Author: Roberta Grimes

Let There be Life!

To us and our good fortune! Be happy, be healthy, long life!
And if our good fortune never comes, here’s to whatever comes.
Drink l’chai-im, to life! To life, l’chai-im! L’chai-im, l’chai-im, to life!
Here’s to our prosperity, our good health and happiness, and most important …
To life, to life, l’chai-im! L’chai-im, l’chai-im, to life!
Here’s to the father I tried to be!
Here’s to my bride-to-be! Drink l’chai-im, to life!
To life, to life, l’chai-im. To Tzeitel, my daughter…   My wife!
It gives you something to think about…  Something to drink about!
Drink l’chai-im, to life! To life, l’chai-im, l’chai-im, l’chai-im, to life.
Drink l’chai-im, to life! To Tzeitel, my daughter…  My wife!
It takes a wedding to make us say, “Let’s live another day.”
Drink l’chai-im, to life!
Sheldon Harnick (1924-2023), from “To Life” (1964)

We learned last week that materialist scientists are flummoxed by the question of how Something might have arisen from nothing. It seems almost unfair to beat materialist scientists up about their inability to deal with that core problem, except for the fact that their determination not even to try to understand reality except in materialist terms does kind of invite our ridicule, doesn’t it? When the fundamental problem with something-from-nothing is one that even a fifth-grader can spot, why can’t fully grown and educated scientists at least attempt to deal with it? And in any event, every bit as profound an enigma for traditional scientists turns out to be the question of how life first arose on earth. We might actually say that the origin-of-life question is an even more vexing problem for materialist scientists to deal with than is the origin-of-matter issue, for the simple fact that they know that they really ought to be able to solve this origin-of-life conundrum. It should be a relatively straightforward problem for trained chemists and biologists to tackle. Or so you would think. But the plain fact is that for the better part of a century, materialist mainstream scientists have been chasing the question of how life might have arisen on earth. And so far, they have made no progress toward solving any part of that puzzle at all.

Until the nineteen-fifties, the few articles that were published in popular-science magazines about the origin of life were taking an amazingly lazy approach. They assumed that life must have originated in some primordial pool, where just the right mix of chemicals was hit by lightning one day at just the right temperature, and – zap! – life began. It would have been just simple cells at first, they thought, which somehow magically assembled themselves; and then those cells would have begun to combine, and so on. Those old magazine articles looked a lot like eighth-grade science project reports. Then in 1953 there were what were considered to be three big scientific advances, which now, seventy years further on, some materialist scientists believe just might have put them right on the edge of an impending breakthrough. The first of those seminal advances came in April of 1953, when James Watson and Francis Crick published a paper on DNA which advanced a new understanding of how the double helix form of DNA could help to explain how life replicates itself. The second breakthrough came three weeks later, when news broke of the Miller-Urey experiment, which showed how a cocktail of chemicals could spontaneously generate the amino acids that are vital to building the molecules of life. Then in September of 1953, there was given the first reasonably accurate estimate for the age of the earth. Origin-of-life researchers felt that at last they had a great place to really begin to do their work.

But in the seventy years since that pivotal year of discoveries, almost no further progress has been made. The popular-science-magazine versions of scientists’ latest ideas of how life on earth might have arisen randomly still look like precisely the same sorts of dramatic diagrams they used to draw in those seventy-year-old popular-science magazines, where lightning would hit pond-scum, and Presto! And as is true of the Big Bang as a proposed origin-of-matter solution, these diagrams are singularly unsatisfying. The true building blocks of life would be chemicals with some of the same names as those that are given on the linked Scientific American diagram; but all the useful chemicals would need to be in a nearly pure form, and quickly able to combine properly and in the correct order and almost under laboratory conditions if anything like these events were to have any hope of taking place in a way that might actually get life started. And then, of course, once the spark of life is struck, you would need ways to feed that tiny flame and keep it alive. Both chemicals and conditions would have to be just right. So for life on earth to have begun this way, such sparks would need to have been struck repeatedly! So often, perhaps, that once in a thousand or even once in a million times, a spark might have persisted long enough and in such ideal conditions that it somehow survived, was fed, and began to be stable. But, then what? How did that spark become a cell, and out of perhaps a million such cells, how then did one cell learn to replicate itself?

Seeing how plain foolish the materialists are being, once again the brilliant Christian origin-of-life chemist Dr. James Tour has called the materialist researchers’ bluff. Dr. Tour had become increasingly vexed by baseless claims that materialist origin-of-life researchers were beginning to make real progress, so he proceeded to make them a simple bet that, if any of their recent claims were true, they ought to have been able to win easily. He offered ten of the most prominent materialist scientists in the field of origin-of-life research a contest in which, in order to win his contest, they would need only to demonstrate how just one of a selected basic five of the essential building blocks of life could have arisen naturally. And he even suggested that three of the ten chosen materialist scientists could be the judges of whether or not his contest had been won! If they could show how even one of those building blocks could have arisen naturally, he promised that he would take down all his YouTubes in which he had repeatedly claimed that their whole field was out to lunch (metaphorically speaking). But alas, there was no winner. There was no contest in the end, since none of the ten scientists even tried to respond to his challenge. In fact, there has been no meaningful progress made by any materialist scientist toward understanding how life on earth could have arisen on its own in the seventy years since those three 1953 breakthroughs first were hailed.

So now let’s help James Tour spike the ball in his own end zone. He and others have created some wonderfully playful YouTube videos that he had offered to have taken down if the materialist scientists had accepted his challenge and then had won it; although, of course, there is no way that they could have won it. Here is one sample video that I think you will enjoy. Creationist scientists are much better funded nowadays, and they even have their own terrific online journal, called Evolution News & Science Today. Given how bollixed up mainstream science still is with its “fundamental scientific dogma” of atheistic materialism, the independent scientists who are published in Evolution News are doing beautiful and enlightened work that is fully on a par with the work of classic mainstream scientists of the free scientific age that is now more than a century into the past. It is such a joy to read their publication!

Now that we have seen how useless have been all the traditional scientific efforts to understand these two fundamental aspects of our reality, both the origin of the universe (last week) and the origin of life, I would like to point out one more thing. When you put together last week’s and this week’s blog posts and read them again, including their linked articles (and Rupert Sheldrake’s banned Tedx talk from last week), my dear friends, you now have incontrovertible scientific proof of the existence of a Creator God. Materialist scientists have accepted the existence of a great many things with far less proof than what we have delivered last week and today of God’s existence.

 Please consider these two core facts:

  • The reality around you exists and is stable. This universe has been here  for an estimated 13.7 billion earth-years, and during all that time its cosmological constants and everything else required to maintain it in stable existence have all been held within vanishingly tiny tolerances, or else the universe would either have collapsed inward upon itself or blow apart long since. And yet you will sleep well tonight, as you do every night, with a mind entirely free from worry as all those cosmological constants and many other controlling factors keep steadily doing their minute adjusting.
  • You exist and are alive and stable. The brightest scientific minds over the past hundred years have not been able even to begin to figure out how life began on earth, and they certainly have not been able to work out how life has developed from its first spark into its first cell, and then into all its complex modern variations. These questions seem to be simple ones until you actually do the research, and you begin to learn what is involved in bringing life into existence, and then creating it as it exists today in all its manifold complexity! Google some of James Tour’s YouTubes and consider the almost unfathomable difficulties that were involved in getting the earliest life to start to flourish on earth, and never mind developing it from that into the wondrously complex body and brain that you see now in your mirror.

So now you have incontrovertible proof of the ongoing existence of the loving Creator God. Not the Christian God, of course. Indeed, nothing to do with any religion because all the religions are human-made, and they are fading in this twenty-first century as we outgrow our need for them, and as we also grow beyond our leaders’ ugly and bullying lie of atheism. Now we once again can seek and find in our own hearts the God Who always has been quietly there. Before all religions there is the One Creator God, the One God that Jesus refers to as Father, and as Spirit. The One who is the highest aspect of Consciousness, and is only perfect Love. Please look around you now at each beautiful face, and know that those faces, those hillsides, those cities, literally nothing whatsoever that you see and not a single star could exist if there were no Creator God. Now that we can have God without the barrier of religions between us, we truly are entering a new age!

And add to all of this the fact that in this twenty-first century we also know for certain that we are eternal beings. We always have been eternal beings, but now in this new century, more and more of us while we are on earth know for certain this glorious truth! We know that we have nothing to fear, and we are able at last to hear the voice of God calling to us from where God dwells, deep within each of our own hearts… “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth” (Psalm 46:10). That psalm was first sung three thousand years ago, but God has been inspiring people to sing variations of those words from even long before that, down all the generations. There always was going to come a time when we while on earth would grow past any need for religions, when we would realize that the true God always has been within us, all along, and when we would yearn for a closer and deeper Walk that we would at last be able to share with the One Eternal God. And more and more, my dear ones, it looks as if that time may soon be upon us now….

May you both be favored with the future of your choice!
May you live to see a thousand reasons to rejoice!
We’ll raise a glass and sip a drop of schnapps in honor of the great good luck that favors you!
We know that when good fortune favors two such men, it stands to reason, we deserve it too!
To us and our good fortune! Be happy, be healthy, long life!
And if our good fortune never comes, here’s to whatever comes.
Drink l’chai-im, to life!
– Sheldon Harnick (1924-2023), from “To Life” (1964)

Something from Nothing?

It seems we stood and talked like this before.
We looked at each other in the same way then,
But I can’t remember where or when.
The clothes you’re wearing are the clothes you wore.
The smile you are smiling you were smiling then,
But I can’t remember where or when.
Some things that happened for the first time
Seem to be happening again.
And so it seems that we have met before,
And laughed before, and loved before,
But who knows where or when?
Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) & Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), from “Where or When” (1937)

I still can recall, and vividly, that when I first entered college as a religion major was when I first encountered and grappled with some of the Very Biggest Problems.  Even in my freshman year, we were made to wrestle with these new, grownup questions and issues that sometimes kept me awake at night and staring in the dark. I was still at my core a trusting Christian child, and never before had any of this gigantic potential for existential angst ever even occurred to me. How did all this Something arise from nothing? And it was already fine-tuned for intelligent life to evolve from what had been primordial dust? And if even so much as a single pixel in this whole complex picture were to shift by a shade, or if anything ever were to change by a jot, then everything could collapse in upon itself without warning, or else it all might blow apart? It was this new possibility that rocked me at the time, this sudden new awareness of the precariousness of it all. So, was God still even out there?

I mean, think about it. The original creation had happened so long ago! Was the crucial job of being God and remaining in charge to make sure that the universe continued to function a long-term commitment for the genuine God? When you are a child, you don’t want to have to worry about making sure that God remains sufficiently interested in God’s Creation to stay on the job forevermore!

So I look back now, and I realize that those fifty years of doing afterlife research that began for me almost right out of college were a more complex matter on an emotional level than I ever really knew. I still tell the story of my experience of light at the age of eight, and I have traced my wanting to research the afterlife back to that extraordinary night. But I think now that it has been more than that.  I think I may have spent my early life chasing a core need to establish a certainty that God really is always going to be there, and God loves me enough to never leave me again.

All of which is a meandering preface to a straightforward statement. There can be no question that God Exists. You can know that for certain, because you exist. And the whole stable reality around you exists. Something cannot come from nothing! So for us to be sure that a Creator exists is simple common sense, all based in the commonsense certainty that Something cannot come from Nothing. Of course, the bearded caricature of a God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel does not exist. Nor does the cranky Jehovah boogeyman of the Old Testament exist, with all his brutal whims. God is not just a very big humanoid creature made in our own image!

