Author: Roberta Grimes

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>

 

 

 

Evolution Evolves

The consequences of scientists’ need to believe our material brains create consciousness are manifold and ridiculous. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that scientists’ obsession with materialism has so hobbled scientific inquiry as to make any further progress impossible! So why do they still cling to their materialist dogma? More and more, their problem seems to be that for the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals this has become a binary contest. Either reality is a great machine that spontaneously arose from a dot in what they envision as a Big Bang, or Jehovah hand-created the universe six thousand years ago in less than a week. For scientists, it is one or the other. And since the other is obviously wrong, they must pursue their matter-only version of reality despite its cost in time and treasure.

The most peculiar example of the endless blind alleys this stubbornness has created for them is the question of whether human beings have free will. For scientists to maintain their certainty that consciousness is created by the brain, they are required to treat as settled science the theory that human free will is impossible. You cannot believe your lying eyes! You didn’t actually choose what to wear this morning or what to have for dinner tonight. No, every decision of every kind made by each of the more than a hundred billion human beings who ever have lived has been not the product of individual thought, but instead each decision has been an inevitable consequence of the Big Bang. Scientists even are figuring out in which part of the brain our stubborn illusion that we possess free will must be located.

You are laughing now. The notion that people who have been educated through the Ph.D. level could be sure that such nonsense is true is ridiculous! But their problem is that if we have free will, then their whole materialist assumption is wrong. And that would mean that a century of scientific research must be re-evaluated, and a lot of it will go out the window.

As I report in The Fun of Dying, it has repeatedly been demonstrated that our brains begin the muscular and nervous preparations to move a digit about 350 milliseconds before study subjects report having made the decision to move that digit. Of course, this fact is yet more evidence that our nonmaterial minds make these decisions and send them to our material brains, which begin to act and only then make us consciously aware of our intention to move. There is a simple explanation if our brains receive consciousness. If they generate consciousness, no explanation seems possible.

This blind insistence by scientific gatekeepers that consciousness must be created by the brain despite a growing body of evidence that something very different is going on has gradually tied mainstream science into knots. The century-long battle between scientists and religionists has largely come down to their disparate theories on the origin of species; and it is here that scientists have begun to confront important new information that may at last require them to question their foundational materialist theory. We know that the Biblical notion of a six-day creation has to be wrong! And it appears now that the same can be said of the mechanical theory of Darwinian evolution.

Let’s first summarize here once again what open-minded researchers have come to understand about consciousness:

  • Consciousness is all that exists. It is an infinitely powerful and infinitely creative energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the sense that your mind is alive, highly emotional and therefore probably self-aware.
  • Consciousness includes every human mind. We are inextricably part of Consciousness itself! Pardon the capital letter here, but in fact the greatest discovery of the 20th century belongs to physicist Max Planck. Inadvertently, he found the genuine God.
  • Consciousness continuously manifests reality from outside of time. What exists within time is temporal. What exists outside of time is eternal! Our minds are part of Consciousness and outside of time, so we exist in an endless Now. In whatever form your mind exists, by definition it always has existed and it always will exist.
  • Consciousness continuously manifests this universe. Consciousness didn’t create a Big Bang, wind up the machine and walk away, but rather Consciousness continuously manifests the Now in which you believe you live, including what you perceive as “the past.”
  • Consciousness exists outside of time, but scientists and researchers do not. And there is evidence that as our efforts to make sense of things have become more sophisticated, Consciousness has simply created more universe, more past, more satisfying details to keep scientists busy and to prevent their finding any borders to this illusion.

So everything that scientists believe is material and imbued with a past possesses neither of these characteristics. As Nobel Laureate Albert 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.” Einstein also said, “The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Einstein died more than sixty years ago! He and Max Planck discovered what independent researchers are only now confirming. Yet even today, the mainstream scientific community that reveres both Planck and Einstein refuses to acknowledge the implications of their three most important discoveries: that consciousness is primary, that nothing is material, and that time’s arrow is an illusion.

This ongoing scientific insistence that consciousness is created in the brain, even despite a century of evidence that consciousness must precede matter, has led to an ever-increasing inability of mainstream scientists to understand much of anything. The century-long battle between scientists and religionists has largely come down to their disparate theories on the origin of species, and it is here that scientists have begun to confront important new information that may at last require them to question their foundational materialist theory. We know that the Biblical theory of a six-day creation cannot be true! And it is clear now that the same must be said of the mechanical theory of Darwinian evolution.

Darwin’s theory of evolution is so weak that an industry has sprung up to poke holes in it, perhaps with the thought on the part of Christians that once Darwinism is discredited we will be left with just Jehovah and the Book of Genesis. That is nonsense of course, but these religion-inspired attacks on a weak scientific theory have been useful to independent researchers who are trying to understand how reality works! And by now, even scientists can see that Darwin’s insight that species do evolve was only an inkling of what is turning out to be a very complex process.

The upper-level dead have consistently told us that the universe is not nearly as large nor as old as scientists believe it to be. They say it has been fine-tuned as a place for eternal minds to inhabit bodies so we can push against negativity in order to better grow spiritually; and now, amazingly, a new scientific discovery has revealed a crucial moment in that fine-tuning process. “In a massive genetic study, senior research associate at the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University Mark Stoeckle and University of Basel geneticist David Thaler discovered that virtually 90 percent of all animals on Earth appeared at right around the same time. More specifically, they found out that 9 out of 10 animal species on the planet came to being at the same time as humans did some 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. ‘This conclusion is very surprising,’ says Thaler, ‘and I fought against it as hard as I could.’”

Of course he fought it! After what scientists believe was at least three billion years of separate evolution by natural selection of the more than eight million animal species that now inhabit this planet, we have just learned that nine out of ten of those species achieved their modern forms in a very recent eye-blink of time, and just as we humans achieved our own modern form. Absent some scientific explanation that is not apparent and seems unlikely, this is one development that could not have happened unless indeed we were seeing Consciousness preparing the earth as a place for you and me to grow spiritually. We will reserve final judgment. But for those of us whose minds are not stuck in failed materialist science nor in ancient Bible stories, the wonder of seeing concrete evidence that what the dead tell us really is true feels like beating back millennia of ignorance and beginning at last to glimpse a rising sun.

 

Skulls photo credit: classroomcamera <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/155535822@N07/25491402327″>IMG_0715 1</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Shells photo credit: amcuervo <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10051694@N02/38925214725″>Fósiles en fachadas</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Scientism vs. Religionism

It has been a little while since we last took a swipe at the Luddite field of scientific inquiry, but I keep finding on-point articles. Please indulge me while I share another of them now.

The reason why I call my radio show and podcast Seek Reality is that everyone should be doing just that! Of what value are our attempts to make sense of things unless we conduct open-minded research and we don’t just look for evidence that might support our preconceived beliefs?

Amazingly, a full century after the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals first adopted materialism as what they then called “the fundamental scientific dogma,” scientists remain bound by materialism. And incredibly, the pointless battles over the nonsense beliefs of both science and Christianity that began more than a century ago still continue! Both disciplines are sure that their two sets of beliefs cover the range of all the possible ways that people might look at reality, and the battle between these two sets of beliefs – you might call them materialism and theism – would be laughable if it were not so ridiculous. Rather than battling over whether or not evolution happens, wouldn’t it be more productive for both scientists and religionists to share information and attempt to better understand reality together?

