The Good Life

September 30, 2011

The Good Life is the life lived with understanding. There are many wrong ideas about life. These ideas can produce a “fake” you that you believe is the “real” you. If you increase your understanding of life, though, and throw away the wrong ideas you have, you will begin to live the Good Life and your fears will disappear. You will love and be loved more, and you will be happier.

The way to increase your understanding is to be completely honest—first with yourself and then with everyone else. Always ask yourself, “Is this true?” or “Is this right?” and answer yourself with the truth. If you honestly seek the truth, you will find it.

(Freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

The Importance of Reducing Ignorance

September 29, 2011

Ignorance is a cause of much suffering in the world.  It is a form of misunderstanding.  When we misunderstand, we think and act incorrectly, which causes ourselves and others to suffer.

Everybody has some degree of ignorance because we were all raised by people who have some degree of ignorance. If we reduce our own ignorance, though, we find our understanding of ourselves, other people, and the world increasing.

As we reduce our ignorance, understanding and acceptance take its place. So does tolerance, to a degree. When you understand people, you are more tolerant of their differing perspectives because you know that your relationship with them is more important than any differences you have. You also understand why they hold on to their cherished opinions (the reason is always fear), and you accept this as the way things are—for now.

That doesn’t mean you tolerate everything they do, though. Face it—some people are just about intolerable! People with greater understanding normally and naturally limit their contact with negative-minded people (unless there is a greater purpose for the interaction, such as a lesson to learn or a goal to achieve). This can help these folks decide to examine themselves and reduce their own ignorance so that they become better, too. Nobody likes to be ignored.

One important thing—you can reduce your own ignorance, but not someone else’s. That’s their job! All you can do is help, when you (and they) reach a level of understanding that allows you to help.

When people reduce their ignorance, their children will grow up with less ignorance, too, and the world becomes a little better for the next generation.

Purpose and Meaning

September 28, 2011

All matter in the universe tends to find equilibrium. Hot things cool down to the temperatures around them, substances break down into elements, and gasses spread out until an entire space is filled with them evenly.

Not so with life. Life forms tend to get more complex and diverse over time. This doesn’t appear to make sense in the world of matter! What is it that makes life improve and get more complex over time?

It’s whatever animates a living being, and which dis-animates the body at death. Call it what you want, but you don’t have to believe in it. It’s there! It can’t be measured as part of an experiment, which is why it isn’t in science textbooks. Nevertheless, this thing called Soul is responsible for life.

The purpose of life, in general, is twofold. First, it is the accumulated experience and growth of all life forms—learning—which leads to the second: the development of physical beings in whom this Soul can have full expression.

The qualities of Soul include love, forgiveness, peace, and unity. As the more developed humans progress in understanding, these characteristics will become more and more common.  We can see this “spiritual” development in many people today.

As we understand life more, our individual lives become more meaningful to us. As we learn, we lose our attachments to cherished objects and learn to let go. When we let go, we suddenly find that we just gained everything and that there is meaning wherever we go. We carry it with us.

People who haven’t figured this out yet often choose an arbitrary purpose for their own lives and pursue it. This still gives them some satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment, but it doesn’t compare to the sense of fulfillment that comes with understanding.

Real understanding of your own true purpose is like living with the light on, compared to being in the dark all the time.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

Life and Fire

September 27, 2011
Jesus said, “I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I’m guarding it until it blazes.”  —Gospel of Thomas, 10

People love fire. They cook with it, they dance around it, and they like to just sit around and watch it. Why are people so attracted to fire? The answer is that life and fire are two similar processes. Both processes involve light and matter.

I’ll explain what I mean.

If there were no light, there would be nothing. Every particle in the universe would be motionless, and the temperature would be absolute zero. Absolute zero means no heat. No heat means no motion. No motion means no space-time. No space-time means nothing.

If the last light were to go dim, the universe would no longer exist.