For almost all of human history, though, that grotesque image of God was what we thought we were stuck with. And human leaders soon came to realize that they could imagine for that cartoonish version of God unlimited powers to reward and punish people to the extent of whatever the human mind can conceive, and their subjects would believe it all was possible for God. And so, enter the Roman Emperor Constantine and his Christian clergyman descendants. They could imagine even a loving God who will nevertheless burn your baby in hell alive and aware forever if you don’t get it baptized before it dies.

We came to understand definitively only toward the end of the last century that no such anthropomorphic Christian God exists. But what does exist is an Uncaused Cause without form, without size, and just as Jesus taught, with an immense energy of infinite power. And the True God will never leave us, because – again, just as Jesus taught – the True Creator God’s greatest power is Perfect Love. So the Genuine God does not need our worship. The Genuine God needs nothing from us. It was the bullying and petty old-style gods that we had created in our image as just big people, oversized in every way and even to their gigantic flaws, that were small enough to need our worship. The Genuine God delights in each of us the way a loving parent delights in the one most beloved infant child! Jesus tells us that God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (JN 4:24).

But before we move on to talk about the True God that actually does exist, we should briefly mention the fact that the one belief about God that makes no sense is atheism. Think about it! Materialist scientists continue to hope to get around the pesky fact that the undeniable existence of this complex and longstanding and entirely stable reality gives us proof that a brilliant Creator MUST exist. Scientists try to defend their nonsensical atheism by putting their imagined creation-by-happenstance event extremely far back in time and making it happen really, extremely, gosh-darn quickly, and also very loudly. Materialist scientists even call their imagined first event the “Big Bang.” But of course, that doesn’t really help them, because no matter how far back it was and how quickly it happened, and no matter how loud was its bang, there still is going to be someone in the very back of the room who at some point is going to ask the obvious two questions. But, excuse me, sir, what caused that Bang? And what was there before the Bang happened? Materialist scientists of the atheist bent so deeply hate the fact that atheism is such a demonstrably flawed belief that they even talk about finding long-odds end-runs around the problems with it. Like, for example, the grasping-at-straws notion that maybe we are living in one gigantic simulation. A simulation wouldn’t need a definitive beginning, since it is never real at all!

And of course, right beside the problematic origins-of-the-universe question for atheists are the same continuation worries that plagued me in college. There are an amazing number of variables which must forever remain constant within tiny tolerances, or else this universe will either collapse in upon itself or blow apart; and yet they insist that those variables have all remained where they have to be for billions upon billions of years. Knowing that you and I are each the best-beloved Child of a God Who loves us infinitely, we are certain that God is real, so we can sleep each night without worries! God’s eye is on the sparrow – and on each of the cosmological constants – so we know that God is watching over each of us. But the truth is that the materialist scientists are very well aware by now that those “cosmological constants” which must remain the same are always nevertheless all minutely adjusting. Which fact very strongly implies that there has to be a Divine Cosmological Constants Adjuster out there somewhere, keeping this universe going.

Oh, but it implies nothing of the kind! Not to materialist scientists, it doesn’t. Those scientists just decided one fine day to give up on keeping track of all the essential cosmological constants as they keep on doing their minute-adjusting thing. The scientists have simply set each “constant” at one predetermined value and decided to assume that each of them never will change again, so even as the constants keep on minutely adjusting, now the scientists never will know about it. Rupert Sheldrake’s famously banned Tedx talk on this topic is laugh-out-loud funny because he plays it as a classic straight man. And if you have never seen this talk, please watch it now! I think Dr. Sheldrake may have missed his calling. He really should have been a comedian.

All right. So now, let’s talk about what the genuine High God actually is. Jesus told us, as we quoted Him saying above, that God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth” (JN 4:24). Notice that Jesus is not here insisting that we worship God in the old, fear-based way in which people used to worship God, with rote prayers and blind subjugation. No, since God is Spirit, if we choose to worship our Father who gives us life, which is entirely up to us, we are now to worship God where God is, and in Spirit and in Truth. When Jesus told us that God is Spirit, He was telling us what we now know to be true: God is the highest aspect of Consciousness.

Consciousness is all that exists, and each of us alike is also a part of that same Consciousness. Consciousness is both the sculptor and the clay. Consciousness is a form of energy, and so it vibrates. At its lowest and slowest vibration, consciousness is fear and hatred, which we strive to escape. At its highest vibration it is the High God and perfect love. While people could not have known any of this two thousand years ago, they could at least have known that this new version of God that Jesus was calling Spirit is a departure from what they always had understood God to be, and this new way of praying to God was new as well. Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (MT 6:8-10).

Yes, it felt like a departure to those who first heard these words, but it was love-based and not fear-based, so it also felt liberating to Jesus’s first followers, just as it feels liberating to us. God now is no longer a scary human-like Jehovah, but instead God is a loving Father whose very name is sacred, or Hallowed. And thanks to Jesus, we are now on the path toward joining God where God is, as we work toward elevating our own spiritual vibrations ever closer to becoming one with God in Spirit, and thereby bringing the kingdom of God on earth and ensuring that fear and hatred will be no more. As it is above, so it also will be below. How easily we now understand this prayer which first was prayed two thousand years ago. The very highest aspect of Consciousness is the High God, while all of us also are aspects of that same Consciousness; and as we grow spiritually, we are growing toward what will be the end of our need to ever again incarnate on earth. So once every human being has completed that same journey, God’s kingdom on earth will dawn at last. Every word that Jesus speaks to us is meant to introduce to us our own coming spiritual perfection.   

I should add that I have been amazed by how many people have said after I mentioned it last week that they want to take our proposed course in spiritual growth that begins in February. I have tried to keep track, although I am sure that I have missed some people’s emails, but apparently this course-on-giving-a-course that I am now taking includes a way for you to sign up if you like, so please be on the lookout for that. Yes, if you do this course as Jesus intended it based upon His teachings, and then if you will (easily) maintain your elevated vibration, this can be your last necessary trip here, and you will understand why that is true as the three-month teaching phase of the course progresses. I think we will be doing simultaneous courses in the U.S. and Australia, and perhaps also in Europe/Africa, but that will depend on the final number of signups in each time zone. All of that being said, let’s do this now for Jesus! He went through a lot to bring the Truth to us, and I am amazed now to tell you, the Truth really works!

Some things that happened for the first time
Seem to be happening again.
And so it seems that we have met before,
And laughed before, and loved before,
But who knows where or when?
Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) & Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), from “Where or When” (1937)

What is Spiritual Growth?

I am weak but Thou art strong.
Jesus, keep me from all wrong!
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee.
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea!
Daily walking close to Thee.
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
Traditional, from “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” (1800s)

We talk so often about spiritual growth that I get emails now from people who want to know what the term “spiritual growth” means, precisely. And what is the process of spiritual growth? These are such great questions! But they are difficult questions to answer until we understand what reality is all about. And when we do finally grasp what spiritual growth is, and how we can best accomplish it, the truths that our answers reveal to us about Jesus, and about what He must have known about reality in order to have been able to formulate His teachings so they work so brilliantly to elevate us spiritually, turn out to be flat-out astounding! As you will shortly see.

Soon after I published The Fun of Dying in 2010, while I was giving talks about that book in bookstores, people first began to ask me what spiritual growth is. What on earth was I talking about? So I started to think that I ought to try to figure the process out for myself. Or more specifically, I thought I should test-drive the teachings of Jesus, to see whether they might work to elevate us spiritually. This was four years before my Thomas first came out to me through a medium and introduced himself as my spirit guide. I didn’t know back in 2011 who or what it was that was prompting me to decide to do this. I had no thought back then that these ideas that I was getting were coming from Thomas in the way that he much prefers to work, which is subliminally, without his having to talk to me in words. So I thought that this was all my own idea back in the summer of 2011, when I set out to try to figure out how the teachings of Jesus actually might work to elevate us spiritually. But what happened to me in just a few weeks’ time that summer was extraordinary. Thomas gave me some spiritual hacks to try that I thought must be my own ideas. And by the fall of that year, I arrived at a point where, incredibly, I was no longer feeling bothered by anything.   

I still can vividly recall the moment when I first noticed how completely I had been changed. A Unity minister had invited me to lunch. On the way there, someone had cut me off in traffic. I used to be a lethally combative driver, a literal lunatic on the road, but I arrived at the restaurant that day thinking casually about the fact that I just had been cut off in traffic by some nutcase who nearly had killed us both. But… now nothing. I was not bothered by his actions at all. For the first time in my driving life, I was noticing this peculiar zone of peace in which I was living now. Very oddly, I had forgiven that lunatic driver so easily that what he had done had only barely registered on my radar screen. Since my luncheon companion was a minister, we talked about it briefly, but I didn’t yet really understand what was happening to me. But, no wonder the Lord’s disciples were so often baffled by Him! Two thousand years ago, Jesus knew things about reality that modern-day scientists have not yet managed to unravel, nor even to begin to try to understand.

I can see that summer so clearly now, in long retrospect. And I can tell you with the wonderment of certainty that in the summer of 2011, I spent six weeks in an intensive effort at living the teachings of Jesus, and that six-week effort was all the time that it took. In all the twelve years since that summer, I have not felt anger, hatred, fear, or any other negative emotion. Instead, I feel only an ever-growing and ever more deeply centered peace and joy. It is as if I have been spiritually bubble-wrapped. I still can see it all, and I feel compassion for people who are in the throes of feeling themselves being damaged by the world, but I am removed and above it all, and safe. Turn the other cheek? No problem! I could turn a hundred cheeks if my doing that were needed. I could forgive seven hundred times seventy times, dear Jesus, if my doing that were for some reason required.

And it is not as if nothing has gone wrong in my life in the past twelve years. To give you one example, a world-class swindler is currently serving a long prison sentence for having stolen a preposterous and life-changing sum of money from my husband and me a few years back, and I have never been the slightest bit angry about that. Seriously! But the best, and the sweetest part of it all is that six or seven years ago, my Thomas told me out of the blue that I have now raised my personal consciousness vibration to the point where this has become my last necessary earth-lifetime. And I know that would never in a million years be true if in the summer of 2011 I had not set out to try to live the Gospel teachings of Jesus.

