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Resisting Enlightenment

Posted by Roberta Grimes • October 09, 2016 • 33 Comments
Afterlife Research, Human Nature, Understanding Reality

gandhiThe reason why all of humankind is not already  certain that our minds are eternal rests on two inconvenient facts:

  • Each of us cultivates a worldview upon which we build a personal identity. So to be asked past the age of maybe forty to take our worldview down to base and accept a different understanding of the truth is the equivalent of being asked at midlife to assume a new identity. It is embarrassing and frightening.
  • We have to make a living. And usually our career choices spring from identities based on our cultivated worldviews. So to adopt any big new idea at midlife can mean losing the ability to provide for our families.

As a result, the leaders in every field will mightily resist new foundational ideas. They cling to old certainties with everything that’s in them.

I have a lot of sympathy for today’s leaders in mainstream science and Hourglassmainstream Christianity. They have built good careers based in erroneous views of reality and of God respectively, but they had no part in creating those views. They received them early in life, and since the truth was not available to them they built their identities and their careers on what amounted to outright lies. They are victims, just as you and I are victims.

Unfortunately, though, in continuing to cling to old fallacious certainties, these scientific and Christian leaders are doing the world incalculable harm. They won’t look at the evidence for a greater reality, and they refuse to wonder about anything beyond the edges of whatever ideas they find comfortable. While this reluctance of theirs to disrupt their long-held assumptions is understandable, it also is the greatest obstacle that you and I face as we attempt to arrest humanity’s slide into barbarism and we struggle to build a more humane world. Let’s look at just two examples of people who are fighting the truth out of a simple fear of venturing beyond their own erroneous understandings.

In the scientific field, Susan Blackmore bills herself as a parapsychologist and a Rising Deathskeptic. She claims to have begun her career as a believer in the paranormal, and then to have conducted experiments that convinced her that all claims of phenomena that might suggest that consciousness can exist apart from the body were only wishful thinking, self-deception, experimental error and, occasionally, fraud. I became a skeptic.” I remember her early career somewhat differently. In the eighties and nineties I was reading debunker literature as part of my research, and Susan Blackmore was a prominent member of that dishonorable clan. If memory serves, she spun people in a centrifuge and found that before they blacked out they might experience a narrowing of vision and spots of light that could be something like the tunnel ending in a light seen by some NDE-ers. She concluded that therefore all NDEs were the product of stressed or dying brains. She didn’t open-mindedly investigate psi phenomena. Instead, she looked for ways to explain some small aspect of each phenomenon so she could declare the whole thing to be bogus. And her claim to be a former believer whose experiments have proven psi phenomena to be false has given her a great career! At this point, questioning her own assumptions is the last thing she is prepared to do. Here is the text of an email that Susan Blackmore wrote to afterlife researcher Michael Roll on September 25, 2016, reprinted with his permission:

“Dear Michael, How many times do I have to tell you that I do not believe Man With Head in Sandthat Crookes and Lodge discovered evidence for life after death. I may be wrong, and I could be proved wrong, but as the evidence stands I am very far from convinced. In addition, everything I have learnt since about the nature of self and everything I have learnt from my 30 years of meditation all lead to the same conclusion – that selves are ephemeral constructions made by brains and when those brains die so does the self. So of course I am not going to try to promote Crookes’ and Lodge’s work. Also I do not think it has ever been suppressed. It is just not good enough to convince scientists and so they ignore it. If they turn out to be wrong and you are right then things will change but I personally doubt this will happen. Sorry – but that’s it as far as I am concerned. with best wishes, Sue”

Now in her sixties, she is not about to turn her skepticism toward her own beliefs!