There is in fact a gigantic and readily available body of evidence of what actually is going on! We talk about pieces of that evidence here, and also on Seek Reality, and nearly all of it is both scientific and spiritual – indeed, matter is in fact spirit – so all this information is off-limits to science. And since it doesn’t fit the Christian dogmas, religionists won’t touch it either. But it really is possible for us to figure out what actually is going on! And many researchers already have figured it out, to the extent that we can make sense of things with the limited minds that we bring into these bodies. So many people do indeed know the truth, and that makes watching the battle that continues between two failed and clueless ideologies a spectator sport that has moved beyond sad toward becoming ever more ridiculous.

Let’s look in particular at what we experience as human consciousness, which is the core energy that continuously manifests this universe. Independent researchers have learned quite a lot about consciousness, and we would be happy to share! But scientific dogmas still preclude that. Scientists have spent the past century trying to figure out how the brain generates consciousness, which is the rough equivalent of a gaggle of primitives clustered around a radio trying to figure out how those tubes and wires generate the voice of Frank Sinatra. Consciousness used to be called “the hard problem,” and for a long time scientists seriously sought a source of consciousness in the brain, without success. So of late they are just winging it.

For example, two purported researchers have authored an article in the current issue of Scientific American entitled “Unlocking the ‘Mystery’ of Consciousness” that they claim will explain consciousness while requiring neither “supernatural intervention” nor “any new fundamental physics.” So they claim to have beaten the religionists – “Take that, Christianity!” – while at the same time they are respecting a physics that is grounded entirely in materialism.

I began to read this article with some enthusiasm! Could this be the long-awaited breakthrough? Alas, no. It is eighteen paragraphs of unsupported nonsense. After an introduction that uses big words but says nothing, the authors go on to claim that consciousness and the creation of feelings are fundamentally grounded in general life functions. Just look at all the basic commonalities between life and feelings. For instance, both rely on complexly organized chemical and physiological processes, and both are embodied; that is, each living thing has a body with a boundary from the outer world. So just as life requires a bounded body for survival, consciousness requires such a body for the creation of a personal (first-person) point of view.” Even if this statement were supported by evidence, it still brings us no closer to understanding the origins of consciousness in the brain. Comparing the origin of consciousness with the origin of life is particularly useless when scientists don’t understand that, either!

The authors go on to say, “to these general features are added numerous and neurobiologically unique special neurobiological features of complex nervous systems, especially of complex brains, that all together create consciousness. The special neurobiological features that we identified include an explosion of senses (eyes, good hearing, keen smell), a multitude of new neural processing subsystems, more combining of information from the different senses, more levels of information processing at the top of the brain, more back-and-forth communications between brain levels, and more memory. From these neural features arise consciousness in a way comparable to how the complex property of life naturally arises from the interactions of its chemical and cellular components.” Since these authors show no interest in understanding how our sensory organs relate to conscious experience, and since scientists still have not figured out how life arises, all of this means precisely nothing. It is the equivalent of saying, “Whenever you have tubes and wires you are going to give rise to somebody’s voice, whether it’s Frank Sinatra’s or Kanye West’s. But we don’t know why!

And there is even more of this blather. The authors go on to say, “So the solution to the ontological aspect of the explanatory gap is that all feelings are both uniquely personal via their connection to life, and they have a unique neurobiology through the special features. And the two in combination create the unique feature of conscious feelings. Note this explanation requires no supernatural intervention nor any new ‘fundamental property’ or principle of physics.” It seems that for them the entire point is to figure out a way to support traditional physics while excluding “supernatural intervention”!

And without offering any support for their theories, the authors insist on making the point that how ever consciousness might arise in the brain, the ability for the brain to generate consciousness must have evolved. They say, “We support our natural solution to the ontological subjectivity of primary consciousness by showing that there is no gap in the evolutionary sequence that led from life to feelings.” “Take that, all you religionists who don’t believe in evolution!” They add, “However, while there was a seamless and natural evolution of consciousness, we also find that feelings and their neural substrates are extremely diverse and widespread. This is true within a brain: in mammals, for example, the brain areas for the many kinds of perceived images (cerebral cortex) largely differ from those for the many kinds of affects or emotions (subcortical areas).” Again, not a bit of scientific evidence or insight into how any of this is even relevant to our core inquiry about how the brain gives rise to consciousness. Or how a primordial goo gives rise to life.

These authors’ conclusion is perhaps their most amazing bit of nonsense. They simply say, “We conclude that the “mystery” of consciousness and Levine’s “explanatory gap” and the “hard problem” can be naturally and scientifically explained. Our theory hinges on the propositions that consciousness and subjective feelings can be ontologically subjective and neurobiologically unique yet scientifically explainable, and that this creates an unbridgeable yet scientifically unproblematic divide between first- and third-person knowledge of the brain. At the same time, it continues to explain how while subjective experience is unique in nature, there is no need to invoke unknown forces, either physical or nonphysical, to account for its creation.” To this day, scientists cannot even explain what consciousness is, nor can they come up with a workable theory of how it arises in the brain. But rather than allowing such baseline quibbles to trip them up, these authors have gone on to assume that consciousness must somehow arise in the brain and then constructed a whole set of nonsense theories that use multi-syllabic terms but are supported by no evidence and explain nothing. This is what passes for scientific rigor today!

Open-minded people have known for a century that consciousness is not generated by the brain, but rather it is the base energy which continuously manifests this universe. In a more enlightened future day, credit for this most important discovery of the twentieth century will go to Max Planck, who in 1918 won the Nobel Prize in physics as the father of quantum mechanics. Back in 1931, 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.”

There were other twentieth-century physicists, too, who saw in the implications of quantum mechanics the fact that consciousness has to be primary! Physicist Euan Squires said, “Every interpretation of quantum mechanics involves consciousness.” Physicist Sir James Jeans said, “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” And the evidence for the primacy of what we experience as human consciousness is by now so incontrovertible and complete that it is hard to see how it might be disputed by anyone who has access to objective facts. If only scientism and religionism would at last declare a truce in these battles that neither of them can win, then perhaps we all might seek reality together and share the objective truth with all of humankind.

Meanwhile, these nonsensical battles between scientists and religionists go on! Next week we will consider their ongoing major bone of contention, which is the theory of evolution vs. the theory of creation. There is in fact an evidence-based way to make sense of how things happened, and brand-new evidence suggests that this third way may well be right….

Thank you!!

I don’t say this often enough, but I love you. I cannot get over how wonderful it is to have you in my life! Just seeing an email from you with a question to answer makes me smile. Reading your personal story that leads to how you found me – and how I was able to help you – lifts my heart! I am long past retirement age, but I feel more energized now than I ever before have felt in my life. I have you to thank for that. So… Thank you!

