Author: Roberta Grimes

The Kingdom of God

Recently we sat at the feet of the Lord and listened as He taught His flock. Among other things, freshly listening to Him made us realize that He was bent on achieving the almost immediate arrival of the kingdom of God on earth. He expected His spiritual revolution to start small and then grow rapidly, and to be substantially completed within the lifetimes of some of those who heard Him speak. This astonishing insight seized the imaginations of some of our readers here, and it prompted them to ask a question that also has been on my mind.

What would the modern world be like if the kingdom of God arrived on earth today? Let’s talk about that. This week we’ll discuss in more detail the kingdom of God that Jesus meant to begin here. Then next week we will all catch hands and step together into the possible world of our beloved Lord’s dearest imaginings!

In studying the words of Jesus, we have one big advantage over traditional Christians. We have the detailed and consistent testimony of people that we used to think were dead. For reasons I prefer to think are innocent, Christian leaders have long insisted that communicating with the dead was evil, and that all our dead communicators were actually demons in league with the devil. In fact, these warnings are patent nonsense. The Bible holds a number of accounts of ancient people speaking with those not in bodies! And for moderns who need Biblical permission, 1 John 4:1 assumes that we all talk with spirits. It says just, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” Every reputable medium of whom I am aware does exactly that. And we are being given now by those not in bodies extensive new ways to communicate across dimensions, including real progress with electronic communication that we are told will result in a telephone! In the face of this great effort being conducted at the highest levels to establish better communication, for Christians to continue to try to prevent our loving dialogue with higher levels is a literal rejection of the will of God. So we test the spirits, then we eagerly welcome what the dead have to say about the meaning of the Gospel words of Jesus.

I should mention for readers new to this space that one thing we know for certain is that Jesus did not come to die for our sins. The dead tell us that the death of Jesus on the cross has never made an afterlife difference for a single human being, which should not surprise us when Jesus Himself tells us that God does not judge anyone (see JN 5:22). The fact that God does not judge us has been plain in the Bible for two thousand years, but Christians have altogether ignored it! The whole doctrine of substitutionary atonement – the notion that Jesus came to die for our sins – was human-made in a primitive day when animals were being sacrificed in temples. It was a way for those who had been devastated by the unexpected death of their Messiah to make sense of that death in first-century terms, and to turn it into something that to them seemed positive. In our more enlightened age we are able to see the whole idea as a frank barbarity, an insult to God and a humiliation of Jesus, so we are relieved to learn it is bogus! And our knowing Jesus didn’t come to die for our sins now frees us to look to His Gospel words for a different reason still big enough to explain the amazing fact that God came to earth in the body of Jesus.

When we sat and listened at the feet of the Lord, we heard Him tell us He had come to abolish fear-based religions and teach us to relate to God in love so we could bring the kingdom of God on earth. And if attempting to bring God’s kingdom on earth was so important two thousand years ago, then surely in this more enlightened age you and I ought to give it a second try!

What is the Kingdom of God?

Translators called it the kingdom of Heaven in the Book of Matthew, where Jesus mentions it more than thirty times. He refers to it fourteen times in Mark, and more than thirty times in Luke. No one reading the Gospels can have any doubt that God’s Kingdom is the Lord’s obsession! We know now that everyone on earth arrives in the self-same afterlife, so what then might be this more selective place that Jesus urges us to try to reach? The kingdom of God is the joyously blissful upper levels of the afterlife that can be attained only by people who are spiritually very far advanced. As Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter” (MT 7:21).

What we experience as human consciousness is the only thing that objectively exists. Every human mind is part of that consciousness, and we spoke last week about the fact  that consciousness exists in a range of vibrations, from fear at the lowest to love at the highest. When we talk about our need to grow spiritually, what we really are talking about is our need to raise our personal consciousness vibrations away from the fear-based end and toward the love-based end of the spectrum. Jesus makes it clear in the Gospels how we can raise our own vibrations: He tells is that we must learn to love perfectly and learn to forgive completely. Christians take the Lord’s words as aspirational – just things we should try so we can make God happy – but no one who actually reads the Gospels can see His words as less than divine commands:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (MT 5:43-48).

Peter asked him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (MT 18:21-23).

Jesus tells us we are always either growing or shrinking spiritually, and we are coming to see He is precisely right. Consciousness cannot remain static! He says, “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (MT 25:29-30).

What Is It Like In the Kingdom of God?

Here our willingness to listen to and learn from those that we used to think were dead is a great asset! There is a nearly infinite gradation of consciousness vibrations in the afterlife, but for convenience we on earth group these vibrations into seven general levels. What Jesus called “the outer darkness” is the lowest afterlife level. Virtually everyone enters at Level Three, and we are told that reincarnation on earth in order to achieve more rapid spiritual growth is no longer necessary once we reach the upper part of Level Five. The highest level below the Source, Level Six, is what Jesus refers to as the kingdom of God. Few who have attained that exalted level ever have communicated with us on earth; and in fact, for most of my research career Level Six was assumed to be non-material. Mikey Morgan is a being who achieved Level Six after having last lived on earth in the 1600s, and he wonderfully took a brief additional earth-life that ended in 2007 so he could better understand modern people and thereby know how he might best teach us. Mikey’s book, Flying High in Spirit, is again in print, and it is one of the reasons why we now realize that the Sixth Level is gloriously material! The Sixth Level is full of spectacular flowers and amazing universities. Those who live there often teach in the lower afterlife levels, and a few – like our beloved Mikey Morgan – have made it their personal mission to teach people who are still in bodies.

Why Should We Want to Bring the Kingdom of God on Earth?

A lot of what we hear Jesus say when we sit at the Lord’s feet and closely listen feels like gentle urging toward freeing our minds from fear so we can vibrate toward more perfect love. For example He says, “Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (MT 6:25-33).

So what Jesus came to earth to do was to teach us how we can make this anger- and hatred- and fear-filled planet into a love-filled mimic of the highest heavens. Even if you are a traditional Christian who believes Jesus came to die for your sins, don’t you agree that if He considered bringing the kingdom of God on earth to be important enough that He spent three years teaching us how to make it happen, then perhaps after two thousand years of misery we ought to give His ideas a second try?

What would our world be like if we followed the Lord’s directions now? Let’s talk about that next week….

You Shall Know the Truth

The first time I reached my mother through a medium she said, “You were right about everything!” That was good to hear, but it made me groan because this woman had resisted all my efforts to convince her she would survive her death. I had read to her from The Fun of Dying. I had told her repeatedly how it all works, how excited I was that she would be there soon, and which loved ones might be coming to take her home. Not every day, but often I would find ways to reintroduce the topic. Sadly, though, as Jesus tells us, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household” (MT 13:57). My mother never believed a word! She had to see it for herself. And like the loving but demanding parent that she always had been, as soon as she had assured me I was right, she added, “Now I’m traveling around to make sure you have everything right.” (We don’t change after death nearly as much as we might wish we would!)

In case you are wondering why I was confident I was talking with my actual mother, there were some great validations. For example, my mother had almost nonexistent eyebrows, and after the medium said my mother was now checking my work, she added, “But why is she pointing at her eyebrow? Oh. She says now she doesn’t have to paint them on.”

Alas, my mother is not an outlier. Fear of death is the core human fear, and that fear remains rampant in 2019 even though for nearly a century now we have had overwhelming evidence that every human mind is eternal. And together with that ego-based fear of death, too many people also have a terrible religion-based fear of God, even though we also know for certain that all that objectively exists is the transcendent love of the genuine God that continuously manifests this universe. And you in particular are God’s best-beloved child! The harm done by all this fear-based negativity is compounded by the fact that mainstream scientists still have no idea about what actually is going on, so they perpetuate the rampant fear on earth which is the worst human-caused pollution of all.

To know why negativity is so dangerous, you will need to better understand how consciousness works. Since every human mind is part of one great Consciousness, for too many minds to be obsessed by fear can have severe consequences on the macro-level. The aggregate of the highest level of Consciousness – what Mikey Morgan calls “the unity of pure love and all that exists” – is the genuine God that continuously manifests this universe. Consciousness is a kind of energy so it vibrates, and its vibratory rate is from the slowest, which is fear and the other awful emotions, to absolute love at the highest level. And since all our minds are part of the same base Consciousness, our minds all influence one another, so a tendency toward fear in any significant number of people will drive down the vibratory rate of us all. Humankind’s obsessive drive toward fear comes largely from the ego’s fear of death, from fear-based religions, and from the scientific insistence that our minds die with our brains. And because both religions and science perpetuate fear rather than helping humankind to grow beyond it, our fear has gradually lowered our entire planet’s vibratory rate to the point where we are told now that unless we soon can elevate humankind away from fear and toward more perfect love, our planet will rapidly degrade from here. Our species soon will face extinction.

