Anthropocentric God

Do you consider man to be the most important species in the universe?  Why?  Of the billions of star systems in our galaxy and the billions of galaxies in our universe, do you consider us to be the most dominant life form in the universe simply because we believe we are on earth?  I have found other animals on our planet that might well have better qualities than us.  And what if we compared Homo sapiens to life on other planets in the universe?  And we are fairly certain that other life exist.  We just haven’t found it yet.  And if they have found us, then they are certainly more advanced than we are.  Wouldn’t the most important life form be the most advanced?

I suppose it was natural for our species to allow its countenance to be the face of God.  Since we are the most important life in the universe, God must look like us.  However, our egos are perhaps a little inflated.  In reality, we represent a tiny spec of time on earth and are an even smaller amount of matter within the universe.  We are not that important in the scheme of things.

God is the Creator of our universe and other universes if they exist.  We really don’t know how far God’s creation reaches out.  So, we are a bit presumptuous to think that God looks like us or for that matter, even resembles anything in our existence.  We only know that the Creator exists, but nothing else.  God could be the essence of creation and be no more contained than space itself.  We just do not know and will not until we travel into the afterlife.  And there is no guarantee that we will initially view God after we die.  There may be a process that we will have to undergo in order to reach that final destination.  And some may never reach it.

It seems logical that the universe could be a perpetual motion machine, and we may be elements that are recycled as part of that process.  We know that our bodies decay and the atoms are reused.  We know that stars die and the elements are created from its destruction.  It is most likely that we live in a closed universe that constantly has systems that are dying and then regenerating.  It is possible that our universe is actually a living organism that recycles itself.  If there are other universes, they may play a role in the death and regeneration of our universe.  For example, if there is an anti-matter universe that collides with our universe, it could destroy us.

Again, we have no way of knowing what is going on within and outside our universe.  The best we can do is have faith in God, our Creator, and attempt to unify with God in advance of our deaths, so we will be ready for whatever lies ahead.  If nothing happens and your atoms simply merge into something new, then I will not be thinking and will not have to worry about the afterlife.  But I know that I am thinking now and that to just stop thinking would be rather absurd, knowing that there is very little in life that just ends.  Like I said, there appears to be a strong tendency toward recycling in our universe.

It does not seem likely that we would just stop thinking upon death.  But then, we do have a problem if we continue thinking.  What will we be thinking if we do not have our senses to distract us?  It might be good to think about that before you die.

 

Absurdity of Life

Scientists draw conclusions from evidence and facts, a posteriori, while religious teachers rely on faith and imagination, a priori.  Both believe they know the truth about life, but it is more likely than not that neither of them know the truth.  The truth is only known by the Creator, and He is not talking.  Thus, life is absurd because we cannot make sense of it.

Why do we live?  Why do we have free will?  Why do we have a conscience?  Why do we make choices if there are no consequences?  What happens after we die?

After admitting that life is absurd and still puzzling over it, we must logically conclude that life is quite absurd without something after life.  In other words if life were our only appearance in this play, then the play would have no denouement or ending.  This is because if life is to have any meaning at all, then all the choices made during our lives must be analyzed for a full accounting at the end.  Life, which is a test, is nonsensical without death and a grading of our work.  Of course, consequences complete the course.  This completes a design for life in our universe.

And life is absurd for all of us, whether atheists or Christians or agnostics.  We all are tested daily and we all fall short of making good grades.  Christians believe that they are making A’s and B’s, while atheists and agnostics are failing.  The truth is that all of us are failing.  However, the significant advantage for the Christians is that they may lead a better life by following the teachings of Christ.  Unfortunately, there are no guarantees for anybody.  The consequences for our poor choices during life may be dreadful, disastrous for all of us.

I have seen Christians acting as bad or worse than atheists.  There will be no religious shield to protect those who have made bad choices during life.  We must accept our failings and step up to take our punishment, whatever that might be.  By accepting Jesus as our savior, we are in a better position to make good decisions.  But if you read the Bible closely, you will find that there will be consequences for our sins.

I have seen Christians repent of their sins on Sunday and then return to the den of iniquity for the next six days.  Then they return to church on the Sabbath to repent again.  This type of activity shows no true remorse.  It is merely a hope that God will overlook all the misdeeds and erase them because of one hour on Sunday.  This doesn’t even make sense.  It is another absurd myth of Christianity.

