The Good News

Stephen and I were talking about Jesus and the Gospel, which he told me means “the good news.” He asked me what I thought of Jesus’s message. Here is an edited version:

There’s nothing that isn’t good news. The good news is that there is no bad news. I imagine that Jesus saw goodness in all things. He received everything with an open mind and heart, and he realized that every experience is given, every experience is a gift. It’s falling down, it’s getting up, it’s your everyday chores, it’s the smell of fresh strawberries, the smell of garbage, it’s the death of a loved one, it’s your husband falling in love with another woman, it’s everything that happens in your life, whether you believe that it’s good or bad. He saw the apparent bad as good, because he no longer lived in the world of opposites, the world where there is anything powerful enough to override the true nature of everything. He had understood this good news, the nature of things, so deeply that he could live it.

This is another way of saying that Jesus trusted God with all his heart. He called God “Father” not because he imagined God as a human being sitting above the clouds, but because to his mind a father was pure generosity. I don’t think Jesus was a mystic; he didn’t have visions or exotic experiences; he saw and heard and smelled just what you or I see and hear and smell. But he saw it all as good. He knew what the Bible meant when it says that on the sixth day God looked at all of creation and said, “It is very good.”

People usually talk about God as if He were a character in a story. I don’t think that Jesus saw God that way. I think that he saw God with a clear mind, as everything. For me, the word God means “reality.” Reality is God, because it rules. I often say, and I love to repeat this: If you argue with reality, you lose—but only 100 percent of the time.

I can always trust God’s will, and I don’t have to guess what it is. Whatever happens is God’s will. Whether I live or die, whether my husband and children live or die, whether I am rich or poor, sick or well, whether there is war or peace, abundance or famine, sunshine or hurricane or earthquake, that is God’s will, and therefore it’s my will. I’m in love with reality, and reality includes everything: both sides of everything. My arms are open to it all.

The story goes that “God” gave the commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. I don’t know what happened, if anything, on Sinai. But I do know that if God is a character in a story, I have to project all sorts of qualities onto him. If I believe that he is judgmental and punishes disobedience, like a strict father, I have to live in fear. If I believe that he is compassionate and loving, I’ll live in trust—until something apparently bad happens or until things don’t go my way. After the Newtown massacre in 2012, I heard a priest say on television that God was sad because He couldn’t keep it from happening. I can see why people get angry or disappointed at a God like that. But with either version of God—the cruel, judgmental one or the well-meaning, powerless one—people are simply reacting to their own projection.

Even if you project God as all-loving, all-compassionate, and all-forgiving, that God is still too far away for me. He is still separate, and there is no freedom in separation. It has to be closer than that. With anything you love, with anyone you love, you always want to be closer, closer. For me, God means no separation. No separation, physical or mental. When the mind can no longer separate God from reality, we are left in the state of total intimacy. We become one with reality in an entirely new way, and that’s a beautiful thing.

I have spent a lot of time in the desert, apparently lost, and very comfortable in being lost. I’ve spent hours watching insects going about their lives. I’ve watched a bird in a cactus or in the crevice of a hill gathering materials for a nest, with everything supplied for it to do that, an abundance of everything. Its wings carry it wherever it needs to go, and it even has feet to hop on, and it knows its way around, and everything works perfectly in unison for it to get what it needs. Everything the bird has eaten and drunk nourishes its body, and its life is so simple, water and air and earth all working together as the original mother of perfection. That perfection is always going on, everywhere. Other than what you’re believing about it, what else could reality be? What else could you be?

Those insects, those birds, were always acting within their own integrity. They were following God’s simple commandment. No external authority can give you the peace of heart that you feel when you act from your own integrity. And how can there be an external authority? Isn’t that just you, believing what someone else says is true? The truth can only come from within your mind. Ultimately, no matter what someone tells you to think, you’re the one who believes it or not, and responsibility begins and ends in the innocence of believing. Life is a projection of mind, and you’re the projector. You are the authority. You always have been.

I experience reality as something so benevolent, so beautiful, so pure that there is no word for it. I don’t have a problem calling it “God.” It exists wherever I turn my eyes (and even saying “exists” is saying too much). When I first realized this, I was amazed. I was ecstatic, and I still am. God, God, God—that was the song I heard. That is the song I keep singing. There is nothing that doesn’t fit into this kindness, this pure abundance. And who of right mind wouldn’t be devoted to it? It was—is—so obvious. That’s where I found myself—on my knees internally, at its feet, without reservation, unceasingly, awake to what I had realized. God, for me, is the beloved, the goodness and purity of the world. And in my experience, I can’t know God until I know myself.

Stephen tells me that the Hebrew name for God can mean “That which is.” “That which is” is an excellent name for God. God is everything. Everything is good, and when we don’t experience it that way, we suffer. Seeing anything in your life as unacceptable obliterates God’s goodness. But it obliterates it only for you, only for a while. God’s goodness doesn’t change. It is what it is, whatever you think it is, until it’s not. And for this we have inquiry.

If you‘ve enjoyed sitting in on this conversation, let me know, and it can continue.

Loving what is all,

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  1. I am a first time reader and just finding “The Work”

    “God, God, God—that was the song I heard. That is the song I keep singing. There is nothing that doesn’t fit into this kindness, this pure abundance.” I love this line…

    I have access to this same internal spontaneous song which arises when I am aware of my true nature …innocent, unharmed and always safe, always within God. I am never truly broken by life’s illusion only asked to realize the truth; my divine self smiling and in harmony with vast uncaused joy.

