There is no doubt that Tebow is a phenomenon who can seemingly bend the course of events to create impossible outcomes in football games on a fairly consistent basis. This post attempts to explain the forces at work which allow for this pattern of miracle finishes to take place.I recently finished a 28 day spiritual deepening course at Oneness University in India. I left the day after the regular season loss to New England, and maintained silence, did not use my cell phone or check the Internet during the course. I did, however, obsess about my beloved Denver Broncos. After a few days, it occurred to me that I could use this to my advantage. I started seeing Tim Tebow as a model to apply the spiritual principles I was learning. Now that I'm home, I'd like to share my findings with readers here.
This analysis breaks down the x's and o's of Tebow's off-field religious practices in an attempt to explain how these translate into the on-field miracles we've seen time and again this season. As crazy as this thesis sounds, there is a spiritual tradition in India, with many sacred texts dating back 5 or 10 thousand years, that describe the process for receiving miracles in simple how-to terms.
Caveat 1: This article is not advocating any Religion, or encouraging anyone to practice or not practice any kind of faith. I'm only trying to explain the nuts and bolts of what goes into making the half dozen miracle finishes we witnessed this season take place. The point of view being taken is spiritual, since what is being discussed is miracles.
Caveat 2: Though the discussion of religion is banned on this web site, it is impossible to separate Tebow from his faith and religious practices. Forgetting about what Tebow obviously considers the most important part of his life makes any serious discussion of him a sham. Even when Tebow was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he was pictured "Tebowing" (kneeling on one knee in prayer). Their photo captured the essence of who he is. I ask the moderators to allow me to do the same in words. Please read the article through and consider this caveat before deciding to remove this post.
Caveat 3: If your religious practice requires you to condemn others who walk a different spiritual path, please do yourself a favor and stop reading this post. Please don't flame me in the comments below. Instead, consider praying for my blasphemous soul to be closer to the Divine. We'll both be happier :)
Everyday the Deepening Course would start off by describing several miracles. Nearly all had photographic or video proof. The point being made was that miracles happen frequently, and anyone with a connection to the Divine will see them in their life everyday. Such a person would describe these miracles as the Divine hand in action, rather than try to explain them away as lucky coincidences or freak accidents. I believe this pretty much desribes what happens around Tebow during games and how he sees events unfold. Some observers are simply dumbstruck, and others look for rational explanations--such as an improved defense or a lucky on-sides kick--to descibe what's happened in many Broncos games, I'm calling it as I see it. We've witnessed miracles. Please consider the Broncos whole season. They were 4-12 last year and started this season 1-4 this year. After started Tebow at QB they ended up going to the playoffs and beating Pittsburg, who had a much better record, in yet another overtime victory. And of course, how they eeked out most of their wins defies explanation. That's why I call them miracles.
The Oneness Deepening Course teaches that miracles happen regularly to people who develop a strong bond to the Divine. This has certainly been the case for me. Two or three miracles are happening to me each day. Out of the blue, people keep showing up and offering me what I'm needing at that time. I've also had a few sizable amounts of money drop on my lap when I prayed for financial help. Here is a photo of the Oneness Temple I shot at Sunset from about half a kilometer away. Notice the light being flying above it. Please download the photo and blow it up to see the amazing colors and detail captured. You can say what you will, but having experienced these phenomena taking place around me, I really can't look at Tebow's exploits as anything other than miracles.
The whole first week of the course focused on developing a bond with the Divine. The Guide's teaching the course were very clear, that we should be testing the Divine to deliver specific, concrete results in answer to our prayers. The results we get are indication of how strong our bond is with the Divine. And when the results are not what we're praying for, we are being given the opportunity contemplate what aspects of our character impede the Divine from blessing us with the fulfillment of our desires. A few days into the course, I realized that Tebow has a very strong bond with the Divine, and this was at the root of all his miraculous comebacks.
The explanation given was that the Divine has infinite love for each of us. If we make the Divine our best friend, it can't help but give us what we ask for. Consider your best friend. If you call up asking for help, you get it. Even if it's difficult or inconvenient, your best friend doesn't question you, he helps you. Now imagine if your best friend has the power of God (because it is God). The help you'd get would be limitless, able to overcome any obstacle. When one achieves the state of having all their wishes instantly taken care of by God, they are said to be "God Realized." I have no doubt that Tebow has achieved a large degree of God-Realization, which is why he can often experience the hand of the Divine turning sure losses into the most unlikely ways of winning.
