Author: Roberta Grimes

A Little Lower Than God

O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
– David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC), Psalm 8:1-5

There never has been a religion that had any understanding of the genuine Godhead, nor have we had a scientific community engaged in an open-minded search for the truth.
These facts are plain horrifying!
Even well into the twenty-first century, all our religions still worship their own human-made and fear-based gods. And even  today every scientific discipline still pursues the truth only insofar as that truth doesn’t violate “the  fundamental scientific dogma of materialism.” But there is in fact a genuine Godhead! There is no such thing as solid matter! So both science and religions are turning out after thousands of years to be dead-ended duds. But fortunately, a few clear-thinking people have been doing truly open-minded research. And in the face of ever broader dissemination of what these researchers have been learning, the scientific and religious strangleholds on what most people assume to be true are losing power. It is beginning at last to seem that soon, and wonderfully, the glorious truth will begin to dawn over all the earth! The researchers who are working now will be watching it happen from the bleacher seats, but we are proud even now of what we have spent these earth-lives doing for the enlightenment of humankind. And we are eager to watch these glorious truths bring freedom  from fear to all the world!

We talked last week about making predictions. That got my Thomas thinking. And he is saying now, “You want predictions? I’ll give you predictions!” He asks you to put his list into your personal-papers file, or perhaps just tape it to your refrigerator door. He says that by 2075, humankind in general is going to know that all these things are true:

  • Human consciousness is primary, pre-existing, and the source of life;
  • Time, space, and matter with its associated energy are all illusions;
  • This universe is in the nature of a thought, so it has neither size nor substance;
  • This universe – including all the past – is being re-created in each micro-instant;
  • This universe is just 200,000 earth-years old; and
  • The Godhead is a Collective of Perfected People.

As Plato wrote in about 400 BC, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in 1838 AD, so my beloved Thomas is telling us now that in fact “things are not what they seem!” Let’s summarize his points with reference to some of our prior discussions here:

Human Consciousness is Primary, Pre-Existing, and the Source of Life

One of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century plainly told us that consciousness is primary! Max Planck won the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1931 he said, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” There is so much independent evidence for this essential truth that it shouldn’t be remotely controversial; but for consciousness to be primary seems to most scientists to smack too much of a belief in God, so they continue their absurd hunt for a source of consciousness in the human brain. The primacy of consciousness is not a new idea, but what is new and amazing is the fact that we are learning now that life is a primary property of consciousness. Once scientists get over their squeamish worries about inadvertently finding God, not only will they begin to understand how consciousness actually works, but they will find that consciousness is the long-sought source of the core phenomenon called life.

Time, Space, and Matter with Its Associated Energy Are all Illusions

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 he even said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Every bit of matter is empty space. Even all those subatomic “particles” are just vortices of energy! Our use of the word “illusion” may be controversial, since it implies that the universe that we think is “out there” actually is all in our minds. But no less a light than Albert Einstein said it first! We know that all our minds are part of the one universal Mind, and (as we will see below) creation happens freshly in each micro-instant. So the word “illusion” turns out to be a pretty accurate description of our not-solid reality!  

This Universe is in the Nature of a Thought, So It Has Neither Size nor Substance

Those who have been communicating with us from the greater reality have occasionally said things like “The universe isn’t as big as you think it is.” And they were right! The shorthand word for a product of human consciousness that is being continuously created is “a thought,” and more and more those who study reality are coming to realize that Dr. R. Craig Hogan’s insight that nothing exists but Mind and the experiences we have within Mind is precisely right. Envision, if you can, the entire earth in tremendous and precise detail. Now ask yourself: Where is that earth? How big is it? How solid is it? As you see, a thought can be gigantically solid and precise, while at the same time it possesses neither size nor substance! As the great polymath Nikola Tesla said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

 This Universe – Including All the Past – Is Being Re-Created in Each Micro-Instant

In order for this fact to make any sense, you first will have to internalize how completely matter, energy, time, and space do not exist apart from our minds! They are as ephemeral in the reality that we think we see around us as they are in our well-considered thoughts. And that fact has some important implications for the Godhead’s eternal perspective on time! We know from beings not now in bodies that they can manipulate our perception of time. For example, the sixth-level being Mikey Morgan has made a specialty of teaching the newly-dead how to make the music on a radio or in a store play a favorite old song at the moment when a loved one can hear it. He gives us an explanation in his wonderful book that can make your eyes cross! A universe that is in the nature of a thought can be freshly created in each instant, and in our case reality is being created in infinitesimal slices of time, including an entire invented past that has become ever more complex over the centuries as we have become more adept at studying that past. When you know that the past isn’t real, you begin to spot all the little glosses and fudges that help to fill in all that artificial time. And once scientists start to get a clue, they are going to find a lot more of them! Punctuated equilibrium in evolution is a great example, as is the fact that the “cosmological constants” that are supposed to remain constant or the universe will collapse or blow apart are in fact constantly, minutely adjusting. These little elisions in our invented history could be filled in at any micro-instant, so the fact that they are not suggests that we are meant to at some point figure all of this out.

This Material Universe is Just 200,000 Earth-Years Old

Those communicating from the greater reality have occasionally said things like, “The universe isn’t as old as you think it is.” And in fact, humankind and ninety percent  of all other species appeared together less than two hundred thousand years ago. It was at that relatively recent moment that the process of creation of the universe began! Perhaps a flat plane at first, lit with astral light: it didn’t have even a sun or stars. Then as we became more curious, a more detailed habitat for us was added in individual micro-instants, including an ever more complex “history.” Within illusory time, that history “always” has been there, so we have had no idea until very recently that the entire history of this material universe is just part of the artificial scenery.

The Godhead is a Collective of Perfected People

Thomas put it into my head one day when I was reading Genesis 1:26 to notice that God is quoted there as saying “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” And for the first time I thought, “Us?” We all know that the genuine Creator can’t be just a Big Guy with a beard and thunderbolts, and once you get this insight that like all advanced beings, God works as a Collective, you see more evidence everywhere. Human consciousness is all that actually exists. And at its highest vibration, human consciousness is thousands or even millions of Us who are maintaining this illusory universe where they can help all the rest of us to become spiritually perfected, too. Far from being just fancier apes, you and I are of the very stuff of God, and more precious than we can possibly imagine.

So, there are Thomas’s predictions. Fifty years from now, all of humankind will realize these six fundamental truths that build upon one another and together paint a glorious (if radically new) picture so simple that it makes even the 14th-century Franciscan and epic simplicity-freak William of Occam giggle with delight!

You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
– David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC), Psalm 8:6-9

The Uncaused Cause

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
 He gathers the waters of the sea together in a water skin;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth know the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
– David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC), Psalm 33:6-8

Scientific theories of how the universe began don’t actually explain how the universe began. We are told now that some 13.8 billion years ago this universe was just a tiny point of very dense matter and energy. And then, for reasons that scientists expect to be able to explain at any moment, that tiny point exploded and became this still-expanding universe. Well, okay. But where did that first speck of matter and energy come from? What came before the Big Bang?

When you ask this question, you get a variety of frankly unresponsive answers. For example, eighteen years ago George Musser, the astronomy editor of Scientific American, wrote, “In some ways, you can think of the universe as a black hole turned inside out. A black hole is a singularity into which material flows. The universe is a singularity out of which material has flowed. A black hole is surrounded by an event horizon, a surface inside which we cannot see. The universe is surrounded by a cosmological horizon, a surface outside of which we cannot see.” Well, okay. But then, where did that first inverted black hole come from?

The Big Bang theory cannot explain how something came from nothing. Nor does it explain how this universe can have randomly existed for fourteen billion years within tiny value tolerances of more than two dozen factors that together keep it from either collapsing in on itself or blowing apart, when the likelihood of its existing this way by accident is so remote as to beggar belief. So the existence of this universe and its ability to be stable over eons of time is sometimes explained by assuming that various Big Bangs must have happened constantly in their endless billions. And among them all, the one that resulted in this universe may be the only one – or one of the few – which happened to get those tolerances right. For example, Discover magazine tells us that Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin believes the Big Bang wasn’t a one-off event, but merely one of a series of big bangs creating an endless number of bubble universes.”

This idea that there could have been infinite random Big Bangs but maybe ours was the only one whose resulting universe was stable has been a comforting one in scientific circles for decades. But of late, Professor Vilenkin is thinking more in terms that make possible just one universe that had a clear beginning. Again from Discover, eight years ago: “‘We have very good evidence that there was a Big Bang, so the universe as we know it almost certainly started some 14 billion years ago. But was that the absolute beginning, or was there something before it?’ asks Alexander Vilenkin, a cosmologist at Tufts University near Boston. It seems like the kind of question that can never be truly answered because every time someone proposes a solution, someone else can keep asking the annoying question: What happened before that? The universe had a distinct beginning — though he can’t pinpoint the time. After 35 years of looking backward, he says, he’s found that before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself.” And in the sheltered beliefs-based world of modern materialist science, that assertion that time did not exist before the Big Bang apparently resolves all origin questions! The author of this Discover article adds, “One virtue of this picture, if correct, is that the spontaneous creation of our universe gives a definite starting point to things. Time begins at the moment of creation, putting to rest the potentially endless questions about ‘what happened before that’.”

