Author: Roberta Grimes

The Easter Miracle

One of the criminals who were hanged there was saying,
“ Save Yourself and us!” The other was saying,
“Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”

And He said to him,
“Truly I say to you,
today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

– Jesus’s Crucifixion, from the Gospel of Luke (LK 23:39-43)

A question often asked at this time of year is whether the Easter story is true. Most people who ask the question consider the Resurrection to be the unbelievable part: they are sure Jesus cannot have died on a Friday and come alive again on Sunday. Actually, though, there is good evidence that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. No, the part of the Easter story that turns out to be unbelievable is the Christian idea that Jesus died for our sins.

Jesus told us long before His death that God never judges anyone. For Him to speak against the prevailing religion was a capital crime, so He had to use some clever tricks to get the truth to His followers without alarming the Temple guards who were often nearby. For example, He used three different events to tell His flock what the dead now universally confirm to us is true about judgment, since the guards changed often but His followers were constant. And to further confound the Temple guards, He buried these essential truths in a blizzard of words! One day He inserted a potentially fatal statement into what the guards must have heard as just preacher-blather. He said, For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. … For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (JN 5:20-23).

That underlined statement that God doesn’t judge us went unremarked, so then on a different day Jesus elaborated on it by added that He never judges us either. He said, He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world (JN 12:45-47). It was just more of what the guards would have heard as the ramblings of an itinerant preacher, with again that nugget of truth that Jesus doesn’t judge us slipping past their notice. Of course, at this point we can hear some ardent Christians saying, “Aha! So He did say He came to save the world!” But since Jesus has already told us that God doesn’t judge anyone, we can be sure He didn’t come to save the world from a divine judgment that never happens. No, it is clear from the Gospels that what Jesus came to save the world from was fear-based religious traditions. For example, He said, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:3-9).

Jesus even told us that each of us will be our own afterlife judge! Different day, different Temple guards, He said something that also failed to alarm them. Deep in His Sermon on the Mount He said, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (MT 6:34-7:3). We now understand that after our deaths no religious figure will judge us, but instead we will face the sternest possible judge. Each of us will judge ourselves.

The notion that Jesus had to die to redeem us from God’s judgment – what Christians call “penal substitutionary atonement” – is not based in anything that Jesus said. Indeed, it directly contradicts the truths that He shares with us in the Gospels! Even worse, it is a disgusting teaching. Try asking yourself which of your own children you would most like to watch being horribly murdered so you can forgive the rest of them for messing up your living room. And still, God insists that you and I must forgive every wrong ever done to us? Jesus tells us to forgive “not up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (MT 18:22). So God insists that you and I forgive, while at the same time God demands that we participate in the sacrifice of His Son to Himself or else God will not forgive us?? I had a lot of trouble with this teaching even when I was an ardent Christian, and the emails I receive suggest that the repellent Christian teaching that God cannot forgive us without the murder of God’s Own Son is the single biggest reason why people are leaving Christianity now. The theory that God is unable to forgive us unless God first gets to watch His Son being murdered is an insult to the genuine God, Who in fact is infinite love. And the notion that the greatest Teacher Who ever lived was born primarily to be sacrificed is humiliating to Jesus!

Who is Jesus, anyway? When my primary guide came out to me in February of 2015, the first thing I asked him was whether Jesus really was the Son of God or in some other way unique, or whether He was only a wise prophet. Thomas told me that Jesus is a great deal more than just the Son of God! He said Jesus entered that lifetime from the highest aspect of the Godhead. So since the evidence suggests – and both Thomas and Mikey Morgan confirm – that God is a Collective of Perfected Beings, my beloved Thomas is telling us that God actually walked the earth in the Person of the historical Jesus. The Lord hints at His divinity in the Gospels, although those who heard Him speak and then passed His words down orally for a couple of generations before they were written down may not have fully understood what He was saying. He would say things like, He who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (JN 14:9-10). The fact that few of His listeners seemed to grasp the fact that God had actually incarnated on earth in the Person of the Lord is not surprising.

I am a skeptic by nature. I began researching death and the afterlife in the nineteen-seventies in an effort to understand my childhood experiences of light, and it took me more than a decade to accept the fact that hundreds of perfectly consistent communications from people that we used to think were dead – received on two continents over nearly a century – did make it pretty much statistically impossible for the afterlife that they all talked about not to be real. And although I was very familiar with the Gospels – and always uneasy about the fact that Christians mostly ignore the Lord’s teachings – it was only when I realized at the end of the nineties that the dead were actually confirming what Jesus had said, and in detail, that I was able at last to abandon Christianity and give my whole heart to the Lord.

So for a long time I have doubted the claim that the burial shroud and sudarium (face-covering) of Jesus still exist to this day. But here, too, I am a skeptic no more! As was true of all that afterlife evidence and the evidence confirming the Lord’s words in the Gospels, the modern evidence that these relics are genuine is abundant and irrefutable. Here is what has persuaded me:

  • Both relics date to the time of Jesus. The linen of which the Shroud of Turin (Italy) and the Sudarium of Oviedo (Spain) are made can be carbon-dated to the time of Jesus. It is of a weave in common use at that time, and it includes pollen from plants that would have been blooming in a first-century Jerusalem springtime.
  • The blood on both relics is male and of the same type. That type is AB, which is so rare that only about two percent of modern people share it.
  • The marks on both relics mirror the Lord’s injuries. The distribution of dried blood on both cloths and some twenty other points of similarity make it statistically certain that they both covered the same man, that He was Jewish and He died on the eve of the Sabbath, and that He had suffered the same wounds that the Gospels report were inflicted on Jesus.
  • The Shroud carries a vague image that is the size and shape of a man. There is no image on the Sudarium, but smudges on the Shroud can be seen. More obvious to a casual observer are smoke and burn marks from a fire in 1532 and another in 1997, together with efforts that were made over time to mend and patch the damaged Shroud.
  • The image on the Shroud is a photographic negative. It was only when the Shroud was first photographed in 1898 that the clear image of a crucified man appeared on its negative plate. Those smudges had been documented to exist on the Shroud of Turin for almost two millennia before anyone even could have known what a photographic negative was! Moreover, it is a 3-D negative. Mathematical analysis of it presents a perfect three-dimensional image.
  • No one knows how the image on the Shroud was made. It appears as a scorch on just one side of each individual fiber, and it doesn’t penetrate at all. Analysis shows that it is not a pigment, nor is it anything else man-made. The best explanation we are given is that it was caused by an immensely powerful “electrical charge in the form of radiation.” And that burst of radiation from the body of the victim happened well after the blood had dried.

So there you have it. Two thousand years ago God came to earth as a human being and lived among us for thirty-three years, and then He was tortured, crucified, murdered, wrapped in a shroud, and laid in a tomb. Three days later He re-animated His dead body with an extraordinary burst of energy, and He showed Himself to His disciples. But why did He go to all that trouble? Next week we’ll give some thought to this question….

And a man named Joseph, a good and righteous man from Arimathea,
this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth,
and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.
– Jesus’s Crucifixion, from the Gospel of Luke (LK 23:50-53)


Shroud of Turin image photo credit: omnos <a href=”″>the Shroud of Turin</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Shroud on a stand photo credit: magro_kr <a href=”″>Kościół Zwiastowania NMP</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Preserving the Truth

“If you hold to My teaching,
you are really My disciples.
Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus, from the Bible’s Gospels (JN 8:31-32)

You may be surprised to see me fighting so hard to safeguard the evidence-based truth about death and the afterlife from efforts to “augment” it with NDE information. But the stakes in this could not be higher! As we said last week, near-death experiences (NDEs) have nothing to do with actual death. But they are such extraordinary personal experiences that of late more and more experiencers are claiming that they actually “died and came back to life,” which is flat impossible. They are then telling their aberrant stories of what they think happened during their NDEs as if they are giving us evidence of what happens at and after a genuine death.

This determination on the part of a few NDE-ers to muddy the truth with their own ideas is a direct existential threat to the dawning enlightenment of humankind. For the first time in our history, soon after the start of this century we at last amassed sufficient consistent and reliable evidence of what happens at and after death to be able to demonstrate the certainty of universal human survival! For the first time we had a vast store of truth about what actually is going on that fits together and makes sense.

We had already had to fight long and hard to protect more than a century’s worth of truth as it was being assembled. Even as recently as the first decade of this century, there still were occasional direct assaults by professional skeptics on anyone claiming to have real afterlife knowledge; and the brunt of those attacks fell on two intrepid Australian researchers, Victor and Wendy Zammit. Victor and Wendy are long-term fighters for the truth in the field of afterlife education. At one point they even posted a million-dollar challenge to anyone who could refute the evidence in their book, A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife. By 2010, the Zammits had won for us the last of the battles we ever will need to fight against the fading advocates of atheistic materialism. They deserve a world of thanks!

So by the start of this century’s second decade, we had at last assembled a pristine pool of information in the field of human survival that is consistent, sufficient, and irrefutable. The truth turns out to be eternal life and perfect love beyond our greatest imaginings! And just as we were able to begin to broadly share this glorious truth and all the evidence that supports it, a few NDE-ers began to dump their random and aberrant experiences into what had been an amazingly consistent pool of evidence-based information. These experiencers’ understanding is so limited that their contributions have begun to act on the truth like acid on a pearl of great price (MT 13:45). Unless we can soon find a bright-line way to insulate the truth about death and the afterlife from all these NDE falsehoods, NDEs will soon have muddied what we now know to the point where our present clarity will sink back into becoming again just conflicting opinions in a sea of confusion.

