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Life is Consciousness

Posted by Roberta Grimes • December 28, 2019 • 24 Comments
Afterlife Research, Quantum Physics, Understanding Reality

The worst thing about the mainstream scientific gatekeepers’ insistence that all scientific inquiry must be based in materialism is the fact that since even matter is not solid, such a dogma makes it impossible for scientists to seek real answers to our most important questions. These central questions will vary depending on the viewpoint of the one asking them, but for most of us they seem to come down to three, in ascending order of sophistication:

  • Who and what are we? The only answer from a materialist-science perspective is that we are slabs of meat, but just the fact that we have the capacity to ask the question makes that answer insufficient. Our defining characteristic is our conscious awareness, and unless we can open-mindedly study that, we really have no reliable way to learn very much about ourselves. So this question remains scientifically wide open.
  • How is it that we and this universe exist? Scientists have been hard at work seeking a matter-based answer to this question, and the Collective has created an answer for them to find that is generally called the Big Bang. But since that answer is matter-based, it begs the question of what came before it. Nothing rooted in matter and time can ever be an ultimate answer, so this question also must be seen as still open.
  • How did life begin? Akin to the question of how reality exists is the question of how life exists. What caused those first living cells to arise from some primordial soup? Traditional scientists doing what is called Origin of Life research have generated ideas about how life might have begun, but so far they have made little progress. And now materialist scientists have some aggressive rivals in this field! By far the best Origin of Life research is being done by more open-minded scientists who are focusing on what is called intelligent design, and they are pretty well demonstrating that life could not have arisen spontaneously.

It has of late become obvious that the vaunted scientific method is inadequate if we ever hope to come to thoroughly understand anything. It was established in simpler days now more than a century into the past, and a lot has changed since then! For example:

  • Materialism is passé. To keep scientific research free from a religious taint, the university departments and the journal editors long have insisted that it must be based in materialism. This crippling restriction remains in place long after physicists have come to understand that even matter itself is not solid. And in this highly secular age, there is no longer any risk of religious interference, so materialism is only a sorry relic that gravely hampers scientific progress while it no longer serves any useful purpose.
  • The old forms of scientific research are too limiting. Peer-reviewed studies and replicable experiments are the core of traditional mainstream science, and both vaunted protocols are now being seen to be inadequate and deeply flawed.
  • Mathematics-based conclusions can be flat wrong. Because some aspects of reality can be studied mathematically, scientists now rely on math a lot more than they should. As a result, some primary scientific principles likely are based in faulty math-based assumptions.
  • The standard breakdown among scientific fields is clumsy and archaic. Organizing the study of all that exists into fields and sub-fields might once have made sense, but now we are coming to see that all of reality is deeply interconnected. Studying it from fragmented points of view risks our missing the deepest connections and thereby obscuring the greater picture.

Materialist scientists’ inability to even begin to understand consciousness is a core indicator of just how inadequate the scientific method really is. Scientists are reduced to trying to figure out how consciousness might arise in the brain, which we have joked is the equivalent of their studying an old tube radio to find the source of Frank Sinatra’s voice. Researchers not constrained by the scientific method long ago determined that Max Planck was right, that consciousness is a form of energy and it has to predate matter. Therefore it cannot be created or destroyed! And since it cannot be the product of matter, it cannot originate in our brains. No matter how much more time and money scientists waste in searching for a source of consciousness in the brain, their failure is already assured.

Once we have determined the primacy of consciousness and its fundamental energy-like nature, we then can go on to investigate the three main questions that were asked above. Enlightened researchers are doing that, and we know now, or we strongly surmise, that these are good preliminary answers to humankind’s three core questions:

  • Who and what are we? Our minds are deeply interconnected aspects of the one Mind that manifests this universe. Our minds are indestructible and eternal, so we never began and we never will end.
  • How is it that we and this universe exist? The one universal Mind of which each of our minds is an integral part continuously manifests all that we think of as real. Creation wasn’t “once and done,” but rather it happens continuously. So the past is as malleable as is the future. In reality, there is only Now.
  • How did life begin? Just as the universe is an aspect of consciousness and it exists outside of time, so also life is an aspect of consciousness. It also exists outside of time. Each instant of reality’s existence is Now, and in that Now life had no beginning and life can have no end.