I haven’t talked much about this existential threat to all humanity. Researchers don’t entirely understand it, but we are getting the warnings and by now we understand it well enough. This sense we have that things are getting worse, that human interaction is becoming more rancorous, is the result of too much fear and hatred, and it is no longer self-correcting. So we cannot afford to let anyone on earth remain ignorant of how much our planet needs us! It is going to be essential that each of us learns how to raise our own consciousness vibration so we can do our part in ridding the earth of the awful human poisons of fear and negativity. Each of us has a responsibility now to learn how to ditch our old fears of death, of God, and of suffering some horrific outcome! In fact, the genuine greater reality is love beyond our ability to comprehend it. Your mind is a beautiful, powerful, eternal, and infinite part of all that love.

Deciding to take your own spiritual growth as seriously as you will need to take it if you are to help to save the world is going to be your gateway to the greatest joy there is! To quote the Introduction to A Course in Miracles, “This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. … The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite. This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way: ‘Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.’ Herein lies the peace of God” (In-1:1-8; 2:1-4). And to quote Master Jesus, “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). Therefore, “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).

All we need do to free ourselves from fear is to take some time to learn the truth! The truth about what is going on is so much more wonderful than your most optimistic imaginings that, as Jesus says, your learning that truth will set you free from fear and from every other kind of negativity. So here is a quick tutorial meant for everyone who is afraid of death, or really afraid of anything at all. Internalize these facts, and soon you will be free from fear forevermore!

  • All of reality is energy. All that exists is composed of and governed by a kind of energy that we experience as human consciousness, which exists in a range of vibrations from fear at the lowest vibration to love at the highest vibration.
  • The highest vibratory rate is the Godhead. Insofar as researchers can determine, there is no separate Big Guy on a Throne giving orders. Instead, at the highest vibratory level there are glorious entities working together in perfect love, and the highest of these may in fact be Jesus.
  • The lower consciousness vibrates, the less powerful it is; the higher it vibrates, the more powerful it is. This means that what we experience as love is the literal engine that powers reality! It means many other things too, including the fact that there can be no powerful evil entity in opposition to God. There is no Satan. There are indeed demonic nasties, but they are pitifully weak: if we resist allowing them to influence our minds, they cannot harm us at all.
  • Nearly all of reality has neither space nor time. Energy is compressible and expandable, and space and time are artifacts of just this material universe, so the greater reality is both infinitely large and smaller than a pencil-dot. And anything that ever exists, exists eternally. Your mind never began and it never will end.
  • Dying will be as easy as changing TV channels. Right now, your mind is tuned to that particular body in this channel of our energy reality that is vibrating so low that it is perceptible to the senses as matter (that explanation comes from Albert Einstein). When your body dies, your mind will tune to a consciousness channel that is vibrating somewhat higher, and it will there pick up a whole new beautiful, immense, and solid-seeming reality!
  • You will be escorted home by loved ones you had thought were dead. From the hours or days before you transition and through the whole process, you will be assisted by loved ones who have predeceased you, all now young and beautiful but still the same people they were when they lived on earth. Your death with be the most convivial time of your life!
  • The “matter” at those higher levels is different from the matter here. It looks and feels solid, but it is not composed of atoms and it is easily influenced by more developed minds. Mental energy is even how they build homes in the afterlife levels! Matter beyond this material universe is just a bit translucent, and it can be intensely colored in shades not seen on earth because they fall beyond the visible light spectrum.
  • Your mind will merge with your higher mind very soon after you arrive home. We leave behind perhaps ninety percent of our vast, eternal minds, so when we go home and merge back into them we are suddenly a great deal smarter and we remember so much more!
  • The greater reality is composed of many vibrational levels which we on earth loosely organize into seven primary levels. The lowest is what Jesus calls “the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (MT 8:12). Above that come the gorgeous Summerland levels at three through five, the causal or teaching level at six, and the source level at seven. Those living there seem not to think in terms of levels, and of course all of this is both tiny and enormous! Each vibratory level may be even larger than this physical universe.
  • You can travel anywhere instantly, by thought. No time and no space multiplies the fun! But you can go only as high in the post-death levels as your level of spiritual development will allow, which is why we keep coming back to earth to learn how to vibrate ever higher.
  • The higher you go in the consciousness levels, the more beautiful everything will be. Nearly all of us spend our time between earth-lives in the Summerland, which is full of flowers in amazing colors, gorgeous buildings and landscapes, and vast vistas that may be complete with snow-topped mountains over fruited plains. And best of all, we are young and strong, we never sleep, and we can choose from literally endless happy playtime things that we might want to do!

Learn the truth by heart and let it free you from fear. Each of us must do our part! The earth faces a present threat that few people even know exists, and we may have little more than a century in which to raise its vibration enough to save our home planet from burning away. Without our help, rampant low-vibration consciousness is about to make global climate change look by comparison like a day at the beach.

 

Old TV photo credit: Thomas Hawk <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/41971287282″>Motorola</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Summerland house photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7156765@N05/45290798382″>Aurora Ontario – Canada – Hillary House Museum – Historical Society – Heritage Building</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Flowers and river photo credit: 1991568456rtbp <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/140145408@N04/30029683587″>God’s Utterance “God Himself, the Unique IX God Is the Source of Life for All Things (III)”Part One</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

Listening to Jesus

I read frequent communications from three very different clergymen. One is an eloquent Catholic monk who has devoted his life to elevating whatever he finds to be of value in Catholicism while he happily ignores the rest. The second is a pastor who trumpets all the mainline Protestant ideas and especially insists that Jesus died for our sins. The third is a fire-and-brimstone preacher whose entire goal is to get every one of us to claim Jesus as our savior because God’s judgment is upon us and if we are not “saved” we will go straight to hell. Reading them together is an education! It is clear that all three are devoted to Jesus, and it just never has occurred to them to wonder whether their own particular Christian denomination might not be the one that the Lord prefers. Or might it even be possible that the genuine Christ, Who came to us as God on earth, actually wants something else altogether?

These three clergymen and so many others remain still oblivious to the fact that God is about to rock our world. Based upon abundant evidence, we know at last that God is real, God is Consciousness and all that exists, and our minds are part of that infinite eternal Mind which continuously manifests this universe. So for the first time in human history we can begin to understand the true nature of God. We even can start to figure out what it is that God actually wants! For awhile longer, the advent of God on earth will mean little to the billions of people who are still stuck in the world’s religions. But for you and me it presents some very exciting possibilities!

As you may know, afterlife researchers and others have lately been made aware of an ongoing effort being made by those at the highest levels of reality who are working through many people on earth to raise the consciousness vibration of this planet away from fear and negativity and toward ever more perfect love. This is an urgent matter! We are told that unless this effort succeeds, within just a couple of centuries our planet will be a desolate wasteland. So getting it right will be important! And Who better to tell us what we should be doing to powerfully transform the world and avoid its imminent destruction than the genuine God Whose Mind continuously manifests this universe?

Let me say here plainly that for various reasons I consider it more likely than not that almost everything that Christians believe about Jesus is true. He is the promised Jewish Messiah, born of a virgin as God on earth and eventually crucified, entirely dead, risen from the dead three days later, and bodily assumed into heaven. All quite possibly – even probably – true. But we also can conclusively demonstrate that Jesus didn’t die for our sins because God already forgives us all. In addition, now we know that everyone who practiced any religion on earth – or even practiced no religion – goes to the very same religion-free afterlife. But these Christian errors cannot in the least diminish the fact that the life of Jesus is now demonstrated to be a miraculous gift from God! And God doesn’t give us miraculous gifts just to show off. So we know that the gift that is the life of Jesus must have had an important purpose. And since we know now that purpose was definitely not the religion that was later built around Him, don’t you agree that it is well past time for us to give the Lord another chance to tell us in His own words why He came?

We began to set the scene last week. You and I are observant Jews who have discovered an itinerant Teacher so compelling that we have lately begun to follow Him around and listen to Him. We have no idea what the next hour will bring, so for certain we know nothing about Jesus’s later charge that we should spread His teachings, nor His crucifixion, Paul’s letters, Christianity, nor anything else that the future might hold for this Teacher. We just enjoy listening to Him now. So, what do you and I hear Him saying?