Oh, some people still will care about maintaining and sharing the literal truth. Books like the Zammits’, the work of people like Michael Tymn, Stafford Betty, Mikey Morgan, and Sandra Champlain, and my own books will remain immune to obfuscation. But far too many well-meaning people are going to assume that the lies are true and spread them even more; and in doing so, they risk sharply setting back humankind’s spiritual progress. So now, while it still is possible to protect the truth that has been so hard-won, let’s peek ahead and speculate about what human life on earth will be like when most of us at last have managed to know and love and live the truth.

Helping to bring the kingdom of God on earth is everybody’s main task now! The consciousness vibrations of this planet’s inhabitants have sunk so deep into negativity that unless we can turn things around pretty soon, we risk witnessing the earth’s destruction in the fear- and hatred-based swamp of pain that already is causing us so much harm!

And the easiest way for anyone to raise his or her consciousness vibrations and grow spiritually is simply to apply the Gospel teachings of Jesus. No need to learn to meditate, do yoga, chant, or even really pray; just follow three simple steps as you go on living your life:

  • Defeat your fear of death. Fear of death is the base human fear. Until we conquer it, our minds remain mired in negativity; but once we no longer fear death, we find that we no longer really fear anything. And Jesus told us flat-out that there is no death! He said, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you … I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (JN 14:1-3). Until enough of us have read sufficient consistent evidence to get past all our remaining doubts and entirely vanquish our fear of death, we won’t be able to raise our consciousness vibrations enough to materially lift the vibrations of this planet.
  • Master prevenient forgiveness. The core of what Jesus taught was our need to forgive, and our need not to judge anyone. When Peter asked him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (MT 18:21-23). Jesus also said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you … For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (LK 6:37-38). Forgiving only after you have already suffered a wrong is so hard! But reprogramming your mind to forgive everything that ever might happen for the rest of your life actually is pretty easy. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so wisely said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
  • Master universal love. When the Lord was asked to name the greatest commandment, He gave us God’s new Law of Love: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40). Once you have defeated the fear of death and learned to forgive everything before it happens, your mind’s vibrations will rise so much that really loving everyone on earth is going to come to you naturally!  

So this program to raise our consciousness vibrations that is based in the teachings of Jesus is a straightforward process. It can be completed within a few years at most, and it works amazingly well. But defeating the fear of death is its essential first step, and becoming sufficiently certain about universal human survival that you altogether lose your fear of death is so hard! It isn’t enough to believe in an afterlife. Hoping for the best doesn’t work at all. No, what you need is the kind if certainty that your mind will survive your death that you feel about the rising of the sun each morning. You also need the same easy familiarity with what the afterlife is like that you have with the landmarks of London or New York. Even with an abundance of consistent afterlife information now so available, it takes real work for each of us to altogether vanquish our fear of death!

By the late nineties I had spent decades researching whole reams of amazingly consistent communications from the dead received before 1940, enough to be able to construct a believable model for what the afterlife is like. I had begun as a skeptic, but by then I believed that life does continue after physical death; but I was seeing, too, that even a deep and sincere belief still is nothing like knowing! Belief just gets you through the night and to another day of trying to know for sure. When people at last become certain that their lives will indeed go on after death – and even before they have mastered forgiveness, or focused on learning how to love – they begin to live and think in an eternal frame. I am such a skeptic that I wasn’t really able to give up all my doubts until the end of the nineties, when I discovered in the midst of a religious crisis that those that we used to think were dead were confirming what Jesus had said in the Gospels, even in minute detail. That was the day and hour when I became certain at last that human life is eternal. And my mind began to live in that moment as part of a timeless forevermore!

My reaction to becoming certain that I never will die was just what seems to happen to most people. I fell in love with Spirit! The God I found in the Gospels was reinforcing what I had learned from studying communications from the dead, and I knew for certain that God is perfect love. I knew that Jesus is an aspect of the Godhead. That was when I started to live my life with an open prayer-line, and I cleaned up my spiritual living room. Within a decade, in a bout of joy I gave the rest of my life to God, and the first fruit of that was a craving to share what I knew was true about death. So then I wrote The Fun of Dying. I developed a hunger for growing spiritually, and I turned to the Jesus of the Gospels for help so within another year I had figured out forgiveness. Within two more years I had discovered that the process of spiritual growth outlined above seems to work for anyone, provided that those applying it have first mastered a certainty about life after death.

So the linchpin of humankind’s entire future is our need to maintain the purity of the evidence for life after death. And this is true because only when we are so certain about humankind’s immortality that we begin to live in an eternal frame are we able to materially raise our consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward perfect love. When we are certain that we will survive our deaths, our vibrations begin to rise naturally!

It will be fun to begin to explore how a general certainty about life after death in only ten or twenty percent of the human population is going to transform our lives as we now live them on earth. But our thinking about that will need to wait until after we have spent a couple of weeks considering the Easter season. Easter turns out to have been the Lord’s great effort to teach us about immortality. And it is time now for us to move past the fear-based nonsense that is Christianity and listen to what Jesus actually said….    

“Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds,
and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

– Jesus, from the Bible’s Gospels (MT 7:7-8)


Astral pond with geese photo credit: Rusty Russ <a href=”″>New England in October</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Heavenly mountains photo credit: joncutrer <a href=”″>Sierra Blanca Peak at dawn</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Near-Death Is Not Real Death

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.”
       – Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) from Through the Looking-Glass (1871)

The death process is amazingly consistent over time and across cultures, as are the details of the afterlife to which all of us will soon return. And thanks to the fact that the evidence has long been so abundant and so consistent, there is such a detailed consensus now about what happens at and after death that the truth is accessible to everyone! For the first time in human history, each person on earth can apply a little investigative effort and soon be confident that the awareness that each of us has now easily will survive our deaths.

I get lots of emails from Seek Reality listeners. I’m excited to see how much progress so many eager seekers are making now! But in recent months I have noticed a problem that is tripping up too many people, and after I have just answered two more emails from folks in anguish over it I think it is time to be frank. A great many lay researchers are being misled into thinking that near-death experiences (NDEs) are in some way related to actual death. So they read a lot of NDEs, thinking they are seeing the first part of what a normal death would be like; and since near-death experiences have nothing to do with death and they are highly individual, for anyone to use them for research leads only to distress and confusion. Here is the sort of email I am getting (received days ago, and quoted with permission):

“There are many cases of people worldwide who have died and survived, who say that they were met by Jesus and he showed them both Heaven and Hell and that there were people in Hell who they didn’t expect to see there. Another scenario is people who have died and survived but when they died, they found themselves in total darkness, in fear surrounded by demons, prodding them, poking them, swearing and yelling obscenities at them only for that person to call out to God and/or Jesus for help and they were then saved. They were then shown Heaven and were told to go back and spread the word of what they had witnessed of both scenarios. There are many cases on YouTube on people’s experiences of this as well as in books I have read over the years. These scenarios seem to differ from what you have talked about and I would love your thoughts on many of these scenarios which I know you have stated you have not experienced in your years of studying near death experiences. How can so many people have experienced this when you state there is no hell? The confusing part for me is hearing different scenarios and trying to figure out which one is true.”

Nothing this seeker has seen or read about in an NDE account ever has happened to anyone who actually has died! NDE accounts are so prominent in our culture now that more and more people simply assume that they are a source of information about death. But in fact, nothing that happens in an NDE can be taken as evidence of what happens at death or in the genuine afterlife. And this NDE-related confusion is brand-new! I cannot recall receiving any such emails even as recently as six months ago. I have interviewed many NDE experiencers and experts in the course of seven years, and all of them have told us that of course no one who comes back from an NDE has actually died during the experience.

So it is time now to set the record straight. NDEs have nothing to do with death. The only thing a researcher can take from the NDE phenomenon is the fact that our minds can easily exist apart from our bodies. Oh, and also the fact that a disembodied mind can travel in an endless variety of wonderful realms in the greater astral plane and have some amazing adventures. But that is IT! Near-death experiences can tell us nothing about actual death, and nothing about the afterlife either. Here are ten important points:

  • Natural deaths are planned. When we are planning an earth-lifetime, we plan into it two or three exit points that our higher consciousness can choose to take when we and our guides decide that we have gotten the most that we can from this lifetime. Truly accidental deaths are possible, but they are very rare: even nearly all “accidental” deaths are planned.
  • Death is always a one-way trip. Those that we used to think were dead tell us that the place where they are now is off-limits to people who are still attached to their bodies. Indeed, I have had the estimable Raymond Moody himself as a Seek Reality guest, and he told us that of course NDE-ers don’t actually die. “That’s why I called them near-death experiences!” So there is the truth, coming straight from the man who actually coined the term; but if only he had instead called them something like “Spiritual Adventures” in Life After Life, we likely wouldn’t have this confusion today.
  • The silver cord is life. Our energy bodies are part of our eternal minds, and they are attached to our physical bodies by an energy cord which is the only reason why our material bodies are alive. When we are out of our bodies for whatever reason, that cord can be seen as a dim streak of bluish light between our physical and astral bodies: the Jews of three thousand years ago called it the silver cord. And they were well aware that the breaking of that cord is the moment of irrevocable death. They said, “For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street. Remember (God) before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed… then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:5-7).
  • Some NDEs include mention of the boundary that limits the afterlife area to the actually dead. In some more extensive NDEs, the experiencer is told that he is approaching the place where the dead are, and if he continues into it he will die and be unable to return to his body. Most turn back there, but if the experiencer ignores the warning and proceeds past that boundary into the afterlife, his silver cord breaks and that is all she wrote.
  • Natural death is a carefully managed and highly uniform process. But NDE-ers just pop out of their bodies! I have written  about the death process, during which we are lovingly supported through what is a gentle and amazingly consistent transition.
  • Near-death experiences are highly individualized. Genuine deaths are consistent, and reports about the genuine afterlife are so consistent that we can now study the afterlife almost as if it were a foreign country. But a near-death experiencer is going to come back from his astral adventure, so his experiences are tailored to what is in his mind. If he is a strict Christian, he might see God; if he thinks he is evil, he will end up in a fiery hell; and so on. In reality, God never appears in material form and there is no fiery hell.
  • The astral plane is stratified by consciousness energy vibrations. As is true of the genuine afterlife that is a small part of it, in the astral plane our spiritual vibrations determine how high we can travel. Most NDEs and OBEs seem to happen at about Level Three, and there are areas in the astral plane that mimic the afterlife from the lowest to the highest realms.
  • The tunnel with a light is a rescue device. In all the research I had done, I never had seen an instance of the tunnel that ends in a light until I read Dr. Moody’s Life After Life in 1975. The lowest-vibration levels of the astral are negative, so when someone is unexpectedly out of his body his guides might choose to hoover him up into a wormhole that conveys him directly to the bright middle astral levels. This never happens in a planned natural death.
  • The afterlife area is a kind of foyer to the vast astral plane. At death we leave our bodies and are conveyed to the third afterlife level, and there we spend our initial post-death period doing certain specific things. Eventually we can choose to go into the astral plane to meet with the out-of-body living, travel widely, take classes, and play. When we want to go back for another earth-lifetime, we prepare for it in that between-lives foyer that no living being can enter without shedding his connection to his earthly body.
  • The astral plane is our likely eternal home. Out-of-body explorers in the astral plane have found that it teems with people going about their eternal lives in fascinating and sometimes very strange ways. And those who have recently died and are talking to their loved ones on earth might mention doing some amazing traveling! They might take piano lessons with Mozart. Learn to paint with Michelangelo. Travel to a thousand astounding planets or watch the pyramids being built. A lot goes on in the astral plane! It seems to me to be the leading candidate to be humankind’s eternal home.

I know from having helped others through this NDE confusion that you may be resisting my explanations. Please continue to believe your own NDE was briefly fatal if that makes you happy, but stop suggesting to others that an NDE can tell us anything about death! NDEs are wonderful, extraordinary experiences, but there is no NDE experiencer who can use what happened in his NDE to tell us anything about natural death or the genuine afterlife.

Although for now they are less problematic, there also are two other sources of potential misinformation that people will occasionally mention. These sources give us wonderful evidence that we are going to survive our deaths, and they give us a slice of specific evidence that can be useful when it is fitted with the larger whole. But independently, neither source can tell us anything specific about death and the afterlife. They are:

  • Books channeled through loved ones. Most people who die on earth return to the third or fourth level of the afterlife. No one can go above the vibrational level that he has spiritually earned, but the dead are so eager to please that many will guess at what might be above them. The only accurate book by a recently-dead reporter is Mikey Morgan’s Flying High in Spirit.
  • Reincarnation confusion. Some of the best evidence for survival is Dr. Ian Stevenson’s wonderful books about reincarnation in the narrow case of an unplanned violent death. Of late, though, I have on occasion seen his work used as if these aberrant events tell us how reincarnation normally occurs, which is emphatically not the case.

The transformation in human life that will come when most people know for certain that they never are going to die will be so profound that it is difficult for us even to imagine the details of it now. But let’s keep our eyes on that ultimate prize! Next week we will begin to consider what it is going to mean for all of humankind when most people have moved past mere beliefs and begun to live on earth in the glorious certainty that they never will die….

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
– Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) from Through the Looking-Glass (1871)


Annotated Alice photo credit: MartinaYach <a href=”″>”In My World, The Books Would Be Nothing But Pictures”</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Alice’s adventures (blue) photo credit: Toronto Public Library Special Collections <a href=”″>Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Illustrator: Rountree: 1908) cover</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Alice & rabbit photo credit: Toronto Public Library Special Collections <a href=”″>Alice In Wonderland (Illustrator: Winter, 1924) cover</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Alice & hatter photo credit: Toronto Public Library Special Collections <a href=”″>Alice in Wonderland (Illustrator: Tarrant, 1916) cover</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Duchess & croquet photo credit: Toronto Public Library Special Collections <a href=”″>Alice in Wonderland (Illustrator: Hudson, 1922?) Croquet with the Duchess</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Alice meets rabbit photo credit: Toronto Public Library Special Collections <a href=”″>Alice in Wonderland (Illustrator: Tarrant, 1916) Alice meets the White Rabbit</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Alice’s tea party photo credit: Toronto Public Library Special Collections <a href=”″>Alice in Wonderland (Illustrator: Winter, 1924) Mad Tea Party</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

What Is Humankind?

So God created mankind in His own image;
In His own image God created them;
Male and female He created them.
God blessed the humans by saying to them,
“Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it!”

– (Gen 1:27-28) Ascribed to the Prophet Moses (?-1273 BC)

For all of human history our religions have called us guilty and unworthy, our governments have treated us as basically evil, and our sciences have told us we were sacks of cells about to face oblivion. We always have fought these characterizations, but we haven’t fought them very hard. You and I had no present inclination to become thieves and axe-murders, true enough; but given the consensus view of humankind among those in authority – and especially given all the evidence in our daily news and in history books that some people must be evil incarnate! – we have on the whole accepted these expert views that we are in need of restraint. After all, until very recently we had no other source of information.

To my mind, the most important result to come from our decades of open-minded and broad-based research into the greater reality is that now we have independent evidence of who and what we really are. And what seems to be more and more certain now is that humankind is not only made in the image of God, but humankind is the very center and the crowning height of all creation, and the sole reason why this universe exists. The truth is so much the opposite of what we have been taught to believe that it may be hard for you to grasp it at first. But please try to get your mind around what is the most perfectly glorious fact!

The reason why there is so much evil is that all the negativity piled upon us by our religions and our governments has drastically depressed the consciousness vibrations of all of humankind. It is as if our most trusted institutions have chosen to pile rocks on our heads to weigh us down and make us more amenable to being subjugated by human leaders. In point of fact, we have discovered that when we free individuals insofar as we can free them from all this awful negativity, each of them begins to rise toward love as a bubble in water rises toward the light.

What we will say here is closely built on what we said last week, so please re-read that post before you tackle more of this one. Then please suspend your disbelief enough to entertain the possibility that our institutions have been wrong about humanity all along.

The evidence being developed by those who objectively study the greater reality is that:

  • What we dimly experience as human consciousness is the base creative force that continuously manifests this universe, a force of which each of our minds is an integral part.
  • The infinitely powerful entity wielding this force is a Collective of Perfected Beings, some or all of Whom once lived on earth.
  • The universe exists as a place that can offer sufficient negativity to enable conscious beings early in their development to rise in vibration enough for them to continue their development in the astral plane, which is humankind’s eternal home.

These three facts are demonstrably true, and they obliterate all religious, governmental, and scientific notions about what is going on. Just making sense of these facts and watching them as together they manifest our reality helps us explain so many things! Human beings are the reason why this universe exists, and it is quite literally designed for our benefit. Only when we are able to understand and accept that certain fact can any of what we are learning now make much sense! Let’s look at how this universe manifests according to the points given above.


No-time and no-space turns out to be reality’s default condition. In most of reality we can choose to experience earth-time or some other kind of time, but time is optional. The only place of which we are aware where objective time and space exist is in this material universe, and we know this universe encompasses less than five percent of what demonstrably exists. So in the greater reality – which is to say, in nearly all of reality – there is no objective space or time, which fact requires us to rethink everything! For example, here are some relevant implications of the lack of time when we seek to understand creation:

  • If something ever exists, then it always exists. Without time, there is no “before” and no “after.”
  • So creation cannot have happened as we imagine it. The very notion of creation requires a timeline that moves from nothing to something.
  • There is only Now. Of course, how Now works when people in the greater reality seem to lead happy timeless lives is hard for us to get our minds around!

How could the universe have come into being in the first place, and what keeps it going? The universe’s embedded time will let us notice the fact that it continues, but what is it that keeps time going, when the action of time is not a default condition? There seems to be just one explanation for how creation happens, and it is a doozy! Creation is an ongoing series of Nows. Last week we likened it to a film strip in which each Now is a present moment that includes its own constructed past. Without time in the greater reality, there cannot of course be an actual past; but in the ongoing creation of a material universe which includes objective time as a characteristic, a memory of a constructed past and its effects can readily be built into each sliver of Now and changed according to humanity’s changing needs.


It is likely that no universe existed before the advent in it of humankind. We live as eternal beings in the timeless and spaceless Now of the vast, non-material astral plane; and for reasons that we can only guess, a need for us to better develop spiritually led to the creation of a material universe that was almost certainly at first quite primitive. Why bother to create an elaborate past that includes a Big Bang, evolution, and galaxies of stars for people who were busy hunting and seldom lived past the age of thirty? At first, what we now call the universe didn’t need to be more than one planet with its associated atmosphere. And it needed the following characteristics:

  • An artificial physics. In the astral plane our minds are powerful. We can manipulate our surroundings by mind alone. If this universe is to be a suitable school for us, it needs a math- and particles-based physics that our minds cannot so easily mess with.
  • Sources of negativity. Our nature when we are at home in the astral is entirely love-based. What we need here is a hard world full of challenges that stress our patience, our ability to make wise choices, and our determination to reject fear and anger and always choose love.
  • Ignorance on our part of what actually is going on. For nearly all of material time, we have had such limited access to our greater minds while we were in bodies that we have had no way to notice or fathom the notion of anything existing beyond this hard school.


