Introspective Thinking

Have you ever stopped to think about how you are thinking?  It is really quite unique.  Your senses detect everything going on outside you and bring it back inside you for evaluation.  For example your eyes view the world like you are watching a movie.  Your seat in the theatre is somewhere inside your body as you watch the events play out on the big screen.

Your thinking is also somewhere inside you.  It is not surprising that we are focused on ourselves.  Everybody else is outside our movie.  They are actors, and we are the primary customer.  The price of the movie ticket is our life, so we expect to receive the rewards and benefits from that payment.  Other people don’t view life from our perspective, so we are more important, of course, from our standpoint.

When we look in a mirror, we see ourselves more as an actor than as a paying customer, but our thinking is still generally focused on us as an individual, who is more important than the rest of the world.  But what is the reason behind this introspective thinking?  Some people may ask why do we even exist?  It seems that nobody has an answer, but logic tells us that free will is given to us as part of our internal perspective on life.

We make choices every day.  Many of our choices are made to improve our quality of life.  Some of our choices are very poor and lead to consequences during our lives.  Others are bad selections that will have to be dealt with after our lives are over.  Many hope that there will be no afterlife since they don’t want the consequences.

However, it is more likely than not, that there will be something waiting to judge us since otherwise, free will and introspective thinking are quite absurd.  There would be no reason for them.  Otherwise, we would simply react instinctively like others in the animal kingdom.  If our universe has design, free will has to have some reason in the grand design or it makes no sense.  Why are we the only animal with introspective thinking?  Why are we given the freedom to make decisions if there are no evaluations of those selections?  There is no logic for free will without consequences.

Even though quantum mechanics centers on chance activities, our visible world that tests our free will is based on measured decisions with consequences.  For every action or choice, there is an equal and opposite reaction or consequence.  This does not appear to be the case in the quantum world, which provides many opportunities in its game of chance.  But quantum mechanics does not negate God and consequences.  In fact, God could have created the quantum world to keep our universe recycling for eternity, which could be a punishment, in and of itself.

How do I know that afterlife exists at all?  In other words, how do I know what happens when the movie of our life is over?  Will I still be sitting in the seats in a darkened theatre?  Or will the projectionist start another movie?  Or will I walk outside into another world?

Quite frankly I don’t know, but I am reasonably certain that if our thoughts do not end with the movie of our life, then there will be consequences.  How will the consequences play out?  Again, I don’t know.  We may be thinking in a dark, empty theatre, punishing ourselves for all the bad choices we made in life.  Or we may be starring in a new movie, being punished through a process of reincarnation.  Or we may meet the Projectionist or the Creator, who has consequences awaiting us.  But as long as there is any chance at all for their being consequences, then we should work harder on making good decisions.

Holy Crap

Holy Crap!

I remember back during the Vietnam War when American soldiers said, “Kill a Gook for God.”  But typically, God is not on anybody’s side during war.  So, God is also not on the side of terrorists when they behead their enemies.  And God was not on the side of Crusaders who tortured their enemies or witch hunters in Salem.

Perhaps these represent extreme fundamentalist activities, but moderate religious adherents also are sinners.  We are all different kinds of sinners.  But when we justify our sins as acting under God’s direction, we are going down the wrong path.  When we rationalize our acts as God’s servants, we are headed through the wrong gate.

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.

I see many church-going citizens on Sunday mornings with a pious look on their faces.  But I see these same citizens later that evening at bars, hitting on women and looking for love in all the wrong places.  It seems that many believers think that the road to God is a wide road that accepts all sinners, no matter how many times they have sinned.  Jesus clearly stated that it is a very narrow path with only a few finding it.

If Jesus died for our sins, why do we have to worry about our sins at all?  All our past and future sins were or will be erased since Jesus paid our sin debt in full, right?  Well, that answer is not as clear as you might think.  Believing in Jesus as your savior may get you to first base, but it doesn’t get you down the narrow baseline from second and third base and finally to God’s Home.

Free will without consequences would be quite absurd.  We, as sinners, prefer to believe that consequences are for the other sinners.  That is not even logical.  The Bible is very clear about a judgment day, which will examine our deeds and misdeeds during our sinful lives.  “The dead were judged according to what they had done…”  Revelation 20:12.

So, let’s cut through the Holy Crap and get down to the bottom line, which is getting to Home plate.  Since we all will be judged, it is important to minimize your sinning.  You should not justify or rationalize your sins.  You should not expect God to forget your sins.  But you should avoid sinning at all costs.  Because sinning will cost you more than you can imagine.