And so, my beloveds, I now feel at least somewhat qualified to explain to you what spiritual growth is, how it works, and how you, too, can make this lifetime your last necessary earth-lifetime. What I am having trouble understanding, though, is how Jesus understood it all so well even two thousand years ago. Because His teachings turn out to be a mechanical process which your mind can use to act on the very fabric of reality itself. “Love” and “forgive” are not just platitudes! They are not make-nice words, and they certainly are not only aspirational ideas. They are instead the very core and driver of your own fundamental spiritual growth. And the fact that Jesus was born on earth already knowing what reality is and how it works is the most certain evidence there can possibly be that He is precisely who He claims to be. He is the Son of God, born from out of the Godhead. Jesus told us that the truth will set us free (see JN 8:32). And here is the truth about spiritual growth:

  • Consciousness is all that exists. We know now that energy underlies and makes up all of reality, and consciousness is in fact that base creative energy. Nothing else but consciousness exists. The greatest physicists of the 20th century came to this same conclusion when in 1931 Max Planck said, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness.” Albert Einstein said, “It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing.” And the British physicist and astronomer Sir James Jeans, who was their contemporary, said, “the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a machine.” How supremely right they were!
  • Consciousness vibrates. And it vibrates according to and resonates with emotion. The universe is God’s own continuous and emotional thought. At its highest and most rapid vibration, the consciousness energy which all three physicists realized also can present as matter is perfect love, while at its lowest and slowest vibration, consciousness is hatred, anger, fear, and all the other negative emotions. God is at the highest vibration of consciousness, and all the other emotions are somewhere in between its highest and its lowest vibrations. So all these emotions that we think of as trivial and ancillary to our daily human experience in fact turn out to be central to the creation and the maintenance of the solid-seeming reality that we believe exists around us.
  • Consciousness is the base creative force. Our emotional minds are all part of that same emotionally vibrating consciousness which is all that exists. And insofar as we can determine, everything that we believe exists is created instant-by-instant by the same creative force which we experience as consciousness. When I was in kindergarten and I was first taught to recite my address, I recall that someone taught me to add beyond my teacher’s finishing with “…State of Massachusetts,” and “United States of America,” also “the earth, the universe, and the Mind of God.” I think we can guess who that someone was. And for us now to envision all of reality as a continuous thought in the mind of an emotional God whose only emotion is perfect love is right-on accurate.
  • So your own spiritual growth consists in lifting your personal consciousness vibration farther away from fear and ever closer to more perfect love. Yes, it really is that simple! Various methods have been suggested for you to use in order to accomplish this task, and we will talk about that in a moment. But the farther you can move your emotional set-point away from fear, hatred, and anger and toward ever more perfect love, the more you can be said to have grown spiritually. And once your own spiritual set-point reaches about the midpoint of what we call level five (out of seven) of the aggregate afterlife levels, you will be able to continue to grow spiritually without the need to experience any further earth-based stressors. So then you can cease to incarnate on the earth altogether. What we from here call the afterlife is in fact the link to our real life, so you might say that you will then be spiritually developed enough to be able happily to complete your spiritual growth without again leaving home.

Please read those four bullet-points again, and even two or three times or more if that feels necessary to you. This is all so extremely important! For us to move away from what had been our belief in a solid earth-based reality and a solid universe here is essential if we are ever to take charge of our own spiritual growth. No, in truth nothing in this universe is solid matter. Our loved ones who have gone ahead of us insist that the home they have returned to is their real life. And this earth-life, and the universe of which it is a part, as amazing as perhaps this concept may seem to us now, truly is just an insubstantial dream.  

For much of world history, following Eastern religious traditions has been what many people have thought was the primary way to develop spiritually. But what Buddhism, Hinduism, and related Eastern religions have had on offer to help us to grow spiritually has involved meditation, chanting, and years of effort, and few people in the West really understood how any of that worked. What may have been even worse for Christians, though, has been the fact that those traditional methods were attached to foreign religions, so there was a vague sense of heresy about them for Westerners, a feeling of religious betrayal, so aside from a brief moment in the sixties and seventies when they were in vogue, they never have much caught on in the West. Some members of Christian religious orders have used their own versions of meditation and chanting to try to reach their own altered states, but they never much have offered their practices to the Christian laity at large. And the teachings of Jesus have always been seen just in moral terms in any event, and not so much in spiritual terms.   

Even more to the point, it really has been only in the past twenty-five years or so that we have first come to understand what spiritual growth even is! Because it is only in these past few years that we have first come to realize that our reality actually is consciousness-based. I own an embarrassing number of books, to the point where my poor, long-suffering husband has begun to joke that either some of them will have to go, or they might crowd us out of this house altogether. And when I lately checked the pub dates of some of my dozens of books that have “consciousness” in their titles, it seems that our bloom of consciousness awareness did indeed begin soon after the turn of this century. So even though putting the two-thousand-year-old teachings of Jesus together with a cutting-edge view of reality that is only less than twenty-five years old is not the first idea that might come to your mind, it does in fact make sense. And it proves to us for a certainty that Jesus is indeed God incarnate, since He always has known the true makeup of a reality that is beginning to dawn on us only now.   

Of course, I am coming to realize that my notion of out of the blue spending six weeks attempting to lift myself spiritually by using the Lord’s teachings, as I did twelve years ago, could not have been my own idea. No, it must have come from Thomas. I am more grateful to him than I can say, because I never would have done any of it otherwise. And the fact that it all worked so well just further confirms for us beyond question that Jesus knew two thousand years ago how reality works, and He knew how His teachings on love and forgiveness would work for us now, in the twenty-first century. Jesus gave us His teachings long ago so we could have a glorious spiritual next stage for humankind once Roman Christianity’s fear-based run neared its end.

So Jesus has asked me to start to teach the process of spiritual growth using His teachings, as Thomas first taught it to me. After twelve years, it is clear beyond question both that Jesus’s teachings work rapidly in a literal, mechanical way to raise our spiritual vibrations enough to make this our last necessary earth-lifetime, and also that the effect is – or at least that it easily can be – permanent. I feel as if twelve years ago I inadvertently opened a door into humankind’s next amazing stage, when fear is no more and we are only love! But I also feel so inadequate to this task that I am first taking a course in how to create and teach such a course. And wow, there is a lot involved in doing this right!

We expect our first course to begin in February, and to be three months long. If this sounds like something that might interest you, just send me an email and we will include you on the offering list.

When my feeble life is over,
Time for me will be no more.
Guide me gently, safely over
To Thy kingdom’s shore, to Thy shore.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea!
Daily walking close to Thee.
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be!
Traditional, from “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” (1800s)

Our Teacher

There must be lights burning brighter somewhere.
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue.
If I can dream of a better land, where all my brothers walk hand in hand,
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true?
There must be peace and understanding sometime.
Strong winds of promise that will blow away the doubt and fear.
If I can dream of a warmer sun where hope keeps shining on everyone,
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear?
We’re lost in a cloud with too much rain!
We’re trapped in a world that’s troubled with pain.
But as long as a man has the strength to dream, he can redeem his soul and fly!
– Walter Earl Brown (1920-2008), from “If I Can Dream” (1968)

It is a matter of wonderment to me that in the seventeen hundred years since the religion that claims to follow Jesus was first established, Jesus never has much been seen by this world as our Teacher. Not at all. Christianity still insists on calling Jesus primarily our Savior. But then what is He supposed to be saving us from? He isn’t saving us from God’s judgment, surely, since Jesus flat-out tells us in the Gospel of John that God never judges anyone. Jesus says, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (JN 5:22-23). And then Jesus tells us right there in that same Gospel that He never judges us, either! He says, If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world (JN 12:47). Do you see what I mean? Oh. Wait a minute. What? What was that again?                  

What did you come to save the world from, Jesus?

At least we know that Jesus cannot have come to save the world from God’s judgment. We have just heard directly from Jesus that God does not judge anyone! It was only the Roman Emperor Constantine’s religious dogma that had Jesus being born to die as the ultimate pure sacrifice to God for our sins. And that central teaching of the entire Christian religion never made a lick of sense to begin with, since if Jesus had been born just to die as a sacrifice for our sins, then why did Jesus even bother to teach us anything? If that Christian teaching about Jesus saving us from God’s judgment had been right, then Jesus could just have right away stepped up to the cross and said, “Here I am! So, nail Me right up there and let’s get this over with.” Then from the cross He could have said, “It’s finished!” He could then simply have died, and risen from the dead three days later and said, “Everyone’s sins are forgiven now!” and gone home. All done. But that whole “Jesus died for our sins” Christian dogma goes out the window by Jesus’s own testimony in the Gospel of John as it is given to us above, since He tells us there that God never judges anyone.

So, now let’s ask Jesus our question again. What did you come to save the world from, Jesus?

Even before Jesus amazingly told me His eternal-life story in April of 2022, when Thomas first took me to meet with Him in the astral plane, it seemed clear, I think, that what Jesus had come to save the world from must have been ignorance. In fact, Jesus told me then that His crucifixion had not been any part of His original life-plan when He had come to earth as Jesus. He told me then that He chose to die that way almost at the last minute, because He was having so much trouble convincing the people of His day that their lives really were going to be eternal. The custom at that time was to lay out the dead in tombs to decay, and then after years had passed and the bodies had rotted away, the bones would be collected into bone-boxes, called ossuaries, which were labeled with each decedent’s name. Try telling people who were used to that custom that, guess what, they were going to live forever! Oh no. They knew better, thank you very much, since they had seen all those bodies decay away until only the bones were left. It was a messy and very public process! So eventually Jesus decided late in His earthly life to die a very public death, and then to rise from the dead – Ta-da! – and after that to say, “See? I didn’t die, and so neither will you.”

In the end, Jesus did precisely that. He publicly died on the cross, to the point where He was literally stone-cold dead. And then after He had been laid out in Joseph of Arimathea’s new-cut tomb, as was the custom, He reanimated His dead body with a burst of energy so powerful that scientists who have exhaustively examined the Shroud of Turin tell us that the energy required to produce the scorch on it could not be replicated, even today. And He actually used that reanimated body briefly, although after two days in the tomb it was already decaying. What fascinates me is that it is apparent from a close examination of the Gospel accounts that Jesus ditched that reanimated but decaying body soon after His resurrection. He then used an astral body for the forty or so days that He remained on the earth before He ascended.

But it was all meant by Jesus to be a teaching moment! As He said to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion, “‘Do not let your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be. And you know the way where I am going.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going; how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me’” (JN 14:1-6).

To a longtime afterlife researcher, this passage from the Gospel of John is especially wonderful! What Jesus says here jibes directly with what all our research has consistently told us happens when we die. Our own best-beloved who dies before we die makes a home for us in the afterlife, and then comes to our deathbed when our turn to transition arrives, and lures us away as our body dies and takes us to that heavenly home which has been lovingly prepared for us beforehand. And, yes, dear doubting Thomas, we soon do recall the whole familiar process from all of our prior transitions home! Those last beautiful words of Jesus spoken here refer of course to His teachings, and Jesus’s desire to give all of us the way and the truth about the next life was the reason why Jesus had petitioned God to allow Him to return in this earth-life as Jesus, to be our ultimate spiritual Teacher.  

But how is it possible that for all this time, Constantine’s dogma that Jesus had to die for our sins has been utterly bogus all along, and it always has contradicted the Gospel of John, but that fact has never been seen and called out by a single Christian cleric? Jesus’s statement that God does not judge us always has been right there in the Gospel of John! Is it really possible that no one in religious authority ever has bothered to read the Bible in all these past seventeen hundred years?

I noticed Jesus’s statement there when I was a teenager, so I know that many others also must have seen it. I assumed when I saw it that since all judgment had been transferred to the Son, and He then had obligingly gone to the cross, so it all had been worked out long ago; but that is a child’s too-simplistic point of view. I now understand that consciousness is the base creative force, and God is consciousness at its highest vibration, which is perfect love. God sees our very worst crimes on earth in much the same way that we see the first clumsy attempts of our most adored infant to pull itself up to try to stand on its own. And in the process, of course, it inadvertently knocks over a vase of flowers and maybe also breaks a lamp, really making no end of a mess. But, no matter at all when we love the baby so much!  

God is only pure love! We keep forgetting that. We keep seeing just a God that we have made in our own sorry image. Vengeful. Tyrannical, petty and cruel. But God has created us in God’s Own image. So God sees us very differently indeed from the way that we see one another, and from the way that we see ourselves. God does not judge us for our earthly foibles. But rather, God sees each one of us as The Sacred Holy Child. And as we grow spiritually, and as we raise our consciousness vibrations, we each will become ever more and more perfectly loving. We each will become ever more in the very image of the perfect Father God!

Please pause here and read that immediately preceding paragraph over again, slowly and perhaps a couple of times. Because I know that you never have seen things that way. I still have trouble with believing that core certain truth, to this day. I look at Hamas, for example. I have made myself look at what Hamas did to the poor Israeli families on October 7th, and I try to make myself see even those subhuman monsters as God must see them. As The Sacred Holy Child. And my mind quails at that. But then, I am not God! Omigod, no. And far from it.

