Tuesday, June 24, 2014
A leaf is a tree.
A rock is a world.
A mind is all minds.
Monday, January 04, 2010
Many people have written about their ideas, ruminations, expectations, fears, and faith about what happens to the mind or soul after corporeal death is achieved on the planet Earth. People have been living for millennia knowing that their death is imminent and can happen at any time. Religion and philosophy have provided somewhat iffy "answers" to the Universal questions and most common folk have to rely on blind faith and chance, since nobody has ever "come back" to tell the tale.
I believe I was given an epiphany many years ago which told me "exactly" what "happens" after death. It doesn't include angels with harps, devils with tridents, God on a throne, or other icons of my Christian upbringing. The epiphany was solidly presented, as if in a waking dream, and I have lived my life since learning about the "truth" knowing that I have nothing to "worry" about upon my final retirement from existence. Some facets of "life" in the Universal Mind have bled into my present "life", and I've been talking and writing about the "Universal MInd" since having this epiphany, but I've never exactly listed the "events" or "places" inherent in my belief. Some of what I know and believe is fairly simple to explain, and some is less so. The concept of "Universal" encompasses everything, as the name implies.
Here for the first time in one article I shall attempt to paint a picture of what happens inside the Universal Mind.
Many who have "returned" from a near death experience tell of encountering a "tunnel" with a bright light at the end. Supposedly this is the entrance to Heaven, and some think they might have "seen" or "felt" the presence of those in their immediate orbit who have passed away, like beloved family members, friends, or mentors. Some near death or returning from actual death for moments have described "floating" above their own bodies. Our experience is based upon shared happenings, knowledge of happenings, and what we have read or been told throughout our lives. Enough of what we share is somewhat truthful, and some of what we think we know might be doubtful. If someone says they saw an "angel" then those who believe in angels will point out that this perpetrates that particular truth. I just wrote that my ephiphany didn't include angels, but this doesn't hamper the possible truth of their existence. I was christened after the archangel Michael, and I won't tell you he doesn't in fact exist. I also will not tell you that the many strange looking gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion don't "exist" or that an angel named Moroni buried some plates on the American continent which told of an exodus of ancient Zionists who settled here long ago.
My belief in the Universal Mind never attempts to discount any story that has been told or any legend that has been passed down from generation to generation. I believe there is more truth in the battling religious and philosophical beliefs held by mankind than there are lies. I believe that perhaps a lot of what seems to be different events and descriptions of holy personas are really more similar than different, and have been molded and shaped throughout millennia by the chosen ones of the respective belief systems to conform to their societies and systems. If we could pare away the false retellings and recountings, and go back to the beginning, we would find that a lot of what are now known as "holy books" of various faiths are merely differing versions of the same story.
We create "life arcs" while living, and these arcs end with our death. We are buried, or burned, and our souls or "essence" go to "someplace better". Those who remain memorialize and remember this life, and we envision a scenario where the departed can hopefully "see" and "understand" what is still happening on Earth as we survive him or her. Movies and television shows us this happening with the half transparent body of the deceased hovering around the gravesite during his burial or sitting on the gravestone next to the funeral procession.
Here is what really happens.
When the final breath is exhaled, the corporeal mind begins it's encapsulation in the Universal. While alive, we hardly use the full capacity of our minds. While going through the motions of "life" we are given "realizations" throughout our lives by the Universal, and some simply ignore these realizations, but some choose to embrace them and alter their life courses accordingly. Some may talk of "luck" or "kismet" but the people who reap the most rewards from life are those who are able to sow the seeds which come from the fruits of their realizations. When one finally dies, he experiences the "final realization", his "ticket" to the Universal journey.
The "final realization" could be likened to one's "life flashing before one's eyes." Since there is no concept of "time" in the Universal, where "now" is all that exists, the idea of a complete life appearing as if on a personal movie screen in moments doesn't really seem so impossible to grasp. We can dissect time into hours and minutes. For some 60 seconds can seem like an eternity in certain circumstances. Our final realization takes but a millisecond in "Earth time", but seems as if we are living our lives all over again. We not only "watch" what is happening, but we experience it again, and this time we are "given" a broader perspective. We are shown the realizations we have been given along our path to this final one, and we instantly understand where we took the right paths and where we took the wrong ones. We "realize" everything inherent in life and death. We are omnipresent. We are godlike. We are Universal. If life is a series of pop quizzes, then death is the final exam.
Is there a golden gate at which St. Peter grants us entry? Is there a physical "book" listing our good works and our foibles? I won't say yes or no. Perhaps some of the trappings of the Christian faith are in fact truths which appear on the way toward Universal acceptance. Perhaps we are granted another round of existence on Earth, a "reincarnation" if you will, which is a concept we know from study of some Eastern religious beliefs. In the end, however, we pass from Earthly existence to Universal existence completely and without a doubt. As I've written before, even the mose despised and seemingly evil personas in Earthly history, like Adolph Hitler, were granted the final realization and are accepted into the Universal Mind.
In the Christian faith, in which I was brought up, Jesus died in order that all mankind can be saved. There are some rebuttals to this concept. Hitler killed himself rather than face the war tribunals which would doubtlessly have signalled his execution. Catholics believe that when one ends one own life, he cannot be redeemed and cannot even be buried in sanctified ground. Hitler was in denial up until he pulled the trigger. However when his body stopped breathing, his soul or essence was granted his personal final realization, and he might have had to go through a few "circles of hell" to achieve true Universal acceptance, but he is part of the Universal, as is Ghandi and Jesus. Evil and good. Me and you.
So after death, and before Universal immersion, the soul might go through other motions, including cavorting with devils or angels, living another life or two, maybe even experiencing life on Mars or Alpha Centauri. The Universal Mind encompasses the Universe. That's a vast "place" which includes many other "heavenly bodies". Maybe there is life on these bodies, and they are part and parcel of the Universal as well.
