4 weeks ago

Choosing God

The word God may make you uncomfortable. If so, good. Let yourself be uncomfortable.

Whatever makes you uncomfortable, when it happens, let yourself be uncomfortable.

Notice your habit of avoiding discomfort.

Now ask yourself these questions: What about this discomfort is so terrible? Am I sure that I will be better off avoiding this discomfort?

I have asked these questions hundreds if not thousands if not tens of thousands of times. And no matter what – no matter how seemingly terrible the discomfort is, no matter how horrible and scary the stories I might have may be – when I tell the truth I have to admit that I cannot find what is so terrible about this discomfort.

The truth is it is only my habit of believing that the discomfort is terrible that I can point to as evidence that it is terrible.

That is hard thing to admit sometimes. So if you find yourself struggling to admit that fully, that’s to be expected. But just be honest. Keep being honest. Because honesty is your ally. Honesty is what liberates.

Truly I tell you that honesty is what liberates. It is not the desired outcomes that liberate. In fact, the desired outcomes (i.e. attachments) are what BIND you to suffering.

So have courage and tell the truth. Don’t stop short of the truth. Don’t settle for a belief or habit. Look unceasingly with courageous honesty. Tell the truth about what you discover now and now and now.

I cannot find what is terrible. There is only discomfort. It is nothing more, nothing less. It is what it is. Nothing needs to be added to it. And this is honesty, and it liberates.

Secondly, am I sure that avoiding this discomfort will be better? My habit is to avoid discomfort. The whole external world, the world of thought and objects and beliefs and social contracts says: “Avoid discomfort because that is the way to salvation. That is the way to relief. When you succeed in avoiding discomfort you will find comfort.”

But look honestly. Is that true?

No matter how many times I look, I find over and over and over that avoiding discomfort delivers me not to salvation but to suffering.

Avoiding discomfort is the way to hell. It IS hell.

Even when the discomfort is great. Even when the discomfort seems unbearable. Even when it is crushing. Even when it seems that I cannot possibly go on even another second. Even when it is beyond excruciating, beyond what I thought was the worst possible torture.

Even then, avoiding discomfort is the way to hell.

Now, of course, your mind will look for exceptions to this. It will seek to argue for when this is not true. It will ask questions that start with ,” Okay, but what about…?”

All of which is designed only to maintain the status quo. Which is hell. Which is suffering.

So we have a choice. Just one choice as far as I can tell. And I have looked so many times for any possible alternative. Because what I am telling you would appear to the conditioned, habitual mind, the conditioned, habitual identity, to be the worst possible way. So of course I have looked for alternatives.

But I’m telling you truly that this is the only choice I have found. The only true choice. And I’m going to tell you this choice in a very loaded way. So be prepared for your eyes to involuntarily roll and for your hackles to be raised.

The choice is this: Choose God consciously or choose the Devil by default.

God is the truth. God is beyond your habitual, conditioned ways and beliefs and identity. God does not conform to your ideas. God does not care what you think or want or believe.

God is unerringly perfect. And God is the ONLY truth.

I’m using the word God exactly because it is such a loaded term. I want to address this head on. Because if I use another word – spirit, life, wholeness, etc. – your mind will translate that as God which it already has an idea about. And if we don’t address this head on, you’ll allow yourself to keep lying to yourself.

So let’s address this directly. What do I mean by God? Do I mean a man in the sky? Do I mean a benevolent creator? Do I mean someone you can have a personal relationship with? Do I mean the judge of moral correctness?

No.

I mean the truth that is. The truth that is beyond concept. I mean what is beyond understanding. Beyond you. Beyond reach. Beyond grasp. Beyond attainment.

You can choose God. But if you don’t, you default to choosing the Devil.

The Devil is your habits. It is what is known. The Devil is the promise of control, attainment, and self power.

The Devil is the belief that “I am responsible for what is. I need to fix it. I need to get it right. If only I had enough power, enough control, I could be okay.”

The Devil is the illusion that salvation is found in this world of attainment, objects, thoughts, etc.

The Devil is the belief that self protection is my number one mandate. That’s an important one. So re-read that. The Devil is the belief that self protect is my number one mandate.

The Devil is what you have identified with. The Devil is attachment. But not just attachment to things, to wealth, to people, to status. It is also attachment to the idea of non-attachment. It is attachment to being good, pure, spiritual.

