Truth Contest
http://www.truthcontest.com/

THE REAL TRUTH THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

What is the Ultimate Truth?
This contest is seeking the answers to the big questions of life, the truth about life and death. If you know the answers, make an entry.
Let’s get honest about the truth of life.

Top five entries:

The Present
The Present (with religion)
The God Memorandum
Awakening to What We Are
Integrity

Entries are evaluated using the evidence, critical reason, logic, common sense, and scientific methods. To submit an entry, challenge something said in the current top entries, or to make a comment, click here.

We are on the cutting edge of the search for the truth, the latest and greatest source of the truth about life and death on earth. The contest will always keep us in that position. We are not a dogma like religions with a fixed view. This contest constantly updates and improves our knowledge of the truth.

With honesty, open minds, an open exchange of ideas, good will and the power of the internet, we will find the answers to the big questions about life.

This truth contest is not a competition with a winner. It is simply the best way to find, check, and spread the truth. The most clear, complete, and accurate explanation of the ultimate truth will be on top followed by the next best. Everyone wins, because we will have the best entries together. It does not matter who writes the entries. What is said is all that matters.

We cannot think of a better way to find, check, and spread the ultimate truth than an internet contest. Everyone can be a judge. Everyone can make an entry or a comment. We are not trying to make money, and we have no agenda except to find and spread the truth about life and death. What could be more important? What could be more worthwhile than helping us find and spread the truth? Send this website to the people in your address book, twitter, facebook, post comments on youtube, and post links to http://www.truthcontest.com on web pages, web forums, and blogs. Invite everyone you can reach to participate in the Truth Contest.

The world’s smartest people need to get involved. Let’s start the conversation and do the research to find out what the truth is once and for all.

We all have to live and die, so the truth about it concerns us all.
http://www.truthcontest.com/

1st Place
“The Present”

http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/the-present-universal-truth/

Truth you can check: It is as matter of fact as the ground and as useful as food. It’s the kind of truth that can make hate and war as unnecessary as ignorance.

Our true history: Evolution is no longer just a theory; it has been proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. The problem is even people who believe evolution is true disassociate themselves from the process. They some how skipped all the lower forms of animal life and just started out at the top of the evolutionary ladder. The evidence says we evolved as life evolved.

In other words, you were those other animals.

You had to be lower animals to be a human now. You lived as all the different animals in your evolutionary line. You lived through millions of years, and millions of lives and deaths to get to where you are now.

In addition to the fossil evidence, the genetic code proves that all animals including us evolved up an evolutionary ladder over the last 700 million years on earth.

When all of the evidence (100%) says something happened, and there is no evidence (zero) that anything else could have happened, it is the truth beyond a reasonable doubt to honest, rational people.

We have come a very, very long way, but we have a little further to go. The next and last step in our evolution is learning and accepting the truth of life, and this includes acknowledging our true past.

The truth will free us from the animal world we all evolved from.

Keep reading: Many disagree with parts of this book until they have read it all. The things said at the beginning are explained in greater detail later in the book.

Immortality: “It is impossible to be conscious of being unconscious.”

It is not possible to be aware of being unconscious from your own perspective. You cannot be aware of not being aware. You can be less aware/conscious (sleep/coma), but not completely unconscious (dead), because time would stand still for you. A billion years could pass, and you would not know it.

It is not possible to be aware of any gaps in life; it is continuous and never-ending from your own point of view.

We know our bodies die, and know consciousness cannot, thus our consciousness (what we are) cannot be our bodies. Energy cannot be created or destroyed and neither can consciousness. It just changes form.

You will die physically, but you will be born again; being born happens, or you would not be here now. You were born into this life. It is what we know happens. There is no evidence anything else happens.

Death and birth are a continuous event from your own perspective.

The only question is where and when you will be reborn and what you will be reborn as, and we can know that too.

People are trying to understand the universe independent of consciousness, and it is the most important factor in the equation.

The universe as it relates to conscious life can be understood now. It is the ultimate truth; the truth that will transform mankind and the world.

The balance of physical things: There are two sides to every coin and two sides to everything else physical. It is the same with everything that happens. Birth-death, old-young, big-small, strong-weak, healthy-sick, start-stop, on-off, up-down, rich-poor, beginning-end, fast-slow, hot-cold, pain-pleasure, win-lose, day-night, full-empty, high-low, laugh-cry, in-out, success-failure, united-divided, give-receive, creation-destruction, positive-negative, etc.

Positive and negative forces moving in balance are the physical universe.

Everything physical (matter/energy) goes back and forth in balanced circles, cycles, or the equivalent. Even light and other forms of energy that appear to go straight out move in balanced, up and down waves.

The physical universe has to have balancing opposites to exist. This writing only exists because of the contrast of black and white on this page.

Luck: Good luck and bad luck are the balance in action and the way the balance most affects our lives. Luck is manifested on many levels. There is the day-to-day luck, from little things like getting a good parking space or a bad one, to big things, such as winning the lottery or finding out you have cancer. Then there is the long-term luck. You are lucky if you are born with good looks, money, health, talent and intelligence. You are unlucky if you are born unattractive, poor, sickly and without talent or intelligence. Most people are in between the extremes, but it does not matter, because we are immortal, and it will all balance out. Luck will move back and forth; everyone will get equal amounts of good and bad luck.

What goes around comes around.

The eternal mixer: The balance is the result of everything moving around randomly. Example: if you take a jar filled with black and white grains of sand and you shake it, it will turn gray and mix perfectly. No matter how long you shake it, the black and white grains of sand will always stay mixed. Time and random movement will create a perfect balance of all physical things.

This is why on the Fourth of July in the US, about 100 people will be killed in auto accidents, and every fourth, about the same amount are killed. An average of twelve auto accidents happen every minute. About six-thousand teenagers are killed in auto accidents every year in the US. About four million people are bitten by dogs. Why are they always close to the same? It is the balance at work.

The big picture: If you flip a coin a thousand times, it will come up heads about half the time and tails about half the time. The odds of random events are predictable; this is why Las Vegas always makes a profit on gambling year after year. You can see the truth of life if you look at the big picture. You will see that disconnected, random events are predictable, because they always balance.

Death is the great equalizer: If you are born with advantages, you can have more good times than bad times in your life, but when you die, you are reborn with disadvantages, and have more bad times than good times and vice versa. In the long run, no one has it better or worse than anyone else does, because life will always balance eventually. It is the known nature of the universe we live in.

The good news is all of the best things are going to happen to you; the bad news is, so will all of the worst things, if you do not learn the truth.

It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

When you see life truly, it is what people call a peak moment, or moment of clarity. You get a larger percentage of what each moment of life actually contains; you are filled with life. Your mind is the gatekeeper of life, and sometimes it lets a little true life in, but most of the time it does not.

 Mind Block True Life Present
Figure 1 shows how mankind currently perceives life. Figure 2 shows true life.

The arrows represent life coming to you from all directions. The dotted line shows how your mind blocks most of the life coming to you. Without the mind blocking life, you receive all of life, true life, and reflect it all back out.

Seeing Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon for the first time is a peak moment for most people. Why does it make you feel so alive? Nothing really happens to you. Why doesn’t it feel as good the second time you see it? You are seeing the same thing. The reason is your mind opens up when something is special.

The truth is, every moment of life is special, and you can be completely open to life most of the time. You have to see true life to see the truth.

The obvious is that which is never seen, until someone expresses it simply. Khalil Gibran

The truth about life is actually very simple; it is just hard to see for the first time.

