Zen Professor

A Path to a More Fulfilling Life

Category: Prayer

Deeper Teachings From “The Lord’s Prayer”

The Lord’s Prayer is often interpreted literally. But I believe it is speaking to consciousness. When it states, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” it is directing our consciousness to center on the One (the Uniting Force of the Universe and everything within It) and ready It for the prayer. This is similar to meditation when we make the sound, “Ahhh…” What we are doing when making this sound is preparing the mind for communion with the Source Energy. It is considered the “sound of God” and when we center attention on this sound, not only are we hearing the sound of God (The Absolute, The One, Source Energy), we are feeling the vibrations of Source Energy, helping bring us into the present moment.

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How Our Bodies Mirror the Earth and Why It Matters

When I ask myself what is God, the answer is different than before. The fact is God is everything! I have heard this before but what does it really mean? It means everything. This is the reason we cannot grasp it. It is almost humorous and tragic all at the same time.

It seems to be all about how we perceive reality. If we look at it from the perspective of a pyramid with God at the top, we miss the truth of the message being delivered by all the great religions and spiritual teachers throughout human existence. Life is not hierarchical. God is not at the top of everything. God IS everything! God is the total, not merely the leader or director of it all. God is it all!

Visualize the Universe as a Sphere

Perhaps a good way to visualize where we fit into the Universe, if there is one, is to use a sphere. Imagine yourself looking at a giant sphere composed of three-dimensional puzzle pieces. Actually see your physical body looking at that sphere. See the enormous ball with an infinite number of pieces with varying shapes and sizes. Now, instead of seeing yourself looking at it, see yourself as a part of it. Imagine you are one of the numerous components within this giant sphere. You and every other piece in that sphere are essential. No piece is any less important than any other. Consequently, there is no mistake in your creation. You are essential to the wholeness of Nature.

Now imagine the Universe, or God, is the sphere. Even this doesn’t really work because you are then seeing God as separate from something and It is not. But just for this thought experiment, let’s say that you can actually “see” everything. So God IS this metaphorical sphere and all the components of the universe are all the physical “stuff” that makes up the “body” of God. The stars, planets, asteroids, rocks, oceans, trees, plants, insects, animals and people are all parts of the Living God. None are more or less important than any other. This is what Jesus meant when he said that you are the body. God experiences the play of form through our physical bodies, as well as through the physical body of every other form in existence.

If one were to view oneself as an integral part of this massive sphere of universal form, then one would experience peace and harmony through unity. However, if one sees oneself as being above or below any other part of the sphere, there is disharmony. How could there not be?

The Universe Is Not Hierarchical

God is harmony! This is why when one experiences a traumatic life event, one has the opportunity to transcend the ego and become liberated. One’s belief system, the structure of the mind so-to-speak, collapses and what is left is the Christ Consciousness experiencing the play of form. Then life becomes harmonious and joyful.

The erroneous thinking that the universe is like a pyramid with God at the top, followed by humans, and then by everything else, has created many problems. Many believe that God (a separate entity) gave man (also separate) dominion over the world. This line of thinking that humans must control everything has led to massive destruction of the planet. It’s helpful to remember how the Native Americans used to live in harmony with the land, giving thanks to Nature for providing them with all they needed.

Humanity is raping the land by cutting down all of the old-growth forests, which take hundreds or even thousands of years to become established. The waters are being polluted and the oceans are being over-harvested. Those who don’t see this are blind to reality. They are blind because they perceive themselves at the top of the pyramid rather than as an integral part of the sphere. It is possible we will destroy the planet to a point of no return. But I don’t think that will happen. Most likely the earth would simply rid itself of us and then rebuild without humans in the way. I don’t think that will happen either. Instead, I believe humanity will shift to a higher consciousness and live in harmony with Mother Nature once again. 

The Earth’s Immune System

When I used to teach High School Biology, it always seemed to me that microorganisms were part of the earth’s immune system to protect it from over population. After all, when a population of any given species becomes too large for a particular area what happens? First famine sets in as the food supply runs low. Then, the organisms begin to starve, lowering their resistance to disease. Next, a virus sweeps through the group, killing a large enough percentage that the remaining organisms now have enough available food to survive.

That species can now live harmoniously with the environment once again, until the next time the population becomes too large to be supported by the available resources and the cycle is repeated. In addition, the surviving organisms are the ones that were most resistant to that particular virus. Therefore, the genes passed on to the offspring provide an immune system similar to the parents, and the population as a whole becomes stronger. If the same virus were to return, the surviving population would be more resistant to it, and it would take some other microorganism to reduce the population to a sustainable level. This natural process helps to ensure balance is maintained throughout the ecosystems of the planet.

Our Bodies Mirror the Planet

Now compare this analogy to the human body. The human body is really a walking planet, made up of trillions of cells and containing innumerable microorganisms. As long as these microorganisms remain in balance, the body stays healthy. However, if too much of any given microorganism becomes present, such as bacteria or viruses, the body suffers. To protect against this, like the earth, the body has a first line of defense. This first line of defense is referred to as passive immunity and includes the skin, cilia in the nose, mucous membranes, etc. This passive immunity helps to maintain the balance of microorganisms within the body, much like how viruses help to maintain the balance of populations on earth.

When an invading microorganism penetrates the first line of defense, the body’s second line of defense is called into action. The second line of defense is provided by the body in the form of white blood cells, which have the task of destroying the microorganism and returning the body to equilibrium. If the body’s immune system cannot maintain a healthy balance, it dies. Therefore, the infected individual cannot cause harm to others and again, the population as a whole benefits.

If They Are “Natural” Are They “Disasters?”

The first line of defense for the Mother Earth is the atmosphere, which prevents space debris from causing too much damage to the planet by burning it up before it gets there. Perhaps the second line of defense for the planet comes in the form of natural disasters. At least they are disasters to us. To the earth they are blessings. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, etc., are all considered natural disasters because they sweep through a large area, wiping out entire populations of living organisms. But to the earth these “natural disasters” are beneficial because once these populations are removed, that part of the earth is free to heal itself, much like removing the bacteria from an infected wound allows it to heal. After all, when an infestation overtakes a forest, killing a large percentage of trees and leaving much dry foliage, a forest fire is likely to occur, destroying the organisms that led to the infestation and allowing the trees to return.

To me, this is similar to the killer T cells of the active immune system. These particular white blood cells travel to the site of infection and wipe out large areas of cells, both infected and uninfected. Then the individual feels symptoms of the disease and for a while, suffers. But the body is then allowed the opportunity to heal itself and balance is restored.

We can also compare the human body systems to the earth’s ecosystems, each with its own specific function to help maintain balance. For example, the circulatory system is a network of canals branching off into smaller and smaller passages that deliver nutrients to the rest of the body. Similarly, the earth’s water system delivers much-needed nutrients around the planet. In addition, the respiratory system delivers oxygen to the entire body, while the earth’s forests deliver oxygen to the entire planet. These comparisons go on and on. It is much like what the great masters have said about how the small mirrors the whole. All we must do is make the connection that all of life operates in the same way and we can see the incredible Oneness of it all.  Amazing!

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Jeffry Beers

Email: jeffrybeers@gmail.com

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