In the beginning, God created the universe. When the earth was as yet unformed and desolate,
with the surface of the ocean depths shrouded in darkness,
and while the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters, God said, “Let there be light!” So there was light.
– (Gen 1:1-3) Ascribed to the Prophet Moses (?-1273 BC)
One of the fruits of our learning that all human minds are part of one eternal Mind is a developing craving to know and understand what actually is going on. Where did all of this come from? Is there a God, and what is God like? How extensive is the non-material reality? How does it work? How can we know who and what we truly are? This is the first generation to have access to facts-based answers to all these questions, and those answers fit together and make sense.
When I had my first experience of light at the age of eight, I thought of it as peeking behind the curtain. Then when I much later first understood that all the afterlife communications over the past two centuries reveal to us a single consistent and detailed post-death reality, that felt like watching the curtain tear and glimpsing many more of the wonders behind it. Since then, open-minded researchers have further rent the curtain between us and the truth, until by now that curtain lies in tatters. Reasonable answers to all our questions are before our eyes and plain to see! But I have of late come to realize that my piecemeal sharing of these truths has made it harder for you to grasp the larger picture. In an effort to remedy that, we are going to briefly summarize here what seems to be true about our one reality.
The greater reality now revealing itself is gigantic. It is at least twenty times the relative size of this material universe. And it all fits together perfectly! Researchers have sufficient solid insights now for us to begin to understand a great deal more than we could have understood even just a few years ago, and our learning continues apace. Please consider this post to be a stick in the ground, a marker that celebrates how far we have come but that we can be sure is going to shift and change as our knowledge continues to grow.
Here is what we now know about the greater reality that includes this universe:
The only thing that objectively exists is what we experience as consciousness. It has already been abundantly shown that the human brain does not and cannot generate consciousness, nor can it perform even the basic functions that science long has ascribed to it. Still, most scientists continue to equate the mind with the brain, and funding for brain research continues, which means that brain-studies that can only lead us nowhere still will blunder on. Even the new study of “panpsychism,” which posits that consciousness pervades the universe, turns out to be just more foolishness. One expert on panpsychism calls consciousness “the intrinsic nature of matter. There’s just matter, on this view, nothing supernatural or spiritual. But matter can be described from two perspectives. Physical science describes matter ‘from the outside’, in terms of its behavior. But matter ‘from the inside’ – i.e., in terms of its intrinsic nature – is constituted of forms of consciousness.” No idea is offered about where that consciousness comes from, what service it performs, or why it exists as they propose that it does. Only more nonsense. Even most scientists seeking to understand consciousness itself are trying to do it in terms of mathematics in order to remain in the materialist mode. Sadly, the scientific community still refuses even to ask the right questions!
Consciousness gives rise to everything that we think of as real. Very little is known about the base creative force, but I will give you the best definition of it that I have seen. “Consciousness is an energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the sense that your mind is alive, infinitely powerful and governed by emotion so it is probably self-aware.” Every human mind is inextricably part of that single Consciousness, so it is reasonable for us to say that there is only one of us here.
Some 95.1% of the reality of which we are aware is not material. Scientists have determined that less than five percent of the universe is composed of ordinary matter and energy. The rest is what they call dark matter (26.8%) and dark energy (68.3%) – and they are dark only in that neither of them sheds or reflects material light. It is a reasonable guess that these gigantic non-material aspects of reality are the astral plane, which is a bit like an inconceivably large, endlessly varied, and happily love-based and rollicking wild west.
This material universe is the only place where there are laws of physics. In all the rest of reality, numbers are meaningless; and insofar as we are able to tell, every element of that non-material reality is readily manipulated by more advanced human minds.
This material reality is the only place where time and space are fixed. In that non-material 95.1%, we can choose to experience the passage of time or we can live in timelessness. We can travel to the edge of the universe in an eye-blink.
Everything is energy; nothing is solid. No matter how solid things might seem to us, both in this material reality and in the astral, we must never forget that, as Albert Einstein said, “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.” And all the apparent matter and energy that exists, whether it is light or dark, is tightly intermingled. We live eternally in one gigantic energy-soup.
Everything vibrates. We have talked about the fact that these vibrations exist at a range of vibratory rates, from fear at the lowest to love at the highest rate. The easiest way for you to visualize all of this is as TV signals in the room around you, where your mind can tune in to a specific signal at a certain vibratory rate and pick up a single specific reality.
So this is the basic greater reality that encompasses everything that we think exists. It probably is not all that exists, but for now it defines our limits. And over and over we can see it working! Near-death and out-of-body experiencers leave their earth-bodies and travel in the endless astral; and when we die, we follow our deathbed visitors as we raise our personal vibrations sufficiently to be able to reach the afterlife area that is located in the astral. As is true of the TV signals around you, all these different reality signals exist at different frequencies but in precisely the same place. It all works. It is consistent with quantum physics. And it makes sense! Please read and internalize the points listed above until the truth defeats your own lying eyes. Once you are used to knowing the truth, you will find that you function just fine in this material illusion but you never lose sight of what is really going on!