Life: It all boils down to how you feel from moment to moment, how often you feel good and how often you feel bad, and it will be balanced like everything else physical. Your infinite past was balanced, and your infinite future will be too,  unless you change from a physical being into a spiritual being. To change into a spiritual being, you just have to know the truth, which changes your point of view and your perspective of life so that you start to live your life as a spiritual being.

Our life does not have to be just fifty-fifty like the physical world, because our spiritual-self, our immortal-self, is not physical and does not need to be balanced to exist. Our physical environment cannot fundamentally change, but we can. You just have to know it to do it.

Nothing is going to make any real difference in your life except separating yourself from the balanced physical world. It can and will change everything.

You separate yourself from the balance of physical life by seeing the truth.

The truth reveals that you do not need to experience the bad to have the good. The bad will still happen, but you will perceive it differently. The spirit is the only thing in the universe that does not need to balance. The knowledge of the balance changes your life. It leads to your transition into a spiritual being.

Good/bad: When you know the truth, you take the two sides of life, the good and bad side, and see them as one whole. You do this by understanding what the balancing force means. It means all bad times will pass and be compensated for by an equal amount of good times. It also means all good times will pass and be paid for with an equal amount of bad times. It will always balance.

When you know the truth, you will enjoy the good times more and still avoid a bad time when you can, but when you cannot, the knowledge of the balance helps you get through the bad times. This is because knowing that the worse it gets, the better it will be, makes bad times almost enjoyable. More importantly, it centers your perspective of life. You see both sides of life: whole life, true life.

The knowledge of the balance takes away your reasons to be mad, sad, hate, worry, envy, be disappointed, miss out, be afraid of anything or even think much.

It removes all stress and negative mind made feelings from your life.

The mind starts disappearing, and true life starts appearing.

As the mind gets smaller, life gets bigger. As the mind shrinks, life expands. When the mind disappears completely, your perception of life becomes clear. Eventually you will only think when you have to, which is not very often. You will start living in the present, the eternal NOW.

We want to expand our life, not expand our minds as they did in the 60’s.

The more you live in the present, the more fulfilling life gets. Time will slow down; you will see the magic and wonder of life you saw as a child, and you will experience it without the ignorance and all the negative emotions of childhood.

Child-time: Time is subject to perception, and that is the reason it moves slower for children. Do you remember how long the summer used to last?

Summer actually does last longer from a child’s perspective. The more aware you are, the slower time travels, because each moment contains more life. The older you get, the more closed the mind gets. You receive less life, and time moves faster from your perspective and experience. A child receives more of life, because their mind has not completely taken over their life yet.

The world you saw as a child is still here; you just cannot see it anymore. The world did not change; you changed. You became less aware. Kids still see it.

When you know the truth, you become more aware again, and you will see life like you did then. Soon you will be able to see life better than a child sees it or any animal has ever seen it. You will see the real world, an enchanted world.

Your two selves: Most people are not aware of the fact that they have two different selves. You have a mind and a spirit (consciousness), and though they seem like one thing, they are separate. The way to realize that this is true is to realize that something has to be listening to the thoughts created by your mind.

What is it that hears your thoughts?

There is the part of you that thinks and the part that hears the thoughts. The thinking part is your mind; the part that hears the thoughts is your spiritual-self. You do not actually hear thoughts through your ears, because your mind is already inside your head. The point is, your spiritual-self receives the things the mind creates in a similar way to hearing them.

Check it out: Just ask yourself, what is it that is hearing the thoughts you are thinking right now?

It is your spiritual-self, the same thing that receives all life.

As shown in the drawing, mankind is currently living as their mind-self, and as a result, does not know their spiritual-self. “Know thy self,” as Socrates said.

You have to know true life to know your true self.
Perspective and perception: The same world is perceived differently by a frog and a cat, a cat and a dog, a dog and a human, a child and an adult, a woman and a man. You see something different than I do. All perspectives are unique.

We do not see things the way they are; we see things the way we are.

People see and experience life through their own mind and senses and from their own unique perspective and awareness level. This does not change the truth. The physical world will never change; it cannot change and still exist, but the way you perceive it can. Perception and perspective determine how clearly and truly you see life and how fulfilling or unfulfilling life is for you. Knowing the ultimate truth makes it possible for people to see life clearly and to be filled by it.

Animals other than man are more fulfilled, because they have less mind blocking life, but they are stuck with the perspective and perception they are born with. Human beings can greatly improve our perception by learning the ultimate truth.

All the problems we have stem from people not knowing the truth of life.

Unhappy: People look around and think, why are there so many people that are unhappy? We have progressed so far, yet people are still unhappy. Why isn’t this world the wonderful place it could be? Changing the world doesn’t change us.

It does not matter how much we progress materially; it will not change anything. Only learning and seeing the truth will change us, and thus change everything.

The truth transforms a mortal man into an immortal spiritual being.
It does this because the truth just shows you what you truly are and that changes everything. The truth does the same thing for the way we see the world and for the same reason. It shows you life clearly; it shows you true life for the first time.

True life is perfect: You can see and experience a perfect life, because that is the way life actually is. Our imperfect minds mess it up.

It is hard to believe from your current perspective and level of awareness, but it is true. It is your own mind that makes life imperfect. The universe has to be perfect to exist. Things would come apart if they were not moving in balance.

You do not have to believe it; you can know it.

The present: It is interesting that the “NOW” is called the “present.” The present is the ultimate gift; it is the gift of truth and life. You are given the present every second, and you will receive it forever. The present is the only thing that exists, the only thing you are ever conscious of. Your life is a series of presents moving through time. The future does not exist until it becomes the present.

Life is one perpetual present.

Creation is happening now: Your body, mind, and the world around it are being created from microsecond to microsecond. Things may look the same, but they are not; everything is constantly changing and being recreated. God/life/nature is creating our life and our world from moment to moment.

Life and everything in it is always new.

People think that they are not good looking enough, young enough, thin enough, smart enough, or rich enough etc. They live on the edge of the circle and just go around and around forever, lost in the illusions of their minds.

Greener grass: The concept of past, future, and a distorted perception of the present keeps people running for the greener grass on the other side of the fence. They miss the present in the process.

Chasing the horizon: It is like running after the horizon; the faster you go, the faster it moves away from you. One day, you realize that you are standing on it. What you were running after is where you already are and always will be.

Be where you are: Every place you have been, all the places you have lived and stayed at, the houses, hotels, motels, resorts, businesses, someone is there right now. Someone is on every street and freeway, at every river, mountain and lake. Someone is looking at the Statue of Liberty right now. People are eating at all the restaurants. People are traveling in boats, planes, cars, trucks, buses right now. People are having sex. People are fighting and being murdered. People are everywhere they go, doing everything they can do at this moment. To be at one place, doing one thing, means you are missing all of the other places and things. It is foolish to think you are missing anything. To do one thing is to miss another. The only way to miss out is to miss the present. This understanding is important, because a big problem is people wanting to be somewhere besides where they are, doing something besides what they are doing, which is impossible.

All people want is what is in the present, but they do not know it because they have never opened it. Almost no one knows what the present really is.

The present has to be our goal, because it is the only thing that exists.

The big tease: Your mind will open up part way from time to time to give you a taste of true life and then take it away. It will attach the open moments to things that are hard to do, like things that cost a lot of money, things that are difficult or dangerous, or things that the mind considers to be new or special. Your mind makes you pay for life in one way or another, and never let you have it for free.

A fulfilling life is always free and always available once you know the truth.

Fulfilled: It is the way we feel when our minds are completely open to life; we become “filled” with life. Being filled with life makes you feel the way you want to feel all the time. Fulfillment is true happiness. Doctors say that you feel good or happy because of the release of chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. This is true; chemicals such as endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine make you feel good, but they do it by just allowing you to feel a little true life. Like all drugs, the effect is temporary, and it has a balancing down side. The ultimate truth is not temporary and has no down side. No drugs are necessary.

