God as You
If you decided to think like Brooks Greene-Barton, could be you'd light up and love up your life with no limits on how far it might take you.
Brooks Greene-Barton died last month. This weekend there is a memorial for him in Ojai, California, where he lived. He is someone whose contributions you might want to know about and benefit from.
Before you read his own challenging words from a never-before published interview from a few years ago, a useful first thing to know about is that his first visionary experience occurred when he was nine. It signaled his initiation into a mystical path that ultimately made him one of the more unique messengers of God to come along in many years. Made him as well a man who saw emotional disorders and addictions through a profoundly original and effective lens.
He was in LA’s Griffith Park with his classmates. Suddenly, as he looked into a stretch of trees, “It opened up and I experienced this enormous rush of love and light. I felt as though I had been taken into another experience of reality, a different realm. All my nerves were filled with ecstatic bliss.” This without LSD or Ecstasy.
Every spiritual and religious system has a name for this experience, which is surprisingly common in human spiritual history. Christians refer to it as “ecstatic visitation.” Hindus call this unbidden shift into an ecstatic dimension “samadhi.” Jews call it “histalkus.” Greene-Barton preferred samadhi and understood it as “an opening beyond ordinary experience to an experience of yourself in relationship with God – a meeting with something much larger than the ordinary mind can comprehend.” Out of such experiences are mystics and profound healers born.
The Griffith Park samadhi kicked off for Greene-Barton a lifelong series of increasingly intense visitations to other states of mind and realms of reality. It also fueled his extensive scholarly and personal research into spiritual and meditative traditions, and it set the path for deep inner psychological work on himself and innovative work with others, including people in recovery and under other psychological distress.
Some later altered states he received spontaneously; others via formal meditation, mind control and spiritual practices. Still others were induced by shamanic plants such as ayahuasca. Years of scholarly globetrotting and experiential inquiry also brought numerous interactions with American, Eastern and African spiritual systems and masters. "It was as though I gave myself the assignment to get to know every significant spiritual system on Earth and find the relationship between them," Greene-Barton once said.
The earthly results of these inquiries and experiences were plentiful. For several years Brooks specialized in training psychologists and therapists in the nexus between the spiritual and psychological – in effect, in new healing modalities for the deepest inner wounds. In guiding these endeavors, he developed meditative and healing techniques and incorporated others he learned from his researches, particularly from the self-scrutinizing courses offered by the Pathwork organization, of which he was for a time California board chair.
Along the way Greene-Barton worked with hundreds of individual clients, by no means all shrinks, on their spiritual growth and on getting out of inner hells - indistinguishable in his methodology from healing their separation from God and from their profoundest selves. Beginning in the late 1980s, he traveled around the world presenting workshops that incorporated segments of his techniques and philosophy. Eventually, he distilled this thinking and practice into a three-year teaching program he called The Art of God, samples of which are available at artofgod.org.
Among the qualities that drew people to Greene-Barton is that, like the more formidable Western mystics (Acquinas, St. Augustine, Milton and Dunne among them), he lived solidly in the contemporary world. He was also as upfront as a 12-stepper about his own character defects and shadow side journeys through judgments of self and others, fear, betrayal in relationships, lack of lovingness, self-absorption, power drives and the like. The shit we all live and manifest to varying degrees…our dark nights and days of the soul. One solid consequence was that his personality didn’t ooze “I am guru above.” His demeanor was infinitely patient, loving, caring teacher – only one who had access to incredible states of mind that often were reflected in his ability to “read” into exactly where his students or clients were inside themselves without them saying a word.
Some bio: Greene-Barton grew up in Beverly Hills. His father, Dr. Richard Barton, a surgeon, though formally an Episcopalian, was a devotee of Jewish philosopher and mystic Martin Buber. Father surrounded himself with philosophical and spiritual types, Aldous Huxley among them, and wrote Religious Doctrine and Medical Practice, which became a standard medical school text. Dr. Barton immersed his son in his conversations and in spiritually-oriented movies and events. Far from rebelling, little Brooks Barton (he made it Greene-Barton to honor his wife, Alison Greene) loved and was fascinated by this stuff.