I have hesitated to discuss the Origin of Life question, not because we don’t know what the answer is but because the implications of that answer are boggling. We are coming to suspect that both awareness and life are inherent attributes of consciousness itself. And since consciousness is the base creative force, it may be that not only is everything conscious, but also everything may be alive. Please follow this through with me!

  • We may not understand consciousness, but we do know what it is. No matter how mainstream scientists insist that our minds must come from and die with our brains, it is obvious to each of us that conscious awareness is quite a bit more than just an evolutionary afterthought.  And we experience consciousness itself as being alive! If I were to tell you that life is in fact a key attribute of consciousness, I doubt that would surprise you at all.
  • Consciousness is the base creative force that continuously manifests all that exists. I have linked above to some of the earlier posts where we have examined the evidence for this proposition from so many different angles that it has come to seem self-evident.
  • So everything that exists is an aspect of the very consciousness that you and I experience as living awareness. Every rock, every star, every grain of sand is created by and composed of what we experience as living consciousness.

Does this mean that everything is alive and aware? I don’t think so. I am coming to surmise that the key universal attributes of life and awareness exist in all things as core aspects of the consciousness that manifests them, but each attribute is there in an active gradation from what we might call highly alive and aware right down to oblivious and inert. Further thoughts:

  • Animals are alive and aware. That they are alive is self-evident, and anyone who ever has been close to a companion animal has come to suspect the animal is more mentally sophisticated than scientists will allow. Look into the eyes of your dog or cat and have a conversation. My horse, Beau, was one of the finest people I have ever known.
  • Plants are alive, and they may be aware. We know that plants are alive, and apparently they are also aware in a way that simply differs from our own awareness. The Secret Life of Plants came out in 1973. I read it then, and forever after I have winced whenever I had to cut a raw fruit or vegetable. And we know now that trees don’t only communicate with one another, but they care for and  support one another, even across species. It is hard not to conclude from the evidence that trees even actively love one another.
  • Minerals may be to some extent alive and/or aware. Early in my afterlife research I read somewhere about a planet where we might choose to incarnate, and there the life was silica-based. You would incarnate as an aware rock, and everything would seem normal to you but to those whose post-death touring included visiting that planet it would all seem to be inert because the life there moved so-o-o slo-o-oly. When I once mentioned this factoid to a scientist, he said, “Interesting. Silica is an element, like carbon, that could be a basis for life.”
  • Whole planets may be alive and/or aware. There is building evidence that our planet on a macro-level operates something like a living thing.

An afterlife researcher trained as a lawyer has no business trying to conduct scientific research! But you can see from just what has been said above that until mainstream scientists can escape their straightjacket of arbitrary dogmas and ideas, all of us are going to have to pitch in and try to do the work that they won’t do. As the great polymath Nikola Tesla said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

 

Hands photo credit: verchmarco <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/160866001@N07/48674769562″>Big man’s hand and little hand newborn (Flip 2019)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
New family photo credit: photo_grafitti <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/157274368@N08/36919251432″>KAT, ABEL III & ABEL IIII</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Sand play photo credit: Denish C <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46886232@N07/48428055272″>Joy! (IMG_1124b)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Four months photo credit: whateyesee13 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/71309382@N00/47002060484″>Happy boy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Asian baby photo credit: Saran Chamling <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7318474@N08/3160331460″>omi</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Happy children photo credit: www.librolasemilla.com <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/156582083@N07/49119270933″>7 Secrets from the Divorce Whisperer by Marta J. Papa, J.D.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Roberta Grimes

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24 thoughts on “Life is Consciousness

  1. In the great words of Einstein:
    “The definition of insanity is doing something the same way and expecting different results”…………Amen Sister!

    1. Dear Mary, thank you for giving me a smile! You (and Einstein) said better in a few words what it took me a whole blog post to say ;-).

      I think, too, from bits that I have read here and there, that in recent years more and more scientists who need to stay on the scientific reservation in order to make a living are coming to realize that they are getting nowhere with materialism. I have heard from a few of them in recent years, all counseling patience when I write this sort of thing; and it’s not hard to find a subtext that reads something like, “You’re right, but please let the axe fall gently so I can save enough for retirement.” Some have told me I would be surprised to know how many scientists would love to investigate the things I write about!

