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.

Limitation of Imagination

We all have congratulated others on being very creative.  We know of artists, musicians, or even scientists like Einstein, who were creative geniuses.  Their imagination seemed to know no bounds, yet it did.  Their limitations were primarily based on their knowledge.  The more we know, the greater our imaginations become.

Unfortunately, we know very little about ourselves and where we live: our solar system, our galaxy, and certainly our universe.  We are still struggling to understand the earth and the depths of the ocean.  We don’t know how the sun and its cycles are impacting our weather patterns, so we blame it on global warming.

We don’t know where our solar system ends.  We see only about 10% of our universe in the form of planets and moons, so we know very little about the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud.  And we also know very little about the billions of galaxies with their billions of stars, yet this is only about 4% of our total universe.  The other 96% is called dark matter and dark energy, which we know practically nothing about.  And don’t even mention quantum mechanics.

So with so little information, our imaginations are extremely limited.  When cosmologists state that they believe our universe will continue accelerating into a Deep Freeze, I counter with the fact that their imaginations are in a deep freeze.  The truth is that we will never know how the universe works because we are limited on our facts and imagination.  Only God knows and He is not showing His creative hand… at least while we are alive.

I give cosmologists a good deal of credit for coming up with the idea about Phase Changes as a possibility for the end of our universe; however, this idea is a spinoff of what we know about the different phases of water:  liquid, solid, and gas.  Again, our imagination is fairly limited to what we know.

For example, scientists have no idea what dark energy is, so let’s utilize our imagination and see what we predict.  Dark energy may be a force that is repelling the rest of the universe and thus causing an acceleration of separation between galaxies.  But this is based on our understanding of magnetism when like charges repel each other.  If you were to question cosmologists about dark energy, they would have to tell you that they have no idea what it is and their imaginations are stymied.

Even when we let our imagination go to areas that are declared to be science fiction, it is still based on what we know.  For example, if I were to say that the red color that we expect to see as a property enters the event horizon of a black hole, could be the same as the red shift that Hubble discovered decades ago.  Then if I were to extrapolate the reversal of time at the event horizon with a reversal of time with Hubble’s red shift, my imagination is still restricted to facts that we know or think that we know.

This is an interesting analogy though since most cosmologists believe that the red shift indicates that the galaxies are moving away from each other at increasing speeds.  My theory is that the galaxies are stuck in a time-space fabric that is shrinking at accelerating speeds.  But again, my imagination is limited just as much as others on earth.

Can we create something different from what we know?  Well, we can imagine new combinations of what we know.  For example, we might speculate that life on a planet, which is light years away, has a creature with ten legs and five eyes, but we are still working with legs and eyes.  We can even paint an unrecognizable animal, but we will borrow from things that we know to create this beast.

So, clearly we are not even close to the Creator, our God.  In order to be with God, we must unify with Him.  We must trust Him and defer to His omniscience.  Only God could create the universe from nothing.  Scientists do not have a clue.

Oh, My Heavens!

Paul mentions in the Bible that there are three heavens (2 Corinthians 12:2), but he does not go into detail as to what or where they are.  The Bible also is not clear about the judgments that await us and how they factor into the equation of reaching these heavens.  All we know is that we exist on earth and someday we will die, having no idea what awaits in the unknown zone.

I prefer to believe that if I am still aware of my environment after I die that I will have three tests before me, which if I pass will allow me to enter consecutively each of the three heavens.  I like to think of the first heaven as a segregation camp among those who believe in God, the Creator, and those who don’t.

Those who believe may be further tested in the Judgment Day scenario described in the Bible.  You may have to relive the bad judgments made during your life and humbly accept your punishment from God.  This test may be designed to see if you are still receptive to the desires that led to your sins during life.  For example, you may be tempted to avoid punishments by agreeing to follow evil spirits, rather than God.  You probably should accept God’s punishment without seeking ways to eliminate the consequences.  If you pass the second test, you may enter the second heaven, which I expect will be very peaceful and calm.