Life is like light: Light contains all the colors of the rainbow, but we only see it as white. Life contains everything you can sense in every moment, but your mind only lets you sense certain things and only when certain things happen. When you receive all of life together, it is like seeing all colors together. Just as all the colors seen together create something completely different (white light), all of life seen together creates something completely different and unexpected. If you mix the three primary colors, blue, yellow and red, you do not get white, but you do when it comes in the form of light. It is the same with parts of life; you would think if you received them all at once, it would be sensory overload, but the opposite happens. You receive the most pure and clear experience possible.

Your five life senses are more than the sum of their parts. Together, completely open, they open a door to an unseen world: true life.

See the light: When the mind is out of the way and you can receive all of life, it manifests as the ultimate joy. It is divine joy, and it is beyond any mortal pleasure possible. When you know the truth, you see the light; you see true life. It is much more than joy; the best word to describe it is bliss. You do not go around smiling and laughing all the time. You do not appear to be much different to other people, but you see everything differently.

Physical pain and pleasure will come and go, but you can always be filled with life (fulfilled).

Freedom: If you tie your fulfillment to things that happen in your environment, you are at the mercy of the constantly changing environment. You will only get a taste of fulfillment when things go your way, when you win or get what you want. Spiritual people are fulfilled when they lose. If you do not attach your fulfillment to what happens in your environment, you can be fulfilled no matter what happens. True freedom is having the ability to be fulfilled independent of what happens in the environment. Almost no one is free now. Only the truth will set you free.

Being free means being free of the mind that hides true life from people.

Instant gratification: Why put requirements on feeling good? True life is being given to us all the time; we just have to let it in all the time. True life is instant and complete gratification that costs nothing. Being free is in your head.

The secret: Most people know you do not need “things” or things to happen to be happy (be fulfilled), but most people do not know how it works. The secret is turning off your mind. Without thought, and negative emotions, the same thing happens that happens when you get what you think you want, only much more. In addition to feeling much better, you are in complete control, and can turn off your mind at anytime you see the truth, no matter what is happening around you.

You become as sensual as you can possibly be; you become your senses.

You can feel better than you would feel if you just won the lottery everyday. Why not? It is just a state of mind, or state of no-mind. It is your life; just take what is coming to you. You can be fulfilled whenever you want. The present is for you.

Being fulfilled, being filled by life all the time, is the true goal of mankind.

Everything that people do directly and indirectly, good and bad, is to be fulfilled by life. Once you know the truth, you can skip all the things and just be fulfilled.

People can have everything, if they know the truth.

Death is in life. This causes people to avoid life in hope of avoiding death. People do it subconsciously, and are doing the opposite of what they should. Instead of trying to escape life, we need to get into life completely. It is the only way to overcome the fear of death and death itself. If you learn the ultimate truth and get into life completely, you transcend death by becoming eternal life itself.

You become all things, yet are beyond all things.

You become all things, because you live totally in the present, but are beyond all things, because you also live in immortality and infinity at the same time. You live in your temporary body, but know you are immortal. You live within the range of what you can see and sense, but are aware everything is infinite.

A man who lives fully is prepared to die at anytime.
Mark Twain

Empty: As shown in the drawing, the mind makes it impossible to know reality (true life) and to be fulfilled. The present with the mind blocking and distorting it is not fulfilling. It leaves you empty and full of desire for something to fill the emptiness. The things the mind does to try to fill the void just blocks life more. The more people run towards what they think they want, the more they miss it.

Something missing: People feel that something is missing, because something is missing; true life is missing.

The door: Your mind is like a door, and for most, it is currently closed. You have to have a truly open mind to learn the truth and experience true life (the present).

The real truth unites people; it does not divide them. It makes sense, and it applies to everyone, everywhere, all of the time. It creates clarity, not confusion. The truth leads to real equality, freedom, peace, love and understanding. The real truth only asks you to believe in something you can check for yourself.

Anyone that cares about the truth enough to check what it is with their own eyes will know the truth. Those that do not care will be lost and deserve to be lost.

Monkey see, monkey do: Most people just tell people what they have been told the truth is. They just accept what others say the truth is, especially if it is
Truth is what stands the test of experience. A man should look for what is and not for what he thinks should be. Albert Einstein

That which is: The literal meaning of the word “truth” is “that which is.”
The living truth = that which is. That which is = the present.

The truth of the past = that which was. The truth of the future = that which will be. You can only truly know “that which is,” because now is the only moment that exists. The past is a memory or a story. The future is just an educated guess. You can only know the true past and what the true future will be by knowing “that which is possible.” If you know how life works, you will know everything.

Definition of ultimate truth: It is knowing the truth of life. It is knowing the fundamental, eternal laws of nature, and the nature of the mind which distorts and hides the truth. It is an accurate and complete understanding of “that which is.”

You do not and cannot understand every detail of life and do not have to. You just have to understand the big picture, the fundamental nature of life.
This truth never changes, because “that which is” can never change. It cannot change and exist. When you know life completely, you become life completely.

Self-evident: There is nothing easier to know than the truth, because it is life itself. It is nothing more and nothing less. The truth is the present. THE NOW.

Being is the great explainer.
Henry David Thoreau

It is all true: The truth is simply everything there is, everything that truly exists. If it does not exist, it is not the truth; if it does, it is. “That which is” is everything except for the deceptions created by the mind.

The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill

2 + 2 = 4: It does not equal anything else. The truth is, there is only one truth. Believing 2 + 2 = 5 or 6 or anything else does not make it true. There are an infinite amount of wrong answers, but only one true answer.

Hope/belief: Believing and hoping something is true or going to be true does not make it true, if you do not start with the real truth. It is the truth, or it is not. There is no way to make something that is not true, true. There is only one truth.

Faith in faith: In and of itself, belief, faith, hope, wishing, good luck charms, holy relics, symbols, positive thinking, good intentions, praying, curses, voodoo, magic spells, fortune tellers, psychics etc. do not do anything except make people feel like they have some control over life. They are just coping strategies.

If you believe a fairytale or myth is true, you will not live happily ever after.

People that currently have faith and belief in a myth are a force against the truth.

Saying that you see things that do not exist is the worst thing you can do.

what people have been accepting as the truth for thousands of years. It is monkey see, monkey do. Second-hand truth should not be believed or repeated without checking it out for yourself. The age of playing follow the leader is ending now.

Second-hand truth is called hearsay in a court of law, and it is not admissible for an important reason; it has proven not to be a dependable source of the truth.

What could be more irresponsible than saying something is true without knowing beyond a reasonable doubt that it is true? Billions of people are doing it.

Do not believe what anyone says, including me; check things for yourself. You have to see the truth yourself in life itself to know it.

You are at what could be the end of a very long and difficult quest. You now have the opportunity to complete the quest and leave the animal realm forever.

The truth: You now know “the truth” part of the truth and life. There are only five essential or fundamental things you need to know, and they are the following:

1. Our true history.
2. You are immortal.
3. Everything will balance.
4. You are not your mind.
5. The present is everything.

Like mercury: The eleven pages you just read explain the ultimate truth of life, but just reading the eleven pages is not enough. The truth is like mercury, and it will slip through your fingers. You have to surround it. You have to corner it before you can see it and live in it. This is why you need to read this whole book.

What is said in this book is not just a theory; it is what the evidence says. It is truth you can check, and that makes it the real truth and the only truth.