      I begin to think now that the current mainstream scientific paradigm is going to fall in a preference cascade, in which just a few leading scientists will say or do something publicly that challenges the gatekeepers, and suddenly thousands of young scientists will speak up as well. If it happens in January, the old model will be gone by December. And there is no way to know when it is going to begin, but I have a hunch that among young physicists, especially, it will be dramatic!

  2. dear alex after watching abraham hicks as you suggested im sorry but she did nothing for me she seems to do a lot of talking and not much listening i dident like the words she used like croaking and non pysical saying there is no afterlife just non pysical she does not seem to explain the loss you suffered and just says more or less get over it if it was that easy believe me i would do it tomorrow all the books i have read on the afterlife has convinced me there is this is so confusing but i prefur my own beliefs but who am i ? imay be wrong terry

    1. Oh dear Terence, I am horrified to hear that is what you found in the Abraham materials! I guess then it’s no wonder that Thomas has kept me away from them. His whole focus is on helping me to know what is true so I can share with you only what is true, and he is pretty stern with me but extremely compassionate toward those who are grieving. There have been times when I have chafed, I must say. I mean, whose life is this, anyway? But as I have settled into accepting and following his guidance, he has become less impatient with me. This work is so vexingly important to him! But he is a nice guy, actually.

      Dear Terence, the truth about where your beloved is now and what awaits you, too, is far more wonderful than your most optimistic imaginings! My beloved guide and I have devoted my lifetime to doing all this research just so I can tell you that with certainty. And with so much joy!

  3. Dear Roberta,

    Thank you for this most powerful finale to 2019. This is the sort of topic that my own beloved guide has been contemplating with me all year (and, surely, longer than that). To paraphrase our friend Mac, QUOTE: “An afterlife researcher trained as a lawyer has no business trying to conduct scientific research!”

    And yet, such an individual, as well as those of us trained in other professions, are in fact the great hope of any and all discovery. There are scientists who are “professional” researchers doing the kind of work you describe, including one we’ve discussed in this very blog, Rupert Sheldrake, as well as others — Dean Radin, Bruce Greyson, Pim van Lommell are a few — but there is also our friend Victor Zammit, a lawyer like yourself. There is PMH Atwater, whose father was a police detective. All of us are able to look at evidence and take note of patterns and use our marvelous minds to investigate and come to serious and sensible conclusions. Indeed, that is what we all do as a matter of course. To your point, doing the research is not the exclusive purview of academia and grant-funded members of some rarefied “community.”

    Somewhere along the line, the birthright of “scientific” discovery was claimed by those who had the funding to purchase the most sophisticated machines to measure — it’s difficult to compete with the Large Haldron Collider and telescopes and microscopes in remote locations — but indigenous people knew all of this way before anyone thought to aim a mirror at the sky and turn some knobs to “see” the cosmos. The Dane-Zaa people of Northern Canada have for millennia viewed all living things as sentient, and in fact they viewed the animals — even those they needed to hunt for food — as their kin. They regarded the planet as a living being. Not as a god, as we sometimes mistakenly think ancient hunter/gatherer cultures saw the earth, but as a creature of God — like themselves, part of the Oneness of God.

    The Dane-Zaa are close to my heart, but they are just one example of a culture that understood the cosmic importance of consciousness, awareness and life in the earthy realm with respect to the same in the larger nature of existence.

    You have cited many scientists who have advocated for Life, Awareness and Consciousness as primary. We are all in a position to advocate for this. And, in different ways, each of us is trained to do so. Let”s make 2020 a year of RE-discovery of what we already know! 🙂

    1. Dear Mike, thank you for pointing out that many indigenous tribes were more spot-on about both science and religion than is our Western culture today! Thank you, too, for naming some of the notable modern scientists and scholars who are not constrained by “the fundamental scientific dogma of materialism” and are now doing wonderful work in this field. And to your list I would just add my friend, Bernardo Kastrup, a young scientists with two Ph.D.’s who already gets all of this perfectly.