I will give you here five primary things that I can hear the Lord telling us, but you might be hearing other things, too. I urge you to open the Gospel words that we now can confirm are genuine, and read and think and draw your own conclusions. But for now, the sun is hot on our heads. From nearby comes an unforgettable Voice…

Jesus Came to Abolish Religions

Religions are a fear-based holdover from the millennia when people served multiple Gods. Now that our people serve one God, Jesus has come to take us past the need for religions altogether. He begins by throwing away the entire Old Testament – what the Jews of His day call The Law and The Prophets – and replacing every religious law with God’s law of perfect love. When asked what is the greatest commandment, He says, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40). He assures us that His outright abolition of religious laws is part of God’s plan when He says, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill (MT 5:17).

Jesus speaks out against religious traditions, and He especially reviles clergymen. He says, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:3-9). And, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (MT 23:13). Wow! is what you and I are thinking, sitting here and listening at the Lord’s feet. Is the Teacher telling us that God is abandoning His Chosen People?

Jesus Came to Teach Us How to Relate to God On Our Own

Actually, Jesus is telling us that we have grown beyond our need for religions, and God would prefer that we begin with Him a one-on-one relationship. He says, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (MT 6:1-6). And we can see that Jesus is trying to avoid being seen as a religious figure. For Him, it is His teachings that matter! He says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (LK 6:46). “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter” (MT 7:21). You and I, at the Teacher’s feet, glance at one another. We cannot help but conclude that, amazingly, God no longer wants us to practice the religion of our fathers, but instead God wants us to begin to develop a personal relationship with Him.

Jesus Came to Teach Us to be Seekers

The Lord knows that humanity will continue to advance in understanding past this sunny afternoon by the Sea of Galilee, so He wants us to keep seeking more knowledge as we become better able to comprehend it. He says, “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). He also 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). Again we share a glance. We think we understand this, too. We should be looking for more truths to come, but what the Teacher is telling us now is a basic set of truths that will not change.

Jesus Came to Teach us How to Grow Spiritually

The teachings of Jesus on forgiveness and love are the easiest and most effective method for achieving rapid spiritual growth that ever has been given to humankind. And clearly Jesus knows that. He keeps telling us how those teachings will transform us when He says things like, But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (MT 5:39-41). And, But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (LK 6:35-36). Sitting at His feet and looking up at Jesus, you and I realize what He is saying. He is telling us that following His teachings on forgiveness and love is going to help us become more like Himself.

Jesus Came to Bring the Kingdom of God on Earth

Right at the start of the Lord’s ministry, “after John (the Baptist) had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (MK 1:14-15). And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade” (MK 4:30-32). Jesus talks incessantly about the kingdom of God and His planned role in bringing about the advent of the kingdom of God on earth. For example, He once tells His listeners, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose” (LK 4:43). He expects the kingdom of God to dawn on earth amazingly soon! He says, There are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God” (LK 9:27). Of course, sitting there at the feet of Jesus, you and I as first-century folk have no clue what Jesus is talking about now, nor can we see how it fits with the rest of what we have been hearing Him say. But after two thousand years it does make sense.

Jesus is telling us that He came to earth to help the world’s first true monotheists move on from religions altogether and establish individual relationships with God that would better enable them to grow spiritually. And He adds that their rapid spiritual growth, had it happened as it had been planned to happen, would fairly soon have brought the dawning of the kingdom of God on earth. His mission was hijacked soon after His death by religion-builders steeped in human ideas, but its fulfillment has only been delayed! What we see as modern Christianity is nothing more than a distracting wrapper. And the genuine teachings of Jesus that still are safe within that wrapper are needed now more urgently than they ever have been needed before. Doesn’t every Christian on earth, including my three zealous clergyman friends, owe Jesus His right to at last be heard?

 

Child Jesus photo credit: Waiting For The Word <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/60532802@N07/5563066352″>Jesus at Twelve 39</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Risen Jesus photo credit: eshao5721 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/165868022@N02/32473423548″>Gesù parla ai discepoli dopo la resurrezione</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

Sitting at His Feet

A week ago came one of those moments when you really help me grow. The previous week I had published a blog post on scientific cluelessness that had been months in the making, was rich with linked articles, and was a lot of fun to write; and it had attracted precisely one commenter and not a single email. Then during that next week it occurred to me that it might be good to write about the ego, and the result has been so many comments and emails that I have lost count! So I finally do get it. Growing spiritually has become foremost in your mind! Most wonderful for me has been the fact that your words have helped me realize some things that never would have occurred to me without your help. So thank you for once again thinking deeply and taking the time to share your thoughts. We fight for humanity’s future together!

I am coming to see now, thanks to you, that we have a big new task before us. There is a growing interest in the afterlife, and more and more people are coming to realize that we enter these earth-lives so we can grow spiritually. All of this does feel like progress! But our pressing task now is to figure out how we can help everyone on earth to achieve the spiritual growth that apparently is the whole reason why this universe exists. All our deeply fear-based religions are anathema to spiritual growth, and there is no other obvious source of information about how we can raise our spiritual vibrations and make a big success of this lifetime!

Except, of course, for A Course in Miracles. ACIM is what amounts to a Ph.D.-level exposition of the teachings of Jesus, and the Lord Himself is its likely head author. I recommend the Course without reservation, and I find it to be an especially useful way to draw out and smack down your ego. I said this last week, and a perceptive commenter responded with a quote from Marianne Williamson. Ms. Williamson is one of the foremost experts on A Course in Miracles worldwide. Our commenter remarked that this is what Ms. Williamson has to say about what happens when you invite the Lord into your life:

“When you ask God into your life, you think God is going to come into your psychic house, look around, and see that you just need a new floor or better furniture, and that everything needs just a little cleaning — and so you go along for the first six months thinking how nice life is now that God is there. Then you look out the window one day and you see that there’s a wrecking ball outside. It turns out that God actually thinks your whole foundation is shot and you’re going to have to start over from scratch. Jesus and his wrecking ball. Suddenly the image of Jesus standing at the door and knocking is transformed. ‘Hey, anybody home? I want to knock this sucker down so we can totally rebuild it. You ready for that?’ It’s what Jesus and his wrecking ball is set to do. Knock it all down to its very foundation. Rip out the foundation if necessary. Jesus wants to make room for something new. Jesus wants to knock down every part of you that doesn’t reflect God’s realm.”

I was shocked and horrified! Here is a shortened version of my answer:

That is not the Jesus of the Gospels! He would say the only problem with your house is there are mice running around in it, squirrels in the attic, and even squatters that you allowed to move in because you were too busy to keep them out even though they are a nuisance and you hate them. So you follow Jesus’s suggestions about how to remove whatever is not a part of your eternal self from the house, so soon there is nothing more in it of earthly imperfections but it is entirely of God. And how beautiful it is! It doesn’t even need much paint, once you and He have scrubbed the walls clean. And with all the little creatures gone and the squatters decamped, the Lord helps you even to do the repainting.

The more time you spend at home with Jesus, the more perfect your whole life starts to feel. You become so happy in your life with the Lord that one day you say, “You know, Jesus, maybe we should put a wing on the house? Then we can invite those homeless people back and have them bring their friends because I have just realized they are all my cousins! And I find that I do love each of them, now that I have reclaimed my eternal home with You and come to realize that it is built on and made of and filled with love.”

Eventually you and Jesus might add that wing, or you might even build an entire city around your house so you can better love and care for the world because it turns out they are all your cousins! But this love that fills you now is nothing new: it always was your own true nature. Your rediscovery of it is the beautiful fruit of your having been encouraged by the Lord of the Gospels to reclaim who you are eternally! Your foundation IS God. All you need to do is remember that fact and get rid of every earthly distraction. The Gospel teachings are meant to help us return to our foundation in God so we can reclaim our eternal nature, not to make us start all over from scratch and become someone else altogether!

I remained horrified by Marianne Williamson’s words until the following morning, when I realized she is right. If you are a Christian, you have built your spiritual house out of fear-based dogmas that make you feel terrible about yourself. “I am so sinful that God can’t forgive me so Jesus has to die or I am going to hell” is the core of what Christianity teaches us to believe about ourselves. “That Christmas Baby lying in the manger is going to have to suffer and die because I am so unworthy of God’s forgiveness. And Jesus will die for me! Of course He will, because unlike me, Jesus is beautiful and perfect. So now I know that I am “saved,” but that doesn’t make me feel even one whit better about my unworthy self. I am sinful. My core nature is evil. Because Adam ate the apple, this is who I am.” So if I am a practicing Christian, I am going to need that wrecking ball! My entire spiritual foundation is rotten. No choice but to trash it all and start over.