His openness to non-traditional modes was advanced at the UCLA experimental public school before he was downshifted by a mad whim of his parents to send him to a junior high military academy as a prelude to moving him into a preppy Eastern private high school, Exeter. Military academy was such a disorder to his true being he literally went nearly blind, recovering slowly over the years once liberated from the school. Inspired by his fascination with Middle East spirituality, he studied Middle Eastern affairs and comparative religion at American University in Washington, DC, then signed on to a two-year military intelligence stint during the Nam years and was stationed in Turkey, then came home and took an MBA at USC. His first major job was as associate publisher of the Hollywood Reporter, after which he became a VP at Homes Savings and Loan and then a senior VP of Coldwell-Banker Realty in charge of foreign sales.
His first marriage was to a woman with three kids. On the surface all very mainstream ordinary except that he was simultaneously engaged over these business career years in intense meditation and spiritual studies.
Via these practices Brooks developed a radical view of God, and a relentless faith in the extraordinary core worthiness of humans in God’s universe. His definition of our inherent autonomy is itself a challenge: the ability and willingness - the choice - to use your free will to free yourself from everything, every social and inner force, that blocks or diverts your inherent lovingness, and then literally to decide instead to "call in the experience of love, of light and of relationship."
Greene-Barton taught that every religious and spiritual tradition, however distorted in contemporary practice, is based on original teachings of those two words that the mass culture either almost chokes on or appropriates for consumer ends (which is why it ultimately chokes on its own abuse of them): love and light. As you read the interview, know that these words are used here in the traditional spiritual sense and the distinction between them is important. Love, of course, is the emotional quality behind the felt experience of unconditional giving, caring, kindness, acceptance and non-judgment. Light (the mental side) is the awareness- the great carrier - that among many other things sees behind the mask of behavior, attitude and cultural conditioning and into the loving essence of all beings.
Beyond our everyday ego's sense of self-preservation and importance, beyond our social personalities and individual struggles in the world, and certainly beyond our negative ego telling us how we’re not good enough, is a state of mind that a paltry few of us ever reach completely and which Greene-Barton made it his life's work to help people access as the core treatment for the inner isolation that leads to pain, misery, attacks against each other, and, for many, to addiction.
BROOKS DEFINES GOD AND HUMAN – AN INTERVIEW
Why don't we start by you describing what you think God is? I know it's not what most people think.
So, the explanation is very beautiful. God is the experience that allows human experience to be beautiful. It's really that simple. In fact, God has the sole objective for the universe and for all Creation to enhance, explore, evolve and multiply expressions of beauty.
It's not easy to believe when you look around that manifesting various expressions of beauty is God's only intention.
In my view, this is God's sole intention. For God - as for any of God’s creation - the creation of beauty is the experience of Self in its most pristine form.
And how does the individual plug in?
For the individual person, this allows any relationship you have to be an opportunity that has no limit as to the beauty of what can occur. Consequently, for any individual, the more love and light one chooses to share in relating to others, the deeper and more intimate the experience will be, the more beautiful it will be. The more beautiful it is, the more pervasively the love and light will be experienced by others. And significantly, in terms of accepting yourself as God, the more this beauty will be experienced as one’s own self.
Every interactive experience between people has this precise invitation - of creation or evolution. Potentially there is no limit to where that relationship experience can go, precisely because this is the moment or experience when God can experience God. That is the moment when the general loving creative force we know as God experiences itself in its individuated mode as one human being interacting with another human being.
So, if I’m being loving in any encounter with another person I’m experiencing beauty and I'm experiencing God and at the same time I'm expressing what is Divine in me and being God? This would suggest that God is itself sharing this experience as well as encouraging it?
Yes, exactly. And one step further. God is still everything, even if rejected, denied and forgotten. In this exploration, which is called not only Creation but Evolution and even Invention, God Itself grows. God grows when God finds the most intimate experience of beauty in every expression we call life, that we call self, that we call being. This IS ongoing Creation and Evolution. God not only heals all things potentially, God is healed in the return to God of what was once separated from God and even further healed by the higher evolutionary opportunities provided by those whose love for God allows God to grow potentially.
