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Seeing is Believing

Posted by Roberta Grimes • November 06, 2021 • 54 Comments
Book News, Human Nature, Understanding Reality

I believe above the storm the smallest prayer will still be heard.
I believe that someone in that great somewhere hears every word.
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry, or touch a leaf,
Or see the sky, Then I know why I believe.
– Ronnie Dunn & Craig Wiseman, from “I Believe” (1953)

The most dangerous word in the English language is “faith.” It seems ironic, doesn’t it, that we hold such a counterproductive word in such remarkably high esteem?

The word “faith” generally refers to an admirable level of religious piety. It is the highest virtue to have complete faith, and especially faith in God; while the inability to have faith is seen as a weakness, and even as a character flaw. Many people consider the fact that so many Christians seem to be losing their faith to be what lies at the root of much of what is going wrong in the world.

And many people would think the foregoing paragraph is just a simple truism.  But in fact, it is nothing of the kind! Far from being in any way admirable, our having nothing more than faith is a sorry admission that our religion of choice is not based in anything real. It would never stand up to objective scrutiny. No wonder so many modern Christians are feeling increasingly set adrift! I submit to you now that it is finally time for us to look frankly at the fact that what once was a rational way for humankind to make sense of an unfathomable world is now not only sadly outmoded, but it is in fact a perilous and unnecessary diversion from what should be our singular and unrelenting pursuit of the truth.

We tend to use “faith” and “belief” as near-synonyms. But in fact, they are near-opposites! The difference between them is, and always has been, evidence:

  • Faith means having complete confidence in someone or something based in little or no evidence.
  • Belief means holding an evidence-based opinion that some proposition or set of ideas is true.

And that difference is a gulf as wide and deep as the sea!

Having faith in something based in little or no evidence never has been a comfortable way to live. Of course, Christians have good evidence in the Gospels that both Jesus and God are real; and if our Christian faith were based only in the Gospels, it could reasonably rise to the level of belief. But beyond what appears in the Gospels, the entire Christian faith is based not in evidence, but instead in a set of human ideas. From the virgin birth through the God who insists that we learn to forgive perfectly, but that same God refuses to forgive us  unless He gets to see His own Son tortured and murdered: the whole religion is based in human ideas. Not only is there no evidence that any of those later Christian notions is true, but there is considerable evidence at this point that all of them are fear-based nonsense. 

Until quite recently, humankind has had to settle for faith alone. The urge toward coming up with gods may have been innate in the first modern humans as they emerged two hundred thousand years ago, and it likely was their best way to cope with a reality that was incomprehensible to them. Perhaps it even was based in part in inchoate pre-birth memories. But for whatever reason, people thought up gods, and we created especially tough and brutal gods to help us cope with a dog-eat-dog and saber-tooth-cat-eat-human world. Our developing the ability to maintain faith in such gods was our only comfort in a pitiless reality. Looking back from here, it seems that our having developed the ability to have faith without evidence was a useful early survival skill.

And until as late as the start of the twentieth century, we can be forgiven for having clung to being satisfied with faith alone. It was really only about that time that both the advent of modern science and our much-improved communication with those that we used to think were dead began to give us a lot of solid evidence of what actually is going on. And that evidence came together and began to make sense! We don’t yet have anything like all the answers. But for decades, humankind has had a sensible and rapidly improving understanding of a remarkable greater reality that includes our afterlife as a tiny part.

Perhaps we ought to pause here and remind any Christians who might be bothered by the thought of using “Jesus” and “evidence” in the same sentence that Jesus Himself urged us to seek and find the evidence-based Truth. He said:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8).

How could He have made it any plainer than that? He did give some lip-service to the notion of faith, perhaps to placate the listening Temple guards; but then He plunged in and made the most profound call for us to acquire enough evidence for real belief that you ever will read anywhere! He said,

“Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you” (MK 11:22-24).

The only enemy of the kind of mental power that it would take to move a mountain is doubt. And it is impossible for most of us to sustain an abiding and largely evidence-free faith while never once doubting it. That’s especially true when what is required of us is faith in a set of dogmas that with just a bit of critical thinking can be seen to be plain nonsense. There is no evidence for most of what Christianity teaches. And given what Christianity teaches beyond the Gospel words of Jesus, the fact that it isn’t real is actually a good thing. Jesus had something to say about that, too. He said:

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32).