There is no time in the Universal. Once coupled with the Universal Mind, all thought is shared completely. All questions are answered. Its as if the Univrersal gives us a big 'gotcha". We understand everything instantly. We are coupled with all the other minds or souls which have ever existed, which are now existing, and which have yet to exist. Since there is no time, past, present and future are the same. This might be difficult to get ahold of, but when in the Universal, there are no boundries.
I believe our soul will be able to "physically exist" in other planes of existence while in the Universal. We can experience the "life stories" of others, relive history, watch classic sports games as if they're happening now, walk with dinosaurs. The possibilities are endless. I don't know if we will have a virtual panel board on which to "program" our experience or if it would seem mixed up to us while having our present perspective. I do know that as a Universal Citizen, we will retain what it means to be ourselves. When we ponder our afterlife, the main question we always have is will we remember who we were? Do "we" just disappear? No. We are acclimated and absorbed by the Universal, but we retain all memory of ourselves, and will suddenly remember "all" of our selves, if we've had multiple existences. I know for a "fact" although I have nothing to back me up, that at one time I was a black man in what is now Tanzania. I have been back to Africa many times in dreams and in deep thought. My existence was long ago I believe, but perhaps it is an existence yet to come. It's a hazy vision now, but when I pass from existence, the vision will not only be crystal clear, but it will be happening "now", and I will understand it more because I will be part of the Universal.
Is there a God? Who is He?
God is the sum total of the Universal Mind. I won't quarrel with the divinity of Jesus, or attempt to doubt that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was given directions and instuctions by God. Perhaps Joseph Smith did receive inspiration from angels. Since the Universal is vast and righteously impossible for most of us to understand, these spiritual events could have happened. I think that more spiritual events have happened than are even recorded. Can a tortilla bear the visage of Jesus? Why not. That's always going to be my answer. I don't personally know, but I won't quibble with your right to believe in whatever you choose, unless of course, you are trying to eradicate my own existence in the name of your beliefs. That's the sad legacy of mankind.
However, when those individual members of the human race perish, and their physical bodies are buried in the sands of time, their minds and the souls of the Universal Mind are joined, not like the pod people of science fictiion, but like the directory of heaven. We will be individual and part of the greatest collective in Universal existence. We are the 'star stuff" of dreams. The answer to the question. We are Universal.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I was raised a Christian, in the Baptist Church, although never baptised. I was "reborn" as a Pentecostal. I've always believed in the power of Christ's ministry, and I believe He is the Son of God. I will go a little farther, and declare that all of humanity are children of the Godhead. If there is life on other planets, they, too, are the progeny of the universe, and children of God.
The Universal encompasses God, and God encompasses the Universal. All time is a moment in the cosmos, and in that moment, anything can, and has, happened. Creationists dispel the scientific evidence that the earth is millions of years old, preferring to have faith in the Word of the Holy Bible, which, in the first verses of the first chapter of Genesis, declares the creation of the universe in seven days by God. Those "seven days" might have lasted for millenia, and they might have lasted but a fraction of a moment. The "big bang" is God's gift, and the universe exists, and has existed, forever. Time is merely a construct designed by mankind. He cannot understand the concept of a universe where time is unimportant. If man were granted (by the Godhead) the "universal truths" which exist. If man were given the power to "see" the future, the past, and the present all at the same "time" as it is in the Universal, then he would understand that seven "days" is a moot concept. The world was "created" and through millions of years of geologic time, it cooled and provided sustenance to life forms, among them, mankind. God did create man, even if the facts of this creation might seem to differ from the actual recounting as told in Genesis. In Genesis, men are given lifetimes which last for 1000 years as well.
Was there a minister named Yeshua who walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee two thousand years ago? Yes. Was he the Son of God? Yes. Was he born of a virgin? Why not? A lot of agnostics seem to ask why when confronted with Biblical "history". I prefer to ask "why not?" When I was granted my epiphany in high school, and given the "keys to the kingdom", unlocking all manner of questions I had harbored concerning religious dogmas and spiritual wonders, the most important piece of information I was given is that there is more truth to the competing belief systems than is otherwise accepted by proponents of the opposing beliefs. Jesus Christ may very well have been "divine", a flesh and blood representative of the Universal Truth, who was given life, born of a virgin mother, and commanded by the Universal Presence (i.e. God) to spread the Word to the then civilized world, a Word of tolerance, love, and peace. Three concepts which seem to be common sensical, but which seem, even at this late date, to be ignored by the general populace.
Jesus was killed for his teachings. I won't blame anyone or group in particular. A perfect storm of opposition seemed to converge at his feet upon that cross, and he died. Was he resurrected three days later?
The Universe is filled with many things we mortals cannot understand. Some of us are granted epiphanies which reveal for us the "realizations" inherent in existence. Some of us become prophets, spreading these "Words". I don't like to call myself a "prophet". I'll stick with "philosopher." It's less "religious" in tone. Religion is what tears mankind apart, and which sometimes sets him against his brethern. Religion is what has caused the city of Jerusalem to be under seige for most of it's existence, or else under an uneasy peace, which can be shattered at any time, by factions of differing "religions".
The Universal doesn't "believe" in religion. Jesus was Jewish, and during his lifetime, there were many competing factions within the Jewish faith. His ministry, after the crucifixion of his successor Peter, became "Christianity." The Catholic church later split in two, and the various Protestant faiths have multiplied precariously ever since. Another great religion, the Islamic Faith, is based on the teachings of Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was given the dictum to preach the word of God after receiving a series of epiphanies. His story is no less spiritual than that of Jesus. His teachings are no less "holy". Yet even today, the rift between the Christian and the Islamic faiths has caused many a human life to perish in war after war, all in the name of God.