God is harder to understand, although there is a lot of consistent information to support what I will tell you. We begin with the certainty that there has to be an Un-Caused Cause! Here are just a few reasons why:
Fine-Tuning. This universe is so finely-tuned that it exists on the edge of instability, always about to fly apart or collapse. And as the great Rupert Sheldrake has pointed out, some of those finely-tuned values that scientists call “constants” are in fact continuously adjusting, apparently all on their own!
Final Causality and Other Quantum Puzzles. Quantum mechanics gave us the final insights that researchers needed to at last make sense of the greater reality. In the same vein, some important quantum physics experiments now strongly hint that there has to be a prior cause beyond this physical universe.
Human Yearnings. A close look at human history and cultures going back for tens of thousands of years shows that the urge to seek and interact with a higher power has always been a core human characteristic. Until recently, human beings were living on the ragged edge of survival, so all this effort spent over thousands of generations to seek and interact with unseen beings is a human need that seems to be as thoroughly hard-wired into us as is a newborn infant’s need to suck.
Human Experience. That urge toward a closer walk with Spirit remains in the human psyche to this day, and before the age of fifty more than half of us have had at least one extraordinary experience of Spirit. Having had two such experiences myself, and having talked with many people about their own such spiritual interactions, I will tell you flat-out that these experiences are consistent, transformative, and emphatically not imaginary!
The Afterlife. Based upon abundant and highly varied evidence, there is no doubt now that human minds are interconnected and are eternal. How or why this should be the case is a core question whose answers all point to the existence of an Un-Caused Cause.
Religionists want to refer to the Un-Caused Cause as “God,” and they give it all the attributes of their various human-made gods. But in fact, all such religion-based gods are just part of humankind’s long history of seeking to satisfy that hard-wired human craving for Spirit. The evidence strongly suggests that the genuine Godhead is in fact a Collective of Perfected Beings Who all have matured spiritually just as you and I are maturing, and have reached a point of such spiritual perfection that together They order all of reality. I can hear your protests now! If I am right about this, then among other head-scratchers is the question of how the universe could have begun before there were Perfected Beings, and why it even happened at all. And indeed there are answers to these questions. Next week we’ll explore the genuine Godhead’s apparently ongoing process of creation….
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.
– (Psalm 23:1-3) David, Third King of Israel and Judah (1035-970 BC)
Theater curtain photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo – 69 Million Views <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7156765@N05/49499410251″>Cleveland Ohio – Playhouse Square – State Theatre – Interior Auditorium – KeyBank State Theatre – Postcard</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Staircase photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo – 69 Million Views <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7156765@N05/49291478948″>State Capitol of Montana ~ Helena Montana ~ Grand Staircase</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
You can find Roberta’s radio show and podcast posted freshly each Monday on Webtalkradio.net. If there is any guest you would like her to interview, or anything you hope she will talk about, please send your suggestions via the Contact block!
70 thoughts on “Peeking Behind the Curtain”
One of the most amazing worlds of non-material reality is the world of numbers, which I have studied extensively from a totally new perspective that was provided to me by revelation, and which has led me to the conclusion that all the amazing so-called and deeply complex and ingenious coincidences of many numerical phenomena truly happening all at once, are surely a clear indication of an extremely high and ultimately incomprehensible intelligence, which you can call God if you like. Anyone who studies this objectively cannot deny that numbers and mathematics are not a mere human invention. That assertion is utterly preposterous.
Dear Dr. de Groot, it is delightful to meet you! When I first saw your name, I thought it was great – if a little surprising – that the Dutch chess master of a similar name was commenting here from the afterlife; but thanks to Google I have found that you are indeed a much younger but equally expert mathematician.
As it happens, my interest in mathematics can be summarized by the question I asked my high school algebra teacher long ago: is mathematics a discovered or an invented science? She said “Invented.” So I never took another math course. But you say here that if it is an invented science, we were certainly not the ones who invented it!
Of course you are right. And that insight has shaped the past three decades of my work-life. In the late eighties I was watching a PBS special on the universe, and a young physicist said something that so struck me that decades later I can still remember the room, the TV, his face, and the sunshine coming through the window. He said, “For some reason we can use math to study reality.”
For some reason?? This terrific clue to answering the greatest mystery of all was literally coming out of his mouth, but it didn’t make him the least bit curious as to why math – which I had learned is an “invented science” – is what governs the universe?
As I gather that you know, dear sir, based upon your history, Spirit is working powerfully with many of us now. Those two supposedly random incident from my own life led me to integrate this puzzle about the role of mathematics into my research life, and at length they made a useful clue. So clearly those two events and what they suggested were not random at all!
I will have more to say about this next week, when we tackle the process of creation. But Dr. de Groot, thank you so much for introducing this topic and for making such a wonderful, seminal point!
Roberta: Remember our friend Max Planck who said there was no such thing as actual matter? Well, he was right, and mainstream science is getting nowhere because they are treating matter as an actual fact and are basing all their theories on its existence. I see the point made here that math is an invented science. To think that the universe started from a lucky series of events is so ludicrous that it defies logic. Although I am not a scientist, I think it is obvious that the universe was very well planned. Even planet earth is situated in our galaxy at a place where it is possible to “see” more of the universe than if we were actually in the heart of the galaxy. This could be a lucky coincidence, but in light of everything else, it probably isn’t.
