Posted by Roberta Grimes • May 13, 2023 • 49 Comments
Human Nature, Understanding Reality
Who can I turn to when nobody needs me?
My heart wants to know, and so I must go where destiny leads me.
With no star to guide me, and no one beside me,
I’ll go on my way, and after the day,
The darkness will hide me.
And maybe tomorrow I’ll find what I’m after.
I’ll throw off my sorrow.
Beg, steal, or borrow my share of laughter.
– Anthony Newley (1931-1999) & Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021), from “Who Can I Turn To?” (1965)
After learning that plants are sentient and loving, while scientists see people as soulless automatons who lack even the ability to make our own decisions, we can hardly wait to learn now how our dominant religion sees human beings. This faith-based view may be even more important, since it might well determine the extent to which we ever will be able to become spiritual beings. But the history of all of humanity’s religions as we have discovered and then recounted it here has been appalling. Our entire religious history since all of humankind once lived in caves has been full of nothing but fear-based, human-made gods that were created by us in our own image. And many of our gods have been the stuff of nightmares.
The problem with our ever being able to finally make complete sense of Christian history is that history is written by its winners. Which is why you and I have always been taught that the Romans are the heroes, and not the villains of the Christian story, and that the Roman Emperor Constantine brought “stability” to Christianity, and he did not much harm Jesus’s message. But my own view, gleaned from my college and post-college study of the religion, is that when Constantine presided over the First Council of Nicaea in the Year 325 CE, in which in fact he invented the modern Christian religion, is one that is far less flattering. Constantine kept nothing of the early Christian movement that had prevailed for the previous three hundred years, and he kept almost nothing of what Jesus had taught. And it is Constantine’s fear-based ideas about humanity’s unworthiness, and Jesus’s need to sacrifice Himself on the cross for humankind’s sins, that remain the core of the Christian religion to this day.
I am by no means the only one who finds the history of the Christian religion to be horrifying. No less a light than Pope John Paul II was cited in a book that I consider to be essential reading for everyone who wants to understand Christianity’s views of humankind, especially since those views have shaped our whole Western culture to this day. And that last is an essential point! Western civilization is built on Christianity, and much more so than most people now realize. And Christianity, in turn, is built not on the love-based teachings of Jesus, but on Constantine’s iron will to rule, which from its founding made his religion something cruel and dark. As you will shortly see.
So now the long-overdue reckoning begins. And Saint John Paul II is a wise and good being. It is fitting that he should begin it for us. “In June of 1995 the Chicago Tribune reported that Pope John Paul II had urged the Roman Catholic Church to seize the ‘particularly propitious’ occasion of the new millennium to recognize ‘the dark side of its history.’ … (Pope John Paul II) asked, ‘How can one remain silent about the many forms of violence perpetrated in the name of the faith—wars of religion, tribunals of the Inquisition and other forms of violations of the rights of persons?’” So begins a book that must be read by every Christian who loves Jesus, and who hungers to understand this religion that now forms the entire basis of Western culture. The historian Helen Ellerbe tells us in her 1996 expose, The Dark Side of Christian History, that “My intention is to offer, not a complete picture of Christian history, but only the side which hurt so many and did such damage to spirituality. It is in no way intended to diminish the beautiful work that countless Christian men and women have done to truly help others. And it is certainly not intended as a defense of or tribute to any other religion.”
When I first read Helen Ellerbe’s book, soon after the start of this century, it helped to precipitate the worst marital crisis of my life. If you ever doubt that God has a sense of humor, you should know that my treasured husband of more than fifty years attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through college, and for much of his life he went to Mass twice a week. So when it was no longer possible for me to enter a church that had a life-size, full-color plaster Jesus bleeding on a cross above its altar, my husband fought me for the salvation of my soul. He couldn’t win, but I love him all the more for his having tried so hard. It took us years, but we learned to build a marriage that can encompass such tremendous religious differences, and can stretch to easily embrace a more mutually tolerant kind of love. Now my husband even sometimes asks me afterlife questions….
But it remains my firm opinion, an opinion that even he now accepts, that when Christianity was co-opted by Roman Emperors and warped into an instrument of bloody control, it lost whatever franchise it ever might have had from God. And no amount of Papal contrition ever can win that franchise back again. What strikes me most profoundly as I re-read Helen Ellerbe’s well-written and very scholarly book is the amazing devotion of so many innocent people to professing and living the Lord’s Gospel truths, even as they were being torn with pincers, broken on the rack, and eventually burned alive by the Christian church. Oh, to ever have even a tenth of their love, their fortitude, and their spiritual courage! In just 221 large-print pages, Ellerbe makes such a compelling case that Christianity’s greatest sin against humanity might well be the fact that it has warped the very meaning of what it is to be human!