So, if there are going to be severe consequences for all of us, what can we do?  Even as a Christian existentialist, I honestly don’t know.  I suppose we can start by doing our best every day that we have left to do the right thing.  Each of us should try to be a better person.  I don’t believe that our judgment day will have a scale with good deeds on one side and bad choices on the other.  I think it will be much more sophisticated and complex than that.

My imagination tells me that we will probably enter a darkness that eliminates our senses.  Our own minds will probably punish us for all the bad decisions we made during life.  The denial of entry into God’s third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2) may be the worst penalty of all.  My guess is that those of us who have made a half-way decent attempt to make good decision will enter the first heaven.  But the subsequent heavens will be exponentially more difficult to reach.

And even though my musings may seem quite absurd, believe me it is much more absurd that we could live in a world of choices without any consequences.

 

 

Are We Something or Nothing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

Let God

If I had no input from my senses, would I still be thinking?  If I had never seen the sun rise, would I have been able to think about it?  If I had no input, what could I be thinking about?  Perhaps, I would be thinking about past sensations.  Or I might be thinking about imaginary sensations… ones that I created.  But wouldn’t the created images be based on real life pictures cut and pasted together?  For example, I might imagine a beast that is part lion and part bull.

So that if I die and no longer have my senses to distract me and I am still thinking, will I have to rely on sensations from my prior life to think about?  During life, I would have interacted with others, but my thoughts would have been focused on me.  I would have thought about things that interested me.  I would have done things that I enjoyed.  I might profess to be humble and assist others who are in need of help, but everything would be received in the first person.  Life will be mostly about me.

But when I die, will my perspective change?  For instance if my senses are removed, then will I be thinking inside a dark shell by myself?  Or will my thoughts become nightmares with fiendish creatures attacking me from my past?  Or will I feel the distress of forever being stuffed inside a narrowing tube with no way out?  I will not have that mirror to engage myself, admiring what I had done the day before.  I may not have the social interaction.  In fact, it may be similar to isolation in a prison.  How long would it take before your mind would disintegrate?

Thus, it is extremely important to let God.  You are not the creator, so you cannot help yourself during any death experience.  If you die and stop thinking, then you will have won the lottery.  However, if you are still thinking after death, you will need something to hang onto.  Logically, that must be the Creator or God.  Who else could assist you through the eternal universe, but the one who created it?  And who else could enter your thoughts, but the one who created those thoughts?

So, let God inside you.  Let God lead you.  Let God protect you.  You will never be alone… even in the darkness of isolation.  God will be with you if you let Him inside you.  And you can start practicing this during your lifetime.  Whenever you get angry or are tempted by your humanness, ask God to enter.  You will be surprised how difficult it is to sin when God is welcomed inside.  You must prepare for the afterlife when God will be your guide through the underworld.  Give it to God during your life and you will have Him for eternity.

I Wish I Were an Atheist

I truly wish I were an atheist.  If I were an atheist, I would not have to worry about consequences… at least during my lifetime.  If there were no God, then this would be the best thing for mankind for there would be no consequences for all our poor choices.  Even the best of us make poor choices, so every human should hope that there is no God to judge us.

Of all the possible scenarios for afterlife, the best for mankind is for us to die and that is it.  After death, everything is black and nothing happens beyond that point.  Then nobody has to worry about being punished for bad acts and stupid decisions.  Death and then no more is the best case for Homo sapiens.

However, this is not very probable.  Everything within our universe is cycled and recycled.  The famous first law of thermodynamics is that matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed.  In other words, in our closed universe, our body, mind, and spirit are all recycled after death.  In other words, we may still be aware of where we are after death.  That, in and of itself, presents some problems for us.

If we are still thinking after death, what will we be thinking?  If we are not distracted by the daily chores of life, we will probably be thinking about bad decisions that we made during life.  It is natural for us to be hard on ourselves if our senses are not leading us in another direction.  Our senses, as we used them during our lifetimes, may not even be functioning after death.  Our consciousness or awareness may be our primary sense at this stage.