Dear Lola, the short video embedded here is meant to be support for the traditional Christian God, but in fact it is superb support for intelligent creation, whatever that Intelligence might be! And yes, even the relative position of our planet in this solar system and our solar system in this galaxy to give us a wonderful ringside seat on all kinds of events is no accident. In fact, there really are no accidents at all!
Envisioning God as an anthropomorphic personality as a number of Western traditions have done and still do strikes many adherents as comforting, but once that which is envisaged becomes a manufacturer and master of puppets who demands odd allegiances and rituals, that should seem more like a menace and a demon — at the least a puny force for God. An immanent conscious creative force that not only encourages the creation but includes the creatures within it and enables their free will should strike us as much more like a God. For millennia, as you point out, humans had an inherent longing for this consciousness, even if not a name. It seems that we should be longing to get back to that concept of God. I think as a planet, we are.
I agree that there are no accidents at all concerning the creation of the universe. However, because of free will, I’m not so sure if there aren’t accidents concerning our lives here on this planet. With more than 7 billion people now, I would think that statistically there would be accidents due to free will etc., but as far as the universe itself is concerned, it was obviously well planned. I agree there are what you called “perfected beings” involved – perhaps as many as thousands or millions.
For years, we have placed human type personalities on what we call God and made him a wrathful, self serving entity with a very short fuse. This flies in the face of common sense. Why create beings that you know are not going to be perfect, for instance, and then get all upset when they make mistakes or “sin”? This makes no sense. Of course, I blame it on the church’s wish to instill fear as a means of control, but we as a species are becoming much more educated and sophisticated and that scare tactic is not nearly as effective as it once was. As a planet, therefore, we are changing our concept of God, as Mike pointed out.
Lola, based on the experience of many indigenous cultures, the planet is rediscovering or remembering true divine nature. It is not necessary to change what we fundamentally knew to be true—only return to it.
I totally agree. The word “change” isn’t really appropriate.
Dear Lola, you make the same point that I have long wondered about! Why would God create people with flaws that would then make those people unacceptable to God? Is God a sadist, then? Of course not, and simply to ask the question is to successfully refute the whole of Christian orthodoxy. Either the God Who created us is perfect love and blames us for nothing, or that God is just a gussied-up human being with massive human flaws who has no business judging us. I agree that just in the lifetimes of people living – in my lifetime, surely – Christians have largely escaped the fears that their religion was instilling in them less than a century ago, and I think one reason is the fact that more and more people are becoming sufficiently familiar with the afterlife evidence that they are losing the fear of death. And fear of death is the base fear, so once that goes we seem to lose all other fears as well. What an interesting time this is to be alive, just as the truth really is about to dawn upon the world!
I agree, and the fear of death is obviously the reason they introduced hell into the mix where people are supposedly sent for a variety of picayune reasons like missing mass on Sunday, eating meat instead of fish on Friday, and females not wearing a hat or head covering in church (I kid you not, I got in a lot of trouble when I took off my hat in church – I was seven). Let’s not forget about the babies who die before they get a chance to be baptized. I was told they were sent to a place called limbo, whatever that is. I do have a feeling that the world is changing, and that people are rapidly beginning to have a more “sane” concept of the universe and what we call God.
Dear Lola, you bring to my mind something horrific that actually was written by a prominent Catholic priest around the turn of the previous century, specifically to torment parents who hadn’t managed to get their babies baptized before those children died. He said all the not-baptized babies would be tormented forever, and just to make sure their suffering was complete they would be allowed to come up to the afterlife of good children and witness all the joys of those babies whose parents had loved them enough to get them baptized; then they would be put right back down into hell forevermore, with that image of what could have been for them forever lodged in their minds.
I think I can pretty much trace my disaffection with Catholicism to the very moment when I read that hideous and sadistic screed.
Are you kidding me? Even for the Catholic church, this sounds totally preposterous. Was there something in it for them to have a baby baptized? In other words maybe there was some kind of “fee” involved for baptism, and they used scare tactics to ensure people would have this ritual done.
How is the truth about to dawn on the world?
Dear Ali, the beginning of this process is becoming clearer to us but we have not been given to see its end. Even in just the past decade, the veil between the material and the the non-material has thinned considerably in each of our lives, so – for example – many of us who have been working for all our lives with our guides without much feeling a sense of personal contact are now much more easily in intimate contact with them. I hear from people daily now who tell me more and more amazing stories! Now we are being given to know more and more and more each year about how things really work, what actually is going on, and some of us are being shown how we can more and more efficiently share this information. And the questions I am getting are enormously more sophisticated! We can pretty clearly see the beginning. How long it will take, though, and what will ultimately need to happen in order for universal awareness to begin, we have not yet been given to know.
“I hear from people daily now who tell me more and more amazing stories!”
Could you share some?
