Letter to a Dying Christian

Dearest Chuck Smith,

You inspire me.

We once started a conversation, but I dropped the ball; please allow me to pick it up here. I hope what follows isn't doctrinally offensive, but it seems to me to be compatible with, in fact a restatement of, all the core messages of all the great religions, and we could work out the details:

The real and personally achievable life of divinity actually exists in this world in our own personal surrender of limited self, which becomes merger into That.

If as I believe the emotional/motivational system of the human organism is largely inhibitory, and if the inhibitory factor is self-attribution, then the natural and non-inhibited emotional flow of our spontaneous heart's leaping -- and serenity -- is immediately available to a human organism who makes no attributions to his or her self.

Imagine, if you are no limited thing, if you don't consider or busily think yourself to be a certain limited thing, whether this form of you is, or the world considers you to be so, or not, you don't have to spend your time and mental energy thinking about it or believing it.

When the minds says, I am that character or characteristic, the heart obediently enters into the prison of the feelings associated with that character or characteristic. We are bound by what we identify as. But that thought was optional. Whether by achieving mystical stillness, or simply attributing infinity to oneself, limited identity can be dropped.

Like, I love you SO much! It goes beyond limits.

And then what appears? What appears is what was there to begin with, but had been inhibited by all our self-story-telling.

What? Unlimited flow state; newness, joy, and freedom within, these emerge, amazingly. A sense of infinite meaningfulness and connection. Union with the All, like Jeffery Martin's Locations of Persistent Non-Symbolic Perception.

It's like a perception of oneself, but not AS any particular thing.

Where? Where is this? This kingdom of heaven? Within, says Jesus.

How do we reach that place within which is the kingdom of heaven? "I am", he said, [is] the way, the truth, and the light.

The "truth" part of this is not a claim that Christian clergy are incapable of lying, nor that doctrinal claims on the supposedly Christian side of any argument must be immediately settled in favor of the Christians because of this sponsoring statement irrespective of sense, logic, or rightness. No, it means that the subjective experience of enlightenment is one in which one also has a strong sense of solidity of understanding. As Jeffery Martin wrote in Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience, the enlightened ones are all pedantically confident in their ideas, even though later when they transition to another level, they say they didn't know before, but Now they really know. This is a claim that the enlightened state incorporates a qualia of confidence.

In "the way", the definite determiner, "the", meaning "only", or "unique", could be understood as more enthusiastic than logical, and as such it does not exclude the valid paths of other people with a different teacher making a different point or the same point in a different way. My own teacher used the same words once and I understood him to be encouraging the enthusiasm of his followers to go enthusiastically and deeply along the indicated direction. A good teacher's main job is to motivate their students, and saying this is just the thing for you is a great way to do that; however it does not imply that something else might be just the thing for you later, or different things might be just the thing for other people at different times.

In Bliss Theory the insight of non-self-attribution is so general that it can be considered to be present (or absent) within (almost?) any thought, so the content of the thought itself cannot be used to rank one thought as better or more true than another, and thus claims about The Truth have no bearing on the concrete assertions of life. You can be attributing your actions to your agency as you think a thought and do an action, or you can think them and do them without carrying out the optional action of believing or thinking that this or that limited character or characteristic is you. If this is The Truth, how does that help you win any arguments? To me, it seems, it doesn't.

There are no limitations in the love of God. We are children of the infinite; we are the infinite. There are no limitations in "I am". "I am" is not Chuck or Tom or any limited thing, but the universal consciousness which is present within in everyone and in all experiences of all things.

The value is in the underlying emotional infinity that appears when the noise of self-attribution and self-talk quiets down, most easily in the context of loving devotion. As Christians well know, since they follow a living avatar of loving devotion.

The more you love the less it's about you. Any excuse for love is valid; take every opportunity and throw yourself upon it wholeheartedly. Soon you need no excuse, and can love everything, love beaming out your eyeballs, love in the throb of every sound.

The less of an excuse you need the more you can do it. In this way you can Love your Self, Understand your Self, Meditate on your Self, and discover, God dwells within you as you.

Or if you think that's "self"ish, then love the infinite that connects with and watches over you. And allow the breathing to breathe itself, and allow the silence to emerge, which is just love itself.

When does someone love you? When they really listen. When do you love someone? When you really listen. Silence and love are the two things my mind is free to choose.

When I see you, Chuck, I experience love for you. It's been a lot of years, but I have that in me, I remember it, I know you, I recognize you. That earnest, authentic, constructive heart of loving presence, I know you. Some may say, maybe, that is self-recognition; I say it is connection with the divine.

So, may you find the inner surrender, like when you watch the involuntary breathing breathe for itself without you doing it, then the identity of You as the Doer of What You Do can also be dropped, since you can practice this, just naturally watching the natural movement of your own breath, and discover:

And in the pause between the breaths is a pause, between zero and a few seconds long, in which all our thoughts, which ride on the breath and extend in our thinking as we hold our breath to keep thinking them, in which they lose a little of the grip they have on us. Once you can watch your breath without interfering, and see that it is doing it without you doing it, then, maybe, take Jesus' words, I am, hear them in the sound of your breathing, and understand them in the pause between the breaths. See if during that pause moment your thoughts can be dropped, try letting them go, and feeling the feeling of letting go of the thought. And if you can be in the state of not thinking (about what you are and how your story is developing -- which are those binding limitations), then you might soon see the I am, the divine energy coming up like a fountain, no longer held down by limited identity, flowing like a fountain or still like a lake, not for any reason, but because the heart is the part of us that just loves, and needs no excuse. May you feel that Heart, which is you, the unlimited and true version of you, and experience personal connection with divinity now and always.

With great love and respect,

Your friend,


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Copyright © 2023 Thomas C. Veatch. All rights reserved.
Created: July 13, 2023