We Are Divine, We Are Animals

“What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats—and they in turn can listen to ours.” – Henning Mankell, author of the Wallander mysteries.

Whatever you believe or don’t believe, we are different from animals. To deny that is to deny the history and evolution of civilization.

Whether it’s self-awareness, our ability to feel wonder and awe, our capacity for politics and religion and philosophy, our advanced technology, our (differing but nevertheless existing) moral laws, or the fact we have language and written words to understand it all, something superior is there. If nothing else, our capacity to question and understand meaning at all is proof enough that we are a higher creature. Animals are not asking this question because they cannot.

Our superiority does not give us permission to oppress the rest of creation. We are not supposed to use the world to the point of destruction, but take care of it, help it along its evolutionary path.

When we deny our divinity, we are just like the animals. No spirit, no destination, just living day to day trying to survive with no purpose other than to do so. It is a circular, bland life. Animals cannot be stewards of the earth. Their minds are not like ours, their will is focused on survival and they cannot evolve beyond that. Our humanity gave us the technology to build habitats safe from external threats, so we could evolve our minds and cultivate the seed of spirit that dwelled within our ancient ancestors. That spirit spark is what allowed evolution to this point, when we now have full spirit recognition and actualization.

Humans have goals because we see our lives as linear, going towards a destination. Why? Because we are. We are divine animals on a path to becoming fully divine – yet not gods. Our end is to transubstantiate the animal into divinity, so that we can be divine spirits in divine physical form, akin to Christ’s physical manifestation. Death is a necessary step in this path to becoming, when we shed the earthly animal in exchange for the purified version in the new kingdom yet to come. We live as spirits in Heaven until that day, learning more than we ever could on earth.

Many people reject and deny this. It feels easier to be lethargic and uncaring, to live day to day using society rather than contributing to it. But living this way devolves the human back into a simple animal, nothing more than a predator on the food chain (or herbivore if you prefer).

There are those who are comfortable believing this, because how can we be “superior” to animals given our tendency to be malicious and cruel? Isn’t the innocence of an animal far superior to what we as humans have become with our greed, bigotry, and pollution of our mother earth? How can we be anything more than advanced tool-makers/users?

It sounds terrible, but the fact that we can be malicious for the sake of being malicious proves that we are advanced. Animals do not have the capacity in their minds to be evil. However vicious an animal becomes, it is due to environmental factors that have conditioned it to see every living thing around it as a threat to its life (or as food). Animals cannot make a conscious choice. They are not self-aware to the extent that we are. They recognize they are alive and do what they can to stay that way, and they recognize individuals of their species to interact with, but anything beyond that (e.g. gender identity, spirituality, meaning of life, artistic ingenuity) is beyond their scope.

Another perception is that we cannot be superior because, unlike animals, we cannot survive in the natural elements. But the thing is, we don’t need to. We have adapted to a sheltered existence because we were able to create one. Animals have fur to survive the cold, yes, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy ice storms. They survive extremes, but nothing can thrive in those extremes. Bears find caves, humans create our caves. And air condition them, and run electricity through them, and establish artificial light sources in them. We survive because of our advanced ability to make tools.

The question becomes not if, but why. Why are we in this position of self-awareness with the ability to reason and create? Why, if you hold to the evolutionary theory of creation, has no other species evolved side by side with us to the same extent? At most, some animals have a complex communication system and a hierarchy of leadership, but that is where it ends.

My answer is our divinity within. If God is the mind of the universe, we are the millions of organs and blood cells keeping the body living.

We are more and we can do more. The special “uniqueness” so many people crave is something we already have as humans. Animals share the same abilities within their species to survive. Humans, however, have predilections for certain talents. Some of us can sing; some of us can draw so well it looks like a photograph; some of us are gifted with words; others are gifted with their hands and mechanics; others can grasp deep philosophical concepts; while still others are at ease with the law or medicine. Some of us have multiple talents while some are good at one specific thing.