If we have free will during our lifetimes, God cannot intervene.  He gave us a moral compass or a conscience to guide us as we make decisions.  We can’t blame God for our poor choices or for the misfortunes we encounter on earth.  God is the creator, who lives outside our closed universe within which nothing can be created nor destroyed.

If there are no consequences for our choices made during life, then life is absurd.  If I die and there is nothing else, then our conscience and consciousness are absurd.  If there is no creator, then a closed universe sitting in the middle of nothing and surrounded by an imaginary boundary is absurd.  (Caveat:  a creator can be any power outside our universe that created our universe.)

So, the best case for humans during life is to be atheists and believe there is no God.  The only problem is that if you are wrong, then the afterlife will be a nightmare.  Thus, if you are an atheist, you must believe completely and absolutely that there is no God and there is no afterlife.  You must bet everything you own, including your soul, on there being nothing after death.

However, it is more likely than not that there is something after death, simply because of the commonality of cycles within our universe.  So, it probably would be better to suffer the pain of thinking about consequences, so that we will be better prepared to deal with judgment day.  If you believe that there is a God who forgives you, then the afterlife may be more tolerable.

Why No Afterlife Is Best

It probably seems strange that a Christian, who truly believes in God, would say that no afterlife would be the best case for our species.  It’s really quite simple.  We all have sinned and have led something other than stellar lives, so there are consequences waiting for our poor choices.  If there is no afterlife, then there will be no punishment.  We will die and that will be the end.  This also would be the best ending for us since we would no longer be thinking.  And thinking without the distractions of our five senses could be a nightmare in and of itself.

However, the odds are significantly in favor of there being an afterlife.  The law of conservation of mass and energy states that nothing is created or destroyed in our universe.  Of course, there are many transfers from one form to another.  Water can be heated and turned into steam and energy.  Thus, it is very unlikely that our consciousness will be destroyed.  It is more likely that it will be transformed into something that is aware and thinking, but unlike anything we have been exposed to on earth.  But if we are still thinking, that is “the rub” that Shakespeare wrote about in Hamlet.  What “dreams may come” and what will we be thinking about?

Sensory deprivation is a form of punishment or torture that has been utilized by military and prisons for many years.  Typically, the prisoner starts to hallucinate and have horrible nightmares within minutes.  It would be the worst punishment imaginable to be suspended in this state for eternity.  You would be your own worst enemy.  Your thoughts would turn against you.  That’s why no afterlife is best for mankind, but like I said, “It is not likely.”  And since the consequences to you in that strange environment are significant, I would err on the side of having something to hold onto.

Now, that being said, it will not work for you to say: “Well, I will believe in God if I am placed in that environment.”  Your belief in God has to be unbelievably powerful.  It has to be a stronger faith than most Christians have.  Those Christians who go to church each Sunday and do nothing more probably will not have the belief that is required.  It must be a faith that is unshakeable by the chaotic underworld that awaits us.  If you initially believe in God and drop that faith as soon as the first demon arrives, then you will be lost.

God must be deeply entrenched inside you.  God must be so much a part of you that you are one with God.  Then your thoughts are also the thoughts of God, the creator.  Only He can guide you through the inky surrealistic world of death.  No matter how independent and powerful you think you are, you will not be equipped to handle the afterlife by yourself.  Only God can get you through it.  And that is not to say that it will be easy to navigate through the punishments of the underworld with God inside you.  It will be extremely difficult even with God.  But it will be impossible without Him.

Believing that Jesus died for our sins will give us a clean conscience, so that we will not carry guilt with us on our journey through the underworld.  But there will still be consequences for the choices we made during our lifetimes.  It is called “judgment day.”  Nobody knows what will happen, so it is best to prepare for anything and everything, including getting as close to God as you can.

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.

If Seeing Is Believing…

If seeing is believing, then you will never believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God.

Typically, children believe in Santa Claus based on artist renditions of Santa or the Santa’s they visit in discount stores, giving them a wish list.  But they never see the real Santa.  They believe based on their innocent naivety.  This is not meant as a negative comment on the beliefs of youngsters, but it does indicate that the trust is not strong and permanent.  As children get older, their peers or parents may tell them that there is no Santa Claus or they may simply come to this conclusion by themselves.

