The Ego, Pain, and the Divine Darkness.

Our problem with God is found in our ideas of God and not in the experience of God. As Thomas Merton said, "Our ideas of God tell us more about ourselves than about God." We see our superficiality, expectation, and fear in the way that we relate to God.

Take for example, a young man living behind a white picket fence, on a perfectly manicured lawn in the suburbs. He followed the popular recipe for success with little deviation: He went to church every Sunday, studied and did well in school. He got a degree and became an engineer or something. He goes on to marry a beautiful little blond woman who has also followed the recipe handed down to her by society and her family. They make a couple of beautiful children and begin to hand the recipe over to them. Then, one day the engineer comes home early to find his stepford wife in bed with the plumber or milk man and his dream world begins to fall apart.

This man believes his life has been destroyed and he prays to God to have it put back together or for some explanation that explains away the pain. He wants her to be crazy so he doesn't have to accept any responsibility or he wants another partner to help hide the pain. In either case, he prays to his cosmic sugar daddy for a solution, never considering that God had already sent a solution in the form of a plumber or a milk man.

This is a dark but cast or mature way of relating to God. From God's point of view, the problem is dishonesty: it is our contrived self-image and the cookie cutter life-the disingenuous life-we build to validate this superficial idea we hold onto about ourselves and the world we live in.

The spiritual path, the movement towards individuation or salvation is often very destructive. Unfortunately, most people pray for a solution to these divinely destructive forces that aim to bring us back to our true self. This is the wisdom of the book of Job.

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