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November 09, 2006

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Navillus

This is really interesting in that it echoes my own theories of the universe and conections.

As a Modern Humanist, I don't have the usual metaphysical construct of god to explain reality. As a result I always have to look for ways to understand that don't involve supernatural beings.

The universe is composed of matter. This same matter is used to form everything from the rocks to the trees to the people. The same matter that is now used to make you, can one day be used to make something else once your matter has dissipated.

If all things are formed from this matter and are eventually returned,then it seems perfectly reasonable to see a connectivity.

I think this also explains things like resonances and attraction. We all vibrate at frequency and are drawn to similar frequencies in other people and things.

I think there is a lot to explore with this and I think it can help lay the foundation for future expansion of humanisty and our undrstanding of the world.

I really like what you are saying here at the core level. Thanks for posting and for your comment on Modern Humanist - I'll be happy to give you a link.

Simon

Hello Navillus - Many thanks for the link from your site. A reciprocal link is now on my sidebar. I'm glad that this idea has struck a chord with you, and thanks for putting it into your own words too. I think that this is key. It can be expressed in many ways. It is not inconsistent with humanism. It is not inconsistent with belief in god. You can call this continuum in which we all exist "god" or you can call it something else. It is really only a matter of definition. Certainly it has nothing to do with a man with a long white beard and a thunderbolt at the ready, watching us all from heaven. But my experience is that this underlying field of energy a) radiates love and b) responds to human consciousness, which is enough like god to satisfy me. At the same time, it is perfectly reasonable to express it in terms other than god. A field of love may be just as natural and "scientific" as a field of electricity. It's just that our understanding of science hasn't got as far as that yet. A response to human consciousness, too, may be no more "supernatural" than gravity's response to mass.

Do take a look at spaceandmotion.com, the site which I mentioned in the previous post, and a link to which now appears in my sidebar. The site contains a wealth of information, including a great deal about the science which underlies this idea, which they refer to as The Wave Structure of Matter. To quote Geoff Haselhurst from the site: "Clearly, if this knowledge of The Wave Structure of Matter is correct, then it is very important to Humanity, and has the power to solve many of our problems, both in the spheres of human knowledge, and how we are to live on Earth (without destroying ourselves and the Nature which created us and upon which we depend). As I see it, the world needs our help, and this help must be founded on the Truth, not just our good intentions, if it is to actually work and make things better."

Kren

"My instinct tells me that his words are not some pretty, poetic idea but are rooted in the truth: that we are indeed, in essence, an integral part of the universe rather than separate entities."

This was what tickled my mind.

Instinct is what told you what was true. That's interesting, and not exclusive to your case... infact it's quite universal as I see it.

An example would be Christianity. (IMO) There are many other examples of this I am sure, but this one is spiritual, and I figured would be more appropriate for this sight.

The teachings in what Christ said were so universally true, that everybody who heard them, knew them to be true upon instinct. Otherwise such a religion wouldn't even be anymore. Yet, though misrepresented, in so many ways, so many times, the religion that started out so insignifigantly turned into an organized worldwide religion.

Instinct is strange when it comes to humans. One could argue that our only true instinct at birth is to suckle. We don't KNOW how to walk, as other animals do at birth.

Yet our instincts alone seem to reach for something
beyond what is physical. Morality for one.

Simon

This brings to mind the Hindu term "buddhi", meaning the natural, intuitive intelligence which has the inherent ability to discern truth from falsehood. This is something we are all said to have and which arguably serves us better than slavishly following the rigid precepts of whatever religious tradition we might have been raised in. As you mention, Christian teachings (like those of other religions) have often been misrepresented. If we wish to study such teachings, then we need buddhi to help us make sense of the patchwork of translated and retranslated teachings which have been handed down to us.

Phusion

Hey Simon, thanks for the comment on my blog.. I'm trying to keep my head up.. things are coming at me from several different angles and it's hard to deal with. Thanks for visiting my blog, I'm enjoying yours..

Simon

Hi Phusion - Thanks for saying hi. I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.

Mr Zip

I've been trying to formulate a proper comment on this, but have failed miserably. Failed, I guess, because my thoughts on this are somewhat akin to yours, but not properly worked out in my head.

My grasp of quantum physics is tenuous at best, but if we accept that matter does not exist but is composed of long waves or strings of energy, I've inclined to the theory that we, you and I, and indeed all living things, are rather like complicated knots in the strings.

