Everyone has a version of "how it is." As you grow, you explore many
different versions, hoping one day that you'll find The Version.
Classically, this process of discovery is "The Quest." You can travel
through many stages as you search.
In Stage One, you *know* something isn't right - probably you. This
uncertain feeling drives you to find an answer. Eventually, you stumble
onto something that you believe is IT. It may take the form of a
metaphysical, religious, or philosophical system, or perhaps some
charismatic leader. Finding It marks the beginning of Stage Two.
After a while, though, you discover flaws in the system. It's not
everything that you thought it would be. You move on. Maybe next time,
you'll find the REAL Answer. Eventually, you fall upon another candidate.
Like before, however, you unhappily uncover flaws in this system. You
repeat this search-and-find pattern, until you finally give up. At this
point, you enter Stage Three.
In this stage, you realize that no one knows; you're on your own. You now
begin to construct a personalized picture of reality. It contains many
elements that you've assimilated during your travels. If this structure
was visible, it would resemble a bird' s nest. Over time, you refine and
perfect your picture, until finally, you *really* know How It Is. You now
have most (if not all) of the answers. Uh-oh. Phase Four is knocking on
Officially, you've become a True Believer in *your* picture of reality -
you have the rules figured out in your head. You're like a king (or
queen), enthroned at the center of your creation. At this prominent
position, however, you become a prisoner, trapped and alone inside a
dark, stone castle.
Once you know everything, you're as good as dead - conceptually speaking.
You can't grow. Additionally, knowing How It Is, is tainted with conceit.
You understand; the uninformed don't. You can correct and direct them. For
example, someone may experience something, and they will interpret it
through their reality filters. Because you *know*, however, you can put
their experience into a more valuable context, something that will benefit
them. You will show them the Light, and chalk up guru points for your
As a king, you have the privilege - no, the duty - to keep Seekers in
line. ("In line" means "within the bounds of your picture of reality.")
You give sloppy thinkers (or worse - heretics!) the "slap of the Buddha."
And who is more qualified to act on the Buddha's behalf? . . . You do
this, of course, for their own good.
In fairness, sometimes you help others by sharing insights and advice.
They may be grateful. Yet, this position of consciousness is a subtle ego
trap that makes you suffer by keeping you separate.
(Some True Believers don't create their own philosophy. They use
traditionally wrapped belief systems. If they have a question, they can
read The Book or consult the leader. This way is simpler, because
[usually] a God-inspired Source provides all the answers. Many decent and
loving people live within this framework. So do fanatics.)
In the world of metaphysics, anyone can say almost anything, and no one
can prove them wrong. Take God for instance. Aken-Aten was a mystical
Egyptian Pharaoh and the "first individual in history." He was the first
to propose the idea of One Big God.
Moses, having lived in the Egyptian Royal Court, borrowed this
revolutionary concept. He presented it to his people and, as the coup de
grace, claimed that the One Big God was exclusively their God! They
deposed the competition by declaring that other gods we re evil and
The writings of that small, nomadic tribe became known as "The Bible" -
the Word of God, no less. It caught on and became a best seller. Since
then (with few exceptions), theists agree that only One Big God exists.
The amazing part is that everyone believes that it's *their* idea. Even
Wiccans and Hindus, who colorfully believe in many sub-deities, believe in
the One Big God.
Looking deeper, however, how can we possibly know this? Atheists will tell
you that zero Gods exist. This split represents the familiar believer/
disbeliever polarity. Neither side, however, knows. Each believes. Each
can pump arguments into your head about why they are right, the other
wrong. Like most polarized arguments, they are heavy, gray, and without
humor. Yet, these debates are a necessary part of one's development. True
Believers are True Disbelievers on the other side of the fence.
We have a third possibility. More than One Big God might exist. I'm not
referring to the revered Immortals of Mount Olympus or the animal totems
of Stone Age tribes.
Instead, imagine seven or so individual One-Big-God Creators, ecstatically
*being* together (the "All-That-Ises"), doing everything. Why not? What
proof *of any kind* does anyone have to the contrary? (I'm not suggesting
that this idea is true. Rather, this reality is *as conceivable* as the
What happens is this. We can be sure of some facts - at least
existentially. For instance, the world is round (as opposed to flat). We
can fly or cruise around the globe together and nod, "Yes, this is a
fact." However, beyond that existential nod, *everything is a GUESS*.
Guessing includes speculating about the purpose of life. Some say that
we're here to learn. Others believe that the purpose is to wake up or to
make money. Still, others think that life is meaningless. We are voting
citizens of Best Guessland.
Being *certain* about metaphysical issues puts you in a tenuous
psychological position. How can you know the unknowable? You've had gut
feelings, insights, or "knowings" that some metaphysical axiom is true.
Yet with time, what you once saw as a bright (or at least interesting)
Truth fades to an inconsequential idea that you barely remember. Certainty
is a box with familiar walls.
We live in a house built with ideas. The foundation is material reality.
If you choose to believe that a sub-foundation exists, that's fine. For
the mystically inclined, this belief is a necessity. However, the nature
of the sub-realm is subjective. Acting as an authority on this realm is a
sign of spiritual egotism or, at least, delusion.
Do It Anyway
Part of our nature is to wonder aloud. Philosophers, intellectuals,
theologians, and the clever, all enjoy engaging in the mental realm. They
are mercurial engineers skilled at constructing elaborate mental
structures, supported by tightly knit interior logic. (Some structures,
though, are plagued by severe design flaws.)
Not unlike lawyers, when they debate, often the point is to win - another
form of vanity. (I'm not implying that these skirmishes are valueless.)
Regardless, a degree of metaphysical certainty is desirable to some.
Within limits, it lends stability. Balance is the key.
Another part of our nature is to believe that our guesses are facts, or
even the coveted Truth. Because of this, The Second Miraculodynamic
Principle is useful: "Happiness and kindness are more important than
Unfortunately, you can't convince yourself that your truth is not true.
While in the grip of True Believerism, *you must believe*. You can,
however, accept your condition, and find balance. This Key of Balance
opens the door to Stage Five. Acceptance brings peace and, in peace, you
become more humble. Humility is not weakness. Rather, it reflects an inner
satisfaction of not having to prove yourself. You understand that, like
other intangibles, the *self* can't be proven.