And in fact, He was entirely right about that! The Gospel teachings of Jesus are the most powerful and most direct method for growing spiritually that humankind ever has found. They can free us from every doubt and all fears. It is only when we complicate them with foreign ideas that never came from Jesus that we come up with a religion that in too many ways simply defies belief.

But it isn’t only Christians who are betrayed by and drowning in an antiquated faith. Modern mainstream scientists are even worse off! Mainstream science is based in a supreme faith in materialism, a theory for which there is little evidence, and against which the evidence  is overwhelming. Materialism has let scientists down repeatedly! There can be no hope that it ever will lead anywhere. But still, like devotees of some ancient sect whose faith in Moloch always lets them down, but whose fear of losing out to that upstart Christian sect is even greater, the scientific priests cling to their materialist faith and continue to toil away. They even are starting to investigate consciousness. We know by now that consciousness is the equivalent of the Gospel teachings where evidence-based truth is concerned; but still, even when they study consciousness, modern scientists’ materialist faith requires that they find some material connection. No Christian ever born has been so faithfully and so pointlessly dogmatic.

Rather than doing what they both should do, and deciding at last to transition from their faith in human-made, dead-end dogmas to an evidence-based search for humanity’s common truths, our two faith-deluded core institutions are only now wondering whether they might somehow keep their bogus faiths while they search for better ways to somehow get along.

In August of 1964, Lt. Everett Alvarez was the first American pilot shot down over North Vietnam.  After eight and a half years of misery, Lt. Alvarez finally got to come home. When he was asked how he had made it through, he said, “Faith in God, in our president, and in our country – it was this faith that maintained our hope.”

And that is the only rational use that there ever can be for any kind of faith! Faith belongs to the nearly hopeless, and not to Christians in their Sunday pews. Certainly not to scientists who claim to be engaging in the open-minded pursuit of the truth! What is needed now is some kind of truth-detector that can be used by both scientists and religious folks to begin to seek the actual truth. And that truth will of course be common to both disciplines. We’ll talk more about this next week….

I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows.
I believe for everyone who goes astray,
Someone will come to show the way. I believe.  Oh, I believe.
– Ronnie Dunn & Craig Wiseman, from “I Believe” (1953)

Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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54 thoughts on “Seeing is Believing

  1. Dear Roberta,

    Your essay here achieved a new pinnacle of excellent analysis. Christ’s core message is to think and behave from love, yet His Father is depicted by formal church Christianity as vengeful, subjecting Christ to torture to relieve unborn innocents of sins they never committed–that’s a proposition suitable for a deranged mind.

    Then there are the conventional scientists who insist that consciousness must be some form of material activity, because everything that exists is of a material nature– but can find no logical way to link consciousness as an immaterial entity, as surely exists in their minds, to anything that is material by definition, such as neurons connected together in the brain; they entertain themselves these days honoring philosopher David Chalmers’ “hard problem” (how to connect a physical brain with admittedly immaterial consciousness, thought, perception, awareness, and self awareness) as a scientific challenge for materialism– when the two domains are by this concept defined to be inherently incompatible with each other. This too is is logically schizoid, but on they go plodding into the eternal darkness of stubborn ignorance.

    1. I never bought into the belief that God sent Jesus here to die for the sins of others, but on the other hand, if God is outside space and time, he must have known what would eventually happen to Jesus but did nothing to prevent it. There are countless stories of people being helped in difficult situations by what they believe to be angels, so why couldn’t Jesus have been helped as well?

        1. Dear Louise, I enjoy having Lola here as well. I think that in many cases – like today – she quite deliberately voices what other readers might well be thinking, which is lovely of her since it enables those who are wondering but not commenting to get their answers!

          1. Actually, it was because I read recently what Jesus really went through – not what we learned in school or in most books. In fact, it was much worse, and it made me feel ill. I have trouble understanding how anyone could perform such atrocities on anyone, let alone a beautiful soul like Jesus who never harmed anyone..

