My Theistic Starting Point: Who is God? God is and underlies everything. God is not above nature but in everything. This natural God leads the rest of nature to growth, the universe the flower and me. The technical term is Panentheism. (God in everything) No miracles in this process but some wondrous events.
Setting the stage: Who am I? This is not a pedagogical question, not a rational search but a search for the deepest self and the answer is: “I am consciousness.” I am nothing that I can be aware of so that leaves only the act of awareness for me to be. I am consciousness. But I am a verb. “Being aware.” Everything that is, is a verb. I am not the world around me, I am not my hand, my eye, my brain. I am the verb, “aware.” In this lies the power of detachment. I am not that which suffers.
One: Eliminating or reducing the interior obstacles to seeing the present reality. As I become quiet, I am besieged with feelings, memories, daydreams, desires. They are what prevents me from seeing the world as it is now. By simply being aware of them they will disappear. Dogen, (Zen) said, “We study the self, to know the self, to know the self is to forget the self, to forget the self is to be awakened by the ten thousand things.”
Two: My mind becomes empty. I see clearly. When the mind is not empty which is normally. I am blinded. When the mind is empty I am fully present to life. “In your absence is your presence,” say the followers of the Advaita. In the absence of the cluttered self the underlying self, “being aware” emerges That empty self lives only in the present.
Three: I experience myself as subject and not an object. The subject directs life. The object is driven by life. The cluttered mind is an object lost and driven. The empty mind is secure and purposeful. (Early Quakers referred to being taken by the power.) Boethius in the fourth century defined: “A person is the center of attribution of a rational nature.” A cluttered mind is not a person. The cluttered mind’s activities have no central attribution.
Four: We are awakened by the ten thousand things. We wake to and in relationship. Martin Buber in I and Thou speaks of the change that takes place in the participants in a relationship of deep encounter. Even with a tree. (Know my change, unsure about the tree.)
Five: Developing the Mind of Christ. “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Paul speaking to the Ephesians.) We have the ability to take on the same mind that Jesus took on. The empty mind is aware of the world as it is and is led as Jesus was to love, and compassion. It is not a supernatural miracle but a natural reaction.
Six: So you love the World. The Navajo would say: “Walk in beauty!” I was granted that state for a couple of weeks in my early thirties after a four-day intensive workshop and telling my mother I loved her, maybe for the first time. I entered the present. It was very nice! And then I loved the world. Then life cluttered my mind, again. I was again normal. Very sad. I did not know a way back then. Now, I think I do!