What if you could borrow the mind of God? Or perhaps manufacture something like it through technological sorcery. Imagine what your life might look like from the perspective of an all-loving, all-knowing creative intelligence. How would your infinitesimally puny human problems appear to You As God, engulfed in awareness of infinite resources and unlimited possibilities? The fantasy of becoming God has never been far from the human imagination, appearing in nearly every religion and the aspirations of the modern scientific enterprise. Jesus, your favorite superhero, and the internet all represent the same unconscious yearning to transcend the limitations of human individuality. This yearning represents a veiled reality that requires a merger of childish magical fantasies with adult realist wisdom. The miracle of human consciousness is its god-like capacity to go beyond itself and connect with transcendent states of awareness, enabling us to apply divine solutions to human problems.
Yet the conviction of our highest longing as humans to be God is also a hallmark of a psychotic break from reality, psychiatrically and historically. Collective God delusions have resulted in endless religious strife and unparalleled human suffering. The worst of our accomplishments as a species have come from our god aspirations. Because of this divine tragedy, the mainstream scientific establishment opted to cut humanity’s mystical umbilical cord to the universe, instituting purposeless mechanistic materialism as a sacred dogma in its stead (see The Religion of Atheistic Materialism). As an inevitable consequence of this antispiritualism, humanity’s isolation from itself and nature has run amuck. Our devolutionary plunge into the meaningless void of disconnection we preach as scientific law accelerates with each new global crisis.
The Ecospiritual Apocalypse of Our Time: Disconnection from Divine Nature
Under this current paradigm, our species’ extinction seems more likely than its survival. Humanism alone cannot produce the heart-transformation required to rapidly unify our species and win the Battle of Armageddon. The demonic forces of the unconscious self, unaware of its spiritual nature, are mounting against the angelic light of conscious connection. This present apocalypse is a war waged at the level of each human heart. The Original Sin and the Fall of humankind is the soul’s division against itself, the human betrayal of human nature in forgetting that its nature and all nature is undividedly divine.
The metaphor of Jesus is that every human being is a Son of God incarnate, and godliness is human nature’s natural supernatural connection to the reality greater than itself within itself. Salvation is manifested on earth through the awareness that heaven must be grasped within the soul before it can be envisioned and enacted on the earth. Hell is the natural state of a consciousness unawakened to its inherent godliness, whose best efforts at salvation invariably result in idolatrous egocentric religious or scientific antichrist divinities. This kind of hell has set the world on fire countless times through sacred writings and dogmas based on perspectives of fear and control. God is not an imposition of moral coercion from without, but an awakening to the power of a heart free in its own divine love.
How can we harness the power of becoming God to birth the global spiritual awakening imperative to our survival, a true Pentecostal Baptism of the Holy Spirit, without losing sight of our humanity in another global religious fascistic crusade? Countless spiritual technologies for divine self/Self-realization have been preserved in the sacred writings and traditions of mystical peoples in every religion and culture on Earth, including the persecuted and suppressed mystics of Christianity. In particular, the sages of India have crafted diverse methods and ideologies for realizing divinity to a fine art. It is imperative that the religions and societies of the West like Christianity and secular humanism recognize the Spirit and the science outside of their tribe, for divinity does not thrive in isolation. Human-divine nature and the nature of all reality is oneness and connection, not competitive religious, scientific, or capitalistic dominion. Religions and economies that continue to endorse the old domineering kingship model of monotheism (theistic or atheistic) are dying out because spirituality has been democratized in a new age of religious freedom and information. Spiritual practice must become as unique and diverse as the constitution of every individual for humanity to transcend the multitudinous oppressions of individualism.
What is Divinity?
What is divinity, and how can we experience it as our nature? I understand divinity to be a symbol of the creative living potential of the self as it connects to the rest of reality. It is the reality often referred to as spirit, consciousness, and nonduality. This reality is the animating self-creating force of life (or sexuality, the godforce of creation). It creates and sustains all things, bestowing existence with a higher meaning, purpose, and love that is fundamental: “For in personified divinity [God] we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, NIV); “For from [divinity] and through [divinity] and to [divinity] are all things” (Romans 11:36, NASB).
