It is a book we all need to read. It is time.
"But I cannot read a sealed book!" you say.
Don't worry. I will open this book and read it to you.
It is the Book of the Dead. It is the Book of the Lamb. It is the Book of Qiyamat. It is the Book of Life.
Trust me. You are written in the book.
No one is missing from this story.
~ ~ ~
“Do you think that is why God stays in heaven? Because he fears what he has created?” (from Spy Kids 2)
GOD is that which gives and preserves life. This is GOD'S Being and GOD'S Judgment. Life. There will be no re-determination of this Judgment. This Qiyamat of ALLAH has been for eons before this planet and will remain and flow onward for eons after this planet. There is nothing that could happen on this little bit of a planet that could possibly undo that Judgment.
GOD breathed Life into Man.
You have already been found worthy. You have already been given your gift. "Live."
The Judgment and Resurrection (Qiyamat) that is still undetermined is not GOD'S.
It is ours.
The Judgment that is coming--the Judgment that is here now--is the Judgment that we must make.
The Judgment that you must make. You must choose.
And it is not in the future.
It is now.
"God is in all men, but all men are not in God." RamaKrishna
Your judgment IS the condition you are in right now.
If (for example) you choose to betray a promise to your partner to keep your body and soul only for him or her, what will be your Judgment?
I tell you your Judgment already arrived.
Did you see her face? When she found out? Your punishment is the look on his face and the destruction in his heart.
Did you think you were going to be punished? For your sins? Later?
Others are punished for our sins. Immediately.
Don't you get it?
An endless lake of fire and brimstone burns less than the look on his face and the understanding of what you did to her heart.
I hate to disappoint you, but there will be no actual Hades fire-prison time corresponding to your behavior.
But there will be a day that you will understand.
And . . . oh. God. have mercy on me. who am in the gall of bitterness. (Alma, Book of Mormon)
"What we give to others, we give to ourselves." Neale Donald Walsch
Your Judgment is who you become. Who you are.
You will not be punished for being a thief.
You will be a thief.
And if that does not penetrate our hearts, then what else will? No amount of fire.
Qiyamat is now. Who are you? Who will you be?
Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book
For the time is at hand
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still
He which is filthy, let him be filthy still
He that is righteous, let him be righteous still
He that is holy, let him be holy still
My reward is . . . to give every man according as his work shall be.
(Revelation of John)
See that you are merciful unto your brethren
Deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually
If ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward
You shall have mercy restored unto you again
You shall have justice restored unto you again
You shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again
You shall have good rewarded unto you again
For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored
(Alma, Book of Mormon)
There is recorded the metaphor of the eye which carries the beam. A beam is an enormous length and width of timber. Imagine metaphorically that our eye carries a beam. The beam extends outward, effectively leaving us blind. Whenever we attempt to look into the eyes of another, we can only see a mote. The mote is the far end of the beam. We may think that our neighbor's eye has a speck in it, but it is really a consequence of the beam's protrusion for which we are responsible.
"He who [continually] declares [others] unfit is [himself] unfit . . . With his own blemish he stigmatizes [others] as unfit." Talmud Kiddushin 70a
“An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside.” ~ Buddha
“If you fear the boogeyman, you become the boogeyman.”
The fires of Sheol have been lit. Our hands, our hearts, carry the torches. We are walking in the land of the dead. Hell is here and now. Read the headlines of the news. Or maybe all you have to do is open your front door and look out. Or maybe all you have to do is wake up off your pillow each morning because the Judgment is in every room of your house. You want more than this?
I looked and saw a hand holding a book (a scroll). And the hand spread out the book before me. And there was writing upon every space; full! And there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. (Ezekiel)
We ask for a Resurrection, but GOD has already decided who will live. He breathed into us our birth. He said YES. It is we who are carrying out our Judgments. It is we who grant life or death. At the gates of our covenant (our community) we let live (and enter) those who carry those tokens we deem acceptable. The rest are exiled, degraded, assaulted. Murdered. A river of life plagued with blood. If we cannot forgive, we are cursed to hate (from American Crime).
What is God to a burning earth? what is a Prophet to a national assembly? what is scripture against the will of the people? Oh daughters and sons will ye not ponder? (T'ar-e')
The networks of the warmongers are within and across all nations: the tower of Babel. We are climbing this tower expecting to find heaven at its pinnacle. Stories have been created for which we are willing to shed blood; stories we afford our deepest devotion. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none. (The Book of Isaiah)
There is no "they". There is only us. And what we each choose (to shed blood or to give life).
"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe the blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?" (Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 125.)
