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.

What Happens After You Die?

Does anybody know what happens after you die?  The answer is no, but I wanted to apply logic to the question and see how close we can get to the answer with “either/or” situations.

First and foremost, after you die, you will either stop thinking or you will continue thinking.  It will be either one or the other.  And when I say “thinking,” this can be defined as any form of being aware or conscious of your environment.

If you die and stop thinking, then that will be the end for you.  You will no longer exist in any form or in any manner.  As much as people want to live past death, this would actually be the best case for humankind.  If you die and are no longer aware of anything, that would be your lucky day.  There would be no consequences for the poor decisions you made during your lifetime.

However if you die and are still thinking and are conscious, then you will either retain, in some fashion, your five senses or you will have no senses.  In other words, you will either have one, some, or all of the sensations of sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch, or you will have no sensations at all.

If you are still thinking and have at least one sense still functioning in your mind as in a dream where you still can see and/or hear, then you will be in a position of visualizing a white light to follow to find your deceased family members and friends.  This would be similar to descriptions by many of those who have had near or death experiences and have recovered to tell the tale of what happened.  But endorphins, chemicals secreted by the body during times of stress, could account for some of those experiences.

However if you are still thinking without any senses functioning, then you will be enveloped in sensory deprivation, one of the most devastating tortures you could ever go through.  When prisoners are placed in solitary confinement, even though they still have their senses, they can start hallucinating within days.  Think of what it would be like to have no senses to distract you from yourself.  You would be in Hell with you torturing yourself.  Without any contact with anything, you would be all alone in complete isolation forever.  I cannot think of a worse Hell than that.

So, on a scale of best to worst case of things that could happen after you die, I would rank them:  (1) no thinking or awareness after death, (2) thinking after death with one or more senses still functioning, and (3) thinking after death with no sensations or connections to anything.

The first and the third cases need no more explanation or examination, but the second case does.  This is the case that has the most potential for many types of consequences.  Not only does it depend on the number of senses that remain, but it also depends on which of the many avenues your thinking goes down.

And most importantly, it depends on whether you are in control of this journey or if there is a third-party who is in control.  For example, if you are being punished by a third-party for your bad choices made during your life, then this case could involve many types of consequences.  Some people who had near-death experiences reported being tortured and actually feeling the pain from that torture.  There are millions of possibilities with this second case, but it still would be a better case than number three.

So what happens after death?  Nobody knows, but everybody should care.  Even though the first case would be the best case for you, it is the least likely of the three.  This is because all the matter and energy in our closed universe can neither be created nor destroyed.  And that includes our thinking.  It might be transformed into something different than the type of awareness we had when we were alive, but it is highly unlikely that it can be destroyed in this universe.  And people who have been declared brain dead have been resuscitated and then reported that they were thinking even when their brains were not functioning.

How do you prepare for cases two and three?  You must become one with God because only He can guide you through either case two or three.

 

The Passing of the Greatest Generation and its Values

Tom Brokaw wrote a book in 1998 called, “The Greatest Generation,” about the American generation that survived the Depression and went on to fight for freedom in WWII.  Brokaw wrote in his book, “… it is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.  He believed that the men and women in this generation fought not for fame or recognition, but because it was the “right thing to do.”

We are losing this WWII generation on a daily basis and as they pass the baton to the younger generations, I wonder if this older generation’s values are being passed along or are they being passed over.

Former president Jimmy Carter wrote about this in “Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis” in 2005, which was “dedicated to our children and grandchildren, for whom America’s basic moral values must be preserved.”  Carter wrote, “I am convinced that our great nation could realize all reasonable dreams of global influence if we properly utilized the advantageous values of our religious faith and historic ideals of peace, economic and political freedom, democracy, and human rights.”

What is causing this erosion and endangerment of our former values?  I call it a “creeping extremism.”  You see it increase every day as extremists throughout the world are committing egregious acts without significant consequences from moderates who used to be in the majority.  Extremists have begat extremists, so that they are becoming the new majority.  This is polarizing our world, removing the moderates, who in the past made our world a better and safer place to live.

