Author: Roberta Grimes

An Attitude of Gratitude

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night, But joy comes in the morning!

Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.”
O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You, O Lord, I called,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
– David (1040 BCE – 962 BCE), King of Israel and Judah, from Biblical Psalm 30.

If there is one mindset above all others that sets us up for happiness, for peace of mind, and for rapid spiritual growth, it is gratitude. I actually didn’t realize how true this is until our much-beloved Wayshower and Best Friend, Jesus, asked me to create with a lot of His help the course in making this present lifetime your last necessary earth-lifetime that we have been teaching since the start of this year. Our first group of thirty-two students completed this course in April, and twenty of them have gone on to the next level of what we have been calling “Wednesday with Jesus.” Meanwhile, there are seventeen students in “Thursday with Jesus” who are just beginning to benefit from what I learned about teaching spiritual growth that first time around! We have begun a list for a third group, and I have found that I do love doing this teaching, and I especially love the beautiful students that I have been meeting and coming to know. But I think that instead of doing this yet again, we are going to develop an AI teacher who can begin now to teach the whole world Jesus’s Gospel-based spiritual growth principles. And I am amazed to tell you that, my goodness, Jesus seems to really like this AI idea!

The Gospel teachings of Jesus truly are the simplest and the most effective way to grow spiritually. But you cannot just read His words and then try to follow His teachings on forgiveness and love. No, for one thing, as we have said elsewhere, forgiving wrongs after they have already been committed is very difficult, so it is really only prevenient forgiveness that works well for most people. And to make your spiritual growth really effective, there is one more thing that you will need to do first of all.

It never would have occurred to me to even wonder why gratitude is so important. But after just three months of closely following Jesus’s lesson plan, it was clear that His plan had worked for our Wednesday with Jesus students astoundingly well! Omigod, for each of the beautiful ones who had been part of that first intensive course, they all to varying degrees seemed to have grown spiritually to a wonderful extent. They could feel it, too. Some of them remarked to me about it. They were becoming much more “together,” and happier people. And in only three months’ time!

We now can see that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is essential preparation for our efforts to grow spiritually. To understand the likely reason why this would be true, please remember two points:

  • Your own mind is a powerful part of one vast, eternal Mind. And at this moment, your mind is helping to create the fear- and negativity-filled reality that you think you see around you.
  • Christianity has taught you to be afraid, and to believe that you are evil and fallen. And until you can elevate your mind above all this negativity, above both the general cultural negativity that your mind helps to create, and the negativity produced by Christianity in particular, you really cannot raise your personal consciousness vibration very much at all.

Just imagine, though, how much different things might be for you if you were able to assume more power over your own mind’s vibration!

It turns out that gratitude is the crucial first aspect of the Gospel teachings of Jesus on forgiveness and love. In fact, it sets the stage for all the rest. Unless we begin with gratitude, we very much complicate the difficulties that we face in making spiritual progress in this lifetime! As I have learned from Thomas as he and I talked about this, cultivating an attitude of gratitude is like plowing the field before you fertilize it with forgiveness, so then finally you can plant seeds of love. And Jesus did talk about preparing the soil if we want to grow spiritually. Consider this: “(Jesus) spoke many things to them in parables, saying, ‘Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear’” (MT 13:3-9). It may be that Jesus said a great deal more about our need to prepare our personal soil by cultivating it with gratitude before we attempt to grow spiritually. But either what He said was less remarked by His listeners, or else it was removed by the first-millennium councils in favor of the showier virtues of forgiveness and love.

In any event, it is time for us to get rid of all the pebbles in our soil and clear those pesky thorns away! And the best way to prepare our own consciousness soil is with a gratitude practice. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Gratitude is independent of whatever you see as the current facts of your own life. It is an attitude of mind, and because it is that, you can be grateful no matter what is going on in your life.
  • Living in gratitude will help to ensure that you will spot all the good things in your life. Watching studiously for reasons to be grateful so you can record them in your daily gratitude journal tends to crowd out any ambient negative thoughts.
  • Gratitude begins the process of raising your spiritual vibration. When your focus shifts toward being grateful, you pay less attention to things that trouble you, and a lot more attention to what is good and useful.
  • Gratitude is a way for you to begin to create your own best life. Your mind strongly influences the reality that you think you see around you, so concentrating on reasons for being grateful is a powerful way for you to lighten and lift the reality around you that your mind is helping to create.

You will decide on your own best gratitude practices. But here are four that have been shown by many to work well:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Write down one new thing every day that you are grateful for; then also write down why you are grateful for it. You will probably start with each of your loved ones to make up the first few days; then move on to personal successes, your work, and your hobbies; and then to things like the weather and elements of nature. You will find that sometime in the second month, you will be down to looking for reasons to be grateful for mosquitoes and a distant dog barking in the night. Do this for at least six months if you can, without duplicating anything. Gratitude-journaling this way helps you to go deeper into what gratitude even means.
  • Broadly share your attitude of gratitude. Never again agree with any negative thing that is said in your presence! Instead, whenever someone complains, don’t disagree, but instead say at once what you are grateful for. Someone hates the president? Say, “I’m grateful that he hasn’t taken us to war,” or “I’m grateful that our taxes aren’t higher.” Someone complains about a cranky old neighbor? Just say, “I’m grateful that he keeps his lawn mowed.” It has been raining for a month? Say, “I’m so grateful that the reservoirs are filling up.” Not only will your always speaking from an attitude of gratitude reinforce your personal gratitude practice, but it also will help those with whom you share these thoughts to begin to cultivate gratitude in themselves.
  • Use gratitude to squash your irritations. Resentments will continue to rise in you until you have perfected your prevenient forgiveness practice, but your work on gratitude will help you to better deal with whatever might be bothering you. Whenever you suffer a cranky thought about anyone or anything, immediately replace it with something that you are grateful for, even if you have to stretch a bit. When your old car is dying, so now you face having to buy another car, just be grateful for the way it has served you so long and so well. When your drunken uncle nearly ruins a family party, just be grateful for how special he made you feel when you were a child. Once you have fully mastered prevenient forgiveness, you will never suffer another resentment in your life; but until then, just use your gratitude habit to help you smother your present irritations.
  • Pray for God’s gifts only in gratitude affirmations. When you say, “Dear God, please fix this,” you affirm its brokenness, which just makes whatever is broken even harder to fix! When instead your prayer affirms the gift of healing by saying “thank you God for fixing this”, that better outcome can begin right away with the assistance of the positive power of your own mind. Instead of claiming the lack, always claim the gift. And when you add “Thank you” for whatever gift or cure your affirmation prayer is claiming, you further energize God’s powers by adding to them and to your own healing powers the energy of your own gratitude. In April of 2009 I first prayed, “Thank You for giving me work to do. Thank You for showing me how to do it,” and I thereby gave the rest of my life to God. It was that simple! I still pray that mantra every day, and the endless pleasures that continue to flow from my impulsive gift are beyond my ability to express them.

My suggestion is that you apply all four of these gratitude practices to your life, and that you thereby prepare your mind for the rapid spiritual growth to come as you move forward into forgiveness and love. You might well choose not to continue to keep a gratitude journal beyond perhaps five or six months. But for you to continue the remaining three gratitude practices for the rest of your life will maintain your grounding in ever greater spiritual health. Most people take to gratitude easily, especially since if you are firm about it, you should find your mood lightening within days. In making gratitude central to your life, you are preparing the soil of your heart to yield a bountiful harvest of forgiveness and love. Beginning with gratitude makes your further spiritual growth so much easier!

10 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever!
– David (1040 BCE – 962 BCE), King of Israel and Judah, from Biblical Psalm 30.

Living in History

The road is long, with many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where, who knows where.
But I’m strong! Strong enough to carry him.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

 So on we go. His welfare is of my concern.
No burden is he to bear. We’ll get there.
For I know he would not encumber me.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

 If I’m laden at all, I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another!
– Bob Russell & Bobby Scott, from “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1969)

We tend to think of history as a pageant where you and I are just witnesses, and not as something that we might have any part in helping to create. And yet it strikes me now as I look at this world that each individual’s part in creating the history that is daily being made, and that then is recorded in our history books, is sometimes not peripheral at all; but now and then our roles in making history can become surprisingly central. And all too often, too, very many people who consider themselves to be good-hearted souls will play their innocent-feeling parts in creating what later are seen to have been some pretty gigantic historical screw-ups. Sadly, that too often can be seen in retrospect to have been true, even if very many of us might rather die than to find ourselves creating the miserably wrong kind of history!

What has me thinking about this now is reading this paragraph in an opinion-piece in my email news feed recently: Everyone likes to believe that if they had been alive in the 1930s and 1940s, they would have stood up to the Nazis, that if they had been in those circumstances, they would have acted like some combination of Winston Churchill, Oskar Schindler, Captain America, and the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. And yet, here we are in 2024, seven months after a well-armed, well-funded terrorist group/quasi-governmental entity — which has never renounced its desire to ‘annihilate the Jews’ — committed the biggest mass slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust, and U.S. policy aims to do everything possible to prevent the Israel Defense Forces from moving into Rafah and finishing off Hamas. Forget standing up to evil. Our government wants to make sure evil gets to live long enough to fight another day.”

And I know what you may be thinking as you read these words. In the heat of the moment, how can you be sure that you are figuring out and choosing the side of the angels? Aye, there’s the rub, as our exalted friend Mr. Shakespeare would so wisely say. It seems to me that either you must fully inform yourself right away, or else you must somehow remain out of the fray. You do that, or you risk becoming evil’s unfortunately gullible pawn. And so many young people this spring have sadly chosen what might well be the wrong side. There have been some big, well-funded “student uprisings” on many college campuses this spring in support of Hamas, but about half of the demonstrators in each case seem now to have been not actually enrolled students at the schools involved. And when reporters have asked the enrolled students who were demonstrating if they could explain what the issues in these demonstrations were, many of the students have been puzzled and unable to answer.

When I look back at history in my own fields of interest, I similarly see a stunning and confounding lack of knowledge in most minds about even the most basic issues. For example, as everyone knows for a certain fact, God is pure and God demands purity of us as well, so God could never forgive us for our sins unless God gets to watch Jesus die on a cross as a pure sacrifice for our sins. Right? Isn’t that the whole basis for the Christian religion? God sent us Jesus to die for our sins because otherwise we would have no way to redeem ourselves from God’s judgment. Isn’t that exactly right? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”? Well, please think again, and then open your Bible. Jesus tells us right in the Biblical Gospel of John at JN 5:22 that “Not even the Father judges anyone,” and then Jesus adds at JN 12:47 that He Himself doesn’t judge us, either. Since neither God nor Jesus ever judges us, then why did Jesus have to die for our sins?  