      1. My dear Lola, it is reported that Jesus never intended to die that way, but He was having trouble convincing the primitives He was teaching that their lives really were eternal. So almost at the last minute, He decided on a dramatic public death so He could rise from the dead – “Ta-Dah! I didn’t die, and neither will you!” In short, for angels to have rescued Jesus would have voided what He was trying to do, so it never would have happened!

        1. That’s interesting because it could answer why he made such a ruckus with the money changers toward the end, as he surely would have known the trouble it would cause. It sounds like he was trying to stir the pot.

          1. My dear, I think it was sheer, human, and adorable frustration. He had done this gigantic thing for us, come to us as God on earth and studied us and taught us and now He was about to go through crucifixion for us, and the sight of all this religious crap still going on struck Him with the thought that really He had changed nothing! He was God, and on a larger scale He knew the plan. But still, He had that very human moment!

    2. Oh Jack how I love to read your comments regarding Robertas posts every week I wish I had your intellect…keep replying 😉 I’ll keep reading
      With kindest wishes
      Louise

      1. Dear Louise, Thank you; at 83 with my share of what deteriorates in old age, I wonder why I’m kept here yet. My wife says it’s because my parrot, who, as I’ve learned is typical of animals in possessing real intelligence and emotions, only is also able to talk, needs me.

        I suppose that Jesus came here to experience directly how it feels to be human, but mainly to provide information and guidance to correct our selfish tendencies, and hope that life is only an episode in our eternal existence. God gives us free will, else we would be mechanical creatures devoid of any purpose in life. But to honor the gift of free will, He then avoids any routine intervention, especially obvious intervention. So He generally tolerates miseries, even the evils of fire and war. Why miracles do occur do is unfathomable, except they do serve to inform of the possibility of a living God of love.

        There is a delicate balance between the hurts inevitable in living, and allowing us to wonder if there is truly God with Heaven as our home. With wonderment our lot, we are left to fall on our own resources to navigate through our hard lives. The mystery of God’s reality has a purpose.

        1. Oh my dear Jack, it’s for us and for all the people you are able to teach that you are still here! And as you know, keeping your mind active and challenged keeps it going! My husband is 81, and he has been retired since God was a child. I prod and challenge him constantly to walk every day, and we talk about complex things. The only thing I ever worry about now in my life is having him let his brain go to seed. And for sure, yours never will!

    3. Oh my dear Jack, so beautifully said! It seems that you have a fan club here, and you can count me as part of it. But as you point out, where consciousness is concerned, mainstream scientists are abject lunatics! One of the articles linked above is actually entitled: “Can physics explain consciousness and does it create reality? We are finally testing the ideas that quantum collapse in the brain gives rise to consciousness and that consciousness creates the reality we see from the quantum world.” So our brains still must create consciousness in order to conform to science’s core materialist dogma, but once they do then that brain-create consciousness creates the reality around us… that includes those self-same brains?

      I come across so many articles like this one now. The fact that reality flat refuses to conform to mainstream science’s silliness seems to be driving scientists to ever greater extremes of abject craziness, while they still struggle to keep a straight face!

  2. I read where at least some scientists are starting to realize that consciousness is outside the brain and that they are now trying to find out how the brain picks up on consciousness even though it is not actually a part of the brain. However, this would not explain life after death since the brain is a physical organ, so they must be ignoring life after death which is fully explained by consciousness alone – so back to square 1.

    1. Dear Lola, you’re right to notice that things are loosening just a bit, but working scientists still quite literally cannot acknowledge that consciousness might exist without a material connection if they hope to keep their mainstream scientific careers. As you point out, there is too much evidence now for consciousness beyond the brain for them to keep ignoring it, but the current idea seems to be that it’s a quantum thing, and your brain collapses consciousness into existence in some way. And of course, the search for a literal source for consciousness inside the brain still goes on, since that’s where the funding is!