But of course, it does nothing of the kind. It is not the fault of the scientists mentioned here that their work is constrained by the century-old scientific dogma of materialism! You and I know that time is merely a correlate of the matter that modern scientific orthodoxy abundantly confirms is less than five percent of what exists. And we have seen so much detailed and consistent evidence that a whole lot actually goes on beyond material reality that our greater perspective shows us that the lack of time that existed before the Big Bang actually settles nothing. The Reality beyond this physical universe is devoid of matter, energy, time, and space. All true. But still, it teems with intelligent and amazingly solid-seeming life!

The century-old imposition of “the scientific dogma of materialism” is grounded in the notion that science is fighting an intellectual guerrilla war against religions. To fight this war, the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals cracked down more than a century ago and established a dogma that effectively turned mainstream science into just one more religion: in this case, they established the religion of No-God. And in fact, since indeed there is no God of the sort that any religion has imagined, but there is instead an infinitely creative force to which scientists are required by those who control their profession to remain officially blind, scientists have been rendered incapable of ever answering the three biggest questions:

What is consciousness, and where does it come from?

What is life, and where does it come from?

How did the universe begin?

We have talked here about the first two questions, to which scientists have convinced themselves they are well on the way toward finding matter-based answers. They assume that consciousness must be created in the brain, and life originated when lightning struck a chemical soup, so if they can just sufficiently study the brain and keep on playing with chemical combinations they will one day solve the mysteries of both consciousness and life. Any day now!  Their suppositions are wrong, since consciousness pre-exists matter and life is a property of consciousness. But since their presumptions about consciousness and life are not falsifiable without looking beyond their materialist dogma, their searches for the source of consciousness and the origin of life are giving many scientists nicely funded, if mostly pointless, careers. But the origin of the universe is another matter. There is no way to build a career on researching what might have come before the Big Bang, so the scientific community hopes to end all annoying inquiries about what actually came first by declaring that before time began there simply was nothing.

I have been watching the scientific community beclown itself this way for fifty years. There had been a gentlemanly separation between material and spiritual areas of inquiry going back at least as far as Plato and Aristotle, but it wasn’t made formal until the first part of the twentieth century. My research suggests that “the fundamental scientific dogma of materialism” was imposed by the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals in response to the simultaneous advent of quantum mechanics and a sudden flood of post-death communications that were being collected and documented by researchers for scientific study. It was all too much, too crazy, and too fast! So announcing their new dogma seemed like a good idea at the time, although they quickly stopped mentioning it in print. But still, that dogmatic barrier to an open-minded search for the truth remains, and it governs all of mainstream science.  

The more I  think about how we might end this conundrum that holds our entire scientific community stuck now a century into the past, the more I am coming to realize that St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) had the right idea. In his Summa Theologica he offered five proofs for the existence of God, all of which can be boiled down to one. There has to be an Uncaused Cause. Even the notion that nothing existed before time began begs the question! What caused time, space, energy, and matter even to begin at all?

There is no way around this problem. It exists in many areas of scientific inquiry, but the one place where scientists cannot duck it is in the question of what came before the Big Bang. And then what came before that. And what came before that. The modern scientific approach reminds us of the story of an ancient traveler who was told by some sage that the world rides on the back of a turtle. When the sage was asked what the turtle was riding on, he said it was standing on another turtle. And what was that turtle standing on? The sage said, “It’s turtles all the way down.” We smile at that story because we know that the bottom turtle has to be standing on something real and not reptile! In every area of human inquiry there is an unacknowledged Uncaused Cause.

Of course, religions have been no better at finding the genuine Uncaused Cause than mainstream science has been, and science refuses to look for It. In truth, the Uncaused Cause is far more wondrous than any of us now can imagine! Last year we made some predictions about what humankind will eventually be learning about the Godhead and the greater reality, and we here reiterate those predictions. If you are young now, you may still be in a body when truth eventually overtakes both science and religion, and then for all of suffering humankind reality at last will be allowed to dawn. And in that splendid future day, just know that Craig Hogan and I and many other researchers are joyously right there with you watching it happen and giving you high-fives from the bleacher seats!

For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood forth.
The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC), Psalm 33:9-12

Reality at Last!

Rather Than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), from Walden (1854)

There are many people now spreading the word that we all survive the death of our bodies. A lot of them are near-death experiencers, so what they are teaching is little more than the fruit of their own mental adventures; but still, we are the first generation for which universal human survival of death feels like a strong possibility. So we also are the first generation to realize that universal human survival means that a lot of the physics developed over the last millennium has to be wrong.

I began my search for the truth about death as an open-minded skeptic. It took me years of reading century-old communications from those that we used to think were dead to be confident that there were so many consistencies in those reports – and no inconsistencies at all! – that the afterlife has to be real. But if the afterlife is real, then where the heck is it? To try to answer that question, I did a lot more research. I read books about scientific anomalies, astral travels, near-death experiences, ghosts and apparitions, psychic abilities, quantum physics, and various random phenomena. And I did that for decades before I found one book that fits with everything I had learned and sensibly explains it all.

That seminal book is Your Eternal Self by Dr. R. Craig Hogan, first published in 2008. I devoured Craig’s book with the sense that all the lights were turning on at last, not only in the room and in the house around me but also in my neighborhood and in all the world. I finally got it! I understood it all! What I had discovered in doing afterlife research and all that later research to try to figure out where the afterlife was happening actually fits together perfectly. I just had never had the vision to realize how much bigger and more complex the greater reality actually is. Craig Hogan has a vision that dwarfs my own. So I had to meet him! I sent him fan mail, I brought him to Austin and sponsored a very successful speaking engagement, and I eagerly talked with him for hours. Forever after, Craig Hogan has been my wise and beautiful mentor, and he has been my Seek Reality guest more than thirty times in eight years. To this day, whenever I have an especially stubborn question, I find that he has already thought about it and he can propose a good answer. Craig understands what is going on as does really nobody else on earth. He understands it all so completely that he can answer your stupidest questions in a way that makes you actually feel smart for having asked them. And now he is outdoing himself!

Craig Hogan has written four definitive books that together summarize his life’s work. Three of these books are already in print, and we have discussed them on Seek Reality. They are: Your Eternal Self: Science Discovers the Afterlife,which is an update of his 2008 breakthrough; Reasons for What Happens to You in Your Life and Your Afterlife: Revealed by Speakers in the Afterlife; and There is Nothing But Mind and Experiences. Craig’s easily-read summary of these three books is called Answers to Life’s Enduring Questions: From Science Discoveries and Afterlife Revelations. It will be out by the end of the year. Craig Hogan’s books are scholarly, while mine are meant for casual readers. His books are extensively sourced and end-noted, and at the same time they are entertaining and surprisingly easy to read.

That second book, Reasons for What Happens, is the one that most astounds me. It is more than four hundred pages of powerful summaries of what we have learned so far about how all of reality works. It’s a user’s manual for people who are currently living lives in earthly bodies. It’s a book for the ages! Here are a few tastes of the Reasons for What Happens banquet:

From the Preface: This book will reassure you that your loved ones who preceded you to the next stage of life are living contented, fulfilled lives today, and you will do the same. You can communicate with them when you want to. You can have continuing, loving relationships with them while you are still in Earth School. They will come to your graduation from this life and sit patiently waiting for you to come off the stage into their embrace. Every person you have loved and every pet you ever owned will be there to greet you. The graduation ceremony will be a celebration. 

Also from the Preface: I wrote this book to tell you what we know today about our purpose in this life, why this life is as it is, what happens in the transition from this life, and how people live in the life after this life. It will clear up misconceptions for you and give you reassurance that your loved ones are living a full life as healthy, happy individuals who have just moved to another country. I want this book to give you comfort, reassurance, and joy that you will live on after you stop using the body, and you will have joyous reunions with all those who have preceded you. 

From Chapter 18 – Our Life after the Transition: The world we are living in now is a spiritual realm, with matter, energy, and forces woven by the Universal Intellect. The next spiritual realm of life is the same, but with a different set of matter, energy, and forces we will experience together. On arriving in the next life, people are astonished at how similar life there is to life on earth. 

From Chapter 11 – We Must Cast off Early Earth School Teaching: What children are being taught in Earth School is failing humankind. We must realize that we are creating the world that is bringing us hopelessness and misery. Society, our families of origin, and organizations such as schools and religions teach children to believe they are flotsam and jetsam, bobbing about in an unsympathetic sea that flings them onto the rocks of suffering and misery. They are taught to see themselves as victims in a cold, mindless world they cannot control or appeal to.

The primary change in perspective we must make as we cast off Earth School’s mistaken teachings is to realize we are creating our world. If we are miserable, it is because we are making ourselves miserable. Misery is not imposed on us. We can deny misery and make ourselves happy. Happiness is freely available when we realize we are not victims and can change our lives to be what we want our lives to be.

From Chapter 8 – Our Souls Plan Our Earth School Experience: Our lives are carefully planned. They are not sequences of accidents in time. We chose the family of origin, mental and physical capabilities and limitations, events that would shape our minds and allow us to learn the lessons we chose to learn, and the potential exit points when we would graduate.

We have done the planning in dialogue with the others who will be in our sphere of contacts and influence in our lives, and with our guides, Souls, and higher-order beings whose role is to do as much as possible to ensure we learn the lessons and have the experiences we planned to have.