I think I cleave to this idea because it allows me to go on thinking of lost loved ones as continuing somewhere as those knots, only unravelled to the extent that we can no longer be aware of their physical existence.

Oh well. Maybe not. Back to the drawing board.

Simon

For what it's worth, I believe - as at 11-40 this Saturday morning, that is - in a universe of infinite possibilities. This includes the reconstitution of those who have died from out of the rich soup of the collective unconscious (or whatever you want to call it) - as long as the will is there for this to happen. From what you say, the will is clearly there, so I think that it *will* happen in some form or other. But I can't prove this, of course, not to me or to you or to anyone else.
As for the science stuff, I'm hoping to write about this in an upcoming post, though I have to admit that I find quantum physics just as slippery for the brain to catch on to as you do.

Sunflower Optimism

Hmmm, Simon, I keep wavering between "what a wonderful thing" and "kind of creepy" with this one. I think I would like to pretend (in my version) that we are all interconnected - but still have freedom of choice and self-determination. Not sure how that would fit into the picture.

Quasar9 has a great astro-everything blog in which he recently mentioned how an observatory was able to detect sub-atomic solar neutrino particles that had been theoretically calculated to exist but not heretofore verified experimentally. This got me to thinking - physics aside - what else is out there in the universe unseen and unknown by us, but very real?

Simon

Yes, freedom of choice is the clincher, isn't it? I think that's one of the reasons I've always found it difficult to adhere to any religion. Why should I bow to the will of another entity, even to god?

But, to state the obvious, the idea of unity is that we are all one. So if you want to call "Everything That Is" god (which I do, though others may prefer to use some other term) then bowing to the will of god is only the same as bowing to oneself.

The trouble is: I understand this on an intellectual level but that's not the same as really *knowing* it. So resistance remains. So every morning I get up and spend most of the day wearily polishing my ego to show it off to me and to everyone else. And rather than bow to the wonderful omniscient entity which reflects my true nature, I bow instead to my ego, my artificial, non-existent god. And I call myself free...

Thanks for putting me onto Quasar9's site. I wonder, too, what there might be in the universe inside and all around us?

Sunflower Optimism

Simon, interesting to me that you feel religion precludes freedom of choice. My religion states the opposite - that God made us in His image - the distinguishing factor about God being freedom of choice. I don't so much feel I am bowing to God's will as doing what feels right in my heart. So maybe like you say, bowing to my God is bowing to my own will, but perhaps from a different perspective than what you see? In my faith we do not believe that God wants us to be blind automatons - but to make a conscious choice to do good in the world. After all - if one is forced to love - can it still be called love?

I'm also not sure about the idea of unity being that we are all one - like the Borg in Star Trek (are you familiar? LOL) Could unity not also mean we are separate entities that are still part of the whole? Like our hands, liver and eyes, all have separate functions and immediate goals - but they all contribute to making up a whole person and strive for the overall survival of that person. Perhaps the unity lies in the same goals of these various organs? Maybe every entity's goal is something simple - like increasing the positive energy of the universe?

To speak to your experiences about seeing a "different landscape" - I once had a priest who told me that God is always talking to us - but for the most part, we don't hear Him because of "static." The static of everyday life, the running and doing. He said with prayer, fasting, doing charitable works and other such deeds, we serve to wipe away the static and are better able to hear God. Not everyone believes in God, but the same process may be at work though - where meditation and certain experiences may serve to clear our minds and connect with the "greater universe" - whatever name we give it. I have a very open mind, realizing that I don't know the half of what's out there - we can speculate all we want, but I am not so sure there will ever be definite answers.

I find this all fascinating and am very glad to have stumbled on to your blog through Dr. John's marathon, several weeks ago.

Simon

Hi Sunflower - Great to hear from you again and I'm delighted you're enjoying the blog. You say: "After all - if one is forced to love - can it still be called love?" What comes up for me in response is this: if one has free will but is punished unless one behaves in a certain specified way, is it really free will?

And so the stage is set for a stimulating discussion about the relative merits (and apparent limitations) of your (I presume) Christianity and my vaguely "new age" Unity stuff and we could probably still be arguing about it all the other side of Christmas!

So let's not bother, shall we? Because what really interests me (and, I suspect, you with your open mind) is not the differences between belief systems but the similarities. For what it's worth, I believe that there's only one god and that if we study the core teachings of our faiths, we will find that they all lead to the same place. To us, there seem to be vast differences between our belief systems but I suspect that these differences don't seem important to god!