A Course in Miracles has to repair the damage done to us by Christian teachings before it can begin to help us grow spiritually. As I look at the Course freshly, I see that a lot of it is aimed at getting rid of those false Christian fears that keep us from realizing that our spiritual foundation is nothing but God. Our genuine nature is perfect love. If it were not for Christianity, our spiritual growth would be so easy: we could simply reclaim what we already are!  

So now I am coming to think that the only way we ever can help the Lord to build the love-based movement He came to earth to start will be if we can find a way to erase Christianity from our personal histories. We will need to go back two thousand years and sit down together at the feet of the Lord and listen to Him. Listen only to Him! We are dressed in homespun, you and I. Our feet are bare, the sun is hot on our heads, and the breeze smells sweet and green. We are looking up at the face of the Teacher, marveling with all the people around us at the amazing new ways that He talks about God.

We know God as a stern but loving Parent. God insists that we obey His commandments and live and eat and dress in ways that keep our minds focused on Him, but God deeply loves us! God has chosen us from all the world to be His own people, so we joyously sing to Him songs of praise:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting
(Psalm 136:1-4).

You and I as first-century Jews live in the certainty of God’s love and care. We are sinners, we make mistakes, but God understands. We suffer travails in the world, but God will send a Messiah in the line of David who will be our King in the better world to come. The Teacher speaking to us now might even be that Messiah! But we are confounded by the things He does, and especially confounded by the things He says:

“… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (MT 5:9-12).

You and I so much want to believe that Jesus is the true Messiah who will bring to God’s chosen people the dawning of a much better world! But as observant first-century Jews, how are we to make sense of His words? Let’s begin to talk about that next week….

 

Jesus as Infant photo credit: JZ-DESIGN <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/97784294@N04/29056964601″>Thiméo.G Shooting</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Tidy house photo credit: Spencer Means <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/28643687@N08/32006422078″>Little house in Ellsworth, Maine</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Your house photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo – Vacation OFF <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7156765@N05/43643005010″>Aurora Ontario – Canada – Poplar Villa – The Chateau 1912</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Jesus captive photo credit: byb64 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50879678@N03/41596213070″>”El Expolio” 1577-1579, El Greco, sacristie, cathédrale Sainte Marie (XIIIe-XVe), Tolède, Castille-La Manche, Espagne.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Torah scroll photo credit: Lawrie Cate <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/24298372@N04/3370795563″>DSC03531</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Raising Lazarus photo credit: eshao5721 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/165868022@N02/44144524830″>La Resurrezione di Lazzaro glorifica Dio</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Extinction of the Ego

I am coming to see that until we each can find a way to vanquish our ego, achieving very much spiritual growth may be difficult or impossible for us. And our inability to grow spiritually would be calamitous for all the world! Growing spiritually is the reason why we even come to earth at all, so this may be the most important message that I ever will share with you.

For most of my life I thought my ego was me. I would be flooded often with fear and rage over trivial things that on a different day might not bother me so much; but I never for a moment in nearly six decades thought that being that way was a problem. Everyone I knew was plagued just as much by all the same petty fears and rages! So it must be normal, right? Then about thirteen years ago I joined an A Course in Miracles study group, and I pursued the Course for more than a year before I reached what my study group called “the extinction of the ego.”

As an aside, I should note that A Course in Miracles was channeled in the 1960s by a group that Jesus led, and effectively it is His Gospel teachings delivered at the Ph.D. level. My study group helped me fight what for all of us is an essential battle, and the death of whatever that nasty thing was has been such an amazing improvement in my life that I want now to share it with you! And in order to do that, I thought I should first do a bit of background research. What is the ego? Do we even need it? Might it be a part of our eternal minds?

What I have found has been just a mess of confusing interpretations of what the word “ego” means, and a hot insistence by various experts that either the ego is good or the ego is bad, or perhaps the ego simply is who you are. Sigmund Freud used the term in constructing his model of the human personality, and in my younger life we used to say that someone who had “a big ego” was too proud, and someone who needed “an ego boost” had been beaten down by life. The rather fanciful definition of the ego used in A Course in Miracles comes down to this: The ego is idolatry; the sign of a limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the ‘will’ that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied.” (Do you see why you will need a study group?)

While the ACIM definition comes closest, no definition I have found can entirely match my understanding of the ego. Perhaps we have been using the word “ego” to cover a number of unrelated things? But in the area of achieving spiritual growth, the word “ego” has a specific meaning, and unless you learn how to spot your ego and eventually learn how to take it down, that pesky nonentity will forever keep you from becoming the perfect being based in love that you already are! So let’s begin by stating our best definition of the word “ego”:

The ego is a limited and separated entity that pretends to be a part of yourself. It was born as an accessory to your body, and it will die when your body dies. The ego is a guardian of the body and of its own survival, focused on making you fear and fight every threat to itself that it perceives. To operate successfully, it tricks you into believing it is a part of your own mind. It is what you perceive as your personal ‘will,’ and it makes you distrust and fear God and also fear whatever might help you grow spiritually because your ego knows that your spiritual growth will eventually bring about the death of itself.”

That is a working definition for now, but as I read it again I think it works fairly well. And you can right away see our problem! The ego has priorities of its own that are contrary to the very reason why you chose to live a life on earth. It is your enemy, but it pretends to be a crucial part of who you are.

I have tried to understand why we even are born into a body that comes with an active ego, since we live much better lives without it! I can think of only two reasons why having an ego might be necessary, neither of which is relevant to our own lives now:

  • The earliest human beings must have needed the ego’s vigilant help. When we had to fight and dominate others in order to survive and mate, and when a moment’s carelessness easily could have transformed us into what’s for lunch, having a paranoid guardian repeatedly alarming us into fight-or-flight probably was an essential element to our remaining alive for one more day.
  • Young children still retain some attraction to and memories of our eternal home. Without this paranoid entity sharing the body of a young child and instilling grabby selfishness and bodily fears, perhaps many more little ones would better recall and yearn for home, and more of them might choose to boogie right on back there.

For whatever reasons the ego ever might have been of use to us, it is of no value to modern adults. Submitting to it after the age of three is like having a nuisance vestigial limb, or perhaps a very cranky appendix that repeatedly becomes enflamed. The extent to which your ego has plagued and diminished your life until now will not be apparent to you until you have managed to free yourself from it, but suffice it to say that its entire purpose has been to make you feel and act crazy. At least, that was all that mine did for me!

Then in one night a little over a decade ago my life was altogether transformed. I had begun via the Course to learn to love and forgive more perfectly, which apparently had threatened my ego sufficiently for it to do what I am told that everyone’s ego does when we begin to grow spiritually: it summoned up my deepest fear. That fear was of what we used to call “the second death,” where we become spiritually advanced enough to merge with God. My ego made me focus on and fear the horror of believing that my merging with God would be the extinction of my individual awareness. I cannot sufficiently express to you how scared I was. And it went on for weeks! Why try to grow spiritually, if all it will get you is an ultimate fall into black oblivion? After more than a month during which my study group supported me but I was in terror, I woke up one morning feeling calm. Then I heard the voice of my treasured spirit guide say, “You will never lose awareness. You will have God’s awareness.” And that was good enough for me! From that moment on, my ego was squashed and silent. I never again feared anything.

Being without a robust ego has felt so natural to me, so healthy and joyous, that it is only in the past few weeks as my guide has been nagging me to talk about the ego that I have come to see how important that fifteen months or so spent steeping myself in ACIM has been to my better living my life. It was only when my nuisance ego was gone that I began my closer walk with God and my deeper study of the teachings of Jesus, until ten years ago this coming April I felt moved to give my life to God. And that was when my deeper and richer life in Spirit really began!  

My first Fun book came out a year later, and in 2016 the third in this series was The Fun of Growing Forever – We Can’t Transform the World Until We Transform Ourselves. It’s a book about using the Gospel teachings to help you to better grow spiritually, and I am realizing only now that those teachings likely worked so well for me precisely because I had already given my ego its big kick in the head. For a few days I was muddled by this, wondering whether my easy success in applying the Gospel teachings might have been just the result of my prior extinguishment of my ego. And that was an advantage you likely won’t have! So, was it the prior banishment of my ego that had made the Gospel teachings work? Had my book been steering you wrong?

