Author: Roberta Grimes

Softening the Hard Problem

Scientists call consciousness “the hard problem” because they have no idea where it comes from, and they have trouble even defining what it is. Scientific American has put out a special issue called “Innovations In: The Biggest Questions in Science,” which is a collection of articles on the state of play in modern scientific investigations of things like spacetime, dark matter, consciousness, and how life began. Incredibly, every one of these articles is full of abject nonsense! Scientists still really have no clue about any of these phenomena, and from brief glimpses of their state of play it isn’t hard to see why: in every case, assumptions are made that ground the question at hand in matter, and of course in every case these phenomenon do not arise from matter.

What they have to say about consciousness is typical. You won’t be able to read these sentences without wincing. “What is it about a highly excitable piece of brain matter that gives rise to consciousness? Once we can understand that, we hope to get closer to solving the more fundamental problem… What must happen in your brain for you to experience a toothache, for example? Must some nerve cells vibrate at some magical frequency? Do some special ‘consciousness neurons’ have to be activated? In which brain regions would these cells be located?” The authors slice-and-dice through the spinal cord and then the brain, and eventually they come to deduce that “… the sights, sounds and other sensations of life as we experience it are generated by regions within the posterior cortex. As far as we can tell, almost all conscious experiences have their origin there… Indeed, the abiding mystery is how and why any highly organized piece of active matter gives rise to conscious sensation. After all, the brain is like any other organ, subject to the same physical laws as the heart or the liver. What makes it different? What is it about the biophysics of a chunk of highly excitable brain matter that turns gray goo into the glorious surround sound and Technicolor that is the fabric of everyday experience?”

What, indeed? Well, nothing, actually. There are apparently two scientific theories of how consciousness might arise in the brain, both so absurd as to be not worth even mentioning to you now; although one of them does predict that “… a sophisticated simulation of a human brain running on a digital computer cannot be conscious—even if it can speak in a manner indistinguishable from a human being. Just as simulating the massive gravitational attraction of a black hole does not actually deform spacetime around the computer implementing the astrophysical code, programming for consciousness will never create a conscious computer.” Reading that does give us some small hope that perhaps the light of reason might be dawning; but then the next sentence plunges us back into darkness by adding, “Consciousness cannot be computed: it must be built into the structure of the system.”

Dear friends, none of this is science. It is blather meant to justify whatever salaries these people are being paid, so they can keep the grants coming for a little while longer. They so badly want their work to lead somewhere! But their century-old “fundamental scientific dogma” of materialism has them so hog-tied, even now, that if they are to pursue scientific careers they dare not even attempt to think freely.

The human brain does not generate consciousness. The brain isn’t even the “two-way radio in the head of a meat-robot” that I used to call it when I spoke publicly (that was always a good laugh-line). By now, researchers who consider pursuing the truth to be far more important than preserving that old materialist dogma are coming to realize that consciousness attaches to the entire body, and not just to the brain. Consciousness also is the body! In fact, consciousness is all that exists.

Dr. Max Planck is a very big deal among physicists. He won the 1918 Nobel Prize in physics as the father of quantum mechanics, but his much more important discovery has been entirely ignored for most of a century. As you know, he said in 1931, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” All the evidence suggests that he was perfectly right! What we experience as human consciousness is the base creative energy that continuously manifests this universe. Such a profound core insight, so simple, and now so ever more certainly true! But even nearly ninety years later, scientists continue to blunder in every direction but the right one.

Here is some of their recent materialist folly:

* They are trying to read memories from dead brains, thinking their doing that might somehow help them figure out where our memories are stored. In fact, the brain does hold short-term memories, like that number you are about to dial or what your spouse has just asked you to buy; but memories that are meant to be held for a longer term are established by a different process and are maintained in your larger consciousness. Even knowing that someone with a damaged hippocampus can no longer create short-term memories but is able to retrieve past longer-term memories seems to spur no scientific insights.

* They are trying to figure out how brain-chemicals make us human, and are “the origins of our rich cognitive abilities.” In fact, while we are in bodies we have access to as little as five percent of our vast, eternal minds, so we have much richer cognitive abilities without the brain and its chemicals than we have with them!

* They imagine that consciousness is awareness, and that babies might develop it at five months of age; but they also speculate that consciousness probably has to be more than just awareness. After all, so many of the things our bodies do happen pretty much automatically! This article is notable for what feels as you read it to be heartbreakingly close to an actual breakthrough: Consciousness may never arise—be it in babies, toddlers, children or adults—because it may always be there to begin with. For all we know, what arises is merely a metacognitive configuration of preexisting consciousness. If so, consciousness may be fundamental in nature—an inherent aspect of every mental process, not a property constituted or somehow generated by particular physical arrangements of the brain.” So near, and yet so far!

