Waiting for Messiah You

“There is no Messiah, and You’re It.”

This curious quote by contemporary Jewish writer, Rabbi Robert Levine, is featured in the book I’m reading now by Jay Michaelson, Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism. I didn’t know what to expect from such a book, since I’m not, you know, Jewish, but the title intrigued me enough to give it a try.

I was concerned about such a book getting boring or mired down in law-abiding details of Torah, but two-thirds of the way in, I haven’t regretted one page. In fact, Michaelson has nearly convinced me (in addition to other beloved Jewish works) that somewhere deep inside me lurks a Jew.

Continue reading »


Conversations With God Went South…Fast

Picking up from the last entry, there were pages and pages of thoughts I loved in Conversations with God. Such as page 14:

Yet God, in a sense, does not even care about the outcome. Not the ultimate outcome. This is because the ultimate outcome is assured.

And this is the second great illusion of man: that the outcome of life is in doubt.

It is this doubt about ultimate outcome that has created your greatest enemy, which is fear. For if you doubt outcome, then you must doubt Creator—you must doubt God. And if you doubt God, you must live in fear and guilt all your life. If you doubt God’s intentions—and God’s ability to produce this ultimate result—then how can you ever relax? How can you ever truly find peace?

Yet God has full power to match intentions with results. You cannot and will not believe in this (even though you claim that God is all-powerful), and so you have to create in your imagination a power equal to God, in order that you may find a way for God’s will to be thwarted. And so you have created in your mythology the being you call “devil.” You have even imagined a God at war with this being (thinking that God solves problems the way you do). Finally, you have actually imagined that God could lose this war.

But then I got about half way through, and I began to really dislike almost everything I read. I wanted to keep reading with an open mind, at the very least to understand where Walsch was coming from, but in the forefront of my mind was the title. It became impossible to read objectively because this was, well, God speaking. And you can’t disagree with God, right? You must accept everything God says because God can’t be wrong.

Continue reading »


How Can it Be Right When it Sounds So Wrong?

Awhile back, after watching the movie by the same name, I picked up Neale Walsch’s, Conversations with God. I was intrigued by Walsch’s journey. Not because he went from homelessness into fame and fortune upon publication of his book, but because of the dramatic changes that took place in his character and life view. A homeless guy gone rich and famous overnight isn’t all that impressive…unless something also revolutionizes him on the inside.

The movie was more the story of Walsch’s life—what happened to make him homeless and how he came to write the book. The book itself chronicles his alleged “conversations with God”—tangible interactions where Walsch claims God one day started answering his prolific life questions, dictation style. Walsch went on to publish these conversations, which is how he got so rich and famous. Obviously, the book sounded worth checking out on the merit of its becoming a national best seller.

Though there have been a few rough spots—areas where I have a hard time buying Walsch’s “answers from God,” I have to admit that for the most part it’s good—really good. It certainly sounds like a book written by someone with profound, experienced understanding into the mysteries and complexities of life—things that wise sages and masters spend a lifetime acquiring. For that reason, I’m going to spend some time blogging about certain concepts in the book (both ones I agree with and ones I don’t), perhaps relating the book to my life and experiences.

So here goes. Question #1: How can something that just sounds plain wrong quite possibly be perfectly right?

Continue reading »


Evil And Good—Two Sides of One Tree

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).

Not all that long ago, I couldn’t possibly make sense of a “Good God” creating, causing, or even allowing evil. Yet there it is, in black and white. How could God claim a nature of light, compassion, and unfailing love while simultaneously holding ultimate power and authority over rampant, uninhibited, preventable evil? It sure sounded schizophrenic and cruel—how do you intelligibly explain that to anyone, including yourself? But lately I’ve been learning some things that are transforming my perspective, giving me a less gloomy outlook on evil (and God’s suspect nature). While I’m still not comfortable with evil that causes pain in people’s lives, I’m beginning to have a new view of its source and purpose.

Continue reading »


My Divided Self

“Life is a gathering in. Death is a scattering out.

Therefore is Man—the dualist—suspended between the two.
For he would gather in, but only through scattering out.
In scattering he sins against The Law (of Love)
and Death is his bitter prize.”
~Mikhail Naimy, The Book of Mirdad

I’m awakening to the sad, health-sapping, death-inducing blindness in myself: all my life I’ve been guilty of scattering.

It began early. I was taught from the time I was a child to fear, despise, and reject “the world,” lest it lure my soul (or that of my loved ones) into eternal separation. I was faced with a seemingly simple choice: Separate yourself from people you don’t know right now so that you can be with people you do know always. These “threatening” people I didn’t even know anything about included (like I need to spell it out) atheists, new agers, relativists, homosexuals, liberals, hedonists, drug and alcohol addicts, sexually promiscuous, those from any other religious traditions, and any influences that might possibly pollute, God forbid, my otherwise lily white soul.

What’s really ironic about the aforementioned is how I was taught in church that it was my greatest calling and unfailing responsibility to love these people “like Jesus did,” (and to make them into “one of us”), yet I was taught at exactly the same time to fear their toxic influence and to keep myself away from them. It was made clear to me that I could never actually love like Jesus because, well, Jesus is God and I’m not, so better to err on the side of caution and not get too close. Fear rooted in eternal loss was a far greater influence than the small possibility of Love’s victory.

In recent years, I encountered my first taste of inclusivity when I discovered that I really could love all “those kinds of people” without any fear whatsoever (because I am Jesus). I found that the people I had once categorized as dangerous from my previous diabolical “us vs. them” mentality were actually really wonderful, nonthreatening, loving, everyday people…a lot like me.

There emerged, however, a dark cloud on the horizon of my enlightenment.

Continue reading »


Being Jesus as Me (and You)

It’s time to uncover the glorious conclusion about our “Jesus as a regular Joe” series. What is this all about? What is the point I am trying to make in suggesting that Jesus might just be more one of us…or we might just be more “one of him”…than we once thought?

After much thought and study, I have come to highly suspect that we have all been lied to, and it has delivered a devastating blow in its effects upon humanity. If you are raised your whole life as a Christian to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” but then you are told your whole life that you can never do what Jesus did, it creates terrible internal dissonance. You find yourself always teetering on an impossible precipice between hope and despair, always overshadowed by a gloomy cloud of failure.

On the one hand, you’re ever trying to be like Jesus. On the other hand, you’re ever being told you could never be like Jesus because you’re a wretched, filthy, sinning scumbag of the earth, somehow barely snatched from deserved eternal wrath and torture by your Deity’s pitying, undeserved mercy. All the while, Jesus is an impossibly out of reach standard for your life.

But is this really what is at the heart of Scriptures and The Story?

Continue reading »