In the Christian field we face not just erroneous beliefs that feel hallowed after having been passed down for two thousand years, but also a superstitious fear of God that is the antithesis of anything spiritual. If you attempt to point out the flaws of Christianity – they are abundantly explored in other posts on this site – then you are a heretic, un-chosen, and damned. This example is from an email sent by a prominent televangelist, abbreviated for length:

Jesus on the Cross“It is ONLY faith in Jesus Christ that saves you because it was Jesus Christ who God sent to die for your sins! He was God’s perfect sacrifice to give fallen man a way back into everlasting fellowship with Him. So if you accept THAT, then you have to accept the ENTIRE BIBLE as God’s inspired, inerrant Word. It can’t be only part right! The reason is God cannot lie. The Bible is an all or nothing proposition, it is either ALL true, or NONE of it is true… Does this mean your Jewish friend who is a “good person” but never accepts Jesus is going to hell? YES! Does this mean that the family member you love but rejects Christ is going to hell? YES! Does this mean those kind people you work with that embrace Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or some other false religion are going to hell? YES!”

 And Jesus weeps.

If we hope to open the minds of scientists and religionists who resist any Max Planck Bustopen-minded search for the truth, we first must understand why they fight so hard to avoid considering fresh ideas. Their livelihoods, their prestige, and their very sense of self depend on keeping everything new at bay! As Max Planck said almost sixty years ago, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

A couple of generations of scientists have come and gone since Dr. Planck made that observation. Cracks in the materialist wall that mainstream scientific gatekeepers long ago erected are beginning to appear, but slowly. And where religion is concerned, the fact that attitudes like the one quoted above have emptied churches is beginning to open some minds. The process of enlightenment is agonizingly slow, but it is beginning to accelerate. As Rene Descartes said four hundred years ago, “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” His advice is more essential now than it ever was!

Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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33 thoughts on “Resisting Enlightenment

  1. Roberta, all well said. I regard Blackmore as a fraud, as she actively ignores the wealth of evidence for consciousness existing without a functioning brain. For those without familiarity with the research literature, this presentation by Dr. Greyson will be instructive ( https://youtu.be/en-3Bz1RMig?t=31 ).

    Not only do humans have a consciousness (soul, spirit) that exists whether or not brain is functioning, but it has been created by the super consciousness which we may term God.

    Now, why does God permit or tolerate ignorance of God’s creation, to include our being an eternal consciousness formed as a part of God’s creation? I infer that this ignorance is generally consistent with the reason that God sends us to Earth for its harsh, dog eat dog, life. Our regular home, where God is known directly by our consciousness, simply lacks the sources of stress that may induce appreciation of God’s creation and our existence. The ignorance of God’s true nature found in formal religions and science serves the creation of cultural and emotional stress in life here on Earth.

    However, God has provided glimpses of our true nature thru the NDE and other occasions for Out of Body Experience in which God and Heaven have been glimpsed. Well, why do we get glimpses? Because without them, the conditions of life here may become too harsh, such as we see in war, and extreme medical problems. It is said that God gives us what we need here for spiritual growth. In other words, our individual experience in life here is custom tailored, and more than one life is tasked for essential learning and spiritual development.

    1. Hello Jack! As always, you and I are in agreement. Thank you for sharing Dr. Greyson’s wisdom here!

      I think you’re right in saying that ignorance of what really is going on is an essential part of the package that we carry when we enter an earth-lifetime. If we knew that the world around us isn’t real and that our minds really are eternal, would we take any of this seriously enough to actually grow spiritually from our experiences? And if we had no adversity here, then again, spiritual growth would be impossible. It all has been efficiently designed for our learning, and apparently it has worked for millennia, but those we used to think were dead tell us now that the system has worked so well in keeping us from knowing the truth that too many of us have use our free will – which is another part of our essential earth-package – to choose fear and other emotions which are at the opposite end of the consciousness scale from the higher-vibration emotions (primarily love) that we are supposed to be learning here. So they have staged an intervention to raise the consciousness of people on earth, apparently already underway. This is such an interesting time to be alive, when for the first time in history it is possible to begin to really glimpse what is going on!

    1. Thank you for commenting, Laureen! I feel as you do, that finding the truths that always have underlain our superstitious and fear-based views of the world feels wonderful!

  2. I guess I’ve always been an outlier. My entire worldview started coming into focus around the age of 40. From the ages of 40-54 it changed more than it did in the previous 40 years. And in the last year, it has changed nearly as much as it did in the previous 15.