God is the Universal power which binds us all. God is existence. Geology Space. And, that ever present little castaway Time. The Universal gives us our life and breath, and also gives birth to galaxies and stars. The Universal also gives birth to the smallest of particles making up what we perceive as "reality." That the Universal is all encompassing, and given that for the Universal time is nonexistant, there are aspects of "unreality" which exist just as solidly as that reality we can touch, taste, smell, and see. It is the "unreality" which can account for a seven day creation, for the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and for the visions of Muhammad (PBUH). There is more to the Universe than any of us here on Earth can attest. The Universe encompasses the smallest and the largest, the oldest and the latest, and sees into the future, and knows the answers.
When we die physically, we do not know what will happen next. This vital piece of information has been hidden from us by the Universal. Is there a Heaven and Hell? Perhaps. But the "final realization" will grant us release from the burdens of questioning. The "final realization" will teach us the ultimate truth. We are all part of the Universal, and we will reunite with the Universal, and with each other, in space, time, and universal harmony. We might be given second chances on Earth. We might visit other worlds. The possiblities are endless because the Universe is endless. We shouldn't push our luck, or hasten the inevitable. We should be able to stop, look, and listen. See the beauty of nature. The wonder of the sunrise and sunset. And the grandeur of the moon, the closest heavenly body to our small planet. In time, we shall pass from this existence to the next. And all our worries and wonders will be abated. I'm sure I'm going to see Jesus Christ. And I'll still pray to Him while I'm here.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Perfection is simple. Imperfection is very difficult to grasp, hold, and keep in store. Yet doesn't it seem oftentimes that everything which happens in life is imperfect, irrational, and sometimes blitheringly stupid, and rarely do we glimpse, participate in, or become part of something perfect?
We do attain perfection, but we are imperfect beings on Earth. This is the simple truth. We are born "sinners", as the Christian faith believes. We are on a search for Nirvana, according to the Hindu fatih. Basic tenets of religion describe the human animal as unfit for the hereafter until some kind of cleansing process is acheived. This "cleansing process" is the Final Realization life is given at it's end. On Earth, the Universal Mind inhabits a flawed receptacle, and this is as it should be. The human vessel into which our Individual Universal Mind is placed during human birth is a flawed biological machine. This machine can be hurt and maimed quite easily, and some vessels perish immediately or soon after their inception.
The mind on Earth is not fully utilized, and because of this, the body it maneuvers sometimes suffers as a result. This body is going to suffer anyway. Built into the biological timelines of all life is an end to complement the beginning. Although the Universal Mind exists, and has been existing, and will exist forever, the "human mind" which is a part of it while the individual mind is harbored by it's human receptacle, only exists for the 100 or so years it's human receptacle lasts. Some bodies last longer than others, and possibly in the future, the cloning process will replicate a sort of "immortality" to life, but this life will certainly end at some undetermined time. As stated in previous essays, the last fact of life is death. Certainly, without a doubt. Every living thing on Earth dies.
That could be ascertained as purpose itself. A butterfly might not seem to have purpose when concentrating on it's astoundingly short span of existence, most of which is spent in a cocoon. The beautiful butterfly might live an astounding week or so, and then perish, of course only after making sure it's species propogates. Is it's only purpose on Earth to please humans with it's beauty? This has been argued. Ouf lives are purposeful, if only for the fact that, unlike a butterfly, we can question our existence, and discuss it's seeming purpose or purposelessness with our neighbors.
A skeptic might want to argue that if we all attain perfection, and are having a hard time of it right now, what with either bills to pay, the skyrocketing cost of petrol, peer pressure at work or school, or impending homelessness, then why not end our insignificant antlives which don't seem to be doing any good right now this minute and by ending them we might just decrease the surplus population (apologies to Charles Dickens).
In the long run, I could agree. But even by agreeing, I'll suppose that ending one's or another's existence is an unbelievably thoughtless act. Why put your controller down and end the game before the game is over? Ending the human existence is uncalled for. The "life" we live is part of our Universal Existence. We might very well find that we have more than one of these lives when we attain the Universal. If we keep snuffing them, then we might not attain perfection for a mighty long "time". Most religions have a commandment that tells the parishoners not to kill anybody else or to shuffle off one's own mortal coil.
We exist. We can reach out and touch. We can experience great pain and joy, and we can't have one without the other. We will not be able to experience perfection without first having lived our lives. We have to find the signposts the Godhead puts in our way. We have to be able to attain as close to an enlightened state while we exist here on Earth, because this brings us ever and ever closer to the Universal.
Some people are luckier than others. Some seemed to be doomed to failure at all costs. There are evil and good in the world, and this condition certainly hasn't changed much throughout all the time man has remained on the planet.
As I have stated before, our lives on Earth are the "wonder years". We have to work through our existence, taking the bad with the good, appreciating the specialness of our postion in the "food chain", and especially appreciating our minds, which remain the kernals of the cosmos. We will, soon enough, pass from this existence, and we should be ready for that to happen at any time. The truly special among us appreciate and embrace life fully, knowing intimately the "now" as opposed to the "schedule". The semi enlightened from the past, the present, and the future, are our seers and prophets, even though they seemingly spout differing dogmas in different languages. Are we supposed to be confused unbelievers, ready to call it a day because we can't understand anything? Are we supposed to be confident that we don't care if we live or we die because this blog maintains we are all perfect in the hereafter?
No, and no. We can wonder. We're supposed to. In the Universal, we won't need to wonder any more. But to remain confused, ignoring the signs that the Universal places in front of us, and doubting why we should exist at all, is to remain unenlightened, possibly continuing the circle of Earthly life until finally the realizations are attained during one of them. We are "one" and "all" in the Universal Mind, and we are perfect, as is the cosmos. The questions which make us wonder during this life disappear, but not the ideas our minds have compiled and processed during this life. Therefore our lives, while only being building blocks from a Universal Perspective, are perfectly imperfect, and deserving of fruition, and the feeding of information, observation, and emotion. Age, believe it or not, teaches us a lot. We keep learning, if we have a "mind" to, right up until the wondrous end, the "light" at the end of our sometimes seemingly mundane tunnel of life. With age should come wisdom. Time seems to speed up. It doesn't really exist anyway. We only know that our Earthly body seems to wither and decay. We think time is the culprit.