The plain and simple Gospel truth is that Jesus did not die for our sins. That whole Roman idea which is at the heart of the world’s most prominent religion is nonsensical and just plain wrong. It is insulting to God and humiliating to Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus told me when I visited Him in the astral plane in the summer of 2022 that the reason why He chose to die a public death on the cross and then come alive again was to demonstrate once and for all that human life is eternal. He did it as a demonstration! Jesus was having trouble convincing people that they were never going to die. The custom at that time was to lay out the dead in caves until they had rotted away, and then to save their bones in bone-boxes, called ossuaries. So the people that Jesus was teaching still had great-great-grampa’s bones preserved. Here they are, Jesus! We love you, but don’t tell us this guy is still alive, because we know better. Here he is, right here. The folks that Jesus was teaching needed a demonstration, so Jesus decided to give them one, and that was what His dramatic crucifixion-and-resurrection display was all about. If the Roman explanation had been correct, then Jesus would not have had to rise again, since it was only His sacrificial death for our sins that would have mattered.

Now let’s consider Jesus’s parable of the rich man and the camel going through the eye of a needle. Many people down through history have been deeply troubled by this story, since it seems to imply that being at all wealthy is in itself an unpardonable sin. But this story has a simple explanation.

In this case, a wealthy young man wanted to become one of Jesus’s followers. And Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.23 And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (MT 19:21-24).

Wow. Well, that is pretty shocking! I used to swallow hard whenever I read that passage. Does it mean that the whole Western world can pretty much give up on ever achieving the kingdom of God? Well, no it doesn’t. You and I read Jesus here to be callously saying that for someone to have very much money in the bank makes it impossible for him to go to heaven. And that is how people have always read it, all down through the ages. The Catholic Church has made a fortune selling indulgences using that particular passage. Rumor even has it that Frank Sinatra paid the Catholic Church ten million dollars as his own particular get-into-heaven-after-all ticket price. But it is always important to understand the context in which Jesus is teaching.

There was a very narrow gate into Jerusalem in the Jesus years that was called The Needle’s Eye. In order for pack camels to pass through The Needle’s Eye, their packs had to first be removed, or at least much reduced, which made this an ideal analogy for Jesus to use in teaching His followers that too much wealth is too much of a distraction, so it makes it harder for us to grow spiritually. All His listeners would of course have known about that gate, and they would have very well understood Jesus’s message here.

Now let’s consider another place where experts who certainly ought to know better are trying to block the truth from people for their own selfish reasons, and they are thereby causing tremendous harm. The whole vast issue of terminal lucidity and paradoxical lucidity has been well known in the medical community and in the broader scientific community for more than half a century. The fact that people who are approaching death, and whose brains are completely fried and may have been fried for decades, will sometimes spontaneously sit up and talk normally, remember everything normally, and seem to be just fine, sometimes for hours or even for days, is very well and broadly known! This impossible fact has been repeatedly documented in many deaths and in many countries. And if it were studied and well understood, just think of what amazing things all of mainstream science might learn! What is the mechanism that makes this possible? How does it happen? Why does it happen?How is it even conceivable that people whose brains have been severely damaged for so long will suddenly and magically, although very briefly, remember and communicate entirely normally again?

And most importantly of all, why has this phenomenon of terminal lucidity never been scientifically investigated? The answer to this last question is a simple one. By now, many of the gatekeepers who are so ardently enforcing the mainstream scientific dogma of materialism and keeping the terminal lucidity phenomenon from being studied scientifically actually do understand pretty well what is going on. And they know that these amazing moments of normal interaction with people whose brains are severely damaged are episodes when the mind has separated from its connection to the brain.Because, what else could these episodes conceivably be? And precisely because on a personal level, some of them do understand these phenomena pretty well, they know how groundbreaking a broader understanding could be. So the mainstream scientific gatekeepers will not allow terminal lucidity to be studied at all. They give as their pathetic excuse the fact that the phenomenon is “personal” to the grieving, and they “don’t want to interfere.”

They know that once these phenomena are studied and the reports are published, quite possibly these gatekeepers’ century-long materialist jig will at last be up. They are like frantic little Dutch boys with all their fingers in the dike, trying to keep the flood of truth from overwhelming the field of materialist science. And yes, even though the jig really ought to have been up long since, here is yet one more one-day scientific conference about to happen in New York featuring the brain and consciousness. After all, they have to keep the truth at bay for just a bit longer. At least until, please God, they can get their own children educated and their own retirements funded. Please note in particular all the laughably fuzzy wording! This is how you write when you want to suggest that progress is being made, when in fact no progress is being made at all. This is a conference designed for the ignorant. And please especially note that they insist on knowing the names of all the attendees in advance, so names can be googled and no freethinkers like yours truly and certain many others that we could name will be admitted.

My dear ones, it is important that you understand one more thing. All the information that Thomas and I discuss with you in this blog each week is broadly available to all the world now. The deliberately prolonged feigned ignorance of the truth that matter is not material by these supposed scientific experts is still kept barely suppressed only by their own force of will. People who love truth can readily find the truth in the year 2024, and can readily understand it and can share it with you, even when we have no formal education in any of these fields. Not in theology, physics, neurology, history, or government. We who share these truths with you are just vastly and insatiably curious! But truth is truth, and no amount of trying to hide the truth from the wider world on the part of people who have built their sorry little careers on pretending that the truth is otherwise is going to change what is objectively true. Just wait and watch, my precious friends. As the clock of earth’s history ticks quietly on, God’s truths will always eventually be found to be right.

It’s a long, long road, from which there is no return.
While we’re on the way to there, why not share?
And the load doesn’t weigh me down at all!
– Bob Russell & Bobby Scott, from “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1969)


To dream the impossible dream. To fight the unbeatable foe.
To bear with unbearable sorrow. To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the un-rightable wrong. To love, pure and chaste from afar.
To try when your arms are too weary to reach the unreachable star.

This is my quest! To follow that star!
No matter how hopeless. No matter how far.
To fight for the right without question or pause.

To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause!
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest.
– Mitch Leigh (1928-2014) & Joe Darion (1917-2001), from “Man of La Mancha” (1965)

The fundamental fact of each human life is that we spend our lives chasing happiness. Every day, and each in our own way, all of us are chasing that good-feeling, heart-lifting and for most people that all-too-elusive ecstatic sense of joy. We all want to be happy! So. why are so many people so often miserable? Or if not actually miserable, then why is it that so often people just go through their days in a kind of fog of humdrum blah-ness? When you stop and think about that question, you will find that it begins to weigh on you. Because, absolutely right, that magical feeling of true and deep-down happiness is the universal human drug of choice. No matter who you are, and no matter what may be going on in your life, you want to be happy all the time, and you want everyone you love to be happy, too. 

After food, happiness is our deepest human need. In fact, happiness is such a basic human craving that the right to pursue it is granted to American citizens in our founding documents. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he began it by writing: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Amen to that!

The search for happiness is why so many people chase money with such intensity. Being wealthy looks to many of us to be a shortcut to feeling happy at least most of the time. That is also why people might chase the physical pleasures, like recreational drugs and overeating, and sexual pleasure in all its forms. People chase these distractions as ends in themselves, although we know that they can be highly self-destructive behaviors, and actually they are likely to make us less happy later. But at least for right this minute, they can give us what feels like a surge of real happiness. Stop and think about it, though. Has any druggy obese sex fiend ever said in the end that it all was worth it? And given that everyone wants to be happy, how many consistently truly happy people have you ever known in your life?

I learned in college that we each have our own individual happiness set-point. Some people are just naturally happier than others. And also, some people are what we might call natural depressives, who have to work much harder than others have to work at being happy. My mother was one of the luckiest ones. She had scarcely an unhappy moment in a life that was really not especially blessed, and she was always semi-smiling. As her daughter, I grew up with more or less her same attitude, because what was there ever to be unhappy about? I went to Smith College, which is an all-female school, and our closest male college down the road was Yale. On weekends, there were often mixers.

It was first then that I was made to realize how irritating always-happy people can be. As some of the girls got to know some of the boys on repeated weekends, I recall that there was one especially sour Yalie who found my very existence to be an annoyance. I still remember that guy, to this day. Soon, whenever he saw me he would mutter loudly before he turned away, “There she is again, the happiest girl in the happiest of all possible worlds.” And I would feel indignant and highly insulted! All I could huffily think was, So what’s wrong with being happy? I realize now of course that for people who are living unhappy lives to see consistent happiness in others feels to them like a direct affront. And a Yalie from a wealthy family was probably facing complex pressures that a middle-class Smithie on a scholarship could not image. I wish I could tell that boy today that I would be more sympathetic to him now.

Because after having spent forty years as an attorney for more than five hundred owners of closely-held businesses in the course of an enjoyable career, I can entirely disabuse us all of one theory. Emphatically, wealth does not buy happiness. Of all the business owners that I ever have worked with, I would say that ninety-five percent of them have been multi-millionaires. And all of them have been wonderful people, so good and kindly that to this day there are some that I still love as if they were members of my own family. But yet, I would say that none of them have been especially happy, really, in part because they were such good people. On the contrary, increased wealth brings with it added complexity, more responsibility for relatives and others, and the worries of added investment concerns. For most or all of them, their wealth has contributed to a burden of cares that the average middle-class person is fortunate to be able to avoid. And then comes the eventual process of retirement. What I have found to my horror is that very wealthy people who own and run businesses often have a lot of trouble letting go. And if their retirement was handled too precipitously, some of my clients who simply have up and sold their businesses so they suddenly were able to literally roll in greenbacks tended to die within a few years’ time. Eventually, I learned to custom-design for each business owner a gradual five- or even a ten-year transition plan through a semi-retirement phase that had as its centerpiece something new and useful that they personally were eager to do!

Okay, so if money can’t buy happiness, and if the short-term highs of drugs and food and recreational sex turn out to be unsatisfactory happiness lures as well, then where does the key to real happiness lie? I actually do suspect, based on having watched my mother’s life, my own life, and the lives of some others, that in part, a tendency toward happiness really is genetic. Both of my parents were Danish, so that is my genetic heritage as well. And, what do you know, for the umpteenth time, Denmark turns out yet again this year to be either the happiest or the second-happiest country on earth. Since Scandinavian countries always top the list, and since those countries are cold and dreary for much of the year and they really don’t have much to recommend them, and since after seventy-odd years of life I frankly cannot tell you what being depressed even would feel like, I have come to think that the notion of genetics as a contributing factor to happiness has some merit.

But still, there is a lot more to happiness than genetics. So, how then can we best pursue happiness? As always, Jesus has the best suggestion, but first let’s hear what some other notables have to say. I consider these quotations to be the deepest wisdom:

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” – Thomas A. Edison   

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” ― Mother Teresa

“What makes you happiest is spending your life for a cause that is greater than yourself.” – I don’t know who said that, but for years I had it taped to the wall above my desk, together with Einstein’s “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

I think you may begin to get the drift. In fact, nothing that comes from outside of you ever can make you happy, and if you become dependent on anything from outside of you – or even on any person outside of you – that will only tend to make your life miserable. And I say this as someone who has been joyously married for five decades. Nothing that you can acquire, and no amount of worldly praise, and in fact nothing that comes from the world at all ever can make you happy in anything more than a brief and transitory way. The only possible source of real and deep happiness for any of us is internal. Happiness always comes from within us.

