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Christianity vs. Spiritual Growth

Posted by Roberta Grimes • June 26, 2018 • 28 Comments
Afterlife Research, Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus, Understanding Reality

Christianity is in a worldwide crisis. European countries are full of empty churches, and the United States is not far behind: studies suggest that barely eighteen percent of Americans regularly go to church. Meanwhile, 27% of Americans say they are “spiritual but not religious,” which is an eight-percentage-point increase in that category in just five years. Clearly something big is happening, and from the perspective of my email in-box the problem with Christianity seems to be that people are hungrier now than ever before for genuine spiritual learning. And the practice of traditional Christianity is an active obstacle to spiritual growth.

For people who grew up as Christians, the notion that Christianity is anti-spiritual seems counterintuitive. Isn’t growing spiritually the point of even being a Christian ? Most Americans see it as a cultural equation: Religious = Spiritual. We cannot conceive of what spirituality without religion even might be.

To help you if you are struggling to square that old equation with your needs as a seeker, here is a new set of definitions that is based in what we have been learning from the wiser and more spiritually-developed people that we used to think were dead:

  • Spirit is a vastly expanded and infinitely more powerful version of what we experience as human consciousness. Essentially, Spirit is consciousness! Every human mind is part of Spirit, and therefore our minds are powerful as well.
  • God, the base creative force, is not a cranky humanoid with thunderbolts and a beard, but rather God is the highest level of consciousness. For a long time I thought of God as “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.” Now, though, more and more I am coming to like Mikey Morgan’s definition: “God is a unity of infinite pure love, and all that exists.” That does it!
  • Spiritual energy is the base creative force.  Consciousness is energy, Spirit is energy, and God is energy. All are aspects of the same thing. In fact, matter and everything else that we think is real is energy as well: as Einstein said, “What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses.” Because all of this is true, it turns out that what we experience as human emotion is immensely powerful.
  • Vibration is the way we speak about the hierarchy of energy that is all that exists. Spiritual energy vibrates as what we experience as human emotion, and it exists in a range of vibrations, from the lowest (which is fear, hatred, anger, and all the other ishy emotions) to the highest, which is perfect love. So the genuine God is the highest possible consciousness vibration.
  • Spiritual Growth is simply the process of raising our personal consciousness vibration away from fear and toward more perfect love.

So spiritual growth is a function of what we might call spiritual physics. Whatever we do that raises our personal vibration away from fear and toward more perfect love enables us to grow spiritually, while anything we do that makes us fearful, angry, resentful, selfish, ashamed, or even prideful will lower our vibration and make us more unloving.

And therein lies the problem. Christianity as it was first developed nearly two millennia ago is steeped in fear and guilt and in separations between people. We are taught to fear God, to fear the Devil and hell, and to fear being judged and condemned, even for trivial transgressions; and we are taught that we are “the elect,” that other people are condemned, and that we must separate ourselves from them. Horribly, we even are taught that God loves us so little that God cannot forgive  us unless Jesus dies barbarically in order to redeems us. If there is anything more antithetical to spiritual elevation than that particular belief, I cannot imagine what it might be! We now know from those we used to think were dead that not a single one of these teachings is true. Indeed, we now know that these false teachings all are actively un-spiritual. They work powerfully to lower our spiritual vibrations.

This disaster is not Jesus’s fault! His Gospel teachings are the most perfect method ever given to humankind for achieving spiritual growth by the elevation of our personal consciousness vibrations. My book, The Fun of Growing Forever, shows you how well those teachings work, and how quickly! But Christianity doesn’t emphasize the Gospel teachings. Instead, it concentrates on teaching us fear, submission, and separation. That the spiritually hungry are leaving Christianity in droves is really not surprising.

Many disaffected Christians have turned to eastern religious traditions like meditation and yoga. These practices are said to be spiritually helpful, but they take time and effort to learn and to practice; and that turns out to present another problem. One of the effects of genuine spiritual growth is the gradual reduction of the me-me-me selfishness that rings in people’s minds when they are vibrating more toward fear, shame, and separation. We call it the ego, and the fact that we identify with it is part of its trickery: it is not who we are, but rather it is just a very-low-vibration illusion. A Course in Miracles is a powerful tool for vanquishing the ego altogether, which is why I recommend it so highly. Meditation and yoga might be helpful too, but it turns out that the better we are at these practices, the more they bolster that troublesome ego.

