When I was a kid, I was a bit of a nerd. I loved to read more than almost anything else. I was riveted by the ways stories could transport me to another place and time, move me to laughter and tears, elicit anger and empathy, and so much more, all without leaving my bedroom. Among my favorite stories to read were those of the prophets. I never said I was normal!
I would get mad at Joseph’s brothers for being jealous of him, for throwing him into a well, and then selling him into slavery. And I was also fascinated by how that treachery came to serve them when Joseph ultimately rose to power in Egypt – how something that had seemed so terrible ultimately was of great benefit to so many. I tried to wrap my head around the whole idea of Jonah being swallowed by a whale. The life and miracles of Jesus were an endless source of fascination. And the trials and ultimate successes Muhammad encountered as he followed his own calling inspired me.
Though I couldn’t have articulated it this way at the time, these stories provided a framework for how I came to believe that something good could come out of even the most difficult of experiences. They became a possibility for me to live into as I grew into adulthood and experienced my own challenges in life.
As I was growing in my own spiritual understanding, it was natural for me to look to spiritual texts like the Bible for insights. It quickly became obvious to me that taking much of it literally was contrary to the spirit of the stories that had captivated me as a child. So while many people read the Bible literally, as a history book or book of laws and rules, I have learned to interpret it from a metaphysical perspective.
I’m by no means a Bible scholar and, as I’ve explored the text more deeply, I have come to recognize that the Bible is not a literal history but a collection of writings describing the evolution of our collective understanding of God and Man. So I regularly deconstruct various Bible verses from a metaphysical perspective in order to explore the deeper meaning of the passages.
As I’ve studied more of the Bible over the past several years, I’ve come to realize that its metaphysical foundation is fully encapsulated in one chapter and three verses – Genesis 1, John 1:3, and Proverbs 3:5-6.
What Do You Mean By Metaphysics, Anyway
Not everyone has a clear understanding of what I mean by the term “metaphysics” so, just to ensure we’re all on the same page, here’s the definition from my trusty Merriam-Webster:
- a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being;
- a study of what is outside objective experience;
- metaphysics describes what is beyond physics – the nature and origin of reality itself
So when I speak of Bible metaphysics, I’m talking about the deeper meaning behind the words. Instead of taking it as a literal history, I like to explore the ideas presented for what they tell us about the fundamental nature of reality beyond what we experience through our senses.
The Metaphysics of Genesis 1
“In the beginning God…”
Well before I ever read a word of the Bible, I knew the first few words of its opening chapter. The first chapter of Genesis is, perhaps, the best known of the Bible. As most people are aware, it describes the “days of creation.” In thirty-one verses, the genesis of everything – from heaven and earth, to light (awareness) and dark (unacknowledged awareness), to the earth and seas, to every plant and creature on the earth, to Man is described. I personally could do without every single thing “that creepeth upon the earth,” but that’s just me!
At each stage of this unfoldment, God – the divine creative Principle – saw that whatever had just been created was good. In fact, “good” is used six times to describe the various creations, and when God beheld everything that had been created, it was all deemed “very good.” So, in total, seven “goods” (including one “very good”) describe the revelation of all of the divine ideas disclosed in Genesis 1. This is the reason I so frequently use “Good” as a synonym for God.
While there are a number of other metaphysical insights from Genesis 1 that I’ll cover in another post, my thirteen word synopsis of the 795 words in the King James Version of Genesis 1 is this
God made all that was made and all that God made is Good.
This is the foundational metaphysical premise of what follows in the Bible.
Metaphysical Interpretation of John 1:3
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)
In case the Bible reader forgets the message of Genesis 1, the first part of John 1:3 reinforces the point – all things were made by God. With the second part of this verse, the writer covers all the bases, so to speak. There is no thing that is not of God/Good.
In case it wasn’t crystal clear from Genesis 1, the writer of John spells it out for us, with no room for any ambiguity – nothing exists outside of the Allness of God/Good.