What is happening to the generations that follow the Greatest Generation?  Well, they have not had the same moderating influences.  Going through a depression will significantly influence your value system.  I remember my father and mother both believed in “doing the right thing” no matter what the consequences might be.  They were selfless and made moral decisions based on how their actions would impact others.  Today’s generations, without the moderating influences of major economic and wartime pressures, are selfish and their moral values are based on how their actions will impact them.  It’s all about me and not you.

Now, these are generalizations.  Clearly, there are some members of younger generations who are wholly committed to serving society and not themselves.  But it is a matter of percentages.  A great majority of the younger generations have not gone through economic deprivation and therefore have placed themselves on a high pedestal.  They believe that “greed is good.”  If these individuals were asked to give their lives for their country, I suspect I know what most of them would say.  And their question would be, “What is in it for me?”

The problem with extremism and fundamentalism taking over the world is that it will lead to worldwide totalitarianism.  There are those in powerful positions today who believe that they should control the world for themselves, not for the benefit of others.  There is a big difference between philosophical Marxism, which is designed to benefit the working class, and the real-world communism, which controls and subjugates the working class.  The new world leaders will want the rest of us to be completely under their control.  When “freedom” is no longer important to the masses, it will be replaced by “free” government entitlements.  The masses will become addicted to the government and just like drug addicts will give up their freedom for a fix.

So as we lose the Greatest Generation, I pray that moderates within the following generations can maintain some modicum of control to protect our children and grandchildren for a few more years.  However, I think the most we can hope for is to preserve democracy for the remainder of this decade.

The Power of Prayer

When you pray, you generally are looking for help from a third party or power that is beyond your personal reach.  You don’t typically pray to yourself.  You pray to a higher power to assist you.  Normally, this is done when you or a family member are really in trouble.  For example if you were diagnosed as having cancer, you might pray mightily for a remission or cure.

Is the benefit from praying:  (1) the comfort or hope that you receive by petitioning for help or (2) a positive answer to your prayer, or (3) triggering of serotonin or dopamine releases in the body, providing an out-of-body experience, or (4) a belief system that is effective only because you believe it to be true, or (5) you become unified with God?

There are several types of prayer, so we need to analyze what type of prayer we are featuring in this analysis.  You might read a prayer or repeat “The Lord’s Prayer” without any thought given to the action.  If this were just an inner speech, it would be no different than if you were talking to your friends.   But there are other prayers that can include a range of profound emotional experiences, which may have a significant impact on our feelings of well-being, both present and future.

Serotonin, dopamine, and other chemicals produced by our bodies may be created by meditation involved in intense prayer.  I am not aware of any study where these chemicals were measured before and during prayer.  There have been some studies examining general brain activity, using MRI scanning, during intense prayer.  The brain lit up during prayer.  However, these same results occurred when Buddhists or Hindus meditated.  Similar studies showed that dopamine was released when subjects had emotional responses to music that they enjoyed.

At this time, these studies do not give us any concrete results.  We believe that there are a great variety of brain responses during spiritual experiences, depending on how involved that particular individual is with their respective prayers.

William James, in The Varieties of Religious Experience, wrote that religious emotions were just simply emotions, no different than the emotions of an atheist.  The experiments that showed an increased brain activity during prayer would be, in James’ opinion, exactly the same in a secular setting.  This seems to support the fact that religious prayer and secular meditation produce similar brain patterns.

In my opinion, prayer is personal, so it does not matter to me that secular meditation may reach a similar plateau.  I am only concerned with my ability to pray and what level I can reach with my prayer.  I also believe that meditation could be coupled with prayer, so the two are not mutually exclusive.  I would go to a quiet, dark room, where I could shut down my normal thoughts and sensory receptors in an effort to reach a simple, happy union with God.  I would be attempting to become one with God.

There are products that can make us transcend ourselves when we can become connected to the divine such as: (1) salvia divinorum, which acts through the dopaminergic system, (2) psilocybin mushrooms, which affect the serotonergic system, and (3) ayahuasca which also impacts the serotonergic system.  But we can reach these stages on our own without using these drugs with proper focus and control.

If you truly believe that you are connecting with God, then you are connecting with God.  Third parties can criticize your nexus with the divine, but it does not mean that your connection was not real within you.  Only you know you and your God.  Only you know whether your connection was real or not.

