I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
The Bible states that everything started with a simple word, and the Hindus claim it was the sound of Om. Om stands for Omega in the Greek alphabet. GOD is a hard concept to get our arms around. For the lack of a better word, AllThatIs is the Alpha of the Greek Alphabet. The SOURCE where it all began, where it always was, and where is always will be.
Few of us have had a personal conversation with GOD, yet many of us have see glimpses of HER and receive many divine signals every day. Everyone, spiritual traveler or not, speaks GOD's language - love. When we spiritual travelers think about our relationship with GOD, we contrast the often spiritually misguided ego with our inborn GOD connection, the SELF. The western ideal of spiritual enlightenment is that we can choose to take conscious steps towards GOD, as long as we are mindful of life's many interferences. It is the notion that the perceived "I" has a choice. It can choose its narrow-minded agenda, or it can choose GOD. The Buddhists, in contrast, would echo what is written in the Bible as well, "Be still and know that I AM GOD". That is, only in perfect stillness can we have a true GOD connection. Every other experience, they would argue, is distorted by the human mind.
The usage of the word ego is not that old, and it literally translates as "I" from Latin. Sigmund Freud used it in his famous ego, id and super-ego framework. He had a notion of a scientific humanistic enlightenment, crowding out irrationality and external beliefs from our objective perception of ourselves and the world. There was, of course, no room for spirituality in his approach. In contrast, spirituality was considered a distraction in our quest for scientific enlightenment, either deeply buried in our irrational fears and hopes, or externally forced on us by society's spiritual beliefs. The spiritual community then struck back with a vengeance and declared the ego the trouble-maker, the force of restlessness and mis-creation, whose agenda is way too often on a collision course with SPIRIT.
Yet, today's spiritual approach shares the mindset that prudent spiritual practice can watch out for SPIRIT's agenda, can keep the ego in check so to speak. When you think of our spiritual concept of advancing towards GOD, it really is the notion of a choice. We are born human but we gaze at the stars. We have access to that silent VOICE that is often drowned out by the endless chatter of the ego. If the ego becomes the deluded part of the "I" that temporarily forgets that we are in fact "I AM THAT I AM", then we need to get in touch with our AWARENESS, and CONSCIOUSNESS that reminds us of who we truly are. The Hindus have a nice metaphor of the intellect as a horseman trying to keep three horses in check that want to go in different directions - mind, emotions, and body.
We DAO traveler would argue that the world we live in is the fourth horse that can keep the others in-line, giving the charioteer the opportunity to sit down and enjoy the ride. We would argue that there is nothing to improve upon. Either we are with GOD here and now, or we are not. There is nothing to do, just look around for HER metaphysical world. The choice in which direction to head is automatic. We just follow HER lead. We might be half blind to spot the WAY, but as long as we at least keep one eye out for GOD's many MESSENGERS, we have, mostly, a happy ride to look forward to.
The ABC of Spirituality
When we follow the SPIRIT's ABC, there is little to do besides being AWARE. We experience bliss along the Way, and when we don't, we know that we need to take another look for HER stretched-out hand somewhere else instead. CONSCIOUSNESS is that GOD-connection, that "I AM THAT I AM" moment that is always at our disposal in the here and now. The DAO is the metaphysical world that GOD provides all the time to show us what is truly important for us.
The ABC of the ego focuses on what we can do to overcome our nature instead. It is the conscious working towards SPIRIT. We reflect our agenda as we go through life. We examine the lessons learned when we feel blue. We reflect on our choices and try to eliminate all distractions. We are vigilant towards our ego, and remind ourselves of the SPIRIT's mission instead.
Many roads lead to Rome as they say. Follow the path that appeals to you, and that appears useful as you face life's challenges. Just remember, either you are with GOD here and now, or you are not. There is only the "I Am That I Am" moment. Everything else is the ego talking.