You Can Trick Yourself into Believing Anything

We spend most of our time being distracted by video games, television, cell phones, internet, our children, our spouses, our family, our neighbors, meals, work… the list is a long one.  And these distractions keep us from thinking about death and what may come after death.  Even if we think about death, we can trick ourselves into believing that death ends everything for us.

Of course, death could be the end to us, but that is not likely because our universe is a huge recycling machine where matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed.  Since we do not want to think about potential consequences for things that we did during our lives, we can fool ourselves into thinking that we will just die and there will be no consequences for bad choices.  You can trick yourself into believing anything.

However, it is more likely than not that we will pay for the decisions we made during life.  Why?  Well, let’s start with the law of conservation of mass and energy, which sparks two other significant questions:  (1) how can there be a God if matter and energy is not created?  And (2) how can we die if matter and energy cannot be destroyed?

Well, logically the three answers are:  (1) God created the universe outside our universe, so that the law of conservation does not apply outside our closed universe, (2) our bodies and mind can transform into different matter and energy without being destroyed, so it is very likely that our thoughts will continue functioning in some manner after death, and (3)  life would be quite absurd if there were no consequences for choices (existentialism).

We spend the majority of our time on earth thinking about everyday matters like how to squeeze in a lunch between two meetings or how to get the milk on the way home from work or what television shows to watch tonight.  And only rarely do we think about our inevitable death or what may occur in the afterlife, so we are like a boxer who doesn’t train and prepare for a fight and runs out of gas in the first round.

Why is preparation so important?  The mind can be exercised just like muscles in our body, and it must be in tip-top shape in order to deal with the dangerous unknown and chaos that may be waiting on the other side of our living world.  A weak mind will have no chance to make it through a difficult maze.

For example if you are asked to join forces with something or somebody on the other side who promises you immortality and anything else that you wish, this may be the wrong alliance to form.  There are so many possibilities of what may be on the other side that it could even be unique to each person, depending on their individual frailties and faults.  You could even be your own worst enemy as your mind may fashion its own trap to ensnare your soul.

You will have to be prepared for anything and everything.  If you train your mind to think like Jesus, you will have your best chance in the afterlife.  Now, you could trick yourself into believing that there is no Jesus or God or punishment for your sins; but why would you because there is no consequence for believing in these things and being wrong?  However, there is a disastrous consequence for not believing in these things and being wrong.

If you examine these consequences logically, you will bet on Jesus and God without hesitation because you have nothing to lose by placing that bet.  But many get so distracted by everyday events that they do not think about death enough to make the smart bet.  It is much easier to live life without worrying about consequences from God or anything else.  Just do what you want, enjoy the distractions, and put consequences out of your mind.

Are We Something or Nothing?

Many of us spend hours contemplating our lives and then ultimately we worry about our deaths.  So, do we go from something in life to nothing at death?  Or were we nothing all along?  Or are we still something after we die?

We must rely on our senses that tell our brains that we are something.  But if our senses play tricks on us, how do we know we are something or at least the something that our eyes perceive?  And if our senses evaporate after death, then how will we know anything?  Could we be something if we have no sensations?  Or is the absence of our senses the definition of being nothing?

The fact that we think is something, so I cannot logically argue there is nothing as long as thought exists.  And it is much more than my or your thoughts.  It can be any animal that is thinking at any time, whether past, present, or future.  So, there will always be something even after we die… and even before we were born.  Thus, there never can be nothing.

It is similar to the question of whether a falling tree makes a noise in the woods if nobody is there to hear it.  And the answer is a definite “yes” because something has been, is, and always will be there to hear it.  Just like there can never be nothing because even if the universe imploded or exploded, the fragments still would be something.  And new somethings will appear since the Creator will always be around to create.

Individuals cannot be so presumptuous as to believe that if they are not present, then no noise will be made by the tree in the woods.  People have placed too much importance on themselves.  They are not the Creator.  They do not understand the inner workings of the creative universe.  They are temporal, while the Creator is infinite.  And infinity means that there will always be something.

If you examine the universe with its billions of galaxies and each galaxy with its billions of stars, it seems impossible to imagine without design.  The universe, with dark matter forming a weblike structure and with dark energy perpetually powering expansion and contraction, is like an eternal living creature.  It seems interconnected and very much that something we discussed above.  And could something come from nothing?  It does not seem likely.  Something must come from a Creator that is also something.

Of course, you can always ask, “Where did the Creator come from?”  Or as some ask, “What came before the Big Bang?”   We do not have an answer.  Yet, we can surmise that there was always something and creations can occur anywhere and at anytime, creating more somethings.  The fact that we don’t know very much about the universe and the Creator is not sufficient reason to believe there is no Creator or nothing.  Because if you believe in something, then you are something; and you can take that belief with you into the afterlife.

