god

Ram Dass, Buddha, Maharaj-ji, and Yoda on non-duality

Inspired by a conversation with a friend recently about “trying to love everyone,” I dug into things a little more and found the following information from Ram Dass, Zen masters, the Maharaj-ji (Neem Karoli Baba), and Yoda.

As I keep trying to figure out what Ram Dass means when he says, “love everyone,” I dug through his book, be love now and found these two quotes:

The Soul Game

[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]

As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.

To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.

This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:

A favorite quote from a favorite tv show

“Oh, my goodness. You know sometimes I think that God gave you such a big heart that he just left no room for plain sense.”

~ a favorite quote from a favorite tv show

The Kingdom of God is inside you

Shortly after a dream in which people were trying to kill me with guns that shot carrots (to which I replied, “I get the metaphor, can we move on?”), I had another dream in which a woman picked up a stone, turned it over, and showed it to me. A burning image of Jesus on the cross was on this other side.

Skipping over some stuff, it eventually reminded me of this quote: “Jesus said, ‘The Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me.’”

God is love, and vice versa (versa visa?)

Last week when I was having my pseudo heart attack followed by a real angiogram, I thought it would be interesting to be one of those people who die, and is then brought back to life. Of course the problem with that is that you have to die first, and then you need to be with someone who can resurrect you.

That thought makes me think of the 1980 film Resurrection that stars Ellen Burstyn and Sam Shepard. That’s where this image comes from.