You just have to check it out for yourself so you know you know it and remember it until it sinks in. It has to go deep into your subconscious. You have to see the truth in every moment without thinking about it; you have to know it intuitively.

You have to know the ultimate truth before the mind will open itself up.

Without the truth, there can be no real morality, justice, equality, unity, success, freedom, love, security, peace, spirituality or even survival.

Only the truth can stop the wars and make the world the paradise it can be.

Common denominator: The truth is the only thing that can unite all human beings. It is what we all have in common, and that will never change. There is only one sky for all of us. Everyone eats and breathes and is born and dies etc. The ultimate truth is universal truth; it is the same for everyone, everywhere. It always has been and always will be. We can now know the truth about life and death.

Reason: We can now use our ability to reason, deductive logic, and extrapolation of the known evidence to know and understand things the evidence does not reveal directly, such as life after death. We have progressed enough to know and understand the fundamental truth of life. It will transform us and our world.
http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/the-present-universal-truth/

2nd Place
“The Present With Religion “

READ THIS ONE ONLINE To long to add here

http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/the-present-with-religion/

“The Present (with religion)”

TABLE OF CONTENTS

These sections must be read in order to make sense.

1) Foreword (1)    2) Introduction (2-6)    3) The Ultimate Truth (7-29)

4) Big Picture – Present    5) Big Picture – Past + Future    6) Heaven on Earth    7) Truth Will Set You Free
Find the Truth (30-35)    Life After Death (77-82)    Window of Opportunity (118-124)    Nature of Nothing, Unified Field (155-159)
Mind-Self (36-39)    The Truth About Hell (83-85)    What Heaven Will Be Like (125-128)    Are You Ready to Die? (160-166)
Awakening to Life (40-47)    Our True Past (86-95)    Evolving Past Animal Nature (129-136)    Limits of Knowledge – Infinity (167-175)
Life is the Goal (48-50)    Religion – The Crossroads (96-109)    The Second Coming (137)    The Truth About God (176-177)
Satan (51-55)    New Truth vs. Old Truth (110-117)    The Beatles as Prophets (138-154)    Belief/Fantasy vs Truth/Reality (178-189)
Center of the Universe (56-57)              Separate Wheat From Chaff (190-204)
The Key is Truth (58-63)              The Truth About Jesus Christ (205-208)
Mind Infection (64-71)              No Control – Illusion of Free Will (209-217)
The Collective Unconscious (72-76)              Divine Justice – The Balance (218-224)

8) Book of Life (225-234)    9) No Other Way (235-240)    10) Gospel of Thomas (8 pages)    Next: The Present – Insights
http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/the-present-with-religion/

3rd Place
“The God Memorandum”

http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/the-god-memorandum/
(Currently in 4th Position)

The God Memorandum

To: You

From: God

Take counsel.

I hear your cry.

It passes through the darkness, filters through the clouds, mingles with starlight, and finds its way to my heart on the path of a sunbeam.

I have anguished over the cry of a hare choked in the noose of a snare, a sparrow tumbled from the nest of its mother, a child thrashing helplessly in a pond, and a son shredding his blood on a cross.

Know that I hear you, also. Be at peace. Be calm.

I bring thee relief for your sorrow for I know its cause … and its cure.

You weep for all your childhood dreams that have vanished with the years.

You weep for all your self-esteem that has been corrupted by failure.

You weep for all your potential that has been bartered for security.

You weep for all your talent that has been wasted through misuse.

You look upon yourself with disgrace and you turn in terror from the image you see in the pool. Who is this mockery of humanity staring back at you with bloodless eyes of shame?

Where is the grace of your manner, the beauty of your figure, the quickness of your movement, the clarity of your mind, the brilliance of your tongue? Who stole your goods? Is the thief’s identity known to you, as it is to me?

Once you placed your head in a pillow of grass in your father’s field and looked up at a cathedral of clouds and knew that all the gold of Babylon would be yours in time.

Once you read from many books and wrote on many tablets, convinced beyond any doubt that all the wisdom of Solomon would be equaled and surpassed by you.

And the seasons would flow into years until lo, you would reign supreme in your own garden of Eden.

Dost thou remember who implanted those plans and dreams and seeds of hope within you?

You cannot.

You have no memory of that moment when first you emerged from your mother’s womb and I placed my hand on your soft brow. And the secret I whispered in your small ear when I bestowed my blessings upon you?

Remember our secret?

You cannot.

The passing years have destroyed your recollection, for they have filled your mind with fear and doubt and anxiety and remorse and hate and there is no room for joyful memories where these beasts habitate.

Weep no more. I am with you … and this moment is the dividing line of your life. All that has gone before is like unto no more than that time you slept within your mother’s womb. What is past is dead. Let the dead bury the dead.

This day you return from the living dead.

This day, like unto Elijah with the widow’s son, I stretch myself upon thee three times and you live again.

This day, like unto Elisha with the Shunammite’s son, I put my mouth upon your mouth and my eyes upon your eyes and my hands upon your hands and your flesh is warm again.

This day, like unto Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, I command you to come forth and you will walk from your cave of doom to begin a new life.

This is your birthday. This is your new date of birth. Your first life, like unto a play of the theatre, was only a rehearsal. This time the curtain is up. This time the world watches and waits to applaud. This time you will not fail.

Light your candles. Share your cake. Pour the wine. You have been reborn.

Like a butterfly from its chrysalis you will fly … fly as high as you wish, and neither the wasps nor dragonflies nor mantids of mankind shall obstruct your mission or your search for the true riches of life.

Feel my hand upon thy head.

Attend to my wisdom.

Let me share with you, again, the secret you heard at your birth and forgot.

You are my greatest miracle.

You are the greatest miracle in the world.

Those were the first words you ever heard. Then you cried. They all cry …

You did not believe me then … and nothing has happened in the intervening years to correct your disbelief. For how could you be a miracle when you consider yourself a failure at the most menial of tasks? How can you be a miracle when you have little confidence in dealing with the most trivial of responsibilities? How can you be a miracle when you are shackled by debt and lie awake in torment over whence will come tomorrow’s bread?

Enough. The milk that is spilled is sour. Yet, how many prophets, how many wise men, how many poets, how many artists, how many composers, how many scientists, how many philosophers and messengers have I sent with word of your divinity, your potential for godliness, and the secrets of achievement? How did you treat them?

Still I love you and I am with you now, through these words, to fulfill the prophet who announced that the Lord shall set his hand again, the second time, to recover the remnant of his people.

This is the second time.

You are my remnant.

It is of no avail to ask, haven’t you known, haven’t you heard, hasn’t it been told to you from the beginning; haven’t you understood from the foundations of the earth?

You have not known; you have not heard; you have not understood.

You have been told that you are a divinity in disguise, a god playing a fool.

You have been told that you a special piece of work, noble in reason, infinite in faculties, express and admirable in form and moving, like an angel in action, like a god in apprehension.

You have been told that you are the salt of the earth.

You were given the secret even of moving mountains, of performing the impossible.

You believed no one. You burned your map to happiness, you abandoned your claim to peace of mind, you snuffed out the candles that had been placed along your destined path of glory, and then you stumbled, lost and frightened, in the darkness of futility and self-pity, until you fell into a hell of your own creation.

Then you cried and beat your breast and cursed the luck that had befallen you. You refused to accept the consequences of your own petty thoughts and lazy deeds and you searched for a scapegoat on which to blame your failure. How quickly you found one.

You blamed me!

You cried that your handicaps, your mediocrity, your lack of opportunity, your failures … were the will of God!

You were wrong!

Let us take inventory. Let us, first, call a roll of your handicaps. For how can I ask you to build a new life lest you have the tools?