A Penny for Your Thoughts

There is an old saying, “A penny for your thoughts,” which was usually uttered to somebody who was in deep contemplation.  It might be “a hundred dollars for your thoughts” today.  Typically, our thoughts are kept to ourselves since they are not meant for public scrutiny.  Some thoughts may be so mysterious, provocative, and controversial that we would not reveal these thoughts for anything less than a million dollars.

I never had significant control over my thoughts.  I can remember when I wanted to beat others up.  I can remember when I wanted to have sex with beautiful women that I saw.  I can remember when my thoughts were outrageous, but fortunately I never acted on many of my thoughts.  I felt that I was better than others who lost control and committed murders, rapes, assaults, burglaries, and other deranged acts.  However, I really was not better than anybody else, because I had given in to deranged thoughts.

In the Beatitudes found in Chapter 5 of Matthew, Jesus emphasized that we must have clean thoughts.  I always believed that if I believed in God and did not, in fact, commit adultery or other bad acts, I was a good person, who would be eligible for God’s kingdom.  But Jesus said that lusting for a woman is committing adultery in your heart.  This goes beyond being saved by believing in Jesus as the sacrificial lamb for our sins.  This goes beyond being saved by doing good deeds during our lives.  It reaches into a completely new zone where only a small percentage will tread.  Jesus instructed us in Matthew 7:14 that only a few of us will find this narrow path to Heaven.  Only those few with clean thoughts will pass through the gate.

I would guess that all of us have allowed our emotions to invade our thoughts.  We all have been angry at some point during our lives.  I know that I have been, especially when I have to scream “representative” a hundred times in order to talk to a person on the phone.  But Jesus said that anger could place us in jeopardy of not reaching the kingdom.  Jesus appears to be telling us that our thoughts will be our primary activity after we die.  Our thoughts may be the pathway to everything that happens to us from our death through eternity.

So, let’s stop and think about what Jesus may have been trying to say.  We know that when we die, we will either be thinking or not thinking.  Jesus appears to be saying that all of us will continue thinking whether we believe in God or not.  Those of us who are thinking bad thoughts will be judged accordingly.  Probably there will be just a few of us who will be thinking good thoughts, and these will have a better chance to pass through Heaven’s gates.

It actually makes sense if you think about it.  If you are still thinking at death, your thoughts will be what take you in whichever path you follow.  If your thoughts are clean, then you will take the high road; but if your thinking is faulty, then you will be on the low road.  And the scary thing is that your good thoughts could turn into bad thoughts at any time during the process.  By linking and unifying with God, you will have the best chance to stay on the right path.

Devilish Dream

I have had many strange dreams, but I want to record last night’s dream in this article so that I will remember it.  It was different from other dreams because it seemed very real.  In fact when I awakened, it didn’t feel like I had been dreaming, but it was like I had been transported from a strange location back to my bed. All I knew was that it was a devilish dream.

And that strange location was a classroom.  I was surrounded by thousands of people all sitting in metal folding chairs lined up in hundreds of rows, facing a podium with a speaker, who was addressing the class.  We were all sitting upright and offering the greatest degree of attention that we could muster.  The speaker was talking in a monotone voice that had a tendency to lull us to sleep, but we instinctively knew there would be consequences if we closed our eyes.

The topic of the presentation was the poor choices that many in the room had made during their lifetimes.  However, I was surprised when the speaker asked us to raise our hands if we felt like we had to suffer consequences for these poor decisions, that only a handful of us, including me, raised our hands.  The great majority obviously believed that there would be no punishment for their misdeeds.

I didn’t know the reasoning behind that belief, but I assumed that many of them thought that Jesus died for their sins and there would be no consequences because of that.  I am a Christian, but I have read the Bible enough to know that even though our sins are forgiven because of the sacrifices made by Jesus, the Bible clearly states that there still will be a Judgment Day for all of us.

There will be certain consequences for our actions even though we are forgiven by the death of Jesus.  The Bible is very clear on this, but ministers tend to overlook these passages in the good book so as not to alarm their congregations.  You can find passages all through the Bible that warn us that we will suffer consequences for our acts.

It might be more peaceful going into the afterlife, believing that there will be no punishment awaiting.  As an analogy, it’s probably better not knowing that a shot is going to be painful.  The wait before the shot could be more painful than the shot itself.  If you think too much about Judgment Day, you might have a tendency to unnecessarily worry about it.

I believe you must be realistic as you enter the afterlife or you may forget the most important thing:  you must unify with God.  If you are too peaceful, you may find yourself herded in the wrong direction.  Only unification with God will protect you from false prophets, guides, and leaders in the afterworld.