There is no better evidence of the fact that you and I are the deeply beloved entire reason why this universe exists than the manner in which the Godhead devotedly enriches our material school. As we have become more sophisticated, we have needed an ever more extensive universe so we never would find a troubling edge to it. Since we were given time as a characteristic of this school, we have needed a history built into each micro-sliver of created Now; and as we grew more sophisticated, so was that history required to expand enough to satisfy us. For a Godhead of Perfected Beings to always remain a step ahead of us is a challenge that will make you smile as you come to better understand what is going on, and as the Godhead’s efforts become more apparent! Even though all of history can be rewritten in a micro-instant of non-time, it still has to take us all the way from an imagined start some billions of imagined years in the past through to the moment when you are reading these words. It also has to show how something arose from nothing. And so far, all that the Godhead is doing is pushing that core problem farther back and building in ever more complexities and endearing little fudges. As you become used to spotting them, you will see what I think of as God’s fudges everywhere! To get you started, here are three:

  • The origin of the universe. The Godhead can take us farther and farther back, even to before the Big Bang, and It can maintain a stable universe by tweaking what are supposed to be universal constants; but so far the Godhead still has not shown us how matter could arise without the actions of an Un-Caused Cause.
  • The origin of life. The problem isn’t just that matter acquires the property of being alive in some manner that remains a scientific mystery, but maintaining life requires some complex structures that could not have been achieved by the random and incremental trial-and-error evolution long assumed by scieniists.
  • Evolution. The whole notion of evolution is full of puzzles and gaps that are not much publicized, and the more you study it the more it looks to be rigged primarily for our amusement. I mean, dinosaurs? Rhinoceroses? Orangutans? The Beast of Baluchistan? Modern humans and most other modern species came into existence almost simultaneously just 200,000 years ago, as if the Godhead became bored with giving us all those preliminaries and decided to get down to business.

Dr. Freeman Dyson (1923-2020) was a somewhat iconoclastic theoretical physicist and mathematician who said in his book, Imagined Worlds, The laws of Nature are constructed in such a way as to make the universe as interesting as possible.” His insight is precisely right! Material reality is a love-song to us from our precious Elder Brethren.

For humankind to ever better understand the truth about what is going on will be essential to our further spiritual development. And the most dangerous obstacle we face in our ongoing effort to seek what is true may surprise you. It is time now for us to deal with what is a rapidly growing problem….

 You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.
Truly, goodness and love will pursue me
 all the days of my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s House forever.

– (Psalm 23:5-6) David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC)


Man in our image photo credit: Lawrence OP <a href=”″>Man and Woman</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Adam & Eve stained glass 2 credit: amandabhslater <a href=”″>St Chad, Far Headingly, Leeds 1922</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Adam & Eve painting photo credit: <a href=”″>6Q3A8287</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Adam, Eve, Serpent photo credit: Can Pac Swire <a href=”″>Healthy Adam and Eve</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Adam & Eve & Animals photo credit: Nicolas Vollmer <a href=”″>Rome – Adam et Eve au Paradis Terrestre, par Wenzel Peter</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Adam, Eve, Apples photo credit: jaci XIII <a href=”″>The End of Innocence</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

The Ongoing Act of Creation

Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures,
and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”
God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves,
with which the waters swarmed after their kind,
and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
                         – (Gen 1:20-21) Ascribed to the Prophet Moses (?-1273 BC)

Last week we talked about what modern evidence tells us is true about our one reality. Now let’s look at some important questions. How did all of this come into being? How is it maintained? And what can we learn about the Un-Caused Cause that has to be behind it all?

This reality is all of one piece. Our human predilection to study aspects of it from different perspectives, using different methods and even fundamentally different terms, has fooled us into thinking it even is possible to study anything this way! We long have assumed that all the aspects of reality that we were studying separately were going to fit seamlessly and make perfect sense whenever we tried to put them together. But this whole way of thinking is nonsense. There is not a physical reality and a spiritual reality, a chemical, biological, and physics reality, a psychological reality, a mental reality, a secular, cosmic, and divine reality. Whole books could be written about why this doesn’t work and how none of the pieces now fits with all the others, but here are just four quick examples of the mess that our habit of studying reality in fragments has created:

  • Origins. The whole notion that this universe exploded into being 13.8 billion years ago and proceeded to work itself out and grow from there has become a part of our cultural knowledge. But even if the Big Bang theory is right, there is a lot about it that doesn’t make sense according to current scientific understandings. And more importantly, the Big Bang cannot explain how so much matter sprang from nothing! As the eminent Rupert Sheldrake has said, the scientific approach to the origin of the universe is “Give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.” As an aborigine who believed the world rides on the back of a turtle said when someone asked him what the turtle was standing on, “It’s turtles all the way down.” The Big Bang theory describes just part of a process, and it does not explain how or why that process began. How did so much something come from nothing?
  • Physics. The advent of quantum mechanics set off an academic scramble to unify the world of Einstein with the world of Planck. The problem is that quantum mechanics violates some laws of physics as they have long been understood, but it was the basis for some of the twentieth century’s most important developments so it cannot be ignored. Let’s be blunt here. If we must work from within traditional physics to try to understand quantum physics, a unified theory can never be found.
  • Dark Matter. The fact that 95.1% of what scientists now believe exists is demonstrably not material because it neither emits nor reflects photons of light is a scientific conundrum only because physicists insist that dark matter must be made of particles. Putting aside the fact that “dark” matter cannot by definition be made of material particles, the notion that inside a material universe that is breathtakingly efficient and highly calibrated, 95% of what exists is random particles with no discernible function is nonsense. To a hammer, everything looks like nails. To a particle physicist, everything looks like particles.
  • Life. Watching the scientific community try to figure out how life emerged from some chemical mix struck by lightning would be humorous if it didn’t feel so tragic. What they are doing makes no sense! But they must follow their set protocols, so this is all that they can do.

There is just one reality! The fact that our human limitations make it easier for us to break up that reality and try to study it piecemeal doesn’t mean that such fragmentation is useful. It is the intellectual equivalent of looking for our car keys under the street lamp even though we dropped them in the dark, simply because the light would make it easier for us to spot them… if they were there. It may have been necessary over the centuries to study reality using separate disciplines because our knowledge and our tools were limited. But we know enough now to be able to use the bits of apparent truths that humankind has gradually assembled and demand that they come together and make sense or else be thrown away. If we put together what open-minded researchers have learned in just the past few decades, here is how we might solve the four puzzles given above:

  • Origins. There is no objective time beyond this material universe that is only 4.9% of what we know exists. And one implication of a lack of time is that if something real exists now, then it always exists. We are used to the objective time that is a characteristic of this material universe, so we look for a beginning and we imagine an ending; but from the non-time perspective of most of reality the universe never began and it never will end. If this notion makes your eyes cross, you are not alone!
  • Physics. Quantum physics is a variant of the physics that governs 95.1% of reality. In that 95.1% that we return to at death, all creation is by mind and there is neither time nor space. Quantum physics is a kind of plug that connects the free-form physics of most of reality with the numbers-based and particles-based physics that exists only in this material universe.
  • Dark Matter. Dark matter and energy are just the non-material astral plane that is our true home. The enormous astral is entirely consciousness-based, relatively much larger than this material universe, and in precisely the same place as the universe but existing at different rates of consciousness vibration. It is full of a kind of mind-created and solid-seeming matter… but that astral matter contains no detectable material particles.
  • Life. This one will make you slap your forehead! The characteristic that we identify as “being alive” is a primary property of the consciousness which continuously manifests this universe. The bodies of living creatures possess the designed-in genetic and structural abilities to make animating use of the life-force that is inherent in consciousness, and they are alive for so long as their bodily structures needed to support life remain sound. It is that simple.

(Feel free to hold me to these predictions. We won’t know if I was right until long after I have graduated, but if I have hit one of these nails on the head you will hear me cheering in the bleacher seats!)

Unless we will seek reality with as much objectivity as we can muster, we never are going to make the smallest bit of sense about anything! And unless we can really make objective sense of what actually is going on, just the fact that the universe exists and has apparently been stable for 13.8 billion years can tell us nothing certain about how it is going to behave in just the next five minutes. Which is not to say that those deeper and more sensible answers that address the whole of reality can never be found. When we put together lots of random bits of evidence from many disciplines and study it all with an open mind, we find sensible answers to a great many questions, including the ones that began this post. These answers violate many longstanding assumptions, but since those assumptions are based on our limited experiences as human beings and are heavily dependent on sensory input, that is a good thing!

Here is what appears from the evidence to be the current state of play:

The Godhead is a Collective of Perfected Beings, so God understands us and loves us because God is us. In a reality without objective time, God continuously manifests everything that we believe is real, including what is “in the past,” since in a reality without time there is only Now. The easiest way to envision this is to think of the fact that a filmstrip is individual pictures, but when we run it through a projector our minds will register it as one continuously moving picture. And so does the reality around us seem to move seamlessly even though it is in the nature of a filmstrip, a continuous string of separately created realities! What we call the “astral plane” is most of our reality. The astral exists in probably infinite consciousness gradations, from fear on up to perfect love, and for convenience we divide it into seven general levels with the “outer darkness” at the lowest and the Godhead at the highest level of vibration. We come to earth to grow spiritually up through what amounts to the grade-school level, and we continue the process of elevating ourselves in the astral plane after we have reached an acceptable level of spiritual development here. So it is a reasonable working assumption that the greater reality exists as it does to give us a place to grow spiritually. And according to our wonderful Mikey Morgan, our process of spiritual elevation goes on forever, even beyond the level of the Godhead. But we are urged not to think about that now!