From Chapter Five – Why Is There Evil and Suffering in Earth School? Our lives were not intended to have suffering. We should be living lives full of love, peace, joy, optimism for the future, and good health. When events occur that disrupt our lives, we should be able to adjust to them, secure in knowing we are spiritual beings living through temporary circumstances so we can learn lessons, and that we are supported by those around us who have learned to be other-centered and unconditionally loving.

Suffering is not a necessary condition of life in Earth School.

Having spent half a century doing some of the same research that empowered Craig Hogan to finally puzzle out how reality works, I see these books as a brilliant course in at last beginning to make sense of everything. And while a visionary non-scientist has been working through and sharing all these revelations with the world, the scientific community continues its nonsensical search for a source of consciousness inside the brain. To give you just one example of this ongoing scientific exercise in futility, the July edition of the popular science magazine New Scientist carries an article entitled “Can physics explain consciousness and does it create reality?” The subhead and first two sentences of this article inadvertently demonstrate the insoluble problem that lies at the heart of modern physics:

“We are finally testing the ideas that quantum collapse in the brain gives rise to consciousness and that consciousness creates the reality we see from the quantum world. If physics explains all the phenomena in the universe, and if consciousness is part of the universe, then (it) seems that physics can explain consciousness. Of course, this assumes that consciousness isn’t separate from the material reality that physics explains.”

You may have to read that passage a few times to get the full ridiculous flavor of it:

  • Scientists are at last being forced to admit that Einstein and Planck were likely right when they said that reality is an illusion based in consciousness.
  • But for the fundamental scientific dogma of materialism also to be right would mean that each brain must be creating its own bolus of consciousness which then can travel back in time, merge with everyone else’s consciousness, and create the brain that will become its creator!

Physicists cannot escape their many misconceptions that are based in the false dogma that matter is primary unless they are willing to give up all the bogus fruits of their centuries-long detour into materialism. But fortunately, our beautiful friend Craig Hogan has now definitively found and defined reality. In whatever future decade or century physicists at last become desperate enough to search for the truth with open minds, they are going to find our brilliant and personable adventurer friend there waiting for them. And meanwhile, we who are working to raise the consciousness vibrations of all of humankind have at last been given the liberating truth. Now we can share it with all the world.   

– You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Jesus, JN 8:32

Loving (Part II)

Some may come and some may go. He will surely pass.
When the one that left us here returns for us at last.
We are but a moment’s sunlight, fading in the grass.
Come on people now, smile on your brother.
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
 -Chet Powers (1937-1994), From “Get Together” (1967)

Strictly following the Gospel teachings of Jesus raises our personal consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward more perfect love, with the goal of achieving the spiritual level of the kingdom of God while we are still on earth. Yet as simple as those teachings are, and never mind the fact that Jesus insists that following His teachings is essential, the religion that bears the Lord’s name has for almost two thousand years ignored what He said and considered Him to be nothing more than a human sacrifice. And this is true, even though He makes such an emphatic point of the fact that if we don’t do what He tells us to do, we have no right to call ourselves His followers. He says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (JN 14:15). “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (JN 14:21). And even, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My word. And the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me!” (JN 14:23-24).

So we have been trying here, insofar as we can, to understand the peculiar love that Jesus taught. As we said last week, in Chapter Fifteen of A Course in Miracles Jesus leads us to renounce all “special” relationships so we can discover the only genuine love at the center of the heart of God. This week, in Chapter 24 of the Course He teaches us to forgive universally because our brother is forever holy. No matter how flawed someone might seem when we look at him through the lens of our special hatreds, he is God’s stainless and eternally perfect Son. When you are seeing your brother truly, then your love for everyone will be pure and from the heart. Your forgiveness of everyone, no matter what they do, will be automatic and joyous. This chapter is easier to shorten than was the crucial chapter that we read last week; and the under-linings are my own.

ACIM Text Chapter 24: The Goal of Specialness
VI. Salvation from Fear

1. Before your brother’s holiness the world is still, and peace descends on it in gentleness and blessing so complete that no  trace of conflict still remains to haunt you in the darkness of the night. ²He is your savior from the dreams of fear ….

3. Nothing is lost to you in all the universe. ²Nothing that God created has He failed to lay before you lovingly, as yours forever. ³And no Thought within His Mind is absent from your own. It is His Will you share His Love for you, and look upon yourself as lovingly as He conceived of you before the world began, and as He knows you still. God changes not His Mind about His Son with passing circumstance which has no meaning in eternity where He abides, and you with Him. Your brother is as He created him. ⁷And it is this that saves you from a world that He created not.

4. Forget not that the healing of God’s Son is all the world is for. ²That is the only purpose the Holy Spirit sees in it, and thus the only one it has. ³Until you see the healing of the Son as all you wish to be accomplished by the world, by time and all appearances, you will not know the Father nor yourself. For you will use the world for what is not its purpose, and will not escape its laws of violence and death. ⁵Yet it is given you to be beyond its laws in all respects, in every way and every circumstance….

5. Look on your brother, and behold in him the whole reversal of the laws that seem to rule this world. ²See in his freedom yours, for such it is. ³Let not his specialness obscure the truth in him, for not one law of death you bind him to will you escape. ⁴And not one sin you see in him but keeps you both in hell. ⁵Yet will his perfect sinlessness release you both, for holiness is quite impartial, with one judgment made for all it looks upon. ⁶And that is made, not of itself, but through the Voice that speaks for God in everything that lives and shares His Being….

7. Choose, then, his body or his holiness as what you want to see, and which you choose is yours to look upon. ²Yet will you choose in countless situations, and through time that seems to have no end, until the truth be your decision. ³For eternity is not regained by still one more denial of Christ in him. ⁴And where is your salvation, if he is but a body? ⁵Where is your peace but in his holiness? ⁶….

8.Your brother’s holiness is sacrament and benediction unto you. ²His errors cannot withhold God’s blessing from himself, nor you who see him truly. ³His mistakes can cause delay, which it is given you to take from him, that both may end a journey that has never begun, and needs no end. ⁴What never was is not a part of you. ⁵Yet you will think it is, until you realize that it is not a part of him who stands beside you. He is the mirror of yourself, wherein you see the judgment you have laid on both of you. ⁷The Christ in you beholds his holiness. ⁸Your specialness looks on his body and beholds him not….

11. Specialness is the function that you gave yourself. ²It stands for you alone, as self-created, self-maintained, in need of nothing, and unjoined with anything beyond the body. ³In its eyes you are a separate universe, with all the power to hold itself complete within itself, with every entry shut against intrusion, and every window barred against the light. Always attacked and always furious, with anger always fully justified, you have pursued this goal with vigilance you never thought to yield, and effort that you never thought to cease. And all this grim determination was for this; you wanted specialness to be the truth….

13. You who believe it easier to see your brother’s body than his holiness, be sure you understand what made this judgment.²Here is the voice of specialness heard clearly, judging against the Christ and setting forth for you the purpose that you can attain, and what you cannot do. ³Forget not that this judgment must apply to what you do with it as your ally. ⁴For what you do through Christ it does not know. ⁵To Him this judgment makes no sense at all, for only what His Father wills is possible, and there is no alternative for Him to see. Out of His lack of conflict comes your peace. ⁷And from His purpose comes the means for effortless accomplishment and rest.  (ACIM, T-24.VI.1:1–13:7)

My guide, Thomas, insisted in 2011 that I learn to use the Gospel teachings of Jesus to raise my personal consciousness vibration. Those teachings released me from lifelong fears and rages to such an amazing extent that at his insistence in 2016 we wrote The Fun of Growing Forever. The Lord’s teachings work fast and amazingly well! But I was troubled by the fact that we had based so much of that book on our experiment with one flawed individual. So then Thomas set out to conduct for me a more dramatic experiment of his own.

With his encouragement, six years ago I began a business venture with someone I came to love and trust as a very dear friend. I had considerable savings intended for the advancement of this work of enlightening the world, and as I was investing in a project with her that looked solid, I kept checking with Thomas. He always said, “It will be fine.” But then in early May my friend was indicted for having defrauded a great many people. My experience through this has been the interesting part. At the moment I learned of her arrest, Thomas swooped in and enveloped me in a cocoon of warm light. It was an astonishing feeling! Still, I ranted at him. How could he have let this happen? Immediately and fiercely he said:

  • “You had too much money. This work is God’s. The money was making you think you could buy its success. Now you will listen.” And,
  • “You can’t teach forgiveness unless you have something big to forgive.” I told him that was a crock of crap! He said then, “It could have been the murder of one of your family members. We thought this was better.” (He did say that! Word for word.)

He told me I would be telling this story often. In the heat of my first indignation toward him I said, “Never!” But immediately I realized I had already forgiven the greatest wrong ever done to me. And now I am already telling the story, barely two months after my friend’s arrest. This woman who stole from me an unimaginable sum of money is my holy brother, the beloved Son of God, and I will not see her as less because if I do that I am judging against the Christ. Now I understand what He meant when He said, “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (MT 5:39-41). And, “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (LK 6:35-36). Jesus wasn’t telling us to grit our teeth and submit to the bad behavior of others. No, he was telling us that as we grow spiritually, we will start to think and behave this way as a natural fruit of our vastly expanded spiritual horizon. This at last is the love that Jesus taught! Without His teaching, we would let the occasional bad behavior of others destroy our peace and create an ever wider chasm between us and God. If I hadn’t used His teachings to raise my personal consciousness vibration, I would have let this wound inflicted on me by someone I had loved and trusted trouble my peace forevermore! Instead, I knew from the moment it happened that in fact I had suffered no actual wound. And all I ever have felt since that day is the triumphant joy of my more perfect understanding.

