We just want to eat your brains!

zombies.jpgI was writing a letter to a friend this morning, and zombies came to mind as a metaphor about trying to be an awake person in the world. You want to be alive, conscious, and know God/Ultimate Reality/Truth, and—they don’t. Some of them actually want very much for you to not want that. (Hell, almost every dollar spent on advertising is for that very purpose!) The zombies see your difference as something they need to fix. And they’re willing to help. They just want to eat your brains!

There’s something definitely less-than human about the ego-self. Rather than embodying the consciousness of God in the world, we shuffle along, half-alive, half-dead, destructively seeking to satisfy our insatiable appetites. And whether that manifests as a literal lust for blood, or mere selfishness, the result is the same—we want to stay entranced, “dead while we live,” destructive, and unconscious. Oh, and yes, more blood is shed.

If God created mankind to be his manifestation in the world, the result was a tad lacking. The script was rewritten. Son of Man. Man II. HumanThe Sequel. Not only is this one going to be more uplifting to watch than Dawn of the Dead, but you can star in it!

Check out Jonathan Coulton’s hilarious song, Re: Your Brains.

What you don’t want to admit to yourself

The stories you love, are all about you. The heroes you adore, are all you. That’s why there is the resonance. It’s a recognition, beyond words, beyond knowledge. Jung realized that all the characters in a dream are the dreamer, but it’s not just the stories we tell ourselves when we’re asleep.

You’re not merely what you think you are. You are Spirit experiencing the world through flesh, incarnating into billions of bodies; even though you “identify” with just one, your essence is in all.

You’re Luke Skywalker, the humble farmboy who blows up the Death Star. You’re Princess Leia, getting the plans to the Rebel Alliance, and leading the effort to overthrow the forces of oppression.

You’re Neo and Trinity, penetrating the thicket of illusion and deception called The Matrix, and defending Zion, the bastion of freedom.

You were born of a virgin: The appearance of your spirit in the body here was miraculous. Only your body was created by sex.

You became enlightened many times. It’s time to do it again. (Should be old hat by now!)
You were proclaimed the son or daughter of God. You know this!

You carry the sins of others, you forgive them: and Jesus told you if you don’t forgive, they’re not forgiven (Jn 20.23), so you know what you need to do!

You died, and rose again, but you do not remember. No problem. You don’t have to. Just be what you really are.

That Bodhisatta Vow

One of the things I appreciate most about my teacher, is that he’s a bodhisattva, not just a buddha. In English, that means that he’s concerned with the salvation of the world. At his enlightenment, he chose to return to this world with all its sorrows and pains, and he wants his students to become enlightened and practice being the light, so they can give light to the world wherever they are, whatever they do.

One night just over six years ago, Jesus came to me, and destroyed my religion. What was left was something I didn’t expect—a fierce desire to follow him, to be like him. I realized he was Bodhisattva, Christ, the teacher who saves the world, and that he himself said he longs for us to follow him in this work, to be one in him, as he is one in the Father (Jn. 17:21-22). St. Paul taught that Christ is a power of God that extends beyond Jesus, that all who sincerely trust him, become “members of his body,” that is, parts of the same being (I Cor. 12:27), and that Jesus is the eldest of many brothers (Rom. 8.29).
So, a few days later, on May 5, 2000, as I sat on a pier I privately made my own bodhisattva vow to God, to work for the salvation of all according to all the grace I am given.

I confess I do not live up to my vow very well. Perhaps it is because it’s so daunting that so few people take it up in this culture. Yet my vow works on me, as I work to fulfill it … And I’m blessed to know a realized bodhisattva who guides me to the light I want to shine.

Last night, Kitabu Roshi urged his students to “become what you admire.” Not to just worship Christ, but to become Christ, become the Buddha, become the teacher.

There’s so much that can be said about this, so much that has been said already. But those who actually come to believe it’s possible are few, and those who resolve to do it, are fewer still. So today, I renew my vow. Theosis is more than just a work of grace. It’s a pledge to be worked on and be available for the world, here and now.

Are some of you also being called to this?