We need to realize what it means to be human. Not an animal, not a god, but a bit of both, in everyday life and in our goals. Even a simple act like raising children to adulthood is uniquely human. Animals produce offspring. Some, such as the elephant, raise them to adulthood. But humans alone possess the knowledge that gods produce, and teach it to the next generation.

We are holy, sacred, consecrated, divine animals.

I want to quote what I said in Why I Cannot Support Atheism:

Man is both an evolved ape-man and a separate creature. To protect and have compassion for creation, we must be a part of creation. All sentient beings have eyes, are able to eat, having beating hearts, are able to breathe. We are designed to recognize this in order to connect with them.

 

Why are our brains so highly functioning, while other animals do not have such capabilities? Why did our weak, fleshly husks become the dominant species (ahead of lions, tigers, wolves, and other large predators)?

 

We are the result of intelligent design via evolution.

 

The result of evolution shows us that we are the chosen creatures of God, to be like him, to grow as his children into sub-creators with him. The process of our evolution shows that in this mortal realm, we are as animals: both to show compassion and protection for them, and to recognize that we are not purely divine. Only God is divine.

 

Everything we are that is higher than animals is for the purpose of creation beyond procreation. Everything except the knowledge of death, and that, too, is meant to keep us humble in the knowledge that we are God’s children, not God itself.

Postscript: I am conflicted as to why, with all the evil he is experiencing through us, He doesn’t just end it and start over. The only answer I see is that He won’t commit suicide after forbidding his people from doing it. Self-destruction is counterintuitive to His plan. Which, post-Messiah, I couldn’t begin to understand. He could create another body, but He obeys the laws he put into place – He must wait for the body to die of natural aging and then rebirth into something new. Hence, supernovas and new stars emerging.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

(Art: “Urania and Calliope” by Vouet)

 

The Philosopher’s Diamond

Better known as the Star of David, the Philosopher’s Diamond is an important symbol of the Jewish faith. Since I’m not Jewish, I didn’t think it applied to me, and I never took time to research the symbolism. I stumbled upon its meaning recently, though, and it doesn’t just apply, it enhances my comprehension of the relationship of God and His creation.

Christianity grew out of Judaism, and I (now) believe it is important to know not only the history described in the Old Testament, but the esoteric symbolism of the “old faith.” Understanding the meaning of the Philosopher’s Diamond has inspired me to investigate the Hebrew language as well, for I also learned that it contains fewer words than English, and therefore, each word has multiple meanings. English translations of the Bible may not be entirely accurate because of this. The best English Bible that addresses this issue is the Amplified Bible, which includes other word translations side-by-side within the text.

For example:

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to (limited to, consistent with) their kind: livestock, crawling things, and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds”; and it was so [because He had spoken them into creation]. 25 So God made the wild animals of the earth according to their kind, and the cattle according to their kind, and everything that creeps and crawls on the earth according to its kind; and God saw that it was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it.

 

26 Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.

 

– Genesis 1:24-26

 

So what is this symbolism?

While each of the seven “wings” of the star symbolize something different, I want to focus on the idea that there are two triangles intertwined, and what that means. For the detailed Jewish symbolism, follow this link: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/788679/jewish/What-Is-the-Mystical-Significance-of-the-Star-of-David.htm.

To clarify, I found this “epiphany” in a book called Numerology and the Divine Triangle (both topics I will be exploring over the coming weeks). Since I recognized the symbol of the Philosopher’s Diamond as the Star of David, I did some research to verify that the symbolism discussed in this book is the same as, or at least very similar to, the Jewish meaning. I found that it is.

Chapter 3, “God Geometrizes” begins with a discussion of simple shapes.

The circle:

The circle represents the Godhead, all that was, is, and ever shall be; spirit, the I Am; love because it encompasses, enfolds and contains; balance, because however you turn it, it maintains its shape; and justice, because it is in a state of perfect balance…A circle has no beginning and no end; it is infinite and endless. …It symbolizes eternity and the immortality of the soul. This is seen through the laws of nature and cyclicity. Planets revolve around the sun; nature repeats itself in cycles…

The vertical line:

The upright vertical line symbolically represents spirit descending into matter, or energy leaving the Godhead. It has masculine qualities; it is outgoing, dynamic, energetic, fiery, upright and commanding.