      I do think, though, that even the most notable of the worthies you’ve mentioned are going to live, do research, teach, and die without making the smallest dent in mainstream science’s resolute armor of ignorance. It has been that way for our entire lives! No, what it is going to take to start the preference cascade will be some leading mainstream physicist (or three) coming right out and demonstrating that the materialist emperor is naked. S/he might do it as part of some important related discovery, in search of a personal Nobel prize, or out of disgruntlement at ever more absurd university politics. It won’t matter why. But other scientists – who also are chafing, but who need funding so they cannot take the lead in this – will think, “Well, if X can say it, I can just quote and cite X.” And so the whole materialist edifice will start to fall apart. Let’s hope it happens soon!

  4. Great post as always Roberta.

    There is another question that is beyond science to answer. WHY was this universe created? Why did an infinite creator decide to create a universe if as most formal religions believe he is perfect and complete. To me this is as an even more interesting question to answer than how was the universe created and i would appreciate if you have any thoughts on this matter or have read any other sources which attempt to address this subject.

    1. Dear Perry, you are perfectly right. This likely should be a fourth basic question, and it’s another one that mainstream science cannot answer!

      I have discussed the answer to this question here piecemeal over the past year and a half, and it likely should become a summary blog post soon, but it doesn’t feel ripe just yet. Simply put, those who are not actually dead and are connected with their greater minds tell us that the universe exists as a place for us to grow spiritually. In order for us to grow spiritually when we are vibrating below a certain consciousness level, we need to push against negativity, and there is not sufficient negativity even in the whole astral plane to really give us the spiritual growth that we need and crave.

      I think of the material universe as a spiritual gym. Dr. R. Craig Hogan calls it “earth school,” and he has a book coming out next year with that title.

      This appears to be the answer to your question, but of course it gives rise to lots of other questions! Since our minds are inextricably part of the Mind of God, why is our consciousness vibration not already elevated? How does experiencing negativity prompt our spiritual growth? What happens in us as we continue to grow? And for that matter, what is God, anyway? Did someone or something create the Godhead? What really is the Un-Caused Cause? And more. These are all good questions, and we have a right in the 21st century to refuse to accept pat answers on faith alone, so I have been working on the whole set of questions at once because in fact this is all a single vast field of study. I have come up with what I think are versions of the right answers, at least insofar as we can know them from here. And thanks to you, dear Perry, I have just added this topic to the list of things we’ll be talking about next year; it just will be up to Thomas when it actually happens. Thank you for this!

      1. Thank you for your engaging response. Look forward to reading more about this subject. One point as human consciousness rises (al be it) unevenly and as movements for fundamental human rights continue to make an impact in society has our need to learn by opposing negativity come to an end and now has humanity arrived at the point where we can learn from peaceful cooperation and no longer need to grow by struggling against any phenomena? And if this is the case what does it say about the creators plan going forward for our earth school?

        1. Hmmm… If I understand your question – and it’s a good one! – the evidence suggests that we will each individually need to keep incarnating into a negativity-based environment until we have each grown spiritually to the point where we can continue our growth without needing again to incarnate (which we are told is at about the top of the fifth level of the afterlife). It isn’t aggregate social development that matters, in other words, but rather it is necessary for each individual to achieve a high enough level of spiritual development that returning to the earth is no longer necessary.

          There is in fact an example of this phenomenon that is sometimes cited. The Arcturians are said to be a race of beings of which every member has grown to the point where reincarnation is no longer necessary, so theirs is now a planet empty of intelligent life. (We assume it must orbit the star Arcturus.) The Arcturians now are a force for good, and reportedly they have of late become our own planet’s guardians. All of this has been reported, but no one knows for sure!

    2. The universe is teaming with life. Maybe God isn’t “perfect and complete” without these many life forms. It very well could be that he needs us just as much as we need him. The fact that everything and everyone is connected in some way kind of supports this theory.

      1. Dear Lola, I do see the dense connections, but to say that God “needs” all these life forms seems from what I know to be a misstatement. It seems rather that the Godhead is in servant mode, assisting all intelligent life in attaining its same state of enlightenment. I have given Thomas the request that we put together what we now know for a future post, and hopefully he is on it!