In order to reach the highest rung on the ladder of conviction, you must leave your senses behind and search for a devout trust in the unknown.  Since you will not be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch God, you must find Him in a special place inside your thoughts.  This should be an out-of-body experience.

This cannot be based on expectations of gifts because of your belief.  Rewards for your faith are irrelevant at the highest level of your creed.  Many children believe in Santa Claus or are “good” just to obtain presents at Christmas.  This may be the lowest rung of a ladder reaching to the highest level of certainty.

If the highest point of this dogma cannot be reached through our five senses or hope of rewards or simple tenets or devotion to a higher being or certitude of the Bible or fidelity to God, what is required to reach the level that is required to enter the chaos of the afterlife?

Your faith in God must be a complete immersion of your thoughts into this belief so that your awareness is unified with God.  You and God have to become one.  This must be a steadfast, rigid, unwavering, unbending, virtuous devotion, dedication, loyalty, and fealty that cannot be lost or broken in the chaotic underworld.

It is very difficult explaining this process of unification with God, but it requires a significant effort during our lifetimes.  We must prepare through meditation.  We must attempt to erase our senses and melt into the universe outside.  Our thoughts must reach out to an unknown power that we cannot see.  When we blend our consciousness with the mind of God, we will form a new soul that will be protected from the potential hell of living with ourselves for eternity.

If you do not bond with God, you will be stuck with your own thoughts, which would be hell for any of us.  Just imagine if you did not have the distractions of your senses.  You would be in a sensory-deprived environment.  This quite frankly is used as a form of torture.  None of us have the ability to deal with sensory deprivation on our own.  We need help from God and that can occur only when we reach the highest rung of that ladder of faith, which is not seeing, but is staunch, powerful believing.

Gnostic Gospels

The lost gospels of Mary, Peter, Phillip, Thomas, and Judas, many of which are Gnostic in origin, were not included with the gospels selected by the Nicene Convention in the fourth century for our Holy Bible.  They were intentionally eliminated and were hidden from Christians for hundreds of years.

Since the Gnostics believed that their relationship with God was personal and thus did not need a bishop, priest, or any other religious leader to intercede for them, it was natural for the structured, formalistic faction of Christianity to not include their gospels in the Bible.

The Gnostics were almost mystical in their faith.  They had a one-on-one connection with God that did not require them to go to church or have any relationship with other believers.  Their faith was based on God entering their thoughts and mind and unifying with them.  Nobody else was required in order for this to happen.  In fact, others would have distracted them from obtaining this type of relationship with God.

Even though these Gnostic Gospels are not accepted by mainstream Christians today, it is important to read them.  They provide insight into an important and significant part of early Christianity that was erased by Emperor Constantine and the Roman religious leaders of that time.

The importance of Gnosticism is found in the reality of any imagined afterlife.  Logically in order to have an afterlife, you have to be thinking or be aware after death.  If you die and are no longer thinking, then anything that happens after you die is meaningless to your consciousness.

There are scientists and doctors who believe that you will no longer be aware of anything after you die since your brain, the center of your awareness, will be dead.  This is quite possible, but I would argue not probable because of the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy.  Our consciousness or thinking cannot be destroyed in this universe.  Our awareness, however, can be converted to another form of matter or energy, which probably does happen.

But the question is: will you still be thinking in this new type of matter or energy of the underworld?  I believe that it is more likely that you will still be thinking because your awareness cannot be destroyed; it can only be modified.

So, Gnosticism may be more appropriate for a situation when you are thinking in a new environment without priests or friends or family by your side to assist you.  You will be on your own, facing eternal thoughts in the afterlife.  Anyone familiar with sensory deprivation will explain how devastating that can become within a matter of minutes.

As the Gnostics recommend, you should become one with your God before you die.  By unifying with God, He enters your thoughts and becomes one with you.  He will be your guide through the underworld.  Trust me.  It is not something you want to try on your own.  Just ask former prisoners who were tortured with sensory deprivation.

Even those who said they were religious did not fare well because they had not linked up completely with God.  They may have gone to church and may have even led a good life, but they were not unified with God.  Most of them started hallucinating within minutes and the horrible nightmares would have created an eternal hell for them.