My guess is that God will administer different punishments for different souls.  It would be similar to our criminal law courts.  Somebody who was guilty of shoplifting may have to perform community service for 100 hours, while somebody guilty of murder may get a life sentence.  God will examine all of our sins on Judgment Day holding us all accountable.

But back to my dream.  As all the attendees were asked to raise their hands if they believed that they would be punished for their bad choices, a big search light came on behind us, so that we could see our shadows in front of us.  I noticed that my hand was raised while nobody else in my row or behind me had their hands raised.

However that was not the biggest surprise.  I was shocked when I noticed that all of us had horns on the top of our heads.  Not one soul in the meeting failed to have two horns positioned on the crown of their heads.  But when I looked at my neighbor straight on, there was no set of horns.  The horns could only be detected by the shadows when the light was behind us.

Those of us who understood that we would have consequences for our actions during our lifetimes were summarily whisked out of the room and were taken to a small room with no windows and only one door.  It reminded me of an interrogation room.  After a moment, a man with a long gray beard entered the room and told us that he was always surprised that only a handful out of each class knew that they would be punished in the afterlife.

Some hoped that they would not be punished and would not admit that it was even a possibility.  Some rationalized that they had not done anything wrong.  Others felt that they had been punished enough during their lives.  Others believed Jesus erased all consequences.  Others thought that there was nothing after death.  Others pretended not to care.

In the last part of my dream before I was transported back to my bed, I was informed that there were other tests ahead.  The small handful of us had passed only the first of many tests.  I assumed there were also consequences ahead for other tests, depending on how we did.

I remembered what Jesus said, “… narrow is the way, which leadeth into life, and few there be that find it.”  Matthew 7:14.  Jesus was saying that only a few of us will reach God’s kingdom.  In all my years of attending church, I have never heard a minister explain this statement.  And even though it will be difficult to reach Heaven even if you become one with God, it will be impossible if you do not unify with Him.

 

 

Doubts

Whether you are a believer in a Creator or a skeptic, you should challenge your position with doubts.  It is interesting that atheists expend great energy doubting that there is a God, but spend little time doubting their arguments.  It is not logical to require more proof that there is a God than finding evidence that there is no God.

Quite frankly, it requires a leap of faith to justify either belief.  Such a leap by either side requires reasonable doubts.  Doubting is not being a traitor to your belief system.  It actually strengthens your beliefs because it forces you to think about why you believe what you believe and requires you to overcome the doubts.

Unfortunately, the world is becoming polarized by fundamental believers and radical non-believers.  The moderates are being pulled to one side or the other.  The press may indicate that religion is falling by the wayside, but it is not the new religion… it is old traditional religion that is dying out.  The neo-religion embraces groups that are radicalized.  Emotional religion is replacing moderate religion.  The fundamentalists will never doubt their beliefs.  And that is emotional garbage.

Doubting is a form of thinking.  Whenever you have a leap of faith without evidence to support your belief, you should always doubt that leap and constantly challenge it, thus reinforcing your belief.  If you go through life just accepting that belief based on emotion without any thought behind it, there may be a problem when you reach a crisis mode, whether in this world or the next.

If you end up standing before a Creator after being a suicide bomber that killed 50 innocent people, I wonder if the emotion that precipitated that act will please the Creator.  Did you have any doubts before you killed those people?  You probably did not, because your emotions drove you down this path.  Emotions mask doubt.  Emotions destroy thinking.  Emotions lead to bad choices.  Emotions also lead to consequences.  Emotions may make you a martyr who will accept those consequences… unless, of course, they are consequences provided in the afterlife.  Emotions hide those postmortem consequences.  But you killed those innocent people for God, so God should reward you.  The only problem is that God you served is the God of emotion, who some call the Devil.

I believe that the one true God does not countenance murder of innocent people for any reason.  And I want you to doubt that.  But you must also doubt that God wants you to kill for His sake.  I remember when soldiers in Vietnam said, “Kill a Gook for God.”  There may be a God who wants you to kill for Him, but, if so, I believe there is another God who does not want you to kill for Him.  There may be difficult times when I doubt the existence of a good God and think there must be only an evil God, but it is good to examine your doubts.  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Thus, I believe for every evil deed attributed to an evil God, there is a good deed supported by a good God.

Will the evil God protect you?  Probably not, because He is evil.  Some argue that if there were a good God, He would make everybody safe and secure now.  However, if you believe in a Creator outside our universe, He may be testing us for entry into His universe.  If you don’t gain admission, you will remain in this universe with the Devil himself in control.  I want you to doubt that too.  However, if you are wrong, the consequences will be forever and ever.

Dealing with Death

Does death mean “no more?”  Does it mean that our thought process ends with our being brain dead?  Or is death the beginning of something altogether foreign and new to us?