Isn't that pretty human-centric?
By “we” I did not mean to imply only human. But I will support the position that human presence is pivotal to God’s plan of creation.
That would suggest that you believe that human love is God's most important or perhaps favorite experience in the entire universe?
My information is that beginning with the experience of Abraham, that became the truth. You might say that with Abraham an experience of mutuality with God began to be formalized. This mutuality evolved through the teachings and laws of Moses. Eventually it evolved through what might be described as the Jewish mystery of the Christ into the individuation experience of God in ordinary everyday relationship. Jesus, of course, actualized this experience.
Aside from the fact that animal activists among many others might disagree with you, that leaves the individual in a very powerful position vis a vis God - that is to help God grow or not - or their God self grow or not? It certainly makes everything we do or not do seem important on a cosmic scale.
Yes. Those are real everyday choices we all face. Simply how do we prioritize our time, what is most important to each of us - really very easy choices, only how few actually choose love as what is their relationship with themselves, God and others. Nothing more is needed - without any limitation to what this means, of course.
What I'm saying is there is a natural evolutionary hierarchy that allows beings to be loving, to be beautiful, to enjoy themselves in light. At this point in the evolution of this planet, that means having to face in ourselves, and help other people face in themselves, where we don't allow ourselves to be beautiful, to be loving, where we won't claim our light or encourage other people to claim their light. In Jungian terms this is called the shadow or what the Pathwork would call the lower self.
By facing this, we are doing exactly what God wants for each one of us. We work in alignment with God in this way and increasingly we allow ourselves to become God in form. We become individuated, uniquely evolved experiences that not only came from God as a creation but are increasingly realized as God in practice.
On the other hand, most people largely go through their lives responding to what's in front of them and basically motivated by the questions of how do I get my needs fulfilled and advance myself in this world? How do I pay the rent? Get approval? Get somebody to love me? For people in this basically survival mindset, what would have to take place for them to move into this different understanding of God and themselves?
The best way for them to do that would be to recognize what God wants from them most, which is to really receive how beautiful they can be.
When you first own and then share your beauty, meaning your lovingness and light, you allow the essence, the essential form and expression of creation that you are, to blossom and come into realization. What you're doing is allowing who you are essentially as God to become real. Real as in: As created from God, as God, by God.
When you do that, God then gives you the opportunity to be even more beautiful, more loving, to have even more light and opportunity for beauty and for more expressions of what God can be like. Also, owning yourself as God does what God wants - and that is to encourage others to own their beauty, to be loving, to claim their own light and stand in the joy of who they can be.
And what about the reality that people often behave pretty atrociously, lying, killing, cheating others. Is this the God in them as well that's responsible for so much abuse in the world?
Really in my experience this is just the pain, or the avoidance of the pain, of not being willing to accept personal responsibility for not being loving, not allowing beauty and not feeling to the full extent possible the opportunity of mutual growth with God.
Most people would say, "Well, I would be arrogant to think of myself as God. I would be thinking of myself as better than other people." Also, how do you deal with the negative internal tapes that say, "I'm small, I'm not good enough. I'm certainly not beautiful, look at me in the mirror." So, while you say it is simple, getting to that mindset is not very simple at all.
Getting there from the perspective of survival is of course very difficult. Survival thinking has winners and losers. The idea that he or she wins who grabs the biggest piece of cheese or biggest gun, is an example of survival orientation that makes the value of life almost, if not actually, worthless. This is the biggest negation of God in creation that there can be. This behavior is completely based on the fear that, "If I don't get mine, I'm not going to make it," which doesn't allow the experience of self to have any validity beyond making sure that what we get, however modest, will allow some experience of survival.
Yet survival actually happens much more easily when one allows their beauty than when one has to scramble for the scraps that are only available from the waste of others. There really is hardly any value to the struggle of being alive if that's the reward.
So, in approaching an ordinary ego-oriented life experience of survival, if someone allows that there's a possibility in his or her life of really experiencing beauty, even for a moment, that life is changed. That moment is a choice that allows one to be in alignment in relationship with God without any restriction as to what that means. So that's what we're talking about.
And if there are no restrictions, what are some of the possibilities?