The horizontal line:

It represents the soul energy, the feminine, the receptive and absorptive qualities of mother earth. This line is an ancient symbol for matter and the material world.

The triangle:

The triangle is the first closed form that can be made with single lines. It represents the Trinity, Father-Son-Holy Ghost, father-mother-God, father-mother-child, spirit-soul-mind, super-conscious, subconscious, conscious.

Now on to the symbol at hand:

In the two interlaced triangles, the Philosopher’s Diamond or the Star of David, geometry captures the axiom, “As above, so below.”

 

We are made in the image of God. The upper triangle of the Philosopher’s Diamond is the father-mother-god which is reflected in the lower inverted triangle, father-mother-child. The upper triangle is the world of spirit, and the lower triangle is the world of matter. The Godhead from above is reflected in the material world below; therefore, what we see in the material world is merely a reflection of the truth. It is as if we are gazing into the depths of a cool forest pool, thinking the images we see are the only truth, although these images may be distorted by the wind rippling the surface of the water. We in the material body are merely observers of the shadows cast upon the walls of Plato’s cave. We live in a world of illusion and view things upside down.

 

Geometry validates the theory that we see only half the truth. …Each of the triangles has only one hundred eighty degrees, or half the degrees of a circle or square. As we have shown, a circle contains all truth and wisdom, it is the Godhead. But in the triangle, we only have half the truth. By adding these two triangles together, or one hundred eighty plus one hundred eighty, we arrive at three hundred sixty degrees, or all the truth. Symbolically situated in the lower inverted triangle, we must look to the spirit in the upper triangle to find all the truth, else we remain in a shadow land where the ill winds ripple our images and distort our vision of the truth.

From here the text analyzes the joining of the triangles into a square, what the square symbolizes, and how the Divine Triangle comes into existence, including what it means and how you can use it. I will get into those subjects next week.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

Source: Javane, Faith and Dusty Bunker. “Chapter 3: God Geometrizes.” Numerology and The Divine Triangle. 1979. pp. 44-45.

Were We “Dei-ites”?

Time for something a bit more fantastical (and possibly a bit more heretical).

I was thinking one night about the appeal of magic. The Bible speaks against it because such power is offered by the devil in order to capture a person’s soul and keep it from God. Our free will allows us to fall into this trap, and once we’re in it, it’s nearly impossible to get out. We’ve literally sold our soul to the devil in exchange for power.

But that’s not the magic that appeals to me. There’s healing magic, earthen (“white”) magic, which has no power-hungry element, but is merely about using the earth to enhance our connection to it and to one another. I do not think God sees this as evil.

So, I thought, perhaps we originally had inherent magical ability that is now blocked by sin.

Taking Isaiah, Revelation, and John Milton’s fictionalized fall of Lucifer (Paradise Lost) into account, Christians recognize that Satan was threatened by our creation. But why would God loving us more really matter to an angel? Angels have little to no free will, so jealousy shouldn’t come into play. (That is, unless God diminished their free will after Lucifer’s rebellion. But that’s another post for another day.) However, our creation changed the purpose of their existence from one of service to God to one of service to Humanity on behalf of God. Satan, using the little free will allowed to him, refused to change. Therefore, the first perversion of love was jealousy.

But I digress.

Why do angels need to serve us? Why does the Bible tell us that man will be higher than the angels in the New Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:3 says we will judge them; this must mean they do have some free will, otherwise there would be nothing to judge them for), and that we are only “a little lower” than them now (Hebrews 2:7), despite our sin nature?

Perhaps the reason angels must serve us is we are meant to be more powerful than they are. We are God-children, “dei-ites” (not demi-gods—we are not gods, but a different, special, race created by Him to be called His children, unlike angels who are essence-extensions, not fully in His image), created to create even more universes by His guidance. But we lost that ability when we fell for Satan’s temptation of lies.

Eve and Adam thought they weren’t powerful enough, that their Father was holding back their powers. Then sin removed them completely.