I am just now realizing that my extinction-of-the-ego experience made it easier for me a few years later to use the Gospel teachings to elevate my spiritual vibration, but in fact it did no more than that. It was those precious Gospel teachings that did all my spiritual heavy lifting! My dear friend and primary guide now asks me to warn you that if your ego is robust, you are going to find it harder to grow spiritually because your early growth will make your ego feel the need to scare you half to death. But forewarned is forearmed. Here are three of the biggest fears that a desperate ego will inspire:

  • Fear of God. If you are a traditional Christian who is coming to question that dying religion, all the worst fears are right there in your mind! So all your ego has to do is inspire you with a panic over judgment and hellfire, or whatever might be your own worst religious fear, and unless you have made yourself entirely certain that God is only perfect love, soon you will be scurrying back to those pews in terror.
  • Fear of Death. Your ego’s death is its own core fear, so this is an easy one for it to inspire. But fortunately, if you will learn enough to share my excitement about what death really is, you can make yourself proof against ever fearing it. Your death day will be the greatest day of your life! Trust yourself to know and live the truth, and soon the thought of death just will make you smile.
  • Fear of Personal Disaster. Each of us has a few fears so basic that we may not even really know what they are, but they are there. And your ego knows every one of them. All you can do when any such fear attacks you is to be prepared to know that nothing about whatever you are being made to fear is real.

The only way to vanquish your ego is to stand strong in the face of all fear. If you will stare it down as I stared mine down, your ego soon will cease to be. Immerse yourself in eternal truth until that nasty gremlin shrivels and dies! All that exists is one perfect and all-powerful eternal God, and you in particular are God’s best-beloved child. As A Course in Miracles gently assures us, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God” (T-In.2:4).

 

Thai baby photo credit: Alessandro Colalongo <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/59086578@N04/36688007435″>#BeautifulThaiBaby</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Man with waterfall photo credit: Navaneeth Kishor <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31798490@N08/42031636474″>Monsoon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

Brain-Hacks

One astonishing byproduct of the bogus scientific theory of materialism and its correlate certainty that consciousness has to be generated by the brain is the fact that so many scientists have become obsessed with developing brain-hacks. They are certain that your brain creates “you,” even though they have no idea how that happens; so now no effort can be spared as they struggle to find the very best ways to preserve that brain-created “you” forever!

Dying people obsessed with the idea of immortality began in the sixties to have their brains frozen, but even if we can find a way to successfully defrost and reanimate those brains they still will be vulnerable and mortal. So by now those who feel truly inspired to keep our brain-created minds alive have come to focus on how we might upload our consciousness to a computer, while at the same time other scientists are trying to upload information to our living brains. Some of the hacks being seriously considered turn out to be quite literally to die for!

And of course immortal minds will need immortal bodies, so scientists are figuring out now how to hack our bodies too. Modern mainstream science is so far off the rails, so dead-ended by its adherence to the thoroughly discredited dogma of materialism, that the only hope it can think to offer to all of humankind is a possible eternity as computers in the heads of robots? Scientists call this “the mind-body problem,” and while they talk a good game, they still have made precisely zero progress on any of these fronts!

I have subscribed to Scientific American for going on two decades now. In those earlier, more hopeful days, scientists were so certain they were going to figure out how the brain creates consciousness that it seemed to be only a matter of time. As recently as a few years back, scientists still were confident that their materialist theories about the origin of consciousness absolutely had to be right. Very recently, though, these hopeful articles so full of the certainty that matter creates mind have faltered in their optimism, to be replaced in the popular scientific literature by the possibility that we may never discover the origin of consciousness unless we dare to venture beyond traditional physics and consider religious notions too. But of course we can never do that!

Close to twenty years into the twenty-first century, theories of how the brain creates consciousness seem to have reached such a fanciful level that they are mostly expounded on places like Quora, while my beloved but deluded Scientific American has reduced its ambitions to attempts at learning how to tell if a comatose patient is aware, and how we might explain the astonishing fact that some people with “acquired savant syndrome” can gain unbelievable talents overnight. What passes for exciting consciousness news in the popular science literature is just expositions of older studies that focus on parts of the brain that seem to be in some way involved in manifesting consciousness. From what I have seen, these studies are nothing more than possible evidence of how and where an eternal non-material consciousness might attach to and work with our material brains.

The century-old scientific certainty that matter is primary and consciousness is generated by our brains is on its pathetic last legs. And for everyone who cares about truth and understanding, that is wonderful news! This whole bogus contest between scientists and religionists is based on a fallacious assumption that goes back at least as far as Plato and Aristotle, who loosely divided all human knowledge between what is material and what is spiritual. This divide never made any more sense than it would have made to divide the study of liquids from the study of solids, but for nearly all of human history the fact that the whole idea was stupid didn’t much matter because people had so little understanding anyway.

And that division between physical and non-physical studies always was collegial and informal. But then a little over a century ago those struggling to integrate quantum mechanics into their Newtonian physics model didn’t want to have to also consider the flood of well-documented communications that were then being received through deep-trance mediums from people that we used to think were dead. So in desperation, the scientific gatekeepers of the day – the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals – turned what had for nearly two millennia been a largely theoretical division between the study of matter and the study of spirit into what became an iron wall. From then on, the study of material facts and any non-physical speculations had to be rigidly separated! And working scientists who refused to respect the wall between the two killed their own careers.

But there is just one reality. Surely that is common sense? The early-twentieth-century scientists who first dubbed materialism “the fundamental scientific dogma” could not have understood that nothing is solid, that religious dogmas are no threat to the truth, and that in fact there is a glorious greater reality based in consciousness of which our universe is just a part. Scientists through all of human history could not have understood any of this, but more and more working scientists are beginning to suspect it now. And they should be speaking out! But of course they have children to educate and retirements to fund. And by now there has been a century’s worth of scientific work done based on a lie, so at this point it will be hard for any respected scientist ever to point out the fact that the materialist scientific emperor is in fact buck-nekkid. Being the first respected scientist to speak the truth is going to be hard! But still, shame on every scientist at every level who suspects the truth but still lives the lie.

All those brain-hacks meant to give us eternal physical life are laughable. It isn’t only that they turn working scientists into the equivalent of tribal primitives trying to figure out how to hack a radio so it will produce the voice of Frank Sinatra, but eternity is our birthright. It is the essence of who we are! Every human mind is inextricably part of the Mind that continuously manifests this universe, safely beyond the matter-related illusions of time and space and therefore eternal by definition. Please pause for a moment and savor that fact. You never began, you never will end, and eternal is the essence of who you are!

Still, working scientists and clueless others continue to double down on silliness. The author of The DaVinci Code imagines that we will create and worship an artificial God. As we become ever better at detecting the fact that awareness persists after physical death, there also are people who wallow in the horror of imagining that human awareness must be trapped for long enough for the dying to be driven mad as they contemplate their imminent demise. Efforts even are being made to program computers to teach themselves to play chess in order to awaken in machines some of what might look like aspects of the mind, specifically intuition and creativity. According to those carrying on these studies, “With the advent of powerful machine learning techniques we’ve seen that the scales have started to tip and now we have computer algorithms that are able to do these very human-like activities really well.” To what purpose this is being done is difficult to say, since conscious awareness is the source of intuition and creativity, and not a product of it. Even the most creative and intuitive machine cannot go from learning how to develop hunches to ultimately becoming self-aware!

So the beat goes on. But fortunately, those that we used to think were dead are working intensively now to invent such strong and incontrovertible methods of communication between their world and ours that soon scientists will be shamed into venturing into the study of what is not physical. And as the great physicist and polymath Nikola Tesla said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

 

Philosopher photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/9106303@N05/26752965593″>Aristotle with Mobile Phone, after Francesco Hayez</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Growing Spiritually

You may wonder why an afterlife researcher would write so ardently about the teachings of Jesus. Until recently I would have wondered about that, too! I have likely spent as much of my life studying the Bible as I have spent studying the afterlife evidence, but until a few years ago my two intense hobbies seemed to be unrelated. It is only now that I can see that they always have been parts of one whole!

