specters we ever feared never actually materialized.
So, we let the very little that we do see and feel we have some influence over outweigh the immense and overwhelming (if we’d just think about it) multitude of factors that we don’t see and can do nothing about, processes and systems and powerful agents that are already moving towards giving us what we want. Not only is the out of sight, out of mind. Our brains, short of our conscious intervention, act like out of sight = non-existent, as if our cognitive limitations defined the bounds of reality itself. Faith isn’t about “seeing” things that are not there, but factoring into our hearts and minds the reality of things that lie beyond our awareness. When you think about it for a minute, that’s almost EVERYTHING that exists. Neither is faith about causing things to happen against the flow. Faith is about recognizing when factors beyond immediate awareness indicate that the apparent flow is ultimately impotent and irrelevant. If so, why feel like we’re “going against” anything?
The facts that we’re still here, as well off as we are, after all the stupid things we’ve done, the poor understandings we’ve had, the many things that could easily have gone wrong but didn’t, and the many things that went right but didn’t need to, are proof that most of those “unknown unknowns” were favorable to us. God loves us. The universe is benevolent, not just benign. This is my understanding of “grace.” There are oodles of it, which is easy to see in retrospect if we’re honest with ourselves and have learned anything in the meantime. If most of the relevant factors had been unfavorable, we’d be living in hell on earth, but we’re not. Others might be, but this isn’t about them; it’s about us. In fact, those who hang on and find their ways through hellish experiences do so by focusing on the prospect that good things will come, not reasons why they won’t. They trust that good will come in spite of all evidence. That’s how they survive and overcome. They don’t let circumstance dictate their desires. They let their desires embrace the apparently impossible, and then they show that it certainly was not impossible. In light of this, why do we, in our relatively safe and privileged circumstances, fixate on the few negatives we’re aware of? Again, reflex conditioned by abuse is the only realistic answer I can find.
Faith isn’t even about having the power (intentional, manifestational, persuasive, physical, political, or any other kind of power,) to change things so that we get what we want. Jesus said it doesn’t take great faith to move mountains, just faith the size of a mustard seed–1/20th of an inch. In other words, when we are in harmony with the universe and the One behind it, our desires are their desires, so our power and their power make the mountain move, even if we’ve only invested a mustard seed’s worth of faith in it. In that case, there is no way for the mountain not to move.
This is why I’ve never understood the false dichotomies that set God’s will against our will, God’s thoughts against our thoughts, and God’s power against our strength, God’s plans against our plans, etc. That would make sense if God were an abuser and we were God’s victims. But if we love the God that is Love itself, our wills are God’s will, and our thoughts and strength and plans are God’s thoughts and power and plans. There is no difference, let alone a separation, much less a conflict. Paul the apostle wrote, “we have the mind of Christ;” not that we will have it or should have it or need to get it. Where do we think we got our will, thoughts, strength, and plans from anyway, the devil? If so, scrap ’em, because they aren’t going to work! 😉 And where do we see God’s power at work except in the powers at work in the universe, including us? Magical, disembodied hopes and thinking are typical of abuse victims who feel powerless to rescue themselves, not of secure, well-adjusted people who are confident in their creative abilities.
Moving the mountain is not the problem, anyway. Focusing on the mountain misses the whole point, which is why I think Jesus called those who looked for signs and wonders an “evil and adulterous generation.” Trying to move a mountain when we believe that (or behave as if) we’re doing it against all odds is not only a big problem, it’s stupid. That’s the real problem. At that point we should wonder why we want what’s contrary to the universe and the One behind it instead of trying to fight them. And if we’re not fighting them but want the same thing as they do, what’s left to struggle against, and why doubt that we’ll get what we want? It makes no sense.
Love didn’t teach us to treat ourselves so poorly, so why should we listen to lies that abuse us into believing that we need more than we already have, need to be other than we already are, and must earn the right to expect that we’ll get what we want? Where the fuck did that come from?? Not from Lovers or Love and not from believing that we’re loved, that’s for sure. So, I’m rejecting it. 😀