Notice that before sin, humans could be nude without being vulnerable to pain (e.g., mosquito bites, cutting their feet on stones). They interacted with the animals without fear or violence from either side. I might as well theorize that they could communicate.

Anger, violence, and fear are outcomes from sin and are retardations to the deiite* mind. We can only use magic with love, peace, and obedience to the light. True, creation magic – from God – is sourced in love (loyalty and gentleness).

Satan offers magic, but it’s not real. They’re illusory curses meant to manipulate and corrupt.

We no longer have access to creation magic because of our fallenness, and we won’t regain it until the New Kingdom. So “higher-self attainment,” while a noble endeavor, is not possible in this life, although some come close (see Dalai Lama, certain saints). We only have small bursts of creation magic seen in healing and art, especially music, which God provides as hope.

Do with this theory what you will. I have absolutely no theological or scientific evidence for it. It’s just a personal idea that I decided to cultivate and share.

Our position relative to angels:

http://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/are-we-equal-lower-or-higher-than-the-angels/

*I created the term “deiite” to differentiate from “demi-god,” in order to maintain that we are “children” of God, but not gods or half-gods. I wanted a term related to “deism,” “deity,” and “dei” (“of God”) and implied an offshoot, but not literal re-production.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

(Art: St. Francis of Assisi, artist unknown)

I Hate “Blind Faith”

I am so frustrated with atheists who claim Christians “blindly” follow the “invented” instructions of their “invisible friend in the sky” without their own “moral consciousness.”

First of all, I have studied my religion for many years, and explored others, to validate that I am correct in what I believe. My faith was a choice; I was not indoctrinated or brainwashed.

Second of all, where does “moral consciousness” come from? People didn’t just invent morality, otherwise anything would be permissible. There is a reason murder and rape are always cringe-worthy. Morality comes from the personal Supreme Engineer, whether you want to call Him Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu, whatever. There is a creative, divine design behind this ordered chaos. I have thought deeply about this.

(“Personal” in reference to God means He has a personality and that He is a knowable individual, not some “cosmic force.” While it can mean that He cares and wants a relationship with each individual He created, in context it does not mean this. It took me a long time to comprehend that, what with my Christian upbringing telling me, “Jesus is a personal God and wants a relationship with you.” I don’t mind understanding God as a cosmic force, however, since He is GOD and can be whoever, whatever, whenever. I believe He can be both personal and impersonal, depending on the context of manifestation.)

I have no problem with studying science as God’s method of creation and maintenance. I read a comment online in response to someone with a similar viewpoint, asking, “Why do you still call [the unknown before the “Big Bang”] God, if you aren’t really a Christian?” The writer didn’t imply that he wasn’t a Christian (only that a 2,000 year old book wasn’t the only source of knowledge about our Creator), but that aside—

Oh, I don’t know, because GOD isn’t confined by religious definitions? Because God is the term ascribed to the Supreme Being, regardless of dogma?

Excuse my biting tone.

Atheists are so concerned with pointing out believers’ ignorance that they forget to hide their own.

I’m not saying “blind faith” isn’t a thing. There are plenty of Christians I’ve known that never question or try to understand anything beyond the words ancient Hebrews put to paper, and they believe to do so is blasphemous. These believers, who see science as a threat and explain it away by claiming it is another “belief system” that exists on theory alone, are destroying our credibility. They are the reason we are seen as uneducated, unable to spell properly, and only capable of circular reasoning by quoting Scripture and nothing else. I do not understand why Christians think Scripture alone will sway the opinions of nonbelievers who see the Bible as a long book of fiction anyway.

I was up late last night looking for videos that explain how science and religion coexist. I will link a few below. Mind you, some are half an hour in length, but there are many good points if you have the time to watch. (If you are a Christian or other believer with an open mind, I recommend avoiding the videos’ comments sections – most of them are angry atheists who don’t want to entertain the idea that God is behind science, and they are there simply to troll and spew their misconceptions of Christianity.)

