Other definition of ‘G*D as an action verb ~ Balanced View.org

June 13, 2014

I have been interested in religion and spiritual traditions since my very early 20s. Over the years, I’ve studied virtually all of the major world religions, as well as many non-religious ethical belief systems and wisdom traditions. In the world of ‘modern’ spiritual practices — a category that I define as providing people with an integrated “world view” — a new mind-discipline that is known as “Balanced View” is the is the newest kid on the block.

It is my good fortune to have my best friend be a member of Balanced View. At her invitation, i attended several Balanced View groups. I also have read its core literature and watched quite a number of their on-line video lectures.  None of that make me an “expert” in this disciple, and I certainly don’t “speak for” the Balanced View organizationHowever, as an informed individual, I have presented an overview of the quasi-spiritual, quasi-educational group.

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What follows is my understanding and an overview of the quasi-spiritual, quasi-educational group called “Balanced View”.

 

After first establishing the ethical content of any such system or tradition, the next most crucial attribute is that it be, or become, a lived religion. This is in contrast to an abstract set of intellectual perspectives [e.g. academic information] that do not animate speech and motivate action in everyday life.

Please note that I use the word ‘religion’ in its original Latin meaning, re-ligio — to tie [ligate or ligature] back [re] together).

This describes the ‘tie that binds us back together as a human species as differentiated from animals’. The core of this ethical sentiment replaced both human sacrifice and cannibalism with an elevated consciousness that promoted social justice and individual acts of mercy.

True “re-ligio” has nothing to do with individual sectarian groups, or the propensity of misguided people in the name of ‘re-ligio’ to generate dogmas that splits people apart into insiders and outsiders.

Historically this has often normalized the use of fatal (i.e., non-life affirming) methods of advancing its organizational agendas. Groups of ‘outsiders’ were deprived of their humanness by labeling them ‘infidels’ and exterminated by acts of war. Individuals who didn’t believe as the sect did were to be banned from society, otherwise discriminated against, tortured, or killed.

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From the “STREET ART” website

Personally, I am taking the word “religion” back from those who have historically abused it by using the word religion to camouflage or sanctify discrimination, brutality and murder, and those in modern societies who currently abuse the term linguistically by making it mean something unnatural and offensive.

Long live the “R” word!

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My experience of the Balanced View message is that of a profound and universal Truth that seems both obvious and correct.

I’d briefly characterize “MIND” or “Open Intelligence” as both Source and the inexhaustible Ground of our Being, as well as a beneficent foundation for our sanity as a species.

I imagine my ‘running start’ reflects the last 50 years as a seeker of universal and unifying wisdom. However, this a body of knowledge also permits me to compare the ideas of “Open Intelligence” to other wisdom traditions.

In addition to my own Mennonite and Quaker traditions, I’ve diligently studied the ancient teachings of the Tao de Ching, the historical and religious wisdom in the Judeo-Christian Bible (including several books not included in the canonized version), and I continue to be a student of “A Course in Miracles“. To a much lesser extent, I am also familiar with classical Islam and personal experience with many Muslim families that it is my pleasure to provide midwifery services.  In addition, I read and frequently re-read the original intellectual contributions that western culture was founded on, particularly the philosophy as first recorded by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Frances Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Spencer, and several other philosophers.

images-26In addition, I read and frequently re-read the original intellectual contributions that western culture was founded on, particularly the philosophy as first recorded by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Frances Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Spencer, and several other philosophers.

I also am a student of historical religion via the classic book “Jews, G*D & History; the Eastern mysticism of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet”, the Five-Times Prayer of the Sufis (Islam), and the poetry of Rumi (as translated by Coleman Barks); the anthology “Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood (edited by Mary Strong in 1948); Judeo-Christian contemplatives such as the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, and of course, the mainstay of my sanity and daily joy — the Jewish spiritual practices know as ‘Mussar’.

My intuitive take on all these historical and contemporary teachings and traditions is that each one was a rich resource and valid example of the fact of Open Intelligence. In many instances, these previous teachings became a pivotal system of wisdom and morality (i.e. re-ligio) that was instrumental in molding societies for the better in larger or lesser degrees. As such, they can never be wrong in the context of their time and place, as each religion represented a particular culture’s specific expression of what is described by the Balanced View as “Open Intelligence”.

It also seems obvious from the sum total of all these religious teachings and traditions that our true Identity (the Self) is not merely a fragile, skin-encapsulated body living in perpetual terror of death or injury, under the demeaning and tyrannical domination of our ego, which is long on making us all feel fat, ugly, stupid, inept, and perpetually guilty, while the normal set-point of the human ego is also very stingy on compassion, either for ourselves or others.

The Course in Miracles defines our ego as the origin of the wrong, but still debilitating, belief that each of us is here entirely on our own, abandoned by the forces of the universe to either make it all on our own, or face a bitter and painful annihilation. This is the ultimate split — me vs. the entire universe. Hollywood has made a fortune on action movies with this fanciful theme.

