The one Source of everything

There is but one Source of everything and we have countless names for It and a whole host of prophets, many of whom claim to be the sole authority to speak for that which cannot be named. As the Tao Te Ching puts it in its opening lines, “the name that can be named is not the eternal Name.”

With these words, I invite you to join me in exploration of that which appeared some 2500 years ago in the mind of a legendary figure in China known as Lao Tzu. Very little is known about him, even his name. However, these words open up rich realms of the mind, just as Abraham’s mind sensed the oneness of the nameless Source in a burning bush some 4000 years ago. And many others have explored the path of the singular nature–the oneness–of that Source, which I chose to call by a more traditional and conventional name that has a profoundly disturbing effect on some for reasons that I hope will become clear. For the sake of all those offended by the old and judgmental name, I feel comfortable with using “Source” for that which is truly nameless and indescribable.

As I explore my long-standing interest in our history, I see that we humans have tried for thousands of years to explain our existence. It is a fascinating story of a rich evolution in our minds. In 1990, when I came across Albert Einstein’s appreciation that every point in the universe is at the exact center of its universe, I felt a certain joyful relief at finding a way of understanding my appreciation, “G-d is Love,” with which I had been raised in a 50–50 Christian Science–Anglican family.

I should mention that in my early childhood years my Christian Scientist paternal grandmother used to read me Scripture every Sunday morning during the summer months when we lived with her, and when I was very young she read me Genesis 3, the story of our fall from grace by stealing from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, this same woman was the source of the image that “G-d is love”. As the young me was practical and literal… unable to see the symbolism of this legend, I saw that the one loving Source would never punish its children with banishment and the threat of death.

When my Anglican mother tried to get me interested in her church, I could not agree with some of its fundamental beliefs because they went counter to my perception that the Source was loving and non-judgmental. That non-dual perception has never diminished. Rather, it has been supported and reinforced through 20+ years of the active practice of general surgery with a reputation as “the doctor who listens”. An early patient asked for permission to tell me an important story about herself because she was mentally preparing herself for her pending operation. I agreed, sat down, got quiet inside, and listened peacefully as she told me about how she had been sexually assaulted in her family of origin. I don’t know how or why I was able to listen quietly and peacefully, but I could and did, and when she was done she simply thanked me for listening and added that she felt ready for the operation. She was… she sailed through it.

I had a persistent non-dual concern challenging me since childhood… how can good and evil coexist in the Source? Unable to find any meaningful answer to the question, I let it float in my consciousness until about twenty-five years ago when a very good friend who was working hard to bring both our technical and college prep high schools together into one combined high school told me about dying of a heart attack and going out of body through a total darkness to a space of incredible beauty and perfect love. There he sensed that he was to go back and bring his goal to fruition. He returned to his body and recovered from the heart attack. He created our local Combined High School and was a member of its executive for several years before having a second heart attack that ended this life.

I listened to his wondrous and wonderful story with an open mind, but I was not able to incorporate it into my own way of seeing things until a few years later when I read Doctor Raymond Moody’s 1988 book about out-of-body, near-death experiences, Life after Life. Almost coincidentally, that led me to Kenneth Ring’s 1986 book, Heading toward Omega, that expanded my experience with Moody’s work.

Coincidentally, my life had set the ground on which I convened the first H.O.P.E. Group meeting in February, 1987. In those meetings, which commonly involved people experiencing serious challenges from cancer,  several participants told us about their own NDE’s. This led me to read Betty Eadie’s 1992 book, Embraced by the Light , followed fairly shortly by Dannion Brinkley’s 1994 book, Saved by the Light. Both contained virtually identical stories to the one told me by my educator friend who had come back from the other side and integrated the two high schools.

It was during these years that I read Einstein’s perception of the nature of the universe. I also heard Joseph Campbell tell Bill Moyers that the 12th century French theologian, Alain de Lille, said, “G-d is an intelligible sphere (a sphere known to the mind [Campbell]) whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” Campbell said that de Lille accredited the third century Corpus Hermeticum with the source for his perception of “G-d”. As I listened to Campbell, I felt a deep-seated sense of comfort and release because I have always sensed that there was but one Source of everything, and it was, to me, the center of the entire universe… it was, indeed, the entire Universe… nameless in its incredible beauty and love.

