I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on’ry people like you and like I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.
When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
– John Jacob Niles (1892-1980) “I Wonder as I Wander” (1933)
I’ve wondered whether my title for these two posts might be disrespectful. Aren’t human beings the highest form of material life? We tend to think that to call some phenomenon “Who?” might be more respectful than calling it “What?” Isn’t everything else that might be born into a physical body less important than we are? But what then might we better call the genuine Godhead being born on earth?
This voyage into seeking and finding the ultimate truth that has consumed my life since I was eight has been stunningly successful. It didn’t have to succeed! I realize now how completely the truth has always been governed and controlled from very far above our pay grade. Mindless hamsters in their runs are actually no more completely controlled than you and I are! But the difference is that they are not curious about the fact that their run is nothing more than a run. They never dream that there is something much greater out there beyond those walls.
What I saw when I was eight years old was that out there just beyond my room with its awful purple-cornflower wallpaper was something glorious and blindingly bright. Beyond this mind that is struggling to think is a Mind that is so much greater that I cannot begin to fathom it. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). And this much at least, in my old age and after a lifetime of seeking, I have at last triumphantly found:
I can see it all so clearly now! Including a lot of its fudges and glitches. Punctuated equilibrium. Cosmological constants that are not actually constant. Once you begin to realize what is going on, you feel like a hamster who has found her way out of the maze and is perched out here on its edge, looking in and watching it happen. It amazes me to see that the scientists are still being so thoroughly outsmarted. But clearly the cleverest of them are not fooled, and they never have been fooled. Max Planck talked about the primacy of consciousness. Albert Einstein told us it is all an illusion, “albeit a very persistent one.”
Even the scientific hamsters who are still in there obliviously running the maze have come to the point of finding a Big Bang at this universe’s fake beginning. Maybe a hundred more earth-years hence, humankind will need to be finding something else that precedes that early event, and so on and on, since we know that something cannot come from nothing. None of it will be real, of course, but since each micro-instant will include every bit of our long-ago-seeming manufactured history, there is nothing about this process that will necessarily raise an alarm. Do you think that perhaps human scientists will eventually ever figure it out? Or will mainstream science continue to play this pointless game for further millennia of artificial non-time to come?
For my part, nothing of this earthly illusion continues to interest me. I get that it is all illusion, and when you really get the illusion then you are already halfway home. But what I still wonder about is why that highest aspect of the Godhead bothered to show up here two thousand years ago to live a whole lifetime in the person of Jesus. Why was Jesus even born here at all? And now I am coming to think that the question must be even more basic than that. It takes us straight back to the perfect Mind of God at the base of A Course in Miracles. And into the tiny, mad idea of separation at which the Son of God first forgot to laugh, which apparently is what got this whole thing started. There never needed to be a separation at all, or so that is what we are told. We began as part of the mind of God, and we still should be there, even now.
Why have we needed to grow spiritually in this illusory place, when consciousness is one continuous vibration? I still don’t really get why we have needed to bother with any of this. I have accepted the explanation given in ACIM because I kept expecting it to begin to make sense, but it still doesn’t really make much sense to me. What makes sense is my mother telling me from where she is now that, “I’m dead! We’re all dead here!” and laughing. That absurd observation makes sense. Having spent most of my lifetime on earth studying the afterlife, and now planning to spend the rest of my life here teaching it, I laughed with my mother as she expected that I would. She has been there now for a decade, exploring and having the time of her life, and now I am about to spend the rest of my lifetime here trying to eradicate the fear of death all over the world because the fear of death is humankind’s greatest enemy. Fear of death is the root and the base of all fears, so when you no longer fear death you no longer fear anything. And yesterday as my family was sharing Christmas dinner I was explaining to my wonderful son-in-law that Craig Hogan and I are about to start Seek Reality Online to share with all the world the truth about the afterlife so we can end the fear of death everywhere and begin an eternity of peace and brotherhood over all the earth.
So then my son-in-law said to me, “Have you reached all the same conclusions?”
I said, “Yes. Perfectly.”
He took a bite of something as he looked at me with some doubt. And then he said, “Really?”
I said, “Really. You can’t get even a piece of paper between our conclusions. And we reached all our conclusions before we met one another.”
He looked at me with polite skepticism. I don’t think that yet seems possible to him. But the fact that everyone who studies the afterlife evidence reaches all the same conclusions has been the whole point for Craig and me! We long ago began to notice that when people who had independently studied the afterlife first met one another, they soon were completing one another’s sentences. And then as they continued to live their lives, we noticed that they cared less and less about selfish and grabby short-term goals. They began to live their lives in an eternal frame. So we have begun to speculate, Craig and I, that if we can educate enough of the world about the fact that human life is eternal, perhaps we really can bring about an end to every cruelty, and then to all wars. At least, it seems to us that it is time to try.
Last year at Christmastime I still was freshly dealing with the fact that Jesus is quite literally God on earth who came to inhabit a human body. I had fought so hard to avoid having to admit that fact. Please pause now and think about what it means for God to literally walk the earth! For my entire life I had been wondering and wandering out there under the sky each Christmastime with the human religion that I so dearly loved, in the manageable reality where Jesus was only, you know, related to God in some way. But the human Jesus I had been imagined wasn’t ever real at all. He was a part of the illusion, just as you and I in material bodies are part of the illusion. The last vestige of the Jesus I was clinging to was the one that had lived and died in just a material body to redeem us from a human-imagined divine judgment. But when I gave up and accepted the evidence on the Shroud of Turin – and that was maybe eighteen months ago now – I surrendered altogether to the certainty that the risen Lord is not and never has been in any way just some variant of a normal human being. And He had always been so patiently telling us Who He actually was! “I am an aspect of the Godhead,” He had been saying. “The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work” (JN 14:10). And, “The word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me” (JN 14:24). And even, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (JN 5:19).
But, my dear God in Heaven, WHY? Why did God choose to live a human life?
We may not be given to know precisely why the Godhead came to us in the person of Jesus the way He did, and just when He did, until we ourselves are again at home in those glorious gardens with conscious flowers as tall as a man and in colors never seen on earth.
For now, we are told that a literal aspect of the Godhead came to us in the person of Jesus to study us, because the Godhead could not understand why we were having so much trouble using this artificial habitat to raise our personal consciousness vibrations. If that was the reason, in fact it worked, because the Gospel teachings of Jesus are the simplest and most effective method for raising our personal consciousness vibrations that ever have been given to us by anyone.
But still, I don’t think we really have it right. The genuine Godhead is actually GOD! Surely God can figure it out without having to go through living in a human body for an entire lifetime? But God did enter a human body, and all we can do in the face of that fact is fall to our knees and lift up our hearts in perfect love and adoration. God came to earth in the body of Jesus with the same power that continuously manifests this entire material-seeming universe. And that is an objective, verifiable fact that has nothing to do with any religion.
Oh dear Jesus, genuine Godhead on earth, please let us start over just one more time? We promise this time we will try to do better. And this life on earth is so distracting! Please remind us of what we are supposed to be doing?
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heav’n for to sing,
He surely could have it, ’cause he was the King.
– John Jacob Niles (1892-1980) “I Wonder as I Wander” (1933)