Seek Reality has passed its five-year mark, and in celebration we are again attempting to do the program for a live audience. Especially when I was still practicing law, I found it hard to keep to a fixed schedule; and since I wasn’t taking calls, going on live didn’t seem to matter. I had learned early on that taking even good questions would interrupt the flow of what my guests and I were trying to teach you, so that was when I began to urge you to email me through this website if you ever had a question. And for years that has worked well! But recently W4CY contacted me, and as I usually do when such things happen, I saw it as another door opened by Spirit and experimentally I went through it. Being on live last week for the first time in years turned out to be a lot of fun! And even though we weren’t taking calls, there was a chat room where people could ask questions. We’ll be posting the answers to their questions from last week in the chat room as our new live Seek Reality episode begins next Tuesday at five eastern time, but I thought you might enjoy seeing these questions and answers now:

Are they one in the same? God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?

The idea of a three-in-one deity was hot in the early part of the first millennium A.D., so it was easy for the early Christians to say, “We’re up to the minute! We’ve got that too!” The Council of Nicaea in 325 seems to have adopted the trinity idea whole-cloth, but the notion of a triune God emphatically DID NOT come from Jesus!

In order for you to understand anything Jesus says in the Gospels, you must never forget that when He was teaching on earth, for Him to have said anything against the prevailing religion would have brought him an immediate death sentence. So He could not come right out and say, “The cranky Jehovah you used to think was God does not exist. Instead, God is loving Spirit!” No, He had to use some clever devices to stay alive and teach for more than three years: 

  • He would teach in parables – little stories with a deeper message – then say something like, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (MT 11:15).
  • He would give some passage from the Law and the Prophets – what first-century Jews called our Old Testament – and then He would add something as a seeming afterthought that changed the meaning of the Old Testament passage and made it actually true.
  • He would give us pieces of a truth over days of time, expecting His followers to put it all together while knowing that the Temple guards would change frequently and therefore they never would figure out what it was that He was actually saying.

He told us repeatedly that God is Spirit! For example, He said:

The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (LK 17:20-21).

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (JN 4:24).

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life (JN 6:63).

The genuine God is Spirit – and Spirit alone! – just as Jesus said. There is no Trinity. Instead, all that is real is infinitely loving and infinitely creative eternal Spirit, which is what we all experience (to a limited extent) as human consciousness. You can rest in the peaceful certainty that your mind is inextricably part of the perfect eternal Mind of God!

What are you then?

After 46 years of marriage, my husband is still trying to figure that out!

But I think what you want to know is how I came to know what I know. I began to try to understand reality in childhood, following my first experience of light. I majored in early Christian history in college, and I read the whole Bible from cover to cover repeatedly. Then in the late seventies I began to read hundreds of communications from the dead that were received in the heyday before 1940. I studied quantum-physics-for-dummies, and I read a great deal about consciousness. The wonderful, beyond-amazing fact is that all these different areas of research fit together perfectly! If that were not the case, I could not be teaching the truth to you today.

How much study goes into this?

For me: half a century and still counting. For you: perhaps two or three years.

There are others, too, who have done a lot of the work so you won’t have to spend your life doing it, and I share them with you on Seek Reality. But please do the short-course research on your own, and don’t just rely on what we say! You will not find the perfect peace and joy that is your birthright unless you do the last stages of this research for yourself.

Wait, what did you say? Are you saying there is no God?

I am saying that God is all that exists! But the genuine God is not remotely like the cranky and judgmental guy on a throne with a beard and thunderbolts that Christians are generally taught that God is. Instead, God is infinitely loving and infinitely powerful eternal Spirit, and your mind is inextricably part of the perfect Mind of God that continuously manifests this universe. God is just what Jesus tells us God is! But of course, none of the 40,000-odd denominations of Christianity seems to care much about what Jesus actually says….

Are you and this person married?

I believe you are asking about Dr. R. Craig Hogan. No, we aren’t married! He is an extraordinary researcher who is in my view the greatest living expert on what actually is going on, but ours is just a very supportive friendship. It has been so affirming to find someone else who also has devoted his life to this work, and to discover that what he has learned is exactly what I also have found. Whenever we talk about anything, we repeatedly complete one another’s sentences!

How can nothing be bad news?

For many years I asked myself that same question! It took me decades to put all of this together, and repeatedly I would come across amazing new things that flabbergasted me. I would think, “What? We get everything I have already put together, and now I find out that we get this TOO?” Especially for someone steeped in the fear-based Christianity that governed most of my life, it seemed impossible that there wasn’t a hook buried in this somewhere! But there is no bad news at all beyond the fact that if you refuse to grow spiritually you can end up putting yourself into what Jesus called “the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (MT 8:12). The outer darkness is all too real! But it is we ourselves and not God or Jesus or any other judge who ever puts us there. As Jesus also tells us in the Gospels, the only post-death judge you will face will be the sternest possible judge: yourself.

Please know for certain that you are God’s best-beloved child! If you will try to follow the Gospel teachings on love and forgiveness, and even if you never enter a church or even hear the name of Jesus, then you have nothing whatsoever to fear. For you, it really is all good news!

How does one find the answers?

Spending time with us each week on Seek Reality is one way that you might begin. We feature as guests some of the leading experts in the various broad fields that make up the study of our one reality. My Fun books also might be of help to you, and each of them (except The Fun of Living Together) has a seventy-odd-book annotated bibliography that can help to guide your further reading. Simply reading the few books on each of the Fun books’ short reading lists, then reading further from the larger list if anything still is unclear to you, should help you get to know what I know in just a few years’ time. I have done most of the work for you! And if you ever have questions, you can ask them through the Contact block on this website. I used to be able to say, “If you don’t hear within 24 hours, send flowers,” but now I am getting so many emails that it can take me up to a week to answer them. I still do answer every email personally!

If you would like to listen to Seek Reality live, simply go to w4cy.com at 5:00 eastern time on Tuesdays and click on “Listen Live.” And thank you again for being part of my life! You are giving me so much more in the simple joy of serving you than I ever can give to you in return!

Becoming Good Citizens of the World

A friend who often comments here has asked me why in this series of posts I have talked about the United States alone, when in his view it is time for Americans to become good citizens of all the world. He is precisely right! Imagine a world that has become one neighborhood, everyone watching out for everyone else, where all of humankind is united in love and we are far beyond any kind of war. But if that is the goal, how on earth can we get there?

Ever since the end of World War I, well-meaning people have wanted to put into place some sort of worldwide governance that might be able to end all wars. Not only have these efforts come to naught, but a case can be made that they actually have sharpened existing divisions among nations. The problem with our attempts to unite the world has been the fact that every one of them has been top-down! Uniting the world’s governments can be of little help if our real goal is to unite the world’s people.

 The United Nations is typical. The U.N. is an assembly of governments, many of which are frank dictatorships. No attempt is made by the U.N. to lessen the depredations of the world’s worst rulers, so far from uplifting the people of the world, the United Nations gives legitimacy and support to tyrants who oppress and destroy. The U.N. might prevent a war or two, but in refusing to insist on basic human rights it makes the conditions of many still worse.

As is true of politics and religion, coalitions of governments are primarily about controlling and impoverishing people. No matter the good intentions with which political, religious, and world organizations might begin to do their work, soon they are all about funneling power and money into the hands of a few. All you need to know about Christianity is that the Catholic Church is worth at least $130 billion now, the Mormon Church is worth $200 billion, and even the Church of England is worth $7.8 billion. In America, successful politicians routinely amass great personal wealth; and even Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian hero, died a billionaire! Every bit of all this money gathered into hands at the very top came from the labor of masses of people who had been coerced into yielding it up. Thomas Jefferson memorably said that no government should “take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned,” but these numbers make a mockery of that wish! No assembly organized on the top-down model can be of any use to us as we work to build a healthier and more sustainable future for all the world.