Jesus was born into His last human lifetime as a very advanced being spiritually. By my Thomas’s account, He was what we might refer to as “a sport,” the way the racehorse Secretariat was a sport. Secretariat could outrun any horse in existence. And even six thousand years ago, Jesus could outlove any other human being, so at His death He ascended directly to the Godhead level. And once He understood how He had arrived there, He refused to join the Godhead Collective, but instead His love for each individual member of all of humankind was such that as soon as He understood how He had achieved His own spiritual perfection, and He realized that all the people He had left behind on earth still were cluelessly struggling through lifetime after lifetime and making almost no spiritual progress each time, all that the Being who would be reborn as Jesus wanted to do was to return to this earth and teach all the clueless people He had left behind how to perfect themselves and ascend just as He had ascended. That is what Jesus’s teachings are all about! Time not being a factor where He was, and His request being so flat-out beyond the pale, it took Jesus some four thousand earth-years to persuade God to allow Him to be reborn from out of the Godhead as Jesus. But He was patient. His conviction that He must return and teach all of humankind these core truths never wavered.   

And Jesus has grown spiritually even so much more in the past two thousand years! Which is what happens when you devote two millennia to loving back into emotional and spiritual health all those hundreds of millions of people who were brutalized by Roman Christianity’s Inquisitions and its Crusades. When Jesus was on earth as Jesus, He still could feel some remnant of negative human emotions, as a close reading of the Gospels makes clear to us. He was vibrating back then at the Godhead level of our reality, but He continued to have some minor human foibles. However, God only knows at what level He is vibrating now! My Thomas tells me that with Jesus shielding him, the two of them have experimentally ventured even well above the Godhead level and toward the ultimate high God; and no matter how high they went, they have encountered no energetic resistance at all. I asked Thomas what they had found up there. He said there were only a very few extremely advanced light-beings, and no one who needed Jesus’s help, so Jesus was quickly bored and He would not stay long.

In the astral plane, we recognize people by their unique personal energy signatures. And Jesus’s personal energy is astonishing, utterly smooth and silken and with no low notes, but so immensely powerful that unless He remembers to keep it toned down, it feels almost painful to be near Him. But when He looks at you, He really looks at you. No one else does that. He cares about you tremendously, and He really can’t help Himself. He asks you questions, He wants to know all about your day, how you are doing, just all about You. It is such an odd thing to be talking to God, and to have Him make you feel as if You are the only one who matters.

The amazing way that Jesus loves each person and He never thinks about Himself is the most astonishing thing about Him. I remember once last summer when we were having that series of meetings to plan Teachings by Jesus, and Thomas had left us briefly alone, I shyly asked Jesus if He realizes that He is the most famous person in the whole world out of eight billion people living here, even now? And isn’t that lovely? Isn’t He pleased about that?

Jesus looked at me quizzically. I don’t know how He could possibly not have already known that, having lived as He has on the entrance level of the afterlife for seventeen hundred years as He was tending His rehabilitation gardens for all those victims of Roman Christianity. But of course, He has been extremely busy there until recently. For whatever reason, I could see that He was honestly surprised. Jesus and Thomas communicate mentally, but with a few spoken words mostly not in English. I know that, because I have on rare occasions overheard them. When I am there, though, and they have (very rarely) empowered me to remember having been there, they use spoken English, which is nice. And while it is clear that English is not Jesus’s first language, He does speak it fluently. He said now, “Do you think I am well thought of by people on the earth? Will My being well known help to sell our message?” He could read my answers in my mind, so then He just said, “Well enough,” and He went right back to talking about whatever we just had been talking about. That Man truly has no ego at all!

Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question.
Still I am sure that the answer, answer’s gonna come somehow.
Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle. Yeah!
And while I can think, while I can talk, while I can stand, while I can walk,
While I can dream, please let my dream come true!
Right now! Let it come true right now! Oh, yeah!
Walter Earl Brown (1920-2008), from “If I Can Dream” (1968)

Born Again

I used to think that I could not go on.
And life was nothing but an awful song.
But now I know the meaning of true love!
I’m leaning on the everlasting arms.
If I can see it, then I can do it! If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it!
I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky!
I think about it every night and day. Spread my wings and fly away.
I believe I can soar. I see me running through that open door!
I believe I can fly! I believe I can fly! I believe I can fly!
– R. Kelly, from “I Believe I Can Fly” (1996)

Jesus’s insistence that those who are wealthy and want to be His followers must first give away all their wealth feels impractical to most modern people, as we saw in our last week’s blog comments. True, building a reserve and having to manage it is a distraction from the crucial spiritual work that brought us into these earth-lives in the first place. But here are two important points:  

  • Life is more financially complicated in the twenty-first century than it was when Jesus was on earth. And having to live hand-to-mouth today would be a bigger spiritual distraction than it is for us just to live simple middle-class lives and keep a modest nest-egg in the bank.
  • When Jesus was on earth, He was familiar with things that His followers – and all of us – cannot even imagine. The givens of His life were so different from theirs, and they are very different from ours as well. Think about it! Jesus knew from His own personal experience that we are all glorious eternal beings. And He knew for certain that God is real!

That second point, especially, is huge. The Gospel passages on wealth include some of those places where it feels okay to sometimes mutter under our breath, “Easy for You to say, Jesus.” I have done some of that muttering myself.

Here below is Jesus’s most prominent Gospel encounter with a wealthy man who was eager to become Jesus’s follower. This is a famous section of the Gospel of Mark, so we ought to spend a few minutes on it:

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do so that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 But Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not give false testimony, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus showed love to him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But he was deeply dismayed by these words, and he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

23 And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus responded again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were even more astonished, and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

28 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and have followed You.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.” (MK 10:17-31)

Now let’s briefly consider this passage. As is true of many things that Jesus says, He is speaking just in this moment. But this is Jesus we are talking about! So each word He speaks is imbued for us with more import than He may have meant for it to carry. Let me show you what I mean: 

  • The rich man was using an honorific. And surely Jesus knew that. His calling Jesus “Good Teacher” was nevertheless seized upon and used as a teaching moment by Jesus when He announced that only God is good. Which likely embarrassed the poor guy.
  • Jesus calls it hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. And this can be taken in either of two ways. Does God consider the ownership of wealth to be in itself a big sin that can bar someone from entering God’s kingdom? Or is the problem only that having wealth is a distraction that can make it harder for us to raise our consciousness vibrations while we are on earth? In fact, as we learned last week,  Jesus is talking only about the latter problem.
  • “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” This passage has been misused as a big teaching moment for the past two thousand years! So many Christian preachers have used it to insist that Jesus was saying that owning wealth is in itself sinful. But in fact, that is not the case at all. In Jesus’s day, there was a narrow gate into Jerusalem called The Needle’s Eye. It was so narrow that camels had to be unloaded before they could pass through it. What a wonderful analogy this was for Jesus to use when He wanted to explain that wealth is a distracting burden that makes spiritual growth harder unless we first shed that wealth. He likely used this analogy often!
  • All things are possible with God. This is Jesus’s simple, shortcut way of explaining what we now know to be true, which is that even though wealth can be a substantial spiritual distraction, so long as we are not allowing anything – and especially wealth – to distract us from the process of growing spiritually, then the healthy process of spiritual growth can proceed according to God’s plan for us, even if we are wealthy. Jesus says all these things in the simplest possible terms, so His first-millennium listeners can best understand them.
  • In the age to come, the first will be last, and the last, first. Here Jesus is speaking about the fact that in the afterlife, our spiritual status will be what matters, and that future status is very likely to be the direct opposite of what our status is on earth. Nevertheless, in what we think of from here as the afterlife and from there as our real life, there still is a strict rank order. And what is immensely endearing is the fact that Jesus, who far outranks everyone, wears no insignias of rank at all when He often ministers in the afterlife today.

Jesus seems not to have asked self-impoverishment of all of His followers. As His reputation grew, some high-ranking personages became the Lord’s friends, and He did not ask the most illustrious of them to give their wealth away. For example, the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea, who eventually gave his new-cut tomb for Jesus’s temporary burial, and also the chief Pharisee Nicodemus, who argued for Jesus in the Sanhedrin when He was arrested, and who brought a hundred Roman pounds of myrrh and aloes to anoint Jesus’s body for burial, were among His followers, even if Nicodemus seems to have felt the need to meet with Jesus under cover of night. Here is the very much misunderstood “born again” story in the Gospel of John, which features Nicodemus. Let’s listen to what Jesus really is saying here:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again (or from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a person be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (or from above) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus responded and said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you people do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, except He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life in Him.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. 18 The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. 21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” (JN 3:1-21)

This passage is the basis of the notion that some Christian denominations can change people’s status before God by designating them as having been “born again,” whatever that term might mean to each religious denomination. But actually, Jesus is talking here about something quite different. When the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 CE was assembling the first Christian Bible, it removed every reference to reincarnation that it could find. Although it did miss a few. And this passage is actually about the form of physical rebirth on earth that we call reincarnation. Witness:

  • “You have come from God as a teacher”; and “the kingdom of God.” Note here that Jesus agrees with Nicodemus that He has come from God as a teacher. Not as a savior. And Jesus uses the term “the kingdom of God” an incredible fifty-one times through all four Gospels, and the term “the kingdom of heaven” – which means the same thing – in the Gospel of Matthew another twenty-five times. No other term is nearly so important to Jesus! He is here straight-up telling Nicodemus that He came from God to teach us how to more efficiently achieve the kingdom of God/heaven. Which was in fact His actual mission from God on earth.
  • “Unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This is a frank reference to reincarnation, and to the fact that achieving the kingdom of God takes more than one earth-lifetime. Jesus’s repeated references to the kingdom of God or heaven are to the upper levels of the afterlife realities. We know now that people can achieve that exalted level at death once they have sufficiently raised their consciousness vibrations. For most people, that process requires many earth-lives of gradual spiritual growth, but Jesus’s natural predilection for loving people had enabled Him to achieve that level very quickly: He and my spirit guide have told me that Jesus achieved it about six thousand years ago. He then petitioned God to allow Him to be born again on earth from the Godhead so He could teach all of us how to achieve the kingdom of God as easily as Jesus had achieved it. Without Jesus’s teachings, people keep reincarnating repeatedly and cluelessly, perhaps hundreds of times, while making very little spiritual progress in each lifetime. Buddhists call suffering this long, blind process “turning on the wheel.” But Jesus’s teachings work so well in raising our consciousness vibrations that they enable God’s kingdom to be achieved in as little as a single lifetime.
  • “Born of water and the Spirit”; “born of flesh and the Spirit”.
    Here Jesus talks first about the process of natural birth, the gush of amniotic fluid and the fact that what is born is a spiritual being. He thus emphasizes the fact that He is talking about a physical and not just a metaphorical rebirth, of the sort that the churches imagine when they talk about the phrase “born again.” And then Jesus adds the fact that we need these earth-based lessons in order to grow spiritually, since that is the entire reason why our time on earth is necessary. Jesus’s teachings are specifically designed to elevate our consciousness vibrations as rapidly as possible.
  • “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.” This sentence perplexes Nicodemus, and Jesus throws up His hands in exasperation. Jesus must be referring here to the between-lives period of preparation for a rapid return to earth that the researcher Michael Newton documents, and from which our loved ones often speak to us. Nothing else really fits.
  • “No one has ascended into heaven, except He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life in Him.” In the penultimate paragraph here, Jesus tells Nicodemus the same story that Jesus and my Thomas told me in April of last year. Jesus ascended into heaven very quickly six thousand years ago, and then much later He descended from heaven as the Son of Man in order to teach us how each of us can achieve rapid spiritual growth, just as He had done. If we believe Him and follow His teachings, then we, too, will be lifted up and will join Him in eternal life. It really is precisely the same story! Seeing that Jesus told Nicodemus the same story two thousand years ago that He and Thomas told me just last year gives me gooseflesh whenever I think of it.
  • “Son of Man.” Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man before He began to accept the mantle of the long-promised Messiah. He uses that term more than eighty times through all four Gospels. In the ancient Hebrew religion, the Son of Man refers to a prototypical human being, with all his frailties; although Jesus seems to have used the term more to refer to Himself as an exemplary human being come to earth as God’s emissary. He was setting Himself lightly apart before He later specifically claimed the Messianic title and role.
  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” That final paragraph is religious fluff-words that were probably added by the First Nicaean Councilors. Notice how differently it reads from the rest, full of soaring pontifications. It may well be based on things that Jesus said, but the Councilors added so much that whatever Jesus may have said here is now unrecognizable. This is always a risk when we are reading the Gospels, since after Jesus spoke His precious words, they then were passed down orally for sixty or more years before they were first written down. After that, they spent additional centuries in the hands of people who often had their own religious agendas before their earliest translations into modern languages first were made.

