One hears mystics speak of a divinity all around us that is within our grasp, a kingdom of joy that would make our lives meaningful and beautiful and rich if we could only discover it.  All mystics —Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists— no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion—are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. It’s love and it warrants your thanks.

But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.  Reality is there; God is there. It’s all there. But we’re like the poor little fish in the ocean that says, “Excuse me, I’m looking for the ocean. Can you tell me where I can find it?” That’s most of us. Pathetic, isn’t it? If we would just open our eyes and see, then we would understand that all is well.  But we’re not seeing reality. It’s like a stage magician who hypnotizes someone so that the person sees what is not there and does not see what is there. Jesus was talking horse sense to lay people, to starving people, to poor people. He was telling them the good news: the Kingdom of God is right here, right now, yours for the taking. But who listens? No one’s interested, they’d rather be asleep.

Love is there; it’s forever shining everywhere on everything, on the good and bad alike. Love makes rainfall on saints and sinners alike.  Is it possible for the rose to say, “I will give my fragrance to the good people who smell me, but I will withhold it from the bad”? Or is it possible for the lamp to say, “I will give my light to the good people in this room, but I will withhold it from the evil people”? Or can a tree say, “I’ll give my shade to the good people who rest under me, but I will withhold it from the bad”? These are images of what love is about.

This truth has been there all along, staring us in the face, it’s there in the scriptures, though we never cared to see it because we were so drowned in what our culture calls love, which is its stupid love songs and stupid poems—that isn’t love at all, that’s the opposite of love. That’s desire and control and possessiveness. That’s manipulation, and fear, and anxiety—that’s not love.

We say, “I refuse to be happy until this or that happens in my world, or this or that changes in my world.” I have good news for you:  You can be happy right now, with nothing changing. Do you want even better news? Right now you have everything you need to be in bliss. Love is there right now. To feel it, simply shift your focus from what you don’t have to what do have right now, and you will taste bliss. You will find yourself in a new world.