    1. We are here to learn and to grow spiritually, Brian! So long as that is the kind of change you’re talking about, then that is a very good thing.

      (I would ask you what you thought of the debate last night, but I won’t. I didn’t even watch it ;-).)

  3. Susan Blackmore had an out of body experience after attending what she called a “dorm party” in college. She rose through the ceiling and looked down on the roof which she says looked gray. Since the roof was really green, she determined that the OBE she had was bogus. As the years went by, many people had similar experiences and in many cases, the scenery had subtle differences just like she said. However, it could be that colors sometimes look “different” when one is in their astral body. In any event, she refused to believe they had some type of reality. As far as the tv evangelist is concerned, he claims that everyone of a different faith apart from fundamentalist Christianity will burn in hell. I know a Buddhist who drives fellow Buddhists to doctor’s appointments if needed and helps with fundraisers for the needy. Is he truly going to burn in hell? He doesn;t reject Jesus but doesn’t believe in the fundamentalist interpretation, so now he is doomed?? That would make God an egocentric maniac who demands worship at every turn and has no interest in what you do for your fellow human beings.. Even if there is no God, his interpretation makes absolutely no sense. It’s hard to believe that the evangelist actually feels that way and never considers that books as old as the bible that have been tampered with and translated over so many years most likely do not have their true words any more, especially since most of it instills so much fear – this was deliberate in order to scare the masses to exert control. No better way to control the masses has ever been found than to do it by fear.

    1. Thank you, Lola – All words of wisdom! And yes, research has shown that things can look different during an OBE. But as has been pointed out by Jack Hiller here and in the scholarly article about her work that I linked, Susan Blackmore is, at best, a slipshod and lazy researcher who gets away with it because she is saying what her tribe is eager to hear.

      The televangelist is another story. I agree with you that it’s hard to believe that he means the monstrous things he says, but I have been hearing from him for years and it seems that he actually does believe it all. To him God is just that petty and monstrous and Jesus is only a sacrifice.

      Of late his contributions have fallen off considerably. He has been begging and complaining for months. Then today for the first time he said that “something big is happening” in the “heavenlies” regarding his ministry. “God is up to something!!” Reading that gave me an urge to tell him that maybe God is suggesting he stop preaching hateful and fearful dogmas and start sharing the teachings of Jesus on forgiveness and love. But after he has spent his life insisting that everybody’s Grandma is condemned to hell, I cannot imagine there is any way to enlighten him. Sad.

  4. Dear Roberta,

    Please know that your work is wonderful. When my beloved wife of 44 years died 6 months ago, I thought my life had ended and that there was no way I could bear the pain. Then, and I can’t really recall how, I happened upon you in a YouTube video. Since that day my mind has expanded and I simply cannot get enough of what you are saying! Because of you, I have recently had a miraculous reading with the “Michael Jordan of mediums,” Allison DuBois. And so I just wanted you to know that I believe there is a special place with your name on it in the 7th level of Heaven!!!!!😇

    1. Wow, Bob, what a gift your comment is! Thank you!! Everything that I do is for you, and the joy I feel in doing it is beyond my poor ability to express it. I can especially identify with your situation, since Edward and I also have been married for 44 years. I can imagine that with the density of relationship of such a long marriage you really do need ways to keep in touch, and you look forward with joy to what is going to be a glorious reunion! If I can help you in any way, Bob, please let me know. If you would like PDFs of any of my books, please contact me through this website. Meanwhile, I’m sending you a hug!

  5. So Ms. Blackmore wrote the truth! “…that selves are ephemeral constructions made by brains and when those brains die so does the self. ” Self is indeed a construct of the human brain. Brain is chemically and electrically “set” by the soulforceenergy (just go with that one for a moment) to create a being that will absorb experience/energy of a human life pattern from before birth through death and into the afterlife. Self is the vulnerable agar in a specially-created Petri Dish Soul that opens itself for molecules, particles and waves to effect. The agar then holds the item that affected it as well as the energy that affected it and when the petri dish is as “full” as it can get, it returns itself to the Main Laboratory, gets evaluated under a microscope and other analysis tools, it probably gets archived and the Petri Dish Soul gets washed out and prepared with new agar for another trip into the tiny Earth Laboratory. Ms. Blackmore addresses only the agar, not the Petri Dish. And as for her own agar, she does not realize that the Petri Dish her soul is made of gets itchy and knows that it is going to be washed and recycled. (Excuse me while I now take off and hang up my lab coat–my Petri Dish agar is about to receive a dose of Dark Matter and then, it’s Game On!)