Every moment is filled with the "wonder" and "purpose" of the Universal Mind.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Imagine you have a personal time machine which can take you anywhere. Where do you go, why, and what could possibly happen?
Have you ever wished you had a time machine? Are you disappointed in life, and want to go back somewhere to "start over"? You might be happy with your life, and would just like to see what it was like (or what it's going to be like) in another time period. Perhaps you might want to visit somebody from "history", or maybe even make your own kind of history. The past has a lot to teach us, and being able to "live" in the past for a while would probably be a great teaching tool for most of us. And then there's the future. Who hasn't wanted to know what's going to happen tomorrow? And tomorrow? And tomorrow?
We tend to think of time as a linear line, the "timeline". It began a long time ago, in prehistory, around the "time" of that "Big Bang" or even earlier, and it stretches to "infinity and beyond", far after our corporeal death. We think of the clock, with it's endless rotating hands, or looping digital readouts, seeming to repeat the numbers as we find our bodies decaying and becoming more fragile. Time doesn't seem to "end", but "we" do. Time is something of which we long for more. We want to "beat the clock", but we know we can't. A "time machine" would be the perfect vehicle in which to stave off the feeling that we are finite beings in a finite place, for a finite time.
I wrote a "time travel" novel while in high school. The protagonist travels far into the future, and then far into the past, much like the 'time traveller' in H.G. Wells famous "The Time Machine", a novel written in the 19th century, and made into a movie in 1961, when I was a child. I have always wondered why I can't "travel through time". I've seen countless more movies with the time travel theme, and the theme is always popular. The USA network currently airs a televsion drama called "The 4400" with a time travel theme, and it is quite interesting. Some of popular culture's efforts at telling a good story have enriched this theme, and it never seems to go away. The theme is "timeless", to coin a phrase. In most of the fiction of the genre, the "timeline" is a finite construct, and anyone who "changes" the timeline, either in the past or the future, is apt to make "paradoxes" along the rest of the line. A famous conundrum mentioned many times is that if a time traveler went back in time and accidentally killed one of his parents before they gave birth to the traveller, he would of course have to disappear, because he in fact didn't exist. Of course then he never would have been able to build his time machine, and well, you get the idea. This plot has been written, permutated, and analyzed for a long long time.
In my novel, each "millisecond" of time was staggered along a much wider swath of "time-space". If one went to another time, they could create paradoxes, but only in that timeline. Each "millisecond" added to the "timeline" created a complete new dimension. If one were to travel "through" time, then one would travel "perpendicularly" through the different zones. "Sideways" instead of "behind" or "ahead". A computer would keep the time machine able to return to the time traveller's correct coordinates. It was a pretty neat theory, and I wrote it when I was 15 years old. I even added an appendix to the novel illustrating the "science" of the theory, which I credited to the main character in the novel.
Is time travel possible? I wrote my novel long before I ever heard of the theory of relativity, the existence of quarks, or the practice of quantum physics. Perhaps someday man will be able to develop a method to "travel" through the ages of time, observing, learning, and enlightening himself. What was "lost" could be found again, like the contents of the great historical library of Alexandria, Egypt, burned when the Romans conquered the ancient Egyptians. Or the great films of the silent era. Just recently, NASA "lost" the original tapes of the astronauts landing on the moon. All manner of "lost history" would be open to us. Gnostic scrolls could verify for us the truth behind some of the world's great religions. In fact, with a time machine, we could go back to the time of Muhammad's and Jesus' actual sermons.
I'm always wondering about what happens after we, as individuals, physically die. I know that the 70-100 or so years we are granted, with a "normal life", on this planet, are enough to bear witness to the changes of history. We don't recognize this as children, when time is one long endless summer, but as we age, and definitely when we've racked up more than 4 decades in existence, we can plainly see where cultural and historical wheels are turning all around us. Each succeeding generation is witness to new ideas, inventions, and methods of communication. I am in awe of the internet, and my parents were in awe of television. Their parents were in awe of the telephone and telegraph. We can go back farther, and go ahead further, and we will always find that in our lives, there are always many many changes. Almost too many to understand, it seems. I often say that if we were to live longer, we might get so confused that if dementia didn't come natrually, it would be forced upon us by the amount of change we would have to experience, understand, and live with.
After we die, "time marches on". I believe that this is when the Godhead allows us to time travel. Some people might think that death is the end of thier existence, and it is, as a corporeal being on this planet Earth. (Or if you are reading this from some other planet in the Universe where there is life, then substitute your planet's name for ours) After death, if the final realization is not attained, then perhaps we will "live again", what the Hindus call "reincarnation", an attempt to experience life again in order to "do over" until we attain a semblance of enlightenment, so that we might experience the Universal without any of our life's inconsistencies and irreconcilable differences.
Time marches on, and our souls will march into Universality. After experiencing the Final Realization, where the soul finally understands existence, and is given the "keys to the kingdom", the "existence" of each soul is intertwined, and we can finally embark upon the great time travel vacation. Time exists in an instant. All of "reality" is but a blink of an eye. Our "realities" seem to be lengthy, but when we gauge our own corporeal lives against geologic "time", which lasts much longer, then we must understand that we are only blips on the radar of Universality. Here one moment. Gone the next.
Our minds, or our souls, what makes us "think", and ponder about our existence. These minds are freed from their Earthly receptacles, our bodies, at the time of physical death. Nobody knows for sure what happens after death, and various religions have made quite a cottage industry trying to let us know. And also let us know that we have to bow to the tenets of the specific religion in order to gain some sort of salvation for our lives, or else we'll end up in some kind of eternal damanation.