* The notion that preserving our brains will keep our minds alive past our physical death blunders on. Until recently, these transhumanist articles have been full of hope about how easily possible it soon will be – any minute now! – to make people immortal by preserving their brains in jars or uploading their minds into computers. These efforts seem less optimistic lately, but there are some very wealthy people funding the necessary studies. And scientists need to make a living! So even though now we begin to find articles about how horrifying it would be to spend eternity as an aware brain in a bottle on a shelf, these scientists continue to go through the motions.

Actually, Da Vinci Code novelist Dan Brown is closer to the truth than any scientist! He speculates that in the future “some form of global consciousness that we perceive and that becomes our divine” is going to become a satisfactory substitute for all our outmoded notions of God. He says, “Our need for that exterior god, that sits up there and judges us … will diminish and eventually disappear.” And he is almost right! What he and all the scientists still miss is the glorious fact that the “global consciousness” he imagines does indeed already exist, it always has existed, and it always will exist.

Eureka! It turns out the genuine God is still patiently waiting in the last place we’ll look….

The Wood Wide Web

The most transformational book I ever have read is The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. I first read it in 1973, and I didn’t realize until much later the way that book formed a basis for my later afterlife research. It opened my eyes to a deeper awareness that nothing is as it seems; it primed me to later accept the evidence that what we experience as human consciousness is primary; and the fact that something so fundamental has been steadfastly ignored by mainstream scientists because it doesn’t fit their narrative was my first clue that the mainstream science emperor is indeed buck nekkid!

That book’s core insight from my perspective was that plants are conscious, and they can communicate. What a revelation! Consider only the workSample Blog Image of Cleve Backster, then America’s foremost expert on lie detectors, who one morning in 1966 decided to use his office plant as an experimental subject. He attached to one of its leaves a galvanometer, the part of a polygraph machine which registers human emotions, and he found that the plant was reacting very much as a person would react who was having transient thoughts. He soon found that the most extreme reactions in the plant were produced when he decided to burn one of its leaves; the reaction was less if he only imagined burning the leaf, or even if he actually burned it. His plant would react, too, if other living things in the room were credibly threatened with harm; and Backster and other researchers later demonstrated that these reactions are present even in living fragments of plants. My goodness, plants can read the minds of their keepers from a distance of miles away! There is so much more to Backster’s work that mainstream science still ignores. These amazing revelations are more than fifty years old, and they are all by themselves sufficient reason for you to read one of the most amazing and most unjustly ignored books in history.  

This discovery that plants are in some way conscious still fills me with wonder. It formed a basis for my growing, research-based awareness that what we experience as consciousness must be primary. There is no other explanation that fits all the evidence! So when in 2011 I read the ultimate quantum-physics-for-dummies book, Quantum Enigma by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, and I found that the greatest of all quantum physicists had decades before reached the same conclusion, I had a joyous eureka moment. As quantum physicist Max Planck famously said, ”I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

All of this came to mind again when I was reading last month’s Smithsonian magazine, and I came across an amazing article called “Do Trees Talk to Each other?”   Well, of course they do! Peter Wohlleben is a German researcher now popularly known as the “Tree Whisperer” whose book, The Hidden Life of Trees,  is available in English. Please read the article, since I cannot here conceivably do it justice. I only can tell you that after you have read it, you will forever after see each forest as a thriving community of sentient individuals in communication with one another, caring for their young, even caring for their old and for the stumps of those felled by people; caring, too, for other benevolent creatures, and fighting off the ones that mean to do them harm. You will never look at any plant of any size in the same way again!

What we experience as human consciousness is the base creative force. It is all that objectively exists! So it shouldn’t really surprise us to find that every living thing is conscious; and in fact, that may be true of even what we consider to be non-living things. If consciousness is the base creative force, then perhaps even rocks might somehow be conscious? One of the things we generally do when we first return to our eternal home is sightseeing, even on other planets. I recall reading an account by someone who had been enjoying doing his post-death touring, and he talked about a planet where the life was not carbon-based, but instead was silica-based. That entire planet teemed with life! But you didn’t realize that at first, because it all moved ve-e-e-ry sl-o-o-o-wly. You know, come to think of it, the rocks on this planet are moving pretty slowly, too….

More and more, it is becoming clear that accepting Max Planck’s genius insight that consciousness is primary is going to be essential if scientists are ever to end their century-long materialist muddle and again begin to do productive research. A Nobel Prize awaits the first open-minded physicist who is brave enough to finally and forever remove his own materialist chains!

Stumbling Toward a Theory of Everything

Stephen Hawking’s death yesterday felt especially sad to me. We saw him as trapped in a crippled body, but how much more tragic was the fact that such a great mind was for his entire life forlornly trapped in a crippled science! The simple explanation of his “theory of everything” is a tautology – gravity explains where gravity came from – and his saying that “M-theory is the only possible theory of everything” is a sadly defeatist statement from someone so bright. Sadly, too, like nearly all scientists, he was unnecessarily battling ancient Christian theories about God that are fully as nonsensical and altogether bogus as is the scientists’ century-long obsession with the dogma of materialism.