Some articles have indicated that if you believe that a man like Jesus can heal you, then you can be healed through your faith.  If you believed apples will cure your cancer and you ate an apple every day, your cancer might go into remission.  The same goes for believing that you are connected to God.  If you truly believe that you are one with God, then you will be one with God.

It does not matter to me whether other people believe that I am not really connected to God, but only think that I am.  That is because all that really matters is that I think I am.  If I die and am still thinking, and I think I am connected to God, then I will be.  And that is the nexus that will be required for me to be one with God in the underworld.

So when I pray and work toward unifying with God, it does not matter to me what others think.  They might laugh at me and wonder if anybody other than me is listening to my prayers.  But the answer is that it only matters what I think.  And if I think I am one with God, then I will be.  But the power of prayer makes you stronger by blending in the power of God.  Even though you become one with God, you are no longer the old you.  You become a different entity.

End of Our Time

As we get older, we get closer to the end of our time on earth and perhaps in the universe.  Even though we know that our bodies remain, decompose, and return to the universe’s recycling system, we are not certain if our consciousness dies with our brain.  You also might call it our awareness.  It is that thing inside you that is aware of everything going on around you.  It is both your conscience and your consciousness all wrapped up inside your body.  It is what you employ to make decisions with your free will.

It is quite strange to find that many people try to ignore the approaching end of time.  Even though they know it is coming, they would rather not deal with it.  Many stay busy with their jobs or family and never think about it.  Others deal with it through religion or philosophy.  But as we get older and closer to the end of time, you would think that we would think more about preparing for the end.

Most would ask how you could possibly prepare for the unknown.  Well, I think religion and philosophy would be a good start.  You need to prepare yourself mentally because if you are still aware after you die, then your thoughts will be all that you will have.  You will have no body, no senses, no clocks to calculate time, nothing that you will be familiar with from the old world to distract you from your thoughts… you will be stuck in a world where your thoughts may be all that you have.  So, it might be a good idea for you to spend some quiet moments in a dark room and get to know yourself before the end of time.

Instead of spending time at a gymnasium pumping iron or jogging, you should be building up your mind.  You should be spending time inside yourself through meditation.  You should be getting to know that thinking creature inside you.  Why is this important?  Well, if you die and are still thinking, then you will be spending an eternity with yourself.  That could be a very bad thing.  For example, if you were placed in solitary confinement, would you be able to handle it or would you lose control?  If you had not built up your mind and prepared for this event, you probably would hallucinate within a short period of time.  Your nightmares would consume your thoughts.  In effect, you would be your own worst enemy.

There is no guarantee that you can prepare for death by thinking about it in advance, but there is no downside to thinking about it.  If nothing else, it should help you accept it.  Sticking your head in the sand is certainly not a good answer to dealing with the end of time.  Of course, if you die and you are no longer thinking, then the best thing possible has just happened.  The worst thing is to die and to still be thinking without any direction in this new chaotic, unknown world.

The least you can do is to think about this possibility for a few minutes.  Do you have a plan?  How would you channel your thoughts at that point?  Do you have a God that you trust who would be your guide through this strange world?  You must have something other than yourself because otherwise you will not get very far in this new journey.

Peer Pressure in the Wrong Direction

Our friends don’t always give us good advice and many times push us in the wrong direction.  We may receive better advice from our parents, but may not realize it until we are parents ourselves.  The problem with friends is that they are primarily motivated to make their lives better than your life.  If you do well, they may be a bit jealous, so don’t count on too much support.  In fact, you may find that you have been sabotaged by friends who couldn’t stand your success.

Yet, peers are very important to us as we reach the adolescent stage.  We want to be members of a gang or clique.  We want to be accepted in a group, but at what cost?  We may have to give up our independent identity and conform to the group norm.  And that applies to most any association, whether church group or criminal gang.

And once you pass the test to be admitted to that gang, your life will belong to that group.  You will be owned by that association.  Your thoughts and actions will be controlled by the pack.  There have been many examples over the years where individuals could not believe what they did in out-of-control mobs.  The Germans did not understand why they supported Hitler.  Peer pressure exerts tremendous mind control over individuals.

