Religion has become increasingly less relevant in a modern world that is constantly changing at warp speed.  That’s a shame since the Church, whatever your faith, has an important place in any stable, healthy society.  But, then, exactly how does the Church expect to keep its flock in tow, let alone attract new believers?

The Church’s problem is really quite elementary.  Its dogma was created long ago in a world that was so very different from the one we find ourselves in today.  The old order was based on tribal warfare where the people owed there allegiance to the tribal chief who told them exactly how to live their lives and then ruled on all conflicts big and small.  Actually, that’s quite understandable since the vast majority of people back then were illiterate and survival was a battle of the fittest.  Therefore, it was necessary to give the masses a code of conduct.

Today, it’s a brave, new world, especially for young people.  Not surprisingly, they are increasingly asking the tough questions that the Church can’t, or won’t, answer.   The Church has always struggled with some very fundamental questions.  For example, why do very young children have to suffer and die, especially since they had not yet developed an understanding of the difference between right and wrong?  When hard-pressed for an answer, the typical Church response is that God works in mysterious ways.  That’s understandable as well, since the Church doesn’t truly know the answer.

Then there’s the question that so many have asked:  What is the purpose of my life?  Theologians and philosophers down through the ages have attempted to tackle that one, without a satisfactory answer – which leads us directly to the ultimate secret of the universe:

The purpose of life is evolution

 

The thing to remember is that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience.  In short, consciousness is all that is.  The rest is simply illusion.  We exist in a free will universe where everything is permissible and, in fact, occurs in an infinite number of ways in an infinite number of parallel universes.  God, and by extension all of his children, is good.  However, we cannot evolve without evil.  In a world of duality, matter requires anti-matter, light requires dark and, yes, good needs evil. You see without evil, there is no way for good to understand and experience itself and therefore no way for it to evolve.

Now you’re probably wondering why all people don’t inherently understand this concept.  Part of the answer lies in what scientists would refer to as junk DNA, which makes up over 90% of one’s gray matter and is far from being junk.  Since we use only 10% of our brain, we in essence understand/perceive only 10% of reality.  Our physical senses are really quite limited even when discussing our three dimensional world.  For example, animals perceive the physical world far better than humans.

Beyond that, there are other dimensions and realities that even science now readily admits.  Scientists have recently discovered that black holes are not dead-ends but rather portals (white holes) to other worlds and the universe has many dimensions which they have labeled under the heading of String Theory.  Since these other dimensions are smaller than our own three dimensional world, they exist all around us as well as within every cell of our body.  The Kingdom of God is truly within and the good news is that you can access it through awareness (consciousness) and access it you must because evolution depends on it.

I’d tell you more but truth is an illusive concept.  Simply knowing something isn’t enough.  The truth must first be internalized before it can be accepted.  For most people, truth must be experienced first-hand for this to occur. Therefore, it’s up to each of us to find our own truth, independent of what others may tell us.  Only then can the process of evolution move forward.

As for religion, it desperately needs to reinvent itself.  The old dogma is just that –old (and stale).  People today are searching for answers that require a new way of thinking and a fresh understanding of the world around us.  People are craving a better understanding of their relationship with God that goes far beyond the jealous, angry god portrayed in the Bible.

Today, humanity stands on the precipice of a new age as the Mayan calendar is coming to an end.  The pundits, historians and truth-seekers are all searching for what comes next.  Notwithstanding prophecy, the details of how the divine plan will unfold is sheer speculation on anyone’s part.  However, the one certainty is that life, like God, is eternal – a circle with no beginning and no end – forever evolving.

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One of my favorite books is “ The Five People You Meet In Heaven”.  It’s a book that I heartily recommend to everyone that I meet.  The reason that I like the book is that it reinforces the idea that we all came to this world for a reason and because it deals with the concept of heaven pragmatically instead of through the wishful eyes of a believer.  The problem that I have with some people’s belief about heaven is that it’s what I call a limiting concept.  That is, you can’t get to heaven unless….   On the other hand, I view heaven as being a concept of self-enpowerment.  Life, for me, is a journey and heaven is not so much a destination as it is a stopping off point.  It is a place that is part of the process of life, a place that we all get to experience (even Hitler according to Neale Donald Walsch).

It says in the Bible that my father’s house has many mansions and it’s been proven to me that indeed my father’s house (all of creation) does have many mansions (worlds/lives).  Which brings us to the fourth secret of the universe –

Death is not the end, it is the beginning

I don’t limit myself or my concept of life to this one lifetime.  Creation is much more intelligent and infinite than that.  Neither do I consider mankind to be the point of creation.  Rather, I believe that we are all part of an infinite stream of consciousness and exist simultaneously in multiple dimensions.  Thus when we “die” in one dimension, we simply continue to exist in another dimension.