So, where does that leave those of us who are eager for rapid spiritual growth so we can make this incarnation our last necessary trip back to earth-school? As we study the afterlife evidence and the truths about the greater reality that have been given to us by elevated beings, eventually we come to realize that no religion can help people to grow spiritually. Wow, it feels amazing to write those words! I was a zealous Christian into my fifties, so coming at last to see how harmful Christian teachings are to the faithful was the most wrenching experience of my life. If you feel betrayed as I felt betrayed, please know that the essence of Christianity is supposed to be Jesus, and Jesus is the best spiritual teacher of all!

You really don’t need to practice a religion. If spiritual growth is your goal, then all you need is a much closer walk with the genuine Jesus of the Gospels. He confirms for us that all the rigid heaviness of Christianity is the wrong path when He says, Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (MT 11:29-30). He promises to give us the truth if we will ask Him for it. He says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). And He gloriously affirms for all time the truth of His Gospel teachings on love and forgiveness. “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).

Roberta Grimes

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

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28 thoughts on “Christianity vs. Spiritual Growth

  1. This is all so sad, as we can never know what Jesus actually said because over these many years, what he said has been misinterpreted or deliberately changed to exert control, and control is best achieved with fear. Clearly, he never was out to establish a regimented church, but the church was established and fear was the central idea behind it. I know this to be true, as I attended a Catholic elementary school that specialized in scaring children every day. God and Jesus, according to them, were always pissed off about something, no matter how small. A divine being could never be upset over these meaningless things, or they couldn’t be divine in the first place. Besides, this would be indicative of an over-inflated ego, which wouldn’t be possible if a being was divine or even enlightened.L

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, dear Lola, and of course I agree with nearly all of what you say.

      My only quibble is to say that while those who established Christianity did indeed distort the Gospel teachings in order to use fear as a way to fill the pews, fortunately it is possible now for us to know what Jesus actually said! This is all brand-new, and I think that future generations will see it as nothing less than a new revelation from God.

      When you study intensively the amazingly consistent communications received over nearly two hundred years from people that we used to think were dead, you get a detailed picture of what God is, how reality works, what the afterlife is like, the fact that spiritual growth is the purpose of human life on earth, and the best way for us to achieve spiritual growth. A lot of very detailed and wonderfully consistent information.

      Then you pick up a red-letter modern translation of the Gospels, and you find that what the dead have told us agrees with what Jesus told us on those subjects, in astonishing detail! For example, thanks to the actually-not-dead, we now know what Jesus’s reference to “living water” was meant to refer to… and it has nothing to do with baptism.

      Because the dead confirm so much that Jesus said, we also can easily pick out what the Lord DIDN’T say. What the Council of Nicaea put into His mouth in 325 as it went about its formulation of Christianity was related to church-building, end-times, and judgment. We can pluck all this bogus nonsense from the Gospels now and confidently toss it, knowing that the rest is the true words of Jesus!

      What makes this a miraculous new revelation from God is the fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and His words were translated from Aramaic into Greek and then from Greek into English. There are some direct translations now from Aramaic into English which are NOT consistent with what the dead tell us. Think about that, and let the truth that our modern Gospel translations had to have been freshly inspired by the only God fill you with love and joy!

    1. Thank you, dear Joyce! And I ought to put in a plug for your blog posts here, since you are more zealous about posting than I am ;-)!

      Dear friends, Joyce Stewart began as a zealous Christian just as I did, and her path to enlightenment has been close to my own. I read every one of her frequent blog posts on spiritual subjects, and there hasn’t been one from which I didn’t learn something. She is becoming a frequent guest now on Seek Reality. So if you liked this post from me, you are going to love to receive hers, too!