Light might be called “eternal,” since the universe began with light’s warm touch (which implies that light does not originate in the physical universe). Light means heat, and heat means motion. When things move, things happen!

Light gives matter energy to move around and get into different configurations, like carbon atoms and water molecules and amino acids. Light also provides the energy that the right concoction needs to bridge the gap between being and being alive. In a sense, light is life!

Light—the Sun—makes life possible.

Once alive, matter needs light (and other things) to sustain its life. Plants receive light energy from the Sun and store it. When the plants die, their matter still contains light energy, which becomes part of the soil and enriches it for other life to use until the light energy’s release from matter.

If a plant is eaten, its light energy is passed on to an animal, which uses some of the light energy in its own body and passes the rest on as bodily waste. Bodily waste is also useful to fertilize soil, as it is still rich in light energy. When the animal dies, its light energy stays with its body until passed on through digestion, decay, or eventual burning.

Of course, plants can burn, too—even better than animals. This is because their light energy is less diluted with other compounds: it’s more “pure” in plants than in animals. When organic (plant or animal) matter burns, the light energy that entered the original plants is released from matter, back into light:

Light energy + Matter = Organic Matter


Organic Matter – Light energy = Matter

Organic combustion is the separation of light energy and matter. When we watch a fire, we are witnessing the escape of light energy from organic matter. This includes the burning of petroleum products, since petroleum (as a fossil fuel), is formerly organic matter that still retains its light energy. That’s why it can burn so well!

When we watch a fire, we are effectively watching a resurrection, the return of light energy from its temporary entrapment in matter back to its original state of unbounded freedom.

The absence or presence of life in matter parallels the cycle of light energy in organic matter. Light is the visible manifestation of Life in matter, and fire sets light energy free from matter! That’s why light—especially fire and particularly the Sun—captivates us so.

(Written in 2006 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

Why I’m Here

September 26, 2011

Most people don’t have any idea why they’re here, or what they should be doing—and most don’t appear to care about either question. Instead, they spend their time pursuing material things, or pleasure, or being ineffective because of contradictory notions they’ve picked up from other people who also don’t know what they’re doing here or why.

These questions are what I care about most in life, and I’ve spent more time pursuing their answers than I’ve spent doing anything else. As a result, I live a life that is basically free, happy, peaceful, and enjoyable. My relationships with people around me are good and they continue to improve over time.

There is much wrong in the world—much undeveloped potential in people—and every bit of it is because of people’s ignorance about themselves, other people, and their relationship to the world and people around them. People are simply full of wrong beliefs, ideas, opinions, and impressions about life.

I am here to learn what very few people care to learn for themselves, and to share what I know and understand with as many people as I can. Eventually, many people will understand what I and others like me have been trying to tell them and the problems that have plagued the world for eons will begin to disappear.

On Evolution

September 25, 2011

Whether or not any particular theory of evolution is correct, the process of evolution is a fact: everything changes over time. The real questions are how the process works and why.

Evolution is only an issue where religious thinking is popular. Many religious-minded people fear that cultural acceptance of evolution would cause their doctrines about recent, instantaneous creation to crumble—and when one doctrine crumbles, the rest soon follow. (They’re right.)

Is it reasonable to believe that a god created this world only a few thousand years ago, with fossils embedded in rocks well below the earth’s surface, only appearing to be hundreds of millions of years old? I don’t think a Creator would try to fool people with such trickery.

Evolution can be defined as change over time, from simpler to more complex arrangements. It has been happening to living and non-living matter since the beginning of the universe, and it continues as long as the universe exists.

Again, the question isn’t whether it happens, but how and why.

At this point, it’s important to notice something about evolution: when a new species evolves, the species from which it came doesn’t always die out. If that were the case, there would be no other kinds of life except us.  We humans, at the top of Earth’s apparent chain of evolution, would be the only life on the planet—which means that we couldn’t even be here. There would be no ecosystem for us to live in.