As far as I know, Heaven and Hell can be a part of the Universal Existence, but after the Final Realization, we all are linked to the Universal Mind, and no single religious or philosophical idea is any better than any other when the final curtain is drawn. I like to think of our Joining with the Universal as access to the Universe's greatest "time machine ride". Our minds, freed from their Earthly bodies, will be able to comingle with every other mind, and to "travel" to all the "times' and "places" in corporeality. The "unreal" becomes "real". No matter how the timeline is written, we will be able to travel it's length and breadth in a moment or an epoch, and our communication with other denizens of mankind, and of all life, even as we don't know it, if it exists elsewhere, will be crystal clear.
We will be able to understand, and put behind us, at last, the pesky problem of "human nature. It is "human nature" that causes the Earth's problems with trying to exist while mankind destroys it. It is "human nature" which dictates that humankind can bulid great cities and then destroy them in an instant. It is "human nature" which causes us to create art and literature to last, and kill each other over petty land squabbles which are never resolved. We bust open our psyches trying to understand why this happens. When we join with the Universal Mind, it will all become clear.
I've used the phrase "This is My Movie" when talking about my life. I am the director of my own feature. And this "life movie" will reach it's last reel, possibly sooner than later. When the movie of our lives unspools completely, and our physical "projector" is buried six feet underground, the "movie" has only begun to play. Our individual "movies" are joined together in the Universal Multiplex. We can visit our neighbors and view their movies. We can "time travel" to other eras and other planets, and watch all the life movies ever made. We will even be able to watch the life movies which haven't been made. Time exists relatively differently for us when we are freed of the constraints of our physical "timelines". Every "moment" will exist at once, and because we are Universal, we will be able to "experience" everything, from the "bang" to the "boom", at once, or as liesurely as we want.
Have you ever wanted to travel in time? You will be able to after this existence is finished. You're travelling through time at one rate of speed now, the physical rate. The Universal rate is somewhat faster or slower. You will be in charge of the controls. You will meet me in the hereafter, and everyone else. You won't forget their names, or their place in history. We will all be together, and we will finally be satisfied, happy, and forgiving of all the inconsequences of corporeal "reality" which seem so terrible as we exist on this plane. Your enemy will be your brother, and he will cease to disagree. All disagreements will be worked out "in time", and that time will be but an instant.
I'm in no hurry to leave the car on this rollercoaster of life yet. My trip isn't over. My "movie" hasnt' unspooled completely, and no matter what heartaches I suffer, the pure joy and exhilaration of existence is enough to keep me open to possibilities while I'm "here". However, I believe in a "hereafter" which is like a time machine. A Universal Time Machine which will be the answer to all of my Earthly questions. I've wished for a time machine, and my "time" will come eventually to travel extensively throughout the Universal. (originally posted on WhenWordsCollide on Aug. 22, 2006
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Any similarities to persons living or dead, or to real events or places are purely coincidental. This is a fairy tale. Not an attempt to preach or proselytize.
there were two kingdoms separated by a wall.
No one really knew how long the wall had been separating the two kingdoms, but everyone in both kingdoms remembered that it had always existed, and everyone in both kingdoms knew that each Kingdom abhorred and disrespected the denizens of the other kingdom, as they had been taught for many many generations.
The seers and teachers of each kingdom taught that each kingdom "belonged" on the same spot of land, a most holy spot of land, and this spot of land had always been contested. Throughout the centuries, the armies of both kingdoms fought long and hard to gain ownership of this spot of land, and thousands had died in the defending and attacking of it. Finally, each group of people, commanded by their kings, settled uneasily in the city, and tolerance gained momentum over insanity for scant moments, but small wars and skirmishes always occured, and true peace, it seemed, would never be gained. Then one king thought it would be wise to separate the kingdoms, and had erected the wall, so that there would be no further fighting and killing in the name of ownership. Of course the other wise king didn't agree, and there were still daily skirmishes around the two kingdoms, when one group of fighters would infiltrate the other kingdom and kill or kidnap it's denizens, and otherwise disrupt and destroy it's streets and houses. Time advanced, flowing rather erratically, but somewhat peacefully, depending upon one's definition of peace.
It is said that Gods inhabited the Earth a long time ago. They were giants, with supreme intellects, and for a while, it is said, men and Gods coexisted, but time has forgotten the circumstances under which the Gods fled the Earth, and man has been alone on the planet ever since, left to his own devices to conjure up stories of these Gods and to develop ways in which to worship them. In the two kingdoms, the existence of these many earlier Gods was moot, because each of the rulers of the Kingdoms had inherited the teachings of the former seers and prophets, and each of these rulers not only believed with great faith, but knew unequivocally and irrevocably that the God they worshipped was the last remaining God, and was the "True God".
Into these kingdoms was born two youngsters. They lived on either side of the wall.
Little Muhammad lived in a house on the edge of the Kingdom of the Crescent Moon, on land his parents and grandparents told him had been in the family for over two thousand years. The wall divided the back yard of their property, and little Muhammad accepted it as a part of his world, but wondered why the king of the other kingdom had built it, since it was on his family's land. Muhammad had great faith in the "One True God" and worshipped him daily, even though most of the time it would seem that he really didn't have much for which to be thankful. By the time he was on the cusp of manhood, at age 13, he began to receive visions and have dreams in which God talked to him personally, and asked him to recite the truth as it was to be given to him to his people.
Little Yeshua lived in a house on the other side of the wall, in the Kingdom of the Six Pointed Star, and his grandparents had "settled" on this land two generations ago. His family gave him all kinds of reasons why they belonged in the area, and even though it was sometimes dangerous for little Yeshua when he would walk outside on the streets of his family's "settlement". Yeshua's mother kept a secret, but by the time he too was 13, the boy had heard enough whispered household discussions to know that before he was born, his mother claimed to have been visited by God, and if the unbelievable was to be believed, he was the spawn of the union of Gods and men. His father was a quiet sort, not given to committing to any version of "the truth", and of course Yeshua was not even supposed to know about the "divine" nature of his existence. Yeshua was deeply religious, as was Muhammad, and as were most of the denizens of each kingdom. Those who didn't have such devoted faith in either God had left for greener pastures and more delightful surroundings long ago.