Oneness explained that the Source is formless, literally only consciousness, existence, bliss. Because this makes it difficult for humans to relate to it, the Divine shows up on the planet from time to time taking different forms that people in different cultures can relate to. Yes, there is only one God that I'm talking about here. But the analogy given in class was the same actor playing different roles in different movies. Some of these roles are Christ, Allah and Budda in the movies that were played out in the cultures and time periods these avatars of the same actor (God) appeared in. But even these forms aren't the most intimate way the Divine relates to humanity. The ultimate connection to the Divine is through the "Antaryamin." This is Sancrit for the God that lives within--the "in dweller." In the Bible, this concept is mentioned when Christ says his body is a temple and God dwells in his heart.
Because the inner relationship one has with the Divine is personal, each Antaryamin is unique. On a planet with 7 billion people, there are 7 billion forms their in-dwelling God will take. Jesus clearly spoke of God as his father. His relationship to the Divine was expressed in a father/son manner. What about Tim Tebow? When asked why he always starts interviews by praising the His Lord and savior Jesus Christ, Tebow replied that a husband does not just tell his wife that he loves her on their wedding day, he tells her he loves her everyday.
I think Tebow's answer is an indication for the kind of relationship he has with the Divine. His Antaryamin is Jesus, and Tebow is married to him. His relationship to the Divine is that of a life partner to whom he is wed. And given that Tebow is not dating and probably celibate, all his attention and energy is focused on this relationship.
Some Indian spiritual practices teach that practicing celibacy raises kundalini (life force energy). There are plenty of quicker, easier ways to raise one's kundalini, celibacy isn't required to do it. Oneness teaches that if you forget kundalini, you can forget spirituality. Without even realizing it, Tebow may be amping up his connection to the Divine by his lifestyle. And this may be providing fuel to create those wacky miracle finishes we've enjoyed.
So what does Tebow do to strengthen his relation to the Divine? During the Bhakti Yoga (Devotion Class) lessons, I recognized 3 practices Tebow embodies to express his love for and deepen his bond to Christ.
1) Praising with speech. Tebow starts off every interview by thanking his "Lord and savior Jesus Christ." Before he says anything else, Tebow speaks words of praise to his Divine. Praising Jesus comes first and is part of every public conversation he has.
The reason why praise works to build a strong bond with the Divine can be seen in the following example. Imagine a new neighbor moves in and drops by your house. The neighbor starts complimenting your decor, telling you how wonderful your taste is. The next day the neighbor drops by and you offer him a cup of coffee. While drinking it the neighbor starts gushing over how you make really good coffee, some of the finest he's ever tasted. The next day you offer to play some music while you chat, and your neighbor compliments your taste in music. After several more days of dropping by and telling you how great you are, your neighbor doesn't come to visit. What will you do? I'd head over to his house to get my daily dose of praise. I'd start seeking him out and offering help if he needed it.
For the Divine to relate to humans, it must adopt human characteristics. Humans don't have the ability to relate to the Divine in its full form. It would be like asking your cat to sit at the table and use a knife and fork when it eats. This is why saints and mystics speak of the Divine as an awesome mystery that is unknowable. Through his constant praise, Tebow has built such a strong relationship with the Divine that he knows his "Friend" is always with him, seeking him out even when he's occupied by focusing on a football game. Because of this, I believe Tebow is confident that a game is never out of reach. In my observation, his play certainly reflects it.
2) Praising with song. During the "Mic'ed Up" program that aired after the Chicago game, Tebow was shown singing "Our God is an awesome God" while throwing pre-game warm ups. He didn't care what his teammates might be thinking, or that he was terribly off-key. He had a smile on his face while he was singing praise to God. And he did this while doing his "normal" activities. This suggests to me that Tebow's connection to the Divine is constantly on.
Sri Bhagavan is the avatar that founded Oneness University. During a darshan with him he discussed how approaching the Divine like a child at play really strengthens one's bond. He talked about children who shoot marbles with God being an example of what adults who want to be closer to the Divine can emulate. When I think back to that clip of Tebow singing, it seems obvious to me that Tebow was playing catch with God! And like a child, he was full of bliss doing it.
3) Seva (Serving the Divine). This aspect of devotion calls for serving the Divine like you are a slave, literally doing anything it asks without question. Yes, it's a two-way street when you have a strong bond with the Divine. You just don't talk to God. God talks to you!