I sought my soul,
But my soul I could not see.
I sought my God,
But my God eluded me.
I sought my brother,
And I found all three.
William Blake (1757-1827)

Loving (Part I)

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.
Come on people now, smile on your brother.
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
Chet Powers (1937-1994), From “Get Together” (1967)

It is difficult for us to comprehend the kind of love that Jesus taught. He says, If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them (LK 11:32). Instead of loving so narrowly, the Lord insists that we must “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men (LK 6:35). We read these words, and we are sure that Jesus cannot possibly mean them literally! Oh sure, God can love God’s enemies! God can lend, and then can forgive when the crook absconds with God’s savings. But you and I are not God! How does all this flowery high-mindedness apply to us?

We have struggled in this space to try to understand the peculiar love that Jesus taught. A love that is meant to especially focus on our enemies? We have pointed out that ancient Greek, the language in which the Lord’s Aramaic words were written down and from which they were later translated into modern languages, has at least eight words for love. But if we take the Lord’s words seriously, we realize that even agape – “love for everyone” – is not a sufficiently radical concept to satisfy what the Lord is actually saying. For one thing, Jesus insists that  our loving in the way that He loves comes before every other kind of love, and even before our love for those closest to us. It is the highest and purest form of love! He says, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (MT 10:37).

Read those last words again. If we are being honest, I think we must conclude that Jesus isn’t talking about any of the kinds of love that you and I ever have imagined. Instead, what Jesus means by “love” is the absolute transformation of our minds. When He talks about love and forgiveness, he is talking about the fruits of our minds’ transformations as we have used the Lord’s teachings to effect those transformations. Every Christian denomination tells us to try to love and forgive without first using the Lord’s teachings to transform our minds, which is something like telling us to play real piano music the first time we ever touch a keyboard. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). And it turns out that our following those teachings matters a great deal more than any Christian leader ever has imagined!

 A Course in Miracles calls the kinds of love we have for friends and family members “special loves.” And it tells us that “special loves” are as spiritually negative as are “special hates.” In fact, as you will see, in this earthly illusion special loves are related to fear and hatred! They give us a way to continue to hide from the real love to which the Lord is calling us. Apparently this is what Jesus was trying to say in the Gospels in just a few words, but we never really grasped what He meant. So He said it again in the nineteen-sixties, and in profound detail! I can see no way to shorten or to summarize this teaching, so I apologize for the fact that this post is longer than usual. Please read what follows with reverence. Unlike the Gospel words of Jesus, which were part of an oral history that later went through two religion-based translations, this passage from A Course in Miracles is a literal, word-for-word message from Jesus, Who is an aspect of the Godhead Itself. God is speaking here directly! And to this day, I find it impossible to read to the end of what follows without being brought to tears. The boundlessness of the pure love of God for you in particular is beyond our ability to fathom it.

A Course in Miracles Chapter 16: The Forgiveness of Illusions
The Illusion and the Reality of Love

1. Be not afraid to look upon the special hate relationship, for freedom lies in looking at it. ²It would be impossible not to know the meaning of love, except for this. ³For the special love relationship, in which the meaning of love is hidden, is undertaken solely to offset the hate, but not to let it go. ⁴Your salvation will rise clearly before your open eyes as you look on this. ⁵You cannot limit hate. ⁶The special love relationship will not offset it, but will merely drive it underground and out of sight. ⁷It is essential to bring it into sight, and to make no attempt to hide it. ⁸For it is the attempt to balance hate with love that makes love meaningless to you. ⁹The extent of the split that lies in this you do not realize. ¹⁰And until you do, the split will remain unrecognized, and therefore unhealed.

2. The symbols of hate against the symbols of love play out a conflict that does not exist. ²For symbols stand for something else, and the symbol of love is without meaning if love is everything. ³You will go through this last undoing quite unharmed, and will at last emerge as yourself. ⁴This is the last step in the readiness for God. ⁵Be not unwilling now; you are too near, and you will cross the bridge in perfect safety, translated quietly from war to peace. ⁶For the illusion of love will never satisfy, but its reality, which awaits you on the other side, will give you everything.

3. The special love relationship is an attempt to limit the destructive effects of hate by finding a haven in the storm of guilt. ²It makes no attempt to rise above the storm, into the sunlight. ³On the contrary, it emphasizes the guilt outside the haven by attempting to build barricades against it, and keep within them. ⁴The special love relationship is not perceived as a value in itself, but as a place of safety from which hatred is split off and kept apart. ⁵The special love partner is acceptable only as long as he serves this purpose. ⁶Hatred can enter, and indeed is welcome in some aspects of the relationship, but it is still held together by the illusion of love. ⁷If the illusion goes, the relationship is broken or becomes unsatisfying on the grounds of disillusionment.

4. Love is not an illusion. ²It is a fact. ³Where disillusionment is possible, there was not love but hate. ⁴For hate is an illusion, and what can change was never love. ⁵It is sure that those who select certain ones as partners in any aspect of living, and use them for any purpose which they would not share with others, are trying to live with guilt rather than die of it. ⁶This is the choice they see. ⁷And love, to them, is only an escape from death. ⁸They seek it desperately, but not in the peace in which it would gladly come quietly to them. ⁹And when they find the fear of death is still upon them, the love relationship loses the illusion that it is what it is not. ¹⁰When the barricades against it are broken, fear rushes in and hatred triumphs.

5. There are no triumphs of love. ²Only hate is at all concerned with the “triumph of love.” ³The illusion of love can triumph over the illusion of hate, but always at the price of making both illusions. ⁴As long as the illusion of hatred lasts, so long will love be an illusion to you. ⁵And then the only choice remaining possible is which illusion you prefer. ⁶There is no conflict in the choice between truth and illusion. ⁷Seen in these terms, no one would hesitate. ⁸But conflict enters the instant the choice seems to be one between illusions, but this choice does not matter. ⁹Where one choice is as dangerous as the other, the decision must be one of despair.

6. Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ²It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false. ³Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. ⁴And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another must fail. ⁵If you seek love outside yourself you can be certain that you perceive hatred within, and are afraid of it. ⁶Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but only from its reality.

7. Recognize this, for it is true, and truth must be recognized if it is to be distinguished from illusion: The special love relationship is an attempt to bring love into separation. ²And, as such, it is nothing more than an attempt to bring love into fear, and make it real in fear. ³In fundamental violation of love’s one condition, the special love relationship would accomplish the impossible. ⁴How but in illusion could this be done? ⁵It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma which seems very real to you, but which does not exist. ⁶You have come close to truth, and only this stands between you and the bridge that leads you into it.

8. Heaven waits silently, and your creations are holding out their hands to help you cross and welcome them. ²For it is they you seek. ³You seek but for your own completion, and it is they who render you complete. ⁴The special love relationship is but a shabby substitute for what makes you whole in truth, not in illusion. ⁵Your relationship with them is without guilt, and this enables you to look on all your brothers with gratitude, because your creations were created in union with them. ⁶Acceptance of your creations is the acceptance of the Oneness of creation, without which you could never be complete. ⁷No specialness can offer you what God has given, and what you are joined with Him in giving.

9. Across the bridge is your completion, for you will be wholly in God, willing for nothing special, but only to be wholly like to Him, completing Him by your completion. ²Fear not to cross to the abode of peace and perfect holiness. ³Only there is the completion of God and of His Son established forever. ⁴Seek not for this in the bleak world of illusion, where nothing is certain and where everything fails to satisfy. ⁵In the Name of God, be wholly willing to abandon all illusions. ⁶In any relationship in which you are wholly willing to accept completion, and only this, there is God completed, and His Son with Him.

10. The bridge that leads to union in yourself must lead to knowledge, for it was built with God beside you, and will lead you straight to Him where your completion rests, wholly compatible with His. ²Every illusion you accept into your mind by judging it to be attainable removes your own sense of completion, and thus denies the Wholeness of your Father. ³Every fantasy, be it of love or hate, deprives you of knowledge for fantasies are the veil behind which truth is hidden. ⁴To lift the veil that seems so dark and heavy, it is only needful to value truth beyond all fantasy, and to be entirely unwilling to settle for illusion in place of truth.

11. Would you not go through fear to love? ²For such the journey seems to be. ³Love calls, but hate would have you stay. ⁴Hear not the call of hate, and see no fantasies. ⁵For your completion lies in truth, and nowhere else. ⁶See in the call of hate, and in every fantasy that rises to delay you, but the call for help that rises ceaselessly from you to your Creator. ⁷Would He not answer you whose completion is His? ⁸He loves you, wholly without illusion, as you must love. ⁹For love is wholly without illusion, and therefore wholly without fear. ¹⁰Whom God remembers must be whole. ¹¹And God has never forgotten what makes Him whole. ¹²In your completion lie the memory of His Wholeness and His gratitude to you for His completion. ¹³In His link with you lie both His inability to forget and your ability to remember. ¹⁴In Him are joined your willingness to love and all the Love of God, Who forgot you not.