In fact, there still is no Theory of Everything beyond Stephen Hawking’s dogma-hobbled mind. Honest scientists now admit that the more they learn, the more puzzling mysteries they find! And the most honest ones of all are coming clean to us late in life with the fact that, essentially, modern theoretical physics is a con game. Amit Goswami is one of very few physicists who – like the father of quantum mechanics, Max Planck – now accept the notion that consciousness is primary; so people still battling for materialism may want to challenge him as a serious physicist. But what he says about the dogma-impaired work of physicists today is no less to be believed because he has managed to free himself from it! No one has more authority to speak to us about the utter falsity of any belief-system than someone who once was its devout preacher.I found out a long time ago that everything can be proven with a mathematical equation. Now, I mean everything; from unicorns, fire-breathing dragons, God and even the G-spot. None of it is true. Me and the handful that know the truth have been riding the Quantum Physicist celebrity wave for quite some time now, but it must end – before someone gets hurt” is a late-in-life confession with the resounding ring of a revelation!

Modern mainstream scientists’ obsession with matter continues to lead them into ever greater silliness. Matter is composed of particles, and even though these scientists full well know that every particle is a vortex of energy and in reality nothing is solid, when they want to explain anything new that they find it must always be explained in terms of particles. So when they discover that more than a quarter of what exists is what they call “dark matter,” they are certain dark matter has to be just more particles! Dark matter is called “dark” only because it doesn’t give off or reflect photons of material light, which suggests to those of us who think logically that maybe – you know – it isn’t the usual kind of matter? But scientists are undaunted. If it is not in some way material, then according to the century-old dogma of materialism it cannot affect this material universe.

We have known ever since Max Planck gave us his core insight – the greatest discovery of the twentieth century! – that what we experience as consciousness is primary. It is the source of all matter! He said in 1931, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” And later research by people like Dr. Goswami who have managed to free themselves from the dogma of materialism have proven Dr. Planck’s insight to be exactly right.

Our minds are eternally part of the base creative force that continuously manifests this universe. That is the only Theory of Everything that ever will be proven to be true in fact.

But mainstream scientists still stuck in materialism give the material brain full credit for being the sole source of our minds, which is the equivalent of giving your television full credit for being the sole source of the evening news. So when people with brains that are partially missing are actually able to function normally, scientists are speechless. And this seems to happen more often than we realize, since usually the condition is discovered only when adults have a problem that makes a brain scan necessary. Perhaps most of my skull is filled with liquid, too. Who knows? And more importantly, who cares? Mainstream scientists still have no clue after diligent research as to what human awareness is or where it comes from; but whatever it is, it had better turn out to be material!

We have abundant evidence now that the scientific dogma of  materialism is pure garbage. But still, after more than a century, the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals continue to insist that only research that is based in the dogma of materialism can be done in elite universities and published in approved ways. They enforce a plainly false dogma to this day! And so it is that a brilliant man whose life was so physically impaired that his only possible course was the life of the mind still sadly spouted nonsense to his dying day.

At last, Stephen Hawking knows the truth! He has a young and healthy body now, and a much greater mind than he could have imagined. We won’t say to him something silly like, “Rest in Peace.” Instead we will sing to him now, “Work in Joy forevermore, dear brother Stephen!” Other great scientists who went before you are working hard to create easy electronic communication between where they are now and the material universe you at last have left. And we can’t wait to see what you are going to contribute!


Creating God in Man’s Image

One of the creepiest things I have read in awhile is an article about someone who intends to create a powerful artificial intelligence and build a new religion around it. Good grief, what would be the point of that? It’s as if science has at last achieved a religious singularity! The fact that human religions create their own gods – and it never happens the other way around – is now being not only acknowledged, but celebrated.

Of course, this foolishness is just a logical extension of a current scientific pursuit. The search for ways to make human beings physically immortal is The Next Big Thing! Although it’s hard to see why anyone would want to be immortal now, when before long every human being is going to be a slave to conscious killer robots. It turns out, too, that even what seems to you and me to be genuine love is just a matter-based illusion that human beings evolved to experience because it enhances reproductive success. And perhaps worst of all, this scientific obsession with believing that the brain must generate consciousness is tying people in knots with the fear that advances in artificial intelligence are drawing us closer to the day when a machine configured to mimic a human being inevitably will develop consciousness, and soon thereafter our species will end at the hands of a smarter and stronger robot army.

Every one of these scenarios is nonsense. The human brain does not generate consciousness. Instead, consciousness is the source of all matter, including what makes up your physical brain! This obvious truth seems at last to be dawning on a few more open-minded scientists, but their problem is that a century’s research has been based on the absolute certainty that the brain must somehow generate consciousness. By now, scientists are trying hard not to discover the truth about consciousness, since sadly that truth might threaten their careers. They are hoping not to rock the scientific boat until at least the day their own kids finish college.

