Existence and Non-Existence

December 3, 2011

I’ve written about an “ideal end-state” of the evolution of Life, which we seem to be moving toward.  This end-state seems to be the perfection, through evolution, of an organism in which the qualities of Spirit can be expressed naturally, as a self-existent quality of that future being.

We see evidence of this idea in the trend of the development of matter and life, which has brought forth ever-increasingly complex and intelligent forms, culminating in modern human beings, who are the present peak of the evolutionary mountain.

Along the way, life has been brutal, blissful, boring, bleak, and beautiful. We, as humans, feel all these states in our lives, if we live long enough and experience a wide enough variety. (Don’t ask “of what?” Instead, ponder that last phrase for a minute.)

Most of us strive to feel the blissful and beautiful as much as possible, when we are able to feel or at least imagine those feelings. Many of us are unable even to imagine them when we are in the midst of brutal, boring, or bleak experiences. In the end, these feelings (and the multitude of others) are all that really matter in life, for they determine our choices and decisions.

In the best of circumstances, they light within us a spark that drives us to improve our state of being. At other times, we fall into the turmoil of the bleak or brutal present and stay there, sometimes for a long time. Every feeling or state feels eternal while we are in it.

Sometimes it can seem better not to exist at all, rather than to have to endure excruciating present circumstances. After all, life continues whether it brings us brutal or blissful events. In those times that we wish we did not exist or have to endure, we seek relief, as we always do when we feel negative. This is the realm of suicide (an attempt to end consciousness and therefore pain), chemical abuse (an attempt to reduce consciousness and therefore pain), and violence (an attempt to destroy externalized pain).

Life, though, continues to exist even beyond the physical. My own experience has hinted at this idea over and over again, enough that I accept it as fact and not hyperbole. I don’t know what existence we encounter after we die, but I feel that it’s related to the life we live here in the physical.

So, if I’m correct, non-existence isn’t even an option. Despite the pain, misery, unfairness, and brutality that we encounter and are forced (by being alive) to endure, to exit the game is only to continue the game on some other level—and, like Hamlet asked, “in that sleep of death who knows what dreams may come?”

“To be or not to be” is not the question. “Not to be” isn’t even possible—if I’m correct. Therefore, we must endure. In the cycle of life, with the variety of possible experience that lies before us, brutality and bleakness cannot endure forever. When death does not grant us possible reprieve from our misery (or, perhaps, only a continuation on some unknown level of the misery we’re trying to escape), the Divine spark within can light a fire that brings us again to bliss and beauty.

That Divine spark is the reason why we cannot un-exist. If this is true, then everything must happen for a reason, and the Divine Itself must be the guide of all our experiences, whether we want them or not, whether we know it or not. It might be a good idea, then, to try to understand what the Divine wants in this life—for us individually, as well as the world in its totality.

Because we cannot escape existence.

You Are a Porthole

October 20, 2011

Imagine an enormous cruise ship. You could land an airliner on it if it had a runway. It could have its own public transportation system. It wouldn’t fit through the Panama Canal. An Arab sheik would look at it and say, “That’s too much ship for me!”

All around the ship’s hull, like billions of reflective eyes, are row upon row of glass portholes that provide a view from the innards of the ship to the outside world. This ship has a name: the U.S.S. Universe. It has a single occupant: Captain Consciousness. And it has these billions of portholes all around it.

You might ask, “Where do I fit in this scenario?”

You are one of those portholes.

The glass in that portholes is your individual being—the flesh, the body that houses the Life within—an integral part of the living Universe, just as the porthole is part of the ship! This is the “you” that has a name and hair color and family members.  It’s the temporary you, the “Earth you.”  It is the Earth’s contribution (via your ancestors) to the miracle that is your life, here and NOW.

Captain Consciousness sees and experiences the world “outside” by looking and experiencing through the portholes—in this case, through you.  That Consciousness is your True Self.

There is also a “fake you” that inhibits the view of Consciousness as It looks outward through the porthole glass (you).  This is the “ego” or false self that most human beings mistake for their “real” selves.  In our scenario of the massive ship, the “fake you” is a smudge on the glass.  It might even be a thick layer of dark, sticky gunk covering most of the glass.

