A mutual fascination between the divine and the human

 

In a metaphorical sense, there is a mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

All as the divine

The premise here is that all is the divine.

It’s all – this universe, the living and evolving Earth, humans and our experiences and culture – part of the play of the divine. It’s the divine expressing, experiencing, and exploring itself as all of this. We are the divine temporarily and locally taking the form of a human with experiences we have.

As Alan Watts said, we are the divine playing hide and seek with itself.

The divine’s fascination with the human

In that context, we can say that the divine wants to experience itself as all of existence, all beings, and as humans.

The infinite wants to experience itself as finite. The timeless as time and within time. The spaceless as space and within space. The one as many. Oneness as separation. Love as an absence of love. And even wisdom – the wisdom of receptivity and noticing what we are, as stupidity – the stupidity of rigidly holding onto any ideas including taking ourselves primarily as an object in the world.

The human fascination with the divine

On the other hand, as humans, the divine is fascinated by itself as the divine. It seeks to connect with itself as the divine. It seeks to understand, to be saved, to awaken, and so on.

A mutual fascination

In that sense, we can say there is a mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

And more correctly, it’s all expressions of the divine’s fascination with itself. It’s all the divine exploring itself in always new and different ways, including as us and our experience here and now.

It’s all happening here now

We can take this as how existence is, and it may be although we cannot say for certain.

What we can say with more certainty is that lila – and all of these stories about the divine – mirror what’s here and now. As with any stories about anything, including existence as a whole, they can be used as pointers for what’s here in us and our immediate experience.

What we are is capacity for our experiences – for the world as it appears to us. All our experiences happen within and as what we are.

This capacity, this awake no-thing, shape shifts into whatever experience is here now.

What we are have all the characteristics of the divine. It’s timeless, spaceless, awake, one, love, and full of the world. And our world – including who we are, this human self – happens within and as what we are.

It’s a somewhat artificial division, the distinction between what and who we are. And calling what we are the divine is a stretch for some. And yet, we can find the whole mutual fascination story here.

What we are takes the form of this human self and all the experiences of this human self. In a metaphorical sense, it’s fascinated with this human life.

And this human self, if we are so inclined, is fascinated with the divine. Typically, all the divine characteristics are projected out – onto an image of a God or the divine out there somewhere, in the sky, in nature, in spiritual teachers. And yet, all the characteristics are already here if we only notice.

The mutual fascination story as a pointer

The mutual fascination story has some truth to it, and it also falls apart to some extent when we look a little closer. It depends on artificial divisions and stretched metaphors.

So why did I bother writing about it?

It can be a useful pointer.

We are so used to the human fascination with the divine that we may overlook the reverse fascination. In a very real sense, the divine is fascinated with the human. It’s fascinated with itself in the form of this universe, this living planet, all beings, and you and me and our experience here and now.

The fascination goes both ways.


DRAFTS…..

If I start an article with the wrong premise or title, it’s difficult or impossible to write it so it feels right. That’s what happened with this article. I thought “The divine and the human: a mutual fascination” would be a good punchy title. And yet, it misses the mark enough so it was difficult to write. (See some attempts below.)

The essence is more that….

The infinite moves to experience itself as finite. The timeless moves to experience itself as time. The spaceless moves to experience itself as space. The one moves to experience itself as many. No-thing moves to experience itself as things. Consciousness moves to experience itself as matter. Oneness moves to experience itself as separate. Love moves to experience itself as an absence of love. Wisdom – the wisdom of receptivity, moves to experience itself as lack of wisdom – the lack of wisdom that’s here when there is fixed views.

This is what we can notice in ourselves. To ourselves, we are capacity for our world, and the world as it appears to us happens within and as what we are. We can label this consciousness or awake space, and yet that makes it seem more knowable through our thoughts than is the case. It’s what we already are, and thoughts cannot capture it.

So right here, as what we are, the timeless moves to experience itself as time, consciousness as matter, the one as many, no-thing as many things, and so on.

Since this is what we are, then – to us – all of existence appears to be just this. And that’s where the divine comes in. That’s what we can call the divine. And it may very well be that the true nature of all of existence is the same as our own true nature.

Here, we can say that – in a sense – the divine is fascinated with the human, and the human (sometimes) with the divine.