So to answer our friend who wonders why I keep talking about the United States and I never mention our need to be good citizens of the world, I say this: Unless we can perfect and spread the Founders’ brilliant governmental model, we are going to have no hope at all of uplifting the rest of suffering humankind.

The world over the past two hundred years has been a wondrous laboratory! Alternative forms of government have been extensively tried, so it is easy now to say what works fairly well and what cannot work at all. To judge the relative success of governmental models, we will need some objective measures. I propose these four:

  • Responsiveness to the people being governed;
  • An emphasis on person freedom;
  • Broad-based economic prosperity; and
  • Long-term internal stability and peace.

When considered in these terms, there never is going to be a perfect government. What we are seeking, therefore, is a governmental design that will make good government possible, and in that sweepstakes there is one clear winner! Any form of class-based, non-elective rule is destructive of prosperity for the masses, which is why for most of human history nearly all people have lived miserable lives. A century ago we might have thought that the high ideals inherent in collectivist models like communism and socialism stood some chance of doing better, but in practice collectivist governments have been disastrous whenever they have been tried. Just the process of collectivization in the 20th century resulted in at least a hundred million deaths, and the sort of top-down planning that collectivist governments depend on is anathema to personal happiness and an absolute barrier to real prosperity! It is only governments directed and controlled by the people being governed that make universal happiness and prosperity even possible.

And of all historical attempts at establishing government by and for the people, none has approached the long-term success and stability of the American model. Our Founders’ core insight was the fact that, as later was said by British historian Lord Acton, Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So the American Founders put all governmental power into the hands of the people, and they designed a stable, universally responsive, and remarkably resilient governmental model. The federal government of the United States has withstood every abuse that power-hungry politicians could heap upon it over the past two hundred years! It has become bloated and distorted to the point where the Founders would be appalled to see it now, but it retains at its core that perfect model that Thomas Jefferson described as ideal. He called it a design for a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

After two hundred years of imperfect management, the American model still has produced a level of unprecedented individual prosperity. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product is now in the $20 trillion range, which is larger than the next three largest GDPs combined (China, Japan, and Germany). And of course, considering population differences makes our success even more dramatic. The median annual household income in the United States is just over $62,000, while in China it is about $1,100. In historical terms, modern middle-class Americans are as rich as once were kings.

The American Founders’ governmental design based on personal freedom and empowerment has been proven to be by far the greatest engine for producing the most prosperity for the greatest number that ever has been tried! That being true, it would be unconscionable for us not to be willing to to share it now. Let’s clean it up and tune it up, work out a few remaining bugs, and make it our gift to all the world!

The American people still retain the power to wrest control of their government back from politicians who use dishonest tactics like inspiring righteous indignation to keep us at one another’s throats and distract us from their manifold failures! You and I can see past that now. Once we calmly demand all the facts about every issue in contention, the political charades that are currently tearing this nation apart are going to sputter and die. Then the people will be back in control. And once we have reclaimed our nation, we will be able to make of it the shining example to the world’s oppressed people that our Founders long ago hoped it would be. Then over time, with our help, all the people on earth can begin to live in their own free and prosperous republics based upon the only governmental model that ever has been shown to produce stability, prosperity, flexibility, resilience, and the protection of the weak against the strong.

The Founders very well understood that a free and empowered people were going to need a solid spiritual grounding. John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious (sic) people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Benjamin Franklin said, “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” And Thomas Jefferson was two centuries ahead of his time when he said, “To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense that he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other.” It is those perfect non-religious teachings of Jesus that will provide the solid spiritual grounding that can make uniting all the world even possible.

Abraham Lincoln memorably said in the midst of a crisis that also split this nation, “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” Unless we will resolve to focus now on what is really important, and stop allowing political squabbling to keep splitting us apart over trivial nonsense, we are going to find it impossible to be of any use to a desperate world. So we have our work cut out for us! It is only all Americans together, reared from birth to be comfortable with personal freedom and empowerment, who have the means and the will to form that ultimate worldwide neighborhood. Billions of people are even now turning their hopeful eyes to us. And we can do this! Let’s roll!                        

 

photo credit: Jason K. Scott-Taggart <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49585574@N08/44970347131″>Brooklyn Bridge westward view New York 2001</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

 

 

The Truth Will Set Us Free

Political divisions in America are worse now than they ever before have been, which makes it hard for us to see that we are witnessing the dawning fulfillment of the greatest dream ever dreamed in all of human history. After ten millennia during which humankind groveled beneath the swords of despots and the awful reign of capricious gods, we are about to state with a single voice that we refuse to bow to any earthly power. From now on all the power is our own! This ultimate liberation of all the world will have to begin in the United States, since it is only here that we possess the tools that can make it possible.

But it will not end here! Abraham Lincoln called this nation “The last best hope of earth,” and in that he was prescient. Now it begins! And since our old habit of fearing is strong, we will need to begin with the certain assurance that what comes after the rapine of political parties will be government by and for the people; and what will replace a capricious God will be personal intimacy with Spirit.

You may never have thought about the fact that politics and religion are the same breed of cat. Each claims to be able to help us relate to a great Authority – to government or to God – but demonstrably, both do that very poorly. And neither has any power of its own! Furthermore:

  • Both constitute blind faith in old ideas and are not based in present facts. This problem alone means that neither politics nor religion can help us build a better tomorrow.
  • Both are based in rule by fear. Fear is divisive and counterproductive. It is little wonder that Christianity has splintered into more than forty thousand competing versions, while politics so often has us at one another’s throats over trivial nonsense!
  • In America, each of these failed institutions contains the seed of a much better future. This is not true in other countries, which is why humanity’s next stage must begin here.

Americans alone possess the tools that can transform this nation and transform the world! And it seems to me that we no longer have the right not to use these tools, since unless we can make of this nation a model of freedom and personal empowerment, the rest of the world has little hope. The United States as a shining exemplar always has been our greatest vision!

  • “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Jesus, MT 5:14).
  • “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us” (John Winthrop, 1630).
  • “‘We must always consider,’ he said, ‘that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us’” (John F. Kennedy, 1961).
  • “I’ve spoken of the Shining City all my political life” (Ronald Reagan, 1989).

We can do this! In matters both temporal and spiritual, we can dispense with all the old human masters and learn as united individuals how to much better govern and enlighten ourselves. Let’s look at each area separately.

Politics

George Washington best expressed the general sentiment of America’s Founders. He said, “Government is not reason, it’s not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it’s a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” The Founders concluded that the only ones who could be entrusted with so much power would be the people who were being governed, and the Constitution they drafted is a masterwork! For 229 years it has survived all attempts by power-hungry politicians to subvert it. Yes, our Founders would be appalled by our present bloated and overbearing federal government, but there remains inside the mess that political battling has created that original design for a much better nation that is governed by and for the people. Far from being in any way outmoded, the original design of this nation’s Constitution would work better now than it could have worked when it was first drafted! Consider:

  • The Internet makes government by the people much easier. What those who are doing the governing need is information, and in the 1700s it was hard to keep the public reliably informed. With the Internet, every interested citizen easily can be up-to-the-minute!
  • Government can be most responsive when it is as close as possible to the people being governed. This was difficult when the states were sparsely settled, but today many individual states could function well as independent countries. California’s economy is the fifth largest in the world, while Texas ranks tenth. They don’t even need that extra federal layer!
  • The Constitution intends for the federal government to do only what the states cannot do. This whole modern bloat of federal agencies and regulations imposing one-size-fits-all rule on all the people in every state is anathema to what our Founders intended.