Dear Ali, you posted the above at the end of a thread so there was no way to respond to it; and anyway, I simply don’t have the time to do what you ask when so few people read these older posts, nor do I have people’s permission to tell their stories. Please suffice it to say that over the past seven or eight years I have been hearing from individuals who are now in direct daytime contact with their spirit guides, when they never were before; and on Seek Reality we have been interviewing more people – like Peter Wright – who have developed techniques for helping people with this process. It is quite exciting!
As a previously lover of Math and Chemistry in my teens, I have to say that what I loved about Math and numbers is that there is a distinctive order and number logic to matter and how it vibrates. I believe Math is key to the creation process of everything. However, in a spiritual sense, it may not be something that needs to be understood or even considered, but perhaps at some level of spiritual growth, it might become part of our understanding.
Dear Timothy, it’s obvious that you are right about math being what orders our material reality, so the fact that math seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with the ordering of the 95.1% of reality that is not material is a key clue to what really is going on! I find this all fascinating. We’ll be talking about it next week.
I believe in reincarnation but was just thinking maybe I’m missing something
If we all come back why do people see so many loved ones and relatives when they die… they all seem to still be in heaven, unless we stay there for 50 years or more before coming back. I’ve heard of more like 1 to 15 years
I love this question, as I’m in the same boat. It is a subject that totally confuses me. I did hear from several people that only a part of our energy reincarnates and that our “higher soul” stays there. I also heard that it is by choice and that some choose not to reincarnate. Because Western culture did not accept reincarnation until fairly recently, it is a subject that no one seems to know anything about. Yet there are children who recall past lives and this can often be verified. It’s really an annoying mystery.
Dear Lola, it’s a mystery indeed, but if you study it then it’s possible to begin to understand it. For example:
1) There is no time beyond this 4.9% of the greater reality that is material. Please see my answer to Dianne.
2) Spiritual growth is the core human craving, which is the only reason why anyone ever would choose to incarnate at all! So, no, we don’t have to incarnate. But we can’t do much spiritual development there until we are already pretty well developed, and almost the only way that basic development seems to happen is through material incarnation.
3) When we incarnate, we do leave most of our greater minds in the greater reality. We strip down to a limited subset of our minds that is tailored for spiritual learning, very much as you would strip down to shorts and a T-shirt to go to a physical gym.
4) Dr. Ian Stevenson’s study of children who remember previous lives was the study of specific instances of violent and un-planned death. Fascinating, but not the typical experience.
My dear friend, everything is a mystery until we really study it closely!
I did study it, but found so many different versions that I kind of put it on the back burner, but the most sensible one (and the one I’ve come to believe) is what you said in #3 above – that is, we leave our higher minds in the spirit world and only a subset of our souls reincarnate. The one case I remember in Ian Stevenson’s book was a kid who recalled a life as a WWII soldier who was shot down in Hawaii during the Japanese attack, so that was certainly a violent death.
Dear Lola, I think the problem is that Christianity rejects reincarnation, so to most Westerners the only place to go to learn about it is the various Eastern religions. In point of fact, however, there is no religion of which I am aware that gets reincarnation even remotely right. On the other hand, there is a lot of independent evidence for reincarnation, and it can be studied as objectively as we study the afterlife. I’ll check and see if I’ve covered reincarnation well enough in a prior post here, and if not then I’ll put it on our future-posts list; and meanwhile, you might try putting it as a topic in the search bar?
I used to wonder about that too, but so many mediums and researchers on the afterlife have insisted that most of our soul stays on the other side, while perhaps a third of it is invested in a lifetime here at any given time. Not a hard and fast rule, but the average that incarnates.
Lately I’ve delved into genealogy and was surprised at a Spiritualist reading when a medium told me that a very ancient ancestor of mine was there. He was still differentiated and a personality after nearly 2,000 years. He’d been a Gallo-Roman Senator just before the Empire’s fall and was happy to “meet” a descendant of his who had taken the time to find out about his life.
And the most amazing thing was that the medium didn’t know me and had no idea that I was doing genealogy. So at least some souls retain their individual personalities for a long, long time. I look forward to meeting him someday.
This is an amazing story. How would a 2000 year old ancestor know you were studying genealogy, and how would he know you were in any way related to him? Maybe you caught his attention by delving into finding out about your ancestors. I don’t know how else the medium could come up with that. If that’s the case, it would seem that only part of one’s energy reincarnates and that his “higher soul” is still in the spirit world. I can’t come up with any other explanation because it’s so mind boggling.
Dear Patricia, your consciousness is eternal. Your mind is eternal! Your individual awareness is eternal too, so the passage of 2000 earth-years is not significant to someone now living beyond time.
I enjoy this story, primarily because it is somewhat unusual for someone to be much interested in a bodily descendant of his own prior lifetime. It’s a prior lifetime of his body, remember, and your present body is genetically descended from that body. From the viewpoint of our eternal lives, where only our consciousness development matters, that is a pretty tenuous connection! So I am betting that you have a closer connection to him – you likely are a veteran of many lives with him. I wish there were some way that you could test this hypothesis, since it would be interesting new information!