Still, we can be grateful that respect for the Lord’s words has been such that the Gospel words that were messed with were usually only at the ends of whichever passages people wanted to change. And reading these wonderful Gospel passages from a devoutly spiritual viewpoint, which in fact was the viewpoint that Jesus had when He first spoke them, feels so remarkable today! Best of all, it brings us closer to the extraordinary spiritual Teacher come to us directly from God that Jesus actually is.

See, I was on the verge of breaking down.
Sometimes silence can seem so loud.
There are miracles in life I must achieve.
But first I know it starts inside of me.
If I can see it, then I can be it! If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it!
I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky!
I think about it every night and day. Spread wings and fly away!
I believe I can soar. I see me running through that open door!
I believe I can fly! I believe I can fly! I believe I can fly!
– R. Kelly, from “I Believe I Can Fly” (1996)

Jesus and Wealth

The best things in life are free. But you can give them to the birds and bees!
I want money. That’s what I want. That’s what I want.

Your love is such a thrill. But your love won’t pay my bills!
I want money. That’s what I want! That’s what I want!

Money don’t get everything, it’s true. What it don’t get, I can’t use!
I want money! That’s what I want! That’s what I want!

I want money! I want lots of money!
In fact, I want so much money! Give me your money! Just give me money!
Berry Gordy Jr. & Janie Bradford, from “Money” (1959)

The nineteen-nineties brought the first flutters of the tech boom, and the earliest young tech nouveaux riches. We weren’t yet seeing tech billionaires, but we were beginning to feel the first giddy effects of so much sudden wealth in youthful hands as the earliest dot-com startups were being bought up by larger companies, or they were going public. And with it all came an extraordinary lesson in what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I wish I could remember this fellow’s name. I was paying so little attention at the time that I don’t recall now whether I read an article about him, or if I only saw him on a television segment, tracked down and dodging away from cameras as he said a few indignant words and rushed on. What I best recall is my wonderment that here was someone who was absolutely taking Jesus at His literal word. Omigod. Would I ever be able to follow Jesus to this man’s extent?

If I am remembering this whole story correctly, they were a group of college friends who had written a program and started a company that had been bought up by some bigger tech startup. Now they were suddenly what in those days passed for very rich indeed! I think they may have made as much as a hundred million dollars apiece. There were three of them standing there in the spotlight, raising glasses for the cameras and grinning. And there also was that odd man out, who was refusing to be interviewed, and who oddly was determined to give away almost all of his windfall. When a reporter tracked him down, he indignantly said that he would keep a small part of what he had earned, but he could never justify before God keeping all that money. Wow. Just… Wow.     

Your first instinct may be to protest that since that young man had fairly earned his money, he had a perfect right to keep it. But in fact, the most difficult challenge that we can set for ourselves as part of any life-plan turns out to be wealth. Almost no one handles wealth successfully from a spiritual perspective. The late nineteenth century was another economic boom-time when there also were many newly wealthy people. And I recall that when I first was reading those many hundreds of communications received through deep-trance mediums more than a century ago which first convinced me that our lives are eternal, there was one poor fellow who stuck in my mind. He had chosen great wealth as his primary life-challenge, and then he had been devastated by just how badly he had handled his wealthy life-experience. He said to his family in the early twentieth century through a deep-trance medium soon after his death, “I really thought I could handle it! I thought I could do it! But I have set myself back by eons!” So, yes, that young man in the nineteen-nineties who was going to give away most of his wealth had fairly earned that money. True enough. But on the other hand, he was probably wise to have seen so much sudden wealth for the distracting spiritual poison that it was.

What follows the Lord’s Prayer in the Sixth Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is so important that we are going to spend a little time now with Jesus’s next words. He clearly means those words to support the Lord’s Prayer, and to literally be almost a part of the most popular prayer ever said by anyone. And furthermore, the words themselves are so beautiful! We shortchange ourselves if we don’t pause and savor them. Okay, so Jesus has just finished reciting the Lord’s Prayer for us for the very first time. And now He goes on to say:

14 “For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses.

16 “Now whenever you fast, do not make a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they distort their faces so that they will be noticed by people when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But as for you, when you fast, anoint your head with oil and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by people but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then, if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they? 27 And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin thread for cloth, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these! 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (MT 6:14-34)

Now Jesus stops speaking. And we sit with His words, feeling vaguely stunned by them. Can He really mean what He has said to us here? Actually, and quite literally, yes, Jesus does mean precisely what He has just said. Jesus considers wealth to be a nuisance distraction that risks coming between us and our ability to grow spiritually. And achieving optimum spiritual growth is the whole reason why we undertake these lives on earth in the first place! So before people of wealth can be welcomed by Jesus to be His followers, He first directs them to give away all their wealth. Just give it away. We see this happening repeatedly in the Gospels! Jesus sees wealth as a useless burden, a cancer, just a child’s shiny toy. Wealth to Jesus is a valueless distraction.

 After those kids fresh out of college with their mega-windfalls first made their big news in the nineties, eventually the tech billionaires who followed them became a normal part of the twenty-first-century landscape. So by now, if we care to notice them, we can find examples here and there of the wisdom of Jesus’s warning about the distraction that wealth can be in people’s lives. We read about billionaires who own even three or four mega-homes and a mega-yacht besides. All because, I guess, why not?

The thing about having so much money is that it likely feels as endlessly abundant as time feels to us when we are very young. If you are so extremely wealthy, perhaps you just want to use up some of that money. But for all of us who are born on earth, life itself turns out to be amazingly brief. And it is briefer by far when you look back at it from where I am now than you can possibly imagine that it will be! Six decades. Nine decades. What is that? It is nothing, really, in the scheme of things. And if you have filled that time first with building wealth and then mostly with buying things, what kind of satisfaction is that going to bring when you look back at it after all the sands have slipped through the glass? As a friend of mine wisely says, “We spend the first half of our lives accumulating stuff, and the second half of our lives getting rid of it.”   

And Jesus says, 15 Not even when one is affluent does his life consist of his possessions.” 16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. 19 And I will say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years to come; relax, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is required of you. And as for all that you have prepared, who will own it now?’ 21 Such is the one who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich in relation to God” (LK 12:15-21).

So that is the real problem with owning wealth. Wealth is a distraction from what is our lives’ real purpose, which is to raise our personal consciousness vibration so each of us can grow spiritually as rapidly as possible in the little bit of time that we will spend on this earth. The problem isn’t so much that it is shameful for you and me to be eating so well when in Africa the children are starving. It is our own free choice whether we will notice and be bothered by whatever is happening elsewhere in the world. No, the problem is that each day of our lifetime on earth is so precious because our whole life here is going to be so brief! The most vigorous and productive part of our life consists really of just a handful of years. And if you have spent your first few decades in building fabulous wealth, and then you spend another few decades in building and furnishing homes, until suddenly one night your life is required of you? What then really, in the end, was the point of your life?

Some years back, I interviewed a guest on my Seek Reality podcast who ran a European hospice. She just had written a book about what the people there had been saying to her at the ends of their earth-lives. And what fascinated me was that her patients, as they were approaching their deaths, didn’t regret never having had the luxuries that they never could have afforded to buy. Not at all. No, what they regretted, and often bitterly, was that they had not done more in their lives for other people.

And that is the worst word in the English language. “Regret.” It is the worst word in any language, no matter how you might translate it. Our Jesus would gently remind us that, yes, my dear ones, you do have forever in which you can grow spiritually! You always have been and you always will be.

But on the other hand, here on earth is the only place where you can find the great spiritual stressors that will help you to rapidly achieve real spiritual growth. And gaining another body on this earth in which to live some future lifetime when you might take more seriously the words of Jesus and your personal walk with God might not be such an easy thing for you to do. There are so many waiting beings now who seek to live earth-lifetimes that your wait for a new body to be born on earth may be a long one.

So please don’t waste this precious earth-lifetime on playing with the petty distraction of wealth! Instead, please raise your consciousness vibration now, and joyously, while you are here and you can do that so amazingly easily! And then, my beloved, when you arrive back home to your real life, which many of those on earth call the afterlife, you will have gained the spiritual power to easily mind-create a palace of solid gold to live in forever, if doing that still matters to you. Although, of course, Jesus is pretty sure that it never will matter to you at all. Not once you have raised your consciousness vibration enough to spread your spiritual wings and eternally own the whole sky!

The Lord’s Gift

When the twilight is gone, and no songbirds are singing.
When the twilight is gone, you come into my heart.
And here in my heart you will stay while I pray.
My prayer is to linger with you,
At the end of the day, in a dream that’s divine.
My prayer is a rapture in blue,
With the world far away, and your lips close to mine.
Tonight, while our hearts are aglow,
Oh, tell me the words that I’m longing to know!
My prayer, and the answer you give,
May they still be the same for as long as we live!
That you’ll always be there at the end of my prayer.
Georges Boulanger (1837-1891) Jimmy Kennedy (1902-1984) “My Prayer” (1954)

I have never been very good at praying. The problem is that God feels internal to me, so formally praying to God feels almost like talking to myself. Or when I was younger, and God seemed to be both external and infinitely powerful, formally praying felt presumptuous, as if I had interrupted God’s extremely important day with my selfish trivialities. And then there is the problem of what to say to God. Because, here is the thing: God can read your mind. You don’t even have to form the words! God knows what you want, and what you need. And you, in particular, are God’s best-beloved child, so you don’t even have to say, “Dear God, please give to me …” your dream job, or your perfect spouse, or the home on which you have just made an offer, because God is already on it. And God loves you to pieces, so God is falling all over Godself right now to give you whatever will make you happiest! If you don’t get the job, or if your dating life is rocky or your offer on the house falls through, it will only be because your spirit guide feels that you needed that little setback in your life as part of your larger spiritual growth process. Or because there is something even better in the offing for you.     

My comfort has been that other people seem to be having these same problems with prayer. Have you ever really listened to public praying? Even most clergymen, who should have some facility with prayer by now, will either read written prayers, or else they will stumble around, adding filler words and thinking as they speak, saying things like, “… and God, we surely do thank you so very much that we’ve got this nice day today to open up our new Civic Center…” while they are thinking fast, trying to make sure there is no one else they should be mentioning, and no remaining detail left to say. And of course, God doesn’t mind that at all.

My alternative, as I have said elsewhere, has long been to clean up my mental act, and then to live with the top of my head wide open and just to keep an open prayerline to God. Because since God can easily read your mind, you are always unavoidably in prayer mode, anyway.