In the circle of life, there is no beginning and no end.  Life is its own reason for existence and we are all part of that evolutionary process in which death has no meaning, other than perhaps rebirth.  This process is beautifully captured in the mythology of the Phoenix Rising which was revered by the ancient Egyptians .  Other ancient cultures have had other names for this symbol of immortality but the meaning is always the same (i.e.a continuous cycle of death and rebirth).

Unfortunately, we live in a fear-based reality where the things we understand the least we fear the most – like death.  As opposed to that, some of the ancient cultures actually celebrated a person’s death.  They believed, and I agree, that it’s far healthier to celebrate the life that we shared with a loved one than to mourn the separation.  In the end, we exist in a dimension governed by the natural law of duality.  How could you ever comprehend the meaning of light unless there was darkness?  Similarly, how could you ever come to understand God without the existence of evil?  In this world of duality, everything (including death) is illusion – everything but love.

Most people identify with the physical aspect of their being.  After all, our  senses tell us that we exist in a physical realm and what could be more real than hearing, seeing and touching the world around us.  However, science is redefining the boundaries of our universe and in the process closing the gap between itself and religion.

Research in the field of quantum physics has uncovered that the basic underlying reality of matter is quite different than what we perceive.  Scientists have now stated that at the core of physical matter is a non-physical reality.  In layman’s terms, it means that the non-physical world produces the physical world, and not the other way around as we have previously believed.

Which brings us to the third secret of the universe –

All there is is Consciousness

With the advent of quantum mechanics, man has begun to realize that he exists in a space/time paradigm contained within a field of what the scientists refer to as “non-local area phenomena.”   Scientists say that this non-local area phenomena is the source and cause of our physical existence.  In other words, we are spiritual beings having a human experience rather than human beings having a spiritual experience.

What it all proves is that there is an interconnectedness to everything and everyone in the universe.  Not only are we all connected, we are all literally one.  Separation, therefore, is an illusion.  Further, non-local area phenomena/Consciousness is not bound by space/time nor does it need to observe the physical laws of the material world that it created.  It permeates everything and yet could said to be nowhere.  Can you spell G-O-D?

It’s somewhat ironic.  As much as science has tried to dismiss the existence of God, it may just have found him in, of all places, a scientific laboratory.  And that’s all there is folks…Consciousness that is.

Growing up as a child, I was taught to believe that there was one god and that the Bible was the word of God.  It was all pretty simple, or so I thought.  When I was in college, I served as a Sunday school teacher at my church and it forced me to actually read the Bible.  That’s when confusion came to paradise, so to speak.  You see, the Bible is replete with all kinds of talk about other gods.  Jesus went so far as to say that everybody is a god (and would do greater things than him).  So what’s up with that?

In the beginning, of course, there was The Garden of Eden story.   According to that story, there was this guy (supposedly God) who was going around talking to himself – very strange behavior indeed.  Among the words attributed to him were (1) “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” (2) “Behold, then man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” and (3) “Let us go down, and there confound their language.”  So exactly who was God talking to?  The words “us” and “our” in these quotes make it quite clear that there were other people present and that those other people were, in fact, other gods.  Even some of the Hebrew names for God (Adonai and Elohim) which were used in ancient manuscripts were the plural form of the word.

Then there was the famous pact between Abraham and Jehovah (a name later given for God) which is referred to as the Covenant.  Being a covenant, both parties had a choice.  The deal was that if Abraham (on behalf of the Hebrews) accepted Jehovah as his God, then Jehovah agreed to be their god.  It’s interesting to note that apparently even Jehovah didn’t consider himself to be the prime creator since you either were the prime creator (of all people, including the Hebrews) or you weren’t.  There really was no choice in the matter!  In the Biblical story, however, Abraham, chose to accept Jehovah as the god of the Hebrews, and of course Jehovah then chose them.  Thus, the Hebrews became known as The Chosen People.

While I happen to believe in a prime creator, I also believe that it is abundantly clear that the dude in the Bible doesn’t qualify for that role.  Why you say?  Well for starters, he lied to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by saying that if they eat from the Tree of Knowledge they will surely die.  Of course they never died, now did they?   Worse yet, he repeatedly violates his own first commandment of “Thou shalt not kill” (including pregnant women, infants and animals).  I don’t know about you, but if that’s really God then I want to pray to somebody else.  Beyond that, there is the major issue of God interfering in the affairs of man and thereby violating the principle of free will (see my previous blog for a more detailed explanation).

So who exactly then was the god of the Bible and who created man?

Well, we may never know the exact answer to that question although there are a number of interesting theories which have been put forth by the likes of Zachariah Sitchin, a highly-respected biblical researcher, Madame Blavatsky, a controversial writer of the 19th century whose works discussed the ancient esoteric writings that preceded the Bible, and journalist and filmmaker Will Hart.  Even more telling perhaps is the work of Dr. Francis Crick, a world famous molecular biologist who won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA.  Crick was the first mainstream scientist to go on record as saying that human DNA had an extraterrestrial origin.  Humans, then, did not evolve naturally on planet Earth.