Are you blind? Does the sun rise and fall without your witness?

No. You can see … and the hundred million receptors I have placed in your eyes enable you to enjoy the magic of a leaf, a snowflake, a pond, an eagle, a child, a cloud, a star, a rose, a rainbow … and the look of love. Count one blessing.

Are you deaf? Can a baby laugh or cry without your attention?

No. You can hear … and the twenty-four thousand fibers I have built in each of your ears vibrate to the wind in the trees, the tides on the rocks, the majesty of an opera, a robin’s plea, children at play … and the words I love you. Count another blessing.

Are you mute? Do your lips move and bring forth only spittle?

No. You can speak … as can no other of my creatures, and your words can calm the angry, uplift the despondent, goad the quitter, cheer the unhappy, warm the lonely, praise the worthy, encourage the defeated, teach the ignorant … and say I love you. Count another blessing.

Are you paralyzed? Does your helpless form despoil the land?

No. You can move. You are not a tree condemned to a small plot while the wind and world abuses you. You can stretch and run and dance and work, for within you I have designed five hundred muscles, two hundred bones, and seven miles of nerve fiber all synchronized by me to do your bidding. Count another blessing.

Are you unloved and unloving? Does loneliness engulf you, night and day?

No. No more. For now you know love’s secret, that to receive love it must be given with no thought of its return. To love for fulfillment, satisfaction, or pride is no love. Love is a gift on which no return is demanded. Now you know that to love unselfishly is its own reward. And even should love not be returned it is not lost, for love not reciprocated will flow back to you and soften and purify your heart. Count another blessing. Count twice.

Is your heart stricken? Does it leak and strain to maintain your life?

No. Your heart is strong. Touch your chest and feel its rhythm, pulsating, hour after hour, day and night, thirty-six million beats each year, year after year, asleep or awake, pumping your blood through more than sixty thousand miles of veins, arteries, and tubing … pumping more than six hundred thousand gallons each year. Man has never created such a machine. Count another blessing.

Are you diseased of skin? Do people turn in horror when you approach?

No. Your skin is clear and a marvel of creation, needing only that you tend it with soap and oil and brush and care. In time all steels will tarnish and rust, but not your skin. Eventually the strongest of metals will wear, with use, but not that layer that I have constructed around you. Constantly it renews itself, old cells replaced by new, just as the old you is now replaced by the new. Count another blessing.

Are your lungs befouled? Does your breath of life struggle to enter your body?

No. Your portholes to life support you even in the vilest of environments of your own making, and they labor always to filter life-giving oxygen through six hundred million pockets of folded flesh while they rid your body of gaseous wastes. Count another blessing.

Is your blood poisoned? Is it diluted with water and pus?

No. Within your five quarts of blood are twenty-two trillion blood cells and within each cell are millions of molecules and within each molecule is an atom oscillating at more than ten million times each second. Each second, two million of your blood cells die to be replaced by two million more in a resurrection that has continued since your first birth. As it has always been inside, so now it is on your outside. Count another blessing.

Are you feeble of mind? Can you no longer think for yourself?

No. Your brain is the most complex structure in the universe. I know. Within its three pounds are thirteen billion nerve cells, more than three times as many cells as there are people on your earth. To help you file away every perception, every sound, every taste, every smell, every action you have experienced since the day of your birth, I have implanted, within your cells, more than one thousand billion billion protein molecules. Every incident in your life is there waiting only your recall. And, to assist your brain in the control of your body I have dispersed, throughout your form, four million pain-sensitive structures, five hundred thousand touch detectors, and more than two hundred thousand temperature detectors. No nation’s gold is better protected than you. None of your ancient wonders are greater than you.

You are my finest creation.

Within you is enough atomic energy to destroy any of the world’s great cities … and rebuild it.

Are you poor? Is there no gold or silver in your purse?

No. You are rich! Together we have just counted your wealth. Study the list. Count them again. Tally your assets!

Why have you betrayed yourself? Why have you cried that all the blessings of humanity were removed from you? Why did you deceive yourself that you were powerless to change your life? Are you without talent, senses, abilities, pleasures, instincts, sensations, and pride? Are you without hope? Why do you cringe in the shadows, a giant defeated, awaiting only sympathetic transport into the welcome void and dampness of hell?

You have so much. Your blessings overflow your cup … and you have been unmindful of them, like a child spoiled in luxury, since I have bestowed them upon you with generosity and regularity.

Answer me.

Answer yourself.

What rich man, old and sick, feeble and helpless, would not exchange all the gold in his vault for the blessings you have treated so lightly.

Know then the first secret to happiness and success – that you possess, even now, every blessing necessary to achieve great glory. They are your treasure, your tools with which to build, starting today, the foundation for a new and better life.

Therefore, I say unto you, count your blessings and know that you already are my greatest creation. This is the first law you must obey in order to perform the greatest miracle in the world, the return of your humanity from living death.

And be grateful for your lessons learned in poverty. For he is not poor who has little; only he that desires much … and true security lies not in the things one has but in the things one can do without.

Where are the handicaps that produced your failure? They existed only in your mind.

Count your blessings.

And the second law is like unto the first. Proclaim your rarity.

You had condemned yourself to a potter’s field, and there you lay, unable to forgive your own failure, destroying yourself with self-hate, self-incrimination, and revulsion at your crimes against yourself and others.

Are you not perplexed?

Do you not wonder why I am able to forgive your failures, your transgressions, your pitiful demeanor … when you cannot forgive yourself?

I address you now, for three reasons. You need me. You are not one of a herd heading for destruction in a gray mass of mediocrity. And … you are a great rarity.

Consider a painting by Rembrandt or a bronze by Degas or a violin by Stradivarius or a play by Shakespeare. They have great value for two reasons: their creators were masters and they are few in number. Yet there are more than one of each of these.

On that reasoning you are the most valuable treasure on the face of the earth, for you know who created you and there is only one of you.

Never, in all the seventy billion humans who have walked this planet since the beginning of time has there been anyone exactly like you.

Never, until the end of time, will there be another such as you.

You have shown no knowledge or appreciation of your uniqueness.

Yet, you are the rarest thing in the world.

From your father, in his moment of supreme love, flowed countless seeds of love, more than four hundred million in number. All of them, as they swam within your mother, gave up the ghost and died. All except one! You.

You alone persevered within the loving warmth of your mother’s body, searching for your other half, a single cell from your mother so small that more than two million would be necessary to fill an acorn shell. Yet, despite impossible odds, in that vast ocean of darkness and disaster, you persevered, found that infinitesimal cell, joined with it, and began a new life. Your life.

You arrived, bringing with you, as does every child, the message that I was not yet discouraged of man. Two cells now united in a miracle. Two cells, each containing twenty-three chromosomes and within each chromosome hundreds of genes, which would govern every characteristic about you, from the color of your eyes to the charm of your manner, to the size of your brain.

With all the combinations at my command, beginning with that single sperm from your father’s four hundred million, through the hundreds of genes in each of the chromosomes from your mother and father, I could have created three hundred thousand billion humans, each different from the other.

But who did I bring forth?

You! One of a kind. Rarest of the rare. A priceless treasure, possessed of qualities in mind and speech and movement and appearance and actions as no other who has ever lived, lives, or shall live.

Why have you valued yourself in pennies when you are worth a king’s ransom?

Why did you listen to those who demeaned you … and far worse, why did you believe them?

Take counsel. No longer hide your rarity in the dark. Bring it forth. Show the world. Strive not to walk as your brother walks, nor talk as your leader talks, nor labor as do the mediocre. Never do as another. Never imitate. For how do you know that you may not imitate evil; and he who imitates evil always goes beyond the example set, while he who imitates what is good always falls short. Imitate no one. Be yourself. Show your rarity to the world and they will shower you with gold. This then is the second law.

