I Am The Not - The Ani Ain System Revisited
We quickly learn, in the practice of genuine religion, that every idea reflects itself everywhere. As above, so below.
So, if the Ani Ain system was only a cute way to view metaphysics, then it would ultimately be useless.
But it is also a perspective, and a way of living.
The answer spoken does not matter. The answer lived is all that matters. And the answer lived, almost universally is, "I am all there is." Parents abandon their own children just to do their own thing. Lying is the universal commodity, as long as it gets you farther along. Priests fornicate with their entrusted parishioners because it's just not fair to ask them to deny themselves. Murder, rape, theft, war...on and on and on and on...The world is full of, to use an old but perfectly valid word, sin.
Sin comes from actions motivated by ego. I, Me, Mine. The rest of you, the rest of the world, can all be damned.
Biblically, the roots of ego can be found in The Garden of Eden. In the present context, the pure, Limitless Bliss & Love of the AIN descends until it is focused in but one place, one being, the ANI, the pure ego.
The Universal call of the Spirit is to transcend the ANI, and return to the AIN. We do this by identifying more and more with The Not, what we are not.
This final installment of The Ani Ain System will point you in many ways to see the presence of "I Am The Not" in our Scriptures, and show you its power.
To return to the Philippians 2 account:
"He humbled himself and became obedient to death...."
Jesus was the Living Embodiment of the ANI AIN. "I Am The Not." He knew that he must die for the good of all. He taught this repeatedly. "The seed is useless, unless it fall to the ground and die."
But it's more. He was able to IDENTIFY with EVERYONE AROUND HIM. His consciousness, his "sense of self," was NOT located in himself! Think about that. "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers YOU DO TO ME."
Everything that Jesus was NOT (AIN) was MUCH more important to him than what he WAS (ANI). This was his entire ministry & philosophy. The miracles he did, the death & resurrection he did, ALL OF IT was an expression of love, an identifying himself BEYOND himself. He knew his "I" was best expressed as the "NOT."
Over and over Jesus is teaching us to reach outside ourselves, beyond ourselves. The emptying of self/ego/sin/ANI opens the pathway to Love/Joy/God/AIN.
Not For You?
If I was to summarize the main problem I have with most of "Christianity" today, it is that it does not take Jesus seriously. All of the above passages do not apply to us, the so-called church essentially says. "These are things we would have to do if we were not going to be saved by faith."
This notion is so odd, so twisted, so terribly foul that it can only be called sin. Over and over Jesus tells us what to DO, how to LIVE, how to BE. In endless sermons and songs and hate-filled deeds, the "church" proclaims these to be of no value today. When Jesus says, "You are to be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect," he does not mean that. What he really means is "That's the perfection you would need if you were not going to heaven by believing I died for you."
You may think I am harsh. Too critical. Too judgmental. But I will tell you I have heard this very message literally HUNDREDS of times in my decades attending all variety of churches. Over and over and over we are taught that "We cannot do it. We are no good. Only faith can save you. Trying to be good is bad. That's work righteousness."
That is not true.
That is ego and sin talking. That is the ANI creating for itself a self-justifying "religion," so it can go ahead with all of its vile activities, utterly content that its evil actions do not matter.
But Jesus is quite clear:
The call, the vision, the entire structure of all genuine Christianity, can be seen as an explanation and living example of what ANI AIN means.
Heaven and Hell
You've probably heard this one before. But it bears repeating.
Living does matter. How we act does matter. And the simple story tells us, ultimately, everything we need to know: feed only yourself, you are in hell. Feed everyone else, you are in Heaven.
As long as we hold to our little ANI, we are tiny. When we reach outside ourselves, and move toward the AIN, there is limitless bliss awaiting.
Forget about religion; this is just math. In the I-Me-Mine world of ANI, we spend our efforts taking care of ourselves. But at the same time there are 6 billion other people who are doing the same thing. And every one of them sees me as an obstacle to their happiness. In the AIN world of "I Am The Not," I lose the ability to focus on me; I spend my energies taking care of everyone around me. But in return I gain 6 billion people who make it their every desire to help me!
Israel and Palestine
All of our problems, great and small, can be solved through this "I Am The Not" approach to life.
The Israelis need to start a national campaign to secure the peace, health, happiness, and wealth of every Palestinian. They need to continue building settlements on the West Bank, but for the Palestinians to live in.
The Palestinians need to start a national campaign to secure the peace, health, happiness, and wealth of every Israeli. They need to do everything in their power to protect the security of every Israeli.
Many people were deeply upset by my Jesus is a Loser and a Coward piece. It was meant to be sarcastic. Stating the opposite of what's true. I'm sorry if you didn't get it.
Look, again it comes down to mathematics. So, real slow:
Ultimately, then, Jesus' radical non-violence approach boils down to: "Just because everyone around you lives in sin and hate, that does not mean you must do the same." He insists we remain in love.
Who Are "You?"
Three weeks ago, on 9/11/2002 America went through a national day of mourning over the terrorist bombings of New York's World Trade Center the year before.
Endless anguish and grief over the 2,800 people who died. Books, videos, news specials, up-close-and-personal accounts of the loss, sorrow and pain.
Do they matter? No. They are germs. They deserve to die. Those mothers do not care about watching their children starve to death. They do not feel pain like real Americans do. They have never known the real loss of the death of a parent, or watch the maggots eat their children's eyes out.
Only "I" have real suffering. Only "I" matter. Thus are the eternal proclamations of the selfish ANI.
Now please do not be stupid and think that I am saying the people of 9/11/2001 deserved to die or anything like that.
That scary phrase "God Consciousness" means to think as God thinks.
Kinda like the Philippians 2 passage we've been working with: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ..."
Which is more important to you?
I Am The Not.
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