The problem is, though, that if you never really pray, then you are taking God for granted. So as over time I have figured out more and more of what actually is going on, I have gotten into the habit of saying some little rote prayers. Like grace, for example. One day when my oldest was maybe five, she found a grace somewhere that we could say before dinner. Her choice was so good that even forty years later, my family still holds hands and says her grace before dinner every night. It goes like this: “Be present at our table, Lord. Be here and everywhere adored. These morsels bless, and grant that we will feast in Paradise with Thee.” The fact that people don’t eat in heaven is a mere technicality. And while we are talking about family prayers, I ought to mention our frame-verse. Perhaps a pop song is a tad unusual as a frame-verse when our topic is prayer, but I have always especially liked this one. Edward and I have lately celebrated our fifty-first wedding anniversary, and it occurs to me that in a Western world in which almost fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, if more couples had a little ritual of reciting this beautiful ditty together, perhaps that might help to keep their marriages strong. It can’t hurt.

Many people seem to have my same confusion about what the best way might be to talk to God. When people ask me about prayer – and they often do – I tell them that now I only ever recite the Lord’s Prayer. And I do it several times a day. I think of the Lord’s Prayer as ideal because it encapsulates in so few words everything that we need to ask of God. And since the Lord’s Prayer was given to us by God in the person of Jesus, for us to pray it to God in return makes of this prayer a sweet, divine circular sharing.

Jesus gives us the Lord’s Prayer at a place in the Gospel of Matthew where He is first beginning to build in His followers a genuine spiritual life. As I was repeatedly reading the Gospels as a teenager and a young adult, I was coming to see that perhaps there wasn’t a whole lot going on in most people’s minds before Jesus came. They seemed not to have, or really even to feel much need for a spiritual life or a personal relationship with God before they first began to listen to Jesus. So in the passage that precedes the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus first sets the scene for us by telling us that as we are beginning now to mature as spiritual beings, it is time for us to withdraw altogether from the presence of other people in order to better begin our spiritual relationship with God. And because Jesus is speaking to what amounts to spiritual children, notice that He couches this in terms of their wanting to have some tangible reward from their Father (i.e. their heavenly Daddy) for their better spiritual behavior:

“Take care not to practice your righteousness in the sight of people, to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, so that they will be praised by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your charitable giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they will be seen by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But as for you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“And when you are praying, do not use thoughtless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’” (MT 6 1-13).

And then it is appropriate to add your own personal prayer to God, if you like. Whenever I pray individually, I do it in gratitude affirmations, so ever since I gave the rest of my life to God fifteen years ago, I have added to the end of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thank You for giving me work to do. Thank You for showing me how to do it.”

Now let’s consider the simple perfection of the Lord’s Prayer, which was given two thousand years ago to spiritual children, but it still works as beautifully for you and me today:

‘Our Father, who is in heaven,

The Hebrew people of Jesus’s day had long been taught to fear an often angry and vengeful Jehovah God, whom they imagined to be a very much oversized and powerful human-like Being. Fear is the literal opposite of love, so before Jesus could teach His followers anything at all, He had first to reset their whole image of God into loving Spirit. In the end, of course, we got three God-versions: Father, Holy Spirit, and Jesus Himself. But at this early stage, it was helpful for Jesus to transform their notion of Jehovah into something more like a loving Daddy-figure.

Hallowed be Your name.

God’s very name is holy. Jesus taught that all other sins are forgivable, but to take God’s name in vain is an eternal crime.

10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

Here is Jesus’s core teaching, which is the very essence of the reason why He was born on earth. As each of us learns to ever more perfectly love and forgive, and thereby raises his or her own consciousness vibration until we can graduate even beyond our need to be reborn again on earth, we will elevate the spiritual vibration of this entire planet sufficiently toward love to eventually bring the kingdom of God on earth. As above, so below. Jesus makes this longed-for happy result the first thing that we pray for, whenever we pray.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

After we have first asked God to help us to make the earth a beautiful mimic of our love-filled heavenly home, we next ask God to give us what we will need to sustain our material bodies for this one day. But only for this one day! Not also for tomorrow. And certainly not also for next week. Jesus recognizes how dangerous an excess of wealth can be in distracting us from addressing what is really important in our brief earthly lives. And then He even will go on immediately after He recites this whole prayer for us to talk about why it is so extremely important that we not accumulate more in the way of worldly goods than what we will need for this one day. Jesus clearly intends His warning about the dangers of accumulating wealth to be a core part of His gift of this beautiful prayer, so you and I will talk about this problem and Jesus’s warning in more detail next week.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Jesus is mindful of the life review that we all will face when we first go home, during which we will experience how we made everyone else feel during our brief life just ended. He knows how important it is that we keep our focus on learning how to forgive everyone in preparation for that time when we will be asked to forgive ourselves, which is why He pairs our asking for God’s forgiveness with our promising God that we also are learning to ever better forgive others. We should note here that the word “debts” is often translated instead as “trespasses,” and our forgiveness is then of “those who trespass against us.” The Hebrew people of His day were big on forgiving both debts and trespasses. Every fiftieth year was for them a year of Jubilee, when debts and all else would be forgiven, the land would lie fallow for a year, and slaves would be set free.

13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Jesus to pair a request that God protect us from both temptations and also all evils, as if those two requests might be related, may not make sense to you and me at first, but it does make sense to Him. And it also makes sense to us as well, really, after we have given it some thought. The reason it makes sense is that material temptations, and most particularly temptations of the flesh, such as what Catholics call the seven deadly sins of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth, are at the root of every evil. If we can avoid them all, then we are already halfway toward making a great spiritual success of this lifetime. But on the other hand, to allow even one of the seven deadly sins to tempt us risks setting us on a downward spiral into a weakness and evil so intense that it might before long have us enmired in even more, or even in all seven of the deadly sins at once, so evil will then become our whole way of life. And worst of all, if we allow even one of these deadly sins to claim us, then our making much further spiritual progress in this lifetime is likely to become impossible.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’”

The earliest version of the Lord’s prayer may not have included this last line. But even if it is a later addition, it is very old, and I am sure that Jesus considers it to be a welcome addition!

For much of my life I have wondered why there is no explicit “thank you” for God’s many gifts to us included in the Lord’s Prayer. I have never had the nerve to ask Jesus that question. But as I was writing this post, I did ask Thomas what he thought. He really does consider me to be such a dunce. And with good reason! He said patiently from behind my left shoulder, “Jesus came to us as God on earth, and Jesus taught us to pray that prayer. For God to be asking for our thanks and praise would make God seem to be rather petty, don’t you think?” And then of course I slapped my forehead. Why Thomas still puts up with me is beyond my ability to fathom.

Our discussion of the Lord’s Prayer will continue next week with what may be for us affluent Westerners its most difficult lines for us to swallow hard and sincerely pray. They are that for me, at least. Now that I fully understand what Jesus actually means by them….

Free Thinking

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
– William Ernest Henley (1849-1903), “Invictus” (1875)

One of the oddest debates in materialist science is about whether or not human beings have free will. This debate is a longstanding one, and it can be maddening to those who are watching it, since most materialist scientists claim that human free will is a mere illusion. We last discussed this issue here two years ago, when I mentioned professional atheist Sam Harris’s book on this subject. I was sure when I first read his book that he would think the whole idea of no free will was ridiculous. After all, Harris himself is such an adamant free spirit! But amazingly, I found that he had bought into the lie, hook, line, and sinker. This controversy first acutely arose when a researcher named Benjamin Libet showed in the 1980s that muscular and nervous preparations to move a digit begin about 350 milliseconds before we make the conscious decision to move it, thereby proving to many materialist scientists that human beings have no free will. There are some scientists who are sure that Libet’s work proves no such thing; but theirs is a minority view. So scientists who still stubbornly believe in free will are now mostly relegated to the religionist side of the battle between science and religion that goes back as far as Plato and Aristotle.            

But of course, you and I well understand that our decision to move a digit is not made in the brain. Rather, it is made in our mind, and our mind is a part of the great universal Consciousness which underlies all of reality. Then our mind notifies our digit to move, and only then does our mind make our brain aware of what our decision has been, so that 350-millisecond gap is actually quite easy to explain. And thus, you will be relieved to learn, our better understanding of the nature of Consciousness and its primary role in reality has given you back your free-will right to decide what you are going to have for breakfast.

What is very important, too, is the fact that our deeper understanding of the primary role of Consciousness lets us better understand the teaching role of Jesus in our spiritual development. Please think about this! If we come to earth primarily so we can learn and grow spiritually, but then while we are here all our spiritual challenges are confronted by mere automatons of people who have no free-will ability to make decisions because all our decisions are being made for us, then how on earth can any of us ever learn and grow spiritually, even by an inch? It is in our very need to learn and grow spiritually that our need for an unfettered free will is most essential!

Most of our basic human learning is what we might call simple rote-learning. During that first learning, which happens in babyhood and childhood, we are primarily in download mode. No free will really is needed there. Actually, during those first nearly two decades we spend a lot of time just learning to become successfully functioning human beings, able to live and to navigate in this complex material world, and becoming fully adapted to it and emotionally invested in it. This is all so we will be comfortable in our surroundings, and not distracted by them as our adult spiritual challenges begin to occur.

When my Thomas first took me to meet Jesus in the astral plane eighteen months ago, and Jesus then told me His personal eternal-life story, I was frankly blown away by it. Jesus had begun His existence in ancient times as a normal human being whose one great talent was an extraordinary ability to love His fellow Man. Jesus had always been so naturally good at loving, and so driven by His deep personal need to love, that He had become a spiritually perfected being fully six thousand years ago, easy-peasy for Him, and welcome to the Godhead Collective! But of course, if you are so deeply driven by such a profound love for all of humankind, you are not about to happily join the Godhead and just let the rest of humankind flounder on in ignorance through countless more lifetimes to come.

When Jesus first realized that the whole point of human life was to learn how to ever better love and forgive, and to thereby raise our spiritual vibrations, He was distressed to realize that everyone else was not already very well aware of that fact! People were living lifetime after lifetime, and making very little spiritual progress with each lifetime because they had no idea about even why they were here. So rather than joining the Godhead Collective, Jesus spent the next four thousand years convincing God to allow Him to return to earth in order to teach all of us how to do what He had so easily done naturally. He wanted each of us to be able to raise our own consciousness vibrations sufficiently to quickly become perfected beings, just as He had done. (This whole story as He told it to me is now posted on Jesus had no need to die for our sins. No, that later Christian dogma was just part of the Emperor Constantine’s religion-building process. It was Constantine’s separate deeply fear-based idea. So then Jesus was by His own choice born from the Godhead two thousand years ago to be our spiritual Teacher.

And Jesus is such an extraordinary Teacher! Oh my goodness, He is truly amazing. When I first realized about thirteen years ago that His role on earth was to be our Teacher, and I took Him seriously in that role, I said, Okay, Jesus, so please let me be your guinea pig. Let’s see if Your teachings really work as intended. And I discovered that, yes indeed, they do work beautifully. And they work within months! I ended up putting them in The Fun of Growing Forever. It would have been trickier for Jesus to teach what He wanted to teach us when He was on earth, because the first step really has to be to leave your fear-based religion behind, and back then no one would have understood a spiritual teacher who was not a clergyman. But what a joy it is to watch that beautiful young man throw off every religious and cultural inhibition, and simply teach us the love-based truth!