(The emphasis in the following paragraph is all my own, since here Ellerbe gets to the point of our whole inquiry. I should note, too, that when I first took these extensive quotations from The Dark Side of Christian History, the book was available on a free website that is now closed. But I believe it to be still in the public domain, and therefore I have used all these quotations by permission.)
Helen Ellerbe says, “Ignoring the dark side of Christian history perpetuates the idea that oppression and atrocity are the inevitable results of an inherently evil or savage human nature. But that is emphatically not true! It is very important to emphasize the fact that (t)here have been… peaceful cultures and civilizations, …, which functioned without oppressive hierarchical structures. It is clearly not human nature that causes people to hurt one another. People of gentler cultures share the same human nature as we of Western civilization; it is our beliefs that differ. Tolerant and more peaceful cultures have respected both masculine and feminine faces of God, both heavenly and earthly representations of divinity. It is the limited belief in a singular supremacy and only one face of God that has resulted in tyranny and brutality.” And she notes that, “The Christian church has left a legacy, a world view, that permeates every aspect of Western society, both secular and religious. It is a legacy that fosters sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference, and the desecration of the natural environment. The Church, throughout much of its history, has demonstrated a disregard for human freedom, dignity, and self-determination. It has attempted to control, contain and confine spirituality, the relationship between an individual and God. As a result, Christianity has helped to create a society in which people are alienated not only from each other, but also from the divine.” Well, I guess she pretty much answers our question, doesn’t she? It clearly is Helen Ellerbe’s learned view that in a state of nature, we are as peaceful and loving as are the peaceful and loving plants around us.
It is so important that we never forget that the Christian Church that we are dealing with here has remained throughout its history the same one that the Emperor Constantine designed as his fear-based means of control in the year 325 CE. And in Ellerbe’s learned view, all of Western history was shaped in awful ways by the power of this Roman Christian Church. “As it took over leadership in Europe and the Roman Empire collapsed, the Church all but wiped out education, technology, science, medicine, history, art and commerce. The Church amassed enormous wealth as the rest of society languished in the dark ages. When dramatic social changes after the turn of the millennium brought an end to the isolation of the era, the Church fought to maintain its supremacy and control. It rallied an increasingly dissident society against perceived enemies, instigating attacks upon Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Jews. When these crusades failed to subdue dissent, the Church turned its force against European society itself, launching a brutal assault upon southern France and instituting the Inquisition.”
And then came the Protestant Reformation, and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. And repeatedly as I read Ellerby’s book, I realize that a Christianity that had all along been living the teachings of Jesus on love and forgiveness never could have done any of this! Not any of it! This was all Roman Christian barbarity, which may be why the European nations never accepted it as more than a superficial set of ideas. “Only during the Reformation did the populace of Europe adopt more than a veneer of Christianity. The Reformation terrified people with threats of the devil and witchcraft. The common perception that the physical world was imbued with God’s presence and with magic was replaced during the Reformation with a new belief that divine assistance was no longer possible. … It was a three hundred year holocaust against all who dared believe in divine assistance and magic that finally secured the conversion of Europe to … Christianity.” In Helen Ellerbe’s view, the distant God of monumental power that Roman Christianity invented in order to establish and maintain its control of society became the model for modern human hierarchical dominance. And every Christian position on any topic was calculated primarily to enhance a rigid control of human society that is contrary to humankind’s essentially spiritual nature.
It was my initial reading of Helen Ellerbe’s masterwork that made me first understand that Christianity is deliberately antithetical to the Gospel teachings of Jesus on love, forgiveness, and spiritual growth.
My college major meant that my focus had long been on just the first five hundred years of Christianity, so Ellerbe’s illumination of the period of the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, and the Reformation was a revelation for me! Let’s look here at three of her summary conclusions that are very relevant to our question at hand:
* Throughout Christian history, Jesus has been used, but He has never been much studied. Fear and suffering are Christianity’s means of control, so the Lord’s suffering to redeem us from the Christian God’s perfectly justifiable wrath, and from our well-earned punishment for our sins are all that has ever been extensively taught. I have long been struck by the fact that all the Christians that I ever have known have been amazingly ignorant of the Lord’s Gospel teachings. Now I can see that Jesus’s teachings are irrelevant to the religion, and they are actually inconvenient to Roman Christianity as the religion still is practiced.