So how do we interact with others without succumbing to peer pressure?  Perhaps the best way is to always think independently of others.  I remember in law school, we set up study groups to prepare for exams.  The study groups got out of control when they started cutting cases out of the library law books so that other students would not have those cases to study.  Always keep your moral compass handy when you are around these groups.  It will point you in the right direction when they are attempting to lead you down the wrong path.

Why is peer pressure so important to you?  Just remember that you will have a better life without following the group.  Groups head in the wrong direction about 90% of the time.  That’s because their decisions are rarely based on study and thought.  Typically, emotions and intuition lead the pack.  Always keep your head when others are losing theirs and blaming it on you.

And always ask why before doing anything.  If the justification for the action is “just because we can” or “why not?” then you better rethink the action.  I remember when I was in a fraternity, the active members asked me to join them in an act which would physically harm the pledges.  I asked them “why?” and they told me because we had always done it.  I told them “no” and was almost blackballed out of the fraternity.  But it taught me a lesson about people.  Many times you will have to go against the grain in order to do the right thing.  But it is always worth it.

Was I Predestined to Write This Article on Predestination?

When I positioned the seat of my pants against the seat of a chair and started typing, was this predestined to happen?  If I had writer’s block or simply decided that I wanted to work outside, would that have changed this moment in time?  Or was my writing already cast in stone and I had no option other than to sit down and wrestle with this article?

Predestination is a thread that runs through theology, philosophy, and science.  Religions have struggled with the question of whether everything has already been predetermined by God.  Some religions answer that God knows everything that will happen in our lives, but God permits us to make our mistakes.  Some say that believers and sinners are all predestined for those roles, while others say that only believers are predestined, leaving the others to choose during their lives.

Some pre-Kantian philosophers saw the past, present, and future as being rolled up into one huge eternal “present” from God’s perspective.  If God is orchestrating life from moment to moment, then everything is predestined to happen just as ordered by God.  Many of the pre-Kantian philosophers were more like scientists who examined predestination based on their experiences and what they understood a posteriori.  Kant’s theory was based on the innate, a priori, knowledge.  In effect, our behavior has a predisposition, but is not predestined.  We have a propensity to do the right thing, but we still have the freedom to make decisions.  God has given us both a conscience and the freedom to choose our paths in life.

Scientists have examined the control within our universe, which arguably is a form of predestination, but again I refer to it a predisposition.  For example, gravity and orbits may cause planets to circle our sun, but there are many variables that come into play as to how the solar system is positioned today.  And millions of years from now, it will look different.  The propensity for planets to orbit the sun does not preordain their future positions in the solar system.  The delicate balance of order and chaos within our universe can be upset to create an entirely different future.  Scientists can guess what the future might be, but they can never be assured that they are correct because the future is not predestined.  Quantum mechanics, by itself, assures us that there are many possibilities of what the future will hold for us.

Science helps us understand one aspect of predestination within our universe.  The theory of conservation of mass and energy which states that the sum total of mass and energy within our universe will always be the same is another way of saying that our universe is predestined to having a finite amount of mass and energy.  And it might even be argued that our universe is predestined to respond infinitely, perhaps alternating between the Big Bang and the Big Crunch forever.  Even though mass and energy may transform back and forth, the total will always remain the same.

This might be interpreted to mean that our universe has an edge that retains all the mass and energy within it.  In other words, we live in a closed universe.  If this were true, then the creator would have had to create outside that boundary.  The creation would have inserted mass and energy inside that closed system, so that it would only have had a predisposition and not a predestined universe.  The proclivity to do certain things in our universe does not eliminate chance, choices, and selection.

So, when I asked if I was predestined to write this article, the answer is a resounding “no.”  I may have had an inclination and a propensity to write it, but I made a decision to do so and took the action, independently of any outside forces.

 

Do We Know God Instinctively?

Do we know about God through our instincts or do we know God through our experiences?  In short, would we know God without others writing and talking about Him?

We certainly have no physical evidence of God, so we might argue that the proof is circumstantial.  In other words, we know there is a God since we know we exist, thus we infer that there was a creator of our existence.  We, in effect, know there is a God, a priori or through deduction.

It is important to find God through your own instincts because relying on what others say or do could be problematic.  Just because millions of people believe something has absolutely no value in the afterlife when it will be you thinking and interfacing with God one-on-one.