What I have "read" to you thus far is a book we all have read.
Some of us have yet to turn the page.
This is the Book of the Dead.
~ ~ ~
What is to give light must endure burning. Viktor Frankl
It is quite the process of how the innocent become the guilty. The hoards of the guilty only have the land of the innocent from which to recruit.
You are innocent. You are. But this world nailed you to a cross.
Hurt people, hurt people. You pour your Wrath back into the world for the violations that have been and are being done to you. Who wouldn't? You recruit more of the innocent into this blood and crying and oppression game. (Except it's not a game. It's all very real with very real consequences.)
It seems like Wrath is going to fix things and comfort your pain, your loss. You'll be safe.
It's quite the epiphany to finally realize what Wrath simply does not have the power to do. Your eyes open to the knowledge that your Wrath has not freed you, but has helped you to play the game better than ever.
Understanding dawns upon you of the harm you have done. You comprehend the blood of others (hearts and bodies) that is spotted upon your garments. Your own Judgment that you have made for yourself (and others) is inflicted within you.
Racked with torment. Harrowed up by the memory of many sins. Exquisite and bitter pains. (The Book of Mormon)
And, yet, there is something that you may not quite recognize as you find yourself surrounded with brimstone. But I will whisper it into your ear. "The fire is your way out. Begin your walk through it."
Teshuva. The Return.
Lay down your weapons, turn around, and come home. "Become who you are meant to be."
By ourselves is evil done,
By ourselves we pain endure,
By ourselves we cease from wrong,
By ourselves become we pure.
No one saves us but ourselves.
No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the path.
We have seen how the innocent become the guilty. How then, do the guilty become once again the innocent?
What you once understood to be the fire of hell turns out to be the fire of sacrifice. You give yourself to the altar, as did Isaac. The fire on the altar consumes your offering.
Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings . . . and teach me thy judgments. (Psalms)
What is your offering?
Your offering is your fear. GOD's Judgment for you is courage, peace, and love.
Your offering is your grief. GOD's Judgment is that you be heard and held.
Your offering is your addictions. GOD'S Judgment is that you be free.
Your offering is your lies. GOD'S Judgment is your authenticity and trustworthiness.
Your offering is the harm you have done. GOD'S Judgment is that you be harmless.
These and more are GOD'S Judgments. But what is your Judgment? What will you grant yourself --?
Transform the evil into good. For and in ourselves (with the help of others); and if we are able, to assist others in their transformation (we cannot do it for them).
The Christ: the reception of the pains and separations of mankind with willingness and sacrifice and without wrath and turning them into innocence, love, and covenant. The Chiron--the wounded healer. The Lotus that grows and blossoms in mud, clearing and refreshing the muddiest water. The Bene Gesserit's "dangerous ritual" where they ingest poison called the Water of Life and then neutralize the poison within their bodies so that it has no power to harm but instead gives great gifts. This Bene Gesserit process is called the Agony. Not everyone survives.
We have our own dangerous ritual and our own poison to swallow. It is called Earth life. The Sacrament. Remember the body and the blood of His children.
"Our hearts are cleansed by ordeals." Abdel Karim Hamdali
Laman and Nephi were given the same quest. GOD called them both with the same path to trod. The gifts were available for both of them. They each, though they were brothers, made their own Judgment about who they were and what they were willing for.
Your work is your way back. Weak things become strong. How? By walking through the fire.
We are all on the cross, but are we willing to be on our way to Paradise and to forgive and to invite the other criminals on the cross to come with us?
"This is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of CHRIST bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened." (Mormon, Book of Mormon)
"All mankind . . . are considered as dead . . . But behold, the resurrection of CHRIST redeemeth mankind . . . and bringeth them back . . . if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnation. And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, GOD hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free. He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you." (Helaman, Book of Mormon)
Take off the training wheels of reward and punishment, of right and wrong, and do the real work. The work of submitting, of learning, of overcoming, of becoming, of forgiving. Jihad. As you walk to the Tree of Life, allow the Cherubim With the Flaming Sword to eviscerate your soul and sear your guilt into wisps of incense so that only light and weeping laughter remains--the relief. Did I say walk? I meant run, crawl, climb, limp, blunder, inch onward with white knuckled grasping, our face in the mud, our head just above water. Want your innocence and harmlessness (Ahimsa) that badly. Lay your life down for it. Gasp for its air.
Something is shrouded in layers, shrouded in mystery, misted over with a sea of names and missed aims. Everything on its path has drawn me away or urged me on, to that perfect day . . . approach through wisdom's incoming pain . . . till the unknown's last barrier gives way. Marshall Miskin
Then you notice that the fire you once thought was hell . .