To me, the concept of "free will" seems hollow if one is threatened with eternal damnation if one doesn't exercise free will in the way that god requires. On the other hand, to you (and indeed to me) the idea of us all being One seems frightening if it means that we all have to behave like a load of mindless ants. In actual fact, I suspect that neither of these limitations on our behaviour really exist. They only *appear* to exist because of our inadequate understanding of the true nature of things. Various Masters throughout history have tried to explain it to us but we haven't quite “got it”, hence all the scope for bickering (and, indeed, violence) between our various factions.

My own (very limited) experience of being in touch with the One is that tasks sort of fall into place before you, so that you’re always being confronted with the next thing you were put on the earth to do. It all feels very “right” and usually difficult things seem effortless, us though you’re linked into some source of wisdom from which the knowledge of what to say or do at any given moment arises. At the same, time you still feel very much yourself: a sort of super-charged, more effective version of you. I suspect it’s not a million miles away from what you describe as “doing what feels right in my heart”. I suspect, indeed, that we may be talking about the same very thing.

The handful of people I’ve met (or heard) who are “enlightened” (or, to put it another way, in perpetual knowledge of Unity) have a glow and an energy about them which seem to be entirely consistent with living their lives in this way. Not only that but they all have a very good sense of humour. In other words, they’re not like ants (or even Borgs) at all. I have to say, I find this reassuring!

I should add that I’ve talked here about different belief systems all leading to god, but I’d like to make it clear, too, that I don’t think that any belief system at all is needed to find god. All you need is to be open to experience. As I’ve mentioned before, what I think of as god appears to be a field of energy which (to put it very simply) radiates love and responds to human consciousness, one which it might therefore be possible to describe in purely scientific terms as a natural force a bit like electricity.

Speaking of which, what you say about “static” is very interesting too, but perhaps we can get to that later. I think I’ve gone on long enough for now!

Sunflower Optimism

Ok, Simon, I think I see the problem here. My particular "brand" of Christianity does not really bash us over the head with being "punished" if we do not behave as God would like us to. Ephesians (2:?), explains what we believe about being saved by grace vs. works. It says we are saved by the grace of God, but God made us for good works. So good works are a natural part of our being, like breathing - something programmed into our being. Even though we are saved by the grace of God, we must always be mindful of good works. Good works should be an extension of our faith and love for God, not something we do for fear of punishment. Having said that, I must admit to not always being the "perfect" Christian I should be, LOL - but we always need to strive towards that perfection.

My "brand" of Christianity also does not speak for God - it is up to God to save whom He will - we do not claim to be the "only" way to eternal life. That is God's prerogative, as we are all given life, eternal or otherwise, through His grace.

Having explained where I am coming from I have to agree with pretty much everything you have said. Yes, I have had the experience of things "falling into place" or having something that I have wrestled with all of a sudden become crystal clear. At times such as these I have really felt connected to what I call my God - an experience both exhilarating and humbling. There was a series of books, several years back - The Celestine Prophecy - that reminds me a little of this "falling in place" phenomenon. The books were interesting to me at first, but then went off the deep end and into various marketing ploys.

I have read several books written by the Dalai Lama - I would imagine him to be one of those people you describe as "enlightened." I have read a bit about Buddhism and like you, I enjoy finding the similarities between the world's religions. So many different cultures have a lot of the same basic tenets - is this due to the way humans are inherently "wired" - or due to the influence of God? I wonder.

My belief system is not perfect, but it works for me. I do not pretend to know what "God" is - neither does my church, which tends to use the apophatic method to "describe" God, as much as that is even possible. The human mind can only pretend to know what God is. But call it what you will, I do believe there IS something out there. You get no argument from me on any of this. But it is all interesting to think about, isn't it?

Andy

An interesting thing happened to me the other day; one that confirmed an intellectual belief I had that all faiths pointed to the same truth. A born again Christian approached me and quickly was discussing in depth spiritual shifts that had occurred in him and the results in the world around him - even down to the feeling that he felt the need to speak to me. These experiences were familiar to me only his terminology was different to what I would use-my terminolgy gained from my particular path and his terminology from his particular path.

Simon

Thanks for the clarification of your beliefs, Sunflower. It sounds like I might get along quite well with your "brand" of Christianity! What is it called, I wonder?