Only your thoughts matter from the point of death into the dark universe.  Only your beliefs will be important as you pass the event horizon into the new world.  What others thought about your life and your actions may not carry any weight in God’s realm.  They will not be pleading your case.  Assuming that you are still thinking at death, your sentence will be between you and the judge, your creator.

Are we motivated to believe in God as a way to better accept our mortality?  Are we motivated to believe in God by a religious instinct?  Are we motivated to believe in God because of a need to deal with our ultimate demise?  Did we create God to fulfill not only our basic needs, but also esteem and self-actualization needs as described by Maslow?  Are we conditioned by religious and political leaders to believe in God to help control our behaviors?  Are we hard-wired to believe in God based on our genes and other biological bases?

We may never know the answer for sure until we reach the point of death.  At that moment when we are brain dead, if we are still thinking, then we will know that our brain will decompose while our thoughts will continue on into a new arena.

You will have a great deal of control initially since the thoughts will belong to you; however, unfortunately, that control will dissipate very quickly as chaos will consume you.  We all feel that we can control most events, but the afterlife will not be one of those events.  Only God can be your guide through the afterlife.  It will be a completely foreign universe to us, so we will require a guide in order to survive the journey.

We need to leave our experiences behind when we enter the kingdom of the dead.  We must not think about the bad things that we did during life.  Christianity tells us that all our sins are forgiven.  That’s the same thing.  Don’t bring any of that baggage with you on the trip.  You have to let it go completely.

So God must be based on our intuition at the point of death.  We will feel his presence and he will be inside our thoughts so that we will unify as one.  When we die, we should turn our thoughts over to God.  That will not be easy, but it must be done.

Politicians Are More Dangerous than Terrorists

It is a very sad comment that today’s politicians are more dangerous than terrorists.  Politicians are much more likely to destroy the American system and our way of life than any terrorist organization.

One of my favorite jokes around springtime tells the rest of the story.  Towards the end of March, I would state that it was time to clean out the house… but don’t forget to also clean out the Senate.

So both Democrats and Republicans are guilty.  They may have good intentions early in their careers, but they get sucked into the corrupt system within a few months of arrival in Washington.  When I worked at the Pentagon and the Navy Yard as a fraud attorney, I had occasion to work with NCIS, the Department of Justice, and the FBI.

I was constantly bringing up good fraud cases against Senior Executive Service civilians and high ranking officers of the military, but these cases never went anywhere.  Why?  Because the culture in Washington was corrupt from middle management up to the top.  Everybody wanted to look the other way when federal managers did something unethical.  The only cases I successfully prosecuted were against lower managers and regular employees.  There is a double standard in Washington.

And this is even worse with politicians.  I asked an FBI agent why we never prosecuted Congressmen who were taking bribes every day.  He told me that it was difficult proving that the amounts given were not campaign contributions.  He also told me that there was a wicked culture in DC that was entrenched.  Anybody attempting to change that would lose their jobs or disappear.

It was difficult for me to watch all the politicians… and let me repeat… ALL the politicians accept compensation from special interest groups.  The real compensation for politicians is not their salaries, but it is the tremendous amount of money they receive from organizations who bribe them to do their bidding.

Several decades ago, Congressmen were only dangerous to our country because they did not represent Americans, but only their self interests.  However, today there is a new breed of politician who is even more dangerous.  These new politicians are interested in creating a world order that will be totalitarian in nature.  But don’t think for a second that it will be beneficial to you.  It will benefit these new leaders because they will rule the world.  They can then take anything they want and leave the rest of us in the cold or dead, which is very typical of all totalitarian leaders throughout history.

You can see the political posturing in the news, but please try to think what a politician’s real motivation is.  For example, when President Obama promised executive action that would give nearly five million illegal immigrants temporary work permits and amnesty, this really is designed to add more voters for a Democratic president who will continue pushing for a new world order.  The White House was spinning that Obama’s unilateral action was not “amnesty” and that it would “ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.”