Marrying Genesis 1 and John 1:3 yields “God made all that was made and all that God made is Good. There was nothing made which God did not make.”
So it really is “all Good” as confirmed by these 32 verses!
This is a key go-to for me whenever I start to spin about something going on in my world or the world around me. Acknowledging this takes me out of duality and gets me back to center.
Bible Metaphysics of Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The simplest translation is this – quit thinking that you (as a person) have it all figured out! And perhaps it’s easiest to explain these two verses by breaking them down a bit.
With your own understanding, you’ll just make stuff up about the situation through the filter of your beliefs, opinions, perceptions, and concepts. So don’t assume that the way you see (i.e., perceive) things is the Reality of them.
|Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)||Metaphysical Interpretation|
|Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;||Trust (i.e., know) that only God/Good is.|
|And lean not unto thine own understanding.||When you lean on your own understanding, you’ll just make stuff up about whatever you believe is going on. So don’t assume that the way you see (i.e., interpret) things is the Reality of them.|
|In all thy ways acknowledge him,||Acknowledge that God/Good is the source and condition of everything and remember that there is no thing outside of God/Good.|
|And He shall direct thy paths.||As you do this, you will have an intuitive awareness of the best course of action in any situation.|
No matter what is showing up as my experience, the instruction from these two verses in Proverbs is to acknowledge God/Good as the source and condition of everything. Unless I am consciously doing that, my beliefs and opinions (i.e., my own understanding) will have me thinking that I’m experiencing something separate and apart from Good.
When I live from the perspective of acknowledging God/Good in all ways, I’ll be inspired by the perfect ideas; I’ll intuitively know what is mine to do and the perfect steps to take. I call it being in the God Zone – that state of flow when things just fall into place because I’ve removed resistance to the way Good is showing up in my experience. Truth is revealed (as my understanding) when I stop trying to figure it out, because in my “figuring out” I’m likely over complicating.
This might seem a bit esoteric, so let me illustrate with a real world example.
Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
A great example of not leaning unto my own understanding is the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, whose virulent anti-gay campaign I personally found repugnant. My best friend is gay, as are many of my dearest friends, so their rhetoric was anathema to me. Their malicious protests at military funerals, without any concern for grieving families, were beyond the pale.
If I had relied on my “own understanding” as it related to this group, I would have ranted about their beliefs and tactics. Instead, I remembered – if I’m honest, some days more successfully than others – that God/Good is all there is. I had no earthly idea why things had to look the way they did. And if there’s no duality – no devil to oppose God, no bad or evil to oppose Good – then their tactics were Good the best way that I could see it. I know that might sound a bit crazy, and stay with me for a moment.
I came across an interesting article a few years back following the death of their founder, Fred Phelps, Sr. In a nutshell, there are those who argued that Phelps and his group actually ended up helping the gay rights cause.
“The world lost someone who did a whole lot more for the LGBT community than we realize or understand,” said Cathy Renna, a longtime consultant to LGBT groups. “He has brought along allies who are horrified by the hate. So his legacy will be exactly the opposite of what he dreamed.” (Source: AP)
As I read this article, I remember thinking it was tangible evidence of Proverbs 3:5-6. The way it looked at the time of all of their demonstrations at military funerals wasn’t the Reality that was coming into view. Something was clearly going on beneath the surface that I had not previously opened my awareness to.
It took me many years to recognize and acknowledge the gift within this experience. If I had not come across the article, I likely would never have been aware of the perspective that Fred Phelps Sr.’s actual legacy was so different from what I would have expected. Remembering that always makes me wonder about all of the other things that triggered me in the past and what unacknowledged Good was in those experiences.
It Really Is All Good
Whatever is showing up in your world that’s troubling you is really just an invitation to broaden your understanding of Good, of what it means to be whole, perfect and complete. This is where not leaning on your own understanding is so important.