The last test may be extremely difficult.  Even though believing in God and accepting your poor decisions in life and all their consequences may get you to this point, the last hurdle may be the hardest to cross.  My guess is that it will involve significant testing of your moral foundation.  You probably will have to unify with God and become God-like in order to pass this final exam.  In order to reach this third heaven, you may have to prove that your character is worthy of this ultimate trust to enter the last heaven.

If I am fortunate enough to reach this final goal, I hope that I will be permitted to see God’s entire universe with the billions of galaxies and the billions of stars in each galaxy.  I want to spend an eternity examining God’s creation.  I believe that there is life scattered all through the universe, and I would love to see it and examine it.

I hope that there are many animals that will be available for us to view and watch.  I also hope that God will permit us to be with animals from our earth, so that we can be comforted by them.  I believe that the humans allowed into God’s third heaven will be of like mind and will be comforting as well.

In my heavens, I expect that there will be no breathing, eating, smelling, or employing any of the bodily functions.  There will be no need for toilet paper or procreation.  As we all know, our body will stay behind and decompose, so basically only our spirit can survive and still be conscious of what is transpiring after death.  Thus, awareness may spring from our imagination.

So, the three heavens may be only in my imagination, but if I am still thinking after death, the heavens may exist because of the unification of my and God’s imagination.  Then I might say, “Oh, my heavens!”

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.

 

 

Odds Are…

What are the chances that life is illusory?  What are the chances that God exists only in your mind?  If anything is possible, then the odds are good that any of these suggestions are reality.  And because of the quantum world, even contradictory actions can occur simultaneously without cancelling each other out.

So, is everything possible?  Quite possibly, everything could be possible.  Is it possible to win the lottery?  The odds may be against that happening, but it could happen.  If I were to draw 13 cards from a deck of cards, the odds that those cards would be all spades, consecutively drawn as:  A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2, would be astronomical.  But it is possible.

If everything is possible, could something also be impossible?  In other words, is it possible for something to be impossible and still everything would be possible at the same time?  Of course it can through the magic of quantum mechanics.  Therefore if everything is possible, including some things being impossible, then this is a complete set of possibilities.  There is nothing out of the realm of possibility within the universe.

And that makes sense since matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our universe, so that everything within our universe must be a complete set since nothing else can be created.  The deck of cards (matter and energy) within our universe was created outside the universe, leaving us with free will and random chances in how the cards were both dealt and played.  If everything is possible, then there can be no complaint about your failure to be a good person or to reach your goals.

And being a good person or reaching your goals is not a miracle provided by God.  God gave you the cards, but you played them and thus must accept the consequences for your choices in life.  The key to miracles is in transforming your mind.  It doesn’t matter whether you utilize philosophy or religion or meditation.  You mind must leave the universe and become connected with God, who is outside the universe.

Scientists and doctors have case studies where patients have been pronounced as brain dead, but were later revived and brought back to life.  Those patients consistently have reported that they were still aware of events even after their brains stopped functioning.  In effect, their consciousness continued into the afterlife.  And this is both possible and impossible, depending on your perspective.

As I have written many times, our species would be infinitely fortunate if we died and our consciousness ended at the same time.  That would be the best case for mankind.  But unfortunately the odds are against that happening.  Since nothing in our universe can be destroyed and also assuming consciousness is something in our universe,  then our awareness will not terminate when our bodies die, just like we have been told by those who have died and then have been resuscitated.

Even though some religions promise eternal lives for true believers, please be careful what you wish for.  If your goal is just to have eternal life, this could be a hell within itself.  Can you imagine being stuck for eternity in the same room with your enemy or even an individual who irritates the hell out of you?  Eternal life without first unifying with God could be eternal damnation.

So if you die and are still thinking, then you had better quickly become one with God or you will be lost without a guide through the chaotic journey after death where anything is possible.  And this might become your personal Judgment Day with you inflicting more torture and pain on yourself than God would ever do.

Saint or Sinner?

Does our species, Homo sapiens, lean more toward being a saint or a sinner?