So since the scientific stonewalling continues, it is time for us to say this bluntly. Mainstream science has allowed its materialist dogma to destroy whatever was left of the whole field of scientific inquiry. Not a single major scientific discovery will be possible, ever again, until the scientific community accepts two facts:

  • Any discipline that is based on a “dogma” is really just one more religion. It is no longer the pursuit of any kind of truth.
  • The scientific insistence that consciousness cannot exist apart from the brain is an idiocy that by now has distorted every aspect of scientific inquiry.

That second insight is a gift from one of the best living scientific minds, the irrepressible Alex Tsakiris of Alex is something of a legend in the field of consciousness research. He is a free-thinker who has spent the past decade in an open-minded search for the truth, interviewing eminent scientists and NDE experiencers and pretty much everyone in between. Like me, Alex began with a broader quest to understand what actually is going on, and his research has led him to where mine has led me: to the realization that Max Planck was right. Alex’s book, Why Science is Wrong… About Almost Everything, nails it!

Dr. Planck, the winner of the 1918 Nobel Prize in physics and the revered father of quantum mechanics, left us with the gigantic insight that consciousness underlies everything. He said in 1931, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

But as Alex and I have independently realized, the core problem with mainstream science is that it is stuck with the fallacious notion that reality is only material. It is as if for the entire past century we have been telling scientists that they can investigate the riddle of how this water-puddle keeps reappearing on the floor. Have at it! Study the floor and the walls, but it is against protocols for you to look at the ceiling.

This need to avoid understanding consciousness while assuming it must be generated by the brain has by now built major false assumptions into every aspect of scientific inquiry. As Alex Tsakiris says in his groundbreaking book, “the problem science has with consciousness has an impact on every aspect of science-as-we-know-it.”

           And Alex shares with us a gigantic insight that seems to be dawning on scientists now, too – the fact that the whole notion of achieving scientific proof of anything is in itself a myth. All that we ever can find is evidence that this or that theory is on the right track, but even the theory of gravity has to be seen to be still just a theory. The authors of the article linked above point out thatNo matter how good our measurements and observations are, there’s a limit to how good they are. We also can’t observe or measure everything. Even if the Universe weren’t subject to the fundamental quantum rules that govern it, along with all its inherent uncertainty, it wouldn’t be possible to measure every state of every particle under every condition all the time.” And of course, the added fact that consciousness is fundamental adds a factor of uncertainty to the results of every bit of scientific research, since the basic consciousness that Dr. Planck discovered really can at any time alter anything. So in fact, scientists are about to discover that no definitive measurements are possible! Even worse, Dr. Planck tweaked the stubborn materialist scientists of his day by adding that “We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up to now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.” You can almost hear him chortling as he wrote those words!

The problem with modern mainstream science is that it is sadly in its death-throes. Its adherence to materialism keeps it even now from realizing that the scientific method is going to need a complete redesign if further progress is ever to be made. Oddly, scientists seem to feel to this day that they are battling just religious dogmas, when in fact modern mainstream religions are as much in the clueless weeds as is mainstream science. Tragically, all that mainstream science is battling in the twenty-first century is humanity’s need to stop clinging to dogmas and begin to seek and find some objective truths.

Rearing Spiritually Healthy Children

After a supernatural experience at the age of eight I have spent most of my leisure time in two parallel pursuits: exhaustively studying the afterlife evidence, and reading the Christian Bible repeatedly. This is such an odd combination of interests that I may be the only person on earth with the knowledge and experience to compare what the dead have to say about God, reality, death, the afterlife, and the meaning and purpose of human life with the actual Gospel words of Jesus.

And the greatest discovery of my life has been the fact that the dead agree with Jesus! In amazing detail. How wonderful is that? We can demonstrate now that Jesus is real, and that He must have come directly from God because He knew things two thousand years ago that He never could have known otherwise. Wow.

Those that we used to think were dead have a lot to say about Christianity too, and here the news is not supportive. These are some of the many things that we learn from people now in a position to know:

  • There is no anthropomorphic God. In fact, the only thing that actually exists is what you and I experience as consciousness, which is what Jesus called the Holy Spirit. This genuine God never takes human form, and it has no human failings of the sort that Christians feel the need to ascribe to their God.
  • There is no Satan. What we are coming to understand about the physics of consciousness is that the less loving a being is, the weaker it is. So if a deeply evil being existed in opposition to God, it would have no power at all.
  • There is no judgment by God. Jesus in the Gospels says this plainly! The only judge that we face after death is ourselves, which is another thing that Jesus tells us.
  • The death of Jesus on the cross has never made an afterlife difference for a single human being. It was only when I knew the dead were sure about this that it dawned on me that if God is loving, then of course it cannot be otherwise! What kind of a petty and barbaric God would refuse to forgive our human failings unless he first gets to enjoy the murder of his beloved Son? That many Christians still see this core Christian belief as speaking well of their God now confounds me. The genuine God is perfect love!