Republicans are pushing for comprehensive amnesty legislation in order to avoid losing the next presidential election because of these potential voters.  Some of these five million immigrants may find ways to vote at the polls, but the real increase in voters who will support the Democrats are the families and friends of these immigrants.  Also, new Democratic supporters may rise exponentially in the next two years as Americans may become frustrated by the “gridlock” that could be caused by the actions of both parties.  The Republicans will take the greatest part of the blame.

Executive Agreements and Executive Orders have been used for decades and the Supreme Court has never ruled any of them unconstitutional.  The best option for Congress is to exercise its control of the power of the purse.  However, we have never had the executive branch so intent on using its agreements and orders for political purposes to create a new world order or worldwide totalitarian regime much like in Huxley’s and Orwell’s books.

Because of the nature of the political beast that exists in DC, it is not likely that America will avoid being drawn into the giant totalitarian whirlpool that awaits it.  I predict that millions of people will be sent to concentration camps and murdered until only weak-minded citizens remain behind to be enslaved by the new world order.

It is interesting to note that history has not been kind to the original leaders like Lenin, who might have had a genuine interest in helping the people.  The only survivors will be those who are completely evil and those who are completely dominated and offer no resistance.  Where will you fit in this new scheme of things?

 

 

Awareness

Life is most interesting when we become aware of things.  When we fall into routine patterns of living, our awareness becomes dull and somewhat boring.  For example, you may walk along your front sidewalk to your car every day that you go to work in the morning, ignoring the plants next to your house.  Some may have flowers and if you took a moment to bend down and examine them, you might see the bright blue, feathery petals.  Otherwise, you will live and die without ever being aware of them.

Awareness involves not only a heightened use of your five senses, but also relying more on your consciousness.  One way to do this is to recline on a bed in a darkened room with no noises in the house.  You may focus more on the awareness in your mind, relying little on outside stimuli.  As you think more about this awareness, you may eventually shed off the routine matters of daily living and start to think more about life and what it is about.

One of the things that I noticed in my journey to an increased awareness was that I was all alone.  We are very proud of our independence, but unfortunately we have delusions of grandeur, thinking that we can handle anything that life or death gives us.  We are quite simply too weak and do not have sufficient facts to make the journey by ourselves.  The unknowns might completely destroy you.

I know this because of my knowledge of how our species reacts to sensory deprivation.  When we tackle this problem by ourselves, our imagination creates unknown horrors that devour us.  I have read accounts where even the most hardened criminals and soldiers are reduced to quivering mounds of jello after several hours of being alone with themselves without any outside distractions from their senses.

Thus, you will want to have a steadfast and trusting friend by your side on this journey.  No matter what you think of religious followers and leaders, they will not be with you during this journey, so what they think and do is irrelevant.  What is relevant is your relationship with God.  It must be a one-on-one relationship.  It must be a powerful relationship.  You must be aware of God at all times.  You must be one with God.  God will be your true friend during this journey.

So who is God?  Forget trying to find him in your senses.  You must find God in your mind.  As you lie in that bed in the dark room, try to find God in the recesses of your thoughts.  You must make him a part and parcel of you.  God will make you a better person.  God will reinforce your thought process, so that you can withstand the forces of chaos that will attempt to overwhelm you.  God will be the force of control that will make you strong.  Without God, you will not have that control and chaos will carry you away.

God is difficult to define and, in fact, may vary from individual to individual because God is within your unique mind.  You must start working on your unique relationship with God during your life because he will give you a better life, but also because if you are still aware after your death, you will really need God for a better afterlife.  Imagine what the afterlife would be like if you were still thinking and had no guide for that journey.  With God inside you, you will have a much better chance to survive an environment that will be completely foreign to anything you have encountered during your life.  Without God, you would be much better off if you just died and stopped thinking.  If you were not aware after death, you would be very fortunate.

However, you must prepare by being one with God before death just in case you are still conscious.  There are too many unknowns in our universe for us to say with certainty that we stop thinking at death.  Why would you wish to gamble?  It is much better to be prepared for the worst and then if you simply die and there is no more, then you haven’t lost anything.  But if you don’t prepare for the worst, and you are still aware during the afterlife, then your imagination may be your worst enemy.  Without God, you will be on your own.  God will be your guide through the underworld, keeping your thoughts under control.  But make no mistake:  your belief in God must be so powerful that it cannot be undone by the sabotage of your own thoughts.