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  • Writer's pictureDerek Carlson

The Only Winning Move Is Not To Play

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

People - well, those speaking English, at least - often say “God is love.”

And I’ve talked to a number of people who have taken drug trips or had transcendental experiences and they have said, “I get it! It’s all spirit. It’s all divine. The good and the bad – it’s just creativity unfolding.”

That manner of speaking: defining God, love, and divine in those terms, just makes no sense to me.

When I look around at the world, the Universe, or even my own mind, it’s a spectrum from horrific to beautiful. And to use the terms God, love, or divine for all of that – that’s nuts.

In fact, let’s try it: God is horror.


I know, right? To me, that just is the epitome of an insane statement.

Let’s define black as white, while we’re at this fool’s errand of a task of making meaningful things meaningless.

Ok. Let’s unpack this a bit more.

First of all, love, in English, is a loaded, adulterated, bastardized word. People in love commit crimes of passion. Love, this good thing, makes you do bad things. Sure, that makes sense. There’s love and in love and agape love and a handful of other types of experiences we call love, many of which contain contradictory elements.

So which love is God supposed to be? Agape love? Oh, then agape love is hell, is that it?

Nuts. Again.

I’ve heard many, many people – perhaps most – say that they think God created this Universe.

I say to them, “Have you looked around? Love created this war, this disease, this famine, these innocent bunny rabbits with blistering skin shrieking while burning to death in a ‘loving, ecosystem rebalancing’ forest fire?”


N.U.T.S.: Notice the Unwillingness to Think Sanely.

(Oh, and while we’re at it, there’s this equally insane prevailing mythology that Mother Nature is wise.)

Nah, God didn’t create any of this. We did. We did it with our fallible minds. Manifestation - quantum creation from the astral realm to the realm of form, at its finest. Highly similar to what we do with our minds when we dream at night – or have nightmares at night. Those last maybe 2 minutes. This universe lasts maybe 20 billion years. Same mental mechanism; the only difference is perceived external agreement, perceived consistency, and perceived duration.

The last paragraph is quite an arrogant statement. And I used to feel really proud and superior when I came to that conclusion and then found it supported in A Course in Miracles.

I was like, “There’s no way a God of love could have created duality. That makes no sense. There is no Universe. We dreamed it up with the power of our imagination, we created duality, and boy do we suck.”

I felt like I had something on the people that thought God created the Universe.

In fact, I even felt like I had something on the mythologies that many new age people subscribe to. It goes something like this: “God got bored, so decided to create this game of spitting Itself up into umpteen quintillion things, each one forgetting it was God, and then going back on a journey quintillions of years long having the “fun” of finding itself again.

Oh yeah, that makes sense. Let’s define God as perfection, unity, perfect love, and then conceive of something happening to “it” that can only happen in dualism – get bored. But by our very definition, the concept of God is mutually exclusive with the concept of dualism.

This is utter nonsense think that people don’t realize when they’re creating these wacky mythologies.

Christians do it, new age people do it, I’m sure most other philosophies, theologies, and mythologies do it – they convolve dualism and non-dualism and don’t even realize they are doing it.

For me, God can’t get bored, so that mythology is out.

For me, God can’t create horror, so that mythology is out.

God ain’t love, God didn’t create any of this we see.

So, where is God? And what am I?

You see, the thing is, we are trying to use dualistic, intellectual concepts to understand something that can’t be understood using the intellectual, conceptual mind. Whatever God is – whatever we truly are – can’t be understood. It can only ultimately be experienced.

From A Course in Miracles:

Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. ⁵A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary.⁶It is this experience toward which the course is directed. ⁷Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends. (ACIM, C-in.2:4-7)

And this thing – God, and us – exists, but not here in the way we conceive of “here”.

But I’m wandering away from my point.

My point was I felt so arrogant that my above reasoning was so much clearer than all of the hogwash most people believe. My thinking actually made sense and did not contain these blatant contradictions to logic, reasoning, and meaning. My thinking didn’t horribly adulterate definitions until each word meant a thing and its opposite, thereby obliterating all hopes at meaning.