Well, the answer probably depends on the circumstances.  For example, if a man loses his job and has to feed his family, he may resort to robbery or even murder to satisfy this need.  Drug addicts certainly or more likely to commit crimes in order to obtain drugs.  But what about those God-fearing citizens who smile at you at work and in your neighborhood?  Are they saints or sinners?

One of the problems in answering this question is that most people consider themselves in the best light possible – using excuses, rationalizations, self-delusions, transference, and other self-serving devices to avoid personal blame.  In other words, most people consider themselves as saints, but the rest of the world may well be sinners.  Unfortunately, the truth is that we are all, each and every one of us, sinners.  There is nobody on the face of the earth who is not a sinner, even if the sin is pride.  You don’t have to commit a crime in order to be a sinner.

One of my pet projects was to establish an Excel sheet with a listing of virtues that I would track every day.  The idea was to analyze my attempts to improve myself over the course of a year.  I gave myself a checkmark for each virtue that I achieved that day.  For instance, if I meditated, prayed, had no anger, told the truth, had an act of kindness, practiced humility, exercised patience, showed love, had joy, or served society, I would give myself a point.

The results were very disappointing.  It was like going on a diet.  I did very well the first month, but as the novelty wore off, I found myself becoming complacent and less interested in self-improvement.  I discovered that I generally was focused on myself and my needs rather than on the needs of others.  Even though I had always considered myself much less selfish than others, I was awakened by the daily chart, which showed that I served myself first and foremost.  And even after attempting to become a better person, I was reminded by the spread sheet that I was no nearer to my goal than when I started.

Even when I made temporary improvements, I would backslide.  It was exactly like going on a diet.  You might lose weight for the first six months, but then you might gain it back over the seventh month.  And when you stop eating as much, your metabolism slows down and burns fewer calories.  This makes it increasingly difficult to shed the pounds.  The same goes for trying to be a better person.  You might be a better person for half a year, but then your personal needs and desires which have been suppressed, sometimes return with a vengeance.  You may become an even worse sinner.

In civil law, we examine the evidence and place it on the scales of justice to determine if there is a preponderance of evidence that tilts the scales in one direction or the other.  Unfortunately, this is a manmade rule of law.  We would like to argue that our good deeds overshadow our evil actions so that we are primarily saints.  Unfortunately, this is a manmade hope in order to avoid any potential consequences in the afterlife.  Most of us would like to believe that if we work toward being a good person and follow a good moral code, we will land in the safe zone if there is something after death waiting for us.

I don’t think so.  Every poor decision in life carries a consequence if the afterworld has any logical significance.  One of the attractions of Christianity is that it makes Jesus the sacrificial lamb who takes on all your sins, so that there will be no consequences awaiting you.  It is important for Christians to enter the afterworld without feelings of guilt and Jesus helps them do just that, but the Bible also makes it clear that there will be consequences for our bad acts.  Ministers typically avoid this issue like the plague.  Most Christians would rather believe that they can erase all their sins by believing in Jesus.  Few ministers would say otherwise.

But sin is sin.  And bad choices are bad choices.  And consequences will be provided.  It would be absurd to believe otherwise.  Why does our species have free will to make choices and others do not?  If we didn’t have free will, everything would be predetermined and the consequences would also be predetermined.  But freedom to make choices also carries the responsibilities and consequences from those decisions.

When the Creator, for whatever reason, decided to give us this free will, it would have been illogical to let us make decisions if there were no consequences for those choices.  I have no idea why we were given this freedom, but we were.  And since we all will make bad choices, we cannot enter God’s zone of judgment in any afterlife without unifying with God.  It is only by becoming one with the Creator that we have any chance of minimizing the consequences.

Of course, I don’t know what happens after we die.  If nothing happens after death, then Homo sapiens will be the luckiest species of all times and all locations in the universe.  However, if we are still thinking after we die, then having free will would be absurd if we had no consequences for our choices.  Again, I don’t know how Judgment Day will play out, but I do know that we would have a fool for a client if we defended ourselves.  It is only by becoming one with God that you will have a fighting chance.  You cannot do it by yourself.