If we are ever to understand what actually is going on, we are going to have to get past the idea that this material universe is important in and of itself. It is useful, yes, but it is only a spiritual classroom constructed in the astral for a limited purpose, and if it ceased to exist then another way for us to begin to develop spiritually would replace it. We will talk next week about the role of the universe and why its physics is so different; but for now, only try to see our greater reality more as it is seen by the people who have gone home ahead of us. They consistently tell us that where we are now is not our real life! Instead, there is a much greater love-based reality that is our eternal home. As we ever better come to know the true Godhead, let’s also seek to better understand how the Collective maintains this universe as a school for Its less advanced brothers and sisters. Next week we will explore our own role in the ongoing act of creation….

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
             – (Psalm 23:4-5) David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC)


Striped rocks photo credit: mypubliclands <a href=”″>#mypubliclandsroadtrip 2016: Places That Rock, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Lion in water photo credit: chiaralily <a href=”″>Learning to Swim</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Waterfalls photo credit: Thomas James Caldwell <a href=”″>Pennell Falls</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Sea cave photo credit: slworking2 <a href=”″>The Sunset Cliffs Sea Cave At Twilight</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Fire & ice photo credit: michi_s <a href=”″>fire and ice</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Peeking Behind the Curtain

In the beginning, God created the universe.
When the earth was as yet unformed and desolate,
with the surface of the ocean depths shrouded in darkness,
and while the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters,
God said, “Let there be light!” So there was light.

– (Gen 1:1-3) Ascribed to the Prophet Moses (?-1273 BC)

One of the fruits of our learning that all human minds are part of one eternal Mind is a developing craving to know and understand what actually is going on. Where did all of this come from? Is there a God, and what is God like? How extensive is the non-material reality? How does it work? How can we know who and what we truly are? This is the first generation to have access to facts-based answers to all these questions, and those answers fit together and make sense.

When I had my first experience of light at the age of eight, I thought of it as peeking behind the curtain. Then when I much later first understood that all the afterlife communications over the past two centuries reveal to us a single consistent and detailed post-death reality, that felt like watching the curtain tear and glimpsing many more of the wonders behind it. Since then, open-minded researchers have further rent the curtain between us and the truth, until by now that curtain lies in tatters. Reasonable answers to all our questions are before our eyes and plain to see! But I have of late come to realize that my piecemeal sharing of these truths has made it harder for you to grasp the larger picture. In an effort to remedy that, we are going to briefly summarize here what seems to be true about our one reality.

The greater reality now revealing itself is gigantic. It is at least twenty times the relative size of this material universe. And it all fits together perfectly! Researchers have sufficient solid insights now for us to begin to understand a great deal more than we could have understood even just a few years ago, and our learning continues apace. Please consider this post to be a stick in the ground, a marker that celebrates how far we have come but that we can be sure is going to shift and change as our knowledge continues to grow.

Here is what we now know about the greater reality that includes this universe:

  • The only thing that objectively exists is what we experience as consciousness. It has already been abundantly shown that the human brain does not and cannot generate consciousness, nor can it perform even the basic functions that science long has ascribed to it. Still, most scientists continue to equate the mind with the brain, and funding for brain research continues, which means that brain-studies that can only lead us nowhere still will blunder on. Even the new study of “panpsychism,” which posits that consciousness pervades the universe, turns out to be just more foolishness. One expert on panpsychism calls consciousness “the intrinsic nature of matter. There’s just matter, on this view, nothing supernatural or spiritual. But matter can be described from two perspectives. Physical science describes matter ‘from the outside’, in terms of its behavior. But matter ‘from the inside’ – i.e., in terms of its intrinsic nature – is constituted of forms of consciousness.” No idea is offered about where that consciousness comes from, what service it performs, or why it exists as they propose that it does. Only more nonsense. Even most scientists seeking to understand consciousness itself are trying to do it in terms of mathematics in order to remain in the materialist mode. Sadly, the scientific community still refuses even to ask the right questions!
  • Consciousness gives rise to everything that we think of as real. Very little is known about the base creative force, but I will give you the best definition of it that I have seen. “Consciousness is an energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the sense that your mind is alive, infinitely powerful and governed by emotion so it is probably self-aware.” Every human mind is inextricably part of that single Consciousness, so it is reasonable for us to say that there is only one of us here.
  • Some 95.1% of the reality of which we are aware is not material. Scientists have determined that less than five percent of the universe is composed of ordinary matter and energy. The rest is what they call dark matter (26.8%) and dark energy (68.3%) – and they are dark only in that neither of them sheds or reflects material light. It is a reasonable guess that these gigantic non-material aspects of reality are the astral plane, which is a bit like an inconceivably large, endlessly varied, and happily love-based and rollicking wild west.
  • This material universe is the only place where there are laws of physics. In all the rest of reality, numbers are meaningless; and insofar as we are able to tell, every element of that non-material reality is readily manipulated by more advanced human minds.
  • This material reality is the only place where time and space are fixed. In that non-material 95.1%, we can choose to experience the passage of time or we can live in timelessness. We can travel to the edge of the universe in an eye-blink.
  • Everything is energy; nothing is solid. No matter how solid things might seem to us, both in this material reality and in the astral, we must never forget that, as 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.” And all the apparent matter and energy that exists, whether it is light or dark, is tightly intermingled. We live eternally in one gigantic energy-soup.
  • Everything vibrates. We have talked about the fact that these vibrations exist at a range of vibratory rates, from fear at the lowest to love at the highest rate. The easiest way for you to visualize all of this is as TV signals in the room around you, where your mind can tune in to a specific signal at a certain vibratory rate and pick up a single specific reality.

So this is the basic greater reality that encompasses everything that we think exists. It probably is not all that exists, but for now it defines our limits. And over and over we can see it working! Near-death and out-of-body experiencers leave their earth-bodies and travel in the endless astral; and when we die, we follow our deathbed visitors as we raise our personal vibrations sufficiently to be able to reach the afterlife area that is located in the astral. As is true of the TV signals around you, all these different reality signals exist at different frequencies but in precisely the same place. It all works. It is consistent with quantum physics. And it makes sense! Please read and internalize the points listed above until the truth defeats your own lying eyes. Once you are used to knowing the truth, you will find that you function just fine in this material illusion but you never lose sight of what is really going on!

God is harder to understand, although there is a lot of consistent information to support what I will tell you. We begin with the certainty that there has to be an Un-Caused Cause! Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Fine-Tuning. This universe is so finely-tuned that it exists on the edge of instability, always about to fly apart or collapse. And as the great Rupert Sheldrake has pointed out, some of those finely-tuned values that scientists call “constants” are in fact continuously adjusting, apparently all on their own!
  • Final Causality and Other Quantum Puzzles. Quantum mechanics gave us the final insights that researchers needed to at last make sense of the greater reality. In the same vein, some important quantum physics experiments now strongly hint that there has to be a prior cause beyond this physical universe.
  • Human Yearnings. A close look at human history and cultures going back for tens of thousands of years shows that the urge to seek and interact with a higher power has always been a core human characteristic. Until recently, human beings were living on the ragged edge of survival, so all this effort spent over thousands of generations to seek and interact with unseen beings is a human need that seems to be as thoroughly hard-wired into us as is a newborn infant’s need to suck.
  • Human Experience. That urge toward a closer walk with Spirit remains in the human psyche to this day, and before the age of fifty more than half of us have had at least one extraordinary experience of Spirit. Having had two such experiences myself, and having talked with many people about their own such spiritual interactions, I will tell you flat-out that these experiences are consistent, transformative, and emphatically not imaginary!
  • The Afterlife. Based upon abundant and highly varied evidence, there is no doubt now that human minds are interconnected and are eternal. How or why this should be the case is a core question whose answers all point to the existence of an Un-Caused Cause.

Religionists want to refer to the Un-Caused Cause as “God,” and they give it all the attributes of their various human-made gods. But in fact, all such religion-based gods are just part of humankind’s long history of seeking to satisfy that hard-wired human craving for Spirit. The evidence strongly suggests that the genuine Godhead is in fact a Collective of Perfected Beings Who all have matured spiritually just as you and I are maturing, and have reached a point of such spiritual perfection that together They order all of reality. I can hear your protests now! If I am right about this, then among other head-scratchers is the question of how the universe could have begun before there were Perfected Beings, and why it even happened at all. And indeed there are answers to these questions. Next week we’ll explore the genuine Godhead’s apparently ongoing process of creation….

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
 He restores my soul.

– (Psalm 23:1-3) David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC)


Theater curtain photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo – 69 Million Views <a href=”″>Cleveland Ohio – Playhouse Square – State Theatre – Interior Auditorium – KeyBank State Theatre – Postcard</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
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Moving Beyond Faith

Day by day, Day by day,
Oh, Dear Lord, Three things I pray.
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day.
– Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tubelak, from the 1971 musical “Godspell”

We have spoken at length about the fact that mainstream science and mainstream Christianity are our two greatest barriers to discovering and making sense of what actually is going on. Each of them holds a worldview that gives careful attention to just its own preferred aspects of reality, and each requires the exclusion of any study of many other aspects of reality that are equally real. For example, Christianity concentrates on what people many hundreds of years ago thought was true about the mental and spiritual aspects of reality, while mainstream science works at making sense of only reality’s physical aspects. Each has a set of established dogmas – statements that adherents are required to believe – which means that neither can be considered to be an open-minded search for the truth. What may be even worse is the fact that a lot of the dogmas they adopt are very hard to believe! For example, nearly all versions of Christianity insist that a perfectly loving God needed the bloody sacrifice of God’s own Son before God could forgive us for Adam’s sin; while science still requires that consciousness must be generated by the brain, when more and more that proposition is being shown to be unlikely, if not impossible.