The Devil is like a hall of mirrors. It reflects back to you distortions of what you project. It gives you what you think you want until you are nauseous and dizzy.

And if you succeed in escaping the hall of mirrors, the Devil has other forms. It is the entire carnival, feeding you cotton candy and putting you on rides that spin around until you vomit.

Most people never even learn that there is something outside of the Devil. Their idea of God is the Great Big Carnival Boss who can grant them big prizes and help them win lots of games.

The Devil is all about winning.

The truth of God is all about losing. Which makes God the least popular attraction.

Most people will not choose God. They’ll choose the Devil and call it God. And they’ll keep seeking comfort through avoiding discomfort. And wonder why it never works out well.

Choosing God offers true comfort. But here’s the catch: true comfort is Gods nature. True comfort is BEYOND you. It is not your idea of comfort.

Your conditioned mind, my conditioned mind, anyone’s conditioned mind will reject God’s true comfort because it is beyond our idea of comfort.

Our idea of comfort is another carnival ride, another prize, another cotton candy, another time through the hall of mirrors. It has to be that way. We can only know what we have already known.

The mistake we make is in deceiving ourselves into believing that is God or that God can be had so cheaply.

God demands much more. God demands everything.

You and I are like fussy babies held at Mother’s breast. The fussy baby is tired, hungry, worried, uncomfortable.

Mother offers the remedy.

The fussy baby rejects the breast. The fussy baby effectively communicates, “No, that is not what I am wanting. I want to do it myself. I want to fix this.”

God is like Mother. We can find true comfort by choosing God.

But we can’t then claim victory. It will not be on our terms. It won’t be how we thought it had to be. And we will not win. We will not arrive there and be able to say, “I did it.”

God demands everything. To choose God is to choose this now as it is. To choose God is to truly surrender. To surrender so deeply now, now, now, unendingly now that I am humbled beyond what I thought was possible.

It is not to “surrender” momentarily to win a bigger prize. It is not to bow down but keep one eye open to see what is forthcoming.

It is surrender all the way. It is to fully admit the truth by SEEING it truly: that I am powerless to help myself. That in fact all my attempts to help myself are only the Devil.

Now again, the conditioned mind will look for exceptions. And the conditioned mind will seek to understand this and formulate a plan. The conditioned mind will say, “Yeah, but does that mean I should not work to feed my family?”

And what I am saying is let go of that. Don’t look there. That is choosing the Devil. The Devil says “You need to understand. You need a plan. You need to find loopholes. You need to have certainty in advance.”

And tell the truth. The Devil is the hope that you can find the escape plan that gives you permission to leave your family, leave your responsibilities, leave this world, leave all the difficulties and complications…with impunity because *God* mandated it.

The Devil is the promise of the easy way.

But it is a way. Always a way. A way to the promised land. Always in the future.

God’s perfect comfort is now. Only now. Always now. Immediate. And unconditional.

Well, except one condition. Which is to choose God.

Choose what is beyond yourself. Beyond your seeking. Beyond your grasping for self protection. Beyond your aspirations to escape the struggles and complications. Beyond your hopes of finding the truth and salvation in this world of understanding, thought, objects, attainments, time.

Whatever happens, I promise you this is available here now. Choose God now. And see what I am pointing to.

The Devil whispers in our ears that we have to get right first. We have to be good enough. We have to be pure enough. We have to FEEL right. We have to think right. We have to understand right. We have to behave right. We have to forgive right. We have to earn it. We have to win it.

That just keeps us spinning around on carnival rides. Always with the promise of salvation *just* ahead. Just after the next attainment. Just after the next effort. Just after we get it right.

God is Mother. We are the fussy baby. We don’t have to get it right. We only need to stop fussing.

Just stop now. Just stop. Stop.

Don’t try to stop. Don’t plan to stop. Don’t have a plan for stopping.

Just stop.

This here now is perfection. This is God’s perfect comfort.

You don’t think so. But so what? Stop believing your thoughts. Stop lying to yourself.

How do I know that this discomfort is terrible?

Or here’s another question. What happens if I simply stop trying to avoid this discomfort?

Now find out.

Joey Lott

Joey Lott is the author of numerous books, including The Best Thing That Never Happened and The Little Book of Big Healing. He lives in southern Vermont with his wife and children.

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