When the so-called negatives happen in the world – from wars, to school shootings, to disease outbreaks and more – I often have to remind myself not to lean on my own (personal) understanding. I have no earthly idea why things need to look the way they look. And if it’s all God, it’s literally all Good, regardless of how things look or whether I understand why – the Westboro Baptist Church’s activities, and ultimate impact, being a perfect case in point.
That can obviously be a tough pill to swallow when I’m mired in duality, believing in an evil or bad that’s opposed to Good.
The Trap of Your Beliefs
We experience Life, and then run that experience through the filter of our beliefs, opinions, biases, and concepts of good/bad, right/wrong, all the stuff that happened to us as kids, etc. And through that filter pops out a label that we attach to the experience. Two people can experience the exact same event together and end up with very different labels for it because of the filters they’re running it through. The current U.S. political climate is a perfect example of this.
Your beliefs about how the world should look make things harder for you, not for anyone else. Believing that 2+2=5 doesn’t change the fact that 2+2=4. The mathematical principle isn’t altered by what I believe about it.
At the end of the day, your unacknowledged Good is the only thing troubling you. It shows up as a “problem” to alert you to the fact that you’re running a belief that has you thinking there is something outside of God’s Allness. The solution always shows up as you acknowledge that there is nothing separate and apart from God/Good. The gift in your problems is the opportunity they provide to revisit your beliefs and adjust your perspective.
Making This Practical
You might be asking “why does any of this matter? Can I really apply any of it to my day-to-day?” My answer is an absolute, unqualified yes!
My invitation to you is this: since God made all that was made, look at everything as God/Good in expression, no matter what it looks like. “Fear not” because you’re never dealing with anything outside of All/God/Good.
Step 1: Acknowledge the Infinity of Good
The Good you fail to acknowledge is the only thing troubling you. It means that in some way, shape or form you’re limiting All because – consciously or unconsciously – you decided to place something outside of it.
Another synonym I frequently use for God is Infinity because it helps me wrap my head around just how expansive and limitless All really is. Infinity excludes nothing. So when you’re navigating a troublesome situation, ask yourself who or what you have placed outside the allness of God? What’s the belief that has you separating whatever the situation is from All Good?
Just be willing to consider that there could be something going on that’s different from the way you’re interpreting it. Is it possible? That’s often enough to create space for a shift in your experience. The key is to stop trying to limit infinity to whatever your beliefs and concepts are about it.
Moment by moment, you’re either rejecting or embracing infinity. You’re always working through your limited sense or viewpoint of the Allness of Good. You don’t have to like how Good is showing up, you just have to acknowledge that it’s the only thing showing up.
One of my favorite quotes from Mary Baker Eddy is “when these things cease to bless they will cease to occur.” So even if I don’t have an immediate sense of the blessing within a given situation, I trust that it’s there. Sometimes it just takes a bit of metaphorical kicking and screaming before I get to that point!
This is always a great reminder for me whenever I start to spin about things that seem to be going on in the world around me – whether Presidential tweets, disease outbreaks, natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars – you name it.
Step 2: Remember That Good Can Never Be Absent
If I start to spin and can’t get back to center, I often have to remind myself that I don’t know why it has to look the way it does and just acknowledge with absolute certainty that God is All there is. I don’t need to fix whatever it is that has me spinning, which often is my go-to response.
If I’m inspired to action, I’ll take that action – not because I believe that God/Good is absent and I must do something to bring about Good that’s gone MIA. I just have to acknowledge that Good can never be absent, and this – whatever is showing up in my experience that has me off-kilter – is the best way that I can see it in the moment.
Eventually I get to a place where I realize that whatever is showing up in my world is an invitation to expand my sense of all Good, whether I like it or not.
Step 3: Quit Trying to “Fix It” – It’s Not Broken!
I’ve found that the only reason I can ever have for being resistant to any experience is a belief that there is more than one thing going on, that something exists separate and apart from the Allness of Good.