  5. Dear Roberta,

    Are you aware of the work of Isamu Emoto? He’s well known for his water crystal experiments, but not everyone knows about the cooked rice experiment repeated by hundreds of families in Japan with the same results. Cooked rice that was hated turned black and foul smelling while beloved rice still smelled good after a few weeks.
    Consciousness can even alter one’s DNA according to biologist Df. Bruce Lipton.

    1. Dear Adrian, I think you mean Masaru Emoto? (Isamu is an actor, I believe.) Yes – thank you for reminding us about his amazing work with water and consciousness! When I first learned about it, I found it impossible to believe… but very exciting! https://thewellnessenterprise.com/emoto/

      And Bruce Lipton is terrific. I refer to him as a quantum biologist, and in person I have found him to be full of joy! When a breach happens in the scientific dam, you’re right: it will be people like them who will help to flood the world with truth!

  6. Dear Roberta, I would like to touch upon the topic of sensitivity of plants that you have raised. I also read The Secret Life of Plants and never felt the same way since about scything down a field of nettles!

    What I would like to ask about is your thoughts on Breatharianism … or, if possible, your Thomas’ perspective! It seems to me that following the progression from vegetarianism to veganism to frequent water fasting / no water fasting, it is only a matter of time before we progress on to taking Breatharianism seriously. We already know that migrating birds take energy sustenance from the sun through their eyes to survive the journey without food. Taking our sustenance from ‘prana’ is only a small step further on from this.

    Is maybe this was Jesus predicted in his vision of Heaven on Earth, when the Lamb would sleep next to the Lion? … as by then nobody would be eating anybody?
    Thank you
    Rayana

    1. Dear Rayana, this is a great question! And it has long been resolved for me, since one of my daughters is a longstanding vegan and other members of my family have been there intermittently – years ago, I also tried it myself. So I have asked Thomas and also Mikey Morgan about it, and both of them give us essentially the same answer.

      We are meant to eat meat. If the animals are treated well and then killed cleanly – if they suffer neither pain nor fear – then there is nothing wrong with eating meat. And similarly, of course, we are meant to eat plants! Any sense that we must limit what we eat because our consuming other living things is cruel is a product of our own larger sense of generalized guilt, which is part of what we come to earth to overcome.

      As i write this, Thomas is going further. He feels that our learning how to tread lightly on the earth should be our goal as part of raising our spiritual vibration, and our focusing on things like trying to survive without adequate sustenance is a distraction and not a furtherance of that goal. He adds that our seeking to raise our personal consciousness vibration as we help to raise the consciousness vibration of this planet is the reason why we enter these bodies, and there are many things that seem to be good which don’t help with this process, and in fact distract us from it. He says that whether some thought or action helps us to better love and care for other people, or whether it instead focuses more of our attention on ourselves, is one way that we can learn to tell the difference.

      Whew! I think you’ve touched a nerve with him. He adds that where he is now, there is no eating, so the lion can lie down with the lamb. But this earth is based in matter that requires that living bodies be sustained, so here we should see that image as a metaphor for the kindness that will be an ever more important product of our greater spiritual growth.

  7. Rayana’s question about food piqued my curiosity as I have wondered off and on about eating sentient animals. should I adopt a vegan diet? I had heard from Corey Goode that he doesn’t eat anything with a face on it and that he was advised to eat a high vibration diet. So, what’s a high vibration diet?

    I googled a bit and found ask-angels.com who also advised a high vibration diet. They say “High vibrational foods are those that have a greater level of light than density.” and “High vibrational foods are those that have a greater level of light than density.” And, “As a general rule, the highest vibrational foods are Raw, Organic, Local and Vegan …”

    They say a lot of other things about the benefits of a diet like this, but before I change my diet radically, could you weigh in on this, Roberta?

    Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, it appears from what both Mikey and Thomas have said – and from the evidence in general – that there is no important reason why you shouldn’t eat like any other normal omnivore. I guess the question isn’t whether a vegan diet is better than any other kind of diet, but the question is more whether your diet will make much of a difference in your spiritual development. And I gather that it really won’t matter much at our stage of consciousness development, but rather our becoming obsessed with a “high vibration” diet contains a greater risk of preoccupying us, making us feel superior, and distracting us from the elements of consciousness elevation that are most effective at our stage.