Dear Dianne. the only way to begin to make sense of reincarnation is to keep in mind at every moment that there is no fixed time beyond this material reality. None! And that fact governs every interface between this reality and the next. So, for example, we are told that from an eternal perspective every one of our earth-lifetimes is happening at once, and they can happen out of earth-time order. It is impossible to measure anything that goes on there by the earth-time that we measure here!
This indeed is a good “thought experiment” for approaching an understanding of this phenomenon of existence. Our experience perceived as incarnation is, of course, the comfortable “current” vantage point from which to observe phenomena, but this current experience is intended to give us a narrow focus so we can concentrate on this particular thing we are trying to accomplish for our overs spiritual growth. If in our thought experiment we can “step out” of this immediate experience, then we find that the eternal breadth of all reality makes more sense and, therefore, the so-called “arrow of time” that makes us want to arrange experiences in a linear order seems irrelevant. Suddenly we simply ARE.
Dear Mike, apparently there are a number of different paths to that moment of singularity. My job is to find the easiest one for modern Westerners to take, and that seems to be achieving basic knowledge of what really is going on together with applying and living the teachings of Jesus. But I love it that you and others here are feeling led to experiment with alternatives!
Yes, I can see why if there is no fixed time, it would all seem so confusing to those who are still on earth with no means of measuring anything except by earth time. As you say, it isn’t possible, using earth time, to measure anything at all unless it’s entirely earth based. Thanks, Roberta..
Not arguing at all with your conclusions; in agreement with nearly 100 % you print. I thought I might add a little to the discussion. The following is not a put down but a sad fact of life.
Scientist don’t have a real clue what the hell they are professing when it comes to materialism and or the actual Universe. Not a clue and neither do any of us. We have opinions but that is all. I personally believe the material Universe is actually small compared to the entire Universe of no time.
Materialism is a false science based on false assumptions. We come in with nothing and we leave this earth with nothing. & our bodies will become Mother Earth.
This entire thing we call Earth is Vibrating & that causes those material things we call trees and Mountains etc to appear. Change the Vibration and they go away. We, our bodies, are nothing but low vibrations; raise out vibrations high enough and we disappear.
Our entire bodies are made up on energy that is vibrating at a low frequency.
What all Western Civilization needs to first understand is the following: We are nothing more than Beings of Light having a Human Experience. Way else do you think these bodies came into beings? So that Souls who are tagging along with our bodies can learn. Remember we live in a duality; right vs wrong; good vs bad when in fact neither is true. Both are nothing more than learning experiences to Souls; they learn through the human body. The Earth is a difficult school… Religions with all their dogma have been scamming money with dogma based on FEAR.. For Centuries.
Dear Skip, I think that you and I are pretty much in agreement… except that I try to put it more sweetly! And my interest remains strong in earnestly attempting to understand not just what is true, but WHY it is true and precisely HOW it all fits together. In the end, it does seem to be possible for us to do the science of it this precisely, and even to show how it all fits with what we are perceiving from this material spot. If we can properly do the science, and can then shame material scientists into taking it the rest of the way, it should be possible to do what is going to be at least a century of scientific catch-up in little more than a year or two!
Thank you for commenting here. It’s lovely to meet a kindred spirit 😉
Love what you said here, Skip and yes, religions have scammed us for money for centuries. What is even worse is that countless innocent lives have been taken and;/or destroyed in the name of religion. This is all due to fear, as if the truth were told, we wouldn’t need vaticans, churches or institutions, and certainly no money would be necessary.
Dearest Roberta, you never disappoint. There is so much to consider here. Your writing has a wise density that if it was cake, it would be a Northern European chocolate Torta. You know, one of those rich chocolate, layered cakes made from fresh, natural ingredients, where it is only possible to carve and eat a sliver or two at a single sitting.
Your blog is most enjoyable when refreshed more than a few times. And there is much to savor in terms of salient, clear points and relevant links therein. (It is unlike the faux, factory made, vendor bakery cakes which are thrown together from preservative infused premix, chemical sugars and mock cream, ie: the usual blog offerings of ‘knowledge based’ social media. 😉)
Though I probably come across as a social media snob here, I mean only that I savor this unique blog of pure quality each week and anticipate it with alacrity.
– Just wanted to share this. 🕊❣️🍰
Dear wonderful Efrem. Thank you for your lovely words! If this is really how being a part of this blog makes you feel, then all my work on it is indeed well-spent!
So I have read your comment a few times, savoring it, and trying hard to tell myself that you could not possibly know that I have given up chocolate for Lent every year since I was sixteen, so my suspicion that you are trying to drive me mad with all this tempting talk of the perfect chocolate torte – and right at the start of Lent, too! – is probably accidental….
I actually didn’t know that you’d given up chocolate for Lent since your mid teenage years. It’s just that this image of a certain chocolate cake flashed clearly into my mind as I replied.