So Jesus is real, but Christianity is not. In fact, modern Christianity is nothing more than a first-century Jewish sect, with its fear-based Old Testament teachings hardly tempered at all by the Lord’s Gospel words. I have never known a devout Christian in all my years of Christian worship who sought to follow the teachings of Jesus first of all, above the dictates of religion, but that is precisely what the Lord commands! He says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (JN 8:31-32) And He tells us repeatedly in various ways not to package his teachings in Judaism, but rather to keep them separate (His followers called His teachings “the Way”). He says, And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (MK 2:22)

The Gospel teachings of Jesus are the surest route to rapid spiritual growth. That certainly has been true for me, and I am convinced now these teachings work for everyone as I hear from more and more delighted people!

But the fact that Christianity as it is practiced has nothing to do with the genuine Jesus presents a problem for those of us who want to teach the Lord’s truths to our children and grandchildren. I have been learning from readers of Liberating Jesus that every children’s book about Jesus they can find is full of fear-based religious teachings. So then we’ll just have to write our own books! The Fun of Meeting Jesus is the first in a series of read-aloud and early-reader picture-books based exclusively in the genuine Gospels. It was published just in time for Christmas, and early reports are that children love it. Parents are enjoying it too! There is a section for parents, so these books can be used to teach children the simple steps toward healthy spiritual growth devoid of fear that are what Jesus came to give us.

He said, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (LK 11: 9-10) The greatest gift we can give to our children is a comfortable relationship with the genuine Jesus. Following those simple Gospel lessons is the key to comfortable spiritual growth that truly can make their whole lives joyous!

We’ll Share the Love Again Next Year!

Many people have asked me how AREI’s Symposium went in Scottsdale, Arizona. Simply put, it was a lovefest! So many people came from all over the world that they overwhelmed the hotel where we have been holding these events: we tried to cap attendance at 500, the capacity of the hotel’s ballroom, but even with trying to cap registrations we wound up with attendance well above that number.

Who was there? Many people joined us all the way from Europe and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Asia, and Brazil as well as from Canada, Mexico, and all over the United States. And what was most striking about all these people was how happy and warm-spirited they all were! We had some frustrations – the restaurant was too small for such a group, and there wasn’t enough parking – but still, everyone was cheerful and joyous. I never heard even one complaint!

There was a lighthearted atmosphere of love and merriment throughout the hotel that astonished some people. One man blurted to me, “What? Did you clone yourself?” (I thought that was nice!) Another drew me aside and said that he attends lots of events, and even what should be spiritual conferences tend to have issues with factions and drama. But there was none of that here: no egos at all. He wanted to know our secret! I told him that we all are happy living in the joyous love of Spirit, but actually there is a simpler answer. We five members of the AREI Board – including Craig Hogan, Susanne Wilson, and Victor and Wendy Zammit – are so deep into loving and supporting one another that our shared closeness seemed to make everyone there feel as if we all were part of one loving family. It was beautiful!

There were many there who were not now in bodies. People were getting amazing private readings with mediums, and spirit orbs were everywhere! As you may know, the easiest way for people without bodies to be with us is as glowing orbs of light that a few people can see (although most cannot), and that can be photographed with a digital camera. The nearby photo was taken during George Noory’s panel with the experts, who were (left to right) Mark Pitstick (behind George), Sandra Champlain, Craig Hogan, Susanne Wilson, Mark Anthony, and yours truly. You can see next to me two large, bright orbs, their size and brightness indicating that they were very advanced beings indeed. Susanne tells me that the huge one is Master Jesus and the smaller one is my own guide, Thomas, but who’s to know? If you look closely, you can see at least four more orbs in this photo that were beloved family members. They were everywhere!

We are already deep into planning our 2018 AREI Symposium. Since we have clearly outgrown the wonderful Scottsdale Embassy Suites, we are moving next year to the Doubletree Scottsdale Resort, where we can grow to 900 attendees in luxury. What a beautiful place! Our new home can accommodate more demonstrations and dinners in a gigantic and elegant ballroom space; more vendors in a beautiful dedicated lobby; special-interest meetings in smaller nearby rooms; and probably even a physical séance. We are working now to lure some keynote speakers that we hope will knock your socks off!

Those who attended in 2017 can join us in 2018 for just $150 if they register before the middle of next month. Prices will go up after that date, but we are determined to keep them as low as we can because we know that transportation and your hotel room are going to be part of your cost to join us. And speaking of hotel rooms, we have negotiated a steeply discounted room rate for the first few hundred who make their reservations, so don’t wait!