I did nothing with this remarkable story about that which can not be named until I met the Reverend Peter Panagore who told me about his experience of dying of hypothermia in a winter mountain climb when he was twenty. He went into the darkness where he performed a complete life review before going all the way through the darkness, and finding a sense of being present to the complete, beautiful, and loving Universe. He felt that he had returned to his true Home. Here, he “heard” a voice that he called “G-d” tell him he was dead. He knew that he was, and “G-d” asked him if there was anything he needed to go back for. He sensed that he had to go back and spare his mother the devastating experience of losing a second child. (An older sister had abandoned the family when she was in her teens; nearly destroying their mother). He found himself back in his physical body with the resources to be able to finish his descent with his climbing partner, who would also have died had Peter not come back.

When I read Nanci L Danison’s 2007 book, Backwards: Turning to the Source for Answers, I was delighted to find one human’s direct contemporary experience of the singularity that goes by thousands of names and has informed a host of enlightened human beings we call prophets. Nanci, a successful lawyer in a large Midwestern law firm, was to have a biopsy procedure in the local hospital and had been pre-medicated so that she could be comfortable during the operation. Suddenly she found herself sweeping out of her body and expanding into the room, expanding into the hospital, expanding, expanding, expanding, and then crossing over into a darkness that was totally beautiful and filled with love. There, she performed a critical life review and passed on into color and light that were indescribable, and a presence of love so powerful and deep as to be almost unbelievable. She realized that she had become a “Light Being”. She saw that she was in the presence of countless groups of other Light Beings, all seemingly involved in working on what she called “projects”. She came to appreciate that “Light Being” was synonymous with “Soul”, and that one’s soul incarnated in a “human animal” body for a meaningful journey in the physical realm of the Source.

She saw this entire experience as having a spiritual vibration that kept increasing in frequency, the highest of which was Source, Itself. She realized that she and Source were one, and that Source was not only the source of everything, It was everything. She realized that she wasn’t intended to die. She formed a thought that said in essence, “I have to go back and tell others what I have learned.” At that point she found herself reincarnating in her human animal body in the hospital. Danison’s direct experience of reality says that all of the lethal arguments that have developed out of the teachings of the prophets are illusions; for there is only one non-dual, creative, life-focused Source for all of the prophets and their teachings.

Everything, she says, is the product of the “Divine Imagination”. When I read those words in her book, I was delighted to have heard them first from John O’Donohue, the famed Irish priest, poet, and author, who gained his fame from his delightful and rich 1998 book, Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom. I had read it in the year after its publication, enjoying it immensely. When he recorded a series of three lectures called Wisdom of the Celtic World for Sounds True Recordings, Boulder, CO (www.soundstrue.com) I bought the delightful set, the second one of which was The Divine Imagination (!) Its Sounds True description reads well, and it has its own place in this blog:

“Too often we remain distanced from what is truly sacred—the world around us and the divine imagination that created it. Here John O’Donohue immerses us in the greatest miracle of Celtic spirituality, namely its tradition of experiencing the divine as a lyrical, tender, creative force not visible, but always present in all things.”

When Peter Panagore died and went through the process of going into the light and the beauty, he called that “Heaven”. Over the last 40 years he has gone through a deep personal struggle with wanting to go “Home” that he describes in his 2015 Hampton Roads book, Heaven is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death Is Just the Beginning. Peter and Nanci and many others who have had this experience of going beyond a veil of illusion to reality realized that they could not tell their stories because others would not and could not believe them. I have read Nanci’s book, and I know Peter and five others personally,  all of whom have had these virtually identical experiences of the way that cannot be named.

Having said all this, I encourage all who read this blog to explore how it all can be the product of a single infinite and eternal divine imagination. I now challenge all of humanity to stop our violent quarreling over what we  call “religion”; acknowledge and respect their great mutual values; and come together in peace to help that which is nameless be, as the Tao Te Ching says, “eternally real”.

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Dean Taylor January 19, 2016, 1:04 pm

    This is truth as best I can feel…it feels right and the stories abound.We come here with an agreement that is lost somehow and we search for our place,our meaning.I think this is what the review is about.Thank you Ken for these words.This needs to be Known.