Had I been trying to drive you stir crazy (excuse the lame pun) dear Roberta, I would have appealed to the senses. You know, the pervasive rich aroma as you carefully lift the cool cake from the refrigerator shelf, the smooth slightly frosted texture, the sight of a perfect sliver cut from the dark cool cake lifted by a shining silver server; revealing even layers of sweet mocha cream and promising taste bud joy as it floats over to the plate…
And you know I would never do that. Never ! 😉😄😂
Dear Roberta, We’re going cosmic this week – so much to ponder. Just to be clear, when you say panpsychism, is that different from what Bernardo Kastrup theorizes, that consciousness is fundamental, and matter is emergent from consciousness? I recently heard his approach called metaphysical idealism, or monistic (monadistic?) idealism, which could be considered a form of panpsychism. (An interview of Thomas Brophy by Jeffry Mishlove on his podcast “New Thinking Allowed.”) Are you referring to materialist panpsychism?
Actually, panpsychism is the literal opposite of our wonderful friend Bernardo’s point of view. To Max Planck and to Bernardo Kastrup, our view is correct, and consciousness has to be the base creative force. Panpsychism is an attempt to create a materialist answer to the ubiquity of consciousness that lets you avoid the conclusion that consciousness is primary by assuming that consciousness is just a partner to matter that probably arose with it out of the Big Bang or something.
This feels as if we are storming Normandy Beach with the truth, and its desperate defenders are at the point now of grasping at every possible grain of sand!
On the subject of human perception of the Divine nature, by stepping back and looking at the big picture it is conceivable to realize that our understanding of God is evolving over time.
To look at say, the gods of the Middle East aside from (or before) the God of Abraham, is to see many warring, cruel deities that demanded slavish, occult practices and human sacrifices. The fear and anger based demon worship of the Baal Cult for instance, demanded regular human blood offerings on pain of death or the threat of natural disaster. (Many Hellenic gods also had sadistic tendencies and painfully recognizable human failings.)
Then came the One God of Abraham who eschewed human sacrifice and required covenant and personal virtue. This became the God of Moses who set down a way of life with many commandments, in order to create a God oriented society out of the frightened, superstitious, undisciplined, newly freed Hebrew slaves of Egypt. This God was One and He was beyond human understanding, but was He was described in anthropomorphic terms. This King enthroned in Heaven was basically loving but He was emotional, switchy and able to smite people in hurt and anger. (Or so the scriptures maintain.)
So one can perhaps see how the human view of God evolved from demon worship to cruel anthropomorphic polytheism, to kind and sometimes cruel anthropomorphic monotheism and finally to Spirit. This Spirit is love, the Creator and well beyond human in nature. Jesus showed us this loving Spirit and taught us to reclaim our own Divine nature by becoming beings of love, forgiveness and active compassion.
So it seems that human beings are refining their understanding of God over time. Nowadays people are changing again. For instance many people now believe that; God is Consciousness or Spirit, love is the real Divine nature, people of other religions or of none will progress to a heavenly or better place after death, there is a core of truth that is common to all religions and the most important thing in life is love. Modern people are also realizing that indigenous cultures particularly, have a deeply connected relationship with Divinity and often see the Divine nature more clearly than sophisticated religion allows.
So as we are evolving from religion based to spirituality based people, a new understanding is taking root and can possibly grow quite quickly in future.
And maybe (as Mike J-R says above) the world is simply returning to what indigenous people have known for millennia, that Spirit is the creative force and creation itself, who includes all of us within itself; we who are perfectly loved, eternal beings of free will are actually parts of the Whole.
You said this beautifully, Efrem. I haven’t heard anything about the Baal Cult in years, but I remember the terrifying feeling I was left with after reading about it. It’s true that subsequent religions weren’t much better. Blood sacrifice seemed to be the “name of the game” and without it, you could pretty much expect punishment, torture, and/or death. You have to wonder why this was so prevalent, as almost all religions had a moody, unpredictable, and often mean god. Even the god of the old testament (Jehovah) was downright scary. It almost seems like something or someone wanted us to be separate from God, and people were taught that he would only favor us if we went through a series of insane rituals. The need to appease some powerful being has caused more devastation than we can ever imagine. Maybe our new understanding of Jesus is what is meant by the “second coming.” Instead of him walking around as a physical being this time, it could be that his teachings are finally being seen in the way they were intended.
Dear Efrem and Lola, it seems clear now that all gods are made by people in their image, so the relative barbarity of the gods throughout human history says more about the human state of development than it has to say about the genuine Godhead. For most of human history we have been massively fear-based! So we were competitive, angry, and brutal in a dog-eat-dog world of our own creation. Naturally, then, what we needed were monstrous gods that we thought could keep all these monstrous people in line. I think it was this way because experiencing negativity was the whole reason for our even being here, and all this negativity helped many of us to grow spiritually by a lot! It was useful, but it was human-created – I don’t see any evidence that the genuine Godhead had a hand in it.
Efrem, I also have seen the evolution of these human-made gods much as you have rolled it out above. Thank you for pointing it out!
And Lola, I have had your thought as well: the current general enlightenment about the teachings of Jesus could indeed be what was planned as His second coming. But on the other hand, I have come to think that He never really left.