        1. And I love your efforts too, dear Mary! All of us are laborers in the same vineyard. Thank you for sharing that wonderful Dean Radin video; I hope everyone will watch it. Sending you a big hug!

  6. 2 sides to the fence – then why do we sit in the middle? you will eventually have to move on -one side or the other, who is right or who is wrong – can there be 2 sides to the story? why did some nde ers experience Hell per say and others experienced the Light and Heaven–confusing eh??? 2 sides of the fence. are they both right ?

    1. Hello Danny! Actually, neither mainstream science nor mainstream religion is right about what is going on. Fortunately, though, there is abundant and consistent evidence of what reality actually is and how it works, so the only problem caused by all this stonewalling by our two most trusted institutions is that they are enforcing a massive and highly destructive worldwide ignorance. Not, we hope, for much longer!

      To answer your question about a few NDE-ers experiencing what seems to be hell, the fact is that NDEs occur in a part of the astral which is not included in what we call the afterlife levels, and what happens in them is drawn from the experiencers’ minds – it is not real on any level. So it isn’t confusing at all! If you have an NDE and you believe on some level that you deserve to go to hell, then a hell-like experience is what you are likely to have.

  7. I think you struck a nerve with this one Roberta, nice going. I love and appreciate the viewpoints of others sharing their journey with all here in this space. Robert Frost said it only as a poet can, the secret (truth) sits in the center and knows as we all dance around and suppose.
    It all starts with a being pretending to not know. Then through this life experience start pretending to know. Finally, over time and usually tribulation, we surrender to not knowing again, and only then experience again the truth that was always there in the center (God, Isness, Being, Source, etc :). Thanks for you brave light and willingness to share.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Michael! For me, the best things about my being privileged to do this work are two:

      1) I encounter so many others now who are on their own paths toward truth, and who share their thoughts with us here or share them with me personally. What a beautiful, extraordinary gift it is to hear their stories!

      2) Nearly every day now I meet – usually by email – at least one person whose life my words have affected more deeply. Some of these testimonies move me to tears. And each one of them makes my whole life worthwhile!

      I thought when I was a child that I was going to grow up to be a minister, but then I took a different path. It is only lately that I have come to understand that I grew up to be a minister after all!

  8. I am a lifelong seeker, musician,artist and poet and in my 68 years of life and study I can say that you Roberta are among the leading teachers of higher knowledge that I have ever had the pleasure to come across. Thank you for your passion and commitment to revealing these glimpses behind the curtain.

    1. Thank you so much, Stan! I don’t think of myself this way, so you have made me blush ;-). If you ever have questions or if I can help you at all, please just contact me through this website!

  9. Yes, Roberta, your blogs and books have been and still are a wonderful inspiration and source of afterlife information for many. Thanks for your service.

    Also, your interviews with many of the luminaries in the afterlife field are of equal benefit to us all. For those who haven’t checked it out, here’s the link to your webcasts. I highly recommend people listen to these podcasts.

    http://webtalkradio.net/internet-talk-radio/seek-reality/

    I’m familiar with Dr. Susan Blackmore and she’s a sad case. When she passes over, it will be quite a shock to her, in the good sense. She will eventually “wake up” at some point and may, in a future life, be a top afterlife promoter.

    I don’t know who gets my dander up more sometimes, the dogmatic religionists(east and west) or the dogmatic materialists. I guess both about the same.

    1. Thank you, Michael! I’m glad that I love doing this work, since I’m hearing from so many people now that I couldn’t stop doing it at this point without feeling that I am letting the whole world down.