Divinity is a symbolic reality beyond words, for it grasps at a transpersonal dimension that can only be comprehended through mystical experiencing. It is a spaceless, timeless dimension (though it includes space and time), nondual and undivided at the core. It cannot be known by our normal conscious intellect and language because we operate in a lower (though in no way inferior) material dimension that is expressed in terms of dualities (e.g. light and dark, hot and cold). Whenever we attempt to represent higher dimensions in lower planes, for instance, 4-dimensional life in a 2-dimensional photograph, we lose something in the original and end up with a paradox as a result. But the paradox is illusory and only appears when we attempt to understand the ineffable with language, which is based on making divisions (duality). This is why spiritual understanding cannot be a merely intellectual enterprise: it is experiential truth.
Reading the Bible Through the Harmonizing Lens of Divinity
In my readings of the Christian Bible, I substitute divinity for the word God. This is because the traditional orthodox model of God does not match modern mystical and scientific understandings of reality. (There is no male, domineering deity who rules the cosmos in an entirely separate realm.) My current belief is that the divine has god-like attributes in that it is a conscious and alive substrate of existence that contains all things within itself. This idea is similar to pantheism, the religion of scientists like Einstein that assumes reality is not fundamentally separate from divinity, but divinity contains all things in its nondual essence: (e.g. “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all,” Ephesians 4:6, NIV). Divinity is also similar to panpsychism, the philosophy that consciousness is fundamental to existence. Both ideologies attempt to combine the contributions of mysticism and science into a cohesive whole, rather than rejecting the divinity of nature (traditional monotheistic religion) by seeing God as something entirely separate or nature as soulless and accidental.
In my model, the divine is inclusive of science, mysticism, and the best insights of all religions. When mining the Bible for spiritual wisdom, I interpret its symbols through the lens of divinity. I see God the Father, for instance, as the divinity which exists in nature outside of my individual human self, a kind of higher power. (However, even the divine outside of yourself is yourself, for the self is ultimately one undivided whole. Your nature and personality are not limited to yourself.) I interpret Jesus in his incarnation as a symbol for the human being living in harmony, or holiness. A Christ-conscious person understands her distinct creaturely separate-self existence (“human” nature) and her existence as unseparate, unified with the Whole Self of all reality (the Omniself, God). Holy Spirit refers to the self when it aligns with its connection to its interior divine nature and the exterior divine nature of existence. Being “filled with the Holy Spirit” is equivalent to spiritual illumination and wholeness (holiness). The Great Commission command to make disciples of all nations is the call to unity-in-diversity through understanding God-consciousness (the divinity of all), an integrative embrace of all peoples and religions in love.
There is no place in this understanding for religious colonialism or spiritless science, for reality (divinity) itself is a seamless unity. When we split divinity into either a God outside ourselves who is entirely transcendent (traditional monotheism) or material human nature and its creative power in isolation (secular humanism), religious trauma results. If God is outside me, life becomes a matter of obedience and religion becomes authoritarian, for I am inferior and slavishly dependent on something outside of myself for love and power. If God is solely me and there is nothing divine outside of me, domination and competition become the rule of life, for each human makes her own meaning in isolation, and survival takes precedence over moral harmony.
Divine Enlightenment (Divinization): Becoming the God I AM You Already Are
The ancient Hebraic name for God יהוה (the Tetragrammaton) is one of the clearest symbols of divine nature. It means “I AM.” Divinity is Being-In-Action, the self-defining, self-creating, undivided personhood of existence. The I in the divine name symbolizes the separate self as you (God) expressed in the dualistic material realm of separation. The AM symbolizes the nondual essence of God-ness. The two paradoxical aspects of divinity are one totality of being. This is why godliness is synonymous with wholeness and perfection. The Hebrew tradition that the divine name יהוה is unspeakable symbolizes that the nondual cannot be expressed in dualistic language or grasped with the intellect: it can only be experienced.