Studying the afterlife and discovering that human minds really are eternal naturally leads us to seek and then to discover the purpose of human life. And once we realize that we come to earth in order to achieve rapid spiritual growth, many of us want to better understand both what spiritual growth actually is and what the best methods are for achieving it. All I can tell you is what I have learned as I have undertaken my own voyage! Fortunately, though, spiritual growth turns out to be a largely mechanical process that has nothing to do with any religion. And it can be achieved surprisingly easily.

Those that we used to think were dead consistently tell us that spiritual growth is humankind’s core need. And in the United States now that need is desperate! Growing spiritually helps us to thrive both individually and in communities, but this nation in particular is rushing headlong toward ever more dysfunctional isolation. No one living in our nation’s present climate can doubt that America is suffering an epidemic of loneliness that apparently is at the root of much of our political battling. And that loneliness traces at least in part to the rapid disintegration of the family. If ever there were a place and time in this world where spiritual growth was needed, then that place and time is right here and right now!

We have talked in previous posts about America’s insane political climate, and about the fact that even in its present sorry state the United States remains the world’s best hope. I have shared with you, too, the strong probability that the religion named after Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the mission and message of the genuine historical Jesus, and in fact the religion that bears His name even acts as a barrier between believing Christians and the teachings that Jesus came to earth to share with all of humankind. I hope you won’t mind if I assume that you are familiar with those earlier posts?

All the divisions among people that we perceive are artificial. And this is especially true of our racial divisions! There is much more genetic diversity within the continent of Africa than there is between east Africans and Europeans, who apparently lost the melanin in our skin via a specific set of genes introduced into Europe so recently that civilization was already beginning. In fact, it looks increasingly likely that human beings went nearly  extinct so very recently that all of us are descended from common ancestors who lived less than 200,000 years ago.

So every human being on earth is your cousin! We all belong not just to one human race, but even to one extended family. Yes, our lack of understanding of what spiritual growth is and why it is important has allowed us to do terrible things to one another (Caution: this beautiful young man now haunts me, and if you click on the link he may haunt you, too). Humanity’s past has been horrible in every generation since civilization began! And if we don’t change course, it seems clear now that our future is going to be even worse. But the wonderful truth is that we know now for certain that there is no barrier to our uniting every member of the human race in the joy of perfect love. All of us are One! And we can live as One. But only spiritual growth can accomplish this trick. No fanciful hope or prayer for unity can be of any help at all. No worldwide government can do anything but make our present problems worse. You and I alone possess the power to uplift and unite the world! And the fastest way to make that happen will be for us to make our personal spiritual growth our first priority.

What is spiritual growth, anyway? We understand now that the only thing that objectively exists is the base creative force that we experience in a limited way as human consciousness. The pioneering quantum physicist Max Planck understood this very well, and in fact he may eventually be credited with having discovered the genuine God! 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.” Exactly right! And every human mind is part of the one Consciousness that continuously manifests this universe. (Since now we better understand what God is, that word deserves a capital C).

Consciousness might best be described as an infinitely powerful and highly emotional energy-like potentiality. As is true of other kinds of energy, it vibrates. At its lowest vibration it manifests as abject fear and all the other ishy emotions, while at its highest vibration it is what we would experience as perfect love. The higher it vibrates, the more powerful Consciousness is, and at its highest vibration its power is infinite. When we are in the afterlife levels we understand this, and we so much crave to raise our personal vibrations that we sign up to leave our beautiful eternal lives to come here to earth and work out briefly in this spiritual gym. Our entire purpose in coming to earth is to learn how to raise our personal vibrations farther away from fear and toward ever more perfect love.

The key to making sense of spiritual growth is to understand that it is based in what we might call the physics of consciousness. And as is true of every form of physics, if we take the right steps we can expect our consciousness to respond in largely predictable ways. Eastern religions have pioneered a number of processes that can prepare us to grow spiritually, including meditation, yoga, chanting, and the esoteric teachings of great mystics. All of that can help, but for the most part it just quiets and tunes up the mind. No Eastern religious practice by itself can do much to raise our spiritual vibration because these practices attack the symptoms of low-vibration consciousness without ever attacking the cause.

The Gospel teachings of Jesus, on the other hand, are the simplest and most effective method for achieving rapid spiritual growth that ever has been devised! As I say in The Fun of Growing Forever, strictly following the teachings of Jesus can raise your spiritual vibration in a matter of months without the need for you to meditate, do yoga, chant, find a guru, go to church, or really do much of anything beyond using those teachings to reprogram your easily-reprogrammable mind! The Gospel teachings do this by removing the barriers to love, since when those barriers are gone your level of consciousness rises naturally toward love as a bubble will rise through water.

 All of this is simple physics! And the most amazing thing about the Gospel teachings is that when you follow them strictly and begin to feel their positive effects, those teachings become remarkably self-reinforcing. The key for me was to learn what we are calling prevenient forgiveness, the trick of forgiving today everything that ever might happen in the rest of your life. Resentments and angers of every kind are very low-vibration emotions, so they act as ballast. They keep your consciousness vibrating at the lower end of its possible range. Get rid of your impulse toward petty angers, and soon you will have risen spiritually to such a level that nothing ever will bother you again!

 Even if you don’t feel a pressing need to raise this planet’s consciousness vibration before it altogether self-destructs, and even if you weren’t thinking about trying to achieve a higher afterlife level, the little effort that growing spiritually will take you now is going to reward you richly, and pretty much right away. Spiritual growth feels wonderful! It means a life removed from stresses, a joyful love for each new face you see, and perhaps above all a certainty that you yourself are supremely and eternally loved. Whatever it is that you think you are seeking, growing spiritually is going to help you find it.

It is both sad and silly that even despite insights from Dr. Planck and other important scientists, the scientific community at large still refuses to accept the fact that all of our minds are part of one eternal Mind. The scientific community remains willfully clueless, but that fact need not hamper us at all! You and I are eternal beings being invited by the Lord Himself to live in the perfect peace of God. As Moses said almost 3500 years ago, “the eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut 33:27).

 

Loaves and fishes photo credit: Roland J. Sims <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/138015205@N08/36062936861″>Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Lonely woman photo credit: manolo guijarro <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46887768@N03/29380568037″>baywatch</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Man with waterfall photo credit: Navaneeth Kishor <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31798490@N08/42031636474″>Monsoon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Lord’s Christianity

Those that we used to think were dead tell us that achieving more rapid spiritual growth is the reason why we are born to live brief lives in this spiritual gym. They also tell us that Jesus is genuine, and they confirm that He told us the truth about God, reality, death, the afterlife, and the meaning and purpose of human life almost two thousand years before we could have received this wisdom in any other way. For my own part, I can confirm that the Gospel teachings of Jesus are the simplest and most effective short-course in rapid spiritual growth that exists! When those teachings are seriously applied, they can be effective in only months.

Another thing the dead are telling us is that the level of consciousness vibration on this planet has fallen so far away from love and toward fear that a concerted effort is now being made by beings at the highest levels – including of course the Lord Himself – to elevate us away from fear and toward love just as rapidly as possible. Historical hindsight may eventually suggest that our now being able to confirm the truth of the genuine Gospel teachings of Jesus is a literal miracle that has occurred at almost the eleventh hour.

The fear-based religion  that claims to be based in Jesus has nothing to do with Jesus. This is obvious to anyone who looks at the religion’s dogmas and then reads the Lord’s canonical Gospels with even a half-open mind! And especially now that the dead are abundantly confirming that Jesus is genuine, it seems to be extremely important that we give the Lord a second chance to enlighten and uplift the world. Jesus never meant to start what we now call Christianity. And nothing that Christians are taught is true.

So if Jesus didn’t come to start a religion, and He certainly didn’t come to die for our sins, then why on earth did He come at all? Jesus plainly tells us that He came to teach us to relate to God on our own. His words are so clear that even as a devoutly Christian child I came to suspect this might be true. It is no wonder that Christian leaders forbade the reading of the words of Jesus by laypeople for more than a thousand years, and the first translation of those books into English was not done until the 16th century!

The Lord told us that He came from God, and He said that the words that He spoke were from God. The Gospel of John is the most spiritual of the four canonical Gospels, and there He says, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (JN 14:10-11). For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak” (JN 12:49). Those that we used to think were dead confirm that Jesus is from the highest aspect of the Godhead, so elevated that God could “look through His eyes” and relate directly to those living on earth. Our own amazing confirmation of the divinity of the eternal Christ is that He knew and said things two thousand years ago that we are able to confirm only now! Please pause for a moment and savor that fact.

