My sister sent me this, and it speaks to me profoundly. I think it’s a good way to end 2020 and bring in 2021. I hope it speaks to you, too.
When Einstein gave lectures at numerous US universities, the recurring question that students asked him was, “Do you believe in God?”
He always answered, “I believe in the God of Spinoza.”
God Would Say
“Quit praying and beating yourself in the chest! What I want you to do is go out into the world to take pleasure in your life.
“I want you to enjoy, to sing, have fun, and be blessed with everything I have done for you.
Stop going to these dreary temples, dark and cold, that you built yourself, and you say they are my home.
“My house is in the mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, beaches. That is where I live and here I express my love for you.
“Quit blaming me for your miserable life, I never said there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner, or that your sexuality is a bad thing.
“Sex is a gift you were given and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So do not blame me for everything that you were made to believe.
“Quit reading these supposed sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you cannot read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the eyes of your friends, in the eyes of your son . . . you will not find me in any book!
“Trust me and stop asking me for things. Are you going to tell me how to do my job?
Do not be scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you or get angry or upset, or seek to punish you. I am pure love.
“Stop asking me for forgiveness, there is nothing to forgive. If I created you . . . I was the one who filled you with passions and limitations, with pleasure, feelings, needs, inconsistencies . . . with free will! How can I blame you if you respond to something that I gave you? How I can punish you for being you, if I am the one who made you? Do you think that I could create a place to burn all of my misbehaved children, for the rest of eternity? What kind of God could do that?
“Forget about any kind of commandments, or any laws, these are tricks to manipulate, to control you, they only create guilt in you. Respect your fellow man and do not do what you would not want to be done to you. All I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that you let your awareness be your guide.
“My dear, this life is not a test, or a step on the road, or an essay or a prelude to paradise. This life is all that is, here and now and it is all you need.
“I have made you absolutely free, no reward or punishment, no sins or virtues, no one has a marker, and no one is keeping track.
“You are absolutely free to create in your life a heaven or a hell.
“I cannot tell you if there is something after this life, but I can give you some advice: Live as if there was not. As if this was your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist.
Therefore, if there is nothing after, then you have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you.
And if there is something after, rest assured that I will not ask you if you behaved well or badly, I will ask, “Did you like it?”. . . Did you have fun? . . . What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn? . . .
“Stop believing in me, to believe is to assume, guess, imagine. I do not want you to believe in me, I want you to feel me in you. I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when embracing your little girl, when you pet your dog, when you bathe in the sea.
Stop praising me! What kind of egotistical God do you think I am?
“It bores me to be praised, I am sick of you thanking me. Are you grateful? Prove it by taking care of yourself, of your health, your relationships, the world. Do you feel awed? Express your joy! That is the way to praise me.
“Stop complicating things and repeating what you learned about it like a parrot. The only certainty is that you are here, you are alive, that this world is full of wonders. What do you need more miracles for? Why so many explanations?
“Do not look for me outside, you will not find me. Look for me inside . . . I am there, shining on you.”
Baruch de Spinoza ~ Dutch Jewish philosopher. (1632 -1677)