What had been lost in the translation of the ancient scrolls and tablets which described the existence of this "Last True God" for each of the kingdoms was the revelation that in fact he was the same God. Perhaps he was the last of the race of Gods, or perhaps he had been existant since the beginning of time, or perhaps even before that. Nobody knew. Inconsistencies in the major religious texts of each kingdom had been edited long ago to create a solid if somewhat unbelievable account of the history of time, and of the generations of each kingdom who had actually talked to God.
Sadly for the people who lived in the kingdoms, God didn't seem to agree about which side he was really on.
Yeshua and Muhammad were not like the other children, and kept to themselves, content to play in the back yard, and contemplate the nature of God. Perhaps not so coincidentally, they each witnessed an epiphany on the same day at around the same time one afternoon. There in the wall, partially hidden from view by a vine plant, but plainly visible once you really looked at it, was a hole. Not a large hole, but one through which one might glimpse a view of the other back yard. The wall was a clear separation between the two kingdoms, and each boy thought of himself as a humble and righteous denizen of his kingdom. The separation wasn't that solid, or so it would seem, because right in the middle of the wall which separated the two backyards was a hole.
Each boy warily approached the wall, and each bent his body down and lowered his eye to the hole. Both were surprised to see the other's eye peering through the hole. "My Star of Stars" exclaimed Yeshua.
"By the Moon's Light", gasped Muhammad.
Neither child should be swearing oaths of course, and they each knew immediately that they had committed an aural infraction. "Who are you?" inquired Yeshua, who was quite brave, and had proved so when taking his walks through the settlement.
"I'm Muhammad, of the Kingdom of the Crescent Moon", he replied proudly. I never thought I'd ever be able to see the other side of the wall. "It doesn't look that different on your side as it is on mine. Who are you?"
"Yeshua. The Chosen, from the Kingdom of the Six Pointed Star" the boy almost felt important, and gave a sly allusion to some of the whispers he had heard around the house. "Since we both live in the same area, it shouldn't look too different in our back yards."
"Yes, I suppose that is true. The grass is just as green. The olive trees bear the same fruit."
"But I am rightfully here. My Kingdom has decreed it. Your people should move out of the Kingdom."
"Wait a minute, Yeshua. My family was here first, and our Kingdom existed before your people laid their claim. It is because we have unsuccessfully tried to take back our land that your King built the wall in the first place."
"God tells us that this land is our Holy Land. We began our existence here and we belong here. We traveled the world for centuries, and were enslaved by great Kingdoms, waiting generations, and directed here by God. Your people are nomads, and settled in many places before coming here. That's why we are the rightful owners of this land, and why our king built the wall."
Muhammad thought for a bit, and relaxed by sitting on a grassy hillock on his side of the fence next to the hole. "I don't see how you say that your God told you to come here."
"He actually led us here, and spoke to our kings."
"God did speak to man in the past, but that was a long time ago. Your people only recently actually settled on this land, if you look at your histroy."
"Our histories are certainly similar, since we each live on the same Earth, but we don't live in the same world," said Yeshua "And I'm sure your histories contain only those events which were positive for your culture."
"Well, how about yours?"
"No difference," Yeshua replied. "Our histories are written and rewritten all the time, but they are always guarded by the rabbincal elders."
"So we both agree that our God has told us we belong here."
"And we both agree that our histories have been essentially dictated by the ruling elite."
"I didn't agree!" exclaimed Muhammad.
"Well, think about it. When the first nomads actually pitched their tents for good by the side of the River of Conception, which you call the Waters of Life, but which are both the same river, didn't the different tribes disagree on how your culture would be constructed? Weren't there wars between the battling warlords, until finally the strongest won, and it was his ideas and culture which has been passed on?"
Muhammad didn't need to think long. Most of his years had been devoted to study of his religion's dogmas. "All manner of interpretation is correct. It is not the strongest but the wisest who will succeed, and if blood has to be shed in the process, then that is the way of God, and is accepted."
They traded friendly jousts for a couple of hours, but neither boy would give in to the other, and both held fast to their verison of their heritage. Never did they actually quarrel, however, and as the long shadows of the evening drew upon them, and as both heard their mother's calling them in to prepare for the eveing meal, they amicably separated, turned away from each other, and went back into their respective worlds. Yeshua, long used to living in a household with secrets, kept his from his family, and Muhammad retired to his bedroom for prayers right after the meal was consumed, and slept soundly, given to dreams of God conversing with him, and telling him to recite the true word.
A few days passed before both would meet again, and it was during another lazy afternoon when both boys saw each other again. If they had been active like their friends and siblings, they would have been out playing ball in the streets, or chasing the carts of the merchants, or taunting the girls of the village. But they were both contemplative and solemn boys in the eyes of their respective societies, and they pretty much kept to themselves. When they met again, each thought better of trying to talk about matters other than those which divided their families and kingdoms.
"I'm training to be a carpenter." Yeshua offered about his studies, but couldn't help but to add, "To build a piece of furniture well and simply is to feel enraptured with the good graces of God."
"I would like to experience the camel trade," Muhammad beamed. "I'm really good with numbers and calculations, and the dromedary is the ancient carrier of my ancestors."
"A camel trader? Shouldn't you set your sights a bit higher?"
"Look at you. A carpenter? Working with your bare hands all day?" Muhammad giggled good naturedly. "You can make lots of dinars in the camel trade. My Uncle Yassar always brings me some nice gifts after he comes back from a caravan."
"The joy should be in the giving, and not in the receipt." Yeshua said matter of factly.
"I know." Try as hard as he might, he was too devout a child not to bring the almighty into the conversation, and was not really thinking about what he was saying, because he felt a bonded kinship already with his new friend from beyond the wall which separated them. "God has told me not to rely upon nor covet material wealth."