*.All the worst aspects of modern society are the result of Christianity’s deliberate design. Christianity’s hierarchical nature during its Roman history, and its strict division and ranking of people by sex, race, age, class, and occupation, together with our modern science-driven, atheistic-materialist sense that if a God exists, He is separate from and even indifferent to the world, are all rooted in the Christian hierarchical and power-based model.
* Our Western cultural tolerance of brutality is a product of Christian religious teachings and practices. It has been estimated that more than twenty-five million innocent people have suffered death by torture and massacre at the hands of people who professed to be ardent followers of Jesus, and who believed that they were acting in obedience to the Christian God. And if you can read that sentence without distress, then you have made Helen Ellerbe’s point.
I feel compelled to say here, as Ellerbe also says, that in spite of it all, there have been many good Christians who have done wonderful things. But of course, I also personally feel the need to add that if Christianity had always from the day of Jesus’s Resurrection simply concentrated on sharing His Gospel teachings over all the earth, and if it never had taken that awful fourth-century Roman detour into the religion that still is practiced to this day, then perhaps the love-based works of Jesus’s followers as they continued to share and live His Gospel teachings over the past nearly two thousand years could long since have brought the kingdom of God on earth. My obsession remains my dream with Jesus of what might have been.
Helen Ellerbe sums up her discoveries by saying “The dark side of Christian history has been and continues to be about the domination and control of spirituality and human freedom… Christians built an organization that from its inception encouraged not freedom and self-determination, but obedience and conformity. To that end, any means were justified. Grounded in the belief in a singular, authoritarian and punishing God, … Christians created a church that demanded singular authority and punished those who disobeyed. During the Dark Ages, civilization collapsed as the Church took control of education, science, medicine, technology and the arts. Crusaders marched into the Middle East killing and destroying in the name of the one Christian God. The Inquisition established a precedent in the Middle Ages for the systematic policing and terrorization of society. The Protestant and Catholic Counter Reformation sparked wars where Christians slaughtered other Christians, each convinced that theirs was the one and only true path… In 1785 Thomas Jefferson wrote: ‘Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support error and roguery all over the earth.’”
Amen, my precious friend.
So, in summary, the view of humankind that Christianity and the Western culture it has built gives to us is dishearteningly similar to the scientific view. Both scientific experts and Christian clergy have long seen people as essentially animals, venal and cruel, lacking in both wisdom and morality, and utterly lacking in common sense, without even the nobler tendencies toward love and mutual support that we have been surprised to find in the silent green plants around us. But, are things really so hopeless? Where else can we turn? What, perhaps, might the genuine God’s opinion be?
With you I could learn to.With you, what a new day.
But who can I turn to If you turn away?
With you, I could learn to.
With you, what a new day!
But who can I turn to If you turn away?
– Anthony Newley (1931-1999) & Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021), from “Who Can I Turn To?” (1965)
49 thoughts on “What Are We? (#2)”
I appreciate your focus on how the Roman version of Christianity replaced the idea that we are all equally loved creations by God with the idea of a mean spirited authoritarian God whose henchmen are church officials who must be obeyed to avoid being sent to Hell for eternity. But the Roman Catholic faith has no monopoly on creating a materialistic society of dog eat dog. Stalin surely created Hell in the Soviet Union with no reliance on the Roman Catholic religion. Mao Zedong did not apply Roman Catholicism to brutalize millions of Chinese to be servile to the state. Likewise, the recent (and continuing) tribal warfare in Africa lacks any foundation in Roman religion.
The human motivation for self-interest, authority and power over others is a universal condition demonstrated thoughout human history. The special crime of Constantine was to take Christ’s gospel about God’s love of us, and our obligation to be loving toward God and all of his creatures, and use it as the awful weapon that Ellerbe and you well describe.
Fortunately, our harsh material living does not destroy the loving nature of our eternal spirit; instead, when we return to Heaven, the contrast between Heaven and Earth illuminates the bliss of Heaven, so we may better appreciate and fully enjoy our heavenly existence.
Omigod, Jack, and where do you think that Stalin’s horrors and Mao’s horrors and all the other horrors of the past seventeen hundred years directly came from? You are making all of Helen Ellerbe’s points! Read her book, Jack! Roman Christianity was the father and mother of most of what went wrong in the world from the year 325 and thereafter! Communism, certainly. Nazism, certainly. Were there a few random crazy chieftains in Africa? Well, sure, but a lot of them were capturing and trading slaves to sell in the Muslim markets that were working with the Roman Christian traders. And all of Western civilization – European and American as well – is based on Roman Christianity. And Constantine DID NOT use Jesus’s Gospel of love in any form. He ignored it. Buried it. Replaced it altogether with his own dogmas. That is the entire point! The whole dog-eat-dog thing COMES from Constantine’s dogmas. It comes from Roman Christianity as he invented it, and not from any pre-Christian, hunter-gatherer ethos, where very primitive societies heavily valued mutual cooperation as an essential matter of their very survival.