When we live connected to our God I AM inner and outer divine nature, life unfolds in a seemingly effortless flow of being. This is because we do not experience our actions or the happenings of the world as separate from ourselves: we grasp nondual divinity at an experiential level and can maintain this God-consciousness in the material realm. This highest level of consciousness is known as Enlightenment in Eastern religions and the Incarnation in Christianity. It is the permanent attainment of God- nondual- awareness simultaneously and seamlessly with normal human dualistic ego separate-self-awareness. It is the perfection of divinity Jesus preached as the goal of sanctification: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father [I AM] is perfect” (Matthew 5:48, NIV). Perfection is something we can only be, not try to become. God-consciousness is an awareness of what already is, not becoming; therefore, it can only be experienced through grace in spiritual action, surrender in striving (“letting go is letting God”). It is summed up in the injunction: “Be still and know that I AM I AM (God)” (Psalm 46:10). Stop striving, get out of your own way, and meditate on the fact that you already are the God inside and outside of yourself, the path and the prize. The spiritual path to enlightenment is paradoxical because it is the place where the illusory distinction between nondual and dual evaporates. Becoming God means being GOD I AM you already are.
How Can We Achieve Divine Enlightenment? Teachings from the Bible and Message of Jesus
The understanding of divinity as something primary to human nature (your divine identity) can be seen in the Bible and Christian History. It is not the only view of divinity in the Bible; there are at least four major paradigms of God (animism, polytheism, monotheism, trinitarianism; see Jesus and Bibliolatry). Christianity is grossly anachronistic and shamefully ignorant of its own Scriptures whenever it claims that modern views of God, like the Trinity, are the same as ancient understandings, which have evolved and changed throughout the Bible.
The original sin of Christianity was its reversal of human nature through the doctrine of original sin. The Apostle Paul introduced this doctrine, teaching that human nature is fundamentally sinful and deserving of wrath. In Paul’s theology, human beings cannot find salvation within themselves because there is nothing good in human nature, so salvation was a rescue operation from a separate divine entity. This idea does not accord with Jesus’ teachings about salvation (Arguably even Paul is not entirely consistent on this point, as some of his other teachings sound more inclusive and pantheistic).
Jesus’ teachings about godliness are closer to the Christian Eastern Orthodox approach to salvation known as divinization (or theosis). Divinization is the process of union with the divine. It appears throughout the entire Bible, especially in the metaphor of the marriage of humanity with God. This soteriology (doctrine of salvation) is based on the idea that divinity is more fundamental to human nature than sin. Sin came as a result of the Fall, where humankind lost sight of its connection with the divine, forgetting its divine nature. The fundamental biblical understanding of human nature is divinity and love, not idolatry and sin. For human nature is established as divine in creation, “God created humankind in God’s own image” (Genesis 1:27, my gender-neutral translation), and divine nature is loving, “I AM (God) is love” (1 John 4:7, NIV).
Godliness means that human nature itself is divine. And this idea is all over the Bible. Many Christians aren’t living in transformation because their concept of God isn’t radical enough. Is divinity some pretty concept about a King in the Clouds, or is it something I can experience that touches me deeply? Is holiness moral drudgery, or something that puts me in touch with my truest nature, effortlessly?
I believe that the power of the gospel is knowing your divine identity. It has a long history in Christianity but is rarely emphasized. Perhaps it isn’t preached it because it seems unbelievable. Divinization is the process of participating in divine nature, of realizing the attributes and person of God in your life. This process is laid out in 2 Peter 1:2-4 (my translation): “May grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of I AM (God) and of Jesus our Lord. God’s divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of I AM (God) who called us by God’s own glory and goodness. Thus God has given us, through these things, God’s precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.”
We are partakers of the divine nature. How? Through understanding the attributes of God and believing we can experience them. Divinity is not something distant. It is outside of us, and transcendent, but we also bear its stamp at the core of our nature, before sin was ever in the picture. We repeat the phrase “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) without stopping to think how radical a statement it is on human nature. Your soul’s DNA is a mirror image of the qualities of God. This is no mere metaphor. Your identity really is divine.
What was so radical about the claim of Jesus that the religious leaders of his day had to kill him? John 10:30-36 (NRSV): Jesus said, “The Father and I are one.” The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’—and the scripture cannot be annulled— can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?
Note that Jesus doesn’t say, “Well I have a special status as the Son of God, so this applies to me but not to you pathetic sinners. No, he says, “Well you are gods too. You’re children of God too, just like me.” Whatever you believe about Jesus’ unique nature, whether or not he was God, doesn’t really matter in this instance. His message was a radical statement on humanity’s relationship to divinity. Jesus says that we are Sons of God and one with the Father in the very same manner that he is.