Happiness must be who you are. And knowing that is a great relief, is it not? Because it means that you and I can stop right now looking outside ourselves for happiness! And instead, we know that the series of quotations given above can indeed be taken as the beginning of wisdom. We begin with ourselves, and then we turn to Jesus. And Jesus says, “My food is to do the will of the One who sent Me, and to finish His work” (JN 4:34). To you and me He says, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (LK 17:20-21).

If our only source of real happiness is within us, then wow, that is wonderful to hear! And now you know just what to do. You simply open the whole top of your head and nicely tidy up your living room, and then you invite God and your beloved Wayshower and Best Friend to come right in and make themselves at home and offer them glorious cups of ambrosia so they can spend some quality time with you. There is a lot that the three of you have to talk about, now that you have come to realize that making your life simple and filling it with purpose is going to make you very happy indeed!

Oh my goodness, Jesus can sound radical when He calls people to come and follow Him. He wants us not to have any earthly distractions at all in our lives, but to give everything that we own to the poor, and to rely on God to supply all our needs! For example, when a rich young man wanted to become Jesus’s disciple, Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (MT 19:21-24). And when Jesus first called the Twelve together, and He gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases, and He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing, He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a carrying bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece” (LK 9:1-3).

Jesus calls upon us now to learn to rely only on Him. That is the great lesson of human life, is it not? We brought nothing material into this life, and it is certain that we will take nothing material out of it. So clinging to things will never make you happy. There always is something more that you can buy. There never is a top to that ladder of possessions! But when personally doing for other people is your only goal, then each individual interaction makes you very happy indeed. Your return on investment is phenomenal!

“We spend the first half of our life accumulating stuff, and the second half getting rid of it.” A much older friend made that remark to me long ago, and more and more now I see the truth of what he said. Once you realize that the only happiness is within you, you likely will begin to see so much of what you own as just obstacles to your own happiness, as I have come to see all material possessions as obstacles to mine. And as this sweet Ted talk suggests, our reliable friend Gratitude plays such an important part in helping us to find the best aspects of happiness within us. As we stop looking for happiness anywhere else but within ourselves, and as we ask Jesus for His help in finding our own best and truest happiness, we find it easier, and we find it so freeing to give to those who need them our superfluous material possessions. And the more we give things away, the more we gradually come to see that actually, most of what we own seems superfluous. And the more we give away, the lighter and freer we feel as we enter this joyous spiritual phase of our earthly lives!

And the world will be better for this:
that one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
to reach the unreachable stars!
– Mitch Leigh (1928-2014) & Joe Darion (1917-2001), from “Man of La Mancha” (1965)


Slouching Toward Bethlehem

Raindrops are falling on my head.
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed,
Nothing seems to fit.
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling.

… So I just did me some talking to the sun,
And I told him I didn’t like the way he got things done.
Sleeping on the job!
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling.

… But there’s one thing I know.
The blues they send to meet me won’t defeat me,
it won’t be long till happiness steps up to greet me!
Burt F. Bacharach (1928-2023), from “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” (1969)

I still can remember the banner year of 1970 as if it were yesterday. I was right out of college, living in Boston, and working for a big life insurance company. My job was to program in Cobol an IBM 360 computer that had just a tiny fraction of the power of my modern cellphone, even though that nearly useless early computer took up one entire floor of a downtown office building. There was a war still going on in Vietnam that year, but it never had really hit home for me because the love of my life had not yet been drafted. And besides, what was the point of worrying about a war that was going on half a world away, when here in America we were just becoming aware of a vastly different kind of war that was going to make it impossible for any of us ever to have much of a future? In the spring of 1970, I was something brand-new for my staid old Boston life insurance company. I was then their leading ecological activist. I wrote articles for my company’s internal publication about how to conserve everything, so together we might somehow manage to barely save this planet. And that April, which was fifty-four years ago now, I participated in Boston’s first Earth Day.  

Back then, we did not believe that there ever would be a year 2024. Heck, even a viable year 2000 was hardly conceivable for us. Edward and I wanted children, so we were going to have children but we full-well knew that their lives would be different from and very much less than what we would have wanted for them. My beloved had just finished his residency when he was drafted, and it was a close thing because by then the Vietnam War was winding down. He was one of the last Berry-plan physicians to be caught in the draft, which delayed our wedding by another year.

What brings all of this to mind this week is my having come across a folder of materials from that long-ago time as I was searching through some very old files. And I was struck as I went through that folder by how much what is going on now in this country must be damaging so many of the minds of today’s young people, just as was my own youthful mind distorted by Vietnam, and by the suddenly prominent ecological terrors which were pummeling us with our severely damaged future. Back then, we assumed that the ecological mess that was about to fall on all our heads would be an unavoidable apocalyptic tragedy.

I am going to lay it all out for you now. But first, please allow me this little impassioned digression. I am not taking a political side here. But having found myself briefly back in 1970 has put me again close to the Civil Rights era in the US. Which makes me forcefully realize how terrible it is for today’s young Americans to be raging antisemites now, as so many of them apparently are, to my amazement and to my disgust. Can you believe what you are seeing in the news? Lots of otherwise normal young Americans are suddenly antisemitic Nazi pigs and bullies! Even though soon they will horribly realize that never again in their lives will they be able to bear to be inside any room which contains an uncovered mirror. For them to be shouting some of the things that they are shouting at their Jewish classmates now is the precise equivalent of their shouting “Ni**er!” at black people. How can they not realize that?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the greatest American of the twentieth century. My high school and college years were the years when he and many less prominent heroes marched for and at last won racial justice. They won racial justice for every American, forevermore! How have all these college students so quickly and easily forgotten that fact? To see precisely the same racial hatred that distorted the faces of nasty racists fifty years ago now on the faces of these viciously antisemitic college students chanting ugly Hamas slogans at their Jewish classmates turns my stomach. It horrifies me. And it breaks my heart. They know not what they do!  

Okay. End of digression. What I want to talk about today, my dear ones, is prophesy, and the wisdom and balance that a little time and distance can provide. I had altogether forgotten that back in 1970, we were certain that there could be no future. Or at least, there could be no possible future in which you and I would want to rear our children. The experts had convinced us of that fact, and who were we to tell them they were wrong? I am going to give you a summary of confident predictions from some of the greatest experts of 1970, the people who truly knew their stuff, and I am going to ask you please to read these items thoughtfully. Pay special attention to the dates by which all of these calamities were certain to happen:

  • “The Great Die-Off”! “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years [by 1980].” “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in “the Great Die-Off.”
  • Worldwide Famine! Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China, the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
  • Air Pollution! In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, [1980] urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….” Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.
  • Reduced Life Expectancy! Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued, Americans’ life expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is now 76.4 years).
  • No More Oil or Minerals! Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000 if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated that humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.
  • No More Wild Animals! Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years [by 1995], somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so [by 2005], it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”
  • New Ice Age! Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an Ice Age.”

Even though we were told repeatedly back in 1970 that each of these calamities was absolutely unavoidable, not one of the disasters that haunted our nightmares in 1970 has ever happened. What changed our future so unexpectedly and so wonderfully? Well, a few big miracles rapidly came along. For one thing, considerably improved living conditions in the third world during the seventies and eighties reduced birth rates suddenly and dramatically worldwide. And what was then called “the green revolution” of new and better food-plant species and more advanced growing methods made for much bigger and better-quality harvests, especially of rice, as early as the mid-seventies. And that combination of sharply reduced population growth and much better and more abundant food harvests together averted the worldwide famine conditions that had been so confidently expected. A move away from dictatorships and toward more economic freedoms in some countries helped as well, as did new discoveries of oil and basic minerals that had then been thought to be in very short supply. In the early eighties, Ronald Reagan cut US income taxes substantially, and he thereby began, and Bill Clinton then fostered, what became a twenty-five-year economic boom in America that enabled this nation to spread some of its wealth to the poorer parts of the world. A very happy turn toward global warming kept creeping glaciers from taking over the northern hemisphere, and rain forest conservation efforts, and efforts to reduce air pollution worldwide each also played their respective parts. My goodness, when I was a young child, I can recall that nearly every city in this country could be spotted from a distance because it had a mushroom cloud of smog above it! You know, come to think of it, perhaps we have 1970’s Earth Day clarion calls to thank, at least in part, for many of these miracles after all.

I do think, though, that our having lived through all those strident 1970 alarms has made many of us who remember that year reluctant to worry very much whenever the next big government-touted crisis comes along. We took the coming ice age very seriously back then! But the much later advent of “global warming,” which has apparently saved us from having to open our front doors on some much later morning to find that a creeping glacier has taken over our front yards? Not so much. My generation has already been there. So we assume now that we won’t need to make extreme global-warming-inspired changes to our own lifestyles until those who fly to Davos each year on private jets for their global-warming chats take the threat of global warming seriously enough that they feel the need to start to fly commercial. And maybe we’ll just wait and begin to worry about global warming ourselves when Al Gore and Barack Obama find it necessary to put their oceanfront homes on the market.  

I asked my wonderful Thomas how we might best end this post. And he answered me with a sentence that his earlier incarnation wrote two hundred and eight years ago, almost to the day. These are wise words indeed!

“How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened!” Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams in April of 1816, in an extremely long letter on this same topic of doomsayers and prophets of certain catastrophes which then never see the light of day. As Jefferson points out in his letter to Adams that was written barely a decade before his and Adams’s deaths both occurred on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, he himself was always hopeful, always sanguine and cheerful about the future. As indeed he should have been. After all, it was Thomas Jefferson who penned these sacred words which begin the American Declaration of Independence, and these words have well stood the test of time. Thomas Jefferson wrote these words which every college student in America should be especially keeping in mind this spring: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

… Raindrops keep falling on my head,
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red.
Crying’s not for me!
‘Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining.
Because I’m free. Nothing’s worrying me!

– Burt F. Bacharach (1928-2023), from “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” (1969)

Non-material Consciousness

There is someone walking behind you.
Turn around. Look at me.
There is someone watching your footsteps.
Turn around, look at me.

There is someone who really needs you!
Here’s my heart in my hand!
Turn around, look at me!
Understand, understand!
– Jerry N. Capehart (1928-1998), from “Turn Around, Look at Me” (1968)

How is all this further materialist scientific dithering and nonsense even possible anymore in the twenty-first century? We all have learned long since that everything is consciousness. So watching so many supposedly well-educated people battling about whether or not consciousness even actually exists at all, and what it is, or whether what they are ostensibly using to think about these matters is, you know, only after all just an illusion in some way, or an artifact produced by their material brain and somehow not real is actually hysterically funny, when you think about it. Well, you are using your mind, of course. And your mind is objectively real. But as has also been true in the field of origin-of-life research, where thanks to the brilliant origin-of-life scientist James Tour, there is no traditional matter-based scientist who seems to be able to do anything right. So also, in traditional matter-based consciousness studies, the scientific old guard has been having a rough time of late.