I am very sorry, my dear Jack. I generally agree with you, but in this one case you are making the mistake of believing the church’s propaganda. Constantine did not, as the Christian Church teaches, help anything. Instead, his armies altogether destroyed the Jesus movement that had thrived for 300 years, murdered its millions of followers except for the few that managed to escape and become “the desert fathers and mothers,”and he built a dogma-driven, fear-based religion that taught nothing of what Jesus had taught about love and forgiveness. The result has been seventeen hundred years of a very brutal Western cultural history.
Dear Mrs Roberta,
I commend your courage to look at the dark side of religion. Jehovah told us in the commandments to keep the Sabbath holy. What did the Romans do? Change the day to Sunday and corrupt the bibles teachings. I think more people are wise that organized religion is all about control and power. I will definitely read that book Dark Side of Religion. I think we can all agree, humanity has finally reached The Great Awaking! Blessings!
Thank you, dear Anne! My college advisor was personally furious at Constantine, so I came out of college feeling pretty outraged about it all myself. Time passed, though, and I married a Catholic, and converted, and you know how it is. But then a year ago my spirit guide took me to meet with Jesus in the astral plane as we prepared to create His website, and Jesus told me how He had spent all those centuries healing the emotional distress of so many people that Christianity had damaged in the Inquisitions and the Crusades. So now I am feeling freshly outraged all over again!
Thanks, Jack for your thoughtful reply. For me harping on misdeeds of the past brings its own circle of negativity. Better to focus our efforts on those Christians who are on the verge of discovering the truth but who feel trapped by their religious upbringing.
Oh my dear Thomas, please read Helen Ellerbe’s book! Only yesterday you were wondering why so many people’s spiritual vibrations were so depressed. And this is why! Because the Emperor Constantine’s barbaric Roman Christian religion has been playing havoc with our ability to raise our personal spiritual vibrations for the past seventeen hundred years!
Dear Thomas and Roberta,
My own professional development was in the area of human perception, psychology, human biology/neurology, human factors engineering, language analysis, computer assisted language analysis, research design and applied statistics (with the JD added as icing to this cake). As mentioned here recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that the self-seeking biological functions of brain/body (Freud’s constructs of Id and Ego well defining these sources of motivation to satisfy self-centered needs and desires) are naturally in conflict with our God given conscience, our soul/spirit. The Id and Ego have no reliance on any religion to create lusts for sex, money, and power over others. Constantine’s Roman Catholicism surely perverted Christ’s gospels about the supreme importance of love as God’s being and gift to us, but self-centered human biology did not need any accentuation by a warped RC religion based on fabrication of sinful birth and fear of Hell managed by a wrathful God. Civilizations in Central and S America were brutal before the RC church ever got to them. In New Guinea folks went so far as to eat each other before Constantine was born– a bad dude, but not responsible for all of the evils in society and its politics.
What you posted seems to be the same conclusion I have been working towards.
Religion is just a tool that was used to feed our Id and Ego. Without religion, there would be other tools that would be used to achieve power.
The Romans were creating their own gods before Jesus. Even elevating themselves as gods.
I suspect that may be the reason Jesus has a hard time trusting people with wealth. We are protected more so when we don’t have the means of carrying out the Id and Ego’s every whim. While there is little to no protection when you have wealth and the power that can be achieved through it.
We can easily make ourselves believe anything for the benefit of Id/Ego. As the saying goes… “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
In my current opinion, it’s part of who we. How can we judge others who fall when, under the right circumstances, we could also fall into the same trap?
Yes Jack, you are right in saying that Constantine did not invent evil. Or rather, he was not the only one to use evil methods to appease evil gods. We have talked in this space about some of the appalling things that the South American gods, and gods in some other places have required of their devotees. And in the Middle East Moloch required infant sacrifices, for example. But Constantine really made nothing of Jesus’s teachings. He built his Christianity around the crucifixion, sin and guilt, and that was that, because he wanted to use it to subdue and control the masses by fear. And except in places where bloodthirsty gods have developed, hunter-gatherers do seem to be quite peaceful – I take Ellerbe’s point, in reference to our question at hand. As with plants, living cooperatively does seem to work well for people, too.
Thomas–Bingo, ” In my current opinion, it’s part of who we.”