  2. I agree, Roberta but so many were murdered over religious disagreements. Take the Hugenots, for instance, who were slaughtered because they weren’t certain that the communion wafer was really the body and blood of Christ. These murders happened due to fear

    1. Dear Lola, I’m sorry that apparently I haven’t adequately expressed myself. Please let me try again.

      I absolutely agree with your contention that Christianity as it has been practiced for the past two millennia has always been steeped in fear and barbarism. Many millions have been murdered “for Christ,” and most of them with horrendous cruelty! Think of the Inquisition, and think of the countless people who have been burned alive at the stake in the name of Jesus. The more you learn about Christian history (which was my college major long ago), and the more you look at the more than forty thousand versions of modern Christianity (most of them at odds with one another), the more you want to weep for the Lord. Whatever franchise God tried to give by sending Jesus to enlighten the world surely must long ago have been lost!

      And what is especially troubling is the fact that Christianity STILL teaches fear and barbarism. My husband is a practicing Catholic, and for a long time after I left the practice of Catholicism I still loyally accompanied him to weekly Mass… until the day when I couldn’t do it anymore. Above the altar in both of our nearby Catholic churches there is a life-sized, full-color, bleeding Jesus nailed to a cross. It got to the point where just thinking of having to see that thing again next Sunday would put me into a week-long funk. I couldn’t do it anymore. Christianity remains altogether barbaric, and entirely devoid of anything spiritual!

      Of course, all of this makes even more wonderful the fact that despite our two-millennia-long betrayal of the Lord’s truth, still God is patiently giving us new revelation now. Jesus is going to triumph, and He will triumph over the lies of Christianity most of all!

      1. Dear Roberta,
        I really appreciate your blog posts. I, too, was raised Catholic. I’m a little confused, though. You say to follow the teachings of Jesus, which I do. But the Bible clearly documents His suffering and crucifixion. Are you saying that although he was crucified, it wasn’t to redeem mankind? Thank you.

        1. Dear Lori, please think through what that Christian teaching that Jesus had to die to redeem us from God’s wrath for our sins actually is saying. If that were true, then we would have to accept a horrifying fact: that God is so unloving that God cannot forgive us for being human (Adam’s sin) – for being precisely what we were created to be, with the free will to choose our own actions – unless God first gets to watch the horrendous murder of God’s Own Child.

          Please think about that. This teaching is the equivalent of saying that a mother can’t forgive the fact that her toddlers have messed up the living room unless she gets to see one of them horribly murdered. If this teaching were true, then every one of us would be demonstrated to be more loving than God!

          Dear Lori, what Jesus tells us in the Gospels now is abundantly demonstrated to be true: God is infinitely loving and all-powerful Spirit, and God is all that exists. The Lord’s mission was (and continues to be) to teach us how to raise our spiritual vibration away from fear and toward ever more perfect love, which in fact is the true nature of God!

          Love and fear are polar opposites. One cannot exist in the presence of the other. So in teaching us to so deeply fear God, THAT CHRISTIAN DOGMA UTTERLY NEGATES ALL THE SACRED WORK OF JESUS.

          No, Jesus did not die for our sins. There is no evidence in nearly 200 years of communications from people that we used to think were dead that even hints that the death of Jesus on the cross has made an afterlife difference for everyone!

          As He says in Liberating Jesus, His death on the cross was a decision made during His lifetime: it was the only way He could teach us that life really is eternal, and death is an illusion. He had trouble persuading first-century folks who had seen abundant bodies die and decay that in fact they themselves were going to live eternally, so he chose to die very publicly and then rise from the dead. “Ta-DA! See? I didn’t die, and neither will you!”

  3. There are some contemplative Christian leaders from Trappist and Franciscan Catholic traditions (Thomas Keating who teaches Centering Prayer and Richard Rohr) whose teachings are much more in alignment with what you describe as true spiritual growth into Love. There have also been esoteric teachers such as Rudolph Steiner and George Gurdjieff who acknowledge higher realities and teach practical mysticism in the Christian lineage. My point is that there has been an inner Way of Christianity that has developed alongside the exoteric traditional churches throughout the last two millennia.

    1. Good point, Martha! I subscribe to Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation – I have for years – and I agree that for a Catholic monk, he isn’t doing badly in the spiritual area. Indeed, some of what he says is wonderful! But he remains stuck with Catholic orthodoxy – sometimes he even rails against it – and because as a monk he doesn’t live in the world, he can unexpectedly say things that are off the wall. For example, a few days ago he started talking about economics from the socialist point of view, and he insisted that it isn’t money itself that is the root of all evil, but instead it is interest paid on money. Good grief, how can such nonsense spout from someone who can also say such wonderful things?