It’s also important to recognize that humans are still evolving, and we’re evolving in a way that other life forms on Earth are not. There are still apes and monkeys and lizards and fish around. If a new species eventually springs forth from Homo sapiens, it will live along with Homo sapiens—at least for a while. It will be a step “up” on the evolutionary ladder from current humans. Some human genetic lines will become this new species, and some will remain “only human.” It’s happening even now, but very slowly.

It looks like the “next step up” in human change will be people who are naturally in tune with what we call Spirit or God. Their brains will be as different as ours are from a chimpanzee’s (which isn’t much, but it’s enough), even if they look much the same as Homo sapiens.

Evolution is not a mindless process of change. It is driven by Life itself, and change doesn’t happen instantly—especially biological change. Your body is always a work in progress, and it still serves the functions today that it was developed for in generations past. It’s great for walking barefoot on the earth, reproducing, and grasping all kinds of objects. It’s not so great for running on concrete, sitting in a cubicle for half the day, or digesting highly processed and unnatural foods.

Whatever it is that causes higher life forms to develop from lower life forms also has an end result in mind. Modern humans are closer to it than anything that has ever walked the Earth (as far as we know) and we’re getting closer with each new generation. Life itself is guiding us.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

Why I Will Never Live an Ordinary Life

September 24, 2011

Never will I live an ordinary life, and here’s why:

1) People who live the ordinary life are people in large numbers—the masses. The masses are almost always wrong. Therefore, whatever people in large numbers are doing, it’s wise to first consider doing the opposite.

People tend to simply follow the crowd, and those who lead the crowds very often have their own self-promotion in mind, at the expense of others. This is wrong because you don’t really help yourself when you harm other people. You also don’t help anyone else while harming yourself! I’m not into being harmed while believing that I’m being helped.

2) History has shown me that people in large numbers usually don’t understand or care about the effects that their actions will have on people beyond their own social circle. The idea doesn’t even seem to cross their minds a lot of the time. I love and enjoy the people closest to me, but I also think about people beyond my own time and place.

3) The ordinary life is pre-packaged and sold to the masses by those with the most power to influence them. These influences include politicians, government agencies, the media (including radio, newspaper and TV outlets, as well as book publishers, magazines and movie studios), large corporations, religious institutions, schools and universities, banks, and insurance companies.

The purpose of the ordinary life is to enslave the masses and to further enrich and empower those who already have great wealth and power (mostly folks like politicians and corporate élites). The masses are enslaved by their belief that the ordinary life is the most desirable. It is the most desirable—to those who deliberately enhance their own temporal power and wealth at the expense of the masses. These people, by the way, believe that they deserve this enrichment at the expense of the masses because the masses are too stupid to break free from the ordinary life.

At any rate, the only real power is the power to determine the events and relationships in your own life. You can use that power, once you discover it within yourself, to create a meaningful life for yourself based on your own talents, interests, and abilities.

4) The ordinary life leaves little or no room for real personal growth and enjoyment of life. Work and other “responsibilities” consume our time, and we use up our creative energy maintaining and repairing the things we own (or which own us). In short, it’s boring, demanding, and stressful. I refuse to spend the bulk of my life doing what other people want me to do because I know better than they do.

5) In the ordinary life, real living is only experienced in occasional moments, in the breaks between “responsibilities.” After these moments we sigh and say, “Now it’s time to get back to work.” We spend most of our time doing what we don’t like, so we can have things we don’t need, and spend our vacations pretending that they are the reward for hard work.

Yet a life is possible where the things we don’t like are only an occasional interruption to our satisfying real life.

The ordinary life, though, isn’t a material thing. It’s a mindset, just as the Good Life is a mindset. It’s possible to live an outwardly ordinary life, even while living a rich, rewarding, exemplary inner life. You can live an extraordinary life among ordinary people. You can shine while bagging groceries or answering the phone or wiping the baby’s nose. It’s all up to you and what you do with yourself.

