Christian Existentialism

Existentialism generally is a philosophy associated with atheism.  The majority of existentialists are atheists because the basic tenets of their belief do not comport with a God who is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and in charge of everything.

How can a stellar existentialist, who is steadfast in his independence, tolerate a controlling God?  How can an existentialist believe that he is making choices if everything is predestined by God?  How can a good existentialist believe that life is absurd and without meaning if there is a God?

Well, these are excellent questions, but there are logical answers for Christian existentialists like Soren Kierkegaard: (1) God gives us free choice and does not interfere with our decisions; (2) God created our universe outside our universe, since matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our closed universe;  in other words, God created, but does not control our universe; (3) nothing is predetermined in our lives since we make choices and suffer the consequences;  (4) and life is absurd without God.

So, it is possible to be a Christian existentialist.  You will not have many friends or associates who agree with you, but you can always unite and communicate with the most important entity, God.  Becoming one with God should be your primary goal in life.

The first step in being a true Christian existentialist is to reject other Christians who are not authentic.  Unfortunately, this is a high percentage of modern Christians.  Most Christians go to church for social approval and cannot discuss theology or even basic concepts supporting what they really believe.  In fact, most of them don’t believe in anything other than making appearances and looking good in the community.  Their beliefs and faith in God are only skin deep.

How do you become an authentic Christian existentialist?  Well, it will be a bit controversial, but you need to reject family, peer, and social pressures to think and act a certain way.  Then you can start meditating or focusing on what you really believe.  Let God into your heart and make Him a part of this process.  Become one with God.  Seek harmony with your freedom to make choices and be prepared to accept the consequences from poor decisions.  If God is within you, you will find peace in this process.

God will remove the anxiety and existential angst in your decision making because He will lead you.  Even though you cannot see God and even though He is not inside our visible universe, He can enter your soul as the Holy Spirit and become unified with you.  Your conscience and awareness is heightened with Him inside you.  Your choices may not be perfect, but your attempts to improve your decisions with humility will be all that matters if you fully accept responsibility as one who is imperfect.

And remember: life truly is absurd and makes no sense without God.

Kierkegaard Got It Right

Soren Kierkegaard, sometimes called “the Father of Existentialism,” was a philosopher who attempted to appeal to both secular and religious readers.  Kierkegaard was the only philosopher who got it right.

Born on May 5, 1813, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Kierkegaard was never politically correct.  He typically was not sensitive to others.  He was not liked by Scandinavians or, for that matter, by anybody else.  He believed in God, but Catholics, Protestants, and other believers turned against him.  He was an existentialist, but other existentialist philosophers spurned his writings.  Yet, Kierkegaard got it right.

It is like the story of a judge who made a ruling that neither the plaintiff nor the defendant liked.  The judge smiled and said, “Well, since nobody likes my ruling, that means I made the right decision.”

Kierkegaard champions our individual freedom in making choices over the religious or secular establishment’s restrictions on your decisions.  Your unification with God will not be assisted by a priest or minister or policeman or government employee.  It will be a one-on-one meeting of the minds.  You will become one with God only within yourself.

Your attendance at church and your giving to the church will carry no value into the afterlife.  You will carry nothing on this journey of death except what is within you.  And according to Kierkegaard, God must be your guide on this road, otherwise you will be lost.

Kierkegaard had two primary steps.  First, know yourself.  If you know yourself, you will be a strong individual who can resist the temptations of life.  Second, know God.  Only God has experienced everything and can assist you through the chaos of the afterlife.

It is important to know yourself inwardly and subjectively.  Know your weaknesses.  Pride must become humility.  Be independent, but humble in your individualism.  The highest goal in subjective ethics is to be humble.

Then let God inside your subjective self, thus allowing an objective spirit to enter your body.  This creates the synergy of subjective and objective reasoning.  The combination of a priori and a posteriori makes for perfection.

Once you let God enter your soul, your independent spirit will be lifted up to new heights.  This combination completes the person.  God’s objective, empirical knowledge is the final piece that finishes the jig-saw puzzle.  The highest goal in objective ethics is to become one with God.

Subjective consequences for your poor choices in life will be handed out by your conscience, but objective consequences will be administered by your Creator.

 

 

Our Right to Oppose an Oppressive Government

The American Revolution, which was the crucible for the thinking of our Founding Fathers, clearly allowed citizens to rise up and oppose an oppressive government, in that case England.  Revolution certainly is not an action to be taken lightly, but in a case of last resort, it would be a viable option for Americans to select if their federal government had overstepped its bounds and was headed in the wrong direction.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

Without entering the debate of whether a state can secede from the union, we can state simply that Americans have the right to revolt and abolish the government that has become destructive of our rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness and we also have the right to institute a new government that will protect our freedom of speech, religion, press, and all the other freedoms that we are heirs to from our original government.