It is becoming ever more restricting for us to continue to live in the twenty-first century with our two mutually exclusive sources of truth still stuck behind ancient barriers. This artificial division between material and non-material realities goes back as far as Plato and Aristotle! Still, as recently as half a century ago our balancing of these two incompatible approaches to understanding reality was the best that we could do, since no better sources of information were available. It has long been common for us to switch from one approach to the other in our minds, and even to hold incompatible beliefs simultaneously. There once were lots of Christian research scientists! But recent advances in a variety of fields are bringing us to a place where we can see how all these disciplines readily interact, and indeed how both material and non-material fields of study access the same reality.

At last we are able to study one consistent, complete, and up-to-the-minute reality that makes sense across the board! So for us to continue this artificial division between two incompatible ways of approaching only certain parts of the truth has become counterproductive and plain silly. Furthermore, holding to old-style scientific and religious approaches to the study of reality means that:

  • We must take some things “on faith.” To pursue science as it is presently practiced, we must take it on faith that there is no non-material reality, our material brains generate who we are, and at death we will be extinguished. Those who pursue Christianity also have a raft of arbitrary beliefs to swallow, many of which are frankly incompatible with the Gospel words of Jesus.
  • We must ignore a lot of evidence that each of these approaches is wrong. For example, it has been estimated that by the time we are fifty, more than half of us have experienced at least one extraordinary event. Near-death experiences are becoming commonplace, and nearly every day I get emails from people who have had vivid after-death communications. Science has to call all these NDEs and post-death communications just brain-tricks, and the various strains of Christianity will similarly explain them away as something like God-tricks. But neither of those explanations gives us any better understanding of what such events might tell us about how reality actually works!
  • We are subjected to unnecessary fears. We have talked at length about how deeply fear-based Christianity really is. Science has a similar problem, since science teaches that there is no God, that we are a random accident on a planet in one of billions of solar systems, and that our self-awareness is just a brain-illusion and will die with our bodies. A lot of the reason why the consciousness vibration of this planet is now so debased is that the two institutions that we most trust give us all these tremendous fears.

There is another problem, too, that is caused by our acceptance of this bifurcation into two independent sources of truth, each of which insists that we believe in its dogmas. In cultures where the established worldview requires that we believe as truth some things for which there is little or no proof, having faith without proof has long been seen to be a virtue. But even a moment’s critical thought will show you that until we begin to demand at least some evidence before we will believe, humankind can never make any progress! Please think about this. If the ability to believe things uncritically because some authority tells us to believe those things is celebrated, and if we even train our children to “just have faith,” then people will soon be believing anything. And a populace that is able to hold beliefs without evidence can be led into untold horrors! Recent history tells us that authorities can create beliefs in their followers’ minds that Native Americans are savages, that darker skin is a mark of inferiority, or that Jews must be eliminated. Current history tells is that children can readily be taught to believe that murdering for religious reasons brings sainthood! And these are only a few examples of the dreadful horrors that can arise from people’s gullible willingness to believe things for which there is no evidence.

Some of this confusion comes from the fact that the word “faith” has two meanings. Its dictionary definition is sometimes given as “a strong belief in something, even without proof,” which is the kind of faith that religions and mainstream science expect us to have in their dogmas. This first kind if faith, I submit to you, is both negative and counterproductive.

But Jesus spoke of a different kind of faith. When He used the word “faith,” He was talking about “belief in the power of the mind to accomplish some specific act.” For example, when His disciples asked Him why they had been unable to remove a demon from an affected boy, He said, “Because of your lack of faith. I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (MT 17:20).

Jesus made it plain that in healing people He was using their beliefs in the powers of their own minds when combined with the power of his own to accomplish these healings. For example, when a woman who had long suffered from bleeding touched His garment, expecting that her doing that would heal her, Jesus said to her, “‘Have courage, daughter! Your faith has made you well.’ And from that very hour the woman was well” (MT 9:22). Two blind men approached Him and told Him they believed that He could heal them, and “He touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith, let it be done for you’” (MT 9:29). A woman told Him she believed that He could heal her daughter. “Then Jesus answered her, ‘Lady, your faith is great! What you want is granted.’ That very hour her daughter was healed” (MT 15:28). More open-minded modern researchers already have determined that the sort of faith that Jesus asks of us is a way to vastly empower our minds, and it is especially helpful in healing our own bodies. In a more enlightened age, the further empowerment of our minds this way will be seen as a first step toward any kind of healing.

To have faith for the sake of “having faith” – whether it’s faith in an ancient human-like God, or faith in an exclusively material reality – is useless, lazy, and counterproductive.

My fifty-year voyage of discovery began with a search for afterlife evidence, but soon I was led to do wider-ranging investigations which led to the realization that in fact there is just one reality. It all fits together, and it all makes sense! Then in 2013 I was invited to begin a podcast. We all assumed its title would somehow relate to the afterlife; but when I was asked to propose a title, the words that Thomas put into my mind were “Seek Reality.” I was mystified! Eventually, though, I came to see that when our most trusted sources of information are still so profoundly failing us, then each of us is responsible for assembling the evidence and figuring out what is true. We are left to Seek Reality on our own.

Fortunately, there are of late increasing signs that mainstream science and many versions of Christianity are modulating their insistence on what must be believed by their adherents. This is brand, brand new! For the first time, just in recent years mainstream scientists are showing humility about whether their whole approach might be wrong, and whether their assumption that consciousness is produced by the brain might have been in error all along. They are seeking new ways to get around what long had been seen as insoluble problems, and a few scientific disciplines are even beginning to look beyond their rigid, long-established parameters.

There are people with scientific training, too, who are exploring the non-material aspects of reality, and some of what they are learning is flat astounding. We have talked here about Dr. Bernardo Kastrup, the brilliant young man whose work on the primacy of consciousness may earn him a Nobel Prize. Scientists affiliated with The Discovery Institute have been leading the way in the scientific study of the non-material aspects of reality. And meanwhile, it is estimated that between six and ten thousand churches are closing in the United states each year, while the most optimistic religious prognosis seems to be just that the rise in the number of Americans with no religious affiliation may be slowing. The most ardent evangelical movements are either dying, too, or they are taking fresh root in the buildings being vacated by all those dying churches! And an idea that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago – that our being spiritual requires that we move beyond faith and embrace both science and common sense – is now being openly espoused by one of our greatest spiritual leaders. After I have spent half a century working on both sides of the iron barrier that used to exist between the study of the material and the study of the non-material, I am astonished by this easy and rapid breaching of that ancient barrier.

A new day really is dawning! It is ours to help to shape and ours to love, but it is not of our creation. To see it happening is to watch with wonder the work of Spirit moving in the world. We begin to greet with joy our ultimate sunrise.

Morning has broken like the first morning.
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing,
Praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing fresh from the world.
                                        – Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965), 1931, from “Morning Has Broken”


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Selling Love-Based Living in a Fear-Based World

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
                                         – W.B. Yeats (1845-1939) from “The Second Coming”

Many people have an increasing sense that Western civilization is falling apart. Some of us trace this awful collapse back to the youth-quake of the Sixties, which was a decade so full of political assassinations and racial strife and so riven by a pointless war that it seemed to some to be the end of the world. Others trace our civilizational chaos to the polarization now being fostered by isolated pockets of conflicting information; and there even are those who put the blame on rhetoric coming from the U.S. President. But whatever reasons we might propose for the current collapse of order and basic decency in the Western world, I suggest to you that every one of these apparent causes is only a symptom. Our central problem is that human civilization was plunged so deeply into fear and negativity during the war- and strife-filled past century that it is now in an existential crisis. It has lost any sense of how to rise from here.

Please try to internalize how this works. If we cannot thoroughly grasp it ourselves, we can never help others to understand and address what has always been the central human problem! The only thing that exists is the creative energy-like potentiality that we experience as consciousness. All our minds are part of that potentiality, so effectively we all are part of one Mind. Like other forms of energy, consciousness vibrates, and its range runs from fear at the lowest and slowest end of the spectrum to love at the highest. We have said this here so many times that to see me recite it again has you rolling your eyes! But until you have so completely internalized this core fact of human existence that you stop seeing reality in any other way, you will not be able to get free of the illusion that you think you see around you. Everything is either love-based or fear-based.

Fear is not just a bogeymen thing, and love is a lot more than hearts and roses! You can take every bad or good thing and trace it back to the fear or love at its base:

  • Fear is the source of everything harmful. Fear makes us desperate for safety! And since through all of human history almost no one has known that the only way to escape from fear is to raise our personal conscious vibrations toward love, we have instead had dictatorial rulers, hideous tortures, brutal prisons, wars of conquest, greed for wealth, and every form of bullying. Our fears make us desperate to dominate others, but of course our doing that only makes those others more fearful and even more dangerous, which makes our own fears even worse. In the desperate need for safety that fear produces, a need that never can be satisfied, lies the root of every war and cruelty that ever has been visited upon humankind.
  • Love is the source of everything good. Love is a cycle too, but it is a highly benevolent one because the more you love, the less you fear. The more you love, the more you inspire love in others, and so the cycle builds. Throughout history, even those who have begun this cycle and followed it to sainthood have never understood why it works! But we understand it now. And we know now that everything we think of as in any way positive can be traced to the love that is its source.