This is a good point, as gods are fashioned based on a particular time period, so during a time of barbarity, he would be mean and hard to please, just like most of the rulers were back then. How often have we heard the term “he (or she) is a god fearing person.:” It was meant as a compliment beLolcause if you didn’t fear God, you were thought of as radical – even dangerous
Dear Lola, you make an important point. The only place in the Gospels where I have seen an exhortation that we fear God is in what is called the Magnificat, LK 1:46-56, a song of praise to God where Mary celebrates the upcoming birth of Jesus. In the Magnificat she says, “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him” (LK 1:49-50). That’s it! And thus was the terrible fear of God loosed upon the world….
Dear Lola, you make very telling points here. When one stops to think about it, the need to appease some omnipotent God has indeed caused long and pernicious damage to human beings. If you put it that way, one is reminded that ‘fear of God’ combined and magnified by the ever present fear of mortality, has hurt and distanced people from being unified with Spirit. Perhaps the damage is far deeper than we have realized, as you imply here.
And into this fear bound earth comes our Jesus. He showed people a way out of fear into love and oneness with Spirit. However I wonder if He had entered the ‘perfect storm’ of fear considering when and where He incarnated.
I mean in First Century Judea, you had the fear of God, the fear of human mortality and the fear of the utterly oppressive and virtually all powerful Roman Empire. What an all but impossible situation! The dominance of fear would have been total.
Yet it seems that the true time of transformation begins now. So you may be right when you say that, ‘Maybe our new understanding of Jesus is what is meant by the “second coming.’” It’s not too bad a thing to be living now, eh? 🙏🏼❣️🌅
Yes, I can see where life for those in the time period you mention must have been – at the very least – no fun at all. The constant fear of religion and government must have resulted in a lot of neurotic thoughts and behaviors. The negativity must have been enormous. What I never could understand is why a blood sacrifice would make “everything nice again.” Even in the case of Jesus Christ, his crucifixion and the shedding of his blood were what it took to absolve us of our sins.
Dear Lola, I can’t understand this either. The blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ seems to suggest that humans have so much sin that only the killing of God’s Son would cancel the mountainous debt of our sin. This raises sin to a level of focal importance well beyond other things. This interpretation of the crucifixion makes God look like he is keeping score and was ready to damn us sinning humans forever, but for the sacrifice of Jesus.
I never got that. Especially since Abraham strapped Isaac to an altar and raised the knife – then God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac at the last moment. Thereupon human sacrifice was forbidden. (That was quite a statement for those bloodthirsty days!) So I grew up seeing any human sacrifice as bad, hence my not understanding the crucifixion.
Now I reckon Jesus the Christ rose from death to show us that we too don’t really die but live on in spirit form. He was teaching us.
Dear Efrem and Lola, I understand the horror that the whole Christian tradition instills in you when you closely look at what people are being asked to believe. it affects me the same way! The Christian view of the Lord’s death and resurrection is insulting to the genuine Godhead and humiliating to the genuine Jesus. But just remember that it is all about church power! When you think about the fact that the scarier it is, the more it will keep people filling those pews, then it all makes perfect sense.
Yes, it would fill the pews but more importantly (to them) it would also fill the collection baskets.
Roberta: I never heard of the Magnificat LK, but do you think that Mary actually said this, or maybe this was put in there by someone else? I’m getting to the point where it is hard for me to believe anything in the bible due to the constant tampering that was going on. There is no explanation for what makes Mary think that Jesus needed to be feared.
Dear Lola, I urge you to read the Magnificat while remembering that when Mary “said” it she was an uneducated, probably not even literate teenage girl. Of course she didn’t say it, or anything like it! The Magnificat was part of the early church’s starting to elevate and venerate both Mary and the significance of the birth of her Son. And since they were church-building, they were fear-building too. A throwaway word from some scribe maybe fifteen hundred years ago still haunts us today.
That’s what I figured. Church building and fear building went hand in hand and what better way would there be to cause fear than to say Jesus’ own mother said he should be feared. That would definitely put those impressionable people in a panic!
Dear Efrem, I think you sum up the notion of a fear-based culture quite well, and I would just add that every human culture any bigger than a few dozen huts has seen the same kinds of fears develop. I have come to think of fear as the ultimate weapon that the strong use to control and enslave the weak, and fear of a capricious god-figure is the ultimate power to be wielded by those with aspirations to power! I think there always has been that core spiritual yearning in humankind, so most societies have imagined gods. And it has been easy through all the ages for those who wanted power over others to claim to own and control the Greatest Power there is.
Efrem: It sounds like a scare tactic to me as well as imposing a guilt trip
Yep. Fear and guilt sums Christianity up nicely!
I think how difficult it must be to grow spiritually when the very religion (Christianity) puts you in such a position that you are made to worship a god, Jesus, God, whatever, just to be forgiven because you were born in sin. I never understood what born in sin really meant. To be loved and to be judged in the same breath creates an oxymoron, since a parent that judges a child ultimately hurts them, which is not a loving act.
I recently saw a post from my evangelical cousin: “Man fears Christ, because the gospel is intolerant of sin. – Charles Spurgeon” But I find people don’t fear Christ, they admire Christ, what they fear is a judgmental religion.
