It's timely that I went to Death Valley with my wife and middle son last week, the week before Christmas, because in Death Valley you can see the view from the level of time above us, in which our eras are nanoseconds, our lives picoseconds, flashing by unseen while the Funeral and Black mountains crash and grind on the dying surface of our troubled planet.
The prophets of religions offer windows, too, into this level of time. When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son for a greater cause, some big picture, that big picture is the one where the life and death of our planet is itself over in a flash, agony and ecstasy combined and neutralized. When Jesus said, "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted," he was thinking in geologic time, where all human lives will have equalled-out, become smooth and difficult to remember. So too when Mohammed wrote, "The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr," he meant that the martyr acts only in the present, where emotions rule, while the scholar ponders the long view, in which the sum of human endeavor is a momentary, hopefully at times corrective static in space-time.
My grandmother told me when I was eight years old that Jews do not accept Jesus as divine, that Jesus was a very good Jewish man, but he was not a god or the son of God. This is how cultures are formed. My parents were secular and did not assert doctrinal ideas (other than the doctrine of withheld belief), but all it took to set my young world-view was one remark from my grandmother, while at that same moment, all around the world, millions of other children were undergoing doctrinal instruction.
Fast-forward forty years and I'm standing in a Catholic church in Oaxaca, Mexico, looking above the altar at a crucifix with a striking aura. My family was up the street. No one else was in the church. The crucifix became a window into stretched-out time. I saw the human race diminish in stature and relevance, as it does in Jewish stretched-out time, but then my grandmother's spirit came and said, "It looks the same, but God doesn't want you to look through that window. Because He has the long-view, and sees things we can't, He wants, for some reason, for people to be separated. He does not want a communal, Jungian consciousness. People should be divided now, seeking definition through differences."
I wondered if I could tolerate this news. And now, Christmas morning, 2015, when the world is being led into religious war, I'm ready to channel my grandmother and ask if the message is still the same. I'll be right back.
I'm back. I channeled my grandmother and she said that all the world's traditional cultures and religions are about to be re-written by a secular, scientific corporate state, and by others outside that mold, and a sense of this process is causing people to cling to their familiar memes, even go to war over them. She said the re-definition will at times be traumatic, but that God is not looking for apocalypse per se, that He will accept freethinking, the perception of sameness, if it doesn't interfere with the process of re-definition.
Given the alternatives, this news from my grandmother was probably the best Christmas present I could have received. Happy holidays!