  3. Several random thoughts go through my mind as I contemplate the various posts.
    We all have spirit guides to assist with the harsh realities of life and are not really on our own. I am not sure God can relate to our perception of misery. From the perspective of our higher nature, what we perceive as miracles are more the norm rather than some mysterious event. In living out his primary role of teacher, Jesus could not allow himself to be corrupted by our material world and so his humble death served some purpose in this regard as well.

    1. My dear Tom, this is very well said! And no, I don’t think that the Godhead sees our human misery the way we see it, since (a) even though we have no memory of having done it, we did plan it into our lives; and (b) it’s over quickly, and it’s good for us! Parents are happy to see their children get their necessary babyhood shots, no matter how the little ones cry. Perhaps the Godhead’s feeling is similar?

  4. Dearest Roberta,

    I can’t remember where I saw some text that said Jesus incarnated to teach/learn. That he wanted to experience everything that men experienced because he could not from where he ascended to. Does this make sense?

    Yours,

    Cookie

    1. Dear David, yes, we are told by upper-level beings not in bodies that was precisely why Jesus came to earth. They tell us that even though they all have been incarnate as they developed, it’s something you forget about very quickly! Thomas says that too. You can’t remember the nitty-gritty of life on earth, which is why he insists that while he is willing to basically give me a lot of what we write, I’ve got to always make sure the details and the feel of it come from me before I call it finished. It’s why Mikey Morgan incarnated before he tried to help us from where he is now. And it’s why Jesus incarnated too! Thomas is the one who said that the Godhead wanted to “look through” Jesus’s eyes in order to understand why we were having so much trouble growing spiritually. So a senior aspect of the Godhead volunteered to incarnate and do that. He even says a version of that in the Gospels!

  5. Dr Hiller. Wow, you’re 83! Count me among your fan club. (I’m a parrot head.) I hope your parrot keeps needing you for quite awhile.

    1. My dear Ray, is that what you call it? A “parrot head”? I have a friend with a parrot. No worse-tempered creature ever existed on earth! I lament the fact that I have lost so many beloved animals. Even my horse only lived for thirty years! But I suppose one plus is the fact that if you end up with a very unpleasant-tempered pet, at least with something shorter-lived than a parrot you are likely to outlive it 🙂

        1. Well, mention of my parrot Shakespeare, an African Grey, deserves a war story. When Shaky was about a year old, we moved from Pebble Beach (nice rental house) to Albuquerque,
          After about a year later, we moved from a rental house to one I had built. On the move in day, a Monday, I was in the garage with Shaky on my shoulder and the garage door open. I stumbled, so Shaky flew off out the opening, only instead of returning to my shoulder, he circled to get his bearings, and then flew off across a culvert about 300 yards away, landing a a roof top. By the time I drove over there, he was gone.

          My wife and I searched as much as we could through Friday, but never spotted him. We were of course extremely distraught, as by then he was as more like a child to us then a pet bird. Saturday morning the idea came to me to place a lost and found newspaper ad. The idea struck me as hopeless, because he could by now be hundreds of miles away, have been caught by hawks– and who would see an ad and return him anyway. The idea came back, and I rejected it again. Well, this conflict persisted, so I called the main local newspaper.

          The kind clerk heard me out and asked if I ha seen tv news Friday night, NO. So she said that one of the local animal shelters had shown an exotic bird, so perhaps it was Shaky.
          Gave me the number, which I called, and the description matched Shaky bird. Drove right over, and was met by the tv station crew as we entered.

          As I went to the counter to pay a fee, my wife released the bird from a cage about twenty feet away. Shaky immediately flew to me and started kissing me all over my face while he sang his happy song. They said they got him on Tuesday (from the principle of a nearby el Sch who hosted him in his office overnight, where Shaky bit a lot of stuff and pooped it up good). They said he never made a sound, and just sat still the whole time.

          We put Shaky in a small carrying cage, and started to walk thru the doorway. Shaky turned around in his cage, facing the folks by the entry desk and the tv crew and shouted, “Au revoir,” which my wife had taught him (for some reason, he has learned most of his vocabulary from her). This war true is exactly true, no embellishing.