There is no question that our current federal government is too big and bureaucratic, but that by itself does not justify a revolution.  However, the type of government that it has become may well give us pause in allowing it to continue.  Our government has become a socialistic form of government.  Again, this standing alone does not justify a revolution.  However, it is the combination of socialism with totalitarian domination that is the real danger to our way of life.

There have been moments during America’s great history when socialism lifted us out of the Great Depression and got us back on our feet and provided for the elderly and needy.  And even though the Affordable Care Act has generated much push back from Americans, it is not a reason for revolution.  But it is part of a new federal government culture that is growing by leaps and bounds, eroding and in many cases eliminating the guaranteed rights provided to the states and citizens by the ninth and tenth amendments of our Constitution.

You can think of our current socialistic federal government as a cancer that is progressing in stages.  At some point in time, this cancer will have to be cut out and removed or it will kill our democracy, independence, freedom, and any rights of states or citizens.  So, it is not a question of will we need a revolution; it is only a question of when we need to take action as states and citizens to abolish the federal government and start all over again.

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.

God Is on Our Side

Bob Dylan wrote a song that included lyrics: “And the land that I live in has God on its side.”

Here are the lyrics:

Oh my name it is nothin’
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And the land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

The Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I’s made to memorize
With guns on their hands
And God on their side.

The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I’ve learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side.

In a many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I’m leavin’
I’m weary as Hell
The confusion I’m feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war.

I believe that most Americans who believe in God consider Him to support their country.  I imagine that the Israelis consider God to be in their corner when they are fighting the Palestinians, and the Muslims think that God is on their side.

I was watching professional football playoff games today and noticed that many religious players thanked God for helping them make a touchdown or a great play.  I bet they feel that God is on their team’s side.

And even though it is wonderful to see so many people recognizing God, it bothers me that they appear to be confused about God’s role during our lives.  God gives us rules to follow and Jesus provided the Beatitudes with tremendous ethical teachings.  These are excellent guidelines… our moral compass that will help us navigate through our journey of life.  God’s words in the Bible help us make better decisions during our lives, but God gives us freedom of choice.

We make choices throughout our lifetimes, not God.  We have free will, so we should not blame or praise God for those things that happen during our lifetimes.  We should simply thank God for creating the universe and giving us an opportunity to live in it.

Yet, we do blame God.  Many Christians think of God as being most important during their lives, rather than their afterlives.  I believe this is a major mistake.  If we get lung cancer, we ask God why He did that to us, forgetting that we chose to smoke a pack a day for over thirty years.  And some deaths occur because of poor genes or bad luck or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  God does not pretend to cause or prevent these deaths.

Thus, it is not logical that God is on your team’s or country’s side either.  During war, many soldiers take solace in their religious beliefs, and this is very important in order to keep their sanity during such a hellish, surrealistic environment.  But that doesn’t mean that God sided with the Allies over the Axis powers in WWII.  Even though Hitler was more evil than good, God did not allow him to be assassinated during the attempts on his life.  History is filled with evil leaders who were not stopped by God.

Nobody knows what will happen over the course of our lives and certainly nobody knows what will happen after we die.  But I believe God’s primary purpose is for the afterlife.  If you believe in the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy then you know that all the mass and energy in our universe can neither be created nor destroyed.  Any creation had to occur outside our closed universe.  God, as the Creator, is logically outside our universe, existing in His universe.

As I said, I have no idea what will happen after death.  If you die and you are no longer aware of your environment, then there is no afterlife and you don’t need to worry about anything.  Everything will cease when you die, and there is nothing more.

In this scenario, your body will decompose and the matter that once was your body will be recycled, but your thinking existence will come to an end.  Actually, this would be the best situation for us.  But I believe that nothing is destroyed within our closed universe, so our thinking probably will continue after our temporary shells of a body give out.

If you die and are still conscious, then more than likely you will be either in God’s world or in a transition zone leading to the Creator’s world.  If you are still thinking, then you need to reach out and embrace God, unifying with Him.  This is when you need to have God on your side, because we know nothing and God knows everything.

Even though I do not know for certain what will happen, I have a gut feeling that there is no “our” in the afterlife.  So God should be on “your” side, not “our” side.  In other words, it may be only you, your thoughts, and God.  God must be on your side or you will be completely alone in a chaotic underworld that will devour your thoughts, leaving you adrift in a dark world of eternal nightmares.