Jesus came to us as God on earth in an effort to free us from all religions, to teach us to relate to God on our own, and to teach us how to elevate ourselves spiritually to the point where we can bring the kingdom of God on earth.

Toward the end of His earthly life, Jesus gave His disciples what is called the Great Commission, sending them out to share His Gospel teachings with the world. He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (MT 28:18-20). But this extraordinary movement that Jesus founded to begin the process of effecting the rapid spiritual growth of all humanity soon was turned into a fear-based religion that all but ignores the Gospel teachings and treats Jesus as just a blood-sacrifice to an imaginary God that needs a blood-sacrifice. Similarly, every subsequent effort made through willing people on earth by love-based beings not now in bodies to further the work of God on earth was foiled by the very religion that had co-opted and defiled the Lord’s mission. But we are told now that a fresh effort is being made by those at the highest levels to reintroduce the Lord’s Gospel revelation!

Their effort begins with the withering of the false religion that otherwise would continue to stand in the way of our sharing of the Lord’s Gospel truths. You and I are not alone in throwing off the husk of a moribund religion; in fact, many Americans now freely say that as they move farther away from Christianity they are becoming ever more spiritual. The field of our hearts is being cleared for fresh seeding. And gloriously, as this post-religious but more spiritual world finds its footing in the West, we can begin to speculate about how much better our lives and the world are going to be once everyone knows these perfect truths!

The Lord has been calling us all along to look behind false religious dogmas and seek His perfect eternal truths. He says things like, “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).“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).

The more you study the Gospel words, the more you will become convinced that Jesus actively despises religions! He says in frustration, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (LK 6:46). And, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:3-9). “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you!” (MT 21:31)            “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (MT 8:11-12).

Jesus especially urges us to keep religions from interposing themselves between us and the only God. He says, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (MT 6:1-6). How is it even possible that for two thousand years religious people have been claiming they were following Jesus, but then they would read His Gospel words and altogether ignore them?

And here is an amazing piece of scripture that never made sense to me until now. Jesus foresaw false Christianity’s rejection of Him, and He foresaw as well the genuine Christian movement that eventually would take its place! He said, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The Stone which the builders rejected thus became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing the fruit of it” (MT 21:42-43). He was quoting Psalm 118:22-23, which was written by David three thousand years ago. There is no objective time in eternity. Was the rise and fall of false Christianity and the flowering at last in the twenty-first century of the Lord’s eternal Gospel truths foreseen by David even so long ago?

The altogether secular movement that Jesus came to earth to begin is the only true Christianity. Rather than the bloody, fear-based religion that even today hides His teachings from the world, for millennia humankind could have enjoyed a flowering on the earth of forgiveness and love, an ever closer walk with one another, an intimate union with the only true God, and worldwide spiritual growth as a species that could have made it possible for us by now to be looking back on centuries of peace and reveling in a twenty-first century in which the kingdom of God overspreads the earth. But God will not be mocked. The Lord’s truth will win. As that false religion shrivels and dies, at last we can begin the Lord’s great work of elevating and transforming all of humankind!

 

Jesus with Peter photo credit: Pamela P. Stroud <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/138014685@N08/41277070530″>How Peter Came to Know Jesus</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

David statue photo credit: _perSona_ <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22627749@N08/25985015238″>el david</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

Am I an Atheist?

My first blog post was made five years ago. Wow, time flies! I shared with you then my transformative experience at the age of eight that has so profoundly shaped my life, and looking back now at that rookie post makes me smile. I didn’t even add pictures!

Extraordinary experiences like mine remain forever present in our minds. Even more than sixty years later, it feels as if that experience of light just happened yesterday! And I realize now that forever after I have lived in the perfect love of Spirit, and my primary urge has been to magnify for you the Gospel words of Jesus. By Christian standards, though, I am an atheist. The plain dictionary definition of the word is “unbeliever in God or deities,” and I know for a fact that the cranky and judgmental Christian God does not exist. So I am an atheist. Who knew?

That Christian insistence on faith and not facts makes the existence of God just a matter of taste, so it is surprising that so few Americans will come out and actually claim to be atheists. The venerable Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study found that only 3.1% of Americans would self-identify as atheists, while another 4% called themselves agnostics. In Europe the landscape is quite different! A current Pew study of European Christians found that 46% of Europeans are non-practicing Christians, while just 18% say they attend church regularly. Across fifteen European nations, only 27% of the population said that they “believe in God as described in the Bible.” So almost three-quarters of Europeans contacted have been willing to flat-out declare that they do not believe in the Christian God. Clearly Europeans are far more comfortable than Americans are with being atheists!

Helping us to better understand atheism is the venerable afterlife scholar, Michael Tymn. Now in his eighties, Michael is an expert on the heyday of communications received in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from people that we used to think were dead, and his books have taught me so much! Michael’s latest blog post is about people who say to him, “You don’t really believe in this stuff, do you?” He tries to enlighten them, but most are hobbled by that insidious scientist/religionist dualism. He says, “It has been my experience that most atheists are stuck in the muck and mire of scientific fundamentalism and will have none of it, just as much as evangelicals are stuck in religious fundamentalism. Over the years, I have developed a profile of the typical hard-core atheist. He or she may not have all of the characteristics indicated below, but here are 21 fairly common characteristics I have observed.” He or she:

  • was likely brought up in a religious family, quite often in an evangelical family;
  • had problems with parental authority when young, and was often rebellious;
  • while in school, adopted science teachers and professors as substitute parent figures and quickly divorced religion in favor of the “intellectual” reductionist approach of the teacher or professor;
  • cannot now believe anything that can’t be replicated and validated by science;
  • believes that it is necessary to prove the existence of God before considering the evidence for an afterlife;
  • believes wars, famine, poverty, premature death, etc. are evidence that there is no God, as a benevolent God would not permit such things.  No God, no afterlife;
  • had an inferiority complex most of his or her life, but now sees his “intellectual” atheism grounded in science as making him/her better and smarter than all his/her friends who still suffer from religious superstitions;
  • has never really studied the evidence for the survival of consciousness but finds it convenient to parrot people like James “The Amazing” Randi and Michael Shermer by saying it is all fraudulent;
  • assumes that celestial ways and means must meet terrestrial standards, thereby further assuming that science has it all figured out;
  • attempts to put on a courageous front in his or her belief that life is nothing more than a march into an abyss of nothingness, but is really shaking in his or her boots, especially in his/her old age, when the courage turns to bitterness and despair, i.e., the pretend courage is really bravado;
  • doesn’t fully grasp the difference between evidence and proof;
  • assumes that the afterlife is nothing more than angels floating around on clouds and strumming harps for eternity;
  • fails to recognize that the evidence coming to us through psychical research and parapsychology is not always consistent with religious dogma and doctrine;
  • thinks that television “ghost hunting” programs are what psychical research and parapsychology are all about;
  • accepts the debunker’s explanation that all psychical phenomena are the result of fraud, hallucination or self-delusion;
  • believes everything he/she reads concerning paranormal phenomena at Wikipedia is the straight scoop;
  • assumes that psychics, if real, should be able to pick winning lottery numbers and be totally correct in everything he or she says;
  • stresses the “misses” in the testing of psychic phenomena, while ignoring the “hits,” even though they are far beyond chance;
  • assumes that if spirits exist, they should be all-powerful and able to more effectively communicate;
  • says we should “live for today” and not concern ourselves with what happens after death;
  • fancies him- or herself as a self-appointed guardian of truth in the war on superstition.

 I am amazed to report that none of these twenty-one characteristics applies to me! So perhaps I am not an atheist after all? What Michael Tymn has produced for us is a gross indictment of Christianity’s insistence that a petty, judgmental, fear-based, first-century bogus notion of a God must nevertheless be taken on faith to be the genuine God that manifests this universe. But that creepy version of God was outmoded as soon as Jesus spoke His first words!

And then there is the horrendous fact that dogmas based on a bogus God cannot improve even our religious leaders. In response to recent appalling revelations of the sexual abuse by Catholic priests of thousands of American children, Pope Francis produced just a modified limited hangout. A concerted effort by American bishops to better respond to this crisis actually has just been quashed by the Vatican, and the Pope’s deliberate laxity in controlling Catholic clergy for the sake of the children is at last causing some American Catholics to arrive at the end of their long patience. But it isn’t only Catholic clergy who so often betray our trust! The news in recent years has been full of the revelation of protestant ministers who also were caught behaving badly.