James Madison, the lead architect of the Constitution, said, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.” If we were inventing our federal and state governments today, wouldn’t this design make a lot more sense?

We cannot in a day peel back two centuries of beyond-constitutional federal bloat, but we can begin our peaceful people’s revolution by doing three things now:

  • Teach every American to know our Constitution. We tend to be independent by nature, and if we all understood that the Founders long ago gave us the power to throw off every political master and come together to govern ourselves, I am betting we would seize that power.
  • Teach Americans to recognize and reject political demagoguery. Politicians will lose their power to distract us into righteous indignation when we refuse to react to their fiery words, and instead we always calmly demand just the facts.
  • Give Americans an unbiased and carefully policed source of information. A website something like the FindFacts.org that was proposed here two weeks ago might be a good start!

Simply making these three changes can begin our powerful transformation. What will emerge if we are resolute will be a more informed and independent electorate with the power to insist that politicians stop their counterproductive political games, and to further insist that those to whom we have delegated governmental power must serve us well or they will be replaced. It will take us back closer to the Founders’ vision of government by and for the people. And as we better define what works in empowering all Americans now, we can begin to establish a model that can be used to help to empower and improve the lives of everyone on earth.

Religion

Christianity does not remotely resemble what Jesus tells us he meant to begin. I have written about this fact, and about my worry that unless we begin now to separate the false religion from the genuine Man we risk losing what Jesus came to give us. Jesus is an extraordinary and entirely non-religious Teacher who brought to us what is in fact the next stage of human spiritual development! If this is not yet clear to you, give it time. As Jesus wisely said, you will know them by their fruits” (MT 7:20), and Christianity is rotting all around us as the bad fruit that it always was. And wonderfully, as Christianity rots away we are finding within it the glorious seed of a very much better tomorrow that has been there waiting for us to find it and plant it!

Like the American Constitution, the Gospel teachings of Jesus have been honored mostly in the breach. And like the American Constitution, those Gospel teachings are going to be what will empower us to make of this nation the shining city that our Founders hoped would begin a better world! We are going to have to shed politics in order to form a government of the people, and in the same way a spiritually empowered nation is going to be possible for us only when we have shed the Christian wrapper that still hides and subverts the teachings of Jesus.

The Lord could see that despite his protestation that Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined” (MT 9:17), a religious cult was developing around him even before his death. So he wisely instructed us to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (MT 7:6-8). And he said, “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). It is Jesus himself who tells us that just as our insisting upon unbiased facts will free us from beliefs-based political squabbling, so also will insisting upon unbiased facts free us at last from beliefs-based Christianity and enable each of us to build an individual relationship with Spirit!

As we begin to insist upon facts alone, we can expect to weather even more righteous indignation. Fearful Christians will brandish their get-out-of-hell-free cards at us, and people now living off government spoils will fight to remain at a shrinking trough. But we can win this battle! And once we win it, we will be able at last to begin the glorious process of freeing and uplifting all the world….

 

 

photo credit: Daveography.ca <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/71482738@N00/42728142941″>Vivid Cranes</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

photo credit: AGrinberg <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/66014106@N00/41014813781″>The Red, White and Blue</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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Faith vs. Facts

It may not at first be obvious to you that the reason why righteous indignation is such a deadly plague in America now is the insidious influence of faith-based thinking.

Theories abound that the decline of Christianity may be behind the increase in political extremism in America, but they vary as to why. It is obvious that modern politics has about it some of the trappings of a religion! For example, America’s current President has by objective measures had one of the most successful starts to his first term in our history, but still his opponents view him pretty much the way Christians view the Antichrist. They are so certain that in opposing this President they are fighting evil that they believe they are working in the service of truth when they use against him emotional language based on bits taken out of context, and pictures of alarming events that happened before his administration began. In the Kavanaugh hearings, and no matter what your own position on the nominee might have been, you were watching centuries of this nation’s protections of fundamental rights being destroyed in the service of political beliefs. For an august publication like the Wall Street Journal, the morphing of American politics into a religion is so obvious that the newspaper actually refers to one political thinker as a “prophet.”

All of this might seem curious and alarming to those who recall when political ideas had to be expressed with at least some color of facts-based argument behind them, but it is wonderfully clarifying now. We can ever more clearly see that what lies at the root of the righteous indignation that is tearing America apart is the very vice – having faith without facts – that we always have thought of as a virtue!

Humankind has been trained for millennia to espouse beliefs that cannot be supported by facts. Without our ease with having faith alone, no religion on earth could have survived for long! But our recent divorcing of politics, too, from any need to rely on facts is alarming. The only way to solve any real-world problem is to carefully study all the facts, and then to devise a set of solutions that are tailored precisely to address those facts. If we espouse a purely beliefs-based politics, it will be impossible for this nation ever again to accomplish much of anything.

Our system of political decision-making always has been clumsy. As I have studied the history of race in America, I have come to see that all of our present racial problems can be traced to specific facts-free and entirely beliefs-based political decisions! If we had insisted from our nation’s founding that every political decision must be carefully researched and based in all the facts, it is likely that none of our present racial problems even would have gotten started. Political parties in America always have used minimal facts as window-dressing as they proposed what were purely beliefs-based solutions that often made our problems worse! So now we add righteous indignation to fire up what has always been a dysfunctional political system, and our nation slides into chaos.

 I have written about the abundant evidence that Christianity is wrong but Jesus is right, so we won’t rehash that here. Traditional Christianity is in rapid decline, and wonderfully now a movement that is based on the genuine teachings of Jesus is beginning to take its place. I will be using Christianity to illustrate the insidious influence of faith-based thinking, but Christianity’s habit of building its worldview around strictly enforced but unsupported beliefs is consistent across all religions.

If you hold to the hope that religious practice has to be on balance a good thing, then reading the list below might pain you. But if loving God means anything, it means being true to the genuine God and refusing to settle for lies and pap! As Jesus said, 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). And what are the fruits of modern Christianity?