Eventually, your wonderful inner life will leak out into your ordinary outer life. That’s when sparks start to fly, the machine grinds to a halt, and you can finally let go of the controls. You don’t need them anyway.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 21, 2016.)

Finding the Real God

September 23, 2011

If you really seek God, it’s up to you to search. God rewards those who persistently seek truth. If you persist in your search, you will find other people helping you along the way and circumstances will line up to lead you to the next step on your path.

God isn’t a dog that comes when called. God is an essential part of you that you have to uncover by clearing away all the garbage in your life that obscures your vision of God and truth.

A good first step in finding God is simply stopping and looking around. Everything here is for your benefit!

What’s blocking your view of God? Problems.

Get rid of them and see what’s left. Your problems, remember, are yours. You created them in some way, and it’s up to you to solve them. Solving them is an effective way to see (God) more clearly.

How do we know what problems to solve? Anything we value more than understanding blocks our view.

God is Love. There is no fear in Love. When you find the true God, your fears will stop dominating your thoughts and you will be free. God is in you and all around you. Look!

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

Religious Morality

September 22, 2011

Is belief in a judging or punishing god necessary for people to act morally?

If you behave because of the threat of punishment in the afterlife, then yes, you need a god—or some other being outside yourself—to make the threats that reinforce your morality in this life. Indeed, the rest of us also need you to have this being, if only to protect us from your lack of morality.

But if you behave because of the good that’s already in you and which you see in others, no god is required for you to be moral.

Goodness is its own reward for you.

Many religious people, especially those of a fundamentalist bent (like I used to be years ago), would have poor morals if they didn’t fear a punishing god. They’re attracted subconsciously to the idea of such a god, which is perhaps one reason why as adults they choose to believe in it.

These folks need that fear of punishment to keep them from hurting other people. You can see this tendency expressed in their zeal to condemn others, even if it’s disguised as enthusiasm for their own cause.

If a supernatural being identifying itself as “God” appeared to me and said that raping is good and killing is okay on Sundays, I would recognize that being as not God. Some people would immediately feel free to do these things, though, because (believing the being to be the “real” God) they would no longer fear afterlife punishment as a consequence.

As with any large group, not all religious-minded people are as I described here. Many of them would continue to be moral people—even without the threat of afterlife punishment—because they already have good in them.

This is perhaps one reason why as adults they choose to believe their religion’s strong moral teachings.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

On Believing Religious Writings

September 21, 2011

To believe something is to accept it uncritically—without having direct knowledge of it through your own experience. Religions are generally based on the uncritical acceptance of written doctrines and scriptures.

As such, religious leaders don’t typically permit believers to question the origin or truthfulness of the religion’s writings. If that happened, believers would leave the religions—and religious leaders would lose their paychecks.

Religious leaders’ income depends on the continued acceptance of certain beliefs among their followers.

Religious believers defend their beliefs because they are afraid to admit being wrong. That would mean a complete change in lifestyle on top of being wrong. Anyone with strong beliefs is the same, whether religious or not.

The way out of religious-minded thinking is to replace beliefs with direct knowledge and experience of life. Lots of people have done this, and anyone who really wants this experience can have it. It can be a long road, depending on what wrong beliefs you have now.

All religions teach something good (no matter how tiny that thing might be), and they all have something bad about them, too. Still, there is such a thing as following your own path, using gems from different religious systems to help guide your way. Most people don’t do this, though, because they believe they can’t.

Instead, they accept the religion of their family or community and just go along with whatever the religious leaders and writings tell them. (This is how suicide bombers are made, by the way.)

For more spiritually mature people who have gotten tired of asking questions and not getting answers, looking inward and following your own path is often a more attractive option. It’s a lonely road sometimes, but nothing is more rewarding.

The way to start on your own path of understanding (not belief) is to think and act with extreme honesty and an open mind. The rest is almost automatic. This works because life functions in a certain way, no matter what religious writings say about it.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

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