Imagine you are perfect Love…
Formless, holy, joyous, permanent, forever giving to everything and everyone and receiving from everything and everyone in a simultaneity and a bandwidth so wondrous that synchronicity feels like slow motion black and white, forever joined with all Creation, forever fulfilling your function in only the way that you can fill it, incredibly appreciated for fulfilling your function in only the way that you can fill it, incredibly appreciative of others for doing the same, and blessed by God with the ability to make shit up at will.
And have it stick.
I mean, God is your Father, and you inherited that creative bug. And Formlessness and Forever are the Perfect Storm of a blank slate. Leave it to Creation to set you up for success. The Creator made you and put every last good thing He had into you. When you go to create something, you don’t just hope it turns out and buys you a C+ in Universe class. You give all of yourself to it, and it always comes out better than you could have imagined. Always. Without fail. It’s like there was placed inside of you a string of great surprises, each one of which causes you to realize there were even more out of the box features in your Self than you ever thought possible.
Imagine that, and now imagine that one day you make of yourself a pinball machine. No, stop it. Don’t ask me why. And now is not the time for how, either. You literally make, of yourself, of the Love that you are, a pinball game. Its about 6 feet long, 4 feet tall, and 3 feet wide.
Is it all of you?
(Hint: No. Of course not. How could all that formless, unending, limitless, Zen-Beingness-Love that you are become a specific thing like that? Well, you see, it couldn’t… but it could probably make a kick-ass pinball game.)
So, given that, and given how this pinball game machine came to be, can you imagine any possible event, legal to the rules of pinball and subject to the actions of the polished ball bearings, strobe lights, twenty-foot diameter cast bronze bells, reverse-acting bumpers, springs, flippers capable of launching sacks of flour into low earth orbit, shaker motors, and 19th century steam whistles of the pinball playing device that you made of yourself, that could in reality change the fact that you are perfect Love? Is there anything that could happen in this pinball game that could have disastrous consequences to you? That could hurt you?
(Hint: No. Of course not. It would just make loud noises and light up like the sun periodically and disrupt electrical service in whole time zones and pretty much carry on like a sonuvabitch- but that’s about it.)
Now, imagine something happens outside, like a police raid or a sand storm or something, and you are momentarily distracted. When you come back, you believe you are one, little, solitary, isolated pinball. Whoops. In fact, from your new perspective it is all you’ve ever known. You are utterly convinced. Your entire self-concept revolves around this pinball mentality. You think pinball thoughts. You have pinball dreams. You took the power God placed within you, a power to create with Him, and of all that you could have chosen to create out of the fields of limitlessness, you chose to create an experience predicated upon limits. Then, by forgetting the limitlessness that you are, you threw away the key to boot. Whoops.
It was a simple mistake, but one cemented through the decision to believe that you succeeded in making something real. Something that couldn’t just be taken back. Nobody told you that you screwed up, but you assumed it (incorrectly) and made that thought real also. Now you’re in for the long haul…
Since God made you, and you made the pinball game from the gifts God gave to you, it is a pretty fancy one. The pinballs themselves are actually tiny machines, complete with hydrogen fueled hybrid engines, gyroscopic controls, power steering, radar, infra-red scanners, satellite radio, air-conditioning, etc. They have a finite life span, however, after which time they tend to power down and drop off the table if they haven’t already. In your new pinball mentality, you think this little contraption is what you are. You have identified with it, decided that the history of the collisions of your own pinball tell the story of who you are, and thus, among other things, this dropping off the table bit scares you immensely.
The playing surface seems enormous, and it is packed with other pinballs. You could spend your entire hydrogen cache exploring this world. Since you know very clearly that this is your life, your one shot at what you so deserve, you are wholly invested in this pinball universe, committed to succeeding and making your mark. You want to leave a legacy- put your name up there on the board, or do some simple goodness, or just be a good little pinball. You assign yourself a mission. You assign everything a meaning. You decide who you are- what it means to be you. And everything in this world you’ve made is either for you or against you.
You get yourself a custom paint job. When you roll around it creates an optical illusion that makes other pinballs think they are looking down the barrel of a flame-thrower. You get focused. You are trying to navigate yourself towards a 10,000-point bonus and… all… those… damn… other… pinballs… just…. keep… getting… in… your… way.
The table shakes at random intervals, flinging you into the air where your maneuvering systems are useless. Other pinballs careen into you. You believe there’s only so many points to go around, and so do they. This is getting serious. You coin the term ‘game face’. You start managing your time- planning and strategizing how you will spend the life that’s yours. Or maybe you say screw this, I’m just going to troll around this other part of the table, where its a little more peaceful, predictable and safe. You have free will after all.