Proclaim your rarity.

And now you have received two laws.

Count your blessings! Proclaim your rarity!

You have no handicaps. You are not mediocre.

You nod. You force a smile. You admit your self-deception.

What of your next complaint? Opportunity never seeks thee?

Take counsel and it shall come to pass, for now I give you the law of success in every venture. Many centuries ago this law was given to your forefathers from a mountain top. Some heeded the law and lo, their life was filled with the fruit of happiness, accomplishment, gold, and peace of mind. Most listened not, for they sought magic means, devious routes, or waited for the devil called luck to deliver to them the riches of life. They waited in vain … just as you waited, and then they wept, blaming their lack of fortune.

The law is simple. Young or old, pauper or king, white or black, male or female … all can use the secret to their advantage; for all the rules and speeches and scriptures of success and how to attain it, only one method has never failed … whomsoever shall compel ye to go with him one mile … go with him two.

This then is the third law … the secret that will produce riches and acclaim beyond your dreams. Go another mile!

The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be. This is a habit followed by all successful people since the beginning of time. Therefore I saith the surest way to doom yourself to mediocrity is to perform only the work for which you are paid.

Think not ye are being cheated if you deliver more than the silver you receive. For there is a pendulum to all life and the sweat you deliver, if not rewarded today, will swing back tomorrow, tenfold. The mediocre never goes another mile, for why should he cheat himself, he thinks. But you are not mediocre. To go another mile is a privilege you must appropriate by your own initiative. You cannot, you must not avoid it. Neglect it, do only as little as the others, and the responsibility for your failure is yours alone.

You can no more render service without receiving just compensation than you can withhold the rendering of it without suffering the loss of reward. Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, these cannot be separated. The effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists in the means, and the fruit is always in the seed.

Go another mile.

Concern yourself not, should you serve an ungrateful master. Serve him more.

And instead of him, let it be me who is in your debt, for then you will know that every minute, every stroke of extra service will be repaid. And worry not, should your reward not come soon. For the longer payment is withheld, the better for you … and compound interest on compound interest is this law’s greatest benefit.

You cannot command success, you can only deserve it … and now you know the great secret necessary in order to merit its rare reward.

Go another mile!

Where is this field whence you cried there was no opportunity? Look! Look around thee. See, where only yesterday you wallowed on the refuse of self-pity, you now walk tall on a carpet of gold. Nothing has changed … except you, but you are everything.

You are my greatest miracle.

You are the greatest miracle in the world.

And now the laws of happiness and success are three.

Count your blessings! Proclaim your rarity! Go another mile!

Be patient with your progress. To count your blessings with gratitude, to proclaim your rarity with pride, to go an extra mile and then another, these acts are not accomplished in the blinking of an eye. Yet, that which you acquire with most difficulty you retain the longest; as those who have earned a fortune are more careful of it than those by whom it was inherited.

And fear not as you enter your new life. Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks. He who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other. Now you know you are a miracle. And there is no fear in a miracle.

Be proud. You are not the momentary whim of a careless creator experimenting in the laboratory of life. You are not a slave of forces that you cannot comprehend. You are a free manifestation of no force but mine, of no love but mine. You were made with a purpose.

Feel my hand. Hear my words.

You need me … and I need you.

We have a world to rebuild … and if it requireth a miracle what is that to us? We are both miracles and now we have each other.

Never have I lost faith in you since that day when I first spun you from a giant wave and tossed you helplessly on the sands. As you measure time that was more than five hundred million years ago. There were many models, many shapes, many sizes, before I reached perfection in you more than thirty thousand years ago. I have made no further effort to improve on you in all these years.

For how could one improve on a miracle? You were a marvel to behold and I was pleased. I gave you this world and dominion over it. Then, to enable you to reach your full potential I placed my hand upon you, once more, and endowed you with powers unknown to any other creature in the universe, even unto this day.

I gave you the power to think.
I gave you the power to love.
I gave you the power to will.
I gave you the power to laugh.
I gave you the power to imagine.
I gave you the power to create.
I gave you the power to plan.
I gave you the power to speak.
I gave you the power to pray.
I gave you the power to heal.

My pride in you knew no bounds. You were my ultimate creation, my greatest miracle. A complete living being. One who can adjust to any climate, any hardship, any challenge. One who can manage his own destiny without any interference from me. One who can translate a sensation or perception, not by instinct, but by thought and deliberation into whatever action is best for himself and all humanity.

Thus we come to the fourth law of success and happiness … for I gave you one more power, a power so great that not even my angels possess it.

I gave you … the power to choose.

With this gift I placed you even above my angels … for angels are not free to choose sin. I gave you complete control over your destiny. I told you to determine, for yourself, your own nature in accordance with your own free will. Neither heavenly nor earthly in nature, you were free to fashion yourself in whatever form you preferred. You had the power to choose to degenerate into the lowest forms of life, but you also had the power, out of your soul’s judgment, to be reborn into the higher forms, which are divine.

I have never withdrawn your great power, the power to choose.

What have you done with this tremendous force? Look at yourself. Think of the choices you have made in your life and recall, now, those bitter moments when you would fall to your knees if only you had the opportunity to choose again.

What is past is past … and now you know the fourth great law of happiness and success … Use wisely, your power of choice.

Choose to love … rather than hate.
Choose to laugh … rather than cry.
Choose to create … rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere … rather than quit.
Choose to praise … rather than gossip.
Choose to heal … rather than wound.
Choose to give … rather than steal.
Choose to act … rather than procrastinate.
Choose to grow … rather than rot.
Choose to pray … rather than curse.
Choose to live … rather than die.

Now you know that your misfortunes were not my will, for all power was vested in you, and the accumulation of deeds and thoughts which placed you on the refuse of humanity were your doing, not mine. My gifts of power were too large for your small nature. Now you have grown tall and wise and the fruits of the land will be yours.

You are more than a human being, you are a human becoming.

You are capable of great wonders. Your potential is unlimited. Who else, among my creatures, has mastered fire? Who else, among my creatures, has conquered gravity, has pierced the heavens, has conquered disease and pestilence and drought?

Never demean yourself again!

Never settle for the crumbs of life!

Never hide your talents, from this day hence!

Remember the child who says, “when I am big boy.” But what is that? For the big boy says. “when I grow up.” And then the grown up, he says, “when I am wed.” But to be wed, what is that, after all? The thought then changes to “when I retire.” And then, retirement comes, and he looks back over it and somehow he has missed it all and it is gone.

Enjoy this day, today … and tomorrow, tomorrow.

You have performed the greatest miracle in the world.

You have returned from a living death.

You will feel self-pity no more and each new day will be a challenge and a joy.

You have been born again … but just as before, you can choose failure and despair or success and happiness. The choice is yours. The choice is exclusively yours. I can only watch, as before … in pride … or sorrow.

Remember, then, the four laws of happiness and success.

Count your blessings.
Proclaim your rarity.
Go another mile.
Use wisely your power of choice.

And one more, to fulfill the other four. Do all things with love … love for yourself, love for all others, and love for me.

Wipe away your tears. Reach out, grasp my hand, and stand straight.

Let me cut the grave cloths that have bound you.

This day you have been notified.