Yup, we have an inherently self-centered body, for without such basic biological motivation (eat, sleap, avoid injury) the child would never reach maturity, and after puberty, procreation to perpetuate the species.
All true, my dear Jack. But we are not talking about theoretical circumstances. We are talking about what actually happened seventeen hundred years ago, and following those processes forward through the long sweep of history until today. And what happened was an epic tragedy that shaped all of Western civilization in profoundly negative ways! Had the Romans simply left the Jesus Movement altogether alone, and allowed it to quietly spread over the past seventeen hundred years, then instead of Roman Christianity, Jesus tells us that we now would have the kingdom of God overspreading the earth.
No doubting Jesus when he says it would be vastly different had things play out differently. I think it’s a testament to how powerful his teachings are.
I also think everybody here would agree, if his true teachings weren’t subjugated, then we would have all benefited in a cascading way.
I don’t know if it was possible for enough of us to override our Id/Egos (natural) tendencies to not subjugate his teachings. Especially those in power that have grown to expect whatever they wanted would be given to them.
Even now, we talked about how some may try to use his second coming for personal gain. The only difference is Jesus being capable of helping us override those natural tendencies. If it wasn’t for that, I don’t know how successful he would be even now. Which, I believe, goes to the point Jack was making.
Oh my dear Thomas, but the problem is that this entire Western civilization is built on the Christianity that Constantine created! Those people who want to use even Jesus’s second coming for their own purposes are poor, wretched souls who are drenched in and twisted from birth by the civilization that they grew up in. They are not in any kind of state of nature. So, yes, they make Jack’s point. But they do not counter my point.
You are correct. I think we may be talking past each other.
I’m sorry you think this blog post was a dud. I loved it. My favorite are always the posts that create debate. Anything that challenges my ideas is beautiful. I’m here to learn and the debates help me tremendously.
I have interacted with some Christians and trying to debate with them is similar to getting my teeth pulled.
The same rebuttal always comes up. “It’s in the Bible”.
Then I see many Christians talk about recent events and how history is being rewritten. Just don’t point out that may have also happened in the Bible.
My study of persuasion has led me to understand (kind of) what is happening. From what I gather, their world view could change and it can “break” their brains for a second (cognitive dissonance). That is why we fight hard to hold onto our beliefs. Easier than the realization everything we thought was wrong. That world was built on Christianity, as you said, with all the bad stuff you spoke of. No doubt about it. And it hurts many to realize all of it was built upon lies and fear. That there is no hell that will punish people for what they did wrong. That is the big one people will hold onto until their hands bleed.
I’m a software developer and believe in systems. The system either works or it doesn’t. That is why I put a lot of emphasis on our natural (Id/Ego). Always looking for a system to beat it. That is also why I can’t stop shaking my head at a system where we come here with amnesia only to have to learn where we come from in order to work hard so we can raise our vibrations. haha
So again, I thought the blog post was great. Appreciate all the work you do for us.
Sorry, forgot to add Jesus’ teachings is the greatest system to beat our natural tendencies.
I have no doubts everyone will benefit from them this time.
Yesterday, I read your post and shared with my beloved wife (and mother of our 3 sons) about the victor writing the history and how the message of Jesus was so corrupted. I shared how we have been indoctrinated our whole long lives to initially believe the corruption as the doctrine of our Christian churches and how that corruption has been woven into our thinking and behaviors. We need to wake up and rise above all that mess and accept a change in our nature to be always thankful, forgiving, and loving of all God’s children and creation.
Then we spent all day touring a most beautiful place on Earth, the Canadian Rocky Mountains. How I wished that I could fly and soar above those majestic forests, lakes, and mountains! The whole experience was awe-inspiring.
So, I read your post again this morning (as it was going through my mind yesterday), and imagine this world as it could have been if the message of Jesus had remained pure. Then, humankind would have a very different “footprint” on the beautiful planet. If only …
I think often of a dear friend at work that I made the past year and how he is doing the best he can to follow fundamental Christianity and The Bible. We worked side-by-side and had a rocky start. He was trying to convert me to his belief system and I am very much past those beliefs. I eventually asked for us to “agree to disagree.” The Christian belief system is so far below this fine, loving man, but he is locked into it for now and probably doesn’t have enough life span left to move past it (like I thankfully have).
It is pretty unbelievable how Constantine, and his minions, messed up this world by turning the beautiful message of Jesus into a system of control and fear. I find peace in believing that this Earth School is just a learning construct and that the Greater Reality is where we return to after each incarnation. I have asked Jesus to meet me when I leave this life that I may thank Him and express my love to Him.