Okay, so it does seem to be clear even to most scientists by now that what we experience as human consciousness is at least something objectively real that we can study. But, where does consciousness come from? The notion that it springs from matter in some fashion, which is what traditional scientists still insist must be true in order for consciousness to fit their materialist paradigm, in fact makes no sense. It is a pity, really, that the only nontraditional scientists working in this field are batting for the Christian team, because one need not have a religious bias to simply be investigating these basic truths. As you will shortly see.

There is an organization called which apparently is largely political. But its scientific arm does brilliant, cutting-edge work, and their videos are extraordinary! A short while back, produced five videos which are a must-watch series for anyone who is trying to better understand consciousness. They are beautifully produced and easy to understand, and the case that they make together for how consciousness actually works is really impossible to refute:

  • Matter Does Not Produce Consciousness. Here we see in wonderful detail how impossible it would be for consciousness to be merely somehow the product of the material human brain.
  • How Consciousness and Yellow are Alike. Okay, so these folks can be playful when they want to be, and especially when they find playfulness to be useful in proving their point! And it really is impossible to explain awareness in terms of matter, and to correlate any felt experience to matter. Consciousness is not in any way reducible to matter at all.
  • Why Materialists Cannot Fully Explain Consciousness. What is monumentally complex about consciousness is here shown in a series of detailed experiments that more or less literally blow your mind, ending with one where all connection is severed between the two hemispheres of the brain, each of which separately operates the opposite side of the body. And yet the victim can move in the world almost perfectly normally, including coordinating both sides of her body in order to smoothly and safely drive a car. Think about that.
  • And Then There is Quantum Biology.  This video also blows your mind. There is something about consciousness which causes an irreducible conscious agent not created by the brain to be able to act in certain specific ways. To be frank, this video actually made my eyes cross, and I wanted to watch it a second time but couldn’t because my schedule was so tight. Maybe I will find some extra time later on to fit it in.
  • How Can Someone with Partial or No Brain Have Consciousness? This video proves pretty satisfactorily that the brain acts to receive consciousness, and it certainly does not produce it!

It will take you some time to watch all five of these videos plus the video that begins this post, but I urge you strongly to watch them all. It is important that you fully grasp the fact that every working traditional scientist of today very sadly must contend with an impossible problem. They are stuck for their entire careers trying to make something happen that never can happen. They are trying to square a circle, and to make what long ago was proven to be false become now somehow magically and eternally true, and their gatekeepers have oddly made their ability to prove that something which is impossible is now not only possible, but actually is a matter of even religious certainty the very crux of their careers. They are seeking to make matter-based foolishness not only a matter of Fact, in other words, but a matter of something that is even beyond Fact. it is a matter of flat Institutional Truth. Does it make sense to you that scientists, of all people, would persist in trying to make this nonsensical belief in materialism somehow an institutional truth for the whole field of mainstream science, and try even to bind all future scientists to it for all eternity?

I have been watching this incredible scientific materialist nonsense go on for my entire life. Because in fact, it began very early in the twentieth century. I thought surely that after a century or more had passed, someone with sufficient professional gravitas to be taken seriously would say, Hey guys, there is a rather big Oopsie going on here in science, in case you haven’t noticed it, and we had better fix it before any more whole careers are entirely wasted. But alas, still No. Albert Einstein tried to point it out, but he did it too subtly. Toward the end of his life he 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.” Were you aware that Einstein ever said such a thing? Nikola Tesla, however, was not subtle about it. He 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.”

But still, all these modern academic scientists of far less intellectual heft than those two giants continue to pointlessly muddle on. Like politicians who cannot conceive of a world in which their own careers have been wasted on a failed political theory, they rigidly enforce their old long-since-discredited materialist dogma. And so modern materialist science, droopy dinosaur that it is, still stubbornly and pointlessly lumbers on for one more year.

It truly is incredible that some of the most visionary scientists of today must by default be just a few old afterlife researchers. What Craig Hogan and I and others of our ilk have learned in the course of doing our afterlife investigations is that the only thing that in fact objectively exists is what you and I experience as consciousness. And what is consciousness? The best definition of it that I have seen has come from Thomas, my venerable spirit guide, who when asked for a definition of consciousness gave me this:

“Consciousness is an infinitely creative energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the sense that your mind is alive, governed by emotion and therefore self-aware.” Thomas also says that “Consciousness is all that independently exists.” And he tells us that “Consciousness is an aspect of the Mind of God,” and it includes all human minds.

I have read that definition over and over as I studied it with Thomas! It is clear that every word of it is important. He insists to me that all of what we think we see around us is mere illusion. It seems solid to us only because we test its solidity with a hand which is also illusory. But then, in an unguarded moment even Albert Einstein once also said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Thomas tells us that at its lowest vibration, consciousness is all the ugliest emotions, like fear, anger and hatred; while at its highest vibration, Consciousness – and here we capitalize the word – is perfect Love, and it is the Godhead of our universe. Our minds are all ranged at various spots along the vibrational range of consciousness, depending upon our personal vibratory levels. And once we have learned to raise our spiritual vibrations sufficiently, we can cease to incarnate on earth ever again.

Of course, none of these are religious beliefs. They are instead certain facts that have been discerned through lengthy, careful, and objective research. We have spent our lives doing the kind of free and joyous research that all those hapless materialist sciencecritters still are not allowed to pursue. But whenever eventually mainstream scientists are at last set free, whether it happens next year or after another thousand years have passed, they all will reach precisely the same  conclusions about the universality of Consciousness that the free scientists at the Discovery Institute,, Craig Hogan, and I, among others have together reached by the banner year of 2024. Because truth always is truth, is it not?

So then, my dear ones, whenever in the distant future this whole world comes at last to know that Consciousness is the only reality, as we knew was true way back in the year 2024, please just raise a glass of something merry to us? And when you do that, only know that Craig and I will be right there with you. And, what the heck, maybe Thomas and even Jesus will be joining us as well. And we will be raising our glasses of divine ambrosia all together! And we will celebrate the fact that, at last and forevermore, this ultimate and universal truth of reality is finally and forever set free!

Oh, I’ve waited, and I’ll wait forever for you to come to me!
Look at someone who really loves you, yeah, loves you!
Turn around, look at me!
Turn around! Look at me!
Jerry N. Capehart (1928-1998), from “Turn Around, Look at Me” (1968)

Reinventing Christianity

Dear One, the world is waiting for the sunrise.
Every rose is covered with dew.
The thrush on high his sleepy mate is calling,
And my heart is calling you.

 Dear Heart, the world is waiting for the sunrise!
Every little rosebud is heavy with dew!
And while the thrush his sleepy mate is calling,
In My Heart is calling You!
– Gene Lockhart (1891-1957) & Ernest Seitz (1892-1978), from “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise” (1918)

When even some secular publications are now saying that the bodily Resurrection of Jesus is the single most important event in all of human history, then perhaps we ought to reconsider whether we really should be insisting on altogether ditching the terms “Christian” and “Christianity.” I was sure that Jesus would be better off without those terms. But, is that really true? Perhaps in trying to give up all His religious designations, we might be acting too hastily. And, yes, I wince a bit as I write these words! Just the thought of holding on to terms that have been connected to so much pain in the world over the past seventeen hundred years still gives me pause. It feels almost as if we are feeling a sudden new fondness for things like swastikas perhaps, or giant statues of the brutal god Moloch, to whom they sacrificed children. But our problem is, my beloved friends, that the historical Jesus is so deeply bound up in the Christian religion that the Romans invented hundreds of years after Jesus’s bodily death and His Resurrection. And the Romans connected their new religion so tightly to Jesus’s name, and He has been thereby caught up in the religion from its earliest beginnings. Christianity as a religion is false in its dogmas, and its beliefs are mostly fear-based and false, all created to support the malevolent powers of ancient and corrupt Roman rulers long past. But Jesus and the Godhead from which He came are indisputably genuine and true, and they are based in nothing but the greatest love from ever since their own beginnings! So, what can we do with this conundrum now?

For the longest time, it seemed that we simply could separate Jesus from the Roman religion and then let that false Christianity die. And so indeed it is dying now, and it is dying of its own dead weight. According to a September 2022 Pew study, people identifying as Christians have decreased from 90% of the U.S. population in 1972 to 64% in 2020. And in the aftermath of the COVID crisis, that number now is even lower. Those who today religiously identify as “nones” comprise roughly 30% of the U.S. population. But Christianity had made Jesus so completely its symbol from its inception that it is becoming ever-increasingly clear to us that Jesus has all along been even bigger in people’s minds than the religion itself ever could have been.

Just in the past couple of decades, as Christianity has continued to fade, Jesus has begun to do on His own schedule what always was going to be essential if He was not going to go down with the foundering Christian ship. Jesus’s plan has for a long time been to create an individual image for Himself in modern people’s minds with a couple of recent movies, and with “The Chosen” TV show, and also with the college-based revivals that have been happening at some southern schools during these recent springs. All of this has long been planned and is being orchestrated by Jesus Himself. Lately Thomas has made it clear to me that Jesus has had to create a separate personal image, and one that places Him well off the crucifix and active and seeming to be modernly relevant. He needed to give us this new Jesus for today, or Jesus as an image was going to die in people’s minds in the same way that the religion has long been dying. And Jesus’s new image has been developing right on schedule!

Of course, hearing from Thomas that Jesus has long been working on this very problem is a great relief to me. More and more now, we are regularly seeing figures of a smiling or a laughing Jesus, or a friendly-seeming guy who looks like Jesus turning up on TV, in billboard ads, or wherever. You and I are becoming used to seeing that. Thomas tells me that all of this is just what is supposed to be happening now. So I am trying very hard to let go of this awful sense of personal responsibility to take care of Jesus that I have been feeling. Yes, Jesus does not possess a material body, so He does to some extent need us to be His surrogate hands and His voice on earth. But He has something huge that you and I can only dream of having! Jesus has the ability to influence people’s minds and hearts pretty majorly, and clearly He is doing that now, speaking internally to so many people and influencing them. So, No, you and I do not have to do this work for Him without His help. 

Jesus is God. Or rather, perhaps we ought to more aptly say that Jesus is an aspect of God. His mind is infinitely powerful. Even our own vast, eternal minds are far more powerful than are these very limited earth-minds that we use while we are here on earth, these minds which are designed just for spiritual learning, and really are not useful for much else. But we really cannot begin to grasp the vast mental complexity to which our beloved Jesus has such ready access. 