Jesus warns us about this very problem. He says, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits” (MT 7:15-20). Add the suffering of thousands of children at the hands of modern priests to the whole long history of Christianity in the world, especially the Crusades and the Inquisition, and you see still standing in our midst the Lord’s archetypical poisonous tree!

Of course you and I are not atheists. My friend Michael Tymn’s twenty-one characteristics of atheists are instead both judgment and verdict against a tragically failed Christianity. You and I have responded to the Lord’s invitation that we “ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (LK 11:10). As followers of Jesus, we are seekers! And what we have found is the gloriously factual and infinitely perfect eternal God. When Christianity insists that we give our faith to a made-up God that many find repellant, the religion is making atheists-by-definition out of every genuine seeker. Most Americans are not ready to admit it yet, but surveys of European Christians show us clearly where this will be going.

It is time for us to come together and plant the seed of the Lord’s own tree! The number of those who follow the Gospel teachings may be tiny now, but Jesus told us long ago how His truth will blossom in the world. He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?  It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade” (MK 4:30-32). Now at last the Lord’s work can begin!

 

Little Girl photo credit: ::: M @ X ::: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/71337499@N00/45094419112″>Mora</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Atheist Sign photo credit: onnola <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/30845644@N04/25434321218″>ATHEIST</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Fake God photo credit: Halloween HJB <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/72185053@N00/42068844605″>River God-bust</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Church Interior photo credit: kimmy aoyama <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/148997126@N03/41026982651″>Washington National Cathedral (March For Our Lives prayer and vigil)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Is There a God?

The worst barrier between humankind and our ability to understand reality is the fact that we cannot ask the greatest of all questions factually. If we ask that question as it is asked in the title of this post, and even if we assume the question refers to the Christian God and not to Vishnu or Amun, no one attempts to give a factual answer!

The Christian God’s existence is presented to us as something we must take on faith. Now, I am open to the idea of a God – I really hope a God exists! – but I am unable to content myself with taking anything on faith. So since I won’t take God’s existence on faith, I am an atheist. There is no God. And where science is concerned, this problem may be worse! Since I am a scientist who wants only facts, I refuse to believe in a Christian God that cannot be considered factually. Which means, of course, that there is no God and everything arose by chance. Now, true, we haven’t yet figured out how consciousness happens in the brain or how life could have begun or why the Big Bang happened, but our believing that none of it needs a God that must be taken on faith alone is a more than sufficient negative answer to make us certain that no God exists.

Neither Christianity nor science is willing to consider the possibility of a factual God. So even if we want a God so badly that we force ourselves to “have faith in God,” every one of us by definition is a factual agnostic. But, good grief, whether there actually is a God has to be the most important facts-based question of all time! Even my believing with all my heart that I have cured cancer or won a major lottery cannot affect either my bank account or whether I will win a Nobel Prize; and even my absolute certainty that no Creator God exists is going to make it one whit more likely that I will be able to figure out how life arose on its own from some primordial goo.

I have written about this problem from various directions as a battle between science and Christianity, as religious nonsense vs. scientific folly. I have laid out arguments, poked fun, and torn my hair out in frustration! I have reported on the work of extraordinary researchers and devoted my life to presenting the evidence. But now I realize I am missing the mark. Since the ongoing battle between science and Christianity is a conversation about beliefs alone, even if one side somehow wins, their millennia-long struggle cannot settle anything!    

I suffered this disheartening epiphany as I read a recent article in The Washington Times called “Science’s Godless Problem.” Right up my alley! It begins, “Cosmologist Stephen Hawking made headlines from beyond the grave this October when, seven months after his death, his presumed last book was published bearing these words: ‘There is no God.’ And with that, the already wide gap separating science and religion, physical from spiritual, got a bit wider.”

My first thought was, “Who cares?” Then I realized that is the entire point! If Dr. Hawking had said, “I now can demonstrate based upon extensive evidence that there is no base creative force,” and if he then had made a factual case, that would have been another matter; but it makes no difference to you or me what the person sitting next to us might believe. And Dr. Hawking agrees with me! It turns out that what he had said in his new book – in a section called “Brief Answers to Big Questions” – was this: “We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate.” Thank you, sir! You have made my point.

This article concludes by saying, A science world with a default premise of No God is a disservice, in the end, to true scientific inquiry.” Well, of course that is perfectly true! But what about a spiritual world that still holds up a “default premise” of an entirely beliefs-based Christian God that has changed not at all in two thousand years? How does that advance the understanding of the seven billion people on earth who need real spiritual advancement now a great deal more than they need another planet or a better cellphone?

Neither science nor Christianity is willing to see this problem, so certainly neither of them will address it. To be frank, their truce suits them both just fine! Each can bash the other for being beliefs-based and closed-minded, while at the same time the enforced ignorance that each of them espouses serves to protect the enforced ignorance of the other. Plato and Aristotle are said to have been the first to divide human inquiry between the spiritual and scientific realms. And so long as the intellectual descendants of those worthies still refuse to call out one another for maintaining this artificial division that frankly never made a lick of sense, their ancient gig can continue. The religion-biased author of that Washington Times article says, Researchers with the Religion and Public Life Program at Rice University in Texas reported in December of 2015 the state of biologists’ and physicists’ spirituality in eight regions of the world and found: ‘Scientists are indeed more secular — in terms of beliefs and practices — than those in their respective general populations.’ Specifically, 35 percent of U.S. scientists told researchers they were atheists. That’s a third of the researching, teaching, publishing, fund- and grant-receiving scientific population of America — and it comes amid findings from Gallup in 2016 showing about 90 percent of Americans believe in God, and amid a survey from Pew Research in 2017 revealing a third of Americans read the Bible at least once a week. Call it a great divide.”

But it is not a divide. It’s a mutual support system! And the rest of us are left out in the cold.

How might we begin an objective attempt to factually answer that greatest of all questions? All I can tell you is how I answered it. Once scientists are allowed to really go for it, I am sure they will do a much better job! But since my facts-based research has yielded a factually certain God more wonderful than any Christian’s fondest imaginings, I will give you here a brief summary of how I found the genuine God. I used three primary sets of data:

  • The testimony of those that we used to think were dead. I began with intensive reading of nearly two hundred years of recorded afterlife communications, concentrating on those received before 1940. I did this as an on-off switch, since if the dead were all reporting different nonsense there must be no afterlife and therefore no God that matters. I recall to this day my utter wonder at finding that the more of these communications I read, the more I was discovering this gigantic and absolutely consistent post-death reality! There were never any outliers. As I say in The Fun of Dying, it was like reading hundreds of communications from two centuries of travelers to Fiji. They all had gone to the same wonderful place!
  • The Gospel teachings of Jesus. Christian teachings are man-made nonsense. But we have the recorded words of someone who walked the earth two thousand years ago claiming to know things that he could not have known if there were no factual God. And the testimony of Jesus agrees with the testimony of the dead in sometimes extraordinary detail!
  • Quantum-physics-for-dummies books. Even when I had become convinced that there had to be a factual God, none of it was sufficiently real until I could make sense of how God might fit with the reality that seems to be around us. And it turns out that the implications of quantum physics provide a gateway to that understanding.

God is factually real! God is the only thing that is real, and your own mind is inextricably part of that all-powerful and perfectly loving God. And if someone so scientifically clueless as I am was able to find the factual God, then it is time for both Christianity and mainstream science to advance intellectually beyond Plato and Aristotle.

History’s greatest scientists have cared more about facts than scientists do now. Both Albert Einstein and Max Planck found the same God that I did! Planck 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.” And Einstein said, “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” Even poor Dr. Hawking said in a younger, more hopeful day, “What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?… Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?” And the great scientist and polymath Nikola Tesla, said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

It is past time for scientists and Christians to stop their game of keep-away that continues to hide from us the factual answer to this greatest of all questions! God is real, but the genuine God is nothing like the Christian God so in finding the truth they each will lose something while at the same time they both will win. And you and I and all of humankind for ages to come will be the biggest winners!

 

Icons photo credit: marcoverch <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/149561324@N03/43023752735″>Heiligenbilder in einem Geschäft gegenüber der Kirche Hagios Demetrios</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Hawking photo credit: EpicFireworks <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/30048753@N05/19012579073″>Professor Stephen Hawking Held A Pluto Party</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Sovereignty photo credit: Pamela P. Stroud <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/138014685@N08/42434499704″>Christian Documentary “The One Who Holds Sovereignty Over Everything” Testimony of the Power of God</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>