That is actually what the story of Jesus and the woman at the well is about. It comes at the start of His public ministry, and in His encounter with the woman at the well, Jesus broke three important Jewish customs. First, He spoke to a female stranger. Second, she was a Samaritan woman, a member of a group the Jews traditionally disdained. And third, He asked her to give Him a drink, which would have made Him ceremonially unclean just from using her drinking vessel. All of this shocked the woman at the well. But Jesus lived in unrestrained love, free from all laws and customs. And the boldness and confidence with which He did these things right at the start of His ministry is amazing!

This comes from Chapter Four of the Gospel of John: “3He left Judea and went away again to Galilee. And He had to pass through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired from His journey, was just sitting by the well. It was about the sixth hour.A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away to the city to buy food. So the Samaritan woman said to Him, ‘How is it that You, though You are a Jew, are asking me for a drink, though I am a Samaritan woman?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus replied to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ 11 She said to Him, ‘Sir, You have no bucket and the well is deep; where then do You get this living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well and drank of it himself, and his sons and his cattle?’ 13 Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never be thirsty; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.’”

15 The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty, nor come all the way here to draw water.’ 16 He said to her, ‘Go, call your husband and come here.’ 17 The woman answered and said to Him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have correctly said, “I have no husband”; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this which you have said is true.’ 19 The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and yet you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one must worship.’ 21 Jesus said to her, ‘Believe Me, woman, that a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming, and even now has arrived, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’ 25 The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’ 26 Jesus said to her, ‘I am He, the One speaking to you’” (JN 4:3-26).

This is in some ways the most extraordinary passage in all four Gospels. Especially coming, as it does, right at the start of Jesus’s ministry. Not only is Jesus breaking every social convention in speaking to a Samaritan woman and asking her for water. But here, for the first time in His earthly life as Jesus, He is proclaiming Himself to be the Messiah. And He is choosing to make that very important initial announcement… to a despised Samaritan woman. Jesus is telling us in no uncertain terms that He will not be inhibited by any human conventions whatsoever, but rather that love is His only law.

Before Jesus told me His life-story, He still seemed like Magic-Jesus to me, as He had been for my entire life. He probably at one time seemed that way to you as well. Perhaps He still does. The whole born in a manger, and then the angels came, the Son of God, and crucified, rose from the dead, and all of that: If ever anyone was a not-real, larger than life individual, it was Jesus. To have my spirit guide tell me that he himself had once been Thomas Jefferson had been stretching things pretty far to begin with; but I had gotten used to that. We even had written a book about Thomas Jefferson together. But then Thomas took me to meet with Jesus in the astral plane, which was so far off-the-charts unbelievable! And then came the story that Jesus told me, and I began to know the genuine person that He is, and that brought Him more down to earth and personal for me.

The thing about Jesus is that in person, Jesus is the humblest, really the least full of Himself Person that you can imagine. When you meet Him, He makes it all about you. Which is odd, because He has this overwhelmingly powerful and absolutely silken personal energy that shouts how important He actually is. And yet when He looks into your eyes, He does it as if in that moment, you are all that matters to Him. “But, but, He is God!” You might be protesting now. And the last thing you would expect of the Ultimate High God, Creator of the Universe, would be humility! I thought that at first as well. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that perhaps it would be rather like God to love each one of us deeply, as a mother loves her precious child. Think of it!  This whole universe is God’s creation. And God creates all of it to give us a place to grow spiritually. Wow. You had better believe that God truly and deeply loves each one of us!

There is something else, too, that is amazing about that moment between Jesus and the woman at the well. Jesus talks about giving her “living water,” and He says that “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never be thirsty; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.” And the water in the afterlife actually is alive! When I first read that Gospel passage, I realized that Jesus knew about the living water in the afterlife. He actually had been to the same afterlife that my research had been revealing to me! And then, soon after that, I discovered that the Shroud of Turin is genuine, and it can be used to confirm that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. What a heady time that was for me, when I first understood that all my research could be used to confirm that Jesus is genuine in every conceivable way!

And then, of course, Thomas decided that it was time for me actually to meet Jesus. My Thomas was so wise in the way that he handled this! By the time I met Jesus, Thomas had already resolved all my potential reservations. I knew that Jesus was a genuine historical figure who had, moreover, actually risen from the dead. At one time I had been, if you will pardon the expression, a modern doubting Thomas of sorts. I wanted so much to believe! But even despite my childhood experience of light, and my second such experience in young adulthood, I was – and I remain – a natural skeptic. So then I met Jesus, and thanks to Thomas’s already having addressed whatever reservations about Him I still might have had, just my finally seeing Jesus, and feeling His amazing personal energy, readily resolved whatever doubts remained. Jesus is, and for you and me He carefully maintains Himself eternally to be, fully God and fully Man. I try to understand what it must be to love people as Jesus loves people. I really do try. But there are not enough words of love and praise in all the languages of the earth to express how I now feel for my beloved Jesus.


Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! This I know, as He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee, saying, “Let them come to Me.”
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me still today, walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give light and love to all who live.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
– William B. Bradbury (1816-1868), from “Jesus Loves Me” (1862)

The most difficult process for any of us is attempting to cultivate genuine trust. We live in a world where it seems that there is no one that we really can trust. We begin with our parents’ little loving lies, and we move on to the lies that schoolteachers tell us. The first few times that we realize that an adult has told us some untruth – and maybe those tales about Santa are the first real lies that we discover – being lied to by grownups feels devastating. But then, if we are wise, we learn to adopt a healthy skepticism that is self-protective, true, but it also makes us sad. Think of all the lies that you and I now hear every day! From politicians, and from governments at all levels. From commercials for all sorts of goods and services. From friends and relatives. From bosses. From employees. In big and little ways, and even if some lies might be acts of kindness, is there anyone in our lives who does not at least occasionally tell us some untruths?

And perhaps even worse than all the lies put together are life’s awful, unexpected betrayals. The job we have trusted for the past ten years has unexpectedly let us go. The perfect health that has been our comfortable status for our whole life long is all at once and forever gone, just with that look on our doctor’s face. The spouse that we love, and with whom we are rearing children who are only halfway grown, breaks the news that he or she is parting ways now, and there will be a divorce. Especially this last betrayal feels so unthinkable to me that I hesitate to type the words! And yet statistically, some version of that particular betrayal happens in close to half of American families.    

And then we have the worst destroyer of trust imaginable, which underlies the lives of many people who are now or who ever have been Christians. What about God’s betrayal? We were taught as little children that we could love and trust God! We likely sang our frame-song in Sunday school. And then, as we grew older, in many traditional Christian denominations we were taught that God might condemn us to burn in hell forevermore, even for what seemed to be trivial infractions. Stop and think about that. Christian doctrines have softened quite a bit over the last century or so. But for most of Christian history, and well into the twentieth century, even children were taught as they grew older that actually, you know, there is a fiery hell. And God will not hesitate to send you there. The Roman Emperor Constantine’s Christianity as he conceived it was ruthlessly fear-based. It used the constant threat of a fiery hell to keep Christians in line, and to such an extent that the fire-and-brimstone stench of sulfur lingers over many Christian denominations to this day. To give you some examples:

  • Calvinism includes the concept of predestination. Not only is there a fiery hell, but a considerable number of Calvinist Christians are born already predestined to go straight to hell when they die. No matter how good you are during your lifetime on earth, if you are a Christian born into that particular version of Christianity, you might well have been predestined for hell without knowing it, and there is nothing you can do to change your ghastly fate.
  • Unbaptized Catholic infants go straight to hell. Nowadays the Catholic Church is more merciful, and it sends unbaptized infants only to purgatory perhaps. But I recall reading a sermon that had been delivered around the turn of the twentieth century to Catholic parents who had not managed to get their infants baptized before they died. Not only are their babies now roasting alive forevermore, but those babies will be allowed to come up from hell for a moment to see the baptized-before-death babies playing happily in a sunlit heaven before the unbaptized babies are thrown back down into hell to continue to roast for all eternity.
  • Some Christian theologians insist that Jesus taught more about hell than anyone else ever has. They say this because they know nothing about the afterlife, and they mistake Jesus’s words about the Outer Darkness for His having talked about hell. In fact, the genuine Jesus never talked about hell at all! The Outer Darkness is the lowest afterlife level, and we might put ourselves there for a time if we cannot forgive ourselves during our post-death life review. When I first realized after I had done all that afterlife research that I could see from the way Jesus was talking in the Gospels that He actually knew about the post-death life review and the Outer Darkness that the dead were telling us about, I had literal chills! OMG! Jesus really is real! But the Outer Darkness is by no means a fiery hell. Not at all.

Instilling in people a fear of God is Roman Christianity’s worst sin by far. Fear is the opposite of love. In fact, you absolutely cannot love what you fear! Having spent fifty years doing afterlife research, and having networked with others who have also done considerable afterlife research, I can tell you for an absolute certainty these two central facts: there is no fiery hell, and nor is there ever any judgment by God. What you always get from the genuine God is nothing but infinite love! But none of us feels worthy of God’s love, and so we pull back, we turn away, we feel unbearably shy. In that painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as God and Adam reach to touch one another, God’s finger is straight. It is Adam’s finger that is bent. Still, and believe it or not, you in particular are God’s best-beloved child.

All right. It is time to fix this now!

There are slightly fewer than eight billion people currently living on earth. And of all of those eight billion people, perhaps only a few thousand of them – maybe ten thousand? – are educated as Gospels scholars without being traditionally religious. Not many. And of those eight billion people, there also is a different, and a very much tinier group who have been sufficiently fascinated by the afterlife evidence and the evidence for a greater reality to become truly expert in those areas. These serious afterlife scholars cannot be more than a few hundred people worldwide. In fact, this second group is so small that I think I know who most of them are. Of course, what would be good would be if someone with a lot of Gospels knowledge and also a lot of afterlife knowledge could find ways in which those two bodies of knowledge might be used to validate one another, right?

But the odds are long against there being any one person with sufficient interest in two such different areas to spend enough time in both to become a useful expert in both of them. In fact, insofar as I am able to tell, out of the almost eight billion people living on earth, the only person who is sufficiently eccentric to have built her hobby-life around studying Jesus and also studying the afterlife simultaneously has been me. And it is only now that I realize what a handy thing this peculiar combined body of knowledge really is! Because, sure enough, all you deluded Gospels scholars, I can personally testify to you that Jesus knows all about the afterlife! Since, as it turns out, so do I.

Here is a typical passage in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus talks about condemning people to the Outer Darkness: “And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a Roman Centurion came to Him, begging Him, and saying, ‘Sir, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, terribly tormented.’ Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ But the Centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, “Go!” and he goes, and to another, “Come!” and he comes, and to my slave, “Do this!” and he does it.’ 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those who were following, ‘Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 13 And Jesus said to the Centurion, ‘Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed at that very moment” (MT 8:5-13).

What actually is going on here? I submit to you that this is not about judgment or punishment, and it certainly is not about hell! Once again, and emphatically, there is no hell. Let’s look at what is actually happening in this Gospel excerpt:

  • Jesus is praising the Roman Centurion’s great faith in Him. He is saying that the Centurion’s faith is exemplary, and that unless Jesus’s own followers can learn to emulate such great faith, they may end up judging themselves harshly during their individual post-death life reviews, and putting themselves into the Outer Darkness after their deaths for a time as a result.
  • Jesus speculates that others “from east and west” who are not even Jews may also become as faithful as this Centurion. And if they do, they may similarly after their deaths attain heavenly status with the Hebrew prophets, well ahead of Jesus’s complacent Jewish followers.
  • In the Outer Darkness there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. This sounds as if Jesus is describing a gloomy place of dismal regret. A place where people are unhappy, frustrated, and depressed, for sure! But is He saying that the Outer Darkness is a fiery hell where people are screaming as they are roasting alive? Clearly not!
  • As Jesus well knew, avoiding the Outer Darkness is a simple matter of keeping one’s spiritual vibration high. As long as His followers are loving and forgiving, and as long as they are showing faith like that Centurion’s remarkable faith in Jesus, their personal post-death spiritual vibrations will keep them far above the Outer Darkness level.