Very well said, dear Timothy! Indeed, to sum it up even more succinctly I would say that Christian theology makes spiritual growth within most churches absolutely impossible.
It’s hard to have spiritual growth when you are constantly worried about committing a “mortal sin,” which almost everything is. People would become too focused on what they should NOY be doing, and that would negate any spiritual growth.
Supposedly, you “inherited” the sin from your parents and ancestors. Even if that were true, it still makes no sense, as it is like blaming a child for a birthmark he may have inherited. Concepts like “original sin” and the need for blood sacrifice go right over my head, as I just don’t get it.
Dear Lola, your problem of understanding comes from the fact that life is lived moving forward so it is much harder to understand looking backward. If you read the Old Testament, you find blood sacrifices to appease gods all through it, including child-sacrifice; and you find an obsession with human frailties and failings. So with that history, the blood sacrifice of GOD’s Son to get rid of our innate human frailties and failings looks like the ultimate gift of love from God. With that history. With our history, it is crackers.
I did notice the constant reference to barbarity and blood sacrifices in the old testament, but found out that blood sacrifices were going on even way before the old testament was ever written. I just wondered how that came to be in the first place. I think it has been going on so long (before written history) that we likely will never know where that idea originally started. In the case of the old testament, I think it was used as a guilt trip i.e. Jesus dying a horrible death due to our sins. Guilt inspires fear and obedience and makes people much easier to control,
You put this very succinctly when you explain fear as the ‘ultimate weapon’ that the strong use to control and enslave the weak. As you say, fear of a capricious god figure is the greatest power to wield against the weak. Capriciousness keeps people guessing and under confident when relating to the deity involved. This surely must magnify the fear because people never quite know when this deity will turn on them. A pervading insecurity would result.
Isn’t this terrible? Especially when our life purpose is to love and learn from this experience, while attempting to find happiness here. Using fear to control people would retard the actual purpose of life.
You are right Efrem. No one knew what would make their god or gods angry at any one time. Can you imagine waking up every day wondering if you did something or said something that would make him mad at you? Then if something like a flood or drought happened, they assumed they did something to tick him off and he was punishing them. In this way, the only thing they could learn from their life experience here is to be paranoid and uncertain.
Dear friends, I see this slightly differently. As I will say next week, this universe is not real life, and we spend very little of our eternal lives here. It is MEANT to be fear-based, cruel, horrendous and barbaric! It’s designed to give us tremendous negativity to push against so we can learn and grow spiritually toward love just as rapidly as possible. And since each micro-instant of our ongoing perception of reality here is individually created in the moment, including all of what seems to be “the past,” the mix of fear and love that we see both then and now is probably what the Godhead determines is the optimum mix for us to get our growing done in as few lifetimes here as possible!
Yes Lola my dear, I agree. Imagine all the little things we do or say or think. All the situations we humans have to deal with in life, then how would we feel thinking that a punishing god is watching us? How could we not be paranoid!?
And you mention disasters. So people go through tsunamis for instance and lose so much, then they think they did something wrong so God is punishing them?
That’s too much pain! I see your point Lola, my dear empathic friend. ❣️🙏🏼
Your point that the fear and love mix in this world is the best setting for us to grow rapidly, is a deeper way of seeing.
The Hindus call this the world of illusion or ‘maya’. Sometimes the Divine is called ‘Mahamaya’, the Creator of the Great Illusion. And Shakespeare does tell us that all the world is a stage and we are but actors playing our part. So, even I can see this world as something of a construct.
And if each ‘micro-instant of our ongoing perception of reality here is individually created in the moment,’ then, is even the past we remember real?
That is, I’m sitting here on this rainy, autumn, Sunday morning and thinking of what happened in my past… Did it really happen ? Or are my memories just some kind of ‘adjusted perception’ in this moment, and possibly the things often remembered didn’t happen? (Or perhaps they didn’t occur the way I recall.)
Well Roberta, since my real Home is not here in this world, and I’m only spending a short time on Earth and this world is just a construct – I guess the only thing real is my consciousness anyway!!
Heck I love this concept and perception bending stuff! 🎉🙏🏼❣️😉
Dear Efrem, your question about our ability to remember the past has interested me as well. Since we have individual memories in our minds which, although not entirely separate from all other minds, do contain our individual experiences, I think it likely that earth-history within the reasonable span of living lifetimes will be consistent with what can be individually recalled. When we go back farther, though, all bets are off! As I will say in the next blog post and in the one to follow it, the Collective has been creating a more complicated and involved backstory for humanity as we became better interested in understanding our history, and that farther-back set of events has been entirely created to suit our craving to know. The Big Bang wasn’t sufficiently satisfying, so very soon the history we can discover from so far back is going to be even more detailed than it is now!
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
Maybe there will always be fearmongerers on this planet. But fear is the darkness that is illuminated by love.
Dear Dianne, yes, all through the Gospels Jesus talks repeatedly about the triumph of love over fear. Your quotation from Luke above is a special favorite of mine.