  • Kat January 19, 2016, 1:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, Ken. Your years of research, listening and collecting pieces of heaven through your deep connection with others has enriched us all. With my work as a medium, I have heard stories of this from the “other side” and have felt that emmense Love that holds us all, all of the time, and is what we are all made of. Our illusion is that we are not worthy, or have filled our soul with splinters that prevent us from feeling and sharing it. Our heaven becomes something to aspire to, to reach for but that Great God love is available to create our Heavenly life here, while we walk in these bodies. I have felt the presence of angels that watch over and guide us, waiting for us to request their help. This is what I have learned from Spirit.
    I appreciate your call for peace in the world and my true belief is that it does lie in each one of us, that our responsibility is to figure out what splinters we carry and why and extract them one by one to let the love of our God-self emerge and then we can see it more clearly in each other.
    I love the stories of those who have returned from this place. I do think that veil between our realities is an illusion and our thinking minds have a hard time quantifying the idea of it all.
    God loves us as we are… Can we love each other and ourselves in this way? As we die, releasing the body and become part of the formless love of God, we realize that all we ever have been made of is this love. How beautiful to walk in this world knowing that and share that with others.
    This is my vision for peace in the world….lets have a big bonfire of all of those splinters and dance around them together.
    Hope to see you soon and thank you for all that you do. ❤️

  • Louise Damon January 19, 2016, 1:53 pm

    I still carry a story you told, about 20 years ago, with me. Now, this has left me so moved I have no words for this comment box– at this time. Thank you.

  • Alexandra Corwin January 19, 2016, 10:14 pm

    Having also read several books detailing experiences “on the other side” it was nice to be reminded of the comfort they bring. Thank you, Ken, for sharing this.

  • Mark Presser February 19, 2016, 5:27 am

    Simply,
    Thank You for sharing.

  • Rosemarie Sullivan Osborn February 20, 2016, 2:49 pm

    Dr. Ken,
    The progression of your understanding mirrors mine, though you have a more facile mind than mine… if that’s the right word. All the books you mentioned are on the bookshelf or nestled in the recesses of memory, except the O’Donohue. Bookstore or Amazon here I come!
    Have you done any reading/research with Dr. Michael Newton’s work? Books about his life between life regressions were life changers for me. I have had past life regressions through my work in mediumship development, but these that take a person to their after earth life experience AND their decisions about coming back in another incarnation pushed the envelope. So, of course I devoured all the books, had two LBL sessions, found a Newton therapist in Maine, and now still live in the question, but more at peace with flashes of the “eternally real.”
    http://newtoninstitute.org/

    • Ken Hamilton February 20, 2016, 5:07 pm

      Thanks for your kindness, Rosemarie. I greatly appreciate life experiences such as yours. They fill out my appreciation of Reality. I was not familiar with the work of Doctor Newton until now. I’ve been to the website, and will spend more time with his experiences.
      If you go looking for O’Donohue, there are several of his works available only in audio editions… if you like the Connemara accent, his is delicious. Explore the Sounds True link as you wish.There is a print book of his that I have yet to read, and want to read: Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace I want to see if he says anything more about The Divine Imagination there that would complement his audio piece that I love, Wisdom from the Celtic World. It includes his 90 minute “lecture” on that Divine Imagination. (I’m going to call the library and ask them to find me a copy of the book.) When I was in Ireland back a few years, I became acquainted with the belief that there were places, usually oak groves, where these Celts could experience a “thinning of the veil” that separates the material realm from the spirit realm. I sense that there’s a lot of veil-thinning going on these days and love exploring the question, “How come?”
      Blessing thoughts come…

  • Elaine G. McGillicuddy February 24, 2016, 8:46 pm

    Dear Ken,
    I resonate with so much you express here! And you yourself can understand why. Your presence to my dying husband not quite six and a half years ago freed him to sing, and to be at peace as he approached (He called it) – his “transition.” I’m forever grateful for this gift. It’s a gift that came to us because you were keenly attuned to Spirit. Deep bow of loving gratitude, Elaine

    • Ken Hamilton February 27, 2016, 9:49 pm

      Deep bow in return, Elaine. I consider it a great honor to have met you and your fine husband under these circumstances. Hearing his song sung with you was truly wonderful. Namaste, Ken