      The answer is simple. Healthy fruit cannot sprout from a poisonous tree. That well-meaning and spiritually healthy people who insist on continuing to work within the dogmas of Christianity can sometimes say and do wonderful things does not take away the fact that if these extraordinarily gifted people had only been able to sprout in good soil and bear from it entirely healthy fruit, they would indeed be able to change the world!

  4. “Meditation and yoga might be helpful too, but it turns out that the better we are at these practices, the more they bolster that troublesome ego.”

    How so, Roberta?

    I just discovered two remarkable women (both are mediums whom you’d know) who have recorded meditation CDs that I’ve been faithfully utilizing on a daily basis. I understood that meditation was a practice to banish our ego as we commune with Guides, Angels, Masters, and Source.

    Alas, my super-conscience (through my pendulum) agrees with you- a fact that greatly surprises me! I don’t understand.

    1. Dear Kitty, what a superb question this is – thank you for asking it!

      Meditation, yoga, and other practices that work to improve our mental/spiritual health can be wonderful in helping us to feel more in spiritual control – no question. And in doing that, they can help us to lessen the power of ego in our lives, but they cannot actually banish the ego. That is really not what they are meant to do! They cannot help us to vanquish and entirely get rid of the influence of ego in our lives because they never threaten its existence. Instead, these practices improve the health of your genuine spiritual self, so in a sense they help to prepare you for the ego’s extinction.

      You cannot get rid of your ego’s control over your life without literally going through what the Bible calls “the valley of the shadow of death.” When you threaten your ego, it fight back. HARD! It finds the one thing that you most want or cherish, and it makes you believe that ITS extinction will also be the end of THAT. The result is overwhelming fear, and you should see that fear as a great sign! It means that the battle at last is joined, and if you persevere you will win this ultimate battle with fear and negativity.

      A Course in Miracles is the way I fought my ego, and it works well, but don’t try this without a good study group. I met with one weekly for two years. When my battle began, it was these people who told me repeatedly that I was stronger and I would win. What my ego made me fear was my own extinction: this was back in the day when we used to think that merging with the Source at the 7th level would be the extinction of our individual awareness – we called it “the second death” – and the fear my ego gave me about that was worse than any fear I ever had experienced or even imagined! But I kept at it. Perhaps a month or two later – I can’t recall now how long it took – I woke up one morning in a state of profound peace. And I heard my guide say clearly, “You will never lose awareness. You will have God’s awareness.”

      That was close to a decade ago, so I have come to better understand what the ego actually is. The ego is the source of all fear and negativity. It’s that busy voice in your head that frets that you are about to lose your job, your child could get murdered at camp, maybe there really isn’t a God, your spouse might be having an affair, and all the other negative nonsense that used to keep popping up unbidden and blighting my life. I have never had a negative thought since that day!” And now I am so happy! I have not since that day cared a whit about money, fame, position in my field, or anything but doing what I have pledged my life to do, which is to act as a foot-soldier in the army of God as we take back all of humanity and put it forever into God’s arms. Mother Theresa said, “I am a little pencil in God’s hand.” I could not have said it better!

  5. I’m happy I happened upon your website and blog. I can sense your clean vibration and non-ego spiritual writings (hard to come by nowadays)! I too am a psychic and Medium and though I am not practicing anymore (because I couldn’t handle the energy drain after about a decade) I am aligned with your thoughts on this post, (and all your writings)! Thanks for keeping the light burning out there and I look forward to reading more!

    1. Thank you, dear Katalina. You have made me smile! And please, if you want to talk further, don’t hesitate to reach out privately through the contact block on this website. I especially like to hear from mediums who have their own experiences to share!

  6. It’s a pity some of these thinkers don’t join us on ALF’s discussion forums, Roberta. They might find something that provides them with alternative food-for-thought.