The divine forms itself into this universe, this living planet, and us humans as individuals and collectively, and as body, mind, and culture. The divine seems fascinated with experiencing itself in this way, and it may experience itself in similar ways throughout the universe.

This is lila. The play of the divine. It’s the divine expressing, experiencing, and exploring itself in always new ways, including in all the ways we see today.

In the form of humans, the divine is also fascinated with itself as the divine. Humans seeks the divine, as the divine seeks humans.

And, of course, this is not just about humans. This is about all beings throughout the universe, and all the forms existence takes as this universe and everything else that may exist.

In short….

The divine forms itself into this evolving universe, this living planet, and you and me and our culture. And as you and me, it’s fascinated with itself as the divine.

The divine seeks to experience itself in all the ways it isn’t – as local, temporary, objects, separate, unloving, unwise, suffering, and so on. And as humans, the divine seeks to notice the true nature it already is.

It’s a convincing display. It seems and feels very real. And it is, in a sense. And we can also see how it’s created in our own mind here and now.

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The mutual fascination story has some truth to it.

And at the same time, it’s based on some artificial divisions and stretched metaphors.

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In a sense, there is a mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

And more broadly, there is a mutual fascination between the infinite and the finite, the

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THIRD DRAFT…..

I have started a couple of versions of this post without being able to find the simplicity I would like.

The topic is very simple:

There is a mutual fascination between the divine and human.

We can find it here and now in immediate experience.

We can see it – project it onto – the whole of existence.

And it’s of course a story, a metaphor, although it has truth to it.

The big picture – lila

In the big picture, we can say that existence forms itself into this universe, this living planet, and all of what we see and know, including ourselves and our experience. It’s all the play of existence and the universe forming itself into all of it.

If the divine is all of existence, then the divine creates all of this within itself. The divine moves into experiencing itself as the universe, this living planet, and us as humans with our individual and collective lives and culture.

Going one step further, we can say that this is the infinite moving into taking itself as finite.

How do we find it in ourselves?

What am I to myself? When I look, I find I am the presence all my experiences happen within and as. I am capacity for my always-changing world. I am awake no-thing filled with always new things.

We can call this Big Mind, or consciousness, or even (a taste of) Brahman or the divine.

If this was not filled with any content of experience, nothing would happen. It would be timeless without the flow of time, no-thing without any things, one without many, oneness without a sense of separation, and so on.

We are not seeing this, apart from perhaps in brief moments. What we are seeing is timeless filled with time, no-thing filled with things, one taking the form of many, oneness with a sense of separation within it, and so on.

The infinite moves to make itself into something apparently finite, the timeless moves to create the experience of time, the no-thing moves to fill itself with things, the one moves to take the form of many, oneness moves to experience itself as separation, love moves to appear as lack of love, and so on.

It’s not really that this capacity (Big Mind etc.) has a “fascination” with form, but it is creating it for itself, so we can use the word in a metaphorical and very loose sense.

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SECOND DRAFT….

In short….

There is a mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

The divine wants to experience itself as human – and all beings and all of existence as it is. The infinite wants to experience itself as finite, love as lack of love, the one as many, oneness as separation, and so on.

And as humans, the divine temporarily takes itself to be separate and wanting to connect with the divine.

And a bit longer….

We can say that there is a mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

It’s a story. It’s not meant to be taken literally. It’s at most a metaphor. And yet, there may be some truth to it. And it reflects something that we can find here and now in ourselves.

Finding it in ourselves

Any map and cosmology, as any story in general, mirrors what’s here. It reflects something already – and here and now – in us.

So also with lila and the mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

Who and what we are

When we look, we find that we are capacity for our experiences. Our experiences – this human self, emotions, thoughts, the wider world – happen within and as what we are.

When we discover this, we discover that the labels often associated with the divine – infinite, love, oneness – apply to what we already are.

What we are is this capacity, the awake no-thing full of the world as it appears to us. And who we are is this human being in the world.

Lila – the play of the divine

Since all our experiences happen within and as what we are, we can call our experiences the play of what we are. Through our changing experiences – of ourselves and the wider world – his awake no-thing experiences itself in a wide range of always new ways.

This is the essence of lila, the play of the divine. Our experiences is an expression of the creativity of the mind. It’s Big Mind expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways.

We are Big Mind temporarily taking itself to be this human self in the world.

This is something we can find for ourselves here and now.