It's strange, though, isn't it? I've said that what really interests me are the *similarities* between beliefs, yet I find myself drawn to investigate the differences. Ho hum. I guess that's the nature of the human mind.

But we both know, I think, that we're holding this discussion out of mutual curiosity rather than trying to score points off each other, so in that spirit, I'll continue...

The only thing that doesn't resonate with me in what you say is the idea of god "saving" people, which implies that others will *not* be saved. My own feeling is that we will all eventually be reunited with the One, whatever we may have done. Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but the idea of an all-loving, omnipotent being who allows some to perish just doesn't seem right to me. This is not to say that people won't suffer if they behave in a way that we judge to be "bad", but this will simply be in the natural way of things, not because they are being deliberately punished by god.

But perhaps even here, the apparent differences between us are down to semantics. The fact that you say "good works are a natural part of our being" suggests that we may not be so far apart after all. "Goodness", it seems to me, is our natural nature, to which we will all eventually return.

Simon

Andy - thanks for sharing this. Even though the only born again Christian meeting I've been to left me feeling distinctly queasy, I do believe that their experience of the Holy Spirit is the same in nature as my experience of the One. We are talking about the same thing. Where I think they are mistaken, however, is in believing that having such an experience is dependent on having a specific, very rigid system of beliefs: in other words, *their* system of beliefs. I think it is open to everyone, regardless of what they do - or don't - believe.

Sunflower Optimism

Hey, thanks for visiting my little corner of the world, Simon.

I am Eastern Orthodox - it is not perfect and there are many things that I am not happy about with it. I don't agree with a lot of the politics and ethnic influence, but I do tend to agree with most of the theology.

It is funny what you said about if some people are "saved" that would mean some people aren't. Nope, never said that - revisit the second paragraph of my last post. We do not presume to speak for God - He will "save" whomever He wishes - that could be everyone, for all we know.

As a matter of fact, I was going to include something another priest of mine had once said. I didn't because it would have required a bit of explanation. But let me share it now. Fr. Al said that in his perception of God, everyone would be "saved" or have eternal life in heaven - even someone like Hitler. Now for my explanatory disclaimer - he did not say this because he was in any way an anti-Semite. He chose Hitler simply because this was the most heinous person he could think of to illustrate the endless forgiveness and love of God. As you said, perhaps we all eventually return to goodness - even a Hitler type. I'm afraid I wouldn't be as forgiving as Fr. Al's concept of God - maybe someday. . .

As for examining the differences between faiths - sure, why not? We need to be able to judge whether a difference is truly that - or perhaps just a cultural/non-critical difference. I like to look at both differences and similarities and make up my own mind, from there.

Simon

Thanks for clarifying the "saving" bit! It's just that, as some believers do bang on about some people being saved and others not, I wanted to check. Have you read Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations With God? Do take a look at it if you haven't come across it: CWG Book 1, that is. There are lots of others now. Walsch got a lot of flak for saying that Hitler went to heaven, but as he pointed out, there was nowhere else for him to go!

This is what I think, too, though as you say, we cannot presume to speak for God. Or, to put it another way, none of us really know what's going on, which is why having a rigid set of beliefs doesn't seem to make sense to me. The inadequacies of language trick me into saying "I believe this" or "I believe that" from time to time, but the truth is, of course, that I don't really know. What I really believe in is no rigid belief: just spirituality based upon experience.

Sunflower Optimism

I think I can wholeheartedly agree with you. I'm done with this topic - it was an interesting exercise and helped me further examine some of my thoughts on the subject. Many thanks for your original post and for the book recommendation.

So, Simon. . . what else you got? LOL

Andy

Our beliefs are one of the many ways we use to define ourselves and in this we create problems for ourselves. We ignore or fight things that conflict with these beliefs because if they're wrong then we face the crisis of who we really are.

I prefer to state things (to others and myself) "...in my experience..." therefore allowing myself to be 'incorrect' and to change my viewpoint according to new events. This has taken some getting used to (having so many beliefs I was attatched to) but in my experience its considerably lightened the load I was placing upon myself.


Liara Covert

The title of this post may seem misleading. Some people may do what you describe and not feel that they are pretending at all. They simply view reality differently.

Simon

A fair point, Liara. And eventually, I hope, we will all come to 'know' this as truth. Some people are there already. I was only suggesting 'pretending' to help other people find a way in to this new perspective.

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