How do we find the narrow path that Jesus indicated only a few would find?  First, drop the holy crap!  We need to accept our sinful nature and our past failures and allow God into our hearts.  It is only when we become one with God that we can successfully turn ourselves around.  Unification with God leads to the narrow path.  It will be a very difficult path and journey, but you have no chance without the Heavenly pathfinder.


Time Reversal

A time reversal initially seems very improbable to us.  How could time reverse itself, going from present-future to past-future?  It seems like something you would find in a science fiction novel.  Yet, it not only is possible, but it also may be probable.

It depends on your perspective.  From where we sit, it sounds impossible.  But from outside our closed universe, this movement would appear to be a simple expansion and contraction of the universe just like lungs that first fill up with oxygen and then deflate as the oxygen exits the lungs.  Einstein introduced time as the fourth dimension.  So, the dimension of time could easily move up and down as it expands and contracts.  But like I said, from our perspective, it would appear to be going forward in time and then reverse going back to the past.

The reason why this is probable is because our universe is unlikely to be headed toward a dead-end, sometimes called the Deep Freeze when all matter and energy comes to a halt as it expands so far away from all other matter and energy that it will sit motionless in a deep, dark environment with no sunlight since all the hydrogen will be consumed.  But our universe is based on cycles and orbits and recycling, so there may be no end to our universe.

Such an endless universe could have either of two main forces driving it:  (1) a closed universe stretching out into an orbit that was beyond our sight lines or (2) a closed universe that alternated between a Big Bang (expansion) and a Big Crunch (contraction).  I call this the “Incredible Shrinking Universe.”  In this second scenario, the universe would be a four dimensional entity that would move in and out like an accordion, first expanding and then contracting.  If time were the fourth dimension, it could be framed less by a location than by a moment in time.  Space-time could both extend into the future and then collapse into the future.

The thing that really makes us think about this possibility is when the Hubble telescope views ancient galaxies that are no longer sending out light, we should not see them if we have been expanding at a speed slower than the speed of light.  Of the two forces mentioned above, if our universe were a huge orbit, then the light from the ancient galaxies would have to lap around the universe again for us to see them.  However, the second theory works better because we could see the ancient galaxies if we were moving back in time towards the Big Bang.

You might wonder why we don’t also reverse our aging or go backwards in time from the 21st century to the 20th century.  The answer is because the time reversal occurred billions of years ago.  We have been deflating the space-time fabric in a past-future direction for eons.  Basically, you would detect no difference between aging in the present-future or the past-future.

So, why would we be able to see the light from ancient galaxies as we moved back in time?  I don’t have a perfect answer, but I believe that we may be able to see light from ancient galaxies and even the Big Bang itself since it existed before the time reversal.  In other words, as the space-time fabric collapses, it will move all the way back to the Big Bang, which becomes the Big Crunch.  We should be able to see ancient galaxies as we cross the reversal zone and literally go back in time to our origins.  This may tell us that we have already crossed that reversal line and will eventually see the Big Bang itself.

Good and Bad

What is good and what is bad?  The answer may vary from society to society or culture to culture or even person to person.  However, most of us have a pretty fair idea of what is good and bad based on our instincts and experiences.

Yet, our species delivers the best and worst of all in the animal kingdom.  It is remarkable how the same person can be exceedingly good for a moment and, in the next second, extremely bad.  What causes Homo sapiens to flip flop between these extremes, sometimes without a transition?

One theory is that our emotions carry us back and forth from one extreme to the other.  If we do not control these emotions or if we have mental issues, such as being bipolar, this can happen quite often.  Most citizens attempt to moderate their emotions during good times, but this can change when times become difficult.  This can also change when people give in to temptation.  For example, a man who led a boring life with his wife found a more exciting woman at work.  The man would do everything good that he could for his wife, and then he would run to his extramarital affair without breaking stride.  How could the same man do good and bad?

There are cases of next-door neighbors, described as quiet and passive, who turn out to be serial killers.  Even though these are the exceptions in society, we still find many people who are nice and generous, who turn into angry, hateful citizens with little warning.  That is why it is very dangerous to rely on just dating for a few hours, several days a week to tell you all the need to know about a person.  You have to live with that person 24/7 in order to find out if they have a good-to-bad switch.  Alcohol, drugs, money, and sex are some of the typical triggers for the Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde complex.

Other animals do not appear to have these emotions that drive us to extreme positions.  Fear, envy, love, lust, anger, and hate are just some of the far-flung emotions that drive us to doing things that we normally would not do.  Let’s examine a man who becomes obsessed with a very attractive woman.  He might initially have been afraid to talk to her, so he may have watched from a distance.  Then he may have envied the gentleman who dated her for a week, but he might have loved her once they stopped dating.  This love may have turned to lust as he thought about what he wanted to do to her.  Then he might have become angry because he could not have her, which could have turned to hate when he decided to kill her.