That you once thought was the fire of the sacrifice . . .
. . . . You now come to understand is the fire . . . of Shekhinah. The devouring fire. Noor. Diwali. Atar.
That which gives and preserves life.
Within you. The Shekhinah dwelling in the tabernacle. Anointed.
Isn't it time
to turn your heart
into a temple of fire?
So now you see that this Earth is both hell and temple.
Whichever Judgment you make.
"I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire surrounding me."
This is the Book of the Lamb.
~ ~ ~
"All the broken hearts in the world still beat
Let's not make it harder than it has to be
"I'm a little let down but I'm not dead
There's a little bit more that has to be said
"I'm a little bit home but I'm not there yet"
from the song Girls Chase Boys
So having read the Book of the Dead and the Book of the Lamb, born brand new and exhausted from the passage, what is the next book to read?
Sometimes you need to cry,
and splutter, and scream,
and make a mess,
and forget the future, and old worlds.
And come to rejoice in a single breath.
And the joyous beating of a holy heart.
The Quran repeatedly teaches that one cannot be saved by any TOKEN. You cannot escape Judgment by making a show. Judgment is by living and particularly by how you treat other human beings. One must be Just. No pretending or facade. Real through and through. Recited. Believing. There is no other way.
The Torah must written or inscribed upon us, within us.
“If a man’s mind becomes pure, his surroundings will also become pure.” ~ Buddha
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure. (New Testament)
How do you dissolve the beam in your eye?
Godly love thinketh no evil.
Two human beings can be looking at the same thing and one will see with the beam in the eye, and one will see with Godly love. One will see evil and sin. And one will see wounded innocence.
If you are a witness to another's sin, this means that your eyes are not clean yet. YOU. SEE. SIN. Is she wearing the wrong clothes? Your eyes are willing to see sin. Is he listening to the wrong music? Your eyes are unclean. Is he part of the wrong religion? You are thinking evil, so you have yet to fill your cup with Godly love.
The whole universe is summed up in the Human Being.
Devil is not a monster waiting to trap us,
He is a voice inside.
Look for Your Devil in Yourself,
not in the Others.
Don’t forget that the one who knows his Devil,
knows his Allah...
Jesus of Nazareth told us repeatedly that he was, or his community was made up of, the prostitute, the child, the tax collector, the leper, the prisoner, the blasphemer. The people (and parts of ourselves) that we drive nails into and hang on a tree. The wounded GOD.
"Who told you that you were naked!?" GOD exclaimed incredulously. "Where did you get that idea!? Who got you to believe that!" God didn't. The serpent did. God wondered where the hell we got that idea! And we entered the world quest in order to take the long way round to the beginning--back to our innocence and to the realization that we were never naked. GOD keeps reminding us of reality every time a newborn baby enters the world. Naked. Except not. Rather, wearing the coat of skin that GOD crafted. GOD reminds us every single second when one of us is born. But we mock GOD and wear clothes and starting looking for sin. Thousands of years of babies being born (the sound of GOD) and we still don't get it.
"It's not what you look at that matters. It's what you see." Henry David Thoreau
Why do you judge your brother? or why do you condemn or look down on your sister? For we are all on the judgment seat of Christ. Every one of us gives account of himself to GOD. Rather, decide to live in a way that you will not harm your brother. There is nothing unclean of itself; but it is by believing something is unclean, then to that person it is unclean. The kingdom of GOD is not by tokens; but righteousness, and peace, and joy. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things with which we can build each other up. Letter to the Romans
The pure in heart will SEE GOD.
"Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, I want to see you."
“Until we have obtained perfect love we are liable to fall, and when we have the testimony that our names are sealed in the Lamb’s Book of Life we have perfect love, and then it isn’t possible for false Christs to deceive us.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 9).
A false Christ is not a person. Rather, it is any imagination that bars us from the Book of Love and Life. It is any imagination we maintain within ourselves to bar the lame, the wounded, the diseased--the human--from our community.
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let JUDGMENT run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Amos)
Judgment is not the punishment of the wicked. Judgment is the understanding the wicked come to of their own wickedness---a revelation. A horrible realization of all the harm we have done. The hunger for being at peace with ourselves and our sisters. So that we can move forward to the next chapter in the world story: what happens after the Judgment.
We have a day of Judgment NOW. Participate! Stop sharpening your pitchforks; lay them down, bury your weapons of war. Prepare your vessel for the endowment of Shekhinah; and succor the wounded and weary with your walk of Godly love, where you cannot see the sin: only the bleeding and the crying.