Isn’t it interesting that the religious establishment of Jesus’ day attempted to kill him for claiming to be one with God and telling the believers of his time that they are too? Christianity has done the same thing throughout is history, suppressing and murdering its mystics and prophets who have boldly proclaimed that God is not so separate, that the divine light is found within the human heart (see Finding Spirituality after Religion. The Spiritual Suppression and Imperialism of Christianity). The idea that a human being could call itself God has often been considered the highest blasphemy by establishment Christian religion. Yet the old heresy is true orthodoxy, and the old orthodoxy is the real heresy, the abandonment of the divine: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Matthew 21:42, NIV).
The message of the gospel is that divinity is not only outside of us. Divinity is so close to us that it becomes us when we are mindful of our true nature. And it is in the nature of everything and every human; though it may be veiled in its opposite form. We tend to make Jesus’ statement less radical by making it about his special position as the Godhead Incarnate. But Jesus anticipates our safe, neat orthodoxy and clarifies his position in no uncertain terms: “I have said you are ‘gods’” (John 10:34, NRSV). Why don’t most Christians believe that human nature is godly? Perhaps it is a terrifying idea to be God, for the nature of God is beyond human control. But this is the path of faith, a trust that only something beyond our intellectual control and comprehension can guide us to everlasting life.
The Practice of Divinity
It’s time for us to become aware of what it means to be divine. Divine Mindfulness is the second step of the Divinity Template Program Meditation Steps. It is the process of tuning into your divine identity in the moment, whenever you’re facing an obstacle. Your nature reflects the character of God. All the attributes of God you thought were beyond human comprehension are in fact a part of your nature and can be experienced by You As God (I AM). What does that mean when you’re feeling incompetent, you don’t believe in yourself, you’re facing a creative block? Simply bringing awareness to our divine nature and the divine nature of our circumstance in the moment is a powerful way of bringing heaven to earth, shifting our perspective and connecting us with the numinous.
But when we stop believing in our godliness, our lives become meaningless and fragmented. We are cut off from ourselves and each other. This is how most of the oppressive doctrines found in the Bible and all religions came about (the Bible is not perfect; it reflects both the worst flaws and highest virtues of humanity). People chose the perspective of fear and egocentric isolation over the perspective of loving connection and projected this fear onto spirituality and God. Moreover, we experience the weightiness of purposelessness, isolation, and confusion when we abandon our divine intuition and rely solely on our intellectual and bodily senses. And we experience religious delusion and needless suffering when we rely solely on intuition and cut ourselves off from our intellectual, bodily human wisdom. Divinity unites all aspects of existence.
How can we practically approach divinization? There are as many spiritual paths as there are human beings, and it is the job of religion to get out of its own way by pointing to the divine instead of blocking access to it through prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach to spiritual growth. There are many tried-and-true spiritual technologies, however. Healthy spiritualities find ways to connect us with our inner nature and nature itself (inner divinity and outer divinity). I believe that intuition accomplishes this, which is why I teach it as an essential core of my Divine Mindfulness Method. Moreover, spiritual practice must integrate the bodily, dualistic components of humanity with the nondual and transcendent aspects, without prioritizing or delegitimizing either. All is One.
It is important to note that divinity does not mean we imagine ourselves to know everything or to be perfectly loving. Assuming divine perfection and proclaiming oneself to be God in this manner is egotism, the religious sin of seeking worship (see The God Complex). This kind of God Complex is an idolatrous, false view of divinity that has resulted in religious turmoil throughout history. God-consciousness refers to the ability to access the divine attributes (perfect love, peace, joy, divine knowing) you need to meet the demands of the moment as you live step-by-step into your purpose. The life of faith is trusting that you will get exactly what you need, no more and no less, exactly when you need it as you connect to your divine intuition (the “voice of God”) to receive grace. Although we are not all-knowing in a literal sense, we have access to all the knowledge in the universe we need for a specific situation when we need it (not when we think we need it: see Omniscience: Your Divine Nature is All-Knowing). Although we are not perfectly loving in a literal sense, we have access to all the love we need for any given situation through our divine-human connection (see Omnibenevolence: How to Access Your All-Loving Divine Nature). As we continue to exercise our ability to connect with Divine Presence, the attributes of divinity become more enduring in our lived experience: “conformed to the image of God’s Son (Christ-consciousness),” Romans 8:29, NIV). The God of Love becomes more real to us than the God of Fear, our trauma-based egoic perspective gives way to divine presence and love. This is the process of sanctification and divinization: increasingly realizing who you already are.