IMG_0140However, the Course goes on to say that by changing our mind about our mind — the only change we have direct control over — we become able to choose btw being held hostage to the negative, internal voice of the ego, or being a host to the Voice for G*D.

If couched in the vocabulary of the Balanced View, being host to the Voice for G*D equates to opening the window of our soul and inviting the universal quality of Open Intelligence into our lives in increasingly longer and longer ‘short moments’.

Unfortunately, whole societies sometimes choose instead to seek self-aggrandizement, which inevitably requires that they abuse power. To make that happen, they must also misuse, misrepresent or hide the teachings of universally beneficent principles of re-ligio.

At a personal lever, most humans have forgotten, never discovered or been talked out of the fact that we are like a hologram, in that we are simultaneously whole and a part of the Whole. Our true Identity is the opposite of the popular but wrong idea that humanity is a morally defective species. This view of ourselves and others through a ‘glass darkly’ gives us a distorted picture in which humans should ‘naturally’ feel guilty just by virtue of having been been born.

What has always prevented evil from extinguishing our species is the naturally positive potential of the human mind, which in the aggregate continues to receive and subsequently reflect MIND or Open Intelligence into society. This eventually bringing us back to Wisdom as the engine that fuels and guides our speech and action.

The mind-science of Open Intelligence, as the newest and most universal of all these traditional sources, is particularly well targeted to our contemporary time as an interconnected technological world.

Why now is the time, and here is the place for Open Intelligence

The global needs of the 21st century reflect a natural characteristic of the human mind, which is able to make a rich world in which a minority enjoys plentitude and a multitude of creative inventions, while a vast majority continue to live in squalor and penury. The poorest of the poor lack access to clean water and safe shelter and also suffer from extreme malnutrition.

KittenBack_Sleep_MAr2010While inventive and capable in the external world, the human mind in toto has historically been left to its own devices for hundreds of thousands of years. As a result, it has generally remained at an emotive level not much removed from that of our cave-man ancestors. While our technological capacities have soared, our minds are still stuck in a Neanderthal stage of fear-based ‘fight or flight’ thinking.

As a result, the human species has not been able to ‘think’ its way into a world that is safe, adequately fed, and populated by people who have reason to be reasonably content. In our a post-modern world, humanity must rise above the historical limitations of the undeveloped human mind.

The universally creative FORCE alternatively known as The Great Spirit, Creator, Elohim, Allah, G*D, MIND or Open Intelligence is the source of our intellectual, mental and emotional powers as humans. Open Intelligence, as the inexhaustible force behind our creation, is also smart enough, big enough, strong enough, pervasive and persistent enough to do the job. As individuals we humans are the expressions or ‘points of Light’ in that Open Intelligence, and the inspired actors in creating an interconnected world that works.

Balanced View’s break-through message of Open Intelligence is a new order of magnitude in relation to the many Wisdom Traditions that preceded it. This reflects the realities of our time, which are so enriched by the new era of computer-based information technologies and the worldwide phenomenon of the Internet. This allows those educated in its principles to harness these ever-expanding, ever more popular tools to be used on behalf of the entire human species for its betterment.

All faithful expressions of ‘open intelligence’ (historical as well as contemporary) teach that we are blessed as creations of the Force of Creation, and we can in turn bless others.

For example, a Course in Miracles states that:

0-27“The power of one mind can shine into another because all the lamps of G*D are lit by the same Spark. It is everywhere and it is eternal”. (p. 187 of the Text-ACIM).

The contemplative poetic-prose by Catholic Trappist monk Thomas Merton includes a line that is particularly fitting. It describes giving up our habitually negative ways of being, characterized by a mindless and frantic ‘search':

His advice it to stop and make a conscious choice to:

“no longer to clench our minds
in a cramp upon themselves
as if thinking made us exist…”

In another place he says:

“It is useless to look for what is everywhere, and hopeless to hope for what cannot be obtained because you have it already. “

Another helpful passage says:

What it means to seek ~ G*D ~ Universal Open Intelligence ~ perfectly:

To cultivate an Intellectual Freedom
from the images of Created Things
in order to receive the secret contact
of G*D~Open Intelligence in obscure Love;
to love all as myself;
to rest in humility
and to find peace in withdrawal
from conflict and competition;
to turn away from controversy and
put away heavy loads of judgment,
censorship and criticism and the
who burden of opinions that I
have NO obligation to carry.

page 172 Thomas Merton’s Book of Hours

IMG_4692Just imagine how the quality of our lives would be dramatically improved if we simply gave up the useless burden of opinions that we have no obligation to carry.

I imagine, and in fact have experienced, that by being willing to be open to ‘short moments’ of Open Intelligence, even someone with an over-active imagination like me can,  on those rare but much appreciated moments, put down those opinions that i have no obligation or reasons to carry, and thus return unburdened to a much-improved life.
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