Of course, nobody knows the answer to these questions, but scientists do discuss the law of conservation of energy and mass as a known.  Following this law, energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed in our recycling universe, but may be transformed.  Does this mean that your thinking cannot die?  If your brain is no longer functional, your thinking may evolve into a new form.  Since awareness could be converted to something else, thoughts still may exist outside our bodies after death.  Unfortunately, it is not likely that your thinking will ever stop.

The best thing that could possibly happen is for us to die and stop thinking.  Death, then, would be the end to consciousness.  We could welcome death if this were the case.  There would be no pain, no suffering, and no consequences after death.  We would have absolutely nothing to worry about.  Since we are all sinners, we all could breathe easier since our poor choices in life would have no repercussions.

If we died and our thinking terminated at that point, we could easily deal with death.  Death would be the same as nothing, and everybody should be able to deal with nothing happening.  Everything would end and there would be no more.  Believe me… that would be a good thing.

That would be a great ending for us because most of us feel guilty about something and those who don’t should.   And the bad choices we made in life would have had no consequences after death.  Of course, society, family, and peer pressure still would provide their own consequences for your sins during your lifetime.  But there would be no afterlife to worry about.

So, the real problem in dealing with death occurs if our final breath does not stop our thinking.  If we are still aware after we die, we definitely have a problem.  Most likely, the afterlife will be strange and scary for us.  How do we prepare for a nightmarish unknown?

Quite frankly, I don’t know.  There are many religions to study and select your favorite.  But I am concerned that religion, by itself, will not be sufficient.  I fear that beliefs that are lukewarm to warm will not serve us well during the high stress of facing the unknown.  Attending church and praying to God probably are not going to help that much either.  So, how do we deal with death if we are still thinking?

It seems logical that there is a Creator outside this universe, since we live where nothing can be created.  And I believe that it is critical to make contact with this Creator before we die and certainly after we die.  How do we do that?  Again, I don’t know.  But it makes sense to attempt to unify with the Creator in some manner.  If you have sufficient faith and trust in the Creator and allow Him into your thoughts, you will be on the right path.

There are no guarantees that the path will be smooth.  I’m fairly confident that we will be tested on that journey through the afterlife.  But your beliefs in the Creator must be powerful enough to withstand the chaos and darkness so that you can find the light from your guide and ally along this road.  Never give up on the Creator because only He can remove you from the eternal damnation of being stuck with your own thoughts for infinity without any diversions.

Now, that would be Hell!

Consequences of Not Believing in Something

It is Christmas Eve, a time of year when we hear many stories about believing.  It might be in believing in Santa Claus, the birth of Jesus, peace on earth, or love within your family.  The consequences of not believing in something during your lifetime could be depression, a negative outlook, feeling lost and alone, or just in general a cloud of darkness over you.

But what about the consequences of not believing in something after you die?  Let’s examine the best case for you after death.  You would die and there would be nothing after death.  You would stop thinking and that would be the end.  Why is that the best case?  Simply because we all are sinners and have done things that require accountability, and if our death is the end of the road, then we will never suffer consequences for the bad choices we made during our lives.

However, the laws of our universe do not appear to have endings.  One of these scientific laws is that matter and energy is neither created nor destroyed within our universe.  In other words, we are stuck in the Hotel California, so that we can check in but we can’t check out.  Because of our recycling universe, it is most likely that we will still be thinking after we die.

Now that should scare the hell out of you!  Can you imagine being stuck with yourself for an eternity?  Prisoners who are placed in solitary confinement have a tendency to start hallucinating after several weeks.  Can you imagine what would happen if you were stuck in darkness with yourself forever?  Without your senses to distract you, your thoughts would torture you.  All the bad things you did would haunt you.  Even the most hardened criminal would suffer under these conditions.

So, what are the consequences in believing in something during your lifetime?  Well, other people could discriminate against you, torture you, or put you to death for your beliefs.  Man has a rich history of that.  But the most important question is:  What are the consequences if you believe in something in the afterlife?  Your beliefs might be tested in the afterlife just the same as during your life, but nobody knows for certain.

But you must believe in something after death in order to survive the unknowns and potential chaos.  Nobody knows what awaits us after we die, but if you have nothing to hold onto, you will sink into the darkness of despair.

Even though I have no idea what lies ahead in the afterlife, logically there must have been something that created the recycling universe.  And it had to be outside the universe since nothing can be created inside it.  I cannot conceive that our universe exists through spontaneous generation.  So something created it.  That means that there is a Creator.  I choose to believe in the Creator and am working hard to unify with Him so that He will be in my thoughts when I die.

But please believe in something.  The consequences of not believing in something are much worse than in believing.  The cost-benefit analysis indicates that you better believe in something.