We can only see about 4% of the universe, and we only know a small fraction of that 4%.  We need to rely on the Creator of this universe, who knows everything about it and beyond.  I suspect that since we know so little about the universe, we will be lost without God.

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.

 

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?

 

 

Perception of Reality

Reality is only what you perceive it to be.  In other words, your senses detect information and you translate that into your perception of reality.  It may not even be close to another person’s reality, but it is your reality.

If you were deprived of all your senses, you would still be thinking and would be conscious, but you would have no sight or sound or smell or taste or touch to provide you information on your reality.  So reality might become something altogether different with sensory deprivation.  Reality might become a surrealistic landscape with giant insects crawling toward you.  Or it might be a hellish environment with molten rock pulling you down into a volcanic lava flow.  It could be anything your imagination creates or anything you cannot stop from creating.

Reality then is fleeting and determined by our perceptions.  If our brains are dysfunctional, then reality will suffer because our perceptions will be distorted.  If you are schizophrenic, you may hear voices telling you to do things, so your reality will be very different from those who don’t hear those voices.  Even if these voices cannot be heard by others, the voices are very real to those who hear them.  One person’s reality may be another person’s perception of somebody who is out of touch with reality.  My reality may not be your reality and vice versa.

So if reality can vary from individual to individual and depends on a variety of sensory data, how can society judge which reality is correct?  Is it based on what the majority of people think reality is or is it based on what the government dictates what reality is?  And if your perception of reality differs from what the society or government dictates, are you wrong?  Should you conform to the reality that others describe and proscribe?

One argument is that an individual’s reality should not be allowed to interfere with the reality provided to a society by a government.  The common good for the masses would outweigh the good for the individuals.  But is that really true?  If reality is superimposed on a society by a totalitarian government, is it always good for the masses?  Let’s take the Nazis effort to exterminate the Jewish race as an example.  The reality of a superior race, eliminating the Jews as a form of ethnic cleansing was not good either for individuals or the masses.  It was only good for a short period of time for the leaders of the Nazi party.

True, there are some who have mental conditions that make them dangerous.  Their perceptions of reality are distorted by those conditions.  However, it may be difficult diagnosing and categorizing these conditions, since there are world leaders like Hitler and Stalin who probably had mental conditions that changed the reality for the German and Russian citizens for many years.  If you live in a totalitarian regime, your reality becomes that of the mentally challenged leaders.  If you don’t conform to that reality, you will be tortured and murdered.  This is a reality that I hope you don’t encounter during your life.

The biggest issue with reality occurs after you die.  If you die and you are no longer aware of anything, then you are “dead” dead.  There is nothing more and there is no reality after death.  But the problem occurs if you are conscious after you die.  What does your reality become at that point?  Is it like the totalitarian rule where a power dictates your new reality?  Or is it your individual spirit that will create your new reality?

The dilemma is how you will respond to this new environment.  Some people need guidance and prefer being told what to do, so that a totalitarian ruler would be able to control their after-death reality.  But others may think that they are independent enough to handle the after-death experience by themselves.  This would be like traveling past the event horizon into a black hole, attempting to dictate what happens next.

Your reality in this new universe is an unknown.  You may or may not have your senses to assist you.  Without your senses, your imagination may be your worst enemy.  You may think about being buried alive in a very confining coffin.  Your mind may create a most hellish environment that becomes your new reality.  In that case, having a guide, perhaps even a totalitarian guide, might create a better reality.

Our perception of reality that is most comfortable to us is found in a moderate, comfortable, balanced, and controlled environment.  A chaotic quantum world would be a nightmare for us.  We are comfortable in a controlled solar system around us, yet we have a quantum universe inside us.  In other words, our reality is steeped in what we see outside us, but if we die, it is possible that we may collapse and fall into the chaos of quantum mechanics.

What would our perception be if we were in several different locations at the same time?  What if we were riding on a quark without any clocks or calendars?  What would we think if we had nothing to hold onto?  How devastating would it be to our thoughts if we had no distractions of sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch?  My best guess is that most people would lapse into a psychotic state, hallucinating most of the time without any end in sight.

So what is our perception of God?  Is God reality?  Many have faith that there is a God, but I suppose we will not really know until we die.  After death if we are still thinking, then four main realities may be perceived:  (1) you may have no belief in God, thus God will not be in your reality, leaving you to your own devise without anything to hold onto; (2) you may consider yourself as being godlike, being in charge of everything that happens in the afterlife; (3) you may perceive God as a totalitarian authority who controls everything, leaving you to God’s providence; or (4) you may perceive God as being inside you, uniting you and God as one in the afterlife.