"Don't you mean the Word of God has told you."
"Er, Yeshua." Muhammad seemed guarded.
"Don't you mean the..."
"I know what you asked. I have a secret."
"What secret. God talks to you personally! Is that it?"
"I've never admitted this to anyone before. I think my parents would suspect I were losing my mind."
"Are you serious? You actually think God speaks directly to you?"
"Yes, Yeshua. God has come to me in dreams, and while on pilgrammage to the caves in back of the city. He speaks to me, and tells me to recite his word to my people."
"Well, Muhammad. I believe you completely."
"Come on. It would seem pretty unbelievable if I were you."
"Well, you don't know my family. They all think they've been visited by Angels. My mother thinks not only that God has spoken to her, but laid with her."
"Well, then they're nuts."
"Not any nuttier than you. Mother is very devout. She believes I'm the Son of God. But she hasn't told me this. Sometimes, though, I wonder. I feel different than most everyone I know."
"I feel different too. As if the whole world is different. Except..... for you."
Although each of the boys had just divulged to each other words which would surely have caused consternation among their families, they continued talking easily and without ire. Being young, and unburdened as yet with the cynicism of age, they accepted their stories, and remained enraptured with their conversation. Each felt, in fact, that he was learning a bit from the other. Muhammad and Yeshua parted ways again, and every other week or so, for over a year, they continued their meetings, unbeknownst to the rest of the kingdoms.
Yeshua grew to believe that perhaps he was divine, but perhaps again maybe he was no more divine than anyone else. And maybe it really didn't matter. Muhammad still heard the Word of God in his head, but he also listened to his friend. He began to understand that sometimes the call to arms was not always the best solution to a conflict. The boys agreed that they disagreed, and before each left his home for an adult life of his own in his respective kingdom, the boys met for what they thought would be the last time.
"My friend, my friend," Muhammad began, gazing at the obscured but definite shape of his friend through the weather beaten hole in the wall of their backyard fence. "It is with regret that I must say my farewells as I am on the road with the caravan tomorrow noon."
"May peace be with you always" Yeshua remarked, echoing a phrase which was used by both kingdoms to wish a traveler well on his journey through life. "I have secured a small carpentry shop in town, and have already gained my first customer, a rabbi who needs pews for his temple."
"The best of luck to you, my friend Yeshua."
"Do you still hear the voice of God in your head?"
"Stronger than ever. Do you still think you're the Son of God."
"Well, I'm either the Son of God or the Son of Man, but I know that we will all gain access to the final kingdom if we all love one another."
"How about your enemies."
"We should love them the most deeply."
"You sound more like one of your rabbis than like a woodworker."
"Well, you've always sounded more like a prophet than a camel trader."
The two friends laughed. Then parted ways. Time passed. Life progressed for each of the boys, and through either remarkable coincidence, of by divine intervention, each young man eventually grew up through the ranks of their individual societies, and gained followers and position. Muhammad began to recite the Word of God to his people, and in time they made him their King. Yeshua began to preach sermons atop the mountains of the city, and found eternal parables to tell his disciples about the nature of man and the universe. He was publicly criticized by some in the kingdom, but eventually, he too, rose to the ranks of King of his people.
In that time, a great scourge ravaged the land of the two kingdoms. It was a scourge of unreason and moral affliction. People in both kingdoms had become so restless and disgusted living their difficult lives. They were dying not because of natural causes, but because they were being killed. No matter how high the wall had become, it could always be breached by somebody who thought they were on God's side, and the daily skirmishes and battles of centuries past, came back with the vengeance of this scourge. Advisors to the leaders of each kingdom pleaded for and end to the carnage and destruction.
"It is my hope that people love one another." Yeshua decreed to his kingdom. "Turn a blind eye to those who look askance, and turn the other cheek away from them who wouldst smite thee."
"Fight with the sword of vengeance, that's what God has always told me." Muhammad counselled his advisors. "Be resolute in your jihad against oppression. But lately God has appeared to me again and told me that we should lay down our arms." The men around him shook their heads in disbelief. It was far better to end mortality and go to paradise than to give in to the enemy.
Yeshua made a bold move for peace. In the spirit of love, he had his construction crews tear down the wall. For the first time in years, the sun shone on both kingdoms as if they were one and the same. Although the two boys who had met and become friends behind the hole in the wall had not seen nor spoken to each other in a long time, plans were made for a diplomatic meeting, and the two were soon appearing before each other, this time without the ubiquitous wall between them. There was a palpable feeling of possibility in the air, causing people in the audience to realize they were present at the making of history.
Yeshua was the first to speak. "I love you." It was a simple but universal statement.
Muhammed replied. "I love you too, my friend. I always have."
"Then let us join our two most wonderful kingdoms together. And let there be a joyous celebration."
"King Yeshua. God has told me that he is the same God who visited your mother. He speaks to us all in different ways, but we all seem to hear different things. He has never understood why man cannot tolerate each other's differences. Especially since men are alike all over, no matter what their differences."
"That is because man is stubborn. God is wise, but God is the last of his kind, and he's only one God, after all. From now on, the walls and separations between our two kingdoms will disappear. I acknowledge your kingdom's claim to this land, and apologize for the years of battling you."
"I acknowledge your kingdom's claim to this land." Muhammad said. "God never intended for our peoples to fight. But as you say, men are stubborn, and sometimes their leaders do not do very well by them."
The crowd, composed of both the peoples of the kingdoms of the Crescent Moon and Six Sided Star, broke into a raucous applause. For once in history, the people were being led on the path of understanding, and they felt their burdens being lifted from their bodies, their intellects, and their hearts. Most of the citizens in each kingdom had forgotton generations ago why they were so disrespectful of each other. Simply because their fathers and grandfathers had been fighting the people on the other side of the wall, they by their rightful destiny felt they had to do the same. That is, until the kings who had become friends behind a hole in the wall became the leaders of the land.