      And thank you for mentioning my live radio and podcasts and the wonderful folks who are my guests! One of the loveliest things about doing this work is that I am making friends of many of the most important leaders in this field, and I can do you and them the service of making those weekly introductions. Inevitably, the truth will win. And the big breakthroughs are not far away now. We are watching history happen! And we are privileged to know and to be part of the lives of some of what our posterity is going to see as the greatest movers in the most profound revolution in thinking in all of human history.

  10. When people aren’t ready to hear, they aren’t ready. I don’t know how you broke through the barriers to understanding, Roberta, but I’m glad you and others have tried and succeeded. Whenever I say things to people about this sort of thing, they look at me like I’m a Martian and are especially confused because they don’t expect this sort of thing to be coming out of me. I’m learning that “tradition-as-a-force” is very strong and if people are still operating in that construct, they hear very odd things when others suggest otherwise. I’ll just keep doing what St. Francis advised, “Preach the gospel every day, and when you have to, use words.”

    1. Thank you for quoting St. Francis, Mike! He was one of the very few in the early Christian church who understood that following the teachings of Jesus was essential; and given how much he is venerated now, it is astonishing how little this core teaching of his is taken to heart.

      It really is astonishing to be in our position! We have the truth, it is all good news, but largely because both mainstream science and mainstream Christianity basically run on cash, they insist on continuing to perpetrate those falsehoods on the public in order to keep the funds rolling in. Someday the history of this movement will be written, and it is going to be a blockbuster!

      1. I feel as though the vibrations are already changing. This election cycle “feels” weirder than any in recent memory because, I think, it’s the feeling of irrelevance. Government and other institutions are not going to make anything better or different, and we all now know that much…Re my earlier lament — turns out that when people ARE ready to hear it, their faces break out in smiles and they break into tears of relief because the notion comes into their day at just the right moment. I JUST now had the experience — as if it were in response to what I wrote above — of running into a woman I with who lost her husband (they have a daughter, now 14, who is also dealing with the loss) two years ago and this woman was just crying out to talk about how she’d experienced her husband through dreams and that her daughter had just mentioned sensing his “smell” at a concert she was attending (he was a musician). I mentioned the Forever Family Foundation, and she seemed like she’d been wanting someone to acknowledge these visitations for a very long time. I think the encounter may have done more for me than it did for her, but I think it helped her to. We live in a very strange culture when it comes to understanding what we call death, despite our own personal, sometimes deeply denied, knowledge that there is no death. Oh well, enough; my point is, when people aren’t ready, they’re not ready, but when they are, they truly ARE. 🙂

        1. It’s fascinating to contemplate the fact that by the time we reach midlife, apparently most of us have had extraordinary experiences like the one your friend mentioned… but, like her, for the most part people don’t feel safe in talking about these experiences. I think therefore that more people than we realize are already primed to accept the truth – not the scientific and Christian leaders, but the regular folks. Therefore when hard evidence of communication with the dead begins to be more in the news, there will be a cascade effect, so on the first day of some year in the near future we will still be stuck in the Luddite past but by Christmas of that year EVERYONE will be talking about the truth. And will feel that of course they’ve always known it!

  11. As far as Blackmore we could ask the question if she’s equating “Self” with “Consciousness”? If we say Self is the sum total of our personality then do we know it continues to exist indefinitely? Many NDErs say they lose the sense of being an individual but still exist as Consciousness. I know in dreams I continue to experience something but don’t necessarily identify with the TJS personality. This is a quote from something Blackmore wrote about her own NDE.
    “Along side all this I began to realize that chasing after the para normal was an understandable, but inappropriate reaction to what I had seen. This was a deep, profound and lifechanging
    experience. Saying that some thing left the body, or that it proved the existence of another world,
    was trivializing it. Gradually I explored, and found other ways of touching that experience again.
    I have practiced Zen now for nearly twenty years. At the heart of this practicetice are the ideas
    of letting go, of nonattachment, and of no-self. The idea is not that there is no self at all, but that the
    self is not what we commonly think it is. ‘I’ am not a persisting entity separate from the world, but a
    flowing, ephemeral, ungraspable part of that world. As anyone who has had a mystical experience
    knows, every thing is one. I think those lessons, and many more, were thrust upon me in that orig inal
    experience. They gave me not only an academic desire to under stand strange experiences but the
    motivation and insight to pursue a spiritual life.