A five-minute video explaining how the beginning of the universe is evidence of God:

 

A five-minute video that entertains God but focuses on the science:

 

A half-hour program exploring different areas of science that support God:

 

Another half-hour program on how the universe, specifically our Solar System, exists the way it does for Earth’s benefit:

One comment from this last video I do want to address briefly is, “Why is fine-tuning called for, in any case? An all-powerful “deity” would be able to create life regardless of conditions, wouldn’t it? (In fact life’s existence, despite conditions that were absolutely inimical to it, would be some pretty powerful evidence for a Creator!) If you say fine-tuning is required, then you’re saying this “god” is bound by the physical laws of the universe–doesn’t sound very omnipotent to me!”

Well, God is the physical laws of the universe – He created them. He is not bound by them so much as they are bound by Him. Now, why didn’t He just create Earth in a perfect utopia without the need for buffers from asteroids, among other things? The video does not address this, but we know it is because of evil. Whether it is evil within Him or an external adversary, this inhibits Creative energy to a degree. God invented laws so He may follow them and “evil” cannot interfere. Even “evil” is bound by physics.

In another blogger’s words (Biblically-based):

http://wideawakechristian.blogspot.com/2013/10/blind-faith-stupid-faith.html

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

The Afterlife — Is Hell Real?

I don’t make a habit of studying evil. By its very nature, it is not a pleasant subject. But the truth is, it is part of the human dichotomy and has played a role in our history since the original decision to disobey.

I struggle with the question of whether “evil” is simply disobedience of our Creator, or if there is a demonic influence over this universal body like a cancer. Observing the cold-blooded, sadistic murders in the news certainly implies the latter. The Bible does mention “The Adversary.” But even so, did God not create everything? Is He not God of all? Does this mean He created His own enemy? Is He really that bored?

There are three possibilities I consider whenever I think about this:

  • God and the devil have always existed in tandem (Heaven and Hell have always existed concurrently), or Milton was right and the devil is Lucifer, a fallen angel that became Satan, the king of Hell – which came into existence as a result of his fall. God’s creation of the world was a way to get inhabitants for His Kingdom / souls for His army, although some choose to suffer alongside Satan through blatant rejection and disobedience. Hell is an alternate dimension like Heaven, but farther removed, having no connection to the universal body other than an entrance for demonic cancer to form and spread.

Within the body metaphor, angels are neurotransmitters and the nervous system. They have a very limited free will that allows them to intercede with humanity on God’s behalf. Angelic disobedience is like a brain malfunction that causes a disorder (e.g.  “Universal Tourette’s,” “Universal Schizophrenia”).

The first disobedience was not Adam and Eve, but Satan – that’s why Adam and Eve could not only choose to disobey, but choose to be evil (see Cain). The fall of “Lucifer” is what created the universal cancer/disorder. Note that Adam and Eve did not sin until Satan tempted them, after he fell for refusing to serve them.

As long as some people choose Evil, God’s kingdom cannot come. As long as some people choose Good, God won’t destroy the earth (“cleanse” evil from the earth).

With this possibility, the conclusion is that we must destroy ourselves, or become enlightened, before God can introduce the New Kingdom.

  • There is no Hell, merely nonexistence. Evil people who mock God and do immoral things without remorse are eliminated when they die. In other words, there is either a paradisiacal afterlife or an erasure of the soul and self-awareness, as if you never existed. This is exactly what atheists expect, so in a way, it’s “just deserts.”
  • God created the devil or is Himself both Good and Evil. Free will is His final touch on making us in His image. We have the ability to choose evil because He does. He, too, wrestles with this dichotomy, but Good reigns (Creation is the culmination of Good incarnate). God recognizes that the Evil side is “the adversary.” Perhaps it is an element of Himself that He will eventually destroy.

Whether there is a Hell or nonexistence with this possibility is debatable. If Heaven is God’s mind, Hell is (forgive my crassness) His bowels.  Nonexistence is more likely if His end goal is to destroy evil.

Perhaps we were created so He can experience suffering at the hands of those who choose evil, and surround Himself with Good in Heaven. Perhaps Jesus was sent to experience ultimate suffering in order to destroy the evil in Himself, and therefore free us from being imprisoned by that evil. Perhaps His temptation in the desert was a dissociative identity episode – He was debating with the evil side of Himself, asking Himself whether He really wanted to suffer in order for Good to win out, or whether it would be better to give in to the fleeting power and “happiness” evil could provide.