  • Susan Casey February 28, 2016, 12:10 am

    Ken,
    What a great post!! Please read Michael Newton’s books. Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls. I’ve read so many books over the years about life on the other side and his work is truly remarkable. Sending you so much love and gratitude that you’re putting this out in the world. I hope you are doing wonderfully. Xo

  • Bill Wentworth February 28, 2016, 3:05 am

    Ken thank you for asking me to share my story. I have been to the other side and came back I am in better health now then I was nine years ago Why because I found God he is within me God is within all of us We can all heal ourselves it is our thoughts on how we feel about ourselves that creates our life path Know thyself and you can Master anything that you want with a clear mind feel the power within you and you will become the Master of yourself Thank You Bill

    • Ken Hamilton February 28, 2016, 5:27 pm

      Now I know personally seven souls who’ve known that they were with God when they went to the other side. I have been present to you for about all of those years, if not more, and I can testify to your transformation,Bill. I didn’t know until now how it came to pass/… deep gratitude, old friend.

      • Bill Wentworth February 29, 2016, 12:15 am

        Thanks Ken always good to hear from you your a good friend

  • Peter Panagore February 28, 2016, 2:00 pm

    ‘Tao Te Ching puts it in its opening lines, “the name that can be named is not the eternal Name.”’ This is true and it is the same in the Jewish Scriptures where the name Christians translate as Yahweh actually has no vowels. In Hebrew it is written as YHWH–the unpronouncable name of God. Thank you for mentioning my book, Ken.

    • Ken Hamilton February 28, 2016, 5:38 pm

      And I thank you; you do write and speak with such peace and straightforwardness, Peter.

  • Charlie Diviney February 29, 2016, 1:03 am

    Thank you for this gift, Ken, and the countless gifts that those who have gotten to know and cherish you have received over these past years. May you be well ! Charlie

    • Ken Hamilton March 9, 2016, 1:46 pm

      And I thank you, Charlie, for the fine times we’ve shared.

  • Amy Kustra Barksdale March 3, 2016, 1:33 am

    Dear Ken, Thank you so much for this beautiful piece which has provoked such reflection in me. You have inspired me to try to be more aware of God’s presence in every moment of my life. And how lovely for me to be raising two children right now who are always asking questions about what/who God is. I just read Oliver Sacks book of essays “Gratitude.” He reflects repeatedly in his last essay on the Sabbath and how in not using electricity, not driving, having certain prayers and predictable rituals, it was so meaningful to him; it provided him with ‘a stopped world, a time outside of time’, a ‘rest.’ I think slowing down in this very psychically congested, hectic world, can help us all feel God’s presence in everything and the overflowing love that abounds. Thanks again Ken – you are a true light.

  • barbara bartels March 4, 2016, 2:44 pm

    Read Answer to Job by Carl Jung and Waiting for God by Simone Weil. thank you for your blog!

    • Ken Hamilton March 8, 2016, 1:12 pm

      Thank you. Will do, but they’re “in line” with three other books

    • Ken Hamilton March 9, 2016, 1:57 am

      I just bought the two as Kindles. Enjoying the prospects, thanks.

  • Karin March 4, 2016, 3:54 pm

    YES there is only one God – ONE SOURCE – ONE POWER – who guides you and uplifts you and comforts you and heals you – ONE GLORY – ONE LOVING GOD.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and book sources… Karin.

  • Peppy Mocko March 4, 2016, 8:38 pm

    tanx for the ” reset ”
    I heard Dr. Raymond Moody talk at A.R.E. in Virginian Beach
    That was a great revelation .

    • Ken Hamilton March 9, 2016, 1:49 pm

      I also had the same experience both times I heard him talk.

  • Dr. Carolyn Berghuis March 8, 2016, 12:56 pm

    Beautifully written Ken, I appreciate what you have shared. I invite you to read Exodus 3:1-15, Revelation 22:12-14, John 14:1-7, John 17:3, Isaiah 44:6, John 10: 14-18 and 25-30, and perhaps the From Teilhard to Omega by Ilia Delio or The Divine Milieu by Teilhard de Chardin. I believe you will find something that we are all seeking.