    1. Hello dear Mac! It’s lovely to see you here! Everyone, Mac is the lead administrator of AfterlifeForums.com. He wonderfully took over the lead role more than a year ago, when my life became so complicated that I could no longer get there more than two or three times per week. I started AfterlifeForums in the fall of 2010, soon after The Fun of Dying was published, as a place for people to talk about that book and about the whole area of death and afterlife studies. Over the past nearly eight years we have added almost 3000 members who have commented on 2200 threads close to 50,000 times! Since It is my forum, everything that I talk about here is always fair game, but of course we don’t allow religious proselytizing or the disrespectful treatment of others. Generally we go quiet in the summertime; then things pick up again in the fall. If you are curious, come on over and have a look!

  7. ‘Mother Theresa said, “I am a little pencil in God’s hand.” I could not have said it better!’

    I like that! 🙂

  8. Wonderful blog, Roberta, really enjoyed it!

    One thing: In a reply above you say that what the “dead” have told us fits in with the teachings of Jesus. Then, several paragraphs down you say that recent translations from Aramaric to English are “NOT consistent with what the dead tell us.” An apparent contradiction.

    Could you please clarify this?

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you, Michael! I do love what I do ;-).

      When Jesus was on earth, he spoke Aramaic, but the Bible was translated into Greek and then from Greek into English. All the modern translations of the Bible, and all our familiar Biblical phrases, are a product of this two-step translation process. These are the Gospels that we know! And now we have detailed communications from people that we used to think were dead, and they corroborate these teachings in astonishing detail.

      It is only very recently that a pocket of native Aramaic-speakers was discovered, and a few of them – one man in particular – came to the U.S., learned English, and translated part of the Gospels directly. These new translations don’t contradict the two-step translations, but they sound vaguer, more airy-fairy, and not precisely like what the dead have been telling us.

      What does this suggest to you? To me it indicates that we are meant now to have the testimony of the dead to prove the genuine teachings of Jesus, so when the major modern translations were being done (from the Greek), Spirit was quite literally doing the translating and making sure the words would match what the dead have been telling us. I see it as a new revelation from God! I mean, what else can it be? If Spirit had not done the NIV, NASB, and other modern translations, then given how different the Aramaic version is, for the testimony of the dead to agree so closely with the NIV and the NASB would be statistically impossible!

      1. Thanks for the info, Roberta. But, I’m just wondering that if Jesus spoke Aramaic, then how could the direct translation from Aramaic to English being further from his true teachings? It would seem that the two steps, from Aramaic to Greek to English, would be further away from what Jesus taught.

        Could it be that ancient Aramaic is different than modern Aramaic?

        Thanks .

        1. The TEACHINGS are the same – love, forgiveness, God is Spirit, and so on – but languages are like palettes in that they color the thoughts being expressed. I haven’t looked at them in awhile, but as I recall the Aramaic translations they felt vaguer and more poetic than do the more direct teachings in our model Gospels. The point isn’t that the translations differ! They would be expected to differ, especially since the modern Bible is the result of a two-step translation process. The point is that beings not in bodies MUST have supervised the final modern translations from Greek into English to ensure that the words would comport directly with what they were telling us; Otherwise, the consistent precision and extent of agreement between the two sources would be mathematically impossible!

          I don’t know whether it was that they wanted to update the teachings of Jesus after 2000 years, and they wanted to make them more sophisticated for modern people; I really don’t know what is going on. But SOMETHING is! For the modern Gospel teachings to agree so precisely with what the modern dead are telling us, and never to disagree, would have been impossible without supernatural intervention. That is my point!