          I ought add that I was somewhat puzzled by the manner of getting the idea to place a newspaper ad, and my insistence the idea was dumb, but being propelled to make the call. After what I learned about this world later from my study of NDE reports, I now believe I was being told to make the call, but I am clueless by who.

          1. Lovely story, my dear Jack! And it was likely your own guide who put that idea in your mind, as I think you likely realize.

        2. Oh Ray, that’s hysterical! And I should have known that. I am in so many ways a cultural illiterate. You made a great pun, and it went right over my head. So sorry about that!

  6. Dearest Roberta,
    This topic of belief and faith goes to the core of the human mind; both to the logical and emotional centers therein. There is so much to explore in this topic.

    I’m wondering how much habitual, unquestioned, long-held faith has to do with the laziness of the human brain. While some people have a burning desire to really know, many others just grab the prevailing ideas of the times and trust them unquestioningly. It is easier, is it not? to go along with commonly held ideas. Thinking for oneself is much harder, especially when one finds contradictions in one’s cherished religion, be it theism or atheism. The human brain is adaptive, but only when it has to be. Oftentimes it is just too lazy to consider a change.

    Also, I’ve often called deep emotional-religious faith, that was planted in the sacred earth of early childhood, ‘blind faith.’ A person can be logical and well reasoned in almost every aspect of life – except when it comes to faith. All logical deduction seems to evaporate when it comes to blind religious faith. Suddenly a person can become angry and judgmental when said faith is questioned or challenged in any way. Is this the ego based fear that the ‘world picture’ it has painstakingly built over the decades can be destroyed? Is blind faith then, based on fear?

    Apart from anything else, faith is usually highly emotional. The earlier one was conditioned to such ideas, the more firmly one holds to them, no matter the evidence to the contrary. Surges of emotion, both of agony and ecstasy overcome all cogent thinking. A crowd can be whipped up into ecstasy by a talented orator – or into hate filled fury.

    So faith is based in fear and is soon sustained by laziness. It has more to do with the ego’s attachment to human ideas and our emotional brain, than to clear perception of Spirit. And faith is crowd based, rather than deeply internal and personal, because people want to be accepted by the prevailing group or society. Hence blind faith is nothing more than an expression of the tribalism that typifies our species.

    Heck human thinking is a mess!
    Oh to believe based on evidence!
    Oh to truly KNOW in the core of my being!

    Else, stop the world I want to get off. 😉
    🕊🙏🏼❣️

    1. All wonderfully said, my dear Efrem! I wish I had written this! “Faith is based in fear and is soon sustained by laziness” is a perfect summation of modern religious faith: it is based in the fear of death and the unknown, and once we have that get-out-of-hell-free card in hand; we don’t want to know anything more, for fear that it might threaten our sense of GOOHF-card security.

      Wow, do I ever know that, from personal experience! Right after The Fun of Dying first came out, for example, I was proudly (and naively) giving the book to friends, and I lost some friends just for having written it. One woman even broke off her children’s friendship with two of my grandchildren. It was all completely based in fear of the risk that my book posed to their GOOHF card. I had sudden spiritual cooties!

      1. Dearest Roberta,
        You lost friends after you wrote your wonderful book, ‘The Fun of Dying’?! That must have felt truly awful.

        So you wrote a unique book that: – is the distillation of a vast array of collected knowledge on life after death
        – has been garnered from disparate sources after many decades of painstaking research
        – offers such hope of a light-filled soul ascent into the love-filled afterlife
        Only to have some friends turn their backs on you and stop your grandkids befriending their children…..

        If that doesn’t show us how fear based modern faith can be, then nothing will! And this ‘Get Out Of Hell Free’ card must simply be a desperate attempt to placate the wrath of an otherwise vengeful and judgmental God.

        You see I wasn’t raised with this kind of card. Judaism is free of this idea, though it is still faced with the prospect of a vengeful and judgmental God.