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The majority of Christians believe the first possibility (excepting the body metaphor, which is my own way of understanding panentheism and how the universe and spiritual realm function together) because it is what the Church teaches, despite not being one hundred percent Biblically-based. A lot of what we think we know about the devil actually comes from John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Inferno.

I’d like to believe the second possibility, only because there is so much suffering in this life. I can’t stand to think there exists such a place of eternal suffering, even if only the worst of the worst go there. Nonexistence is a better way, besides, because why permit evil to go on existing? Is it not better for the universe, and for God, to destroy evil completely? Why banish it to a place where it can fester and exacerbate? But if this possibility of nonexistence is true, then the third possibility must also be true, because otherwise, where does evil come from? If there are no demons or devil, why does evil still remain a choice? The idea that God is both good and evil is hard for me to accept. I hate to think He not only allows, but ordains, oppression and suffering, but it would be foolish of me to dismiss it simply because I don’t like it.

I can’t say which possibility is the correct one. I don’t know. No one does. I find myself believing each one at different times. It is difficult to consider the nature of eternal suffering – none of us want to experience it, and we hope and pray we can be good enough to not find out what it’s like. What I do know is that no one is “good enough” to go straight to Heaven. We all disobey at some level, and do so repeatedly. The truth is we deserve to suffer. That is the wonderful miracle of Jesus – even if He is both good and evil, the good won out. He defeated evil by sacrificing Himself for our sakes; His resurrection is a precursor to the end, when God’s Goodness will triumph over Evil.

No matter what we do, we have the choice through Christ to destroy our own evil and focus on spending an eternity in God’s mind, Heaven, a place of eternal creation and perfect health.

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Supporting arguments for the Third Possibility:

https://perfectchaos.org/2015/08/01/the-devil-doesnt-exist/  (I recommend looking up the Bible verses referenced both in this blog and in the comments.)

https://perfectchaos.org/2012/03/25/morality-and-god/ (Very interesting comments section here as well; I recommend reading through it.)

https://perfectchaos.org/2016/07/24/gods-sovereignty-in-scripture/ (Yes, this is the third link for the same blogger – what can I say, he has some good points. Here he outlines some Bible verses that support God’s control over all good and evil.)

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Bible verses describing Hell (Most describe a fiery lake or blazing furnace, or reference the “realm of the dead” and everlasting destruction – these could be describing a real place. Or, they could be metaphors for the painful process of becoming eternally separate from God – or nonexistent.):

http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/hell-bible-verses/

2 Thessalonians 1:9 in particular supports the nonexistence possibility. Any reference to a “second death” by way of the “lake of fire” could be speaking of the process of the soul being erased.

…Matthew 25:41, 2 Peter 2:4, and Revelation 12:7 support the first possibility of Lucifer’s fall, however.

 

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

The Afterlife — Where Is Heaven?

This is where Panentheism and the Body Metaphor falls apart.

If God is the “mind” and the universe is His “body,” where (or what?) is Heaven?

The paradox that God is both within and without the universe has to play a part here.

If God is the “mind,” then wherever He exists as such would be Heaven.

The idea that we sentient beings are the red blood cells of the universal body doesn’t make sense if this is true -– blood cells don’t “die” and go to the brain when they do. The problem here is with my metaphor and not with God’s manifestation.

Moving beyond my imperfect metaphor, how then do we understand Heaven? Ancient cultures believed the sun was god and that the afterlife was out beyond the sky. They didn’t have the technology to know what we know about space.

Yet we continue to look up.

The only way to understand the concept of Heaven is to accept the idea of an alternate dimension.

I’m not talking about parallel universes or the multiverse, which is something I can barely wrap my head around. This is reality, this is my only life, this is my soul. There cannot be billions of versions of everyone’s souls in alternate universes based on every possible decision they could have made, side by side with all the possible decisions everyone else could have made. (Whew.) While an interesting concept to ruminate over, it doesn’t make logical sense. (However, I welcome comments explaining the multiverse theory. I might consider it if I understood it better.)