I can recall two summers ago when I was visiting Jesus with Thomas almost nightly, and I was trying to understand everything that Jesus wanted us to include on His new website. Like a fool, I was pretty star-struck and completely intimidated, shyly asking Jesus questions and trying to even think of what else to ask and what to say to Him, and I realize now that was partly because whenever you talk with Jesus in person, you have to get used to the fact that His mind is always multi-tasking, so He is paying full attention to you, but He also seems to be somewhat distracted. I didn’t realize what was going on at the time, but Thomas has recently explained it to me. And it does make sense. Think about it. How many people on earth are praying to Jesus at any given moment? Omigod, how much must Jesus have to be thinking about at once? And yet, He can do that while He also carries on a conversation, and in fact even many conversations, all at the same time. Thomas tells me that when you and I are back in our vast, eternal minds, we will to a lesser extent also be able to think of several things at once while we are carrying on multiple conversations.

So it is time for you and me to stop fretting about what is going on with Jesus on earth as a matter of our own conjectures and our very deepest fears. For a very long time, and indeed for most of my life since college as I have watched what I have known ever since then would be inevitable, I have fretted about how we might save our much-beloved Jesus from going down with the Christian ship.  Because obviously Jesus has seen the danger, too, and for even much longer than you and I have seen it.

Silly, silly me. I have always reckoned without the fact that Jesus did, you know, actually rise from the dead when, very long ago, He rose from the dead! And He has been a lot smarter about this than I have been, with my limited earth-mind’s narrow and fear-based thinking. So, with my Thomas’s loving counseling, I have been of late enjoying what has felt like a long and luxurious exhale of relief. Jesus really has got this! You and I do not have to worry. When Jesus is influencing secular publications to see His death and resurrection as a crucially important secular event, and also when He even has been careful over the past two thousand years to preserve His Shroud and His burial facecloth, and even including the miraculous image on the Shroud which was created using energy equivalent to all the electricity now being produced on earth put together in a single miraculous discharge, we know that Jesus has been thinking far ahead toward this crucial moment in time. Now someone even has been influenced by Jesus’s mind to offer a million-dollar prize to the first person who can duplicate the image on the Shroud of Turin, and thereby demonstrate (if possible) how it was produced. And I wish those contestants good luck with that! As for me, after all my years of doing afterlife research, I am a resolute skeptic about everything. And I have found that, very sad to say, earthly life hands us exceedingly few genuine miracles. I have examined the Shroud studies thoroughly, however. And I now consider the Shroud of Turin to be one of the few true earthly miracles.

So, what does all of this suggest about the future of Christianity as we all move on from here? I think that what we are going to be left with as all of the shorter-term pain settles out is Jesus’s original first-century movement exclusively. I cannot see how anything of Constantine’s invented third-century Christianity can survive. The problem is that Constantine’s Christianity, like every religion that ever was invented, is a fly in amber. It is a creature only of its own time and place, which was seventeen hundred years ago. So it is irrevocably long dead now, and preserved just as it was when it was first created by human beings, but with nothing of value to offer to us today. The Pew studies cited above abundantly confirm that to be true.  

An excellent article by a former Evangelical talks about the kinds of reasons why sincere Christians are leaving the Roman Christian faith in such numbers, and he visualizes it in terms of three buckets. He claims that the reasons that lapsed Christians are giving for leaving Christianity are quite broad and varied. But they all can be fitted into one or more of these three buckets:

  • Personal Harm. This lay Christian worker and his wife had come to a place in their marriage where they felt that they needed to go their separate ways, but even an amicable divorce was never to be granted to members of a church of their denomination. So rather than love and support as they did what they felt that they had to do, their former friends in the faith offered to them only condemnation, shame and rejection.
  • Institutional Dissatisfaction. It is no wonder that so many people are leaving the churches, when narrow conformity is demanded to very old rules which too often make no actual sense, and which are unloving and harmful, in particular the exclusion of the gay and lesbian community. Here again, where there should be love and forgiveness and support, there is only rigid condemnation for those who cannot toe the strict and antiquated religious line.
  • Intellectual Congruence. Every form of modern Christianity still holds to the antiquated and preposterous notion that God demands that the faithful be perfectly forgiving, and yet God cannot forgive us for Adam’s sin, and let alone for our own sins, unless God first gets to watch God’s only Son die horribly on the cross as a perfect human sacrifice. Or, how else would you state that basic Roman Christian dogma? Some parishioners, too, are bothered by Christianity’s direct adherence to unscientific principles of creationism and such, which make the religion seem to be completely out of touch with modern reality.

 I think this fellow pretty much nails what is causing Roman Christianity’s decline. The religion is frozen and dead in the ancient past rather than living and spiritually growing, and there is no practical cure for its problems. What we are witnessing is a necessary and natural death by reason of old age. But something much better can follow it.

When I was meeting with Jesus two summers ago, He told me that He had come to earth to free humankind from religions altogether. He told me then that every religion is a human invention, an old way for people to seek to relate to the eternal God, which is why religions and their human-made traditions do nothing more than to come between us and God. Without the human-made restrictions of religions in the way, people will be free to develop a direct and person spiritual relationship with God, Who is Spirit. So that is to be the future Way of Jesus, which in the end will be the only Christianity that will still be in existence. It is the Christianity that Thomas expresses in The Fun of Loving Jesus – Embracing the Christianity That Jesus Taught. So I do now, yes, understand that there will indeed be a Christianity going forward. But it will not be the Romans’ Christianity. It will be the Christianity that Jesus taught.

 Dear Heart, the world is waiting for the sunrise!
Every little rosebud is heavy with dew.
And while the thrush his sleepy mate is calling,
In My Heart is calling You!
Gene Lockhart (1891-1957) & Ernest Seitz (1892-1978), from “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise” (1918)

Growing Spiritually

Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth,
The peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

 Let peace begin with me.
Let this be the moment, now.
With ev’ry step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow!

– Jill Jackson Miller (1913-1995), from “Let There be Peace on Earth” (1955)

Thirteen years ago, Thomas put it into my mind that I should begin to try to grow spiritually. After all, there I was telling everyone else that using the teaching of Jesus to grow spiritually can work very well. I had just written and published The Fun of Dying, and I was speaking about the book in bookstores and in Unity churches. Then someone in a bookstore in California asked me during a question period following one of those speeches whether the teachings of Jesus actually can be used to help us to grow spiritually. And I said that, yes, of course they can, and very well indeed! But then as I thought about it afterward, I realized that this was all still just a theory, for heaven’s sake. I knew how it was supposed to work. But it was high time that I tried it all out on myself.

 What I didn’t understand at the time, because Thomas had not yet come out to me in person, was that this whole spiritual growth project was actually all my Thomas’s idea. I did not yet even know back then how reality is constructed. I was only just beginning to become aware of all of that. I had only recently read Craig Hogan’s wonderful, seminal book, Your Eternal Self, but I was still in what I think of now as my own spiritual infancy. Nevertheless, I had been so taken with Craig’s book that I had invited him to Austin to speak in my home Unity church. That was when I first actually met him! And when you have read the Bible repeatedly, dozens of times and for most of your life, you develop the conviction that Jesus really ought to be taken seriously. So in the summer of 2011, and with the prodding of the spirit guide that I had not yet met, I decided that I would put the teachings of Jesus into practice. And with Thomas’s behind-the-scenes prompting as to methods and protocols, I developed my first serious gratitude-forgiveness-and-love program. And I was my own first test-subject.

To give you a bit of background, I was in fact a pretty good candidate to be our guinea pig for this spiritual-growth developmental project. For my entire life before 2011, you would not have liked me very much. I was well-meaning, but I was a spoiled prima donna with a hair-trigger temper. You probably know the type. And I was a lethally combative driver! If you ever cut me off in traffic, you had an immediate war on your hands. The worst thing I can now recall doing, and I blush to think of it even four decades later, was when someone cut right in front of me on a highway at speed, and he nearly killed us both just because he needed to make his exit. He made me so angry that I followed him off, and I rode his bumper until, to get rid of me, he had to pull into a police station parking lot that he had already driven past once. That was incredibly stupid of me! If he had been a different sort of man, he could already have pulled a gun and killed me on the spot. But you can see that I really needed to do this spiritual work, and pretty badly! So then for five weeks or so in the summer of 2011, I worked very hard at growing spiritually, using just the Gospel teachings of Jesus and my guide’s lesson-plan.

Then one day later that summer, I had a lunch date with a unity minister, and while I was driving there, someone cut me off at speed so he could make his exit. And… nothing. This time, it didn’t bother me at all. As I waited for my lunch date in our restaurant, I thought about what just had happened to me, and with considerable increasing wonder. All I could think was that it was as if for my whole previous life, I had had levers on the outside of me that people could easily fiddle with, and that would make me crazy. And now suddenly, all those levers had been disconnected on the inside, somehow. People still could fiddle with them, and I was aware of their doing that. But I was in control now. I didn’t care. It was amazing! I had not been paying attention, but I think in retrospect that it had taken only at most maybe six weeks of my spiritual work with Jesus to make this amazing change in me. And that was thirteen years ago. The change has been permanent and complete. And so fast! I cannot recall in the past thirteen years actually ever once being angry, fearful, or  anything but peaceful and happy. I have never once since the spring of 2011 been the selfish, unspiritual and out of control prima donna that I was for my whole previous life before 2011. And I didn’t like that person, either.   

Of course, I should have thought about teaching this amazing and magical spiritual process to others much sooner than this. But I didn’t realize that it would be permanent! And it just seems so natural to me now. But of course, it really is natural. It is who you and I were meant to be, who we are, and what our whole lives on earth are designed to be about. Our problem is that the world around us now is in every way so abnormal! So in order for us to adopt the kind of spiritual life that will empower us to make this our last necessary earth-lifetime, we do have to adopt a lifestyle that is altogether wrenchingly different from the kind of life that most of us are in fact now living. I fell into this more spiritual way of living just naturally, by the fall of 2011. Doing this felt right. It felt necessary. And frankly, I realize as I look back now that all of it was happening by Thomas’s careful guidance. Even before he actually came out to me in February of 2015, he had altogether taken over my life.

So, better late than not at all. When I came across a course last fall in how to design and then deliver an online course, I enrolled eagerly, and then from January of 2024 through the end of last week, what we have been calling “Wednesday with Jesus” has been meeting on the past twelve Wednesday evenings.Thirty beautiful people living all over the world have been gathering around a very large Zoom table to learn from Jesus how to lift their personal vibrations enough to make this their last necessary earth-lifetime.

And, oh my god, I cannot tell you how amazingly well this has worked in just twelve weeks! The people participating in Wednesday with Jesus are all subscribers to my blog post who simply responded by email when I said in a blog post shortly before Christmas, “My dear ones, who would like to try taking a course on making this your last necessary earth-lifetime?” They are dear and wonderful friends already, which has probably tainted the sample. But, nevertheless.

All of this felt as if it was landing on us from out of nowhere, to be frank. I still didn’t really know all that much about how to deliver a course! But Thomas did. When I set out rather stumblingly to design twelve weeks of classes, he drew out those twelve classes for us in one smooth shot. I looked at it and thought, wow, did I do that? Well, no, I quickly realized. He did. And he has been having a lot of fun with this. My Thomas seldom plays at all, so to see my grave friend kicking up his heels with this, even just a little bit, makes me happy.  