        I feel for you Roberta. It is sad that hurt accompanied the beautiful creation that is the ‘Fun of Dying.’ This bright work of your esteemed Guide in Spirit, Thomas, and your good self should have been received with only celebration.
        😔❣️🙏🏼🌅

        1. My dear Efrem, thank you for your sympathy! I don’t recall feeling hurt, but rather I was surprised. Mystified. Until I actually had people put the book back into my hands a day or two after I gave it to them, and with this stiff, closed look on their faces, it never occurred to me that the fact that Jesus told us the same things that the dead are telling us now was not purely wonderful news! The emotion that I recall was feeling sad for them. How awful it must be to be so imprisoned by fears as they were. And it was then that I first came to see that the problem was their powerful, fear-based need to hold tight to that GOOHF card. I was soon feeling very sorry for them all!

  7. You hit the nail on the head, Efrem. Blind faith is definitely based on fear. It is also based on laziness. Many even feel it is a “sin” to question their religion. Very few ever do research on their own religion, as they are afraid they will find challenges and contradictions, causing them to think. For years people have worshipped an angry God with a huge ego and, as you pointed out, this almost always begins in early childhood when ideas take root and are very hard to get rid of unless the person has an inquiring mind. In other words, we have always thought of God in human terms and have invented a human personality for him.

    1. Dear Lola,
      You raise a telling point here! So, few people do research into their own religion because they are afraid of finding difficult and challenging things in it, as well as outright contradictions? Sounds right to me. So Lola, does that mean that they choose the path of less mental-emotional angst and pain, over the path to find the truth? I guess it does at that.

      Those of us who do seek in order to find, know full well how painful and difficult it is to wrestle with deep religious contradictions. We know the grief of letting go of those ‘beliefs’ we befriended so intimately as children. It hurts. It hurts like losing someone precious. Maybe we feel wounded, as if we’ve lost part of our innocent childhood itself.. ❣️🙏🏼

      1. Efrem: Although I do agree that maybe people feel they have lost a bit of their innocent childhood if they challenge their religion, I never looked at it that way. Instead, I carefully thought about the rather scary and, frankly, nonsensical aspects of Christianity and could no longer be a part of it since most of it didn’t make sense. It seemed to be designed to generate fear and appeared ego driven. In my mind, I couldn’t imagine anything like that being the creator of such a vast universe and the countless beings who occupy it. There were too many human characteristics to deal with, and it just didn’t make sense. On the other hand, there is a lot of evil here on the physical plane, so I could be entirely wrong, but I hesitate to worship or even acknowledge a God with sadistic and ego driven qualities (as found in the Old Testament), I still feel that this idea of Christianity was invented by those who wanted power and eventually money. They did a good job, as it is estimated that the Vatican is now worth 10 to 15 billion dollars – not exactly chump change.

        1. Dear Lola, you were wiser about this than I was. My having learned in college how the sausage had been made did shake my beliefs a bit, but it didn’t touch the core of my blind, irrational faith. I was able to convert to Catholicism, and to remain a church-Christian for another 25 years. It came to make less and less sense to me, but faith doesn’t need things to make much sense. Oh, I do understand the impulse to religiosity so well!

      2. Ah yes, my dear Efrem. To this day, there is a sense in which I miss Christianity! I miss the sweet certainty of it, the wonder of being eight or ten and sitting spellbound in grown-up church and listening to Reverend Turrell, who preached the love Gospel, and feeling as if I was listening to Jesus Himself. I understand the core need that many Christians still feel, to protect their sweet certainty at all costs! I still miss Christianity, but I would never go back to it, having found that it is possible to go from “sweet certainty” to the genuine truth, and to go from my wonderful childhood minister to sitting at the feet of the genuine Lord Jesus. And those still clinging to the religion can make that journey, too! It just is hard to leave the certainty before you ever have felt how much more perfectly glorious the truth can be!

        1. Dearest Roberta,
          It is clear that you have really been through the painful, protracted, deeply internal struggle of faith versus truth. Your struggle is seen clearly in the detailed way you describe the process (here and in earlier blog posts) and in what the resulting anguish feels like.

          You know I’ve realized something about ardent faith-in-the-Word Christians from a pair of siblings that I once worked alongside. These particular individuals were actually quite compassionate and tried to understand others rather than judge them. They really loved Lord Jesus and we’re focused on Him in daily life. (One succeeded a little more in not being judgmental than the other.)