This fancy pinball world evolves. You play a long, long time. Some pinballs are bigger than others. Some are warped. Some are faster. Some slower. Some older. Some young. There are always new ways to score points and new ways to be ushered off the table. High scores have reached incredible heights. It is all very exciting, but…
…at times being a pinball really sucks. Some of your best friends have fallen off the table. You’re tired of running for your life. You wish things could be easier. You’re starting to get concerned about what happens when you fall off the table yourself. Despite your best efforts, the meaning you assign things isn’t sticking. It’s not panning out. Once in a while, you realize that, frankly, you’re in pain.
Somehow, this acknowledgment brings with it, eventually, the desire for and subsequent recognition of this thing called Love. You are flooded with joy and with hope. You think, oh, I could use this Love! By applying the principles of Love, I can exert some control over this chaotic world! I’m a creative being- let me use that to shape this pinball life. I could make things just a little easier for myself. I could maybe get myself up into that safer area on the table, the one up top there with less bumpers and pinballs.
And yet… Love cannot be used… It isn’t a tool that pinballs get to wield like a wand, shaping their pinball destinies… It simply is. Look, maybe, you’ve set your sights too low… The top of the table is just a place in pinball land, a dream that will fade, made special in your mind by the meaning you have assigned it… Love is unconcerned with pinball obstacle neighborhoods. It is concerned only with what is, with the Love in you and in your pinball brothers and sisters, and your collective Presence in the one continuous thread of Relationship that flows like a great river between All Beings. It would offer every pinball Everything, Forever, and exclude none of them.
You realize you’re confused about this Love thing. There are still good bounces and bad ones. Occasionally, there is still deep pain. Maybe it’s not working…?
On the other hand, you’re starting to believe in something beyond yourself, to think you’re more than just a pinball, to remember a glorious pre-pinball past, but you are trying to interpret events in the pinball machine as signs, as evidence. You make an offering to Love, and look to see if your pinball battery decays at a slower rate, if it results in higher scores, or in less random collisions. These tangible metrics are all you know, all you have.
On your own, there is no way for you, while you believe you are a pinball, to interpret the furious barrage of activity in the pinball machine in a way that could give you back the Knowledge of who you really are. Sometimes you realize that pinball collisions are meaningless in and of themselves, but that just makes you feel worse, like you’re turning your back on the other pinballs, or calling their dreams pointless, and sometimes it brings on an even deeper fear that you have finally discovered the Answer…and it stinks. That is when you feel completely lost and without hope.
You don’t realize that there IS meaning available to you… That you are the extension of pure Love… That the You that made the pinball machine- that perfect, joyous, eternally changeless You- is still right there… Has never left you… Is still who you are… Is within you and every pinball and every aspect of the pinball machine..
Into this pinball world hell comes a Holy Spirit. He is part of the You that made the pinball machine in the beginning. He sees the big picture. He reinterprets pinball events in a way that leads directly to the remembrance that nothing you see is truly apart from you, that nothing you see can truly harm you. He leads you unerringly back to the remembrance that you are the same as all your pinball brothers and sisters. You are all from the same Source. And when you are finally willing to rejoin with each and every one, it will be like the closing of a great circuit. A trillion lights will go on at once. The pinball machine will overload and, if I had to guess, probably blow up. In a really good way.
The machine was designed in the Beginning with this one last surprise, this hidden Moment, an inevitable and remarkable celebration of the Truly high score. When that score is reached, a long dormant circuit will ignite, flooding the entire machine with current, and the entire charade will dissolve into light. You will wonder what happened. You will be back at the start of this blog post. You will know you are perfect Love. You won’t remember pinballs at all. Did you go somewhere? What happened?
On the journey back to this great celebration, into your pinball dreams this Holy Spirit whispers in your ear, “If you would exclude even one pinball, you are judging against your Self, and choosing to keep your pinball dreams real. So long as you choose this, the circuit cannot complete.” It takes a while to develop trust in this Holy Spirit, because you have been interpreting the events inside the pinball machine on your own for so long, and frankly, you value your own opinion. You think surely some of your interpretations were the right ones. Some of those other pinballs are just screwed up. Who can deny it? You and all your pinball colleagues are right and justified to be angry about the malfunctioning bumper that cost you 10,000 points. Every time you choose to loiter like that, He simply waits.
He’ll wait as long as you need, but I say…
Imagine you are perfect Love.