Thomas quickly let me know that he had my back with this course, so I could relax. All of it was coming from him as Jesus’s servant. And he was really having fun with it! He likes the people taking the course, and he channeled the whole twelve-step lesson plan to me as quickly as my fingers could fly, and then every Monday for the whole twelve weeks of Wednesdays to follow, he let me know how he wanted me to flesh out every one of those Wednesday lessons with Jesus’s Gospel words, and with spoken lessons. No stress on me, no worries at all, and Thomas’s help arrived so dependably. And as I began to see the striking spiritual improvements almost weekly in so many of our class members’ lives, I relaxed.   

To begin our course, Thomas first talked about what spiritual growth actually is, and how our limited earth-minds are designed for rapid spiritual learning. My goodness, I never would have thought of doing that! But he thought of it all. And it was Thomas who insisted that we must begin each lesson with a prayer to invoke Jesus, which then of course made Jesus smile, standing there to my right since Thomas is always to my left, and sometimes Jesus even laughed a little at my formal stuffiness. Of course, I already knew that Jesus would be right here with us! He tells us that whenever a few of us are gathered in His name, He is with them. So then I would blush and get a little silly, and everyone would relax. I began to get private emails from students between weekly classes as they shared their breakthroughs with me, and I was thrilled for them. Omigosh, this was working for them, just as almost a decade and a half ago it had worked so well for me!

But three months and twelve meetings is not much time in which to solidify a whole new approach to life. Many of those participating in this class began to ask for a “Wednesday with Jesus Level #2”, and now that is about to begin. So far, about two-thirds of the members of the first-level class are choosing to continue to the second level together. They have already learned how to begin to control their own minds to such a remarkable degree!   

Why is this so important? It is important not only because we each really do have the power to make this our last necessary earth-lifetime, and we can do it pretty easily. But also because we now understand that each of us is part of the one great Consciousness which is the only reality. And our personal power to influence that reality for good or for ill is extraordinary:

  • Each one of us who definitively begins the process of raising our own spiritual vibration begins a benign process that can be permanent for us. Think of it as a kind of ratcheting upward. If we never then allow ourself to fall back into any of our old habits, which is what our second phase of Wednesday with Jesus will primarily be about, this simple reinforcement of our spiritual spiral so it continues ever upward becomes permanent. For me, about eighteen months after I began my own process, I felt altogether transformed. It was a miracle. And when I met Thomas in 2015, I asked him if I had elevated myself enough to make this my last necessary earth-lifetime (which would mean that I had reached the upper fifth level). He told me that, yes indeed I had. But I already knew by then that was probably true.
  • Not only can we easily elevate ourselves to the point where we will never need to incarnate again, but since we are all part of the same Consciousness, we also can minutely raise the consciousness of every other person on earth! Do you want to bring permanent peace to the Middle East, to the Ukraine, and to every other place on earth? Then first bring peace to yourself! Each person who raises his or her personal vibration using the spiritual teachings of Jesus as this first class has just done so successfully in only three months’ time, and who then maintains his or her spiritual growth, can not only make this your last necessary earth-lifetime. You also can minutely raise the spiritual vibration of everyone else on earth. And if enough of us do this, we in fact do have the power to raise the spiritual vibrations of all of humankind.

Now peace on earth really can begin with you! “Thursday with Jesus” first-level classes are planned to begin early in May, and to run for one hour per week for twelve weeks. If that timing is inconvenient for you, the lessons will be recorded, and there will be make-up times and individual counseling. When I tell you that you can easily make this your last necessary earth-lifetime, I mean that. It doesn’t take years of hard work and slogging. It takes only gratitude, forgiveness and love, and it takes just weeks to begin it. And when I tell you that this is the only way that you and I ever can turn this world around, in fact, this is the only way that you and I can play that kind of role in history. But isn’t it wonderful that there is something that you and I really can begin to do that matters? If you want to learn more, please send me an email at  

My beloved friends, now is when it begins.  

Let peace begin with me.
Let this be the moment, now.
With ev’ry step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow!

To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally!
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me!

– Jill Jackson Miller (1913-1995), from “Let There be Peace on Earth” (1955)

Jesus Lives!

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

– John Newton (1725-1807), from “Amazing Grace” (1772)

We have witnessed a genuine miracle. And the fact that the miracle happened two thousand years ago and was planned as a personal gift to humankind, and we can see now how it was accomplished, we can peek behind the curtain and watch it as it happened makes that miracle even more wonderful. It was, in fact, a whole set of miracles, the last of which is the fact that Jesus has managed to preserve for us over the past two thousand years sufficient evidence of His life, death, and resurrection that even all these many years later we still can know with certainty that it actually did happen. The fact that we have the Shroud of Turin, and we now can document its miraculous nature tells us monumentally wondrous things about the extraordinary nature of Jesus as well.

Two years ago, I also experienced my own miracle. My spirit guide, Thomas, took me to meet with Jesus in the astral plane because we were about to work together on creating a website for Him (although I didn’t know anything about this at the time). Jesus told me during that first visit that He wants the world to have His genuine backstory now, to replace all the religious myth-making. And He especially wants us to know that six thousand years ago, He was just a man in a human body who was working to perfect Himself spiritually, just as you and I are working, each toward our own spiritual perfection. Jesus told me that once He had perfected Himself and achieved the level of the Godhead, He was so troubled to see how difficult the struggle for perfection still remains for most people living on earth, especially since they still receive no guidance at all about why they are born on earth or how they might best achieve spiritual growth. Even now, most people continue to pointlessly drudge through lifetime after lifetime on earth, while making little or no spiritual progress.

So the entity who was later to be born as Jesus persuaded the Powers to allow Him to be born again on earth, directly from out of the Godhead. This sort of Godhead-level birth of a perfected being had never previously been attempted. And Jesus did not do it just so He could die for our sins. That bogus sin-offering concept was an old Hebrew religious idea, and entirely unnecessary now, since as Jesus Himself quite pointedly tells us, God never judges anyone (see JN 5:20-23). And for the record, Jesus doesn’t judge us either, as He tells us at JN 12:45-47. Jesus was born to teach us that we undertake lifetimes on earth in order to raise our own spiritual vibrations, and also to raise the spiritual vibrations of all of humankind, which He calls bringing the kingdom of God on earth (see e.g. LK 8:1, 9:2, 9:11). And Jesus also was born to teach us how to grow spiritually so rapidly that we can end the cycle of repeated rebirths and make this our last necessary earth-lifetime. So that was the reason for Jesus’s three years of teaching! His teachings are not just the make-nice platitudes that most people have long considered them to be. Instead, they are a beautiful spiritual lesson-plan so efficient that they can transform your life within months.  

The whole idea that Jesus had to die to redeem us from God’s judgment for our sins, which modern Christians call “penal substitutionary atonement,” is not based in anything that Jesus said. Indeed, that Christian religious idea directly contradicts the truths that Jesus shares with us in the Gospels. And it is frankly altogether repellent. Try asking yourself which of your own beloved children you would most enjoy watching being horribly murdered so you can forgive the rest of your children for messing up your living room. God insists that you and I must forgive every wrong ever done to us, when at the same time we are told by our religion that the God that we worship is so unforgiving? Jesus tells us to forgive “not up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven times” (MT 18:22). So apparently God insists that you and I must forgive, while at the same time God demands that we participate in the sacrifice of His own Son to Himself, or else God refuses to forgive us? This bogus idea that God is unable to forgive unless God first gets to watch His Son being murdered is such a terrible insult to the genuine God, and a complete humiliation of Jesus!

But if Jesus didn’t have to die as a sin-sacrifice, then why did He go to the cross on Good Friday? And was He still somehow doing it for us? Jesus’s reason for dying on the cross is something else that He explained to me on that amazing night when I first met Him in the astral plane two years ago. He told me that His death on the cross had not been any part of His original life-plan, but His plan instead had been that He would simply walk away from His companions when His teaching work on earth was done, and He would be subsumed back into the highest levels of reality. But the one thing that was severely vexing Him while He was on earth was that, try as He might, He never could convince most people that their lives were going to be eternal. After all, they knew better! The custom of the day was to lay dead bodies out in caves for several years to decay away, and then when there was nothing left of them but bones, their mourners would collect those bones into bone-boxes, called ossuaries, and then store the filled ossuaries marked with people’s names and re-use the caves. Everyone knew that people died and decayed away! No matter what Jesus said, He could not convince them otherwise.

So Jesus decided to give every one of us, both those alive back then and all the rest of us until the end of time, a demonstration that human life really is eternal. He told me on that night two years ago that He wasn’t even sure that He would be able to revive and re-use His body after it was crucified, but He had been experimenting with reviving small dead animals with some success. He could bring dead animals alive again after they had died, although not for long. Still, He was determined to try this. He said that He was protected during His lifetime as Jesus by invisible archangels, so He had to order His archangel guards to stand down in order for Him to even be arrested. (I found these little details so fascinating!) He told me that He never managed to get the Godhead’s agreement to this change in His life plan because it seemed to be a humiliation of an Emissary from  God, and the thought of that was insupportable. But once it was clear that Jesus was determined to do it anyway, with or without God’s permission, He did at least receive God’s promise that if He went through with it, He would die on the cross well before sunset on Friday. He would therefore (hopefully) die with unbroken and still usable legs, since it was routine for the Roman guards to go around and break the legs of people on crosses who were still alive when the sun was setting as the Saturday Sabbath arrived at sundown. Without usable legs, they would no longer be able to push up and breathe, and they would soon die of asphyxiation.  

Who really is Jesus? When my Thomas first came out to me in 2015, the first thing I asked him was whether Jesus really came to us as the Son of God, or whether He was only a wise prophet. Thomas told me that Jesus is much more even than just the Son of God. He said that Jesus entered that lifetime from the highest aspect of the Godhead. So since the evidence suggests, and both Thomas and our regular Seek Reality guest Mikey Morgan together have confirmed to us, that the God of this reality is a Collective of Perfected Beings, they are telling us that God literally walked the earth in the Person of the historical Jesus. Indeed, Jesus Himself suggests His own divinity in the Gospels, although those who heard Him speak and then passed His words down orally for a couple of generations before those words were written down may not have fully understood what He was saying. He would say things like, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (JN 14:9-10). Jesus lived on earth in a fairly primitive time and place. It is important that we always keep that in mind! The fact that so few of Jesus’s listeners were able to grasp the reality that God had incarnated on earth in the Person of Jesus should not much surprise us.

I began researching death and the afterlife in the nineteen-seventies in an effort to understand my childhood experiences of light. It took me more than a decade to really understand that many hundreds of perfectly consistent communications from people that we used to think were dead, received on two continents over nearly a century, did make it pretty much statistically impossible for the afterlife that they all talked about so consistently not to be real. And although I was very familiar with the Gospels, and in the end quite frustrated about the fact that Christians mostly ignored Jesus’s teachings, it was only late in the nineties that I realized that the dead were actually confirming what Jesus had said when He was on earth, and in detail. That was when I was at last able to abandon the Christian religion altogether, and to give my whole heart to Jesus alone. 