          1. Quite by coincidence, just the other day I came across a used copy of a book that excerpts passages from the Kahboris manuscript, an ancient Syriac New Testament scribed in Aramaic. I had never heard of this manuscript. The little book that found me is published in 1970 by an organization called the Foundation for Human Understanding, or FHU (I have no idea if this is a credible organization, nor do I know anything about the Kahboris manuscript’s legitimacy. However, here’s what’s interesting. The editors in the introduction make two interesting points: that Aramaic is very different syntactically and linguistically than the Sanskrit-rooted languages and is far more inflected, so that one word, depending on its suffix or pre-fix, can mean many different things. So translation from Aramaic into English is, indeed, very complex. But here’s what I really found interesting, the manuscript provides a glossary that deconstructs many of the Aramaic words in the manuscript and provides interpretations of how the suffices etc. affect and effect the meaning. According to this glossary, Jesus’ word for God is Alaha, which again, according to the editors, is the same word used throughout the Aramaic New Testament. it is said to be the same word as the Islamic Allah and it is, “that which was before the beginning of creation. the highest, the most ultimate, most infinite, most unknowable, the ultimate source of truth, of what is, of what will be, and of glory.” The editors actually say this word “represents” God throughout the manuscript, not that it “translates to” God. First of all, doesn’t this sound familiar to fundamental consciousness (or whatever word or term you like); and second, I think it enhances the meaning of Jesus’ words that “no one comes to my father except through me.” (By the way, “abe,” which Jesus uses to refer to God the father, is said to mean “my father” — possessive, not diminutive, as people often believe it to mean, “Daddy.) Anyway, that’s long-winded, but I thought it interesting from both a linguistic and a spiritual point of view.

  9. Hi Roberta and all —
    If you remember my previous comments in other blog entries, you’ll know that my fundamental question once we know these things is, “Knowing this, what then must we do?” In my admittedly very limited (and hardly scientific) observations of people around me who say they are “spiritual, not religious,” I think that they have found themselves the perfect cop out. Being “spiritual” enables them to defer responsibility for doing anything, as they “believe in a higher power” or in a conscious (but indifferent) “universe” — any word will do but God — but in doing so, they don’t have to make any promises to anyone. Jesus, as you know better than I, taught us to be “spiritual, not religious,” and the hypocrites hated him for it. He chided them right back. To me some of the most poignant passages in the Gospels are the ones in which the crowds decide, “This is too hard,” and they wander away. Indeed, Jesus turns to the disciples and asks if they are going to leave too. Being “spiritual, not religious,” requires a lot more than acknowledging that there may be a supreme intelligence and design to the universe and — as you point out — way more than just doing certain Eastern practices like meditation and Tai Chi and “loving ourselves first.” In fact, the more spiritual we get, the harder it gets, as the would-be disciples of Jesus discovered.

    1. Dear Mike, I agree that “spiritual but not religious” is a sad dead end. Religion has proven to be unsatisfying, but those it has failed still feel that spiritual hunger; and how can they feed their hunger now? Spiritual-but-not-religious is sad and tragic, but we might choose to take it as a hopeful sign. The old religion has proven to be dross, so again people are searching for the gold of Truth.

      The failure of Christianity might be seen as a clearing-away of old ideas that haven’t worked so we can prepare the ground for something that can work. Very few people are satisfied with spiritual-but-not-religious as an end-point in their journeys, and only the most determined Westerners will stick with Eastern alternatives for long. It’s not an end-point, in other words, but it can be a new beginning.

      My next Fun book will be The Fun of Loving Jesus. It should have been out in 2016, but then my friend Kelley hit me with a racial epiphany that led to The Fun of Living Together and began a project on which I have worked obsessively for the past eighteen months. A couple of weeks ago I looked again at my FOLJ manuscript. I was surprised to find that it was close to being finished, and I can see now why I needed to put it aside. It’s a book about how we can help Jesus begin the spiritual movement that He came to begin, and why not do that now? He is clear about it in the Gospels, so why can’t we just do what He wants us to do and let His teachings fill the hole left by a dying religion?

      I can see now that what tripped me up was the same problem that tripped up the worthies of Nicaea in 325 and led them to inflict upon us their unsatisfactory fear-based religion. How ever can we fill those pews? What will make people get out of bed early Sunday after Sunday and sit together for an hour? When you take the fear and guilt out of a religion, do you even have a religion at all?

      I can see now that I needed that eighteen-month detour. I realize I was asking the wrong question! Jesus didn’t come to begin any sort of religion, not even a religion devoid of fear and based on just His teachings, because religion itself is the real dead-end! Spiritual growth is an eternal raising of our spiritual vibrations that actually occurs mostly once we have outgrown our need for the spiritual kindergarten that life on earth really is. Following Jesus is not an end-point, in other words. Following Jesus is instead a beginning. So what has been lacking in Christianity has been help in building that love-based platform, founded in the truths that Jesus taught, upon which we can begin a pathway toward ever more perfect spiritual growth.