The possibilities include the opportunity of people being in relationship with each other and encouraging and allowing each other's beauty instead of reactively, defensively being prepared to fend off attacks that seek to steal one's light, stop one's experience of beauty and light. Which is the way many people go through life, on the defensive against most others or seeking to interfere in other's self happiness by making themselves better than or by judging and condemning.
Imagine a cosmos that is in alignment with God, which is what the cosmos is becoming. In such a cosmos relationships are experiences that encourage more light, more love and more beauty at all times. Such a cosmos is also one that genuinely recognizes the pathology, the diseased state of mind, of any other kind of consideration.
GOD AS A VERB
By describing individuals as "uniquely evolved experiences of God" I gather you mean God as a verb, as the Kabalah teacher Rabbi David A. Cooper calls it. God as a process rather than a “thing.” Or as Cooper would put it: "I am God Daviding. You are God Brooksing."
Yes, exactly. I don't experience that process essentially being any different from the experiences of Jesus, Abraham, Ananda Mayi Ma, Siddhartha, Muhammed, these kind of beings. I think it's very important we recognize that these beings are all expressions of God who have struggled to express their desire for people to find love, to find a personal relationship with God, to find their own beauty.
I also want to say that I feel that there is only one religion. That sole religion is one's relationship with God, one's relationship with beauty, love and light, as allowed and organized in alignment with God's plan. How that's been interpreted historically in different cultures at different times in order to move that experience forward is the genius and the value of the major religious movements, whatever their other manifest limitations.
So if God grows through human experience, then the lives of these great spiritual people would have been major growth points for God as well as evolutionary turning points in human affairs?
Yes, as one chooses to be who they are in God and allow God to organize what that is, as these beings did, something fundamental changes. One lets go of the judgments and the false considerations of self that limit the opportunity of light to be present in a person's life - to be deeply present here on earth without restriction. The net effect is the rapid evolution of the individual and rapid changes in that person's environment.
The lives of Abraham and Jesus didn't just affect the Jews first and the Christians later and later on the Muslims, but these peoples' experiences of self as God deeply affected the entire planet.
Now I'm going to say something even more extraordinary. My experience is that the experiences of Abraham and Jesus and others affect evolution in the Universe. The experiences of light that came through this particular planet - and this planet was chosen for very specific reasons - were so monumental that God chose and allowed these beings specifically to guide the evolution not only of mankind but of God in form for thousands of years. That's how significant the individual choices of a human being can be.
Abraham chose a personal relationship with God in struggle, even fighting for it, arguing with God to find out what it meant. Siddhartha struggled to find the experience of self and light that's in the middle of polarity instead of one way or the other, the experience that we now call Buddhism. Jesus found and explained how God is an internal experience, not something that is outside us, an experience in and with God that is available to all of us. These levels of struggle have been so deeply trusted by God that God has allowed and encouraged these beings to participate and be principally involved in the experience we call evolution. From the moment of their lives here on earth and since then.
Again, that's how important these choices can be. One has to have a sense of who oneself is as God. And that can only come by allowing God to be immediately present in your life in order to consider something that you do not control, that's beyond your experience, that allows you to open to beauty where you don't have a concept of what that is even.
In Judaism they teach that Abraham distinguished himself by saying to God Hebrew words that phonetically sound like he neh ni, meaning "I am here." These are very famous words. The scholarly view is that he was calling on God to communicate with him directly and personally and simultaneously declaring to God that he understood his own value and worth and wanted to be recognized as such. And lo and behold, God answered back. I gather you see this in the same light.
Yes. The simplicity of the relationship with God that Abraham had was incredible and changed everything. The fact that he could say, "Is this my God? Is this God?" when he heard a voice answer back and then argue on behalf of humanity, like Job, was such an incredible moment in human history. The opportunity that Abraham discovered in his exchanges was that God wanted a personal relationship with Abraham as much as Abraham wanted one with God. It was not just personal for Abraham, this was also personal for God. That's why this changed life and spiritual life as we know it. You can see why it became a foundation for Judaism and Christianity and Islam.
God wanted a personal relationship with Abraham?
