Wait – You mean God is real?

That piece of news required a major rejiggering of the worldview.

I don’t know about you, but I managed to skate through an Orthodox Jewish childhood and a 20-year practice of Buddhism without ever once imagining that God might really exist.

(In my own partial defense, Nichiren Buddhism doesn’t address the question of God as we know it. Sure, it has a few allegorical gods who show up in the Sutras now and then, but they’re treated more as symbolic functions of the universe than actual deities.)

As I began to learn about non-dualism – the teaching that we’re all one – for the first time in the spring of 2006, I felt the unmistakable resonance of its truth deep within me. But I was knocked flat on my butt by its central concept: God is real and the world isn’t.

Of the 2 halves of that statement, you’d think the assertion that the world isn’t real would have been the more shocking – and in some ways it was plenty shocking. But it was the God part that completely blew my mind. Not only that God is real, but that God is the only thing that’s real. Because God is the only thing. Period.

Maybe this is old news to you, but I sure as hell had never heard anything like it.

This is part of a diary entry (from my book) in which I chewed over these ideas:

April 11, 2006

Leatrice lent me a book almost two months ago, a dog-eared paperback called Realization of Oneness by Joel S. Goldsmith. I didn’t like anything about the look of it. The grimly earnest, band aid-colored cover positively shouted “Eat your alfalfa sprouts!” circa 1973.

She’d said I’d probably find it interesting, but it turned out I just couldn’t get past those visuals. (Yes, I am totally that shallow.) So I slipped it discreetly to the bottom of the homework stack, where it languished for at least six weeks. And then the guilt of keeping the book too long finally got to me. I pulled it out and began to read.

Wow. This ugly little volume turned out to be jam packed with electro-buzz recognition, even as it spoke of completely alien concepts like: God is real and the world isn’t; (Really? Seriously? God is real?) And: We are not separate people who live in separate bodies. In truth we are one Being.

And then there was this one, which seemed the total opposite of everything I’d ever been taught: It doesn’t matter what we do (or do not do) in this world, because none of it is real; only God’s perfect unconditional love is real. And nothing can exist outside of God, because God is everything. So only unconditional love exists…

Freaky, right?

Yet, as it turns out, all true.

I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.

2 Replies to “Wait – You mean God is real?”

  1. Loved your book. Stupid me, I found it strange that I had such similar experiences and responses as a young Californian woman. I am 67, a southern earthy spirit-seeking artist type at present. For years, I have been sitting on a book of stories that came to me as scenes in my mind (don’t know how to describe this) that I can only guess the origins of, but they are somebody’s past lives. I haven’t had the guts to just come out with them, since I am from the southern, evangelical Christian Bible Belt and my family will think I am possessed. I can’t wait around for all of them to predecease me. Your book kind of gave me the boost to go ahead and brave it out. Let fear of attack go, right? (One of my stories could explain this fear.) I have finished them and don’t know what to do with them but counting on something to happen. Thanks for your book.

    1. Hi, Ann! well, I love that you think of me as a YOUNG Californian woman…but I do hear ya about that. We all have our nonsensical assumptions about other ‘types’ of people who live in other regions (and how hopelessly different they are from us). I also understand your fears about what your family and the folks you grew up with will think of you. I still get butterflies about the very much alive Lubavitch Jews who are bound to realize what I’m doing sooner or later, because I’m no longer hiding it from anyone. I don’t want to hurt them but also can’t be responsible for upholding anybody’s truth but my own. I will say that I feel much freer & much more at peace, since agreeing to speak my truth publicly, and to trust in others instead of assuming they’ll attack me for it. I highly recommend it as a spiritual practice! 🙂 Good luck with your stories, & let me know how the process of ‘letting fear of attack go’ is working for you, ok?

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