Monday, September 4, 2006

The God Beyond Guilt

I was prompted by this discussion at Norm Jenson's excellent blog to offer the following thoughts on science, experience, and spirituality.

What if we were to treat god as an equal—how would our understanding of ourselves, Nature, and the universe transform? What ideas would we have to discard? This is the focus of what I call "proligion," but you can give it any name you like. In one of my books, I make the case that a certain well-known scientist with a lively libido and a pair of relativity theories was writing about such a god whenever he scribbled equations on a blackboard. He knew the value and true essence of physical form, and the perfection of Nature, as few others in his time knew it: after all, he could show you god, in the form of ideas and equations that said, "not merely is all not what it seems; nothing is what it seems."

Guilt—over being inferior, over being sexual or bodily, over being human—is perhaps the first and foremost notion we'd have to get rid of, if we had such an understanding of god-as-equal, as part and parcel of ourselves. Reading Einstein's more personal writings, you don't find a trace of guilt, despite his status as a human being like me and you. The mass media, a couple months back, breathlessly trumpeted the news of his adulterous affairs, as if the man's humanity disproved his science. But the mass media never know what to do with reality, aside from distort it; to force it into the mold of whatever ideology its various minions happen to be aligned with.

Maybe sometime during his long life, the genius with the greatest hairdo in the history of science encountered guilt. If so, he probably felt it and saw it for its reality as a distortion of truth, a massive pimple on the face of Nature. Those of us in the healing professions need to follow his lead, and that's why I have written at length about guilt, asking why it is nowhere evident in all of Nature but in ourselves.

Remember the peeing scene from the great film version of King's The Green Mile? Tom Hanks' character, after months of suffering from an agonizing urinary tract infection, has been "treated" by the great dark angel who is his prisoner. He stands over the toilet and grimaces, bracing himself for the stabbing fire of pain that always accompanies his stream. But it is no longer there—all there is now is the relief of letting go. His gasping sighs of ecstatic release are beautiful to watch and hear.

This is what letting go of guilt feels like. If you can truly and completely do that, then I have nothing more to teach you.

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