12. Your Father can no more forget the truth in you than you can fail to remember it. ²The Holy Spirit is the Bridge to Him, made from your willingness to unite with Him and created by His joy in union with you. ³The journey that seemed endless is almost complete, for what is endless is very near. ⁴You have almost recognized it. ⁵Turn with me firmly away from all illusions now, and let nothing stand in the way of truth. ⁶We will take the last useless journey away from truth together, and then together we go straight to God, in joyous answer to His Call for His completion.

13. If special relationships of any kind would hinder God’s completion, can they have any value to you? ²What would interfere with God must interfere with you. ³Only in time does interference in God’s completion seem to be possible. ⁴The bridge that He would carry you across lifts you from time into eternity. ⁵Waken from time, and answer fearlessly the Call of Him Who gave eternity to you in your creation. ⁶On this side of the bridge to timelessness you understand nothing. ⁷But as you step lightly across it, upheld by timelessness, you are directed straight to the Heart of God. ⁸At its center, and only there, you are safe forever, because you are complete forever. ⁹There is no veil the Love of God in us together cannot lift. ¹⁰The way to truth is open. ¹¹Follow it with me.  (ACIM, T-16.IV.1:1–13:11)

Please read this passage from A Course in Miracles a few times this week. Inhabit it. Try to make it your own. Then next week we’ll use it to seek a better understanding of the perfect love that Jesus taught.


Come on people now, smile on your brother.
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
Come on people now, smile on your brother.
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
Chet Powers (1937-1994), From “Get Together” (1967)


Love is but a song we sing. Fear’s the way we die.
You can make the mountains ring, or make the angels cry.
Though the bird is on the wing, and you may not know why,
Come on people now. Smile on your brother!
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
Chet Powers (1937-1994), From “Get Together” (1967)


Those words are more than a political slogan. In truth, they are the one absolutely fundamental fact of human existence. We should recite them daily. Perhaps use them instead of just saying “hello” to greet our friends, and cross-stitch and hang them on our bedroom wall so they are the first words we will see each morning and the last we’ll see at night. “You are a powerful, eternal being. You never began, and you never will end.” My variation on those most important words is part of the signoff from my Seek Reality podcast each week. And once you have internalized the encouragement of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and its correlate truth that I share with you, the day will come when you have grown past your human tendency to manufacture fears. You will be fearless. And you will be empowered!

The fact that our egos easily manufacture fears was at one point essential to human survival. We have talked here about the fact that the ego is not part of our eternal minds, but rather it is an artifact of our material bodies whose primary purpose is to preserve our bodies’ lives. The ego is a literal furnace of fear! We were prey animals for most of the two hundred thousand years of our existence, so our ability to react with instant terror to anything that was at all unusual was crucial. We are alpha predators now, but still ghost stories and horror movies can produce in us a thrill of fight-or-flight terror. Even though there is no actual threat. And in just the same way, every fear in our lives – from financial worries through supernatural terrors – is ego-manufactured and utterly bogus. Our task now is not to fight our fears, but rather it is to teach our minds to stop reacting to the ego’s alarms. As is true of anger, fear is an ego-manufactured reaction that can be short-circuited to the point where your ego will no longer react with fear to any kind of threat. And simply avoiding being afraid is a whole lot easier than it is to keep reacting to irrational fears the same way primitive people reacted to real dangers.

Jesus told us this, although what we have preserved in the Gospels is somewhat obscure. Of course, we cannot now know all of what He said in His more than three years of public teaching, and it may well be that those who heard Him speak considered fear to be such a normal reaction that they ignored some of what He said about it. But as we read His words now, we can see that He was impatient with the people around Him who reacted with fear to anything. For example, when a storm rocked their little boat and His terrified disciples awakened Him, He said, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and sea, and everything became perfectly peaceful (MT 8:25-27).

He also tried to help us understand that we really have nothing to fear, since we are infinitely precious to God. He said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows (LK 12:6-7). And he told us not to worry about a lack of basic things, like having clothing or enough to eat. He said, “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom (LK 12:31-32). When we understand that fear is the opposite of love, and that it was therefore the Lord’s intention to move us away from fear so we will be empowered to love more perfectly, we can see His efforts in His Gospel words.

The Lord speaks about fear more definitively in His Introduction to A Course in Miracles. The Course was channeled in the late nineteen-sixties by a team of advanced beings that reportedly Jesus led. Thomas tells me that since humankind had been ignoring His Gospel teachings in favor of man-made Christian dogmas, it was the Lord’s intention to give us the same message at a more advanced level. And the Course is advanced, all right! It flies so far over our heads that few people can grasp all that it has to offer unless we read it as part of a study group. Here are its profound introductory words that came to us directly from Jesus:

This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
 (ACIM, T-in.1:1-2:4)

Those italicized words are as profound as anything Jesus ever says in the Gospels. It has taken me until now to realize that! A Course in Miracles is essentially a course in unwinding the ego’s power. In fact, when you do the Course with a study group you are warned that you will get to a point where your ego starts to fight back, hard! My study group called getting past that point “the extinction of the ego.” It does feel as if you have fought your ego and won; but rather than extinction, it is only the moment when you teach your ego that you are its boss.

Many students consider the Course’s central “miracle” to be forgiveness, but I realize only now that – just as is true of the Lord’s Gospel words – the entire subtext of the Course is freedom from fear. Whenever Jesus talks about love, that is really what He is saying. When He talks about forgiveness, that also is what He is saying! As He says just above in the Introduction to His entire Course in Miracles, “what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.”

Once you are only love, you will never again in your life be angry or fearful or in any way negative about anything!

When I told you I am only now realizing that the teaching of Jesus about love which is the basis of both the Gospels and A Course in Miracles is in fact not just one miracle, but two – it is both forgiveness and an absolute freedom from fear – I meant that literally. I first saw it only this past Friday. Thomas had taught me to stop being afraid without my ever realizing that our need to vanquish fear is in itself a central part of the Lord’s miraculous message!

What my guide did to prepare me to vanquish fear forevermore was something that you ought to begin to do for yourself. And right away:

  • Stop all television, fear-based movies, and video games. I have never been a gamer, but I stopped polluting my mind with recreational fears and panic-based news soon after the start of this century. Now I can’t even stand to be in a room where a TV is turned on!
  • Free yourself from religious fears. My husband remains a committed Catholic, but soon after I gave up television I found that I could no longer enter a church without having deeply fear-based Christian dogmas troubling my mind. I know there is no hell. There is nothing to fear! But still, being inside a church remains a fear-based trigger.
  • Free yourself from political fears. Especially in the United States, fear is the basis of politics. At this point I don’t think you even can discuss preferring one political party over another without polluting your mind with fears. So just say something like, “May the best person of any gender win.” And opt out. No matter what the result may be, all of it is but a moment’s sunlight, fading in the grass. Ultimately it doesn’t matter. And anyway, your personal spiritual growth comes first!
  • Convince yourself that your life is eternal. I know of no way to do this except through persistent study of all the afterlife evidence. You are going to have to wallow in it! But the good news is that once you have really internalized the evidence, you will never again fear anything.

Once you have taken these four steps, and as you work on learning complete forgiveness, your personal consciousness vibration will begin to rise naturally away from fear and toward more perfect love. And to answer the question that we asked last week, raising your personal vibration is the only way to really protect yourself against negative entities! Even if you are not yet at an above-average level of spiritual development, no non-material being can affect you unless you allow that being to make you afraid. It will feed on your fear, which will make it stronger; and meanwhile, the fear it has inspired in you will in itself make you vulnerable to negative influences. It’s a vicious and malevolent cycle, and the only way to break it is to retrain your mind to ignore the frantic efforts of your ego to make you angry and to make you afraid. When you have learned to short-circuit your automatic reaction to all your ego’s shrieking, you can get to the point where you never will feel fear or anger, ever again in your life.

And living your life in that beautiful place will feel wonderful! The reduction in stress, the increase in joy, and the freedom to love every other human being in the selfless and abundant way that is the natural impulse that lies beneath our hatreds and fears is what all of us came to earth to find! We aren’t there quite yet. But next week we will talk about how we will recognize the moment when perfect love has at last crowded out all of its illusory opposites….

Come on people now, smile on your brother.
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
Come on people now, smile on your brother.
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
Chet Powers (1937-1994), From “Get Together” (1967)



At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise!
– Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), from “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (1865)

There is no powerful evil entity in opposition to God. It doesn’t matter whether you call him Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, or perhaps you just call him the plain ol’ devil. Unlike the Godhead, he does not and cannot exist in any way that matters. And this is true, even despite the fact that we can trace the notion of powerful devils back as far as there are ancient gods, and Wikipedia offers us more than seventy names for the Ultimate Bad Guy.

You can have no idea of just how much I didn’t want to talk about this! I have seen too much. Ghastly possessions and hauntings. I know the power that evil entities can have over our minds if we allow them in, so emphatically I will never use a Ouija board. I won’t watch a movie about evil, nor will I casually utter Satan’s name. So when Thomas first proposed this topic, my immediate reaction was, “Hard pass on that!” Who wants to offend the devil by announcing the fact that he cannot exist? But Thomas sensibly reminded me that for us to fear evil entities only further empowers them. He insists it is time that we trust God enough to give to evil no quarter. So, here goes!

Those that we used to think were dead confirm that the Godhead has no powerful opposition. They also tell us that there is no hell beyond the gloomy outer darkness that Jesus talks about, and no judgment by anyone but ourselves. This testimony from those who really know the truth is abundant, and it is comforting; but it is only as we come to better understand what we might call the physics of the greater reality that we begin to see why this must be so. We will need a quickie physics course here if you want to understand why a powerful devil is as absurd an idea as is the notion of dry liquids or burning ice.