  • Dogmas. No major Christian denomination urges us to relate to God directly, even though the Jesus of the Gospels wants us to do precisely that. Instead, each of the more than forty thousand versions of Christianity requires us to believe just its own set of dogmas.
  • Enforcement of Ancient Beliefs. What is even worse than basing our relationship with God on dogmas is the fact that every significant Christian dogma is more than a thousand years old! In what other area of our lives do we limit ourselves to believing just what was believed back in the days when most people thought the earth was flat?
  • Demanding Adherence to a Slate of Beliefs. The dogmas of your particular sect of Christianity are not offered as a menu, but rather you must believe them all. Whatever might not appeal to you still must be taken and believed “on faith.”
  • Self-Righteousness. Many Christian denominations use their ability to make you feel self-righteous as a selling point! If you say particular words or do certain things, then you are “saved” and God loves you. Anyone who rejects the deal that your Christian denomination offers in God’s name can literally go to hell as far as you’re concerned.
  • Rejection of Those Outside Your Tribe. Tribalism is such an insidious problem that it is going to need a separate discussion, but suffice it to say that human beings are extremely tribal. And many of the forty-thousand-odd Christian tribes encourage their flocks to look down on non-Christians, and even on Christians who are not member of their own tribe.
  • Monstrous Deeds. To my mind, just the Crusades and the Inquisition should have been enough to strip Christianity of whatever franchise it might have had! Then add the recent news that the largest Christian denomination still refuses to condemn and aggressively end the sexual abuse of children in its care, and you see a profoundly immoral institution that has divorced itself from the genuine God.
  • Empty Promises. There is sufficient objective evidence now to demonstrate that there is nothing factual about Christianity’s enforced beliefs. In fact, following fear-based Christian dogmas actually makes it harder for people to grow spiritually!

You will notice that this list of poisonous fruit applies just as well to our political parties. They also are beliefs-based, facts-free, aggressively tribal, grimly self-righteous, and mostly devoid of the ability to produce whatever might be useful to humankind. That American politics has devolved into a beliefs-based system almost devoid of facts is incontrovertible. And knowing that is so liberating!

It is time for all Americans of good will to abandon not only traditional religions, but also traditional politics. Assume that whatever the political leaders are saying on both sides is empty dogmas, and begin to insist that in every case their proposals must be supported by facts. And not just window-dressing facts being used as political parties always have used a few well-chosen facts, but thorough and well-supported facts from which has been developed what can be demonstrated will be the best way to solve the problem at hand. For all of us to insist on, support, and police one unbiased source of information would be a wonderful first step!

I wish I could tell you there has been a time when American politics was sufficiently facts-based to be of any positive use. Sadly, though, what we see in modern politics is just a logical endpoint of the slow devolution over centuries of a dysfunctional and almost entirely faith-based system. Rather than being able to return to a better form of government, our insisting that governmental decisions now be based on facts will require that we invent something new. And thanks to the resilient framework of our precious Constitution, we can do exactly that!

America’s primary religion is dying just as its political process rots away. It is time now for us to say good riddance to institutions that never worked very well, and for all Americans of good will to create together a happier, stronger, more equal, and much more productive future….

Moving Toward Political Peace

Elissa Slotkin is the Democratic candidate in Michigan’s 8th District Race. She had assumed that her campaign for Congress would be built around pocketbook issues such as the rising cost of health care, stagnant wages and unaffordable college tuition.” Instead, her campaign events are “therapy sessions.” “Voters say they are tired of the anger and polarization emanating from Washington. They say they crave compromise. Yet these same voters view the rival party with disdain and frequently punish politicians for reaching across partisan lines. They want the anger to stop but can’t stop being angry.”

 The two malignant centers of righteous indignation in the United States are politics and religion. American politics has devolved from what once was a cordial biennial sport into continuous all-out warfare! As one of Ms. Slotkin’s supporters said, “How do you deal with friends and family that are constantly posting things that are not accurate or that go blatantly against what you believe?” How, indeed?

America’s Founders warned us against allowing political parties to form. George Washington said it best: “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” It was as if he could foresee today!

When you study America’s racial problems, you find that all of them were caused by politically-motivated blunders over the past two centuries. Every one of them. Seeing how that tragedy unfolded has made me realize that politics has to be the worst way to manage any country! It isn’t only that political fighting can poison our personal relationships; and it isn’t so much that having political parties makes it easier for George Washington’s posited “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men” to seize power. No, the worst thing about having political parties is the way their battling obscures the facts and makes wise decision-making nearly impossible.

 You cannot expect to hear facts from politicians. Informing you is not their job! Our system of government assumes that all citizens will inform themselves, and we will then choose our leaders based on what we know about our problems and which candidates seem best able to solve them. Back when voters understood their responsibility to inform themselves, our political system did kind of pretty much more or less work a lot of the time. Now, however, it does not work at all. The big difference between politics today and politics decades ago is that in recent years two political parties have taken over the dissemination of information in the United States. Isn’t “the news” supposed to be about facts? Yet if you watch MSNBC and Fox News on the same evening and attempt to reconcile their different sets of facts, your head could explode. Each of them calls the other “fake news,” and on that one point they both are right! As was said by the woman quoted above, “friends and family… are constantly posting things that are not accurate or that go blatantly against what you believe.” Since most of us now depend on a few politically biased sources of information, for Americans to suffer repeated bouts of righteous indignation against those who happen to live in a different political reality is inevitable!

One of the wisest politicians of the past century was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He said, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” One of the few things on which most people still agree is the fact that facts are factual. Somewhere there is an objective truth! The problem is that neither political party and no other major source of information really focuses on discovering that truth. For example, in the area of race in America here are two spectacular facts!

  • Scientists can now confirm that black and white Americans are all one race. There cannot be any differences at all between people based on skin color.
  • Racism is not a human trait. We inadvertently teach it to our children, so we can stop teaching it and soon bring an end to it.

If either of these facts surprises you, then you have discovered our urgent need for a source of objective, nonpartisan truth!

Building a repository of unbiased information about political issues should be easy. Voters might go to a website called, for example, SeekFacts.org, and look up any point of political differences. There they would find independently verifiable information, and also information on the political positions of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Surely there is an American philanthropist who sees a well-informed electorate to be our most urgent need of all?

Nearly all decisions that are made politically can be demonstrated to do more harm than good. Politics has nothing to do with actually solving complex problems! And the more we have politicized the decision-making process in this country, the more we have obscured the truth. For example, here are four highly politicized areas where I would love to have better information:

  • Gun control. I am open to the possibility that stricter gun control laws might be a good idea, but I will need to see solid evidence because the fact that Hitler first disarmed his victims to make the Holocaust possible was drummed into me in childhood. Why do we need more gun control? And what methods should work best?
  • Climate Change. I have done some research on possible human influences on the climate, and now I am even more confused. There are studies that show us soon frying eggs on the pavement in December. Other studies make an ice age seem to be more likely, while still others convincingly present a case for very little change at all. There is even some evidence that man-made global warming might be a wonderful thing! Surely there are scientists who can provide objectively verifiable information and help voters start to clear this fog?
  • Transgenderism. As someone who before the age of fifteen would have given my right arm to be a boy, I have followed this issue with interest. Some say that childhood sex change is a kindness, while others cite high rates of suicide following youthful gender transitions. There even is the disturbing possibility that experimenting with changing genders has become a teen fad. Where the lives of our children are concerned, we need the most objective information we can get!
  • Socialism vs. Capitalism. We are in the midst of a political debate about whether the United States should become a more socialist nation. Having lived through most of the twentieth century, I have seen enough history unfold to have developed a pretty strong opinion on this one, but younger voters need objective facts. As was probably said by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

On each of these topics, FindFacts.org might provide a Factual Summary, links to sources on which that summary is based, and both Blue Corner and Red Corner sections that would showcase each political party’s positions. The parties would be invited to write their own Corner statements, and they even could devote their Corners to political refutations of the Factual Summary. If they found new information to share that would pass FindFacts.org’s rigorous vetting, then of course the website’s Curators would accordingly revise their Factual Summary. In this way the political parties could use facts-based advocacy for their own positions as a way to help us better zero in on what is actually true. And with FindFacts.org available to them, voters could efficiently learn enough to develop their own informed opinions and head to the polls as more confident and much more open-minded voters.