      So… enjoy your steaks, dear friend!

    2. There’s a lot of alleged information ‘out there’ about diet, much of it faddy with little scientific – if any – supporting evidence.

      A change of diet may improve one’s physical health and even one’s mental/emotional health and that may lead to one becoming more settled and comfortable in life. But not automatically more spiritual. But yuh pays yer money and takes yer chance.

      Provided you don’t become fanatical and obsessive there’s probably little harm done other than to your bank balance. Support your local economy! 😉 🙂

      1. Dear Roberta. This issue of living in a world where we and other creatures live by eating other creatures – red in tooth and claw as the classic line goes – is one that has always bothered me. Vegans would hate it, but even the plants that are consumed apparently have some level of sentience. (I also read “The Secret Life of Plants” back in the day.) Is it just a product of this system of duality we are forced to live under? Years ago, when I was looking into the Findhorn Garden, I went to a similar place in Virginia called the Perelandra Garden, which was also meant to be done in cooperation with nature intelligences. The founder, Machaelle Small Wright, had an interesting take on it. She said that what she had recieved from Nature was that it did not have the same sentimentality about it that we do. The way she put it was that each player gives the other “purpose.” She gave examples like the wolf and the deer. The deer can run and jump like an amazing acorobat, and the wolf has incredible hunting skills, each because of the other, and they have a certain joy in it. It is like a dance, and, ideally, each population keeps the other at the peak of performance and health. She gave other examples, such as part of the “pupose” of the earthworm being to feed and keep the robin on it’s toes, etc. This made a certain sense to me, if I could get past my human feelings about it. I still hate the violence and pain of this world, but on the other hand, I have wondered what the animals do on the other side if they no longer need to worry about feeding and procreating. How do they find purpose over there? Would they get bored? Have you come across any info on this in your research?

        1. Oh dear Scott, you have made such wonderful points here! A lot of our squeamishness about eating meat is mere sentimentality. As Thomas and Mikey would remind us, eating the flesh of other creatures is conducive to – even essential to – sustaining our bodies: for example, once human infants are weaned from their mothers’ milk, forced veganism can be fatal to them. And since limiting one’s diet does not materially affect our consciousness vibration – doesn’t make us more loving – then we cannot have been created to be omnivores as a spiritual challenge!

          There is considerable evidence that plants are on some level sentient. If we are going to stop eating animals because they are sentient, then for us still to eat plants is highly problematic! It reeks of animal-ism, a form of discrimination in which we won’t kill and eat sentient beings that are more like us, but we won’t hesitate to kill and eat plants that are simply a different type of sentient being.

          All of these decisions are individual, and none of us has the right to judge others who simply have made decisions that are different from our own. For my part, having tried various vegetable diets, I seem to have settled on eating less meat and not minding eating raw fruits and berries, but wanting vegetables to be cooked. For some reason, leafy vegetables seem too much like living creatures, so ripping up lettuce and eating it in a salad somehow creeps me out!

          And wild animals in the afterlife live for the most part well away from people, and they seem to be quite happy, with prey animals roaming in their own vast herds and predators living contentedly in their own groups. I don’t think anyone knows how they think about any of this, whether they recall what it was like when they were predators and prey on earth, but they don’t seem to have been at all traumatized by it.

      2. Dear Mac, I think you have made a crucial point. A different diet will affect your body, but it won’t make you more spiritual! Changing your diet – vegetarian, vegan, nectar from early violets, or what else have you – is not going to make you even one whit more spiritual because it will not materially raise your consciousness vibration. You will still stand from the lunch table and kick a cat if it gets in your way. In fact, changing your diet in ways that make you feel more virtuous, that even make you feel superior to people who still (gasp!) eat meat – or eat eggs not laid by free-range, organic chickens, or drink nectar from late violets – actually can harm you spiritually. Smugness is not conducive to spiritual growth!

        As is true of so much else, Jesus was aware that pursuing more visible virtues that are not central to spiritual growth can harm us spiritually. He said, “But first be concerned about God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well” (MT 6:33) Eyes on the Prize, my beloved friends! Our lives are too brief and too full of distractions for us to waste even a moment of our attention on anything but the divine pursuit of learning ever more perfect eternal love.

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