Jesus even tells us in the Gospels that neither He nor God ever judges us! He says, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (JN 5:22-23). And then when we understand that God doesn’t judge us, Jesus adds that He Himself doesn’t judge us, either. He says, “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (JN 12:47). I guess that all those theologians who keep saying that Jesus talked a lot about hell must never have bothered to actually read the Gospels, right? The only Bible bits that might give any support to their theory that Jesus talked about hell are a few spots at the back of some of the Gospels that were added at the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 CE at Constantine’s direction. Those later Roman additions have a wholly different flavor from the actual Gospeel words of Jesus, in that they show Him talking about judgment, sheep-and-goats, and such hard things that we know that Jesus never would have said. Or spots in the Book of Revelation that Constantine also added.  We simply snip off those obvious later additions, and we have back just what Jesus actually said.

Sometimes, while Thomas and I are writing a blog post, Jesus will read it over our shoulders, and then He might offer us His suggestions. In the case of this blog post, His suggestions were emphatic! As I was waking up on Wednesday morning, I heard Jesus’s distinctive voice strongly in my mind. He suggested the frame-verse, and the tale of the Roman Centurion (which I realized at once was a perfect choice), and He asked me to give you this message from Him: “Beloveds, you cannot fully trust anything that happens to you on the earth. What happens here is meant for your spiritual growth, and it will be painful, and you will often feel betrayed. So you can fully trust no one here. This is why I came to you! To teach you that you can always trust God. And you can always trust Me. And ‘Underneath are the everlasting arms’ (Deut 33:27).”  Yet again, our dear Jesus has blown my mind.

  Jesus loves me! He who died, heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin, let His little child come in.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He will stay close beside me all the way.
Thou hast bled and died for me. I will henceforth live for Thee.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
– William B. Bradbury (1816-1868), from “Jesus Loves Me” (1862)

The Hard Problem

Spring was never waiting for us, dear.
It ran one step ahead as we followed in the dance,
Between the parted pages, and were pressed in love’s hot, fevered iron,
Like a striped pair of pants.
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark, all the sweet, green icing flowing down.
Someone left the cake out in the rain.
I don’t think that I can take it, ‘cause it took so long to bake it,
And I’ll never have that recipe again. Oh no!

I recall the yellow cotton dress foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees.
The birds, like tender babies in your hands,
And the old men playing checkers by the trees.
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark.
All the sweet, green icing flowing down.
Someone left my cake out in the rain.
I don’t think that I can take it ‘cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again. Oh no!
Jimmy Webb, from “MacArthur Park” (1968)

What is most astonishing about the efforts of scientists in the field of consciousness research is the way these scientists never bother to study or try to fully define it. Their first step in studying consciousness should have been to do the research and seek a good preliminary understanding of what consciousness even is. And when you google the word “consciousness,” you don’t get much, which is testimony to the fact that mainstream scientists have never much bothered to take what should have been the essential first steps toward understanding their elusive quarry. Even Wikipedia defines “consciousness” simply as “awareness.” And this, in a day when every reasonably well-informed person who is reading these words has long since learned that consciousness appears in our lives in other ways than merely our individual awareness! For example:

  • Everything death-related is consciousness-based. Whether it be reports of ghosts and apparitions, or the many thousands of consistent and verifiable communications that Westerners have been receiving for more than a century and a half from those that we used to think were dead, the afterlife is by now undeniable. And it is all consciousness! But scientists simply do not want to know about it.
  • Near-Death Experiences and Out-Of-Body Experiences all are also consciousness-based. The fact that each individual’s consciousness can exist and operate readily apart from its related material body, and can have experiences, and can then return to that body and report on those experiences in detail, is by now an undeniable fact. That people blind from birth, and even those born without eyes, can see and can report on what they are seeing during NDEs and OBEs, is another undeniable fact. But, again, scientists do not want to know about it. And when they are asked about NDEs, they will stick their fingers into their ears, scrunch their eyes up tight, and hum loudly.
  • Our spiritual growth is consciousness-based as well. The more thoroughly people seek to understand the meaning and purpose of human life, the more that meaning and purpose seems to be revealed to be precisely what Jesus told us that it was two thousand years ago. It is simply to love more perfectly, and to forgive more completely. Nothing more, but nothing less. Which means that for each of us to raise our personal consciousness vibration away from the lower vibrations and toward the higher, more love-based vibrations is the very essence of our spiritual fulfillment. But, again, scientists have no interest at all in this tremendous swath of our universal human experience.

For mainstream scientists to have been adamantly materialist thirty years ago, or perhaps even as recently as twenty years ago, would have been understandable, and probably forgivable. But for mainstream scientists’ prevailing degree of willful ignorance about something so basic and so important to persist even now, when so much good information is so widely available on the internet and in well-researched and footnoted books and publications, is frankly inexcusable. Indeed, it is looking more likely to more open-minded researchers that consciousness is going to turn out to be not some minor product of the human brain at all. But in fact, it is pretty clear now that consciousness is going to prove instead to be crucially important. It seems that consciousness may indeed prove in the end to be the ground of being of all reality. Which means that materialist scientists may very well have things completely backward! Our meat-brains do not after all produce consciousness, but instead it is likely that they merely receive consciousness.

Scientists of the traditional materialist sort who study consciousness are making two core assumptions. They assume that:

  • Consciousness is only human-brain-based awareness. And moreover, they assume that consciousness can never be found in any other form. They know for certain that you and I are aware. And they assume that our awareness must be brain-based. So when they study consciousness, scientists assume that it actually makes sense to reason outward from ourselves. But we who are not materialist scientists understand that these scientists all must therefore be living in a pre-1976 world, prior to the publication of Raymond Moody’s Life After Life. It is a world in which no one ever has heard the term “near-death experience,” and no NDE or OBE ever has yet been reported.
  • Therefore, these materialist scientists reason, consciousness must somehow originate inside the structures of the human brain. There is no other possibility. The human brain is indeed vastly complex, but after the better part of a century of scientists having fruitlessly assumed that those complex brain structures somehow have to give rise to consciousness, it still never has seemed to dawn on any traditional research scientist that they might want to consider looking beyond the brain itself.

So it is no wonder that scientists have taken to calling their search for the source of consciousness inside the human brain “the Hard Problem.” I maintain that even if we were indeed still pre-1976, it still would make no sense at all to be proceeding to try to understand consciousness based upon the above two assumptions! It still would be important in any event for us first to try to better understand what consciousness actually is. 

My favorite definition of consciousness was given to me by Thomas, my spirit guide. He tells me that “Consciousness is an infinitely powerful and infinitely creative energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the sense that your mind is alive, highly emotional and therefore probably self-aware.” So in other words, consciousness is the ground-of-all-being, and Consciousness at its highest vibration is God, which is perfect love. Scientists won’t be using this definition for a while, but they might begin to use some part of it. And someday all of us will use it. Mark my Thomas’s words.

In what other area of scientific research does reasoning outward from some random starting assumption like “consciousness must be brain-related, so, what the heck, let’s just look there” make sense to anyone? When consciousness is independently and objectively studied, it is found to have so many other and widely varied aspects beyond simple awareness that it would be found to be flat impossible for consciousness to originate inside the human brain! And yet, these blinkered materialist scientists are undaunted.

Stolidly, and apparently with little doubt in their minds that eventually they are bound to succeed, they still  look for that spark of consciousness to appear, magically generated somehow from the meat inside each human skull. Oh, they have come to understand by now that solving the Hard Problem is not going to be easy! But since these scientists have careers to pursue, and children still to educate, while there are sources of funds to pay their salaries, these materialist scientists will soldier on. They enter each new year with optimism, and they follow every new idea, no matter how crazy it might seem, with so much hope! Only to find that, over and over again, each new idea is yet another blind alley.

More genuinely hopeful, though, is the fact that there are some independent organizations that explore consciousness more intelligently, the most prominent of which is the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). IONS was founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell after he had a spiritual epiphany as he was returning from the moon. For half a century, IONS has been a leader in spurring interest in and seeking funding for research into genuine consciousness studies. Perhaps wisely, what IONS tries to do is to stay only a half-step ahead of the strictly materialist scientists, which is a tricky dance to do at best. And it is a dance that requires more patience by far than I possess.

For example, I notice that IONS is co-sponsoring with The Division of Perceptual Studies, the University of Virginia, and The Alef Trust a conference called Beyond the Brain. Apparently a group called the Scientific and Medical Network has been putting on this conference since 1995, and its specific, stated purpose is to explore consciousness, and specifically to address whether and how consciousness might extend beyond the physical brain. The conference’s promotional materials note that “speakers at the cutting edges of their fields (will offer) a deeper understanding of how consciousness research is expanding the horizons of science.” This conference bills itself as “The world’s premier conference series exploring new research on whether and how consciousness and mind extend beyond the physical brain and body. This year’s event covers children who remember previous lives, energy medicine and healing, spiritual awakening in scientists and academics, neuroscience and spirituality, terminal lucidity, DMT and consciousness, and the more general issues of nonlocal consciousness and the consciousness-brain relationship.” This is nowhere near the genuine cutting edge, of course, but when it is compared with what the materialist scientists are doing, it breaks the sound barrier.

This year’s online event takes place from Friday, 3 November to Sunday, 5 November. And reportedly, “Speakers are all at the cutting edges of their fields and will be discussing innovative research that probes the nature of consciousness. You will gain a vital overview and a deeper understanding of how consciousness research is expanding the horizons of science. This mind-stretching conference is not to be missed, so we greatly look forward to your participation!” Apparently it is all online. If you are interested, go to to learn more.

IONS is a fine organization, founded as it was by astronaut Edgar Mitchell and run for many years by the estimable Dean Radin. But nevertheless, it is difficult to be hopeful that it can do very much to change the meaningless direction of materialist science. The traditional scientific community is a closed system, and I flat cannot imagine that it is going to listen to anyone outside of it any time soon. Modern mainstream scientists do not in fact live in a pre-1976 world. In their everyday lives they live in 2023, and they are well aware of near-death experiences and all their manifold implications, and yet these blinkered fools still persist in taking the money and wasting yet many more decades in what amounts to a meaningless charade. The real question is, when what they are doing is at this point so obviously pointless, why do they nevertheless persist in doing it?

While science continues to wallow in self-imposed ignorance, you and I no longer need to continue to wait to begin to understand the truth. There are by now some brilliant researchers who have mostly figured out consciousness, and they are happy to share with us what they know! Here is a lovely series of videos by our treasured friend, Dr. R. Craig Hogan, which demonstrate (a) that the mind is not inside the brain; (b) that the brain is actually unnecessary; and (c) that in fact there is nothing but mind and experiences. As Jesus has been telling us all along, the truth indeed does make us free!

There will be another song for me, for I will sing it.
There will be another dream for me. Someone will bring it.
I will drink the wine while it is warm,
And never let you catch me looking at the sun.
And after all the loves of my life, after all the loves of my life,
You’ll still be the one.

I will take my life into my hands, and I will use it.
I will win the worship in their eyes, and I will lose it.
I will have the things that I desire,
And let my passion flow like rivers through the sky,
And after all the loves of my life, Oh, after all the loves of my life,
I’ll be thinking of you. And wondering why…
Jimmy Webb, from “MacArthur Park” (1968)