Yes. God wanted and encouraged it. God deeply tested, tried, accepted the opportunity of having a personal relationship with Abraham. And in that struggle Abraham engaged, accepted, committed his life to, committed his wife to, his child to, his people to, including fighting the directorates that came through God in the form of archangels to destroy Sodom and Gomorra...in all this he struggled to fine-tune his personal relationship with God. And God allowed it.
Put another way, Abraham so radically trusted his relationship with God, that God could trust His relationship with that aspect of individuated experience of God that had become Abraham. This allowed God to be in relationship with an individual who was also God, an individuated expression of God, and allowed God to be able to explore how to evolve creation in a much larger way. And this pleased God.
And the lesson here?
The lesson for the rest of us was very simple and certainly has been my major lesson in life: take God personally. What characterized Abraham's achievement was his passion and his persistence to own the relationship that he discovered.
He also, like any of us would, doubted the experience, struggled with it, was challenged by the feeling, the presence, and eventually by the voice that he heard. His struggle was not unlike what we've been talking about. Why me? Is this my God? Is this really God or am I being tricked? Are these demons? These were the right questions because there were other voices available to him in his struggle, just as all of us experience. Abraham learned to trust in spite of the doubt, pain, uncertainty and cruelty that surrounded him. He fought and struggled to trust. As we say today, he worked his ass off to fine-tune his relationship with God.
So, we're incorrect when we think of God as an abstract power out there, a father or mother figure. And we need to shift our understanding to God as the “Experiencer” as well as Creator. And then when one of us accepts our own love and light, or Higher Power, this very acceptance becomes another way for God to feel, to know, just what It's wrought and to experience Its Creation Itself.
All of that is exactly right as I see it.
That, of course, challenges the theological belief that everything is planned and predestined, that God knows it all and we're acting out God's plans. With the predominant exception of Buddhism, everything from Judaism to Christianity to Alcoholics Anonymous to New Age spirituality basically holds that God has figured it all out and the matrix is so correct, that if you the individual give up your ego drives and willfulness and instead pay attention to the good things the universe is offering and use your free will to come into surrender to those good things and Higher Power and live righteously, everything will be okay.
Yes. That's the theology. My experience, though, is that what is missing is mutuality. The joy perhaps of participating in evolution and creation with God, as an expression of God yourself, is to be able to help bring more compassion, advance more light and love, opportune more beauty than was originally planned. After all, there is no limit to God. Obviously, this includes any linear understanding of any plan.
So, God says, "Here's a set of assumptions. Let me put these assumptions out there as Plan and then let Me personally experience that set of assumptions and if they're not working out, I'll adjust them and Myself?"
The way I understand it is this: God decided that instead of human sensitivity simply being one opportunity to further Creation's growth after the moment of Creation, human sensitivity could also provide God with a form of feedback that would allow God Itself to grow. God realized that the opportunity of human relationship, human love, was so extraordinary, that God saw that God could learn about God in ways God had not anticipated before.
THEN THERE'S THE DARK SIDE
Let’s talk about the miserable side of life and humans. Fundamental Christian belief is that Satan or Lucifer rebelled and created real dark and a host of demons to assist and compete with God for our free will choices. Although now we have The Course in Miracles where the Christ voice says, "There really is no evil. Only God's love is real. Sin is your illusion." Jewish theologians believe that God thought, "I need to create dark not as an ultimate force in the universe but as an illusion that there's a dark force so free will means something.” Eastern religious thinking tends to the idea that the dark side and our rotten behaviors stem from an illusion about who we are. What are your views about these conflicting ideologies?
These are not in conflict even though they seem to be severely in conflict. In the experience that most people have, which is that they are separate from God, then there's the experience of darkness, suffering. Dark stuff comes up in all our thinking and our lives. This seems to be an experience that gives support to the story you're talking about. What binds the ideologies together is the question: What would the value of love be if there was not free will? That's a critical point. We do live in a free will universe.
You can't know the light unless you choose it. If your choice is to not know the light, for whatever reason, then this has been in alignment with God's desire that there be free will. This is not, however, in alignment with the deeper level of reality that God created.