Thomas Jefferson had a contentious relationship with the heavily politicized press of his day, but still he said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” On the topic of political parties he said, “The greatest good we  can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.”  Perhaps foreseeing our present rabidly partisan moment, he also said, “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

Political battling is a terrible way to make any kind of decision. And while we may not be able to move at once from a politics of destructive rage to a wise and benevolent form of government that is based in thorough study of objective facts, at least we can improve our political process and tone down the current level of righteous indignation by making it easier for all citizens to inform ourselves. It would be good, too, if we all realized that adamantly holding to our own beliefs is always a vice and never a virtue. Next week we will talk about the poisonous role of holding a deeply-held faith in anything….

 

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Fighting Righteous Indignation

A vile plague of fear, anger, and hatred increasingly oppresses the world, and it especially bedevils the United States. What may not be obvious at first is the fact that most of what is behind all this strife is people’s adamantly held and forcefully expressed personal beliefs. In other words, their righteous indignation. Because these emotions feel righteous to us, we are sure expressing them must be a virtue! And indignation is anger at injustice. What could be a more saintly emotion than wholehearted righteous indignation?

Well, as it turns out, just about everything.

Righteous indignation is the primary source of all the negativity that now plagues our world! I will give you two examples from today’s news. Once you begin to look for it, though, you will see that it is everywhere:

  • The Pope now blames the thousands of childhood victims of clergy sexual abuse for the sin of calling out their abusers. Reading his words feels like entering a parallel universe! “Among us is the great accuser, who always goes to accuse us before God, in order to destroy us. Satan … The only legitimate accusation that we Christians have is to accuse ourselves. For others there is only mercy.” So for victims to work to purify their religion of its horrific and widespread sexual abuse means they are aligning themselves with Satan?
  • A biology teach in my grandson’s high school has been suspended for verbally abusing a student. Apparently the student did nothing to provoke her, but only knowing his political views made her feel compelled to taunt him. “Hey, Trumpy, do you have an answer to this?” and “What do you think, Trumpy?” She actually added, “By the way, I hate Donald Trump with a burning passion and he is a complete douchebag.”

Do you see what these news stories have in common?

  • The Pope takes what most of us see as an entirely indefensible position because in his mind he is defending God’s representatives on earth. True, they aren’t perfect, but their peccadilloes cannot be allowed to harm the Church of God! He is righteously indignant that anyone would challenge divine authority.
  • The teacher has allowed a mainstream media that is heavily negative about this President to fill her with righteous indignation to the point of rage that anyone could support him.

I urge you to try this yourself! Take any recent news story about any kind of disruptive strife and look behind it, and you are likely to find that one or a few people caused that strife out of their own righteous indignation.

Righteous indignation is so insidious and so pervasive that it is not an exaggeration to say that it has become the single biggest threat to the long-term survival of humankind. Please bear with me on this! The reasons why righteous indignation is so destructive are inherent in what are actually positive aspects of human nature:

  • All good people crave to make the world a better place.
  • Each of us constructs a worldview that is based upon what we see as the highest good.
  • When we see what our worldview tells us is evil happening right in front of us, we suffer what feels like the saintliest possible need to actively fight that evil.

Even Jesus was not immune to a sudden impulse to attack the temple money-changers!

Many of us see reality as essentially a fight between good and evil, and that awareness only ramps up our craving to battle for what we believe is right. But evil seldom presents itself wearing horns and a spiked tail! Rather, nowadays evil often comes to us cloaked in angel robes. Righteous indignation actually afflicts most severely the very people who are most determined to do what is right. Consider:

  • People in the grip of righteous indignation are insidiously immune to reason. They see their views as good because they formed those views with the purest of intentions, so any attempt you or I might make to share with them our different views only makes them see us as ambassadors of evil.
  • People in the grip of righteous indignation are sure they are defending all that is good. So they aren’t just fighting for their own beliefs. No, they see themselves as fighting for the very survival of goodness and truth! The stakes in their own minds could not be higher.

As I have begun to write about the fact that righteous indignation is the primary source of the world’s increasing fear and hatred, some people have written to say, “Aha! But what about righteous wars?” They may have a point! But even wars that seem righteous to us still have righteous indignation as their source. For example:

  • The American Civil War was fought because a side that saw slavery as the ultimate evil and a side that believed the states had rights were both seized by fits of righteous indignation.
  • World War I began when someone inspired by righteous indignation killed a nobleman, whereupon the German Kaiser’s righteous indignation inspired him to trigger his alliances.
  • World War II was the direct result of Germany’s righteous indignation at onerous strictures imposed on it following World War I.
  • The Vietnam War was the result of righteous indignation in the U. S. government based on the then-current “domino theory” that the advance of Communism had to be stopped.
  • Recent Mid-East wars have been the result of religious battling and terrorist attacks all inspired by righteous indignation, and then responses based in the righteous indignation of some of the victims of those attacks.

I have come to believe that no war that does not defend against an attack on the homeland can be justified. It may be that even such a purely defensive war should still be seen as wrong, but surely that very limited case would be the only legitimate exception to an outright condemnation of all wars!

How can we end this plague of righteous indignation before it tears our nation and the world apart? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., put it simply: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

The key to ending all the chaos and pain that righteous indignation is causing is to help as many people as possible realize this emotion is the opposite of love! You cannot fight righteous indignation in someone else, since any mild defense that you might mount against someone who is deep in its throes will be seen as a personal attack based in evil. So if you try to dispute with such a person, not only will you achieve nothing good, but also you will risk increasing the world’s sorry burden of fear and rage. Your only useful course is to disengage! Send your attacker sincere love and blessings, and then withdraw. Agree to return only when productive discussions are again possible.

The only way to end this plague will be to eradicate righteous indignation as a respectable human impulse. When sufficient people have gotten to the point where they see righteous indignation as the vice that it is, then those who are using it now are going to be shamed into giving it up. And the first place from which to rout it must be ourselves! You are suffering from righteous indignation if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • You see things in terms of an obviously clear right and wrong. Nothing whatsoever is all right or wrong! Your refusal to respect and listen to someone who holds a view contrary to your own is a massive warning that you are not as sure about the truth as you think you are.
  • You are so adamant about your position that encountering a contrary view enrages you. These are just competing ideas, for heaven’s sake. They are not drawn swords!
  • You have let a purely factual argument feel like a personal attack. I have been the target of a recent campaign of righteous indignation, and both of the people who were most rigorous in their attacks on me said the same telltale words: “Do you know who I am?” My dear friend, if you ever so much as think those words, it is time to give yourself a time-out!

What should you do if you find that you yourself are suffering from righteous indignation? First, know that you have become a cause of much greater problems for the world than are whatever wrongs you may have thought you were fighting. So get yourself out of the fray! If your righteous indignation has made you angry with someone, make a point of healing that relationship. And make a big point of open-mindedly studying the points of view of others that most directly oppose your own! Only when you can articulate the best positions that oppose your own beliefs can you trust yourself to speak again in the arena of ideas.