    Space so still
    yet swift and sweet
    flows through my mind, slow
    and creeps upon my thoughts
    now encased ……

    The Work must involve a method to stay here in this place of stillness and keep thoughts from harming ourselves? Actually retraining thoughts to stay in the present moment? I’m excited to begin.

  2. I have read a couple of your books and some of Stephen’s, and have been very inspired by both of you, especially in relation to the the topic of this blog. I read your words and they resonate within me, like somehow I recognize these ideas as obviously true. Life makes much more sense to me when I can keep this perspective, ie that God is reality and that it ridiculous to impose some other idea of right or wrong on top of what is happening. I am still working on this and perhaps becoming more calm and peaceful inside, and I thank you much for your help.

  3. I very much enjoyed sitting in on this conversation. I think a whole series of conversations like this – perhaps in book form – would be wonderful. Your reflections on the Tao Te Ching in A Thousand Names for Joy were very illuminating. I suspect your reflections on other aspects of the world’s wisdom traditions would also be very illuminating and enjoyable. Thank you!

  4. I came across the above in a moment of alarm about my current situation where things really don’t seem to be going right, where I am feeling isolated by weird events happening on a spiritual level. Reading your passage has just given me a “reality check”; God is constant. It is Reality, as you say. Thank you so much for this perspective that at once provides the real peace we are meant to experience.

  5. Thank you for the conversation, I have felt as you speak “God is reality”, and sometimes I cannot see this and I have some confusion realizing this with the idea all form is impermanent, maya, illusion. Do you see through the illusion? Is it instantaneous?
    if I put any trust in what is impermanent I suffer because my conditioning is irrational and it happens before “I” the knower can inquire. The conditioning seems to be a bottomless pit and so how can I be done with it and perceive reality as God, non-stop?

  6. thank you for all katie.
    If I search an answer, somewhere in your videos, letters, broadcasts I can find it.It comes, when it is time for it. For example this one, because longtime I understood the christianity as making
    feel guilty and in contrary to the tao dividing the world in black and white or
    good and bad or dark and light. the lovely way you explain jesus gives me a peaceful way with my “traditional religion”.Sorry for my english as a German.
    Stay longtime alive for all of us!!!
    Love from Kati from Bavaria, Germany

  7. 4years ago I had a suicide attempt. After that I got into the work. In the beginning it went fine. And I almost became a New Age teacher myself. But then the spiritual torment got worse and worse. And after some time, demons began to manifest in a very Real way to the point where I saw and felt a demon so Real that there was no doubt. I then found out it was a spirit of witchcraft. And I also had black cats crawling all over me in the spirit realm. Sounds maybe crazy, but I can assure you it was real. Next to me was a book with The Work. And then it became clear to me, that this is witchcraft. And that these teachings are demonic. I now know that God is really a Consuming fire. He will judge everyone according to their works. And he is a perfect just God that doesn’t tolerate evil, sin and witchcraft. I put my hope in New Age, because I had rejected the Gospel. But Jesus is going to win, there is just no way around it. Those who reject the Gospel is lost and will burn.

    1. SO very glad you came to your senses! Be encouraged that I’m praying for the Lord to continue to fill you with wisdom and peace as you rest in the redemptive power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This work stuff is nothing but mysticism re-branded and you are very wise to stay far away!

  8. Dear katie ,

    I do not where to email you so I just drop in here to thank you for the work in this comment here.

    The work have bring me out of my confusion thought of not believing in myself. I would like to payback by sharing my story.
    I went into a confusion state where I believe in the thought that i had I lost my kindness and was disconnected with Tao. I went into deep depression. The deep hurting feeling of lost n despair caught into a deep downward spiral where I could find nothing to hold on. It was a total lost feeling and I do not know what is happening to me and could not find the solution to walk out of it. It was god will to let me came a cross a phrase of yours n I start Google your name n found the work. See all your video n came to reliase that my believe in the thought has got me stuck. Once I let go of the believe of I have lost my kindness n I m disconnected with Tao. Instantly I get back my kindness n i m connected, reliazing that By default I m kind n has always been connected. Thankyou so much. Amazing grace !! Muah …. Thankyou for being here! 🙂

  9. Thank you for sharing your way with us. The Work is a fabulous practise. Each time I do it I feel clearer. Your conversations are inspirational. Your generosity is a blessing. Thank you. Jennie

  10. This was my Easter reading yesterday. It was perfect. Thank you for articulating what is so obvious when it is, and so elusive when I believe my thoughts. It really is that simple…

  11. Katie,
    Through the clarity of your language you hold such an important key for our understanding. Your realization and its expression are a treasure beyond all treasures. Please continue to gift us your wisdom and love as long as you are here in this form. They will sustain this planet for a long time to come.

  12. Hugs and kisses from Croatia. I love the Work, I was recently faced with divorce with my wife. The more I fought it the harder it become. Then i decided to change the narrative, started with Judith Orloff – emotional freedom, then Gerad Kite – Everything you need you have, Hesse – Siddhartha, Mark Manson – Subtle art***, after that Sarah Knight, John C Parkin… And eventually my left-help phase encountered our dear Katie. I don’t know which of the books helped me the most, it was a process of absorbing a lot of new things, all i know when i felt complete and it was after applying theWork on myself. Now i read for pure pleasure and to apply Work on any new thought i might learn from new books. And one thing I’m absolutely sure about, my kids love my new me…

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