The experience on earth for humans has been a place of deep, deep duality. Except there is another alternative. If one chooses to evolve through the reality of God's love and light that is the essence of each of us, then the experience of recovery, of regaining one's highest experience of self, is in fact a return from duality to unity.
So, your question really is extremely valuable. It isn't that one part is wrong or another part is right. It is that they really describe the experience from different perspectives. Like the Prodigal Son, in some ways the value of returning to God, to unity, from the depths of fall and separation from God, is such an immense experience of love - not only for that individual but for God.
Let’s discuss in modern psychological terms our fears, angers, resentments, judgments, abusiveness, cruelty, and addictive behaviors. What’s the connection with our thinking?
Inevitably, in looking at why our lives are not as loving as we would like them to be, and why we don't have the experience of being met at the levels that we want to be met, even though we don't even know how to describe that, we come across what in Jungian terms is called the shadow. In line with what we're talking about, the shadow might be described very simply as where we don't allow, where we resist, where we actually defend against love, light and beauty, the very things that we want. In fact one of the greatest Lucifer wounds of the soul is described the following way: where the soul chooses to go contrary to the heart's desire of that soul.
What would make a soul choose to go contrary to its own heart's desire? Digging out the answer takes looking and seeing why one resists EXACTLY what one wants the most, particularly in relationships of any kind. It takes reaching that moment in every man's and woman's life when they are willing to look at why their life isn't working the way they want it to - and then really giving the investment of energy and time to open to the opportunity that we described as having a relationship with God.
You have to look at what in you doesn't accept your lovingness and chooses a different mindset. To do the work, to integrate, means to examine and re-examine, with God's guidance, what it is in you that blocks the God flow through your body, a flow you can actually feel in a peak experience. What stops it? What doesn't allow yourself to accept yourself as God? Where it is you have gone against your soul's desire to be one with yourself as God? If you really do the work, really let go, that opening, like St. Francis's, can be so profound that what we call enlightenment takes place, or realization as God.
So, the willingness to look at where in relationships you are not allowing light and to let go of the fear of love, the fear of your own and others beauty, let go of that resistance, opens a window to the greatest gifts and blessings available to us. If you are willing to look at where your wounds keep you from being whole, then not only can you heal those wounds but you can open yourself in a way that allows more light and more love to be available to you - not only to continue to heal yourself even more deeply but to heal others.
All of which is why the greatest field of evolution, as I implied earlier, is no longer in what we call Heaven, but is here in three-dimensional reality. This IS the cutting edge of Creation, here. The cutting edge of evolution is right here in three-D as an ordinary human being. This marks a very significant transition in the order of God in the universe.
So, how do we recognize this for ourselves in the moment? How de we recognize God? If in the moment you can feel the energetic or the relational sensation of the OPPORTUNITY of recognizing God - and feeling is really critical to being a human being - then the next step is to accept that sensation or feeling as authority for being EXACTLY THE SAME as an opening to God. This opening can be experienced initially perhaps as scary, as anxiety. But by staying with it, the anxiety will dispel.
So novel is that opening to opportunity that there is not even a sense of what that can possibly mean. It has no limitation. It can ultimately completely change not only your life but the experience of who you are completely.
Maybe theoretically one can enter a state of grace by seriously doing the shadow work. In practice this is very hard, as even the best therapists and healers will tell you, as will the 12-step folks. So what do you do differently in your trainings?
The way that I work is that I have participants directly experience themselves as God, immediately. I facilitate that opening. I find that once people have been there, or at least been guided there two or three times, they can often then go there themselves. With correct facilitation people can move through experiences in anywhere from hours to weeks that could otherwise take thousands of lives, literally, without the appropriate facilitation.
So, I'm the reader, what would you have me do now?
The first experience I would suggest to the reader is to feel. Feeling is so critical in terms of being real as a human being.
The feeling may be an experience of where one is uncomfortable, unhappy in their lives, where one has shadow resistance, rebellion, reaction. Even so, even if the feeling is uncomfortable, it is critical to experience it as a first step in accepting themselves as God and its critical to their accepting their beauty. When somebody's able to allow their feelings, they become self-aware of their feelings, and one can then ask God to show you what it feels like for you to be God. Or you can ask what it feels like for you to be able to feel your unique relationship with God. Or ask God to help you feel what it's like to experience your beauty, your love, your innocence.