    • Ken Hamilton March 8, 2016, 1:29 pm

      Thank you Dr. Carolyn. I’ll check out those biblical references you’ve given me. I agree we’ve been seeking for a long time. I know that I’ve been consciously “seeking” for not quite 80 years! In my work, I wait for the signs of that “seeking” and reflect them back to the seeker, mindful of Douglas Van Steere’s “On Listening To Another” in which he describes “holy listening” as that which “listens a soul into life”… and that “may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.”

      • Ken Hamilton March 8, 2016, 5:20 pm

        Carolyn, thank you for those references. I’m familiar with both the biblical references and the work of Père Teilhard. I find comfortable resonance with all. Right now, I am studying the work of the Franciscan, Fr. Richard Rohr, with which I have a rich resonance. I am taking an on-line course of his called “The Immortal Diamond” based on his book of the same name. I sense a deep hunger in humankind to come to know that we are the living, loving result of a single imagination, for which there are many prophets and a plethora of religions, rather than the atheistic accidental product of random matter, of which consciousness is but an epiphenomenon. Onward! with appreciation of each other as once-told tales in the annals of the Universe, helping It evolve.

  • Jim Liberty March 12, 2016, 7:48 pm

    If we’re part of God we’re all Gods & Godesses were all on the same channel we were just misguided by religion . Collective Consciousness . Don’t know how to explain it other than that.

  • Elaine G. McGillicuddy March 14, 2016, 1:54 am

    I resonate deeply so much there is here – your own reflections and resources, Ken, but even, for example what Amy Kustra Bartsdale herself said above after quoting Oliver Saks: ” . . . having certain prayers and predictable rituals, it was so meaningful to him; it provided him with ‘a stopped world, a time outside of time’, a ‘rest.’…..What Amy said HERE: “I think slowing down in this very psychically congested, hectic world, can help us all feel God’s presence in everything and the overflowing love that abounds. . .. .” – this touches on part of what I mean when I say about myself in the “About the Author” section at the back of my three books, all of whose main titles are “Sing to Me and I Will Hear You,” and it’s this: ” . . . she lives a largely monastic life at home . . . ” Thank you Amy! – And Ken, since you’re the one bringing up for us to ponder – what Francis, my late husband, called “the Great Mystery.”

  • Elaine G. McGillicuddy March 14, 2016, 2:06 am

    PS:
    Ken – In your email, I really like your saying:
    “I now challenge all of humanity to stop our violent quarreling over what we call religions; acknowledge and respect their great mutual values; and come together in peace to help that which is nameless be, as the Tao Te Ching says, “eternally realthese lines:”

    And also, very much – this, in your introductory, email note:

    “start seeing life as participant in a greater being that contains the dark that we might see the light and sense the loving, consciousness that makes Creation possible.”

    They remind me what Sufis (or at least what one of my Sufi teachers – Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz – pointed out): namely, that whereas the word “God” (taken from the Germanic language – meaning “good”) implies a “bad,” – the Arabic word “Allah” or the allied, semitic Aramaic word “Allaha” points to the ONE. Meaning the dark is part of the light.)

    Elaine

  • Ken Hamilton May 13, 2016, 2:57 pm

    A matter of respect: a participant in a regional workshop I gave on the IChing showed a visceral twitch reaction to the word “God” as I used it in a non-religious context. She brought it up, owning her story of suffering at the hands of a fundamentalist family. I committed myself to using “Source” instead out of respect for her and all who have suffered in a similar way, for which she was grateful.

  • Patricia July 17, 2016, 9:30 pm

    This is such an interesting and inspiring blog, Ken. I see titles of many books I have enjoyed (several times over, actually). I’d like to add additional titles such as “I Am the Word: A Guide to the Consciousness of Man’s Self in a Transitioning Time”, which is the first in a series. My husband and I are starting all over with the first one again until the 5th book comes out. I also would recommend the books of Seth by Jane Roberts and the books of Bartholomew. Though we all travel slightly different pathways, thankfully, we’re all headed toward enlightenment and awareness, and for that I’m hugely grateful! Thanks!

    • Patrica July 18, 2016, 1:38 am

      Thank you, Patricia. Lots of good reading for all.

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