So where does that leave us?

Religions, like Judaism, Christianity and Islam all require one thing in order to gain wide acceptance.  They all require moral authority.  As a result, Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and Mohammed’s vision had to be stories of epic proportion where God’s wishes were conveyed through an emissary to all of mankind. Likewise, when your minister starts his sermon with the words “last night God talked to me” you can be sure that it didn’t happen.  By the way, isn’t it odd that God only appeared in biblical times – never before that and not in the 2,000 years since.  What’s more, the Bible says that no man had ever seen God (John 1:18), even in biblical times.

So who needs religious dogma anyway?  Why don’t we just accept Jesus at his word when he said that the kingdom of God is within?  Now that’s what I call really easy to understand and to incorporate in one’s life.  As for the Bible being the word of God, I believe that it would be more appropriate to state that the Bible is man’s word about God.  You see, except for Paul’s letters, no one really knows who wrote the Bible.  Therefore, I guess that we are forced to take it on blind faith that it was inspired by God.  Ah, but who told you that you should take it on faith in the first place?  I know.  It was someone whose moral authority supposedly comes directly from God.  Like I said, all religions require one thing – moral authority.  That’s the genesis of religion.

God, the Sequel

09/07/2010

The Bible says that in the beginning there was only God.  Of course, there was, and is, no way for us to actually know that. God could not have told us because such interference with his creation would have negated free will.  Therefore, one can only conclude that the Bible is not the word of God but, instead, the word of man about God.  Indeed, if God did not exist, man would have created him anyway.

In the days of yore, God was worshipped and revered by the ancients.  They were hunters who looked to him for survival, particularly with respect to food. In those days, God was in many cases a Goddess.  It wasn’t until much later that the female principle was de-emphasized and still later yet that some people formalized their beliefs about God with the writing of the Bible.  Suddenly, God was a man.

Judeo-Christian thinking did much to advance the proposition that our universe was the result of a first cause.  However even today, the Bible remains a mystery to many because it was intentionally written for those who could understand its deeper meaning.  As the Gospel of John says, … “the Bible reveals truth in many layers in direct proportion to our consciousness.”

The Bible is not, however, without controversy. In Genesis, God is sometimes referred to  as Elohim, a plural term, and other parts of the Genesis story definitely indicate that there was more than one god involved.  For example, in Genesis it says that God said “let us make man in our image.”  Elsewhere in the Bible, including the writings of Paul, we are also told that there are many gods.  So much I guess for monotheism.

Proof for the existence of God has more recently come from the least likely of places – science.  In the 20th century, science, with its theory of Darwinism, rejected the god concept. However, recent evidence from the fields of biology, physics and even cosmology draw a picture of highly complex features within nature which suggest an intelligent design for the exquisite fine-tuning of physical laws. By definition, it’s been called the theory of intelligent design. Indeed, even Einstein’s theory of relativity presupposes a first cause.

Today while religions languish, God is making a comeback. People have a growing need to redefine their place in the universe beyond the constrictive boundaries of religious dogma.  In a world that has become increasingly uncertain, people are looking for something to believe in – something to hold on to. Even Glenn Beck is trying to promote God as a solution to man’s many problems.  Can you imagine a segment on the six-o-clock news about God every night?

While God will not, and can not, communicate with us directly, there is a process by which one can, in effect, eavesdrop on the mind of God.  It is a process that provides a path to personal evolution. The Buddhist expression which closely equates to this is, “If you see the Buddha in the road, kill him.”  In other words, the word of God is within you so don’t look to enlightened ones to save you. Remember, there is nothing outside of yourself which will explain that which is necessary for you to become a totally evolved human being.

There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow either. You see, life is not a destination, it’s a journey.  It’s a timeless journey of becoming who you were meant to be.  The Bible, it might surprise you, says that we are all gods.  If you don’t believe me then you haven’t read your Bible lately.  Perhaps you can better understand the concept of we’re all gods in the context of the saying that “we are all one.”

The Bible also says to seek the truth and the truth shall set you free – free from the bondage of the human experience, that is.  For we are all spiritual beings having a human experience as opposed to the other way around.  Again, science (quantum physics) has done much to research and explore into the depths of the atom only to find that it emanates from a non-physical state of existence.  In other words, the non-physical world creates the physical world.  This same principle is the basis behind the use of bio-feedback in medicine, for the mind can actually heal the body.  The power of prayer works the same way.

So today, God is back in fashion.  Let’s hope that this is just the beginning of a trend.  Moral values have been at an all-time low and the resultant lack of ethics has adversely affected every part of society. Ultimately, it is up to each one of us to find our own path in life.  You can sit and wait for the Second Coming if you want, but it won’t change the fact that salvation is a matter of personal responsibility.  God will be silently rooting for you, but you still need to carry the ball. Sometimes, the Truth isn’t always what you think it is.