          I see now that their total adherence to the Bible being the perfect word of God, actually hobbled their ability to grow in Spirit. They were holding onto the fearful things like God sending people to eternity in hell etc..
          These two were particularly afraid of believing ideas expressed by the ‘unsaved’ because it put their own souls’ salvation at risk. After all, clever arguments are the powerful, persuasive hooks of Satan…

          They were not a proud pair of siblings, as they believed in (and tried to live out) humility. Yet the one thing that kept them adhering to the totality of the Word of God was not fear, I think. Fear was indeed a major thing for these two gentle and good people, but there was one thing they felt even more deeply –

          It was a sense of love-loyalty that ensured that their literal faith in the Bible being the perfect Word of God, would endure life long. Out of a core desire to be faithful to Jesus, these siblings would block and reject any idea that went contrary to the Word.

          Now what does it feel like to be faithful against all odds? I guess it feels ‘right’ and ‘true’ and deeply ‘good.’ So, these siblings set the goodness of God against any new or contrary ideas and rejected them outright. The feeling of taking ‘righteous action’ rewarded them internally.

          Heck Roberta, humans rare complex creatures. Internally, any combination of things may be happening at any one time.

          All in all, I felt sorry for the siblings because they couldn’t let go of fear and escape the cage that held them. They struggled to forgive and tried falteringly not judge the world around them. They seemed to fail at raising their vibration beyond a point. Hence both individuals thought inner growth was really very hard and took forever. 😣🙏🏼🌅

  8. Ray, I do agree that our higher natures are part of God but not necessarily our physical bodies which from which it seems our physical misery emanates. If God does feel our physical misery why would Jesus incarnate to experience what it is like to be human? I will be quiet and let Roberta sort this out.

    1. My dear Tom, I don’t think the Lord’s mission was about our suffering, but rather it was about what our earth-lives are all about: our spiritual growth. According to Thomas, there wasn’t nearly as much spiritual growth happening as there should have been, given the stressors (and likely this is still true today). So Jesus came to observe people at close-range as one of them, try to understand them and understand why they weren’t growing as they should have been, diagnose what was wrong, and then give them the cure, which was His Gospel teachings. And, oh my goodness, do those teachings ever work well! Only problem is that Christianity ignores them, so even to this day there still are few people using them.

  9. Hi Roberta. Do you think there’s another stage beyond belief, something akin to just plain knowing – that reaches to the very core and every fibre of one’s being? This seems like the level Jesus meant in his parable of making a mountain move, the level of miracles. Is that the meaning behind A Course in Miracles? It seems like doubt could always creep back in until one reaches that point.

    1. My lovely Scott, there is in fact a stage that is just plain knowing, and it beats every kind of faith by a country mile. If you study the afterlife and the afterlife science well enough, you come to the point where your life here and your life there just completely merge, and you hardly need to think about it anymore. I’m here on this little brief trip, some of my family and friends are already back home rooting for me, and soon I’ll get to join them. It becomes entirely unremarkable!

  10. Quote from above: “Mainstream science is based in a supreme faith in materialism, a theory for which there is little evidence, and against which the evidence is overwhelming. Materialism has let scientists down repeatedly! There can be no hope that it ever will lead anywhere.”

    Hi Roberta, hi everybody! It is, maybe, fair to say that “science” to the average Western planetary citizen is the same as “technology,” which has improved lives for many (others made worse but that’s for a different post), but here is the kicker: medical and communications technology, especially in the 20th century, operates on the ability for “material” things to become immaterial as we look and listen into them, through them and within them. Radio and microwaves, x-rays, etc., operate because all is energy.

    This is a layperson’s view, but I believe that our favorite modern technology, which is monetized—and that’s what it is all about—wouldn’t work in a true material world. I leave room to be wrong so feel free to correct me.

    1. My dear Mike, I think this is the crux of the problem. The word “science” is in such broad use that we credit “scientists” with the wonderful breakthroughs that have come from medical and technical pioneers and have greatly improved our lives. As you point out, a lot of what the pioneers have done for us has in fact been based on their more sophisticated uses of energy, and in any event it has little to do with the battle that research scientists continue to wage against the open-minded search for the truth.