Although string theory certainly tries in earnest to make the concept of the multiverse real, the truth is we cannot, in our physical bodies, experience beyond our three dimensions (height, width, depth), possibly four if we include time.

An alternative phrase for what I want to describe is “higher plane.”

I read a work of science fiction once that explained a second dimension as existing “in the spaces between atoms.” While I have no evidence this is possible, I can see how it might be. Heaven is all around us, perhaps, but in our corporeal form we cannot access it. We must wait until our souls leave our bodies to “pass through” and find the True Reality of God’s Kingdom where we are surrounded by Him. There, everything is made of His Spirit, without corruption’s interference.

C. S. Lewis had a brilliant conceptualization of what Heaven is compared to earth, which explains the higher plane much more articulately than I can. Dr. Charlie W. Starr writes:

We think of spiritual creatures (saints in heaven or angels or even God) as airy beings with no solidity like us. Lewis says we should think the other way around. We are ghosts and shadows and our world but a cheap copy of the heavenly one to come, like a landscape painting compared to the real place. In The Last Battle, the friends of Narnia enter into heaven only to find that it’s a new Narnia, like the old one, only bigger, but not really bigger—better to say, fuller, more complete. As one of them puts it, it’s “More like the real thing” (210). And because it’s more real than our world, everything in it means so much more than things do here. If you’ve ever had an experience so wonderful that it made you think, “This is how things ought to be in real life,” maybe you’ve experienced a taste of heaven, a place compared to which, Lewis says, our own world is just “shadowlands.”

Perhaps we are the ones in the spaces between the atoms of Heaven, in a temporary dimensional plane that God will erase one day as the Heavenly world evolves into the only one, once Satan is defeated.

This brings us to the question:

Where is Hell?

Is Hell even real? Returning to the body metaphor, if Hell isn’t real and Satan is the body’s cancer, where did he come from? If Satan isn’t real, why does free will provide evil as a choice? Does this make God both good and evil to provide us these options?

I will explore this in depth next week.

More information on string theory:

http://www.superstringtheory.com/experm/exper5.html

http://www.space.com/32728-parallel-universes.html

Parallel universe vs. parallel dimension:

http://mysticinvestigations.com/paranormal/parallel-universe-vs-parallel-dimension/

C. S. Lewis’s Vision of Heaven, by Dr. Charlie W. Starr:

http://www.charliewstarr.com/c-s-lewis/charlies-lewis-essays/c-s-lewiss-vision-of-heaven.html

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

(Art: “Alternative Reality” by Josephine Wall)

 

Conclusion to The Problem with Biblical Literalism

I should have realized last week that speaking out against Biblical literalism would earn me some backlash from the overtly literal Christian community. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would really see it, and I definitely didn’t expect attacks to come from within my own family.

I’m going to spare her the embarrassment of repeating the argument here. She embarrassed herself enough by arguing with me publicly on Facebook. However, I found this rant I wrote a few years ago when I witnessed a stranger (on YouTube, I believe) similarly embarrassing themselves and the entire Christian community. Before I move on to other topics, I’m going to leave this here as a summary of  my “Problem with Biblical Literalism” series.

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I wish scientists and theologians would stop being so egotistical and ignorant. Both sides need to understand that science does not make religion null, nor is religion an “excuse” to not have to think about how the world works. Science explains how God works. That’s it. Science cannot explain why, nor can blind faith explain how. Science is a gift from God to allow us to understand certain processes so we can see the extent of His greatness. But we will never know everything, because then we will play like we are gods – which some have already started to do.

There is no need for theologians to disparage the scientific community, nor is there any reason to exclude religious people from that community. I’m sick of these banal and ridiculous arguments.