It may be that our only cure for the fear and hatred that are the bitter fruits of righteous indignation will be to change the way we address both spiritual and temporal matters. It is devoutly-held political and religious beliefs that underlie nearly all righteous indignation, so it may be that both institutions have become sources of such monstrous evil that our only choice will be to give them up. It may at last be time to seek out more productive ways to govern ourselves, and more love-based ways to relate to God! Let’s begin to talk about that….

 

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Triumphing Over the Tribulation

(Before you read this, please read The Tribulation and The Role of Evil in History)

What Jesus says about the coming Tribulation is awful. And since we can see now why He is right, we cannot ignore His warning! Perhaps you think the evil we face is actual demons, or you might prefer to blame some aspect of ourselves for persuading so many people to choose fear-based emotions over love. Whatever it is, let’s call it “the nasties.” Whatever is fighting the raising of this planet’s vibration away from fear and toward love, there is an epic battle brewing. And Jesus tells us its effects on us and on those we love will be horrific:

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death” (MT 10:20-21).

 “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will” (MK 13:19).

But still, you and I have no choice but to fight for the triumph of love over fear. Those at the highest levels tell us the earth is so deeply negative now that wars and disasters will proliferate and humankind may not survive! So they are working through us to turn the tide. As is Jesus:

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (JN 16:33).

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (MT 28:20).

We come to earth with amnesia about the fact that we will never die. Our ignorance has helped us take our spiritual lessons seriously, but it also has made it much too easy for people to choose fear, anger, and hatred over love. As a remedy, two hundred years ago those at the highest eternal levels decided to reveal some afterlife truths so we can be confident our lives are eternal. Apparently this new knowledge is going to sharpen our focus on our need to choose love, while still preserving enough negativity to maintain the earth’s usefulness as a spiritual school. In the first part of the nineteenth century, those at the highest levels began to seek ideal ways to reveal to us some important afterlife facts. And their doing this seems to have been treated by the nasties that feed on fear as such a threat to their survival that they rolled out their biggest gun! They had long ago tested their temptation options on the most loving man who ever lived, and they had found one weapon that worked. Jesus vibrated so completely in love that none of the nasties could provoke Him to rage… until eventually one managed to do it:  

 “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, ‘It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer”; but you are making it a robbers’ den’” (MT 21:12-13).

And thus the nasties long ago learned the disruptive power of righteous indignation. Show a person whose whole life is love an obvious wrong being committed in front of him, and his first impulse is to attack that wrong, even though his doing that would be a fear-based mistake! What Jesus did in the temple that day was counterproductive. He could have sat with the money-changers and pigeon-sellers and patiently taught them in perfect love! Instead, in a fit of righteous indignation He increased the world’s negativity while He taught no one anything.

Righteous indignation is the greatest weapon the nasties can use against spiritually advanced people. I really understand that now! I have been a target of righteous indignation for months, and I have come to see that this exposure to such extreme negativity has been a wonderful gift. If it hadn’t happened, I would not have done the research and come to realize with awe what is beginning to unfold. And without this new awareness, I could not know how essential it is that we forearm as many love-based people as we can!

 I may be the only one living who has extensively studied the afterlife evidence, the Gospel teachings, the history of Christianity, and information derived from mainstream science. If you have shared all my obsessions, please get in touch with me; but insofar as I have been able to tell, mine has been a singular set of hobbies. This means I am one of the few who can see how well evidence from all four of these sources amazingly and in small details fits together! And of course, such extensive correspondences among four different disciplines simply could not arise by chance. What is more, five years of doing Seek Reality has put me in contact with people who are important to the future of this work, and who otherwise might have no easy way to network with one another. I am not important, but I can see now that I am being positioned to become a nexus among people who really are important! So it should not be a surprise to find that I am an early target of the Tribulation. The nasties first target people who are being positioned to be the glue; then with them gone, whatever effort is ongoing tends to fall apart. So I should have been less surprised than I was when negative entities tried to wreck my life.

I have made some cherished friends among the people now working to raise the planet’s vibration. And early this year one beloved friend altogether lost her mind in front of me. Someone whose friendship I treasure switched in a moment from also treasuring my friendship to a fit of righteous indignation because I would not follow her lead in attacking another of my friends. When I would not yield to her demands, she set about trying to destroy as many of my other friendships as she could!

It was only when I saw the connection between what my friend was doing and the Lord’s temple tantrum that I realized it has been righteous indignation that has derailed all the many attempts that were made over the past two centuries to teach us that our minds are eternal. For example:

  • Efforts made to reach us in the nineteenth century were the easiest ones to thwart. The nasties inspired righteous indignation in adherents of fear-based Christianity, and thereby they persuaded the Christian world that these revelations were the Devil’s work.
  • Those not now in bodies then created an amazing flowering of afterlife communications. Around the start of the twentieth century they worked by various means to give us amazing information, and they induced scholars to document their work for study by scientists. Here, of course, all the nasties had to do was to inspire righteous indignation in the scientific gatekeepers by making them believe they were fighting superstitious interference in their work. Again, all this great new information was discredited and ignored.
  • During the twentieth century repeated attempts were made to enlighten us, from Edgar Cayce and Leslie Flint through near-death experiences and A Course in Miracles. But just the nasties inspiring righteous indignation in a few key people was enough to disrupt the work of Spirit and keep these thrilling revelations from enlightening more than just a few.
  • Easy electronic communication with the afterlife will be what will finally bring the truth of our survival to everyone on earth. So in the 1990s the nasties sowed righteous indignation in the most successful groups of researchers in this field, and as a result those groups stumbled. Most broke apart. The forces of evil have by now perfected their horrific shtick!

Righteous indignation has the power to turn good people into agents of the negativity that now threatens the survival of humankind. Even Jesus was not immune to it! Fortunately, though, He saw the risk, and He zealously warned us against it. His teaching that we must never fight back and His teachings on the role of forgiveness are the most essential Gospel words of all, since unless we follow them closely it will be impossible for love to prevail:

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” (MT 5:39).

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).

There are such powerful forces now working to raise the consciousness vibration of this planet that even my spirit guide, although still a realist, has begun to think that love will win. The best spiritual medium I ever have known calls the ascended beings leading this effort “the Unity.” And the more of us who will work with the Unity, the easier it will be for love to prevail. If you have read this far, then perhaps you are being called to help advance this world-saving work! But how can you protect yourself against righteous indignation? Here are a few tips:

  • Raise your own spiritual vibration until you live and breathe only love. And follow the Gospel teachings on forgiveness and turning the other cheek, no matter what!
  • Never forget that love is our only defense against evil. If you actively fight anything, you only will strengthen and empower whatever evil you are trying to fight!
  • Be aware that an attack on you may come from someone you love. The easiest way for nasties to derail the dawning of universal love is to cause a susceptible person in a group of love-based people to feel righteous indignation against someone else in the group. How can you counter that? You can’t. All you can do is to love and bless the one now being controlled by nasties, and withdraw. Let Spirit manage it all.

We will need to know more about righteous indignation if we are to defuse its destructive power, so we’ll continue this discussion next week. Meanwhile, only know that love will win! We will all come together in love as we follow the Unity’s perfect guidance. If well-intentioned people everywhere can just hold true to universal love, the Kingdom of God begins to dawn today.

 

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