You Can Trick Yourself into Believing Anything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reincarnation

There are many stories of adults and children who claim to vividly remember being someone else, but some of these stories are truly remarkable.  The stories of reincarnation may make you think about the possibility of our bodies dying and decomposing, but our “soul” or some thinking entity would live on.

This possibility seems to comport with the scientific law of conservation of mass and energy, which indicates that all the mass and energy in our universe can neither be created nor destroyed.  Our bodies are transformed into other matter and energy, but the part of us that thinks may be different.  It might survive to pass on to another living entity.  This rite of passage will remain unknown until we take that journey.

It is interesting that some people have recalled in significant detail the events of their past lives.  It is not known whether the Creator has created our universe with our awareness trapped inside bodies to serve out multiple-life sentences for our inability to lead good lives.  Indeed, hell could be the universe itself with humans trapped inside, continuing their effort to reach a better world.  It would make sense that the Creator, whose world might be on the other side of our universe, would only accept those “souls” that were truly cleansed.

The interesting cases of recalled reincarnation come from the mouths of babes… children.  Some children have astounded their parents by telling them that they used to be somebody else.  But they don’t stop with the announcement.  They go into details that the child would never have known.  They would discuss details about famous people from that former period of time that the children would never have known about.  The parents would exclaim that their children’s stories were too detailed and extensive to have been made up.

NBC evening news on March 23, 2015, detailed an amazing story about one such child, called Ryan from Oklahoma.  Ryan actually identified his former body in a photograph he saw in a book.  His mother got in touch with with Dr. Jim Tucker, an associate professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia.  Dr. Tucker was a child psychiatrist who studied cases of children who recalled past lives.  His office documented over 2,500 cases.

Dr. Tucker did some research and discovered that the man identified by Ryan was Marty Martyn, an actor in the movie, “Night After Night.”  Martyn had been a movie extra and then later became a successful Hollywood agent before dying in 1964, well before Ryan was born.  Perhaps there is a missing part of this process, where we go through other consequences before returning for a second chance.

The truly amazing thing is that Ryan recalled 55 details from his previous life as Mr. Martyn that Dr. Tucker was able to confirm.  These were facts that would not have been located on the internet and could only be proven through interviews and detailed research in Hollywood.

Over 24 percent of Americans or about 75 million citizens believe in reincarnation.  Surveys indicate that about one in ten people actually can recall their past lives.  Is this because we want to believe in second chances?  But even with all these memories, some uncovered through hypnosis, scientists do not support these claims.

Another of Dr. Tucker’s cases describes James Leininger, who was four from Louisiana, who believed that he was a World War II pilot who had been shot down over Iwo Jima.  James’ parents noticed their son was having nightmares involving an airplane crash.  James knew details about WWII aircraft that were unusual.  When his mother referred to an object on the bottom of a toy plane as a bomb, James corrected her by saying it was a drop tank.  Another time, he and his parents were watching a History Channel documentary, and the narrator called a Japanese plane a Zero.  James insisted that it was a Tony, which was correct.   He also told his parents that his name was James in his former life and he had flown off a ship called the Natoma.  They did some research and found a pilot named James Huston on the USS Natoma Bay who died in an airplane crash during the war.

There are many scientists who dispute Dr. Tucker’s work.  They claim that many of the details provided by these children have been inadvertently provided by the parents.  For example, James Leininger was taken to a flight museum at an early age, and he picked up many details during that visit.  The other details may have been unintentionally implanted by his parents and counselors.   However, Dr. Tucker says that he has additional documentation for many of James’ statements.  His father was originally skeptical, but he described the information that his son provided as being “striking and unusual.”  His father laughed at the comment that he planted these memories in his son’s fertile mind.  He said, “You try telling a two-year-old what to believe; you’re not going to be able to give them a script.”

Dr. Tucker is not interested in selling the theory of reincarnation, but instead he wants to encourage people to consider the meaning of consciousness and how it might survive our deaths.  In other words, after you die, will you still be aware of your surroundings, whatever that might be?  Will you still be thinking?

Dr. Tucker said, “I believe in the possibility of reincarnation, which is different from saying that I believe in reincarnation.”  He continued, “I do think these cases require an explanation that is out of the ordinary, although that certainly doesn’t mean we all reincarnate.”

What are the odds of something continuing after death?  Actually, the odds are pretty good if you believe in the law of conservation of mass and energy.  Your brain may decompose into something else at death, but your thoughts will not die because your thinking cannot be destroyed in this universe.  At least, that seems to fit the law.

What happens after you die?  Nobody knows.  We can only speculate, but it seems that the Creator has consequences in store for us.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if one of the consequences was that we had to return to the same earth that we had polluted and desecrated?

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.