Under their shared leadership, the Kingdom of God, as it became to be known, flourished with a cultural and spiritual renaissance unmatched in history. Man stopped fighting wars, peace reigned forever, and everybody lived happily ever after.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Or, in other words, as philosophers and theologians have been questioning for millennia: "What is the Meaning of Life?"
We are here for a reason, but we aren't meant to know what it is yet.Humans are part of the vast network of total Universal Life. From the tiny amoeba to the great extinct dinosaurs, from the beauty and delicacy of a single rose bloom to the spectre of alien beings. "We" seem to be the only species of life who thinks, communicates, creates legacies, and plans for the future, even if, as mortals, we won't be around to experience said future. Because of our power of thought, we ask questions, and we ponder our very existence, sometimes to the extent that we seldom enjoy our existence while it lasts. Instead of living for each moment, irregardless of "time served", we catalog and organize our time, we draw up calendars and timetables, and we watch the clock. We've been doing this for almost our entire existence. No matter how many clocks we build, or schedules we keep, there is one tiny fact that forces the question of existence into the forefront of our brains night and day, prompting us to ask this question about our live's meaning. This fact, of couse, is that we all die. And no matter how long the Earth seems to last, we don't really have an answer to what comes next.If we didn't die at the "end" of "life", then there would doubtless be more questions we would ask ourselves. But the "big question" of existence is pondered whenever a good life ends, and we wonder what made that life so special if it is gone. What happens to that life? Does it acknowledge it's existence, or it's exit from same? Is our "stay" on our planet one of a "stage" of existences?Physical life, without the benefit or curse of intelligence and reasoning, can be pretty simple. Life finds a way to survive and propagate. The Universal Law of the Food Chain dictates that some life is actually dinner for other life. Most life simply exists, eats, defacates, and furthers it's species. As live evolves, some forms become extinct, and some forms multiply. Mankind does more than multiply, however. He reasons. And this is what has caused most of his problems in his world. As time progresses, he tries to teach future generations what he has learned, but since he dies, no amount of living really ever answers the question. It's almost as if man's only reason for his existence is to question it.The "plan for life" is Universal. The only thing we really can count on is our own understanding. No matter what we absorb or read, or to whom we listen, we are each "programmed" to trust our own perceptions. Sometimes these perceptions aren't reality, but it is our own thought processes that help us to survive our own life. Without "parents", "teachers", or "mentors", some life has not only survived, but excelled at both intelligence and understanding. The most powerful "organ of life" is our "mind". I won't physically call this the "brain" either. Our complete corporeal existence is like all the other life in the Universe. We are born, we eat, we propogate, we die. It is the mind which enters this equation and causes us to be somewhat different than all other life. This is not to say that penguins and mayflies don't think. Perhaps they have equally intelligent and communicative skills. They don't write books or make documentaries about their reasoning abilities and questions about existence. Mayflies live for only one day, and their complete day is preparing for their mating, after which they expire. Perhaps this mystery of life is just as haunting and as complex as our own, yet is seems simple, and simply absurd. Do they enjoy themselves? Are they happy?Humans could be said to be collectively happy. We have built ourselves "societies", "libraries", "living spaces", and Disneyland. We manufacture entertainment, we participate in discussion. We even develop belief systems and kill our neighbors if they don't agree with us. We have been trying to understand weather and time for as long as we have been around, with varying degrees of success.Every time we find an answer, more questions are revealed in it's wake.The "reason" for human existence is as simple as the "life" of an amoeba. There's that "eat, defecate, propogate" plan, but it is enhanced by our own sense of "self". We rarely feel "connected" to our fellow man in any "real" way however, and this also spurs the tide of questioning about our existence. The truth of the fact of life, that we die, has always caused me to ponder that this connectedness exists, but outside the plane of corporeal existence, and when we die, and pass to the Universal Plane, we do, in fact, connect with the "minds" or "souls" of all existence.Perhaps the rocks and mountains, besides the birds and bees, have souls as well, and when we are granted the answer, we shall not exist in the "age of reason" but in the "age of understanding". Our purpose of existence, whether or not we feel we have made a purpose in life, comes to us at the time of our death in an instant, and instantly we are granted the answer to all our questions. This is known as the Final Realization. As long as we are granted breath, however, our minds are not engineered to understand the eventual outcome.I've always felt that I was given an epiphany years ago concerning the purpose of life. It has fueled most of what I believe, and all of what I write. Religion and Philosophy are merely attempts to explain the unexplainable. All thought is cyclical, and the cycle ends, and begins again, at the time of death. Time and space are nonexistant in the Universal. Everywhere is nowhere, and all minds are one mind. I believe "we" retain the originality of "ourselves" , but we are finally linked with everybody else in the Universal, and we find that this feeling of "individuality" is actually rather selfish. The Universal Mind is an almost unbelievable depository of thought. The Universal Mind is the last stage of "life". I won't limit this to "human" life either. I believe that all life, and even perhaps geology and cosmic dust, are part of the Universal. The "joke" that proves God has a sense of humor is that we are not meant to understand these connections while we live our corporeal "life". The Universal is attained only after death. A few souls have tasted the succulence of the Universal MInd while on Earth, and these few have become prophets and seers. Universal Mind Theory has been around longer than "Pantheism" or "New Age Religion". It has never been given a name, and that is part of it's mystique. Most theologians would rather contemplate monotheism, and the construct of "God" as a "being" has overshadowed most of the pagan Pantheist thought processes over the centuries. As religion and political society have merged thoughout most of the world, the concept of "One God, One Nation" has permeated most of our modern ideas, and has caused a lot of trouble in paradise. The concept of "wondering" about our existence does end. With our death. Then we are allowed to find the answer to the question, and we join our brethren in the Universal, where the Great News is that this "reason for existence" should never have been questioned, but enjoyed. We do have a limit here on Earth, and we should spend our time better preparing for a globel understanding while we're here.