      In fact, what physicists call quantum mechanics is first-cousin to the straight consciousness-based physics that governs most of reality. And the purely matter-based physics that preceded the quantum pioneers is just a macro way to describe the movement of large-scale objects. It’s extremely limited, but Sir Isaac Newton was born in the seventeenth century, for heaven’s sake! He can be forgiven for having pioneered a kind of physics that was based on what the naked eye can see! What is absolutely not forgivable, though, is modern physicists’ stubborn insistence on holding to the importance of materialism as an article of faith, and refusing even to explore the amazing possibilities inherent in the consciousness physics which really does underlie all of reality.

      Mainstream science’s obsessive terror of inadvertently finding the Christian God has become such a crippling paranoia!

      1. Re accidentally finding the Christian God, similar can be said of the Church’s fear of accidentally finding actual divine nature.

        1. Great point, my dear Mike! Only think of how it’s going to creep them out when they learn that their own minds are of the very stuff of the Godhead! 🙂

          1. Ram Dass used to like to say, “We are all God in drag!” A colorful way of putting it, but a good metaphor.

  11. But the Muslim faith also believes in punishment and Hell,
    and most other belief systems also discuss judgement and consequences-including Native Americans, who have pretty much NO fear mongering in their repertoire (and no formal written doctrine). Seems like there must be some kind of “dark side or energy”, a yin to the yang. Lot of people to just dismiss the idea….. 🤔

    1. Welcome, DJ! Great point, and indeed there is a “dark side or energy.” We have discussed it here, and I’m glad that you’ve brought it up again.

      Consciousness is the only thing that exists. Everything that we think of as real is created by consciousness and composed of consciousness. Consciousness is a form of energy, so it vibrates; and it exists in a range of vibrations from fear, hatred, rage, and all the other ishy emotions at the lowest and slowest, to love and joy at the highest and most rapid vibration.

      There is no fiery hell, and no judgment or punishment by God. Jesus says this directly in the Gospels, and it is in fact true. But He also tells us that there is an “outer darkness, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.” And God doesn’t put us there, but rather we put ourselves there if after we die we are so full of negative emotions that we can’t vibrate higher than that lowest rate. Those that we used to think were dead abundantly confirm that lowest level exists, and once we put ourselves there we cannot escape it unless we are rescued.

      I hope this helps, my dear DJ!

  12. I totally agree with this, but everyone has some negative thoughts, so how strong do they have to be in order to keep us at this low level? Someone who dies tragically by violence is bound to have negative thoughts, so does this mean that they are doomed to be in outer darkness? Don’t teachers, guides etc. try to help with this? If so, can’t the person who died get out of that kind of mess? If they ignore or don’t accept the help that is offered, I can understand why this would be so, but what if they honestly don’t wish to be at that lower level – what happens then?

    1. Dear Lola, the negative thoughts don’t seem to cause a lowered personal vibration, so much as a lower personal vibration being the source of negative thoughts. Although I suspect that it’s a combination effect! But people who are vibrating high enough don’t seem to react negatively, even when they are being treated badly: witness Jesus, asking God to forgive those who were hammering nails through his flesh. If someone vibrating at a higher level suffers a violent death, he won’t at once be angry and have his vibration lowered, but rather – as you say – his guides will rescue and protect him spiritually. He will be fine!

      1. There is no doubt that people vibrating at a higher level won’t have to worry about this, but I was actually concerned about the “average” person who is clueless about vibrations and has had a traumatic life and/or death. What would happen to them? Do they go to a place of healing as portrayed in the movie Nosso Lar by the famous Brazilian medium Chico Xavier? He and many other more modern mediums describe what they call Halls of Healing that exist over there to help souls adjust to their new surroundings.

        1. My dear Lola, everyone who has been physically or emotionally damaged on earth goes directly to what amounts to a care home tailored to his or her particular needs, and is counseled and healed. No worries! The process seems to take a couple of earth-months – maybe a bit more – and they can’t communicate with us while they are in rehab, which is why it is generally best to wait 4-6 months before trying to contact a loved one through a medium.

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