So throw emotions on our free will to make choices and it is like throwing kerosene on a fire.  Homo sapiens are different from other animals in that our decisions are clouded by emotions.  Most animals act on instinct and primal needs to obtain food or procreate.  People are all over the board, depending on which emotion is pushing the action.

Q. Why can’t we exercise more self-control?  A. Probably, because emotions are similar to drugs.  They take over your mind and body, pushing you into taking extreme actions, usually bad.  The best approach is to “just say no to emotions” when they first pop up.

God or Nothing

Our universe is pretty simple.  It either was created or it came from nothing and will end in nothing.  Our senses detect something, rather than nothing, so it seems more likely that the something was created.  Even when we die, we don’t disappear.  We decompose and return to the recycling bin.  Death probably does not lead to nothingness.

Nothing is a very negative concept.  Nihilists and other pessimistic philosophers may believe in nothing, but their beliefs are something itself.  Any thinking or activity or even inactivity is something.  Even a rock, an inanimate object, is something.  Nature abhors a vacuum.  Even outer space which appears to be empty has neutrinos and other small objects scurrying around.

Try to get past all the evangelical and fundamentalist preachings about God and define Him to be the Creator and Designer of the universe.  God is that catalyst who brought matter and energy into our universe from an outside world.  For you see, matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our universe.  So God has to be outside our closed universe.  And since God is something, our universe did not come from nothing.  I have no clue where God came from, but perhaps we will find out after we die.

It is interesting to speculate about spontaneous generation.  But something coming from nothing is not a very strong theory.  Everything that we know about in our universe works in cycles.  Even the Big Bang could easily bounce back and forth with a Big Crunch.  Electrons orbit the nucleus.  Our earth orbits the sun.  Everything seems to have design instead of nothingness.  Everything appears to have meaning instead of chaos.  That is not to say that there is no chaos in the universe.  There is chaos, but the chaos even has design and fits within the system.  But I don’t know of any matter and energy being produced from nothing within our universe.

Thus, we either go with the concept of God, the Creator, or nothing.  Not much of a choice for me.  And the real clincher is that there is no downside in picking God over nothing.  But there is a downside if you select nothing over God.  An unhappy Creator can send you anywhere He wants, and there are a lot of bad places in the universe.


Idiot-Proofing Morality

What is moral?  Who determines immorality?  Unfortunately, idiot extremists typically control what is deemed to be both moral and immoral.  Both conservatives and liberals determine what is right and wrong based on their extreme beliefs.

The majority of society generally falls in either the category of being apathetic or following the extremist views like sheep.  Hitler, representing the right, and Stalin, representing the left, are examples of extremist leaders who took over their respective countries.  Hitler and Stalin executed thousands and thousands of people in the name of morality, which was dictated by them.

Fundamentalist religious leaders and liberal communist workers are very similar in how they operate.  Just like with Hitler and Stalin, extremist leaders will end up in the same zone, imposing a perverted moral code, either right or left, on society.

So, how do you idiot-proof morality?  How do you keep the idiot extremists from taking over and imposing their deluded values on the rest of the world? Would it surprise you if I told you nobody has been able to do it yet?

And even if we eliminated the extremists, would the remaining population know what was moral?  Would it be an objective test based on what a reasonable person thought?  Or would it be a subjective test based on what you believed to be moral?

Neither test is very effective.  I have never met a person who was reasonable under any and all circumstances.  But I have met many scary people who didn’t care about anything or anybody, so their subjective test would be worthless.

Even though these are rather negative conclusions about the determination of morality, I still think that most of us have an idea what is right and wrong.  Most of us feel guilty when we do something that is bad.  Those psychopaths who have no feelings of shame during life may face consequences in the afterlife.

So, the bottom line is that we either die and nothing happens, or we meet our creator who, more than likely, will provide consequences for our choices.  Death leading to nothing is not the typical ending in our recycling universe.   Also, life makes no sense if we have free will to make choices and there are no consequences.  It would make life quite absurd.

Third Heaven and Second Death

I have been attending church for over six decades and have never heard a minister mention the “third heaven” as discussed in 2 Corinthians 12:2  or the “second death” as foretold in Chapters 2 and 20 of Revelation.  Since the Bible discusses “heavens” in many parts of the Bible from Genesis forward, I briefly wondered why preachers never brought this subject up. But then I realized that it would be controversial, perhaps even causing a loss of membership at that church.

Most Christians believe that Jesus died for their sins, so that they will have no consequences awaiting them in the afterlife.  Unfortunately for them, this is only part of the Bible’s story.  The Bible makes it clear that the first heaven is very accessible to believers through the sacrifice of Jesus and the grace of God.  But what is the second heaven?