This set of truths is the root of the Gospel teachings of Jesus, and in fact it lies at the base of most of what later became our fear-based religions. If you don’t like the thought of consciousness vibrating and having to raise your personal vibration, I’ll share with you a Native American story that is an especially beautiful way to approach the core of all human wisdom!

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

This decision about which wolf to feed, the choice between loving or dominating others, the dilemma of whether to seek money and power on earth or the eternal greater wealth of Spirit: giving us a place where we can learn in an infinite number of ways to always feed the good wolf is the reason why this material universe exists.  

Just a casual review of human history will show you that for the most part, humanity has sadly preferred to feed the evil, fear-based wolf. We seldom even notice his love-based brother lurking nearby, only bones and skin and by now desperate for us to throw him even a scrap! Every one of our institutions, and especially including our religions, is based in fear and not in love. And what may be worse, both science and religions are fostering in modern Western cultures an appalling level of fear-based ignorance! Religions instill in people fear of the wrath of their imaginary gods, since feeding our fears and then offering safety is the way all religions stay in business. Mainstream science also fosters fear, but it does that primarily by advocating for the three spurious propositions that reality is matter-based, that consciousness is produced by our brains, and that at death we will blink out like a light. Since fear of death is the core human fear, these ignorant dogmas that govern what is supposed to be an open-minded search for the truth are just as effective as religions are at cranking up all our ambient fears!

Every human evil is the result of people making fear-based choices. You can never think from fear and produce anything but greater harm! But our problem now is that while we finally understand why evil exists, few people on earth as yet are ready to hear this simple and logical explanation. Say to someone stuck in Christian terrors that Jesus came to do away with religious fears and teach us to relate individually to a love-based God, and he will be blindsided and horrified. Say to someone cowering behind locked doors that all the thugs outside were born as sparks of love, so once every child is properly reared we will do away with locks forevermore, and the poor soul may well reach for his gun.

Building love-based institutions in a fear-based world will need to be a stealth process. We cannot at first mention love or fear without being ridiculed for spouting woo-woo nonsense, but what we can do now is to advocate for the simple fact that love-based institutions work so much better. We can talk about the proven evils of our present institutions and suggest that we learn from these mistakes how to build institutions that really work:

  • Bottom-up. While fear-based institutions generally consider their subjects to be just problems to be managed, in a love-based institution those same subjects are precious individual stakeholders whose needs and concerns must be addressed first of all.
  • Responsive to society’s overall needs. While regimenting and protecting society by trying to maintain a strict social order is every fear-based institution’s main concern, instead encouraging and empowering each individual member of society works better for everyone.
  • Empowering to those they serve. Fear-based institutions cause more problems than they solve, and those new problems must then be solved as well, so our present institutions are self-perpetuating. By contrast, all our institutions should hold as a primary goal their own obsolescence in the lives of their newly revitalized and empowered constituents.
  • Careful to do no harm. Far from producing all the terrible unintended harms that we get from fear-based institutions, every one of our institutions should tread lightly, always seeking out and working promptly to correct any unintended consequences.

A love-based institution is full of feedback loops. It insists on being accountable. It treats every human being, no matter how currently debased, as capable of fundamental goodness and unlimited spiritual growth.

But there is one thing we really will have to kill if we ever hope to make much love-based progress. What it is may surprise you, and perhaps seeing the harm that it causes will surprise you more. During the long pull of humankind through millennia during which we lived steeped in fears and we had no way to access the truths that would have helped us to address our fears, we relied on our faith. Humankind’s touching ability to believe in what we could not see was the only respite we ever had from the fears that otherwise would have overwhelmed us. But as our new era of certainty dawns, it turns out that our ability to believe without evidence, and our eagerness to put skepticism aside, will have to be vanquished. We’ll address this next week.

If you hear the song I sing, You will understand.
You hold the key to love and fear All in your trembling hand.
Just one key unlocks them both. It’s there at your command.
              – Chet Powers (1937-1994) from “Get Together” by The Youngbloods


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Are People by Nature Fear-Based or Love-Based?

“What is man that You should remember him,
or the son of man that You should care for him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels,
and have crowned him with glory and honor.”
                                     – The Apostle Paul (Heb 2:6-7)

We enter our earth-lives as beautiful people, loving and kind and generous. Research scientists have just confirmed what every mother of an infant knows: babies are spiritually gifted people, just the sort of people we hope to one day become. I have reared three babies of my own and have been close to three infant grandchildren, so I have a bit of expertise! And I can tell you that right from birth, every infant is a unique individual and each of the six babies I have mothered began life as an amazingly spiritual being. They were all from the moment when they first saw light demonstrably loving, empathetic, and generous. Some were more sensitive than others, crankier or more contented, and easier or harder to please; but still, from their first interactions with others, those love-based spiritual characteristics were there. And doesn’t that make sense? They had come directly from a love-based world where these beautiful traits were universal!

But it isn’t long before life on earth starts to sour these little ambassadors of love. By the age of two, experts confidently tell us that all children are selfish and bratty, and they say that three-year-olds are worse. So if we start our lives as spiritual beings, why is it that almost immediately we spiritually devolve to the point where most of us will then spend the rest of our lives just trying to become as spiritual developed as we were at birth? In my view, this is the key question to be answered if we ever hope to re-invent our fear-based institutions and begin to build a perfectly love-based world.

Simply put, our fear-based institutions are the product of the flawed and hurting people that ignorant parents and mentors tragically make of those innately spiritual infants. All of humanity is trapped in this horrendous chicken-and-egg cycle! Damaged people create institutions that universally assume we are all damaged people who must be strictly controlled by fear and by other negative stimuli or human societies will sink into brutality.

It is in this that our longstanding reliance on science and religions as our sources of truth is revealed to be the dead-end cage that it is. Since science and religions are belief-systems that are hampered by their respective dogmas in their efforts to understand anything, together they now blithely  assure us that human nature is inherently evil. By their lights, we can never live together in reasonable peace unless we are constrained. This is true of science of course, where it is assumed that we are nothing more than animals who can stand upright. So negative human tendencies such as Machiavellianism, psychopathy, sadism, and narcissism (they call it “the Dark Tetrad”) are all traceable to their mimics in animal species and announced to be innate to our animal natures. And we know by now in abundance that Christianity considers humankind to be originally created in God’s image but rendered permanently evil because Adam, who was the first human being, chose long ago to disobey God.

Science remains so ignorant of what human beings actually are that nearly all child-development experts assume that we come into the world as organized clusters of cells with no history. This is, of course, demonstrably false! Indeed, having closely known my own children and those three grandchildren ever since they were born, I can tell you that each was a fully-formed and entirely unique individual from birth who has changed very little over all these years. But even as recently as this past December, a well-meant article for parents opined that a child’s “true personality” doesn’t emerge until their “tween years.” Before then, what we have is just “temperament.” As someone who has closely studied for their entire lives six adults or near-adults who all were born with precisely the same complex personalities they still have today, I read this garbage from “experts” and my jaw drops. No one who ever has actually studied even a few human children from birth until adulthood could say that they were blank slates through childhood whose personalities were not fixed before the age of ten!

Until our two deeply trusted but utterly misguided sources of truth will open their minds and objectively examine just who and what human beings really are, you and I are left to do that for ourselves. And in fact, the truth about human nature is wonderful! Based upon the bits of light that modern science is able to shed, plus all that afterlife researchers have learned and my own frank observations, I can assure you that:

  • Every newborn infant is a being who has lived one or more previous lifetimes. The evidence that we reincarnate repeatedly is so abundant now, and so variously sourced, that it can no longer be seriously challenged.
  • Every newborn has planned a lifetime for which it will need a specific set of characteristics. Talents, appearance, native intelligence, temperament, handicaps, and so much else will come in part from the genetic makeup of the parents and in part from what each child’s guides will add so all children can better follow their personalized life-plans.
  • Coming into a new human life is traumatic. Just transiting the birth canal is painful and frightening, and then the shock of light and sound makes most babies scream and can leave them irritable for weeks thereafter. We are told, too, by the not-really-dead that many babies are grumpy for a while to find themselves back in a material body. They volunteered to come back, true, but they had forgotten what a depressing come-down life on early really is!
  • For the first five or six years of our lives, each of us is in “download mode.” We are uncritically taking in what our observations tell us is true about our status and rank, our personal characteristics, our environment, and the rules governing our lives. What we learn during those first years of life becomes hard-wired into our minds for this lifetime. It will govern all our future thinking about ourselves and the world unless some big event or insight can dislodge it.

Keeping in mind these basic facts that govern the first years of each human life makes it easier for us to better understand the dear little bundles doctors put into our arms. When I think back on the six babies I have mothered – and my own children are in their forties now – I can see that from their earliest moments they were precisely the same people they still are today. Knowing that they were eternal beings who were beginning only the latest of their many lives on earth, I can make sense of the vagaries of each of their childhoods, and a lot of their early choices can be seen in retrospect as having been essential to developing the lives that they and their spirit guides had planned.

What does bother me, though, is the fact that until quite recently I did not understand that throughout their preschool years my children were taking as unquestioned truth everything that they heard or saw. I desperately wish I had known that at the time! Had I known then what I know now, none of the six infants I was privileged to be a part of parenting would have spent even a moment of those formative preschool years in the presence of an adult who wasn’t careful about what was being said and done around them.