We really hope you will join us next year. Go to and check it out! We know we are going to have to stretch to top what we did last month, and so far 2018 looks as if it will put our 2017 lovefest in the shade. With your lovely spirit added to the joy of all the other attendees, next September’s event is going to be amazing!

Believing is Not Seeing

(I had hoped to do a blog post now about the 2017 AREI Symposium, but I’d like to include a link for 2018 and that website isn’t quite ready. Please watch this space!!)

Many of those who contact me will ask me what I “believe” about this or that. Some of those wrestling with the message of Jesus will talk about maintaining their “Christian faith,” as if having faith were a positive thing. For years I have thought most people were going to outgrow such a lazy way of thinking, but I guess it’s time to say this plainly.

Beliefs are intellectual and spiritual nonsense. We are better off without them!  

The fact that humankind is so prone to accepting beliefs as sufficient explanations probably began as a survival tool. Back when it was impossible to know where the rain came from or what happened after death, we thought up comforting beliefs that allayed our fears and made us feel sufficiently powerful to live at peace in this material world. But the problem is that the nimbleness with which we develop our beliefs and cling to them beyond all reason has become an active barrier to our ever really knowing anything.

We can see this problem most easily with religions. People who adhere to a preferred religion are fond of calling themselves “people of faith,” but faith is not a virtue! It’s a cop-out. It is the frank equivalent of saying “I don’t really know what’s going on, but I’m scared that it might be something bad so instead of trying to learn the truth I am going to cling to this happy story.” For Christians such a posture is inexcusable, since it flies in the face of the words of Jesus! He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). And “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (JN 8:31-32) Free from what? Why, free from merely believing! But Christians seldom listen to Jesus.

And I was reminded again of how badly holding to old beliefs has led mainstream science off course when I came across two more articles about the notion in scientific vogue right now that something like human immortality can be achieved electronically. This sort of thing is the inevitable end-state of scientists clinging to old beliefs and refusing to consider evidence that refutes them.

The false belief so badly distorting mainstream scientists’ ability to come to terms with reality is the notion that solid matter exists, when in fact the core discovery of quantum mechanics – now a full century into the past – is that in fact everything is energy. As no less a light than Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” And Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, said way back in 1931, ”I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” By 1944 he was concluding that “There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

These scientific geniuses were exactly right! And even despite their insights, to this day scientists have little ability even to understand what consciousness might be.  But despite their bumbling, it is now generally understood that even the smallest subatomic particle is merely a vortex of energy. So for mainstream scientists to cling to the belief that consciousness is generated by our material brains is the exact equivalent of believing that your television generates the evening news! Your brain is a receiver and transmitter of your consciousness, and nothing more. But scientists have made an old, nonsensical belief in the solidity of matter the very foundation of modern science, so they also must cling to the erroneous belief that your meat-brain generates who you are. It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry!

Unless we can free ourselves from our ancient attachment to forming and retaining beliefs, humankind is going to remain stuck in this nonsensical acceptance of fictional shortcuts. In perfect fact, believing anything is useless in an age when it is possible to know!

Finding God

I often see Internet arguments about whether God exists and what God is, as if life’s most important questions were matters of taste to be debated. In fact, we do know a great deal now about the core creative force, and it is indeed extraordinary; but the more we learn, the more we see that both theists and atheists are missing the point. You might perhaps say they both are right; but also they both are profoundly wrong.

The judgmental Big Guy with the beard and thunderbolts that many people envision when they think of God does not exist. There is no evidence whatsoever for an anthropomorphic God that is anything like the Christian God. And believe me, we have looked for it!

On the other hand, the only thing that exists is the creative force that continuously manifests what we experience as this universe, and every single human mind is indivisibly part of that creative force. Therefore the atheists’ bet is wrong, too. We know now that all that exists is God!

We shouldn’t be surprised to discover that what was believed about God years and centuries ago is wrong. People have become more sophisticated in every other way, so why should our understanding of God be an exception? Actually, what is interesting to me is the fact that Jesus in the Gospels told the primitive people of his day things that have proven in the face of modern evidence to be amazingly accurate.

With humble awareness that our limited earth-minds cannot grasp in detail the objective truth, let’s look at what the evidence suggests is genuinely true about God:

  • God is infinitely powerful and infinitely loving Spirit, or Mind. Jesus said, “God is spirit.” (JN 4:24). It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life (JN 6:63). We read his words about the nature of God with a profound sense of relief! The vision of God as a cranky old man that Christian teachings put into our heads makes us feel as if we are spiritual children, while Jesus’s vision of God as Spirit gives us vistas of meaning. God is eternal, and God is forever new!
  • Each of our minds is indivisibly part of that one Mind. On this Jesus said, “the Spirit of truth… abides with you and will be in you (JN 14:17). He also said, “the kingdom of God is within you” (LK 17:21). The realization that each human mind is inextricably part of the Mind of God has been the greatest discovery of my life! Mikey Morgan, the sixth-level discarnate author of Flying High in Spirit, says that “God is the unity of pure love and all that exists.” More and more I am coming to realize how accurate his insight is.
  • Our minds therefore have tremendous power, if only we will believe we have that power. As Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted to him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you” (MK 11:22-24). It was when I first grasped the implications of this teaching that I began to pray in gratitude affirmations. I say “Thank you” for the gift of whatever I want, and affirm that indeed I already have it, so now my mind works smoothly with the Mind of God of which it is an integral part!
  • There is no post-death judge but ourselves. Jesus tells us this flat-out, so it is amazing that Christians still insist that God judges us. Jesus says, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (JN 5:22-23). And then, If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him.” (JN 12:47). And finally, In the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (MT 7:2). So Jesus accurately tells us that each of us will be our own judge. When we accept the abundant testimony of the dead and the Gospel affirmation of Jesus that there is no post-death judge but ourselves, we put an end to the fear-based Christian tradition of sacrificial redemption. Jesus did not die for our sins. From the viewpoint of eternal Mind, we are forever sinless! We are as powerful, as loving, as eternal, and as perfect as the Godhead of which we are integrally part, if only we can claim that truth.

It is possible to come to know the genuine God! During all the decades when I was a zealous Christian, reading the Bible daily, praying on my knees, and living with the thought that God was a stern paterfamilias that I had to find a way to please, I realize now that I never felt close to God. No matter how I tried to get further into it, everything about religion felt external to me in the same way that all human institutions feel external. Religion is laws the way government is laws. You miss church on Sunday and you feel guilty.

It was only when I trusted Jesus enough to leave Christianity and follow Him that I was able to begin to find and know God. I am astonished to tell you that religious ideas about God actually prevent our finding God! They put a false and scary God into our minds that keeps us from coming to know the genuine God at the core of each of us. God is who we really are.

It is difficult to adequately express the joy of coming to know at last the genuine God. I’ve been trying to think of how to help you see the way that finding God feels to me after a lifetime of earnest searching. In fact, this utter joy is ineffable: there really are not sufficient words. Perhaps it feels like home and safety and the certainty of being perfectly loved, very much as a little child must feel before the outside world intrudes. It feels like power beyond imagining, so I know that every least thing that happens works for good in some way that we are too small to see; and it feels like joy so deep and love so complete that you cannot even remember how it felt to know fear.

Two Biblical passages express this feeling well. Philippians 4:7 is how Paul says it: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” But perhaps the ancient words of Deuteronomy 33:27 say it best of all: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

Finding God means finding those arms and realizing they have been there all along. Even though our understanding while we are in bodies is necessarily limited, we are in the presence at last of a Godhead Who loves us so perfectly that God’s very love becomes our greatest challenge! To better understand that love, and to grow to meet it, becomes the beating heart of life and everything that matters to us. That seminal tune from the rock musical, Godspell, says it well: “Day by day, day by day, oh dear Lord three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly. Day by day….”

Dealing with Grief

I hear from grieving people almost daily now. Their pain is often so raw that it is nearly unbearable to read their messages, and I realize that since I cannot feel grief myself I am handicapped in my attempts to help them. But I try!

Grief is a process. It is composed of a number of elements: the loss of old habits, fear for the loved one, loneliness, nostalgia, anger, guilt, self-pity, and more. All are very low-vibration emotions, so each of them is painful; and in combination, they can be unbearable! It is in the nature of grief that it will lessen over time – it should be a lot less painful beyond the first year – but you can help it along by trying to understand what the particular mix of negative emotions is in your own case. I suggest to most people the following steps:

1) Pamper yourself. Especially when the grief is fresh, listen hard for your own feelings and wishes and try to do exactly what you want to do from minute to minute of every day. Your mind knows what it needs to do to heal! Don’t be around people who make you feel worse: it is important that you be ruthless about that. Treat yourself as the emotional invalid that you are. Certainly don’t spend time with anyone who tells you that you have got to get over it!

2) Learn all that you can about where your loved one is now. Depending on how you process information, there are lots of books that you might read; and I urge you strongly to subscribe to the Zammits’ weekly newsletter (go to My The Fun of Dying is a quick summary, and it includes an annotated bibliography that can help you find lots of additional books. But the news is all good! And the more you learn, the more you should begin to feel more comfortable about your loved one’s present situation.

3) Learn about the signs that our loved ones give to us. It is generally true that your grief has to lessen before your newly-dead loved one can get through to you with signs, which is another reason why it is important that you work on managing your grief.

4) Let go of all negativity, especially anger and guilt. The most intractable form of grief is guilt-based, anger-based, or a combination of the two; so if as you examine your feelings you find that you feel guilty or angry about anything, then it will be important that you work on forgiving yourself and forgiving all your anger. The guilt and anger generally won’t lessen otherwise, and people typically feel that they are still actively grieving even many years later when what they really mostly are feeling at that point is guilt or rage.

