Ask: Does God want to experience not-God?

…a) I have been reading about "A Course in Miracles" and here is what it says: We are all one with God. Sometime (which never happened, since time is an illusion), there was this tiny mad idea of separation (duality). From that tiny mad idea, we bought into a dream that we were separate from God, and that's basically how the universe as we know it was formed (the Big Bang). None of this is real, however, and when we wake up, we'll have an experience of oneness with God again; an infinite, eternal Oneness.
b) Another thought system, which I believed to understand so far, puts meaning and purpose behind this "illusion". God is said to have desired an experience of him/herself objectively, either as a fun game (hard to play Ludo by yourself), or according to some beliefs, as a means of continued evolution and development. Thus, The One sent out parts of him/her-self into an illusion of duality, so that The One could experience him/her-self as that which is "God yet not-God". We will always have a distinct identity (individuated), yet becoming more and more "Godlike" (removal of the false sense of separation) for the rest of time, and thus, God's completeness and perfection is constantly in a state of expansion, growth, and movement. There is no "endgame", just bigger, better, and more complex Oneness and movement within the Oneness. Are these really the same or different? – MK

These two concepts are different, and they do conflict.
First, for clarity, I want to clarify what A Course in Miracles teaches.
God is All, and being All, God must contain even the idea of Its Own opposite. But, being All, God cannot have an opposite. So, the idea of God’s opposite can never be more than a “tiny, mad idea”. This idea, then, is undone by God’s All-encompassing nature the moment that it is thought. (It’s a lot like if I, as a person, think “I’m a frog.” What happens to that thought? Nothing. It’s so obviously untrue that nothing happens. So it is with God and the idea of not-God: Nothing happens. God doesn’t even have to make the effort to dismiss it, because it is so obviously not true).
However, since God is eternal, the idea of not-God contains the idea of time, and in the idea of time it seems as though not-God began a long ago and will be undone in some indefinite future. Since God is one, formless, and limitless, not-God projects into time a multitude of limited forms, some of which are direct projections of its own mind (personal thought systems, or egos). So, you don’t really “buy into” the idea of not-God; you are really the one mind that wants to think that not-God is real. It seems as though there are many minds to which not-God is happening, but really there is only one mind that has taken many forms of not-God. If you want to be at peace, you must learn that you are the mind making the choice to see not-God as real; it is not being done to you. Otherwise, you will think that you are powerless to undo it.
You may consider the story of the Big Bang as the seeming-beginning of not-God or you may accept or make up any story that you want for time, because it is never anything more than a story. It has no reality. The past and the future are just ideas in your mind right now. You also do not have to wait for some future time to experience your oneness with God, because God is always in your mind. You can undo your belief in time right now by turning inward to God in what the Course calls the Holy Instant. In the Holy Instant, you step out of time and experience God in this moment. In fact, you must do this if you want to be at peace.
There are several fallacies in the second concept that you mention:
The idea that God has made the personal experience because It needs to have “fun”, learn about Itself, evolve, develop, or grow implies that there is lack in God. But God is All, so complete. Moreover, since God is All, God is everywhere, always, so there is nowhere into which God could extend or grow.
The idea of distinct identities in God contradicts the idea of oneness. The term “oneness” means that God is the One Being that is; in God there is only God. Clearly, differentiation is the opposite of Oneness, and obviously so is the idea of a multiplicity. What would a multiplicity of One be but that very One?
There is also nothing to become more God-like. God within you is already whole and perfect. God is all that is real in your mind. Not-God is only an idea, and an idea that is meant to be the opposite of God, so, to be at peace, you do not “fix” this idea; you put it aside. The way to peace is not transforming, but releasing (forgiving) that which is not peace.
These fallacies arise as one tries to grasp God by squeezing God into the limitations that he or she knows through the personal thought system (ego). Of course, they are also trying to make the personal self real by implying that its attributes (lack, individuation, transformation) come from and are a part of God. Those who teach these ideas have either not yet experienced God, or, what is more common, they have experienced God, but then they allowed the personal thought system to decide what the experience meant; they didn’t stay open and allow the experience to teach them. The Truth is very threatening to a mind that is very attached to a personal identity, and a split mind’s first response is to try to integrate Truth into what it thinks that it already knows.
When you do have an experience of God, through direct Revelation, or through a miracle, it is never in or through the personal thought system. In fact, the experience teaches you that you are not a personal self, because it makes you aware of another part of your mind that can observe the personal self. This other part of your mind is so manifestly real that you realize that you are not a personal self, but a mind thinking of a personal self. Only then can you make the choice to put the personal thought system aside, and follow this other part of your mind, Which is Truth.


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I think these are great questions from a happy mind and great answers from a wise woman! I once heard that the Hindu's refer to what the questioner is talking about as the Divine "splendor of recognition" in things It has created. Perhaps what the Course refers to as the "grandeur of God" (as contrasted with the grandiosity of the ego) is somehow related. What I know is that I don't know - I perceive - and I can come to know. But when I do, I won't be able to truly tell you about it because it won't be able to 'fit' into the words of natural language. That being said, I justed wanted to share some words from my favorite 18th century mystic revelator, Emanuel Swedenborg:

“… the Divine appears to everyone according to the quality of him who sees it….” (Emanuel Swedenborg, Secrets of Heaven 8916)

"... The Divine cannot regard anything but what is Divine, and it cannot regard this anywhere but in things created by itself. ...." (Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Providence 53:1)

Thanks for letting me share. And by the way, great blog!

~Jeremy Finkeldey
Oh, and one more:
“What God himself is like at the heart of the Word is something that cannot be seen by any created person or thing.” (Emanuel Swedenborg, True Christianity 6)
Lynne Lees said…
Thank you Jeremy, all the Emanuel Swedenborg quotes are very helpful to me.
You're welcome Lynne. I just sent you a Facebook friend request if that's you I found on Facebook... Feel free to ignore it if you want to. :)
Lynne Lees said…
Hi Jeremy, just checked my in box, no request for Facebook friend there. Maybe I'll try from this end.

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