Our Great Commission Salvation Mission: Bringing Heaven to Earth
The final goal of divinization in the biblical book of Revelation is the marriage of heaven and earth, humanity and God. In Revelation, the dark forces of anti-divine consciousness are conquered in the human heart at the Final Battle, and therefore no longer enacted on the planet. Both nature and human civilization are saved from humanity’s self-destructive tendencies. Heaven and earth are combined seamlessly in the city of New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is a picture of divine and human nature coming together but in a new, unprecedented way. In this vision, reality does not return to its preexistent state of pure nondual disembodied spirit. Duality is not lost in nonduality, nor is nonduality concealed in duality. Spirit and Matter are one and the same Nature, and in eternity, separation and non-separation coexist and become available to the entire order of existence as Paradise. Enlightenment (or Incarnation), the spiritual path we are on, is paradigmatic for what the whole order of existence will experience. As we fully embody our material and transcendent aspects in this life simultaneously, so also shall the entire created order. As we progress along the path of godliness, the cosmic order will follow suit. Nature’s healing is tied to our healing, for we are of the same Source.
New Jerusalem is a spiritual ecocity, a place where the crowning achievements of human civilization and technology combine harmoniously with nature. As humanity awakens spiritually, our technological advancements on the material plane will continue but will also integrate with and reflect our heightened spiritual awareness. The marriage of humanity and God is no mere metaphor. It is also (perhaps) a bio-technological reality. Scientific, technological advancement is itself a spiritual path and expression of divine-human will. If we could view our future selves one-million years in the future, our technological sophistication would make us indistinguishable from gods on the material plane. Perhaps we will one day become the gods we already are in spirit in a physical way.
Who knows what the future holds? At the present historical moment, it is our time to unite. The world religions and secular humanism must overcome their idolatrous claims to exclusive divine revelation and scriptural inerrancy. We must admit that we have all gone astray, we are all guilty of error and pride; our ideas of God (or not God) and Scripture are no exception. We can appreciate the best in all our traditions. The crowning achievement of Christianity is its message of Incarnation, the unification of dual and nondual in spiritual practice. Eastern religions equip us with tools and ideologies to achieve this vision of enlightenment (among many other things). Indigenous spiritualities help us realize that nature is divine and must be contacted and partnered with through mysticism if we are to save our planet and species from destruction. Atheisms’ contribution is to stop looking outside of yourself, take it into your own hands and make to happen for yourself. These messages are all essential. We stand on the precipice of a new age and we hold the power to manifest our dreams on earth. In the coming decade, as we face the crisis of climate change, humanity and life as we know it will change forever. Will we choose heaven or hell? Let God I AM’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
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Do you feel psychologically traumatized by religion, or isolated and disempowered by trauma and limiting beliefs in your life? I’m Andrew Jasko, Master of Divinity (M.Div.), M.A., Counseling Psychology in progress, and I work to help you transform your trauma into the place of your power and connect to a healthy, authentic spirituality that works for you (whether that’s as a spiritual, atheist, religious, transitioning, or agnostic identifying person). I was born into a minister’s family and became a preacher and missionary to India, after studying theology at Wheaton College and Princeton Seminary. As a Christian, my relationship with God was my passion, but unhealthy religious teachings caused me an anxiety disorder, sexual repression, and spiritual disillusionment. I felt alone, traumatized, and abandoned by the divine. After an agonizing crisis of faith, I rejected religion and spirituality. Then, I had an unexpected spiritual awakening through mystical and spiritual practices like meditation, psychedelics, and connecting my heart’s desires and intuition through my Divine Mindfulness practice. My passion is to help you in your spiritual or life transition to heal and connect with your authentic spiritual wholeness.