Remember the game where, after an ill timed fumble, Tebow told Woodyard that God told him it would be OK? This demonstrates that Tebow both talks to and hears back from his Divine. And as he was told, it was OK. The Broncos won that game with another amazing finish. As I mentioned earlier, I was instructed to put my Antaryamin to the test. This is done to ensure that what we're hearing isn't just our mind talking, and to build trust. Be seeing the Divine pass the test over and over again, doubt begins to fade and the bond grows stronger. In this example, Tebow's Antaryamin clearly passed the test. His Divine told him what would happen and then delivered the goods.
Other ways of doing seva are serving those who are spiritual, like saints and sages, or serving those those of ill fortune who need help. Tebow builds hospitals for children in poor countries. And he's not just doing this for show. Remember his press conference after the Jets game? When asked how incredible it felt pulling out that win, Tebow said it felt good, but not as good as building a children's hospital in the Philippines.
When Peter King Interviewed him for a Sports Illustrated article, he was asked if the coaches or management said anything special to him during the week that inspired him. Tebow said the coaches said a lot of nice things to him, but the conversation he remembers most was talking to a small boy in Florida who had leukemia. He hoped that child would be inspired by getting a shout out in the national press. Tebow is very sincere in the seva he performs. The fate of hurting children matters to him more than press accolades or fantastic football feats.
This kind of service gives a tremendous boost to your karma. We were taught that when you plant a mango seed, it does not grow into just one Mango, the tree yells thousands of mangos when it matures. Karma is fun because it's transferable. My good service in one area can, in a sense, be cashed-in in another area through the direction of prayer. And since service to the Divine is the most powerful way to earn good karma, Tebow's seva gives him lots of extra to spare for influencing football games. Remember the San Diego game where the Chargers missed the field goal at the end of the game which allowed Denver to win? When asked if he prayed that the Chargers miss that kick, Tebow grinned and said "sort of." Tebow's Divine knows Tebow loves winning football games, and apparently is very happy giving Tebow opportunities to enjoy experiencing what he loves.
Another section of the Bhakti Yoga course covered the conditions that keep people from being God-Realized. Two I found pertinent were the "craving for significance" and "lack of humility." People naturally crave significance. If you don't believe me, try spending a day like I did during the course contemplating all the motives behind every action you take. You'll soon realize it plays a part in everything you do. It has to, as its a condition of being human.
In my case, I'm not just writing this post for the joy of sharing and to inspire its readers. I want you to like me when you read it. I want you to think I'm smart and clever. I want people to say I'm on the path to God-Realization. Have no doubt, I crave significance.
When Tebow was miced up for the Houston game last year, he screamed at the coaches that nobody should touch the ball except him. HE was going to score. I thought this was actually a very good thing for becoming closer to God. The Divine relates best to people who are authentic. What's tricky to understand is that as one presents oneself to the Divine with integrity, the Divine expands one's consciousness. And in this higher state of consciousness, the expression of selfish qualities naturally occur in ways that are not hurtful to others.
The key to this kind of transformation is helplessness. Being sincerely helpless creates a state of surrender that allows for the Divine hand to do what needs to be done. Consider Tebow's first start this season at Miami. Being down 15 points with 5 minutes to play is a ripe example of helpless situation. Many people say that game was won because of the lucky recovery of an on-sides kick. But a person who has a bond with the Divine would see the hand of God at work setting up that kick recovery. By holding this frame of view, a person then "experiences" God's action personally and his or her bond to the Divine grows stronger. This in turn expands a person's consciousness and transforms the human conditions that separate us from the Divine.
The process works the same way with the lack of humility condition. Without being in Tebow's head, it's impossible to tell if he truly is humble or if his humility is a show designed to feed his craving for significance by acting humble so that everyone will notice what a humble guy he is. I'm choosing to believe his humility is sincere, mostly because his teammates buy it. During many interviews, teammates have said that what you see is what you get with Tebow. Their comments lead me to believe that he's not faking his humility. Tebow answers every question about good plays he makes by saying things like he has great teammates, or the coaches are doing so well. Virtually every time Tebow talks about him own play, it's to say something like how he has to work harder, or to shoulder the blame for a loss by putting it on himself.