What we refer to as “the greater reality” is simply understood to be all that exists. It is probably not really all that exists, but it is all that we have any way to access. The simplest way to envision the greater reality is as theoretical physicists do (although they have no idea that is what they are doing!). They calculate by the motion of planets and the universe’s speed of expansion that about 27% of what exists is what they call “dark matter,” and 68% is what they call “dark energy.” It’s dark because it won’t react with photons of light, so therefore we know that it cannot be particle-based matter or its correlate energy.

Less than five percent of what exists is the traditional matter that makes up this material universe, while the rest is the non-material aspect of the greater reality. So you see, the greater reality is twenty times the size of this material universe! Yet its footprint seems to be no greater than whatever footprint the material universe occupies. It is composed of many different dimensions, just as all the hundreds of TV channels are located together in your living room and separated only by their vibratory rates. Your TV can tune to the energy of any one channel and pick up a picture; and in just the same way, the greater reality is an energy spectrum all located right where we are. Aspects of it are solid, but they are not made of particulate matter. In fact, the entire greater reality beyond this universe is both sizeless and timeless. At this moment, your mind is tuned to that body on this material level of reality. When you sleep, your mind frequently tunes to a higher vibratory rate and you travel in one of the dimensions of the non-material astral plane. When you die, your mind will tune to the Summerland levels of the afterlife portion of the astral plane, and you will be in actual heaven! Do you see how the greater reality works?

It can be so simple because all that exists is Mind. All of our minds together, the living as well as those not now in bodies, are all together one vast, eternal Mind that is governed by the Godhead that continuously manifests what we think that we are seeing around us. Our better understanding of how good and evil work comes from our better understanding of the primary creative force that we refer to as Mind. Or we might as easily call it Consciousness. Briefly:

  • The only thing that independently exists is what we experience in a dim way as Consciousness.
  • Consciousness is an energy, and as such it vibrates.
  • Consciousness energy is governed by and experienced as what we call emotion.
  • At its highest vibratory rate, Consciousness is perfect love; while at its lowest it is fear, hatred, rage, and other ishy emotions.
  • At its highest vibration, Consciousness is infinitely powerful; while at its lowest, it has no power at all.

So perfect love is infinitely powerful, while abject fear and evil has no power. Wow, how corny that sounds! But it is beautifully true, nonetheless. In the battle between good and evil, love wins! And understanding this quick course in spiritual physics will help you to much better see how evil actually works in the world.

While there is no powerful devil to be blamed for it, there is for certain a lot of evil. There is so much evil, and it is often so insidious and so diabolical, that it is easy to see where the notion of a Big Bad Guy comes from. It is easy to see, too, how primitive people might have conceived of barbaric gods that required infant sacrifices and other ghastly gifts that would mollify them and make them like us better. Evil is indeed loose in the world! So, where does all of it come from?

The Dead Who Have Not Yet Transitioned

We are told by those that we used to think were dead that close to 25% of those who die on earth don’t transition right away. Some die in an unplanned accident, some are afraid of hell, some are attracted to a fake version of what they expect heaven to be, and some simply get distracted at the wrong time and lose sight of the loved ones who have come to take them home. Reportedly most of these folks will be rescued in short order, but there is one class of uncompleted deaths that amounts to the worst possible form of environmental pollution. People who are executed or murdered and people who die in battle generally die at the height of some combination of fear and rage; and in that emotional state they are likely to remain. Unavoidably, they pollute the one Mind of which each of us is a part, and some become demons and actively mess with living people’s minds.


A demon is a low-vibration being that lacks a material body. Some are not human, but most of them are apparently dead people who never transitioned; and their problem is that they must create in us and then consume human fear in order to survive at all. (I still have no idea why this is true.) During the decades when I was reading the Bible nightly, one thing that came to bother me was the claim that Jesus was casting out demons. I thought that had to be fiction! I was sure there were no demons, yet they are mentioned 18 times in the Gospel of Matthew, 17 times in Mark, and an amazing 24 times in Luke. For example, “He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, ‘What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.’ For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. … Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country.  The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened” (LK 8:27-35).

I now realize that indeed there are troublesome demons! Some are evil, but most are simply earthbound. And they can indeed be “cast out.” Dr. Allan L. Botkin uses induced after death communication protocols to free Vietnam War veterans and others from the spirits of possessing victims of wars, and he teaches his protocols to other therapists. Our dear friend Dr. R. Craig Hogan teaches a similar technique. And there is a lot of evidence that addicts of all kinds are addicted in part because deceased addicts have possessed their bodies and minds. I am coming to suspect that in a more enlightened age, the techniques once used by Jesus and now used by practitioners like Dr. Allan Botkin will be broadly seen as a shortcut way to heal any number of human ills.

Living People

Despite the theories of scientists who hold the mistaken notion that the mind is somehow generated by the brain, people who are now in bodies do have free will. Having the power to choose to do something negative and evil is an essential part of our eventually having the unrestricted power to do what is loving and good. And since our minds are all part of one universal Mind, those who individually choose fear, hatred, and rage can do a disproportionate amount of harm.

So there doesn’t need to be any organized Satan for evil to be loose in the world. Demons often act together, and if you think that you are interacting with Satan, you can bring a flood of awful gremlins into your life that can be almost impossible to evict. They have very limited power, but they can mess up your life. So, how can you protect yourself from evil as you seek to grow spiritually? We’ll talk about that next week….


Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song;
Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King;
This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing.
– Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), from “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (1865)


Substitutionary Atonement

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before!
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle, see his banner go!
– Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), from “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (1865)

Christianity itself is the central obstacle to the advancement of Jesus in the modern world. Jesus is an extraordinary historical figure! His is the only documented instance where an aspect of the genuine Godhead lived among us as a human being in order to better understand what it is to experience human life so He could teach us more clearly how to use our lives to achieve greater spiritual growth. The more we learn about the life of Jesus, the more gigantic that life becomes! God chose to be born as a human being. God lived among people as one of us. There never has happened, before or since, an event so extraordinary, so flat-out cosmic.

Please pause now and really think about this. As you think, you will find that worlds of amazing and empowering information about what God really is, what you and I are, and the depth and height of God’s perfect love will dawn in you, and will uplift and delight you. We aren’t talking about just some religious ideas! Jesus is a genuine historical figure. There is in fact a Collective of Perfected Beings that continuously manifests what we perceive as reality. And Jesus is of the highest aspect of that Godhead. All of this is TRUE. God chose to be born on earth out of love for each of us individually. You can sit like the Buddha in lotus position and contemplate this simple set of facts, and your heart will swell with joy. The name of Jesus has been widely known for almost two thousand years, but it is only now that we understand enough of what actually is going on to be able to start to appreciate what a truly gigantic figure He is!

But even to this day, very few people have any awareness of the genuine Jesus. He is silenced and belittled by the very people who claim to most revere Him. The Christian religion doesn’t teach what Jesus taught, except in vague and general terms; but instead, it teaches a barbaric doctrine that is the opposite of what Jesus taught, and also the opposite of everything that we now know about the Godhead. That brutal doctrine is the reason why our churches are filled with instruments of torture, why so many Christians are afraid of death, and why the most devout Christians so often seem to be truly unpleasant people, insular and judgmental of others. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Christian scholars refer to that despicable core Christian doctrine as “substitutionary atonement.” It is the primary teaching of the Christian religion, this notion that Jesus came to sacrifice Himself to God on a cross as a substitute for us, and His sacrifice means that if we are Christians we can escape God’s judgment and condemnation. Without the Lord’s sacrificial death, God would not forgive us even for Adam’s sin, and God certainly wouldn’t forgive us for our own sins. Incredibly, that barbaric set of beliefs is the core and heart of the religion that actually was named for Jesus! He told us two thousand years ago that the genuine God is perfect love, but even today the Christian God continues to demand that we claim participation in the torture and murder of God’s own Son or God will send us straight to hell. Please pause now and think about this. Was there ever a more petty, sadistic, and venal human-made idea than that? Was there ever any idea that more completely went against the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ than the notion that God needs to see Him murdered before God can forgive us for being human?

Christian theologians have tried in various ways to put lipstick on this pig of an idea. Some have turned the study of the Gospels into a mere technical study of their words, with little effort made to use those words to better understand the events of that truly remarkable life that God spent on earth. Others have celebrated the concept of substitutionary atonement as the culmination of Old Testament law, and  challenged squeamish modern Christians to get past the off-putting ickiness of it and embrace it as God’s most powerful gift. But most Christians just try to accept it without having to think too much about it. Jesus is each Christian’s get-out-of-hell-free card. To question that is to risk damnation, so anyone who questions it must be cast away from Christian society and ignored.

I have heard from many hundreds of lapsed Christians over the past decade. Most of them were in their fifties or older, many had been lifelong members of one of the primary Christian denominations, and nearly all of them had fallen away from church attendance for one main reason. They no longer found the primary Christian teachings to be believable. That image of God as a loving Father Who nevertheless wants to watch His Son being tortured and murdered may have made sense to more primitive people. But it makes no sense whatsoever now.