We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky. Walter Mosley
Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good. (Job)
This is the Quran of Qiyamat.
~ ~ ~
O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment. Psalm 119:149
What is preventing me from the celebration? Matt Kahn
“Anyone can slay a dragon, she told me, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero.” Brian Andreas
After Teshuva, the Return, after that walk, if you endure, you will arrive at Noah, the Rest.
Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole. Derek Walcott
After the crucifixion, after the tomb, you Rise. And meet your friends and eat fish and honeycomb.
"[There is no] fixed and final destination, nor a special state reserved for special people or enlightened gurus. It is not an out-of-body experience, but a constant invitation - to embrace yourself exactly as you are, today, in all your glorious imperfection. It is a deep and ancient calling, to radically open up, to embrace both the pain and the joy of life; to be vast, vast enough to hold both the bliss and the fear, the heartache and the overwhelm, the laughter and the deep longing to be free. To include whatever burns today in one big YES.
"To be what you are. Life itself. Awake, alive.
"No matter how unmanageable everything seems, I invite you to stop, to stop just for a moment, and to bring your attention back to the here-and-now, the living ground of your life, the One place where breathing is happening... where the heart is beating ... where sensations dance in and as the body ... where sounds appear, stay for a while, and dissolve into purest awareness... and where sunlight streams in through the open window... illuminating the room, the room which holds you as you are."
- Jeff Foster
You will come to the Seventh Day, the Sabbath, where you will Rest from all that you have made.
"From my understanding of Quran, a 'muslim' is one who brings about a state of wholeness and soundness ('silm' in Arabic)." Farouk A. Peru
"The realization of Qiyamat, not only by the intellect or the heart, but by and in and through the core, eternal essence of the human, is the reunification of the human with Allah . . . the Beloved can now be observed and adored within each person. Qiyamat is the end of Forgetfulness. It is the Remembering and the Resurrection of the True Self." (Moorish Science Temple)
Tikkun olam. Repair the world. Put GOD back together. Rise again. Thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (Isaiah)
Judgment is not condemnation; it is the lack of condemnation. Judgment is the opportunity to live again, to start over. To be seen for who you are and can be. To be understood in your struggles.
I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind . . . and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying . . . and they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain. (The Book of Isaiah)
Gan Eden. One heart and one mind. Know as we are known.
The only way to destroy an enemy is to make him a brother. Smite him with the rod of your mouth. Whisper to him: "I love you. Come home . . . "
Here is a true story. There were some of us who knew each other online. We debated endlessly about religious matters. Sometimes we were so serious. But if for no other reason than our length of time with each other, we became friends. "Let us meet." We agreed to come to a central city and share a meal at a restaurant.
We did not bring our debates. We only brought ourselves.
And at this time, as I looked at my friends and fellow travelers that surrounded the Table I realized GOD's covenant.
We were men and women. We were fat and thin. We were different ethnicities. We were married and single. We were religiously faithful and religiously skeptic. We were with all colors of hair and skin. We were old and young.
There was room at the Table for all of us. We embraced and laughed. We could argue more later, as we wished. Or not. That hardly mattered.
We made a chair for everyone and everyone feasted.
We were One.
Not because we were the same or were even doing well; we were beings of weakness, indeed.
We were One because we refused to harm and chose to love. We invited to the Table and we accepted the invitation.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
St. Francis of Assisi
Together, we turn ...
hindrances into intimacy
complaining into celebrating
holding grudges into forgiveness
blame, shame and guilt into truth telling
competition into cooperation
not feeling supported into asking for support.
What are we writing in the Book of Life? What have we written? This is the Judgment. The story we have written is the story we have written. The story we have written is the story before us to read.
Why is the book sealed?
Why can't it be opened and read yet?
Because . . . you are not the reader.
You are the author.
In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. (The Book of Isaiah)
"The earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed." Quran 39:69
How can you know whether or not you are in the Book of Life?
By whether or not you took up the pen and wrote yourself into it. Made your mark and signature.
Agreed to the covenant: I will live. And you will too.
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?
"You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn't true. I know a lot about love. I've seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate... It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves... You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and... What I'm trying to say, Tristan is... I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I'd know it for myself. My heart... It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it's trying to escape because it doesn't belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I'd wish for nothing in exchange - no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine." (The Star Yvaine from the movie Stardust)
When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curvèd point,---what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us . . .
Let us stay Rather on earth, Belovèd, . . .
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese)
Maybe, if this blood runs, and the wind enters the body, it may be possible for me to return to life. Bundahisn
This is the Book of Life.
~ ~ ~