There is no second heaven discussed in the Bible, but the second death is mentioned in Revelation four times (Rev 2:11, 20:6, 20-14, and 21:8).  Revelation is not easy reading, but it states that the second death is into the lake of fire based on the things you have done during life, Rev 20:13-15.  The Bible merely provides consequences for bad decisions.  It seems to state that if you were not deceived by the Devil and you did well, you would have a “first resurrection” (Rev 20:6); but if you were deceived and did not do so well, then you would be tossed into the lake of fire along with Satan (Rev 20:14).  The first resurrection should be into the new or second heaven since Revelation 21:1 describes the first heaven passing away at this point in time, leading to the second heaven.

In effect, the first death is not fixed in stone as the believers and nonbelievers are separated by a chasm.  The Devil will have an opportunity to deceive the believers until the second death becomes permanent, when all those who have been adjudged as deficient will fall into the lake of fire, Sheol.  The Bible also mentions the destruction of the heavens by fire before reaching a new or second heaven.  2 Peter 3:12-13.

The third heaven is probably not a place.  Paul describes it as possibly an “out of the body” experience.  2 Corinthians 12:3.  The Bible also says that the kingdom of God, probably the third heaven, is “within you.”  Luke 17:21.

In conclusion, the first heaven is probably the one that all Christians believe they will reach through God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus.  Then we undergo a more difficult test with a judgment being rendered based on our works during life.  It is a pass-fail test.  If you fail, you receive a second death in the bowels of Hell.  If you pass, you go to the second heaven where the final test is taken.

One of my ministers, who agreed to talk with me about the third heaven privately, told me that the third heaven is a final goal of returning to the Garden of Eden. The final test provides an opportunity for us to improve ourselves even more as we attempt to reach the last heaven, which is God’s kingdom.  The Bible is not specific about the requirements for the final exam.

Megafauna Extinctions

About 13,000 years ago, close to 80% of the megafauna were wiped off the map.  Mammoths, mastodons, dire wolves, giant sloths, and smiledons or sabre-tooth tigers all disappeared.  And Clovis points made by Paleo-Indians cannot be found in dig sites after 13,000.  What caused this mass extinction?

About 13,000 years ago, a climate change occurred, called the Younger Dryas, also known as the Big Freeze.  The weather got colder and dryer for over 1,000 years.  Typically, the megafauna had survived many climate changes over the years, so why was this change so devastating?  Well, it seemed to be rather sudden with temperatures dropping about ten degrees and large dust storms and draught killing off plant life.  What caused the Younger Dryas?

There are two major theories as to what caused the Younger Drysas stadial.  First, scientists argue that the earlier warming period caused a significant influx of freshwater along the St. Lawrence River to the North Atlantic that disrupted the current and conveyor system that moderated the weather.  This could have led to colder weather.  Second, some scientists have discovered nano diamonds and other extraterrestrial evidence in the layers above 13,000 years ago.  They have uncovered fullerenes, extraterrestrial carbon carriers, which were also discovered in the Permian-Triassic layer, which could be evidence of a meteorite or comet that caused that extinction as well as that in the Younger Dryas.  Actually, the second theory could be the primary reason with the influx of freshwater being a secondary reason.

The Wisconsin Glacial Episode technically ended about 11,000 years ago, about the same time that the Younger Dryas ended.  The megafauna had survived significant climate variations during the different ice ages over the centuries, so why did the Younger Dryas lead to extinctions?  The first theory does not provide a good answer, but the second one does.  The megafauna could not survive the rapid changes caused by the comet or meteorite that may have hit.  Where is the evidence of a crater in North America?  Well, since it probably struck the deep ice sheets that covered the northern part of North America, the crater in the ice would have melted.

No Clovis points have been found during the Younger Dryas period.  Folsom points dating back to 9,500 years ago were the next spear heads located in America after the Clovis points.  The 3,000 year gap is difficult to bridge.   The Folsom Paleo-Indians seem to have genetic connections to Asia and the Clovis Paleo-Indians may have a nexus to Europe.  If this is true, the Asian presence either was able to survive the Younger Dryas period or entered North America when the climate improved.  They clearly were the forefathers of the Native Americans that populated North America when the European explorers landed on the east coast.

If you examine the moon, there are hundreds of craters, so it would not be unusual for earth to be the target for numerous comets and meteorites over the years.  Most of these craters have been erased by erosion.  If the meteors were large enough, they could have had a devastating impact on life on earth at that time.

One of these was probably the culprit that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.  At the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, when the dinosaurs went extinct, there are large amounts of the metal iridium, which typically is not found on earth, but is found on meteorites.  It is highly likely that a large comet or meteorite impacted earth about 13,000 years ago, causing the extinction of the megafauna.