And it is all bogus, anyway. It’s a set of entirely human-made notions, with no connection to the genuine Godhead. Christianity features the patriarchal and cranky human-made God of the Hebrew Old Testament, which bears not even a passing resemblance to our perfectly loving Godhead. And the Christian dogma of substitutionary atonement is solidly rooted in the basic Old Testament concept of providing sin offerings so the Hebrew God will forgive us for our shortcomings (see, e.g., Lev 4&5 and Num 6). We know where it comes from! And more to the point, we know that it is anathema to the glorious God on earth Who is Jesus the Christ. Let’s see how the basic Christian teachings that are attendant on substitutionary atonement directly contradict the words of Jesus. Christianity teaches that:

  • We are all fallen and sinful by nature. Nearly all versions of Christianity teach that every human being inherits Adam’s sin that was committed when he disobeyed God and ate that dastardly apple. But Jesus Himself was so casual about sin that we have speculated here that He might in fact have been trying to wean us from the notion of sin altogether, although with Temple spies so often nearby He couldn’t say that plainly. Jesus freely forgave sins as He healed people (see MT 9:2-7), dined and spent time with sinners (MT 9:11), was casual about breaking religious rules (MK 2:23-28), and informed us that His ministry was actually primarily to sinners (LK 5:32).
  • God judges us for our sins. If God doesn’t judge us, then the whole notion that God needs a sacrifice in order to forgive us goes right out the window. And in fact, Jesus tells us directly that God doesn’t judge us. He says, “For not even the Father judges anyone” (JN 5:22). This statement from the Lord is amply confirmed by the testimony of the not-really-dead; and since it has always been in the Gospel of John, the whole bogus idea of substitutionary atonement never should have gotten started in the first place. Sadly, though, no such luck.
  • Without the sacrifice of Jesus, we would go to hell. It is a plain truth known and verified now in abundant ways that there is no fiery hell, and no eternal damnation. Case closed!

There is no justification whatsoever for any professed Christian to continue to believe that “Jesus died for our sins.” Or needed to. That may have made perfect sense to iron-age primitives who worshiped a human-made and human-shaped God, and it might have made at least a modicum of sense to Medieval monkish scholars who had no way to get better information. But now it makes no sense at all. Christians can justify substitutionary atonement only for the sake of Christianity’s longstanding tradition. And what would Jesus have to say about that?

“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 heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (15:3, 7-9). Ouch.

You cannot objectively sit down and read the four canonical Gospels without realizing that Jesus was trying to wean us from outmoded religious ideas and help us to begin a new and more intimate relationship with Spirit. What else can He have meant when He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). I think it even can be argued that He was trying to abolish the idea of religions as outmoded by His Gospel teachings, but we needn’t go that far to see that He was trying to do some religious housecleaning! And He plainly considered His Gospel teachings – the same teachings that Christians now largely ignore – to have been the heart and core of His mission on earth. He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). Doesn’t it strike you now that His saying He had come to give us the “truth” that will “set you free” is rather a curious thing, if Christianity is right, and all He really was about was redeeming us from God’s judgment?

The Gospel teachings of Jesus on love and forgiveness are not just the easy platitudes that Christianity has made them out to be. When He gave us those teachings, no one could have known that we come to earth to raise our consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward more perfect love, and that the Lord’s teachings are the most effective way to achieve the most rapid spiritual growth. But we know that now! And since we know that, we also now can see that the fear-based teachings of Christianity, based as they are in a false notion of God, have become the literal enemy of the genuinely saving work of Jesus as He teaches us ever more perfect love. Next week we will courageously consider the most fear-based Christian teaching of all….  

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod;
We are not divided; all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
– Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), from “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (1865)

The Power of Truth (Part II)

We are the world.
We are the children.
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.
There’s a choice we’re making.
We’re saving our own lives!
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.
Michael Jackson (1958-2009) & Lionel Richie, from “We Are the World” (1985)

The only way for humankind to entirely fix what is wrong with this world is to make it common knowledge now that every human life is eternal. No other attempt to repair a world gone so badly wrong would even make a dent, when compared with the transformative power of that one bit of crucial information! The truth about our eternal nature is far more than just peripheral knowledge. For everyone to know the truth right now would change everything.

 I used to wonder about this. But as I said last week, now I am certain that it is true. And the reason I am so confident is that I have been widely teaching the survival of death for more than a decade now. I have heard from many people who have described the transformative difference overcoming the fear of death has made in their lives, and I have heard from others so traumatized by Calvinism and other fear-based Christian notions that they are rather hoping their death will be extinction and not eternal hellfire! I especially recall one young man who had grown up in a fire-and-brimstone church, and now he lived in an agony of fear that the God he had learned about in church might exist, and might be gunning for him now. I laid out a reading plan for that fearful young man, and I offered to answer his questions as he learned; but he simply went away. I hear from so many people that I lost track of who he was, but fortunately about two years later he emailed me as a response to that earlier emailed reading list. And he was altogether transformed! I had suggested in my email that he keep at it because becoming certain of the truth about death could take as much as two years of study, and he was pleased to report when he emailed me back that it had taken him exactly two years. He had read not just my suggested list, but a good part of my appendix booklist besides. He told me that he knows what is going on now, he looks forward with pleasure to dying someday, and meanwhile he is dating someone and getting down to the business of living. Dear God, if I can help no one else, his email has made my whole life worthwhile!

But in fact, I have watched a great many people come to realize that their lives are eternal. This is a revelation quite different from the almost mechanical process of raising our consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward ever more perfect love by applying the Gospel teachings of Jesus. And yet, the result in people’s lives and outlooks seems to be about the same. People who have learned enough about what actually is going on to become confident that death is an illusion, that God is love, and that their own lives never will end have the following characteristics:

 A Lack of Fear

It was when I lost my own fear of death that I first noticed this lovely phenomenon. Since childhood I had been afraid of the dark, to the point where I now wonder whether my fear might have begun with that sudden flash of light in my darkened bedroom at the age of eight. I recall once in college explaining my fear of the dark to some boy I was dating. I blurted to him, “There might be anything there! Or nothing there!” My fear was primitive, and it was so overwhelming that prior to my marriage I needed a night-light to sleep. Then eventually, at about age forty, I was working at my computer one evening as the room grew dark around me. I paused briefly and looked around, and I was astonished to find that the room was pitch-black but I was not afraid! After seeing this same phenomenon in others, I have come to conclude that fear of death is the mother of all fears. When you no longer fear death, you no longer fear anything.

 Living in an Eternal Frame

 This term covers a cluster of characteristics. People who have internalized the certainty that they never will die begin to think in an eternal timeline. Death is going to end nothing for them! So:

  • They are no longer even vaguely sad. They lose altogether the life-sucks-then-you-die mentality that pervades so much of our culture, and in its place they develop a happiness setpoint that keeps them always cheerful. Life’s little setbacks mean nothing to them, and the big setbacks merit only a sigh. What could go wrong? You are God’s best-beloved child, and you are forever safe in everlasting arms! When it happens to you, this transformation is an exultant feeling that never altogether leaves you.
  • They are no longer grabby about getting their share. This shedding of selfish impulses happens to an astonishing degree! Most of those who truly are certain that they will live eternally actually seem to stop caring altogether about having money or having things.
  • They want to improve their own next stage. Being certain that there will be a next stage really opens up your whole horizon! Rather than wanting to buy more things, you start wanting to “store up treasures in heaven,” just as Jesus said would happen (you can see His words below). And actually, the notion of treasures in heaven turns out to be quite literally true!
  • They want to help others find what they have found. Really knowing what comes next has made such a difference in our own lives that people like Dr. R. Craig Hogan and I are thrilled to be devoting so much of our time to spreading the word about death, even into old age. And some of the people I hear from now who want me to know that they also get it will often say something like, “I’ve been telling people in my church.” Sometimes they will add, “The minister’s not too happy about it.” Hearing that makes me smile, although it shouldn’t!

As you can see, this shift toward living in an eternal frame is functionally close to the same as giving up on selfishness entirely. And in helping us to lose both fear and selfishness, our becoming certain that we never will die seems to be about as effective at raising our consciousness vibrations as is strictly following the Lord’s Gospel teachings.

What did Jesus say about eternal life? Actually, He said a great deal. As you know, Jesus told us that we must apply His teachings to our lives first of all! He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). And He did in fact teach eternal living. We can’t be word-for-word certain about these quotations because we know that First Nicaea in 325 and some of the later first-millennium councils are guilty of editing the Lord’s words here and there; but these quotations seem to be largely genuine. He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word he will never see death” (JN 8:51). And, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (MT 6:19-21). And, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (MT 5:11).

As Jesus was preparing His disciples for His impending crucifixion, He explicitly told them He was going ahead of them to prepare a place for them, in a process that afterlife researchers can confirm is pretty much what our loved ones are going to do for each of us! He said, “Do not let your heart be troubled. You 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. If I go and 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). Then later, on the cross, He gave one of those who was crucified with Him the same promise that very soon He is going to be giving to each of us. He said, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (LK 23:43). And of course, proving that death is not fatal was the entire point of His Resurrection! I have lately come to think that a certainty that we live eternally may have been the actual “truth” that Jesus was promising to share with us. And what He assured us it would “set you free” from eternally was the fear of death!