But then one day I realized this.

Well if God is perfect, is love, is oneness, and God didn’t create the Universe, but “we” did, then who created us, "us" meaning the invisible minds that are dreaming up this universe of form? (Apparently infinite multiple parallel universes, according to Seth and many other books I've read that all seem to echo this idea, but I digress...)

The only thing I could say at that point was that something created us, and then I had to choose a word for that something: Something, Father, Creator, God, flamboozefluffle…

So something “perfect” created us, and we are a mind that created the clearly, obviously imperfect Universe of form, dualism, and spectrum from seeming hell to good times.

How could a perfect thing create something that could create such imperfection?

Oh damn.

My thinking has the exact same problem of everyone else’s – the same paradox, the same contradiction. I just kicked the obvious contradiction a few more distinctions down the road before I came to it.

My theology makes no more sense than those who think God created the Universe!

Damn. That kind of realization can really ruin your day, knocking you off your arrogant pedestal. By you I mean me.

So what, then?

Well, there is no understandable, intellectually, logically meaningful answer. I give up, not in defeat, but in realization that there is none.

I mean, I’m not the first person to realize this. Gödel’s incompleteness theorem states that there are more truths in a formal system than proofs of truth, and there are more falsehoods in a system than there are proofs of falsehood.

Whatever is going on, real or unreal – however you want to define it or look at it – there’s no logical, understandable explanation, and certainly no proof of that explanation.

From A Course in Miracles:

The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. ²It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. ³The ego may ask, “How did the impossible occur?”, “To what did the impossible happen?”, and may ask this in many forms. ⁴Yet there is no answer; only an experience. ⁵Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you. (ACIM, C-in.4:1-5)

And with that, and with this essay, I formally quit. I formally quit trying to come up with a mythology that makes complete sense. I formally quit arguing with those who think God created the Universe, or that “all is divine,” or however those other mythologies are draped.

Following the guidance from The Course above, there are steps for me to take to work towards an experience of Truth, towards an experience of God, towards an experience of what I truly am, what we truly are.

Many others are following their own “courses” or guidebooks back to God, for there are many different ways to get to the same place.

Again, from A Course in Miracles:

This is a manual for a special curriculum, intended for teachers of a special form of the universal course. ²There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. (ACIM, M-1.4:1-2)

And this brings me to two last thoughts that have hit me this past year.

Remember War Games, with Matthew Broderick?

At the end, the giant WOPPER computer came to this conclusion about the “game” of Global Thermonuclear Destruction (GTD):

What a great metaphor for our seeming choice to believe we are separate from God. This entire dualistic system is just like GTD: God Totally Destroyed. An ego wasteland. One elaborate, unreal, futile attack on oneness.

The only way to realize and have an experience of The Truth is to stop playing the game of creating blocks to the experience of it. Once we stop playing our game, we win by realizing we already won, always have won, and never actually played the game in the first place, despite bazillillions of life forms across bazillillions of universes across bazillillions of years seemingly experiencing the opposite.

It’s like CS Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Once we step back out of the wardrobe, we’ll realize that no time has passed, and nothing that seemingly happened for years and years ever had an effect on reality.

I’m done ranting. I will cede that God created kitties, because I love kitties, and if I’m going to create insane, illogical statements, I’m going to create ones that make me smile.

PS. Did you ever think that consciousness itself is the antichrist? I didn’t, until last week. Then it hit me. The first unreal step away from God – The Fall – was when we believed in choice. By creating choice, we created the ability to choose to see ourselves as separate from God – duality. To be conscious of “the other” is the foundation of duality. Without consciousness, there can be no duality. The antichrist is that which attacks Christ, or God. And that is only possible through consciousness. (Then again, now that I think about it, perhaps choice is the antichrist. Apologies, consciousness, for throwing you under the bus. My bad.)

PPS. Someone did say something the other day that I found interesting. We say "God is love," but that's like taking the divine and bringing it "down" to our level of dualistic concepts of stuff. Why don't we flip that script and elevate love? Love is God. If we're going to make insane statements, I like the latter better.

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