It may not look that way initially. I might have very sound arguments about why something “out there” is bad or someone is wrong. And when I finally get to the root of whatever it is that’s troubling me, I always find that there’s an underlying belief that Good needs to look a certain way or else it’s absent from a situation.
The only nemesis in my experience – ever – is a belief that something or someone can exist outside of the Allness of Good. It doesn’t matter the situation. The end result is always the same – it doesn’t feel good because I’ve cut myself off from a piece of who I really am. I’m ignoring some aspect of my wholeness. The only thing that ever needs to be “fixed” is my point of view – my beliefs, opinions, concepts about something, anything, “broken out there.”
I can only ever be a victim of my own limited understanding of the things that I’ve placed outside the Allness of Good. It’s as if they’re knocking at the door of my awareness demanding to be recognized as what they really are – expressions of the infinity of Good the best way that I can see them through the filters of my beliefs, opinions, and concepts about good.
I wish I could say that I always get this all very quickly, apply it to every area of my life and notice an instant transformation. And the reality is that limiting belief systems (aka B.S.) can become so engrained that it’s sometimes tough to recognize that they’re the filter that I’m experiencing life through.
Here’s the key thing I’ve realized…I don’t need to take action to try to “fix” my beliefs. The only requirement is to acknowledge that no matter what is appearing, God/Good is presencing, regardless of the beliefs I may have about whatever it is. I don’t need to blame myself for holding “false” or limiting beliefs. I don’t need to drop one belief and adopt another. In the acknowledgment that God/Good is the only thing presencing, I create space, so to speak, for new insights to come into my awareness. It’s not Sumaiya the personality changing her beliefs; it’s Truth revealing Itself more clearly as my awareness.
Step 4: Take Dominion
You cause your own problems when you try to rein in infinity, to keep it from its infinite expression by saying it’s only good if it looks a certain way. I’ve found that the more I am resisting something, the more I’m stuck, consciously or unconsciously, believing there is more than One thing going on, that there is something outside of the Allness of Good.
I’ve learned that we collect experiences that are, in fact, clues to the belief systems we’re carrying around. Whenever I’m trying to fix or get rid of something, it’s a sure sign I’m believing there is something other than God/Good going on. That’s not to say that I don’t take action if that’s what I feel impelled to do. I just have to be aware if the impetus to do something is coming from a desire to fix something that’s broken (i.e., not acknowledging God/Good as the source and condition of whatever it is) or if it’s really an intuitive knowing of what is mine to do.
Whenever you’re troubled by something/someone, you’ve placed whatever it is outside the all of All. As you come to recognize that and begin consciously to acknowledge that there’s only One thing going on – no matter what it looks like and no matter how you feel about it – you create space for a shift to occur. Maybe you’ll notice a change in the situation immediately and maybe you won’t. And regardless, it remains Good. Just be open to the blessing that’s seeking to emerge in your experience.
What you resist, persists. Not as a punishment, not because you’re “bad” or doing something “wrong.” It persists as an invitation – a knock on the door – to remind you who you really are. The only way to move beyond whatever it is is to stop resisting, to recognize that there’s nothing outside of the allness of Good. You don’t have to like how it looks. Just let it look the way it looks, without resistance, without wanting the way it looks to be different. In that conscious recognition, you create space for a shift to occur.
Take These Ideas Out for a Spin
Pick one challenge that you’re navigating. Try looking at it using the ideas presented here. Be willing to try it for just one week. You don’t have to tell anyone this is what you’re doing. You just have to be willing to give up your opinions about what things should look like and be open to an expanded sense of Good.
One tool I came up with recently when working through something that was troubling is this – “oh Good, here’s another way for me to experience my infinitude!” It not only makes me laugh, it’s a good reminder that the way a situation looks isn’t really what it is.
Give it a try and let me know about your experience in the comments below or via the contact form.
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