5) Learn to accept and live with your grief. It seems to be true for many people that grief never completely goes away; but if you manage it well, it can be tempered to a kind of wistfulness that ideally will be enlivened by occasional signs and messages. Your loved ones are young again, beautiful and healthy, and are having fun in a place without time! They can be close to you whenever they like, so there isn’t the sense of separation for them that there is for you. And the love is stronger than ever!

Believe it or not, it is possible to lose someone close to you and hardly grieve at all. When you are certain about what is going on, you find that you are clueless about other people’s grief: my impulse is always to say how happy I am for the person who at last has gone home, but grieving people don’t want to hear that so instead I express my sympathy for the living. When each of my parents died, despite the fact that I was close to them I felt only glad for them that at last they were free of their useless old bodies. Human life is eternal! When you are certain of that – really certain of it – then seeing people grieve at a death will no longer make sense to you, either.


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photo credit: 2bmolar <a href=”″>Dried Tears</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

This is Personal

           There is a theory that if you pick up a calf at its birth and then every day thereafter, eventually you can pick up a bull. It’s a nice idea, but I can personally testify that it is not true. I cannot believe that I haven’t found time to write a new blog post in the past two months! But I realize now that while the calf was growing and I have been struggling with it daily, more and more of my former life was slipping away.

Becoming modestly known is such an odd phenomenon that I wish more people could experience it. As with picking up that growing bull, the weight of it creeps up gradually, so it’s hard for me to pinpoint now precisely when my personal life disappeared, when my legal career shrank to almost nothing, and when my next FUN book was put aside. Apparently my blogging stopped in May, and by now even my podcasting is taking a beating as I have less time to prepare for interviews. What has largely taken over my life is a combination of correspondences with readers and listeners – sometimes responding takes most of my day – and lots of work on a project related to The Fun of Living Together that has captured my heart. But I’m coming up for air a bit now. Perhaps I’ll never be able to pick up that bull, but I seem at last to be learning to ride it!

And yesterday was the Fourth of July, which once again has me thinking about the young man who took up his quill in the heat of a Philadelphia June long ago and wrote what became our nation’s creed.

Thomas Jefferson hated slavery. It was a highly personal issue for him, since before he was thirty-one he inherited almost three hundred human beings. He couldn’t legally free them in the Colony of Virginia, but he didn’t want lifelong responsibility for them. He thought at first that he might persuade the Virginia House of Burgesses to allow slaveholders to free their slaves, but he learned when he arrived at the Continental Congress in June of 1775 that freeing slaves who looked so different from their masters was going to be a difficult trick.

Slavery may be the oldest human institution. It has existed over millennia, everywhere on earth, but nearly always the slaves have resembled their masters. It has therefore generally been easy to free them and let them blend into the larger society. But black slaves were already being freed in the north, and what Jefferson found in Philadelphia was a desperate underclass of newly-freed slaves, hungry and despised and clinging to the edge of the larger white society without hope of ever entering it. He was horrified! He realized then that the worst British sin had been the introduction to this continent of an aberrant form of slavery where masters and slaves looked so different from one another that we might never be able to end it. He was so upset about this discovery that the first draft of our Declaration of Independence was full of what John Adams wryly referred to as “Jefferson’s philippic against the slave trade.”

It is difficult for us to imagine now what was in the mind of a 33-year-old about to risk his life and his family’s lives by provoking a war with the world’s greatest power over the principle of personal freedom. Reading his letters at the time, you never see him waver; but you do see how much the slavery problem troubled him. He thought that for his countrymen to be claiming their own freedom while giving no thought to the slaves among them was almost to render absurd their claim, so part of that original philippic – and almost all of what remains of it now – lies right there near the top of the document. Delegates to the Congress may not have understood the full import of what they were signing, but in fact it was a heartfelt cry that no matter what the cost and no matter what effort might be required, the only possible outcome of this struggle must be a continent where slaves, too, were free.

Let’s look at the import of Jefferson’s words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

(He wrote at first that these truths are “sacred and undeniable,” but this was one Congressional edit that improved the document.)

that all men are created equal,

(“All men” included slaves, and of course it also included women. But how radical this thought was at a time when most people believed that the upper classes were born to dominate those with lower status!)

that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,

(The concept of rights given by God was not new, but “the divine right of kings” to rule was usually the most important of these rights. That individual rights might come first was a revolutionary concept.)

that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

(The universal usage at that time was “life, liberty, and property.” But Jefferson clearly meant to deny slaveholders the right to claim people as their property, and instead he decreed that slaves, too, have an equal right to freedom and a chance at happiness.)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

These were the breathtakingly radical words of a young man who never in the end was able to perfect the world that he inherited, but at least he could envision that more perfect world. His dream in turn became Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. It still beckons to us today.


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