Of these four, I prefer number four.  Why?  I have heard stories about tough prisoners who were placed in solitary confinement and captured soldiers who were tortured with sensory deprivation and how they broke down after a short period of time.  Many hallucinated and suffered greatly.  Without anything to hold onto, these hardened prisoners and soldiers went through complete meltdowns.  They were reduced to being emotional wrecks, out of control.  That is why I have no confidence in our species dealing with the afterlife by itself.  If we are still thinking upon death, we must have a powerful belief that we can latch onto like a life preserver in the storm.

Many religions emphasize number three.  Why isn’t that a good option?  Well, it is certainly better than the first two, but it fails to deal with entity that is thinking.  If you surrender yourself to a God who is not within you, then that God is outside of you.  You give up all control to a God that may become something created by your imagination or something that morphs into just the opposite of what you expected.  If you are thinking after death, then you must deal with that entity that is still thinking.

It really does not matter what religion you carry into the afterlife.  But you must have a solid faith in God.  However, it must be a God that is inside you at death.  You must be fully united with God.  You must be one with God.  I selected Christianity as my personal religion because it is the only religion I know that eliminates all your sins before death.  This is important because you must not carry any guilt into the afterlife.  If you are thinking about bad things that you did during your life, you will punish yourself more than any Devil ever could.  If you are claustrophobic, you will stuff yourself deep inside a shrinking shaft for eternity.  You get the picture?

But no one knows exactly what will happen until we reach the point of departure.  I do have faith in God during this life because I believe that you cannot just select one of these realities at the last second.  If you want to have God inside you, you need to prepare in advance and let Him inside you long before you die.  After you die, it may be too late to be one with God.  Living with yourself for an eternity would be hell.

Freedom

What is freedom?  Does it mean that you can do anything that you want?  Does it mean that you can do anything you want as long as you don’t harm anybody else?  Well, actually freedom is the ability to do anything you want as long as you understand that there will be consequences that flow from your free choices.

We clearly have the freedom to choose.  We make decisions every day, some of which are minor, but others of which are major.  The freedom of choice is our freedom that God has given us.  We can even choose to give up that freedom.  However, there are consequences for every decision that we make.  You might say that you really aren’t free to commit murder because you can be punished by society’s laws, but you really are free to murder as long as you know there are consequences.

If you decide to give in to temptations and make choices that you know are morally wrong, then the consequences may be either a guilty feeling that remains after the deed is done or your heart may become hardened so that you refuse to allow any pangs of guilt inside.  Or you may rationalize what you have done in some manner.  But there always are consequences.

You have to examine the Bible to get a glimpse of what freedom really means.  If we start with the words of Jesus in John 8:31-36, we can build a foundation of what freedom really is.  “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…  I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

The truth is imbedded in your conscience, which includes the Beatitudes that Jesus taught.  And as Jesus said, if you know the truth, it will make you free.  Some argue that if you have to always do the right thing, then you aren’t truly free, because being free would include being able to do the wrong thing.  What these non-believers don’t understand is that they are free to do the wrong thing.  But there are consequences for making these bad choices.

Jesus was telling us that those who do the wrong thing become servants of sin.  One of the consequences of sin is that you are enslaved by it.  Think of it as an addiction to sin.  Once you give in to these urges, it is like quicksand pulling you down further and further until you are completely covered by it.  You are addicted to the sin and are, in effect, enslaved by it.

Jesus went on to say that if you are a servant to sin, you are like a servant who must retire to the servant’s quarters with no protection of the family.  But by following the teachings of Jesus, the Son will set you free and you will be protected in His house forever.

Now, many people choose not to believe this, and that is their choice.  I support their right to choose, even wrongly.  But it is very important to remember that for every choice there is a consequence.  If your support group consists of peers who are making the same bad choices, they will assure you that there is no problem with these choices.  If you surround yourself with sinners, it is unlikely that you will ever escape your enslavement to sin.  However, when you are off by yourself in a dark corner, alone with your thoughts, there is something deep down inside you that will be nudging you to do otherwise.  But if you aren’t strong enough to break away from your friends and make your own decisions, then I support your freedom to choose incorrectly, but there will be consequences some day.

So, everybody has the full and absolute freedom to make choices.  As long as you are prepared to accept the consequences for those choices, then make your selections as you want.  But Jesus offers a path to freedom from sin.  It is a path that you do not have to take.  Again, it is a choice as your journey in life reaches two branches in the road with one going towards “the right thing to do” and the other road going left of “the right thing to do.”

You are free to choose.  But you are not free to refuse the consequences.