We know that every one of our minds is part of the great eternal Mind that continuously manifests this universe. And because that is true, once as few as ten to fifteen percent of all the people on earth have sufficiently raised their personal consciousness vibrations, the change in them must inevitably begin to raise the consciousness vibrations of us all! But to get there, we have been thinking that we would have to convince maybe a billion people to want to raise their own consciousness vibrations. And it is a sad fact that the notion of “growing spiritually” has little broad appeal. We might point out that this universe exists just to give us a place to grow spiritually, and we might even add that unless we can raise the consciousness vibrations of at least ten percent of the earth’s population we can have little hope of improving all the horrors that now torment this world. But even at that, we get just yawns and a shrug more than seven billion strong!

So let’s decide now to stop talking about spiritual growth altogether. You can sell only what people want to buy, and what they hunger for now is just the certainty that they really never are going to die. So let’s begin now to talk only about how happy you, and you, and you are going to be when at last you conquer your fear of death! Let’s develop a quickie two-year course from which the graduation degree will be a certainty of your own eternal life. Let’s give people a joyful hook where they can hang their lives and every bit of their happiness. Step right up! Spend two years getting your Ph.D. in learning what really is going on, and you will be able to live your most joyous life, both now and forevermore!  Freedom from death is the Gospel promise of Jesus. And at this point, it is our one remaining hope if we seek to save humankind from its present death-spiral into extinction. The Lord said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life”  (JN 5:24). Amen, Lord!

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call,
When the world must come together as one.
There are people dying!
It’s time to lend a hand to life,
The greatest gift of all.
Michael Jackson (1958-2009) & Lionel Richie, from “We Are the World” (1985)

The bottom two photos are from, free and with no attribution required.



The Power of Truth (Part I)

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day!
– Johnny Nash (1940-2020), from “I Can See Clearly Now” (1972)

The only way for humankind to fix all that is wrong with this world is to make it common knowledge now that every human mind is eternal. No other attempt to repair a world gone so badly wrong would make a dent, when compared with the transformative power of that one bit of crucial information!

The truth about our eternal nature is far more than just peripheral knowledge. And it isn’t something we can safely ignore until our own death stares us in the face. For everyone to know the truth right now would change EVERYTHING. I used to wonder about this. Now I know it to be true.

To understand why, let’s first give some thought to what is basically wrong with humankind that has put us into our present worldwide state of misery and desperation. Opinions may differ, but it is my observation that there are two core human characteristics that feed on one another and together are the cause of everything that ever has been tragic about being a human being, and everything that has gone especially wrong since the start of the twenty-first century:


For all of human history, to be alive and human has meant being afraid. The earliest fully human beings, a mere two hundred thousand years ago, suffered predators, hunger, disease, and the gnawing terror of the unknown that caused us to make and worship fearsome gods. And even for those earliest people, awareness of our rapidly approaching death has been our constant companion. Indeed, we may be the only species forced to live with the inescapable certainty that very soon we are going to die. And the advent of civilization reduced some fears, while it added additional fearsome layers. With civilization we acquired human overlords with the power to steal from us, force us to labor, and even take our lives; and the power to require us to carry out warfare on a scale that had hitherto not been imagined. Then eventually, of course, farming towns and fortress castles gave way to modern cities, and our lives as mere cogs in civilization’s wheel went from the plodding pace of horses to the lethal speed of cars and planes. Swords were replaced by ICBMs, and we even invented an “atomic clock” to better count down toward our certain doom. Even today, that doomsday clock stands at just one hundred seconds before midnight.


Every one of us loves and worships the self. At the core of every human being is a deep, egoic craving for recognition, success, fame, money, and an ever-better place near the top of the heap of our fellow human beings. As with fear, that instinct toward selfishness appears to be innate in all of us. It’s a product of the ego, which is a part of the limited package with which we come to earth. The ego is hard to precisely define, but we know that its purpose is to keep us alive until we reach a chosen exit point, and then it dies when the body dies. Meanwhile, it sees every tiny infringement on even trivial status-related aspects of our lives as potential threats to its survival.

These two profoundly negative impulses are basic and innate in everyone! There is no human being who is never afraid, and no one who doesn’t strive and enjoy accumulating ever more of whatever that person most prizes in this earthly life. It is easy to see the ego’s efforts in those who are climbing the corporate ladder, working day and night to accumulate wealth, or pouring themselves into campaigning for office. But what about the beautiful, selfless people whose every impulse is to help others, and who then are given a recognition dinner, a Presidential Medal, or a Nobel Peace Prize? Just watch the ceremonies! That instinct toward self-aggrandizement is still there, even in the best of them. We all want to be important. We all want to be loved.

By way of illustration, we might consider the motivations of some of the worst people who ever have lived, the tyrants who have diminished and destroyed so many other people’s lives. We might quibble over whether humankind’s hunger to dominate others is an artifact of all our terrible fears or is more the result of a needy ego, but when we think of the worst people who ever have lived we see fear and selfishness intermingling to make the acquisition of power over others too often something that those who gain a bit of it will promptly aggrandize until they are monsters. As Sir John Dalberg-Acton so wisely wrote more than a century ago, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Adolf Eichmann was one of the organizers of the Shoah, the Holocaust that claimed six million Jewish lives. He was tried and hanged in Israel in 1962. In the title of her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, the German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt made one of the most profound observations ever made by anyone: she pointed out just how normal, how usual and boring even the greatest evildoers actually are. Eichmann looked like a mid-level clerk. Hitler smiled and patted his dog. The trains to the death-camps looked like usual trains, and perhaps they even ran on time. And if you are living in a Western country that is supposed to be run by its citizens, you are seeing elected officials now openly fighting the freedoms of others with deadly and tenacious efficiency. You see governors decreeing humiliating and business-destroying lockdowns, and police arresting churchgoers and pastors because fear of some illness that is little more than a new version of the seasonal flu has given them that power. Now, as vaccinations begin to erase whatever little threat there was, you see the most power-mad trying to make those temporary restrictions permanent, and you realize with horror how easily the egos of basically decent people, when they are further fortified by fear, can be seduced by even a little power into doing what you and I can see is cruel, self-important, and plainly wrong.

Fear and selfishness are to some limited degree useful. They keep us from stepping in front of moving cars, and they ensure that we will at least take our morning shower and try to work enough to survive. But fear is the opposite of love, so fear can make our spiritual growth impossible; and our selfish ego cares nothing for our spiritual growth, since its motivation is only its own survival. Worst of all, for the little good that they do, our impulses toward selfishness and fear tend to separate us from other people, which is why so many of us later in life live isolated and often mean-spirited lives.

Once again, we are grateful for a final key insight from the indispensable Father Richard Rohr, the head of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. One of his recent newsletters talks about Edith Eva Eger, who was just sixteen when her family was transported to Auschwitz. Her parents went to the gas chambers on the day they arrived, while Edith and her sister survived. Eventually she arrived in the United States, where she was educated and became a psychologist and therapist specializing in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In her recent memoir, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, she reminds us that each moment is a choice. She says, “No matter how frustrating or boring or constraining or painful or oppressive our experience, we can always choose how we respond. And I finally begin to understand that I, too, have a choice… The choice to accept myself as I am: human, imperfect. And the choice to be responsible for my own happiness. To forgive my flaws and reclaim my innocence. To stop asking why I deserved to survive. To function as well as I can, to commit myself to serve others, to do everything in my power to honor my parents, to see to it that they did not die in vain. To do my best, in my limited capacity, so future generations don’t experience what I did. To be useful, to be used up, to survive and to thrive so I can use every moment to make the world a better place. And to finally, finally stop running from the past. To do everything possible to redeem it, and then let it go. I can make the choice that all of us can make. I can’t ever change the past. But there is a life I can save: It is mine. The one I am living right now, this precious moment… And to the vast campus of death that consumed my parents and so very many others, to the classroom of horror that still had something sacred to teach me about how to live—that I was victimized but I’m not a victim, that I was hurt but not broken, that the soul never dies, that meaning and purpose can come from deep in the heart of what hurts us the most—I utter my final words. Goodbye, I say. And, Thank you. Thank you for life, and for the ability to finally accept the life that is.”

The words that follow those second ellipses are among the most profound ever written. In the end, this woman who is now in her nineties was able to surmount, forgive, and even be grateful for the death-camp that took her parents and her innocence because it helped her to learn and grow spiritually. As she puts it, she grew into accepting “the life that is.”

My weekly podcast is eight years old. I was promoting The Fun of Dying in the spring of 2013 when the kindly head of a podcasting company recruited me. We both assumed I was going to be podcasting about the afterlife, but when my new friend told me we needed a title, the Thomas within me blurted, “Seek Reality!” I hadn’t yet met Thomas in person, but I was used by then to having my unknown spirit guide unexpectedly interject his strong opinions. And soon I was glad that such an overbroad title let me entertain and learn from such a stellar range of wonderful weekly guests! It is only now that I realize that seeking and living in reality, as difficult as reality is for us even to find when both mainstream science and mainstream religions are flat-out lying to us, is the only hope left for humankind. And in seeking reality, we eventually find and begin to live in the true reality where death is not even a momentary pause. Like Edith Eger, we all can find “the life that is.” And in finding that life, we can at last do what Jesus came to earth to help us. do, which is to bring the kingdom of God on Earth. Next week we’ll look at the difference it will make when everyone knows the truth about death.

Look all around, there’s nothing but blue skies.
Look straight ahead, there’s nothing but blue skies.
I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day!
– Johnny Nash (1940-2020), from “I Can See Clearly Now” (1972)

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