I was blessed with great intellect (which I should have done so much more with) and have learned the sciences and engineering, but I don’t feel very smart any more. I feel like I am becoming a child now with simple love and faith and a desire to live mostly separated from this world. I pray that all creation will progress towards unification with Source. Peace and love to all.
Sincerely, David D.
Oh my dear beautiful, wonderful David D, your comment is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever read! Thank you so much!! It is already clear that this blog post was a dud, and I had thought that no one was going to get what I was trying to say – my fault, of course, and I will try again next week – but then you wrote this amazing comment, and it is clear that you got my message perfectly. Thank you, my darling friend!!
Thank you, Roberta,
I really credit you for coming along during an important point in the spiritual progression that is occurring in my life, and sharing your life learning and experiences and your interaction with Thomas and Lord Jesus.
Everything (the Big Picture) seems so very clear to me now. I just wish that I had better interaction with my Spirit Guides and Jesus. My right-brain engineering mind is probably wired in a way that hinders me from directly connecting with the Greater Reality, but that’s OK as I am progressing with their help “behind the scenes” and this was in my Life Plan.
I also wish that my body wasn’t shutting down as I have felt great fatigue since 2017 and almost every thing that I must do takes great effort.
You have done a great service for me as if you are a loving and helpful interface and guide for me with the Greater Reality. I offer my prayers for you in meeting your goals.
May your day be fun and fruitful.
Oh my beloved David D, your primary guide and Jesus are right there always, is what I have found, and always offering infinite help, but you’re right when you say that you yourself may be a bit hard-wired not to accept their full presence so easily. It is so difficult for us to shift from this lifetime belief in the solidity of the world to what is actually true, which is that it is all vaporware! But as we get older, my beloved, what opens before us is much more real and more wonderful. God said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
To invoke fear of Jesus is wrong!
To say –Jesus is watching you for any mistakes you make is wrong.
I was brought up on: Life is hard—you better behave
or calamity lurks.
That’s sick really sick
Jesus is Love and that Love is for all
but you have to knock.
I’d take Jesus over suffering any day
Oh my sweet Erica, so very true, we cannot ever fear Jesus! And that is the beauty of Jesus. His arms are big enough to hold us all.
For those reading this who may not know, Erica’s sign-off is Jesus’s recipe for spiritual growth: gratitude, forgiveness, love. gfl. How lovely is that?
Dear Roberta and Erica. I was just going to look up gfl. That is really lovely!
(I apologize, I just accidentally posted this on last week’s blog comments section! Any way to delete that? I intended it to be here.)
Lest you should ever think that any of your writings is a “dud” I wanted to post this response. My suspicion is that many or most of the people who read your writings already see the truth of, for example, everything you’ve written in this week’s blog. I know that you’re concentrating on Christianity because – even though Jack H. makes excellent points – it seems to be CHRISTIANITY that created and shaped most of the societal problems that we see today, at least in the U.S. Forgive me if that is not an accurate summarization.
With how stifling life on this earth is, I don’t think that I would ever deliberately choose to come back here!
I’m not sure I believe that human beings – in bodily form – will ever be able to AS A WHOLE raise their vibrational level to a point where life on earth will be a joy and not a misery. I understand that this is a pessimistic view, but my life has been full of struggle, and I’ve certainly witnessed a lot of people I love suffering, and it is almost unbearable, since there is so very little I can do to alleviate any of that suffering.
And I think Thomas Eberhard (forgive me Thomas E., I’m not trying to speak for you) and I wonder, why do we subject ourselves to this? How did we come to even want to venture into this earth lifetime? Were we bored? Did our spirits start at a “low” level? If not, then how do spirits find themselves on even lower levels than the Level 3 or 4 that probably most of us fit into after we die? Has this “earth life” so oppressed and lowered their vibration that they are now lower in vibration than they were when they “started out” as spirits? There’s just a lot that I am trying to understand.
It’s obvious that the answer – no matter what the situation – is gratitude, forgiveness and love. I just wish we had more information about certain things, and our origins.
Much love to everyone here,
Oh my dear JenniferK, when I say that we think this week’s post was a dud, I simply mean that it didn’t make the point that we were intending to make. But we have taken another stab at it for next week, and it also has prompted Thomas to push me to talk about an experiment that we conducted in the seventies that I never dreamed we ever would talk about here, and that has been a lot of fun for me over the course of this week, taking that walk down a long-ago memory lane with him and another of my guides, so that has been a very good thing!