If you direct your attention outward, you see through your false self. If you direct your attention inward, you see into your True Self.  This is a simple and easy way to remember who “you” are…and that’s one of the main purposes of your life here on Earth.

Scratching an Itch: Conscious vs. Unconscious Learning

October 12, 2011

When some part of your body starts to itch, you have two choices: you can wait for the itch to stop, or you can scratch it. Life is like this. In every moment, you are faced with two choices: wait for your itch to stop, or scratch it.

What is the itch I’m talking about? You tell me. It’s the thing that nags you as you try to go to sleep at night. It’s what makes you feel anxious when you think about the future. It’s whatever is keeping you from feeling good at any given moment.

I’ll put another way. We’re all here ultimately for the purpose of learning and using what we’ve learned through our life experiences to improve ourselves (and thus the world) in some way. We’re going to learn, and we’re going to get better—eventually. Since you’re here to learn, you have two choices: the unconscious way of learning, or the conscious way of learning. Either way will get you there, but one is much easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

The unconscious way of learning is the hard way. It’s trial and error. If you choose to learn this way, you will learn your lessons directly but slowly, because you’ll only be using your five senses to interpret physical events that happen to you. This is probably the way you’re used to learning because it’s the way learning is taught at this time in history, and in America we were nearly all taught that way. It’s the way of science, skepticism, and nihilism.

The conscious way, on the other hand, is much easier. It’s the fast track. Learning this way means learning to use your “sixth sense,” your intuition, or your “voice of God” inside. You’ll be open to a Source of information and insight beyond what you can see/hear/smell/taste/touch. You’ll be able to receive guidance and make decisions based on an Intelligence higher than the one you’re used to using. This is the way of the Spirit, enlightenment, and possibility.

When you choose to trust the Universe, or God, or whatever you wish to call it (and it doesn’t matter what you call it), to teach you the lessons you need to learn in life, you invite a power beyond yourself to assist you. You will notice people and events coming together in situations that give you the opportunity to try out your newfound power of choice. You will see how lessons are repeated if you don’t learn them—and how they’re repeated over and over again until you “get it right”—just like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day.

Don’t think this power is only for you or your church or your countrymen. Every human has access to the Divine mind and will. You just have to want it and pursue it with patient determination and passion until you reach It. That’s how you scratch your “itch.”

Life and Death

October 8, 2011

In a way, life is only an interruption of the state of being that we call “death.” Living bodies are animated by Consciousness while they are alive, and at death that Consciousness continues without the body. A similar thing happens in our dreams: we are conscious, we interact with other people in an environment, and we think it’s completely real while we’re “there.”

My view of death is that, when you die, your spirit (with your memory of experiences from this life) will be rejoined with itself. The spirit that animates your present body is the same essence as the Spirit that animates all life. At death, this Spirit is released from the vantage point of your body, which it occupies in order to live and interact with other life (meaning “with itself in other disguises”).

At some point, you (as spirit) will rejoin everyone and everything else, and you (as a currently diminished form of the Universal Spirit yourself) will share in all the experiences that have ever been had. (From the viewpoint of Spirit, this is a current event and ongoing process, always occurring NOW, while all forms of Itself live in the space-time world of flesh.)

If you live in the flesh again, it will be without memory of the experiences you had in this life, just as you now have no memory of any “previous” life before your birth. Your character, nevertheless, will be changed—improved—because of what you’ve learned from all your experiences, in whatever form you lived.

At death, you don’t really “go” anywhere. You change. You’re released from limited perception and limited understanding. I see death as just like waking up from a dream. When you “wake up” (die), you realize the unreality of the experience you just had, even though you remember that it seemed real and you still carry the understanding you gained from the experience.

Imagine an ocean, with lots of little waves on top of it. Now imagine not being able to see anything below the top half of each wave. You would see a lot of separate little waves, but nothing between them or connecting them. Life is like that. We only see the waves now, but there’s an entire ocean outside our limited view, and we are a part of that ocean. We are waves.

Does the wave continue when it drops below that line? Yes, but not as a wave. It partakes in the entire ocean.

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.)

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