YOU ARE THE GREATEST MIRACLE IN THE WORLD

Mandino, Og. The Greatest Miracle in the World. New York: Bantam, 1983.
http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/the-god-memorandum/

4th Place
“Awakening to What We Are”

http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/awakening-to-what-we-are/
(Currently under Past Entries on the Entries page)
(Contest Peak Position: 4)
Awakening To What We Are

Our true nature cannot be expressed in words. However, consciousness, awareness, beingness, and presence are some words that come closest to defining what we are, here, right now. We always start from this moment now, from the present.

So, what can be said to be real right now is you are alive, present, and reading this book. What is real now is your existence. You are conscious of existing, of being alive. Your true nature is consciousness itself. It is the one thing always present, whether you are asleep or awake, and whether you are aware of it or not.

What you are in your essence is the lucid, unchanging consciousness giving birth to everything in the world of the senses, including all your thoughts, stories, memories, and to your body, mind, and this unique personality called “you.” To understand this is to grasp the literal meaning of the words attributed to St. Francis: “What we are looking for is what is looking.” You become aware of yourself, your true nature, as consciousness, awareness, or presence itself.

Now, most people are not aware of this. They tend to live as if in a dream—a dream which sometimes turns into a nightmare. They take their ego and their thoughts—the personal “self” and its many stories—to be real, are caught in habitual patterns of conflict, self-doubt, and worry, and have only occasional glimpses of the timeless beauty and mystery of existence.

The goal of spiritual or transformational work is to wake up from the dream. It is to break free of the internal dialogue. It is to see through the mind-created illusion of “me, myself, and my story,” the imaginary world you have created between your ears, making you feel separate and apart from others.

These stories, memories, and experiences have shaped your personality but they are still only your stories. They may have been real once, but are definitely not real now. They are an imaginary world existing inside your head, in the form of fleeting thoughts, beliefs, pictures, and ideas of “self,” with corresponding feelings and emotions in your body. And they are always changing, always coming and going, yet you, as the awareness which sees them, experiences them, are always here.

Every time you see the truth of this, your head clears, your body relaxes, your heart opens, and you experience a release from inner conflict, stress, and suffering. You become, in a word, present.

Awakening itself is realizing you are not your stories, not your thoughts, but you are the consciousness in which stories and thoughts—in which all existence—arises. You are not an object, a human being in space and time who has only intermittent glimpses of consciousness, the source of creation. You are not a wave, occasionally remembering your connection to the ocean. Rather, you are consciousness itself, viewing all of creation through the eyes of this human being called “you.” You are the ocean itself, manifesting in this individual human wave form.

As this realization occurs, you find yourself connected to an inexhaustible source of wisdom, love, and inner joy. Instead of living out of some myth or story about who you are and what life means, you live in awareness in the present. Meaning and identity no longer depend on beliefs, stories, or circumstances, but flow directly out of the beauty and dynamism of the life force itself. They arise from the sense of oneness, of the intimacy you feel with life—from the fullness and fragrance of being itself. You live in a state of openness, of welcoming everything that comes into your awareness.

With this awakening to the truth of being, the incessant chatter of the mind no longer dominates your consciousness. Your inner state becomes one of clarity and ease—at times, radiantly so. You become aware of a deep, vast silence, a universal spaciousness without center and without borders. You feel yourself to be one with that silence.

From within this inner silence you use thinking—including the “I” thought—for the extraordinary creative tool it is, but there is no attachment to thinking itself, nor to the concepts “I,” “me,” and “mine.”

Whenever you use these personal pronouns you are clear you are speaking as impersonal consciousness, expressing through your personal form. You use them in a functional way, free of personal ownership, pride, or emotional reactivity. Because of this openness and freedom from ego, from attachment to the personal perspective, living becomes much more effortless. Regardless of what is occurring, each day has a quality of magic and adventure to it.

Contrast this with your experience when you have not yet awakened to truth. Whenever you say “I” or “me,” there is a very definite identification with the personal, with the ego self—with some kind of story, judgment, expectation, assumption, or agenda. You often feel divided, as in: “A part of me feels this way, and yet another part of me feels that way.”

There may be glimpses, but there is no abiding awareness of being one with the totality of consciousness. Instead, separation, isolation, and a feeling of aloneness, even meaninglessness, is the prevailing experience. It is this personal identification with your story, with who you “think” you are, which triggers self-doubt, stress, worry, and fear. It perpetuates the experience of conflict and suffering.

Awakening, as will become clear, means freedom from conflict and suffering. This is the promise of the inner quest. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, or where in this world you live—inner freedom can be yours, simply because it is your true nature.

The feeling-tone associated with being established in pure consciousness is one of relaxed ease, harmony, and presence, of openness and welcoming, of gratitude and appreciation. It is one of feeling the energy of aliveness in your body. Thoughts may or may not be present, but you are not identified with them. There is no “you” in the way. There is just the flow of beingness, what in Zen is called the “suchness” of life, and you are one with the suchness. Everything then happens out of oneness.

Truly, to know yourself as consciousness, and then to embody the knowing, is the greatest blessing…

See if you can feel it, your true nature, right now. Just be very present, very aware of all that is…  Then let the awareness which you are permeate your body…  Notice how your breath flows in and flows out in the awareness you are… Then notice how sensations arise and fall in your body…  How thoughts, images, and stories come and go in your mind… Be aware of yourself as the awareness, the consciousness, which is aware of all this…

From “End Your Story, Begin Your Life”
by Jim Dreaver

5th Place
“Integrity”

http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/integrity/
(Currently in 5th Position)

Integrity

True integrity exists everywhere in nature. Everything functions together as a whole. Also, in nature time is not linear, it is cyclical; a circle of life representing a whole. The seasons change every few months, and they give each other integrity, they give each other change. Right now it is fall, and the leaves can fall because of the spring, summer and winter. In the winter the leaves are gone, but in the spring new leaves can grow in the place of the fallen, and in the summer the new leaves live happily giving us oxygen until they must die in the fall to start the cycle all over again. They live so they can die, and die so that they can live. The leaves have integrity because they live when it is time to live and die when it is time to die. They know these times because of their relationship to everything else; their relationship to spring, summer, fall, winter and the mechanisms of the earth that produce the seasons, and the mechanisms of the universe that make the earth.

As humans, we do not live when it is time to live because we do not live in relation to everything else, we live according to the dictates of our egos and steadily march towards death-time. We do not perceive time as a circle, a whole, held together by a web made by each other and each thing because we want to have our own separate integrity, defended by the creation of linear time. This separate integrity feels assured by the steady ticking of linear time, like a heartbeat its existence is affirmed every second. It ticks until the very end, our heartbeat stops and we are no longer conscious of the ticking. The clock we have created never stops ticking, even if we can no longer hear it. It only mattered to us while we were alive, when it gave us order and what we perceive as integrity. However, the beat of the heart does not conform to the ticking of the clock, it has its own time and the clock does not know it; it is a secret. Only time will tell it.

We think that death is not a part of us; it is the anti-ego, when we die we lose “our” consciousness and control. It is something we dread at the end of that road of linear time we march on. We march boldly and proudly like soldiers on their way to war with an attacker, we can’t let ourselves be seen as cowards. We cannot desert the army or our egos, we cannot show weakness, or the “Other” just might kill us. We use our time wisely, getting our work done so that we can become something, because we are not enough; we must be victorious and stand apart from the rest. Time is money; linear time is valuable, it can bring us success in the future. In circular time there is no future to bring success, nothing stands apart but stands together as a whole, and time is a tree that makes leaves instead of money. Our pride and bravery is now recognized as cowardliness, fear of relation, and we stand there looking stupid in our uniforms, holding our weapons up against an opponent that isn’t there. Our opponent morphs into a friend that has been supporting us and keeping us alive the whole time.