So, let's say I'm the reader and I'm feeling frustration. I didn't get a raise.
If you were to ask God, "God, I'm feeling frustrated about my not getting a raise. Please guide me God as to what it is that I might experience, that I might feel in this moment, that would help me with the experience of my being frustrated about my not getting a raise." That's all you have to do.
If you're really attentive, if you really feel and listen to your feelings and allow what comes to you, in terms of how your feelings change or how they reveal pictures or visions or relationships or shadow, you'll not only get a response that illuminates where you are in relationship to your frustration of not getting a raise, you'll see what it is you have to do to move beyond that experience to a new opportunity.
You always start with feeling?
I always start with feeling. If somebody's not feeling, first of all, they're probably not in their body, which means they're not allowing themselves to be human. They're afraid to be human. They can't allow relationship to their experience that's truly human.
In workshops, we've created a safe enough space that they can let go into the experience, that distortion, in spite of their fear. Eventually they see that by owning their light and their relationship with God, it develops an internal experience of safety that never leaves them. That allows them to go into the darkest places they can imagine and always feel safe, even places of darkness that are beyond the ordinary human imagination. When they can then face the fact that they have personally had a direct relationship with dark forces, they can free themselves from the bonds and the holding that those relationships have had on their soul, sometimes for thousands of years.
Once they have that experience and can see their true selves as separate from the experience itself, then I guide them to an extensive range of inner experiences. Some of them are very simple. In the meditative state I can guide them to the opportunity to open to, say, what it feels like to be God as a bear or other animal. Then what it might feel like to be another person, even a famous person. Ultimately I guide people to so many different inner experiences that allow small shifts in them that they are prepared when I take them through very larger visions of themselves in relationship to their true callings and to their opportunities as God in God to expand themselves. The ultimate opportunity is for them to open to being a leader and model of change in the world that is sourced from love and light.
As they develop the skills to open their consciousness, they also develop the capacity to withstand the darker forces inside themselves and avoid negative behaviors. We reinforce that with a number of day-to-day practices. Once you can open inside yourself to the truth of who you are in God in light and love, whether by my techniques or any process, then you have unlimited opportunity to build on that experience. Once your goal has become to source your life from that place and to work to make every relationship beautiful, then you can constantly give yourself the opportunity to respond from that place and thereby expand both your and God’s experience of light and love.
BACKWARD MARCHING TOWARD APOCALYPSE
Last question. What do you think is going to happen to the world in the next period for which there is historically so much prophesy from so many traditions, so many predictions of great change if not Apocalypse? Is global warming or the environmental breakdown in general or nuclear war or any man-made disaster going to do us in? Or are we going to transcend or grow up big time as a species?
Instead of allowing continuing degeneration to happen year after year after year, there's going to be a change and it will require a more fundamental realistic orientation to resources and to the integrity of living on Earth. As that happens, we are going to heal ourselves very quickly. I see that strictly as being a resolution of the autonomy of the experience of being part of Earth.
It will happen as we own the fact that we are part of Earth and that Apocalypse is not going to get us out of having to be responsible human beings, that getting an M16 and running to the nearest school is not the resolution of our soul predicament. What our souls require is a deeper commitment to love and light, a deeper alignment with God, and there's no way of getting out of that.
There's no scare tactics or childlike horror movie scenario that's going to alleviate us from our soul responsibilities of having to own where we're not loving and where we're not caring and where we've allowed ourselves to collude with darkness and manipulate other people. That's what we're here for. So, as we go through this very foundational level of trust and integrity and examination of where we're not able to trust ourselves and where we're not integral, that in fact, will heal the Earth, because each one of our bodies is a cell of Earth. That is the healing of Earth. And it's happening at levels of light and love on a planetary basis that will be deeply encouraging of that happening more than our human experience at a mindful level can figure out.
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Jay Levin is the editor-in-chief and publisher of The Fix. Previously he founded the L.A. Weekly newspaper. He is a former student and was a friend of Brooks Greene-Barton.