    As hap pens with many NDErs, my experiences and my research have taken away the fear of
    death, not because I am co vinced that ‘I’ will carry on after this body dies, but because I know
    there is no one to die, and never was. If others, like ZipZap, dis agree that is their prerogative. All
    any of us can do is seek the truth to the best of our ability, and – even if that truth turns out to be quite
    different from what we hoped or expected – to accept it when we find it.”

    Where Blackmore goes wrong is on insisting that Self, Consciousness, the One, is some kind of brain generated phenomenon. Pick up any book on electromagnetic theory and you’ll find nothing about Consciousness. Pick up a book on chemistry and there’s nothing about Consciousness. There are no engineering details on how to get from electrical impulses and chemical reactions to any mental phenomenon either “normal or “paranormal”. There is no measurement that can be made to validate such assertions.

    To me it’s fascinating how blithely people believe these assertions. They seem happy to say “Yes I and my family are just pieces of meat doomed to extinction and that’s just the way it is…”.

    1. Thank you, Tom! Very thoughtful and useful ideas. I also am astonished when it seems that someone is perfectly happy to believe in his own extinction and in that of those he loves, but on close conversation with some of these people I find that some of them believe that they will go on; they just don’t believe in the Christian version of heaven. They don’t believe in the Christian God. And since by dint of all the research I have done I have to concur with them that neither exists, I think we may not be as far apart as we had thought!

      Where the other great topic of your comment is concerned, yes, there is for certain in many NDEs and in other great spiritual experiences a sense of not being tied to that body or to its concerns anymore and a strong feeling of intimate connection to the ineffable. There are several explanations for this which don’t require the extinction of the individual self. For example:

      1) The mind really is entirely separate from the brain, so when it is briefly outside the body it would be only natural for the experiencer to feel separate from that body’s situation.

      2) That experience of being outside the body is also likely to give us new and strange-seeming sensations that could make us feel as if we have lost the self or as if we are immersed in the One. Experiences that might defy description.

      3) Our awareness attached to the body may constitute less than twenty percent of our actual eternal mind. To the extent that we might briefly reconnect with that larger self when we are out of body, that experience in itself could be (part the expression) mind-blowing!

      4) Our minds are all inextricably part of eternal Mind. Your own feelings as you describe them could be simply the way it feels to experience awareness of that.

      And you’re right: experiencer or not, Blackmore has had no choice but to insist that consciousness is produced by the brain – despite no evidence of that – since otherwise she would have had no way to make a living. Clearly courage has never been her leading quality!

  12. Dear Roberta
    I would like to ask you a question about hell do you believe that we have to believe that Jesus died for our sins to enter heaven? I am so looking forward to seeing heaven and being with the light. I’m having a surgery next month and I want to know I’m going to be ok. I read a story about a nde where he met Jesus and they saw people suffering in a place he called hell. I never believed that hell existed until I read that story. I was just wondering what you thought. I appreciate you answering my emails. I bought all your books and I got such joy in reading them .

    Thanks,
    Doreen

    1. Doreen, it really doesn’t matter what I believe. Who am I? What matters is what the evidence indicates, and in this case the evidence is absolutely clear that:

      1) No NDE is an objective event. Their events are drawn from the mind of each experiencer, so nothing that happens in an NDE can EVER be taken as objective evidence of what happens in the afterlife.

      2) There is no fiery hell, although fiery hells will turn up in NDEs. They simply aren’t real. There is what Jesus referred to as an “outer darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” but it’s cold and dark and people put themselves there by being unloving and by not forgiving themselves or others. Very easy to avoid!

      3) Jesus did not die for our sins. There is no evidence whatsoever – and we have looked hard for it! – that the death of Jesus on the cross has ever made a difference for a single human being. Instead, Jesus came to us as our TEACHER. And if we follow His teachings, we can indeed make the greatest possible spiritual progress!

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