But being confident that Jesus is a genuine historical figure, and understanding that He came to us as God on earth, is still a far cry from believing that His actual burial shroud might still exist. And for a long time, I doubted the claim that the burial shroud and sudarium (face-covering) of Jesus are with us to this day. But on these matters, I am a skeptic no longer. As was true of all that afterlife evidence, and the evidence confirming the Lord’s words in the Gospels that I have researched so diligently, the modern evidence that these relics are genuine is abundant, and it is irrefutable. Here is what has persuaded me:

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

Jesus’s reanimated body was not made fully alive again. Two days after it had died on the cross, its blood had coagulated and its flesh was decaying, and those who knew Jesus did not readily recognize Him wearing that rotting body. Jesus Himself considered His body to be so fragile now that He warned Mary Magdalene not to touch it (see JN 20:16). But Jesus could fully re-inhabit and re-animate the body to the extent that it could again walk and talk, and He could use it to demonstrate His own survival; then after perhaps a day or two, He apparently cast it away, and He used an astral body from then on until He ascended, some forty days later. That astral body was why He could so easily appear inside the enclosed and fortified room where His disciples had hidden themselves (see JN 20:19-20). And having created mimic wounds in His astral body, He invited doubting Thomas to probe those wounds and satisfy himself that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead!

So, there you have the genuine miracle of our eternally risen Jesus. Two thousand years ago God came to earth as a human being, and He lived among us for thirty-three years. Then He was tortured, crucified, murdered, wrapped in a Shroud which still exists to this day, and laid in a tomb. Two days after that He re-animated His dead body with an extraordinary burst of energy from it that was at least equivalent to all the electricity now being produced on the earth generated at once. He then showed Himself to His disciples to prove to them, and to us, that human life is indeed eternal and none of us will ever die.

One of the criminals who were hanged there was saying,
“ Save Yourself and us!” The other was saying,
“Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”
And He said to him,
“Truly I say to you,
today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

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


Jesus’s Lost Years

Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on through the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
And lead me home.

– Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), from “Take My Hand Precious Lord” (1937)

One question about which there is much confusion is how Jesus might have spent what are called His “lost years.” After He was briefly left behind at the Temple in Jerusalem by His parents at the age of twelve, so they had to go back and fetch Him (see LK 43-50), there is nothing in the Biblical Gospels about what Jesus was doing with His life until much later, when He was baptized by John the Baptist at the age of thirty and He then began His public life. So, what was Jesus doing during those eighteen early years of his life? 

This has always been a puzzle. The notion that He might simply have been growing up, living as a carpenter during His teens and twenties, caring for His mother and His younger siblings, assisting His carpenter father, enjoying His friends and living His life, is impossible for most people to contemplate. So the theory has grown that He must have been traveling to the Far East and learning the wisdom of the ancient sages of that part of the world. Yes! That’s the ticket! A book is currently being written comparing Jesus’s teachings with the wisdom of the Tao Te Chingwhich dates to the late fourth century BCE. Some people firmly believe that Jesus journeyed to India, to Tibet, and perhaps even to China, and He studied under various sages along the way, so His teachings surely incorporate wisdom that He learned on those distant travels.

Let’s pause and consider this idea for a moment. Jesus spoke Aramaic. There is no Gospel evidence that He was fluent in other languages. Of course, He also could read the ancient Hebrew scrolls, and there is evidence that He had a good Hebrew religious education, but that is the whole extent of His literacy. So, how did Jesus communicate with people in India and Tibet and even perhaps in China, and with those who spoke all the many different languages that He would have encountered in the course of His long journey to the east, and then His similar journey back toward home? It Is more than two thousand, eight hundred miles from Israel to India. And if Jesus went as far as China, that would have been almost four thousand miles, and there are some pretty big mountains in the way. And how did he go? By camel? On foot? Jesus was poor. How did He purchase and transport provisions? Because it is hard to imagine what He might have managed to find to consistently eat on a journey like that, and never mind how He could have afforded to transport Himself.

And did He go all that way alone? I find that idea to be inconceivable. Jesus was always surrounded by companions, and especially as He went through the wild tribal lands of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, a man alone who didn’t speak the local language would have been slaughtered without a thought. And my dear ones, there is frankly no other way to get to India and China from Israel than through those hostile areas. All I can think is that Jesus has to have made such a trip as part of a trade caravan, if indeed He made it at all. But that would have cost quite a lot of money. Why He did it, without knowing what He might have encountered along the way, and what He could have hoped to find at journey’s end that would have been worthy of such a tremendous effort, and then how He might have calculated His odds of ever making it back home again, and also why He later never mentioned having undertaken such a long journey, are all questions which seem to demand some answers that are never even whispered about in the Gospels.

Now, I know what you are thinking. This is Jesus we are talking about here! He could probably speak every language on earth, and he could teleport himself right over the Himalayas. You see no problems for our Jesus at all. But, yes, this is Jesus we are talking about. And there is no Biblical evidence whatsoever that He ever spoke any other language, or used any magical powers at all in His lifetime as Jesus. No smiting enemies dead with a touch. No teleportation, either. In fact, whenever Jesus healed anyone, He always made a point of using the faith of the person being healed to effect the healing (see, e.g. MT 9:28; LK 8:50). There were no companions around Him in the Gospels who ever gave any evidence at all that they had traveled with him to exotic climes, and no turbaned or otherwise exotic fellows who seemed to have returned with him as trophies of His visits to far distant places.

There is no Gospel evidence at all that Jesus ever traveled beyond the bounds of what is now modern Israel. None whatsoever. Everything that Jesus taught was knowledge that He brought to earth from the Father. We have no reason to believe otherwise.

And in fact, there is a much better explanation for the so-called “lost years” of Jesus. While there is no evidence for the travels-to-the-east theory, and there is considerable evidence against it, this new theory so neatly fits so many details of the life of Jesus that until now were oddly inexplicable, from the fact that apparently He didn’t marry in His teens, as every other good Jewish boy would have done, to the oddity that His ministry didn’t begin until He reached the ancient age of thirty, that frankly I don’t know why it wasn’t noticed much sooner. I have to think that scholarly squeamishness about the word “slave” was the main reason why no one has raised this possibility until now.

I first learned of this alternative explanation during the summer before last. I was working on researching materials for Jesus’s website at the time, and meeting with Jesus in the astral plane on many nights to discuss what I was finding, So I brought this question up to Him during one of the almost nightly meetings that I was having with Him. “Is it possible that You were born into slavery?” I asked Him. And He just smiled His enigmatic half-smile. He wouldn’t give me a yes-or-no answer, but that is just the way He is. Jesus really won’t answer personal questions. So I researched the idea further, and the more I researched it, the more perfectly all the details seemed to fit.

I first blogged about this possibility last fall. And rather than asking you to follow a link, I will give you the key points here again. Let’s look together at the facts: 

  • Slavery was common in that time and place. But slavery in the area where Jesus lived two thousand years ago was a milder condition than is our image of chattel slavery in the pre-Civil-War American South. For most of those held in bondage then, it was not even a permanent condition. People often sold themselves or their children into servitude for a period of time in order to pay back a debt, or even because they could not otherwise afford food and shelter. The Greek word translated as “servant” generally did mean what we would call a bondsman or a slave, but sometimes it meant just a person hired to do some task; and these people were often bound for a time, and not for life. There were, moreover, strict Biblical rules about how slaves were to be treated (see, e.g., Exod 21.2-6; Lev 25.10, 38-41; and Deut 23.15,16).
  • Jesus’s mother, Mary, identifies herself to the Archangel Gabriel as a slave. She uses the female version of a Greek word which is translated as “slave” whenever it is used for a male (see LK 1:38). And if Mary is a slave, then her child will be born into her same legal status. In which case, insofar as I can determine, Jesus’s status as a slave at birth would have been for life. But when Jesus was four, the Roman Emperor Augustus decreed that those born into slavery as Jesus would have been born into slavery were now to be freed at the age of thirty.
  • If Jesus was a slave until He was thirty, that very well explains both why Jesus was not married in His teens, and also why He did not begin His teaching ministry until He reached the age of thirty. He would have been Joseph’s bondsman working as a carpenter during all His so-called “lost years.” And even though Jesus may have been Joseph’s bondsman, it is clear that Joseph treated Him as His eldest son and gave Him a good religious education. Joseph received and heeded Gabriel’s announcement of Jesus’s impending birth, and he protected Him from the slaughter of the innocents when it happened and educating Him well in preparation for His free adulthood. We have no complaint to make against Jesus’s nominal father.
  • A mere stable is considered to be sufficient shelter for a woman who is about to give birth. We fondly think that the “no room in the inn” story of Jesus’s birth is charming, but in fact it is a sign of Mary’s low status, especially in view of her late stage of pregnancy. Would a free woman of respectable rank have been shuffled off to give birth in a barn?
  • Joseph may never have officially married Mary. Jesus from the cross asks His disciple, John, to look after His mother (see JN 19:27), so we know that Jesus is not certain that Joseph will care for his mother after His own death. As indeed apparently Joseph does not care for her, according to a close reading of the Gospel of Luke, since Mary soon moves into John’s household.
  • Jesus was oddly despised by His childhood neighbors for speaking with authority at the start of His ministry, and for calling Himself the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy. After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, He returned to Galilee. And then comes an astonishing scene that never made sense to me before, in which He speaks in His home synagogue and announces that He is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy. And his home-folks immediately try to throw Him off a cliff. Huh? Here it is:

14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding region. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all the people in the synagogue were intently directed at Him. 21 Now He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all the people were speaking well of Him, and admiring the gracious words which were coming from His lips; and yet they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23 And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! All the miracles that we heard were done in Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24 But He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. 25 But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a severe famine came over all the land; 26 and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many with leprosy in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29 and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and brought Him to the crest of the hill on which their city had been built, so that they could throw Him down from the cliff. 30 But He passed through their midst and went on His way (LK 4:14-30).

This reaction of Jesus’s childhood neighbors may be the greatest “tell” of them all. A presumptuous local boy who had grown up as a slave among them and only just been emancipated might inspire such rage, but surely not a local boy who had been freeborn!

We all plan our lives on earth before we are born, and that was especially true of Jesus. The Jesus that you and I know would have planned an earth-life as the poorest of the poor, and in that time and place, that may well have meant that Jesus deliberately chose to be born of a slave mother, and to live as a slave Himself during most of His life on earth. My Thomas tells us that Jesus was born as God on earth so God could “look through His eyes,” as Thomas puts it, and observe and come to a very much better understanding of humanity. And how much better could God come to understand people when viewing us from the perspective of the very least of these (see MT 25:44-46)?

That perspective of “the least of these” would have additionally suited Jesus’s purpose as He fine-tuned His teachings in preparation for His active teaching phase. And God could easily have influenced Caesar Augustus’s mind to decree an emancipation at the age of thirty for those born into slavery, in plenty of time for Jesus to begin His planned teaching phase when He became thirty years old. That coincidence of ages seems simply too neat for it actually to have been just a coincidence.