And we can also apply it to existence as a whole.

Existence – this universe, this living planet, us, and our experience – is the play of the divine. It’s the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways.

We are the divine locally and temporarily taking itself as fundamentally separate, as a being in the world.

In what way is the divine fascinated by the human?

The characteristics of the divine can be pointed to with words like infinite, love, wisdom, one, and nothing full of everything. And within itself, the divine created everything – including the apparently opposite of these characteristics.

The infinite moves to experience itself as finite. Love moves to experience itself as lack of love. The one moves to experience itself as many. Oneness moves to experience itself as separate. No-thing moves to experience itself as something.

We can also say that wisdom moves to experience itself as stupidity… if by wisdom we mean receptivity and the wisdom that comes from it, and stupidity as the rigidity that comes from identifying with labels, stories, identities, and so on.

In all of these ways, the divine is experiencing the opposite end of the spectrum of what it inherently is, and it does so through – among many other beings – humans.

In what way is the human fascinated with the divine?

This is what we see among humans through history and across cultures.

Humans imagine deities and the divine, and make up stories about the divine. We seek salvation, safety, and knowing we’ll be OK eventually. We seek to know the divine, through studying or direct experience. We seek to align ourselves with the divine. And so on.

In another sense, we are fascinated by the divine since all is that. Anything we are fascinated by, or repulsed by, or don’t care about, is a part of the divine and the divine play.

And we may even find our true nature as what some call the divine. As capacity, awake no-thing full of our world.

The divine locally and temporarily takes itself to be humans – and finite, conditioned, and so on – and seeks what appears to be the other end of the spectrum, which is what it already is.

Mutual fascination

If we say it in a slightly simplistic way, we can say that…

The divine wants to experience itself as human – and all other beings and existence as a whole.

Humans – at least some – want to connect with the divine.

And it’s all the play of existence and the divine.

OUTLINE….

  • The divine and the human: a mutual fascination
    • this story, pointer
      • if take it literally, then easy to imagine but cannot know for certain, is metaphorical,
      • if take as reflecting what’s here, can find here and now
    • divine -> human
      • infinite wants to experience itself as finite
      • love as lack of love
      • wisdom – from receptivity, as stupidity – from caught up in labels, stories, identities, beliefs etc.
      • one as many
      • oneness as separation
    • human -> divine
      • imagine saved, parent, safety, comfort etc.
      • can find ourselves as, capacity, BM etc.
    • ….

The bigger picture – lila
The bigger picture – finding it in ourselves

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INITIAL DRAFT…..

We can say that there is a mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

It’s a story. It’s not meant to be taken literally. It’s at most a metaphor. And yet, there may be some truth to it. And it reflects something that we can find here and now in ourselves.

Lila – the play of the divine

As a context for this, we have lila – the play of the divine.

Existence – this universe, this living planet, us and our experience – is the play of the divine. It’s the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways.

We are the divine locally and temporarily taking itself as fundamentally separate. A being in the world. While our true nature is that which our world happens within and as.

In what way is the divine fascinated by the human?

The characteristics of the divine can be pointed to with words like infinite, love, wisdom, one, and nothing full of everything.

We can say that the infinite wants to experience itself as finite. Love wants to experience itself as a lack of love. The one wants to experience itself as many. Oneness wants to experience itself as separate. No-thing wants to experience itself as something.

We can also say that wisdom wants to experience itself as stupidity, if by wisdom we mean receptivity and the wisdom that comes from it, and stupidity as the rigidity that comes from identifying with labels, stories, identities, and so on.

In what way is the human fascinated with the divine?

This one is perhaps easier to relate to.

The bigger picture -finding it in ourselves

Any map and cosmology, as any story in general, mirrors what’s here. It reflects something already – and here and now – in us.

So also with lila and the mutual fascination between the divine and the human.

……

We can say that the infinite wants to experience itself as finite. Love wants to experience itself as a lack of love. The one wants to experience itself as many. Oneness wants to experience itself as separate. No-thing wants to experience itself as something.

We can also say that wisdom wants to experience itself as stupidity, if by wisdom we mean receptivity and the wisdom that comes from it, and stupidity as the rigidity that comes from identifying with labels, stories, identities, and so on.

It’s not a human kind of want, but more of a movement. The infinite moves to experience itself as finite, and so on.

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