Monday, March 20, 2006

God will give you everything that you want

Todays fortune cookie reads: "God will give you everything that you want"

Hmmm, I thought. Interesting coincidence with the prayer I've had for today. Here's a few thoughts that are wandering through me.

First, the phrase is very enticing. Lots of people over the millenia have prayed for X or Y or Z ... for example to be rich, to have women, etc. But I think the average person doesn't trust prayer, because they think prayers are never answered. So a promise like "God will give you everything that you want" seems hollow.

My prayer for today is inspired by teachings from Ron Roth, whom I've been listening to a lot recently. He suggests a form of prayer like "Divine Holy Spirit is my strength, Divine Holy Spirit is my health, Divine Holy Spirit is my life, Divine Holy Spirit sustains me...". It's a very positive statement said as if it were the truth.

The sense of it is very much in alignment with "God will give you everything that you want" ...

A couple things come to mind here.

First, is ... What is God? The typical Christian church claims God is a being sitting up in the clouds somewhere. As an individuated being, God is localized to a specific place (Heaven) that's far away from you or I. However I am understanding a different interpretation of what God is, and there are many spiritual teachings in alignment with this other view. Namely, that God or the Divine Presence is an aspect of everything. God is melded with every thing, every particle, every atom, all the way to every star and galaxy.

In our mind/ego we want to believe we are everything. We want to believe we can solve any problem that comes our way, that we can endure anything, etc. The stereotype for this are the movie characters like Max (of the Mad Max movie series) who is going through and surviving hell in the wilderness purely on willpower.

But what I experience over and over is the limit to what my mind/ego is capable of. It seems that it doesn't matter how brilliant or strong one is, there will always be challenges one will face which surpass your capabilities. What do you do then? Do you pretend to be capable? Do you hide? Do you escape the problem? Do you seek out help? Do you cry woe is me? Do you get strong and bulldoze your way forward? Do you pretend the challenge doesn't exist? All of the above?

What I am experiencing in these episodes leads me to an understanding of "God will give you everything that you want" ...

With God being melded with everything, being present in every action, then it doesn't matter what challenge you are facing. Even a challenge which surpasses the ability of your mind/ego to cope with the challenge, God is there. What I experience is if I first recognize that my mind/ego doesn't know how to cope with a specific challenge, and second I pray for the divine presence to offer a solution, that in short order a solution comes along.

On the other hand if I don't recognize the problem, or otherwise fail to pray for divine assistance, then I can struggle with the problem for days, weeks, even years.

The second thought that comes to mind is ... With God being melded with everything, then everything that you receive is in fact a gift from God. Every breath you take is God offering you air to breath with. Every step you take is upon earth provided by God for you to walk upon. Every bite of food you take was grown by God. That all is part of a viewpoint that God is melded with every action in the universe and every thing in the universe.

The last thought has to do with the "what you want" aspect. When you claim to want something, is that true? It's well understood that the conscious mind is only a small part of ones ego. That the subconscious mind is this vast sea of conflicting beliefs, emotions, ideas, memories, hopes, dreams, etc. It's very easy and common for someone to say "I want to be rich" (for example) and inside their subconscious being totally fearful of the responsibility (for example) that comes from being rich.

Whole libraries of self-help books have been written to show people how their subconscious often conflicts with their conscious self.

Any prayer you make, any desire you hold, is melded with your conflicting inner terrain. It seems to me that's what interferes with the success of prayer. The prayer is said with all of who you are, even the part that is in abject terror of the prayer actually coming true. The question is, which part of you is the stronger? The part that holds the conscious desire, or the subconscious part in abject terror of that desire coming true?

The thing is you won't know the answer to this until you begin practicing self awareness. To the Buddhists, self awareness is the desired end state from meditation. That by nonjudgementally witnessing your inner ego process one will have more and more awareness of the conflicts within you and begin to resolve them.