If death is not a part of us, then life is not a part of us. When life and death become one, they produce rebirth. In a way death does not really exist, only rebirth exists. Rebirth is a constant cycle of existence, but not a monotonous one because it can never produce sameness. Rebirth is really in the middle of the circle, it is not in the cycle anymore. Rebirth is the whole that life and death make. It is in the present moment, it is the merging of space and time. It is birth after birth after birth after birth. It is one whole life giving birth to itself. Where is there death in the universe? I do not see it when I look outside of myself. Everything just looks like reformation, rebirth, shifting in form, constantly in movement. Everything is always in the middle of the circle in an infinite universe.

When I picture true integrity, I picture a web in the shape of a sphere. But really I think it is impossible to imagine an image to represent true integrity. Since everything and everyone is every part of that sphere, there is no place to place things and therefore no form to be held, because everything is everywhere. It is almost like it is beyond form and therefore beyond our comprehension. Thinking is a very limited thing, being is not. Being in a web, interconnected, has infinite possibilities.

These truths are no good unless we put them to practice, or rather, let them put us to practice. We will not take them and shape them to ourselves like we do with systems of government; we will let them govern us. They are much more alive and capable of leading us than our governments ever have been. They are not ideas, and they are definitely not my own; they are alive by themselves and you would not be alive without them. They belong to no one, but if you see them yourself they are yours to shout at the top of your lungs to anyone else who might hear, and you just might stop a war, poverty, hatred or all of the endless miseries humans inflict on each other because of their egos. Everyone on earth is a savior if they try to be. Are we capable of forming a web together, of being each other’s brothers and sisters? If not then thinking about this is the true meaning of a waste of time.

What Is?

Finding what is true involves also discovering what is not true. In fact, it is easier to realize what is true when you have realized what is false.

Everything your mind creates is not real. Lower life forms do not impose their ideas on reality; they live in accordance with it. They live in the present moment, and react to stimulus when it is in the present with them. Plants photosynthesize when the sun is out; animals react to their predators etc. Plants and animals follow a pattern of reactions nature has programmed into them. Humans are different because we have evolved to have minds in order to better control our environment. Our minds are able to think about the past and our future and make decisions.

The problem is not that we have a mind that is able to react to things that are not immediately present, but that we do not recognize that the things are not immediately present. We do not recognize what the present moment is. We think we are our minds, we think we are what we think about our past and future. As living beings, we identify with our thoughts and become complicated. But our mind is just a tool that helps us to think abstractly about our environment, in order to gain better control of it. We have gained control of our environment and created civilization, now it is time to gain control over our inner environment. We have homes that give us shelter; now we must recognize our spirit is our true and infinite home, and the ultimate shelter. Jesus said “I am the bed; the person who lies on me will enter perpetual rest. I am the Light; the person who sees by me will view all things.”

Ultimately, we are just a consciousness that has no control. It is just part of the mystery of life. Our bodies just support our consciousness and it helps our brains to make sense of life. Right now we are using it to create false identities for ourselves, but they are impermanent. Nonetheless people hold onto this falsehood, and this causes many problems in the world. The truth is that we are just pure consciousness, living in an impermanent body. We all share the body of the infinite universe.

You Have No Control

We are at the complete mercy of life itself. It knows how to create hunger within us so that we may sustain ourselves; how to create desire so that we may reproduce; how to create fear so that we may protect ourselves. Our environment is constantly changing.

Today it was raining and it was cold, so I had to bring along an umbrella. The coldness made me want to have a hot drink. So I stopped at a coffee shop and got a hot chocolate. Stopping for hot chocolate made me bump into a friend, and bumping into a friend determined that I would not go home for another hour. Things are always happening that determine how things will turn out. You know some days will be rainy, but not all days, because it is improbable.

Everything physical is constantly changing, and the present moment is constantly being recreated. That means that the past is constantly dying to create the present. Everything material is constantly changing, and to let it change, something has to die. Dying is only the process by which life changes into something new. But we hold onto our forms and try to control them. Because we try to control them we do not realize they are uncontrollable, and become perpetually dead, holding on to the material past that has already died. We do not live with the stream of change. We are nothing more than constant change. An immortal spirit, a nothingness at one with the change and also witness to it. At least that is how we should live. Instead we deny that is how it is, which is silly because it is like denying we have an arm or a nose. But humans work in silly ways, while God works in mysterious ones that can never be known, just surrendered to.

There is no God Higher than Truth

God is not a separate entity controlling or creating everything. It is every part of everything. It is the simplicity and complexity of everything. It is the inherent knowledge in everything. Everything knowing that it is a part of everything else, working together in perfect balance and harmony. The universe is perfect the way it is, if it was not, it would not be what it is. That is the truth.

From the small atoms to the supernovas, their largeness and smallness only relative, there is perfect integrity. They know each other and recognize how to create themselves and everything else in the process. It is a knowing that is not separate from the present moment, it acts when it is supposed to according to the dictates of natural order.

And it is infinite, because it is impossible for it not to be. It is infinity every moment. Every moment is always. Every moment that ever existed is now. Time does not exist.

But infinity is incomprehensible. All we can know is that it is the way it is, because the finite cannot have perfect integrity, cannot be nothing to be everything all the time, for no reason at all. Does not have a reason for anything, so it has no reason to be finite. Every moment is made of infinity.

This is God; the incomprehensible but the obvious, love (infinite creation). Nothing and everything. The whole.

Pleasure and Pain

I have noticed that the more interested in pleasure I am the more addicted I become to it, and i cannot get out of the habit. If I eat one ice-cream cone, I start craving more ice-cream. Wanting things only makes the hole of emptiness in you grow bigger. Your mind makes you feel empty and like you need more, and it is a hard thing to break the habit of. We seek pleasure constantly in our daily life. We grudgingly do our work and dream of the pleasure we will get when we are done. The free time we will spend watching TV, hanging out with friend, or eating something tasty. When we are not doing those things, our mind is dreaming of them, and when we are doing those things, our expectation of them takes away from the experience. So we are constantly dissatisfied. Restless and dissatisfied from day to day. The wheel turns.

Every time I have a craving for something I wonder if I should really follow it. I know it is just an impermanent condition of my mind. But it is so convincing it is hard not to follow it. The only thing I can suggest to combat this problem is to feel your body, hear the noises around you, and smell the air. Be fulfilled by your life in that moment. Do not be a slave to the conditions of your mind.

Balance

In the last section about pleasure and pain, I forgot to mention the fact that pleasure and pain are just two sides of the same problem. Whenever you feel pleasure, you can be sure that you will also feel pain in the future. Things just naturally happen that way. You never continuously feel pleasure; a painful time always comes, just like the fact that it rains some days and is sunny other days. In a way pleasure is pain, and pain is pleasure, because they create each other; they are recognizable by each others’ existence. We also see them as separate things because that is how our mind perceives them, but they are really one movement; they make up a whole together. If you put the two together, you see the whole circle. You step off the merry-go-round.

Buddha said to walk the middle path. Do not seek out extreme pleasure or pain, unless you want their opposites. Do everything knowing what you are doing, and knowing the other side of it. Intentionally seeking pleasure or pain enslaves you to material conditions. Step back, take a look at how you are feeling, and know it is just a passing condition, like a cloud in a sky. Right now we always think we are the clouds in the sky. But we are actually the sky; infinite. So if you try to get extreme pleasure, you will keep identifying yourself with an impermanent condition, and it will be harder to walk the middle path, as Buddha said. I think he suggested the middle path because it is easier to reach spiritual understandings when you are not letting yourself be tossed around by extremes.

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

– From the Tao Te Ching

That Which Is Blog:  http://www.thatwhichiso.blogspot.com

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