“The Kingdom of Heaven is poured out all over the earth and men don’t see it.” ~Jesus, ‘Gnostic Gospel of Thomas’
The distance between heaven and earth is less than the diameter of a photon. The difference between soul and body is less than a breath. There is no higher or lower, no spiritual ascent, and no descent of the Spirit from “above.” The antiquated language of high and low only validates our illusion of separateness. Both Jesus and the ancient rishis of India spoke a new language, a language of unity. Why do we insist on a language of estrangement and exile?
Heaven pervades the earth, the earth dissolves into heaven. At every point in time and space, Spirit and Matter interpenetrate, as a cloud in mist and mist in a cloud. Just as a song of joy bursts from your heart in words, so the material universe bursts from the vacuum of space in waves and particles of light.
Ice, water, and vapor are interchangeable forms of one substance, H20. So matter, consciousness and boundless space are all the same.
Our world ever dissolves into God, and God ever births our world from the womb of emptiness. This is not only the mystic’s experience, it is objective reality. Fluctuations in the vacuum of empty space spontaneously appear as particles, which are instantaneously reabsorbed by the vacuum that emits them. What we have called the realm of the Spirit we may also call the vibrant inner life of the vacuum. What we have called heaven above is now revealed as the all-pervading quantum field, permeating each atom of our bodies, where virtual particles vibrate in waves of pure mathematical possibility.
The vision of the mystic and the vision of the physicist are the same, except that one speaks in the language of mathematics, while the other tells us how it feels.
In the Biblical creation story, the entire creation is pervaded by God’s beauty and delight. Genesis 1 describes the quantum physics of creation in a lovely poem.
In the first verse, the breath of divine Spirit, ‘ruach elohim,’ pulsates the material world out of the quantum vacuum. The vacuum, in Biblical Hebrew, is called “tohu wa bohu,” which means “formless and void.” The Bible likens the void to a rippling sea. “The Spirit-breath of God was stirring waves in the waters of the abyss.” The word for “stirring waves” is based on the Hebrew root, “rakaf,” which describes a mother bird’s constant ruffling of her feathers in the nest as she warms her living egg. This lovely feminine image symbolizes the energy-fluctuation of the quantum field, bringing forth matter out of oceanic emptiness.
The next verse tells us exactly what matter is made of. “And God saw that is was all good, Tova.” Tova does not mean relative goodness, as opposed to something worse. There is nothing better or worse in this story, and God creates no evil. What we call “evil” is the misuse of human free-will, as described later in the Adam and Eve tale. But in the original innocence of creation there is only bliss, Tova, effused moment by moment in star-sparkled freshness from God’s eternal Being. Everything is made out of Tova, bliss-consciousness.
The Hebrew Tova corresponds precisely to the Sanskrit Ananda. The rishis tell us that the universe is literally made out of “Sat-Chit-Ananda” – Being, Consciousness, Bliss – all one and the same substance.
Therefor we need not ascend to a higher plane in order to find God’s goodness, nor die in order to arrive at the bliss of heaven. Despite its apparent pain, despite all the ignorance men super-impose on the innocent earth, the world is essentially a condensation of divine bliss, bliss pressed out and overflowing in each grain of sand, each mote of dust. Every photon of light in your body spills God’s goodness into form.
Based on this knowledge, the ancient rishis gave us a simple direct meditation practice: “Layam vraja, Dissolve now.” Don’t be bound by dualistic concepts of “heaven and earth,” “spirit and matter,” “higher and lower.” See the world dissolving into its source.
Each moment of material life is like a line drawn by a finger on water: ever created, ever destroyed. Why should the mind impose forms upon this sea of energy? The forms are always of the past, like yesterday’s newspapers. But the present IS – vibrating beyond form.
Let us see this world as a mirage in divine Radiance. There is nothing to cling to. If something seems unpleasant, we must be clinging to old forms. We make ourselves suffer by comparison. Just take a new breath. It’s not just a new breath: it’s a new heaven and a new earth.
If we don’t see the earth’s divine beauty, it’s not the earth’s fault. It’s not God’s fault. There is something stuck in our eye. Yesterday is stuck in our mind.
“Layam vraja”: dissolve now. This subtle practice bears fruit. It is redemptive. The practice of dissolving not only infuses bliss into our own heart, but goodness into the world around us.
The secret of the practice is no practice at all. Just see the way things really are. You are a child of God. Don’t miss your birthright. Ceaselessly dissolving, you are ever born. You are never one moment old.
Picture: Child Christ by Fra Angelico
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