All through the season and in this off season, when Elway and the coaches would not commit to Tebow being the starter next year, Tebow never complained. Instead he complimented Elway and the coaches for being wise in their decisions, and said to the press that it motivates him to work harder. And even when Urlacher dissed him by telling the press that Tebow was a great running back, not a great quarterback, Tebow responded by saying that's a compliment coming from player as great as Urlacher.
Now compare how Tebow talks about his performance with any of the diva wide receivers in the league. I think you'll clearly see how Tebow is in a state of consciousness that's expanded enough to be humble. I think all the points cited above explain why Tebow was able to be so serene during the Chicago game. When coach McCoy was yelling at him about why does it always have to be this way (falling behind and then an amazing comeback), Tebow calmly replied "don't worry coach, we'll figure it out."
By now you may be wondering why Tebow hasn't figured it out. You may be thinking, wait a minute, if Tebow has such a strong bond with the Divine and enjoys the miracles that come with it, then why can't he just bring the Broncos out to an early lead and crush opponents?
During the 28 day Deepening process I pondered this question and came to the point of view that Tebow's problem is belief. During Prayer Class, it was explained that belief can hinder prayers from being answered. The example given in class was believing that there was no solution possible for the situation being prayed about would prevent the Divine from solving the problem. We were instructed that if we doubted our In-dwelling God was strong enough to solve a problem, then we needed a new In-dwelling God. We were told that we should pray for a personal Divine who was like a bulldozer and could break through our doubt as well as the situation at hand.
The Chicago game is pretty clear evidence that Tebow's Antaryamin (In-dwelling God) is strong enough to influence the other team's actions--seeing the poor Chicago running back stupidly go out of bounds to leave time on the clock and allow Denver to tie the game was freaky enough. But then watching him fumble in overtime when Chicago was in scoring position was over the top. These were powerful miracles. They were so strong in fact that all the Tebow doubters in the mass media who had spent months bad-mouthing Tebow started their mea culpas after that game. This suggests that Tebow does believe his God can do the impossible. His God is strong enough to cause other players to make unexplainable errors, and to soften the hearts of even the most hateful media analysts.
So what's the belief holding Tebow back? I'm guessing Tebow believes he has to struggle in order to overcome obstacles. Take a look at his life and a pretty clear pattern emerges. No one thought he could play quarterback in high school, but he fought hard and proved them wrong. Then at the college level the story was repeated. Then again the same story plays out in the pros. Recurring patterns don't just happen in life by accident. They are gifts from the Divine. The are presented to us in order to create opportunities to heal stored traumas and negative thought patterns, i.e., bad karma.
The mirror of life does not lie. It's a pretty safe bet to say Tebow believes he has to struggle if he is going to eventually succeed. During the Karma Class, we learned that most of the issues people face in life are reflections of the relationships we had with our parents. People struggling to overcome obstacles usually have an unresolved relationship issue with their mother. We were taught that much karma is imprinted during a phase Oneness calls "the 4 baskets." These are:
1. from the moment our parents conceive up until about 2 months in the womb;
2. from 3 months in the womb until just befor labor begins;
3. labor; and
4. from birth until the first six hours after being born.
It's well known that there were medical complications while Tebow was in his mother's womb. These were so sever that doctors counseled abortion. Tebow's mother opted to proceed with the pregnancy, relying on faith in her Divine to get her and the baby through it safely. This had to be a very emotional time filled with mental anguish as well as physical trauma on Tebow's developing body.
I don't really know what patterns were imprinted into Tebow's baskets. Only Tebow's subconscious mind and his Divine have this knowledge. I'm just guessing that the pattern in Tebow's life and in his pro games that he has to struggle before he can succeed may be related to his body's gestation itself being a struggle that had to be overcome.
The good news is that once a person is aware of karma, it can be healed. All Tebow has to do is ask his Divine to take him back to the root causes, experience them fully, and then allow the Divine to imprint a new, more auspicious karma while his consciousness is expanded. I'm not well versed in Christianity, but I believe it has a similar process called praying for redemption.
I know all this stuff sounds crazy and most people will doubt it. In fact, given the level of consciousness that permeates the American culture, most people can't help but to disbelieve it. However, beliefs are nothing more than mental patterns we've replayed in our heads time and time and time again. Experiencing something is quite different. Anything fully experienced turns to bliss and expands consciousness. So before flaming me in the discussion thread for talking about the 4 baskets so matter of factly, please check to see if you are talking from belief or from experience. With the help of my Divine, I've visited and healed many traumatic imprints in my karma. Several life long doubts and insecurities have been relieved. When I speak of the 4 baskets, I'm speaking from my experience of them.