      Realizing this, we are just beginning to plan what can be the ultimate spiritual movement. We are calling it an online university, a place where people can begin with learning the basics about life, death, and the greater reality, and can move on to feed their spiritual hunger together. Worldwide. The internet makes it easy! First we help them understanding what is going on and the true purpose of human life, and then we help them use the teachings of Jesus and of the other great prophets worldwide to achieve their own rapid spiritual growth and make of this their last needed earth-lifetime. Think of it as a 24/7 gathering for seekers where all their hungers can at last be fed!

      The plan now is to base it on my Fun books (not my idea, you will be relieved to hear): The Fun of Dying for the basics about reality, The Fun of Staying in Touch for how we can better relate that reality with this one, The Fun of Growing Forever to teach what spiritual growth is and how to achieve it once we have that necessary base of knowledge, and The Fun of Living Together for how thinking from love and not fear can help us to finally heal the world. The Fun of Loving Jesus will be the base for a more advanced course on how the teachings of the ages are meant to be used to bring us all together in ever greater unity, the separations between us being of course illusory.

      This is just in the early planning stages. We’ll see….

  10. Dear Roberta —

    Good luck! It’s sure that the next in this series should be greatly anticipated.

    As for helping Jesus, might it not be true that our active involvement in helping him do as you describe would be the so-called “second coming” of Jesus? Now I’m not going to do my usual name dropping because I can’t remember where I read this (maybe it was in one of your books, even?), but it’s been said that the second coming isn’t so much Jesus reappearing “on a cloud” as is described but his incarnation of Love becoming all our incarnations. Now that, truly, would be a second coming on Earth, and the fulfillment of the “God is Love” expression.

    As for those who are spiritual but not religious, I see your point about the hunger and not knowing exactly where to turn — but only where NOT to turn. Something that really gives me pause when I hear people “practicing” this philosophy is how much it is focused on our finding a way to “love ourselves first” — sort of the spiritual equivalent of putting on your own oxygen mask on a plane before helping children. People are so wounded by materialism that they can’t bring themselves to see what needs to happen: “Love your neighbor as yourself” means that our neighbor IS ourself — one in the same — and so we need to love all at once.

  11. I sought my soul,
    But my soul I could not see.
    I sought my God,
    But my God eluded me.
    I sought my brother,
    And I found all three.
    – William Blake

  12. quote: “Christianity is in a worldwide crisis. European countries are full of empty churches, and the United States is not far behind: studies suggest that barely eighteen percent of Americans regularly go to church. Meanwhile, 27% of Americans say they are “spiritual but not religious,” which is an eight-percentage-point increase in that category in just five years. Clearly something big is happening, and from the perspective of my email in-box the problem with Christianity seems to be that people are hungrier now than ever before for genuine spiritual learning. And the practice of traditional Christianity is an active obstacle to spiritual growth.”

    My wife and I have been visiting some of our very old houses here in the UK. Ancient churches are found close by them, often re-built and patronised by the wealthy owner of the manor house. They make great places to visit and many are magnificent. I stood inside one today, a church huge by comparison with the village in which it stood, the rural communities it served. But as I admired it I also felt it was more like a mausoleum than a church, an empty place where the words of a religion more suited to previous millennia are still delivered.

    The emptiness of that magnificent church symbolised for me the emptiness of the teachings of western religions. They have little to tell us about survival beyond death or about life spiritual. Something to replace the old religions is desperately needed, something to satisfy the hunger to understand what life and death are about. Something to slake the thirst for knowledge.

    1. “I also felt it was more like a mausoleum than a church.” So wonderfully put, dear Mac! You are right in saying that Christianity – which, like all religions, is man-made, even if its origin may have been in spiritual truths – is ossified now, stuck in centuries long ago, with no way to assimilate modern knowledge and really nothing left to say to people. It isn’t so much our technical progress that has sounded the death-knell of Christianity, but rather it is a growing spiritual sophistication that increasingly rejects the simplistic, fear-based teachings of all the old religions. I can’t help but think that this growth away from religions and toward finding ways to relate to Spirit directly is natural and healthy!

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