Thank you, I can’t wait! One of the highlights of my week is looking forward to your blogs. 🙂
Oh my dear JK, you are very sweet to say this! And I think that Thomas knows how you feel, because I am still practicing law, and when I tell him in some weeks that I cannot possibly get all my work done and still finish our blog post in time, he kind of jollies me out of that mood and says something like, “Come on, we’ll finish it together.” And somehow, we do! This week, though, it has been easy and fun to finish it early, and we even had Marvina’s help!
Hi my wonderful friends. Roberta and Dr Hiller have often mentioned how experiencing the low vibration realm increases our conscious vibration.
It’s not just the unpleasant things that do this. From what we know there are wonderful things that we may not experience in the afterlife.
When planting a seed here we have hope that it will sprout. We have the anticipation. When it emerges we have joy that only not knowing can provide. These opportunities aren’t available there.
This life, the experiences we have here and our loving guides are wonderful gifts. gfl.
Oh yes, my dear wonderful Ray, it’s actually good for you to experience some of the rougher things, like going to a spiritual gym!
Dear Jennifer, I agree with Roberta that the doctrines adopted by Constantine to form the Roman Catholic Church were diabolical in fostering a meek and submissive citizenry, fearful of being damned to Hell for eternity, and that had a monsterously damaging effect ever since on Western politics. Where we disagree, perhaps, is that the human body on its own, without any assistance from Constantine, is a naturally self-centered being which owns this motivation to manage survival of the individual and species.
Consider that God created us from His own being as loved companions for our eternal journey in the bliss of Heaven. So why the heck are we here as mortal beings living a difficult, harsh, dangerous life? Precisely because there is no valuable spiritual development supported by our blissful Heavenly existence. So life is hard here by design; the memory of our spiritual being and heavenly home is blocked, so our experiences here may be taken seriously, instead of treated as a game to be played without any real consequences.
Just look at how Shakespeare described life so cynically when he did not completely adopt the perspective that life here was designed to be difficult:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
A full understanding of God’s love, and our creation by Him as both spirit, and as spirit attached to a mortal body for living a material life, would lead toward helping all others to get thru Earth life with kindness, love, and even joy.
“Where we disagree, perhaps, is that the human body on its own, without any assistance from Constantine, is a naturally self-centered being which owns this motivation to manage survival of the individual and species.”
I see that as the conundrum, Jack.
I believe Jesus’ teachings can help us overcome those natural aspects of survival. It isn’t a instantaneous change, however. It requires work and time. The time needed to change opens up the possibility of others doing what Constantine did. Luckily Jesus has enough power to make sure that doesn’t happen this time and we can get back on track now.
We’re lucky to have our brother Jesus always working hard to help us even though we are knuckleheads much of the time.
Thank you both for your insights and I understand the perceived conundrum. It seems that we can overcome those natural aspects of survival, some of the time or possibly most of the time IF we are really diligent about it. I’ll give a personal example. In my own life journey, I deal with episodes of hypoglycemia. When my blood sugar gets low, I can almost feel the “animal” portion of my brain taking over. If someone tries to talk to me when in this state, I can sometimes be a crabby jerk, until I get my sugar levels sorted out. In fairness, I do warn the person, “My blood sugar is low, let me get that together before we talk.” If they don’t heed, and I end up being a rude *@%&$^!, well, they were warned! This is not something I intend to do at all. But yet, it happens. I take steps to mitigate harm to others, by trying not to let my blood sugar get low in the first place, or by telling the other person that it would be prudent to hold the conversation in abeyance until my blood sugar level normalizes. Are we held to task for these kind of things? If so, I’m screwed, Lol. I like to think that the weaknesses and drives of our human body are taken into account and that intent matters. If we are the ones who judge ourselves, I hope we have mercy on ourselves. It’s much needed.
Dear Jennifer, Without exception in the over 6000 NDE reports I have read, it is our own spirit that does the judging, not guardians, parents, friends, or even God. The basis for our own judgement is remarkably heightened by having us not only be ourselves during episodes reviewed, but by also placing our spirit in the being of those we affect, so we directly experience their pain and joy from our actions.
When I am tired, maintaining a friendly demeanor is difficult, unnatural. When my wife is tired– ouch; I delight in the contrast that follows a surprise present, even after nearly 50 years together. We married after only two month’s dating; I did not want to let her slip away, and she warned I might regret my haste. I said that I wanted us live and grow old together, and so we have with our mortal beings and souls.
She has lost and mourned two of her brothers that died early, one in high school from an auto accident, and one in his middle age from a sudden health issue; those losses had until fairly recently often depressed her, whereas she is naturally cheerful. In the past few years, she seems to have accepted that it was only their bodies that died, and not their spirits.
