Worshipping idols is a very popular pasttime that should be avoided at all costs.
What are they? What’s wrong with worshipping them? What’s the alternative?
They are what Christian thinkers call the “anti-Christ.” Whereas Christ is supposed to be the means to eternal salvation, fulfillment, and freedom, the anti-Christ is only a means to the endless slavery of always seeking more.
It’s the difference between gods and God.
Idols (gods) are mind-generated forms that are mistakenly thought to be real means for acquiring more.
Recall everything that comes and goes. Recall the moon and the tides. Recall the sun and the clouds. Recall the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Recall the greening of the earth in spring and the colors of the fall. Recall the rise and fall of empires. Recall the birth and death of humans and all the other creatures. Recall the waxing and waning of fame and fortune.
All that comes and goes, all that is temporal, is of BECOMING rather than of changeless Being.
Idols are gods, denizens of Becoming rather than of Being.
They are always somewhere else. They are always out there to be sought or gained. They are such stuff as dreams are made of. They are objectives, aims, and goals to be achieved.
Gods are never right here right now. They are neither immediate nor within.
Gods are reality’s substitutes. However, they seem to be real and are not recognized as unrealities.
They may be valued bodies or places or situations or circumstances. They may be owned or desired. They may be demanded or achieved.
Their purpose is to supply our lacks by giving us value that we do not have.
Or, rather, that is their purpose for anyone who still believes in gods. To believe in godss is to be enslaved by littleness and to be awash in loss.
To believe in them is to believe that we must seek beyond our little selves for the strength to withstand the suffering of the world.
Grasping at gods is an attempt to overcome the world’s misery.
Each god is a means to obtaining more gods.
The trick is not to think about idols but to immerse yourself in acquiring them. As long as you are working hard gaining more and more, you’ll think your life has a worldly purpose and remain, though dissatisfied, hopeful that gaining just a little more will finally bring you peace. Isn’t that how most people live?
Those who are slaves to gods are willing slaves. They enslave themselves.
A Course in Miracles compares idols to the dreams of children. “Nightmares are childish dreams. The toys have turned against the child who thought he made them real . . . he thinks the thoughts are real.”
The willing slaves who worship gods are like dreamers who think their thoughts are real. As long as they continue to judge that they are real, they will continue to dream, to worship gods.
As soon as they let go of judging, they will awaken to realize they have been dreaming.
Idols, though mistakenly perceived as real forms, are nothing but thoughts. They are not entities; they are nonentities. They are nothing more than mental formations considered in abstraction from the mind that created them.
They are not necessary. They are merely limits.
There is no need to look elsewhere or outside for eternal peace, which is available right here right now. Wasting life chasing gods distracts us from our true calling.
There is no need to wish for more. Everything is available right here right now.
Do you fear anything?
“Whenever you feel fear in any form . . . be sure you made an idol, and believe it will betray you” (from A Course in Miracles).
What you fear is always something temporal. There is nothing eternal to fear. Gods are a symptom of confusing the temporal with the eternal.
Is it really the idol you desire? Is it really the idolatrous form that you covet? No.
Is there really just one piece of your life missing? Hardly.
You want Being, unlimited wholeness, but forget that Being has no form!
Since you are Being and since it’s impossible to desire what you already are or have, it’s impossible to want Being.
Wanting idols is a trick of the egoic mind. To sustain itself, it encourages you to think that little pieces of Becoming are satisfactory substitutes for Being. Of course they are not!
There is no satisfactory substitute for Being. How could what is limitless be limited?
Sometimes you are aware of thoughts and sometimes you are not. Gods are nothing but deceptive thoughts created by the mind to fill the void between yourself and Being.
What void between yourself and Being? The emptiness or loneliness you feel? Emotions, too, are tricks of the mind. (See my How To Survive College Emotionally.)
If you are Being, there is no separation between you and Being.
Thinking or feeling that such a separation is real is willing enslavement to the mind.
To realize that, just let all idols go. Drop them all. Completely.
Nothing else is required. In other words, substitute no-thought for thought. Substitute awareness for incessant conceptualizing.
The only way to live well? Yes.