Religion died when it invented theology. Theology is Substitute Religion. It is somebody else's Religion. Theology is Second-hand Religion. Theology is equivalent to what the people did when Moses came down from the mountain, and his face shone so with the absorbed Glory of God that the people couldn't look directly at him, and draped him with a cloth to conceal the reality of God. Carl Jung said that theology was created to save people from the experience of God. Religion is the experience of God. God experienced as Other and as I. Religion is the knowledge of Thou Art That. Moses was one with God and the people couldn't handle it. The Transcendent becomes Imminent in this here this now, becomes one with us-- so that we become "Transparent to Transcendence"-- and it is terrifying and transforming. It messes terribly with our life. To save ourselves the trouble of Religion, we invented Theology, and we talk about God. Keeping God at a safe distance. It is much safer to talk about God than to be carriers of God, to be the embodiment of God, to be the incarnation of God. Just ask Jesus what it is like to be able to say, "The Father and I are one." We talk about God. We memorize the books of the Bible in order. We have Sword Drills to see who can find a scripture passage the fastest. We memorize catechisms and talk at length about our favorite questions in our favorite catechism. And read books of doctrine, putting them to music and calling them "Hymnbooks." It is all very inspiring. It is almost like being alive.
If we work with our life, our life works with us. If we work against our life, our life works against us. We can gauge the degree to which we need to adjust ourselves in relation to our life by the way things are going with us and our life. The old biblical adage applies: "It hurts to kick against the goads!" Our life will tell us when we are out of accord with our life. The trick to getting back in sync with our life is simple: Sincerity Not Contrivance! If we are trying to do this so that will happen, we are gaming our life. If we are frustrated because our ideas for our life are not being realized, we are pushing our life to be other than it is. Our place is to listen to our life, and to align ourselves with it. Our life has a mind of its own. It is like any living thing. A flower turns toward the sun. A tree leans toward the light. Our life has a built in cant toward its preferences and away from its aversions. Our place is to learn what our life likes and do that. What are we built for? Do that. Let everything fall into place around that. We are made for our life the way a stream is made for the sea. If we are working against our life, it is as though the stream decides on a destination different than the sea. Guess how that would work out.
You have to know what I mean before you can understand what I'm saying. Which means, of course, that my only role in your life is to articulate what you already understand to be so. But. I recognize that as a vital part of your awakening to, well, you. We all have exactly what we need to find what we need to do what needs to be done-- what needs us to do it-- in the time and place (the here and now) of our living. And. The most important thing anyone can give us is ourselves. When we wake up, we wake up to the infinite value of us. And. Start paying attention to our dreams, and being aware of our thoughts, urges, inclinations, reactions, and all of the things that make us us. We devote time to nurturing our relationship with ourselves, and take ourselves out to lunch, and listen intently to all we are saying-- cultivating, nourishing, nurturing, our ability to know what we know, see what we look at, hear what we are saying and what is being said to us, asking the questions that beg to be asked and saying the things that cry out to be said, and knowing when we don't, and wondering why we didn't... The entire world and all of life open themselves to our unfolding, unfurling, deepening, expanding, unending and infinite curiosity. And. We discover that knowing what we know leads instantly and directly to knowing what we don't know-- to knowing that we don't know-- and doing the work of finding out, letting, in the way of the old alchemists, "One book open another," and we are off, lost in the allness and the wonder of everything. And. If it takes forever for us to wake up, well, that's what forever is for. And. Once we wake up, we realize it will take forever to get to the bottom of all of it, and, that too, is what forever is for. But. Don't slack up, knowing you have forever! There is not a moment to lose! Not a second to waste! The game's afoot! The chase is on! And. It all starts with knowing what you know. And what you don't know. That's all you need to know.