As it is, of course, our clueless culture is full of fear-based adults who themselves were damaged in their own preschool years and now are damaging the next generation. Today, little tots are being arrested. They are being encouraged to imagine that their birth-gender is wrong, and often for the flimsiest of reasons, even though just six-tenths of one percent of the adult population is actually transgender; and they are being deluged with extreme adult concepts when they are so young that it is impossible to gauge what lessons they are learning that they then will be certain are true for the rest of their lives.

If we want to replace the cruel institutions that keep the consciousness vibrations of this world so debased, our first task must be to stop turning every love-based child being born on earth into a miserably fear-based adult! We now know for certain that:

  • Human nature is in its essence love-based, and its impulse is to become even more loving as each life-plan unfolds; so
  • Once we stop damaging our children, we should readily be able to free them and trust them to live empowered and altogether love-based lives.

The only way for humankind to grow beyond its perceived need for fear-based institutions is for us to stop teaching our little children to submit to and be controlled by fear! We must break this awful chicken-and-egg cycle of fear-based controls that only further harm us, and the only way that cycle can be broken is by helping parents to better understand their children. But how can we battle both science and religions and bring the truth at last to all the world?

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child;
when I became a man, I gave up childish things.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;
now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known.”
                                                                   – The Apostle Paul (1 Cor 13:10-12)


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Fear-Based vs. Love-Based Institutions

“Some men see things as they are, and ask why.
I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”
                                       – Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)

The most powerful force depressing the consciousness vibrations of all of humankind is the fact that every human institution is fear-based. We have seen that this is true of religions, which use fear and guilt to keep the faithful in their pews; and in fact, it is true of everything we do. Humankind as a whole is not sufficiently developed spiritually even to know what a love-based institution might be like! So let’s look now at some of the differences between fear-based and love-based institutions, and then let’s consider the most destructive fear-based American institution of all so we can re-imagine how it might be replaced with a more successful version that is based in love. Fear-based institutions are:

  • Top-down. Every such institution has a governing body that makes and enforces the rules. That body generally lacks supervision, so it wields a lot of independent authority.
  • Tailored to serve the needs of their constituents and the larger society as the governing body perceives those needs to be. Over time, the decisions made by leaders of fear-based institutions tend to be more and more influenced by outside and often self-interested actors.
  • Allowed to wield substantial power to enforce consequences for their constituents’ infractions. The consequences that a given institution’s leadership has the power to impose might be as trivial as the loss of some privilege, or as major as the loss of one’s life.
  • Careless about whatever negative consequences they might create. I don’t know of any human institution of any size that doesn’t create substantial problems. Many of them create far worse problems on a much broader scale than the ones they have been entrusted to solve.

The most heinous institution in the United States gives us a good example upon which to experiment. We are hearing talk now about prison reform, but for us to undertake mere prison reform would be like applying an Ace bandage to a compound leg fracture! Our entire criminal justice system is so deeply fear-based, so pointlessly cruel, so destructive to American society, and so lacking in any redemptive qualities that we have no choice but to tear it down altogether and entirely rethink it. The Catch-22 in this, of course, is that until many more Americans are thinking from love and no longer from fear, most people still will sadly see the worst aspects of our criminal justice system as not really so bad, and probably necessary.

Whole books could be written about the many things that are wrong with our criminal justice system, so I will give you here just some of the lowlights. Hold onto your breakfast:

  • The US is barely 5% of the world’s population, but we hold 25% of the world’s prison population. Read that again! Even including places like China and North Korea, one in four of those incarcerated in the world is imprisoned in the United States.
  • A staggering 97 percent of all federal inmates and 95 percent of all state felony inmates were sentenced and imprisoned without a trial. Almost everyone now imprisoned in the United States was terrified into “pleading guilty to a lesser charge.” My research suggests that most of these people are not properly charged, or are wrongly sentenced, and a significant number of them have committed no actual crime. Some were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • More than six million Americans are currently in prison or on probation. To think of this differently, the current US prison population is larger than the populations of 15 states; and to feed, clothe, house, and provide healthcare for a group this size is an industry approaching $200 billion in annual costs.
  • More than half of current inmates do not pose a special danger to society. One in five is incarcerated for a nonviolent drug offense, and those who are imprisoned for violent crimes are no more than forty percent overall. Perhaps surprisingly, statistics indicate that some of those who committed the most violent crimes now pose no elevated threat. For example, rapists and murderers are among the folks who are least likely to re-offend.
  • Conditions in prisons are deliberately dehumanizing. Prisoners are treated like immoral criminals without rights, just as you will be treated if you run afoul of some aggressive prosecutor. You may be denied family visits and allowed little contact with the outside world; you will be limited in what you can read or watch on TV, and how you might use a computer; and all of this will happen at the whims of your keepers. If your mother dies while you are in prison, you won’t be going to her funeral. If you are moved to a prison far away from those you love, that will be tough luck for them and for you.
  • Punishment does not end when you leave prison. Former inmates are often permanent second-class citizens, without the right to vote or to access public benefits. More than ten million Americans collectively owe over $50 billion in fines and fees associated with their arrest, conviction, and incarceration that many will never find a way to pay. Even very wealthy ex-felons can have access to their assets limited for years after they have entirely paid their debt to society. Indeed, those who are incarcerated for more than six or seven years will often become so conditioned to prison that they can no longer lead productive outside lives.
  • And what of the children? More than half of America’s prison inmates have minor children. More than a million fathers and 220,000 mothers have left almost three million children without one or both of their parents. One in nine black children has an incarcerated parent today, and a father’s incarceration has serious implications for children and their ability to succeed in school due to associated patterns of aggression and delinquency.
  • Our poisonous criminal justice system is the single biggest reason for the ongoing disparities between black and white Americans. It is tragically not an overstatement to say that ever since the Civil War, in many ways this nation has been criminalizing the very condition of being black and male. For example, in 1970 blacks were twice as likely to be arrested for drug crimes.  By 1990, it was four times. Today, it’s about three times as likely. It is easy to assume that this is because blacks use and sell drugs at proportionately higher rates, but data consistently shows that this is not the case. The incarceration rate for blacks is seven times the rate for whites. In twelve states, more than half the prison population is black. One in 87 working-age white men is in prison, vs. one in twelve working-age African American men. And the loss of the presence of so many fathers has created a “school-to-prison pipeline” for young black men, so there are prisons now in which grandfather, father, and son share a cellblock.

As far back as 1972, thoughtful judges were decrying our criminal justice mess. For example, an opinion of the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (340 F. Supp. 544 [W.D. Wis. 1972], April 6, 1972) said, “With respect to the intrinsic importance of the challenges, I am persuaded that the institution of prison probably must end. In many respects it is as intolerable within the United States as was the institution of slavery, equally brutalizing to all involved, equally toxic to the social system, equally subversive of the brotherhood of man, even more costly by some standards, and probably less rational.”

If we were to take the entire criminal justice system down to base and rebuild it as a love-based institution, how would it differ from our present train wreck? A love-based institution is:

  • Bottom-up. The needs of those the institution serves come even before any public needs. In the case of a rethought criminal justice system, concentrating on turning convicts into more successful members of society would be this institution’s main goal.
  • Responsive to society’s overall needs. The fact that nearly all convicts will return to life on the street means that prisons must avoid disrupting prisoners’ lives any more than is absolutely necessary.
  • Empowering to those they serve. The fact that so many of those who run our prisons are petty tyrants who beat prisoners down emotionally would be anathema to a love-based institution.
  • Careful to do no harm. A love-based institution treads lightly, always seeking out and working promptly to correct any unintended consequences.

Building a love-based criminal justice system is going to take considerable research and effort, but these will likely be its main characteristics:

  • Nonviolent offenders will pay their debts to society while remaining in their homes. Felons will each follow their own individualized programs of education, work, fines and reparations, counseling, and community service, with always the background threat of incarceration to ensure their ongoing cooperation. Instead of sitting in prison, these people can be parenting their children, maintaining their relationships, and responsibly supporting themselves and their families as they continue to build productive long-term careers.
  • Any prison sentence of more than two years’ duration will require a jury trial. With prisons now limited to holding only violent offenders, prosecutors will be further limited to cases they believe can be proven. And due to the costs and time delays of trial, the only people tried will be those who have committed serious violent crimes. For lesser crimes, plea-bargaining for sentences of two years or less can remain in place.
  • There will be a mechanism to promptly restore full civil rights to nonviolent offenders, including banking and firearms privileges and the right to vote. And after a nonviolent offender has maintained a clean record for five years after having left the system, all his criminal records will be sealed. No longer will a plea-bargained prison sentence impair any nonviolent offender’s ability to go back to living a normal life.

Having examined some of the differences between fear-based and love-based ways to handle the same set of complex social problems, it is time for us to consider how we might best begin to rebuild all our core institutions from a base of love and not of fear. It is essential that we do this soon! For so long as we continue to subject ourselves to the tyranny of powerful fear-based institutions, we will be severely impairing everyone’s ability to move beyond fear as humanity’s primary motivating force. It may well be that until we have replaced not just our fear-based religions, but also all our other fear-based institutions, we will remain forever stuck in the mire of negativity that pervades every human culture now. We have got to start somewhere!

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
– Rabbi Hillel the Elder (c.110 BCE-10 CE)


Penitentiary photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo – New Format <a href=”″>Rawlins Wyoming – Wyoming State Penitentiary – Historic Prison</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Prison cell photo credit: Sean_Marshall <a href=”″>Kingston Penitentary</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Penitentiary interior photo credit: Sean_Marshall <a href=”″>Kingston Penitentary</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Black man photo credit: Benjamin Disinger <a href=”″>Marco Martinez</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>
Young family photo credit: Anirudh Koul <a href=”″>Mommy, Daddy & the Budding Baby</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>