This is all so sweetly said, dear Jack. Isn’t it beautiful how, as time passes, we do manage to process so much of what has happened in our earlier lives?
Oh my dear JenniferK, it really is our intent that matters. What is in our hearts. We never are judged by what the level of our blood sugar might make us say or do!
Thank you again for your kindness and love which shows through to all of us here in your responses!
Oh my dear Thomas, but what we don’t know is just how much Jesus is prepared to intervene on earth. I know from what He has said to me that He will begin again to teach on earth as Constantine’s religion dies. But I don’t know quite when or how. I really don’t know His timing. And I don’t know how much of that is to be left to us to lead.and to accomplish.
OMG, my dear much-beloved Jack, now we’ve even got you quoting Shakespeare!!
Ah, my lovely one, but what if we go in the other direction in time altogether to try to understand the true nature of humanity…?
Jennifer, you have the right answers but sometimes we get hung up on the wrong questions. From our earthly perspective it is difficult to comprehend the real possibility for spiritual advancement available in this life. In general the harder the life the more potential for advancement. When confronted by a severely handicapped person I used to turn away in disgust. Now I look such individuals straight in the eye, while sending positive thoughts and mentally praising them for being so ambitious. I might even chastise myself for choosing what appears to be an easier life.
On another subject I believe that excessive critcism concerning the wrongdoing of others only makes self foregiveness more difficult for them whether in this life or the next. For all I know, Constantine has long ago realized the error of hs ways and advanced to a spiritual level greater than mine.
My dear Thomas, there is a new thought! I wonder where Constantine is about now…?
This blog post is not a dud. On the contrary it presents a telling and valuable perspective, seen over a long period of time: Once we consider where Constantine’s Christianity has taken us, this post asks us to ponder on how different the world would be had Jesus’ Way spread without the twisting of Constantine.
The difference in these two trajectories is staggering. We can clearly see how damaging such dogma can be (by persisting for more than one millennia) to the spiritual conscious of our species.
And was it not Mahatma Gandhi who said that if Christians had actually followed the example of Jesus, the whole world would be truly Christian by now?
This topic is an important consideration. More so now, as people are moving beyond moribund religion and the real teachings of Jesus can come forward at last. 🙏🏼🕊❣️
Oh yes, my dear Efrem. but we had wanted to go backward, though, my Thomas and I, so we could try to discover the truth about human nature in the very earliest true humans. And it is just so difficult for any of us now even to imagine what people can have been like so long ago. We will be curious to hear what you think of our attempt to do it next week….
I look forward to what Thomas and your good self will discuss next.
I’ve always felt that the anthropological record of early human society is scant at best; leaving much room for error once speculation, based purely on the archaeological evidence, is made.
I mean, how did Neolithic people think? What introspective knowledge did they have and how did it shape their thinking?
I’d love to hear Thomas’ and your own perspective, from the significantly elevated understanding that you share with us.. Doubtless this is what we can look forward to in forthcoming blogs! 😉
Efram, Good to be hearing from you!
I’ve enjoyed the discussion in this weekly blog very much. I have a feeling that we will be discussing essential human nature in further depth in the near future..
I look forward to reading your perspective with alacrity. 🙏🏼
The Answer— was too Easy!
“The Greatest Love of All” is discovering that love is inside of us.
No incense is required!
That Love is Jesus–in our hearts.
And there are just 2 commandments–Love your God with all
your heart and
Love your neighbor as yourself. One small request: you have to knock!
“You have to knock!” I love it!!
I had to laugh when I read this post. I am reading Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and just got through the chapter entitled “The Grand Inquisitor”. It covers every point Roberta Grimes makes in this post about Christianity and defends it, with Christ Himself as the audience.
This story was written by Ivan Karamazov and told to his younger brother Alexei, a novice in the Orthodox Church, who will soon be returning to the world. Quite a story: Christ returns to Earth to Spain, during the Spanish Inquisition, people flock to him, a child is even raised from the dead, but then the Grand Inquisitor sees him, throws Him in prison, and has a talk with Him in the prison cell, informing Him that the next day He will be burned at the stake as a heretic. A one sided talk, Christ does not say a word.
I bring this up because it touched so many of Roberta’s points that it looked like Christianity had read Roberta’s post and written a reply.
We might want to find an answer to the Grand Inquisitor.
Note: “The Grand Inquisitor” is a story within a story, and can be found online, as public domain.
Oh wow, my darling Jason! Thank you so much for adding this point – the thought of Jesus tried and condemned as a heretic by the Spanish Inquisition! And it would have happened, had they encountered Him. How utterly perfect!!