Because I'm such a die-hard Broncos fan, I regularly pray that Tebow becomes aware of his karma pattern and asks his Divine to heal it. Tebow's bond with his God is so strong that I'm sure the moment he asks for it, the healing process will begin. Watch out NFL! Once he heals this pattern, the Broncos will become juggernauts.
Given what I've learned at Oneness University, I'm really excited about the future for the Broncos. One day in Prayer class, a student asked what happens when two people pray for oppsite things. The guide told us that the strongest prayer wins, and cited the historic win India had against Burma in the cricket world championship a few years ago. This was when I realized just how powerful a secret weapon Tebow's faith is. Because his bond with the Divine is through the roof, I doubt if there's another team in the league that can match Denver on the prayer front!
We were also taught that collective prayers are stronger. This makes Tebow's team leadership an even more potent weapon. His teammates have come to believe that if they can keep a game close, they'll find a way to win it. So even though they may have very weak bonds with their Antaryamins, or may be out right atheists, they are still providing fuel to fire the collective prayer by thinking the Broncos are going to win. When it comes down to it, prayer is nothing more than holding a thought about the future. What makes it powerful is the intensity of the emotion fueling it and the bond the person thinking it has with the Divine.
As the rest of the team bought into the belief that they're going to win, they started winning more and more comeback games because the collective prayer became stronger and stronger. Recall Champ and other defenders telling the press they knew that if they could keep games close, the Broncos would find a way to win. This, I believe, is an example of collective prayer in action. Both players of faith and non-religious players started believing the same thing was going to happen in games. Players like Tebow who have strong connections with the Divine just add rocket fuel to the mix. And sure enough, it happened more and more.
This same effect will continue to grow as fans buy into this belief. Though many people doubt the power of prayer, it's scientifically proven. We just call it "home field advantage" to keep our skeptical minds happy. Though rationalists may try to explain home field advantage away in scientific terms, they avoid mentioning that the home team has thousands of people in physical proximity focusing on a favorable outcome. Basically, they're praying a collective prayer that translates to about 3 extra points for the home team.
At Oneness I was taught this formula:
Intent + Effort + Grace = Success
Most NFL teams leave grace out of the equation. Tim Tebow most certainly puts it in, as well as his effort. He is known for being the first player on the field at practices and the last to leave. This is a big reason why a 1 - 4 team became a playoff caliber 7 - 4 team when Tebow took over playing quarterback. I believe it explains why Denver was suddenly able to beat more talented opponents.
I hope this post does not ruffle too many feathers. I wanted to share a perspective not often looked at when analyzing football players. I mean no offense to anyone or their belief system, and I hope you receive this article in the spirit in which it's offered.
In closing, let me say that Tebow may be playing a feature role in the Awakening drama unfolding on the planet right now. Even the most jaded people can see that consciousness is growing in leaps and bounds across the globe. Dictatorships are being toppled in mostly peaceful protests and unfair economic systems are collapsing under the weight of their own corruption. To a casual observer, Tebow may be nothing more than a nice Christian boy having a blast playing the game he loves. To my eye, Tebow is an avatar of God-Realization for a nation of sports fans who are disconnected from the Divine. He's demonstrating how to bond with the Divine and receive miracles so we can learn for ourselves how to create these blessings.
It snowed where I live just after the Chicago game. A friend told me she was worried because her truck can't make it up the driveway when its icy. Then she remembered watching the miracle finish to the Chicago game with her boyfriend, and she thought to herself, what would Tebow do? So she made up a rhyme on the spot invoking God, asking to be like Tebow, and be able to drive up the driveway. She chanted in a sing-song voice with a laugh "Tebow, Tebow, Jesus Christ. Help me out of this ice!" She told me she was amazed as the truck went up the driveway with no problem at all!
My friend isn't a football fan, she just watches a game or two each season to bond with her man. And she isn't a Christian and doesn't have any connection to Christ. When she prays it is to her Goddess and Nature. Despite this, she was affected by the Tebow phenomenon and received a miracle by following his example. As exciting as he makes watching Broncos games, Tebow's greater service to humanity may be him demonstrating to millions of us that miracles are an everyday thing that can happen to anyone who understands the process of bonding with the Divine and then allowing Divine grace to bless them and their endeavors.