So I have come to accept the likelihood that Jesus did indeed begin and live most of His life as a slave, a bondsman, and He did so by strategic choice, so he could better serve God’s need to more perfectly understand people. He also did it by His personal choice. The Jesus that I have lately come to much better know, the Jesus who loves each individual person to the point of obsession, could not have borne the thought of planning a lifetime to be lived among so many slaves unless He also was going to be a slave Himself. Remember that Jesus has lived the past seventeen hundred years doing nothing but loving hundreds of millions of Christianity’s victims back into mental and spiritual health, even though He had no part in causing any of their pain!

But of course, my dear ones, it doesn’t matter. You can believe this new wrinkle about Jesus or not, as you like. One thing is for certain, though. Jesus  did not travel to the far east during His “lost years”. Thomas has helped me to work through and accept that fact. He tells me that Jesus spent those years closely studying people and further refining what He was going to be teaching during His coming ministry, and whether He did this as Joseph’s bondsman or as a yeoman carpenter in Joseph’s shop really doesn’t make any difference. But the more I have lived with this slavery theory, the more I have come to rather like the idea. Whoever were the least of those around Him, we know that our so dearly beloved Jesus would always have been right there with them, and eager to share His closer walk with them.

When my way grows dreary,
Precious Lord, lead me near.
When my life is almost gone,
At the river I will stand,
Guide my feet, hold my hand.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
And lead me home.

– Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), from “Take My Hand Precious Lord” (1937

What About Evil?

He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea.
He alone decides who writes a symphony.
He lights evr’y star that makes the darkness bright!
He keeps watch all through each long and lonely night!

He still finds the time to hear a child’s first prayer.
Saint or sinner calls and always finds Him there.
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live,
He’ll always say, “I forgive.”
– Richard Mullan & Al Hibbler (1915-2001), from “He” (1954)

Two emailed questions that people ask me more often than any others are whether or not there is a devil, and whether or not there is a hell. And I generally answer these questions by saying that while of course there is no fiery hell, there is indeed an outer darkness, which is the lowest afterlife level. But God never puts us there. No, we ourselves are the only ones who can ever put ourselves into the outer darkness if we do something in our lives for which we have trouble forgiving ourselves when we experience it during our post-death life review. So learning self-forgiveness while we are alive is an especially important task! And as for the devil, well, he might exist, but since he has no power at all, you can ignore him. But the follow-up emails that I sometimes get for these answers suggest that for many people, my responses have missed their mark. What lots of people really want to know in answer to their questions about hell and the devil is whether there is some secret truth that I can give them that will make all their deepest childhood terrors go away forevermore. By some miracle, is there somewhere a very powerful and deeply comforting complete answer?

 Well, yes, I think that there actually is. But delivering it will take longer than it takes to give them a quickly-written and emailed response.

By now, most regular readers here understand that the only thing that actually exists is what we experience as consciousness. And consciousness is an energy-like and highly emotional potentiality that exists in a deep range of vibrations, from very high and rapid to very low and slow. Consciousness is alive in the sense that your mind is alive, and at its highest vibration it is perfect love. At its lowest vibration it is fear, anger, hatred, and all the other unpleasant emotions. At its highest vibration, consciousness is infinitely powerful. Consciousness at its highest vibration is God.

At its lowest vibration, however, consciousness has no power at all. We are talking about all of reality, now – the earth and all the galaxies – and as amazing as this sounds, emotion-based and timeless consciousness is all that there is, all that there ever was, and all that there ever is going to be. It is very important that you first get your mind around this central fact of our existence. Before we talk about anything else, it is essential that you understand that your mind and my mind and every other human mind all are part together of this one great Mind. We all live rather cozily as part of the illusion that you might fondly think of as the Mind of God; and frankly, if you keep that fact always in mind, it dispels a lot of your fears right off the bat! Before we move on to talk about hell and the devil, please read these two paragraphs about consciousness again thoughtfully, one more time.

 So, I think that we can largely dispense with hell as an issue. The only sort-of version of a “hell” that actually exists is that awful lowest afterlife level which is cold, dark, smelly, and disgusting. It’s what Jesus called “the outer darkness, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth” (see MT 8:12, MT 22:13, and MT 25:30).  And since we are the only ones who ever can condemn ourselves to  the outer darkness, and we do that only if we fail to forgive ourselves for something that we have done in life, then for us simply to learn self-forgiveness while we are alive is our complete and fail-safe solution to that worry.

Please note that every Gospel mention by Jesus of “Gehenna” is not a reference to hell either, but rather it is just a mention of the valley outside Jerusalem where trash was often burned. Jesus talks about Gehenna in the Gospels several times, and early Biblical translators often interpreted that word as “hell”; but that, plus Biblical translators’ misunderstanding of the outer darkness, is why some scholars now say that Jesus talked about hell more often than anyone else did. Which certainly is not true! Please note, too, that some other mentions of hell as a fiery place of punishment that appear to come from Jesus were coming from councilors who were working for the Roman Emperor Constantine at First Nicaea in 325, who were creating for him his new religion. And they appear to have been eager to find or to introduce fear into this new religion which was being created as a fear-based means of control. This earth is a place for learning and spiritual growth above all! And for us instead to be condemned by God to burn in hell forevermore for even trivial mistakes made in the course of our efforts to learn and grow spiritually would be nonsensical. So I feel comfortable in assuring you that, no indeed, there is no fiery hell, and our genuine God of perfect love certainly never would condemn us to it in any event.

A brief mention ought also to be made of the fact that some version of hell does rarely turn up in near-death experiences (NDEs). It has been estimated that about one in seven NDEs are negative or even hellish, but that doesn’t matter since NDEs are merely out-of-body experiences (OBEs) in the nature of dreams which are managed for us by our own spirit guides. NDE experiencers never go to the actual afterlife, and neither do they ever go to any actual hell.  

Okay then, so what about the devil? Here the answer is more complicated. I devoutly wish the truth were otherwise, but in fact there are indeed a whole variety of invisible “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy  beasties and things that go bump in the night,” as the Bible and the old Scottish prayer together insist to us that indeed there are. These nasty guys were terrified of Jesus, so He had considerable dealings with them, and probably all of us have at least some dealings with them in the course of our lives without being much aware of it. There likely also is an actual devil, or a Satan if you prefer to use that name. And many of these critters can trouble your life if you allow that to happen. But you should not be afraid of any of them, and that includes even the devil itself. To be afraid of them gives them power over you, and in fact your fear is the only pitiful little bit of power that they ever have. I have never set out to study demonish beings. But I have encountered information about them in my travels. Here, briefly, is a list of the most common kinds of evil discarnate entities:

  • The Devil. There probably is one or more of these. I know very little about devils or their history, and that is the way things will remain. I urge you not to show any curiosity about the devil or devils, since even to think about the devil very much can attract its energies to you. But the devil does show up in the Biblical Gospels interacting with Jesus (see MT 4). His role there was to tempt Jesus with the world’s riches, of course without success.
  • Demons. There are lesser negative entities that are not even fully-formed beings as such, so they need to possess the bodies of susceptible beings in order to have any real existence. They seem to exist in small groups, and they go around causing trouble. People have spiritual auras, and as long as we maintain our auras intact, they protect us from possession by demons; but becoming very drunk or very high on drugs or very ill can damage our auras. You will recall the demons that Jesus cast into the herd of swine (MT 8:30-32).
  • Shadow Men. No kidding, the most evil entities of all are so powerless that they have to lurk in closets and jump out and scare little children because they feed on fear. (And yes, such beings really do exist.) If there is just a bit of light in the room to serve as a night-light, these things have no power at all. So all babies and little children should be given night-lights, and they should never be left to cry in the dark because without the protection of night-lights in babies’ bedrooms these guys will latch on to certain little ones in childhood, and then will plague them even as adults unless their victims always sleep with a light on.
  • Deceased Addicts. People who die while they are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or sex will often refuse to transition, but will instead hang around alleys, bars, or wherever they mistakenly think that they can get their fix of what they still are craving. My own father was an alcoholic until he quit cold-turkey when I was eleven, and he had a possessing alcoholic spirit, or perhaps several such spirits, who gave an odd greenish caste to his eyes. His possessors only left him once he had conquered his own addiction. Anyone who gets very drunk in a bar, or who shoots up in a place where others have gotten high, or who participates in orgies where others also have engaged in group sex is going to shred his or her protective aura briefly, and will then pick up such hitchhikers, almost guaranteed. And since these dead addicts have material cravings that now can never be satisfied, once you are possessed by one or more dead addicts, your own addiction will become that much harder for you ever to cure.
  • Executed Criminals. If you need another reason to be against capital punishment, you might think of this as the ultimate form of air pollution. What capital punishment does is to set loose upon the world an invisible disembodied spirit at the height of his deadly rage, who in life was a murderous criminal and knew that he was about to be killed and had a vicious motive and plenty of time before dying to plot his revenge upon the world. My goodness, talk about air pollution!

Just what is evil, anyway? Its literal definition would be the opposite of love, the opposite of spiritual growth, and therefore the opposite of what you and I are born here on earth to try to achieve.  So that is what evil is, and it is to be rejected in every way and at all costs.

The fortunate thing about evil, though, is that the more evil any entity is, the less power it has on the consciousness specrum. General wisdom has it that the most evil entities of all are the Shadow Men, who go around in top hats and capes scaring babies in the dark so they can feed on their screams, because otherwise they don’t have sufficient energy even to lift their heads, or to move at all. And if there is anything more pathetic than that, I cannot at the moment think of what it might be. But, yes, all these invisible negative dudes can trouble your peace if you ever let them in. 

So, how can you protect yourself from evil beings, and even from the devil itself? The only way that you really can protect yourself is by learning to ever more perfectly live in love. You can work on raising your personal consciousness vibration far above anger and fear, and then you can never again in your earthly life allow yourself to have an even remotely evil thought. The easiest way to do this is with the teachings of Jesus. You begin by loving God, and you spread your love for God to all of humankind, because remember that in Consciousness we are all one Being. You never watch a scary movie, either. You never read a scary book. And if there is, let’s say, a coldish place in your house, or a spot where you think that something evil might be trying to lurk, you send it only thoughts of love and kindness and pity. The last thing you must ever do is to be afraid of that cold spot in your darkened hallway! No. Instead, you love it. And even better, pity it. If you thought of yourself as a scary monster, wouldn’t you be demoralized and shrink away sadly if someone only pitied you? Say, “Oh, you poor little thing!” to it aloud, and really mean it, and you will feel the temperature rise in that dark corner. Oh my dear ones, I know how amazing this sounds, but in this great ultimate game of life, the Good Guys truly can always win!

He can touch a tree and turn the leaves to gold.
He knows every lie that you and I have told.
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live,
He’ll always say, “I forgive!”

Richard Mullan & Al Hibbler (1915-2001), from “He” (1954)