God created the universe, yes? Out of nothing? So He created language? Okay, so that means He created metaphors. Why would He not use these in a book He has written? Why can’t the Bible use similes, metaphors, exaggerations, and still be “infallible?” Why does the Great Flood have to literally cover the whole world? As I said before, that was probably a metaphor for Noah’s “whole world,” the part of the planet that at the time was inhabited by humans. All the animals in the area were saved along with Noah’s family. It would still take a huge rainfall and perhaps a tsunami to do this, but realistically that’s probably what happened. Story-telling allows for a bit of exaggeration to astound the audience, which is entirely logical as the Old Testament (at the very least the Pentateuch) was passed down via oral tradition before being written.

By discounting figures of speech and taking everything at face value, we Christians make ourselves look incredibly ignorant, and willfully so. It’s not fated martyrdom that causes us not to be taken seriously. It’s that we don’t even try to think anymore. God is outside space and time. Seven days is a metaphor for the earth’s time-frame. God is telling His people to take a day every week to relax for our own good. If God had to rest, obviously we do. The point is not, “The earth was created in seven days,” but, “God created everything, and even He rested on His seventh day, and so you should also rest from your work on your seventh day to preserve your energy and recoup.”

God created ex nihilo. He created language; ergo, He created figures of speech, including hyperbole and metaphors. So why is it so offensive to Christians to think maybe He used them in the Book He authored? Oh, I forgot, it’s “heresy” to question what in the Bible is literal and what isn’t. It can’t be infallible if it isn’t literal. What codswallop. Discernment is not heretical.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

(Art: “A Swirl of Fog” by Eyvind Earle)

The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part Three (Seven Day Creation)

This is going to be short and sweet, because the metaphor speaks for itself. It saddens me that so many take it literally, though, and therefore believe the Earth is so much younger than science has proven through actual evidence.

The “seven days” of Genesis are 1) not necessarily synonymous with our 24-hour day, and 2) a metaphor to encourage a day of rest and worship for the Hebrews (and later Gentiles).

God exists outside space and time. This is obvious. No one has ever “met” God (Christ’s time on Earth aside); atheists think He is our “imaginary friend.” He does not live in our physical dimension.* If we are to believe He created the world in six 24-hour days, who’s to say twenty-four hours in His realm is equivalent to ours?

I have no doubt that God’s “seven days” translated to billions of years in Earth time.

Also, consider – only the Earth has a 24-hour day (one full rotation). God created the universe. He did not create Earth first, and He was not sitting on Earth creating the universe around it. If you still believe that, you must be a pre-Enlightenment Catholic.

When I think about this, I also ruminate on how large the universe really is. My mind can comprehend our solar system, and stretch to incorporate the Milky Way galaxy, but realizing that we are one solar system in one galaxy among millions of galaxies in one universe among possibly many universes overwhelms me. How could I possibly think God created His entire creation based on one miniscule planet’s rotation?

I am not saying we are not important to Him. We are the only known planet to support life. This is no accident. Do I believe He created other sentient life elsewhere? It is entirely possible, and I would be foolish to discount it. The Bible does not tell us He did so, possibly because He didn’t, or possibly because it is none of our business. We are supposed to develop a spiritual relationship with Him, and discover His mysteries in the next life, not risk the lives we were given in pursuit of hearsay.

It is the very idea that the seven-day metaphor is not literally our twenty-four-hour, seven-day week that I believe evolution is not actually a threat to religion. What science is revealing is what God allows us to understand about how He orders the Earth to process. There will always be something we do not know, and that is to keep us looking to God so we do not become arrogant in our knowledge. Some still are not humbled by their ignorance, but knowing the how and the history does not mean we have the ability to imitate it. They may try (see animal cloning), but fail (clone dies within hours/days of “birth”). This is why I believe God exists.

Some perspective:

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Our solar system is located in a minor spiral arm of the Milky Way called the Orion Spur, between the Sagittarius and Perseus arms. (Link to full-size image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6b/a2/8b/6ba28b237250fb750e34981596321736.jpg)

 

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The Virgo Supercluster contains the Milky Way, among about a million other galaxies. This image contains local superclusters. The universe is even larger than this.

 

*In re: The Body Metaphor – the “mind” is not tangible and can exist on its own; He can experience the physical universe without being in it, just as we can think and dream about places and people when we aren’t around them. As I have said, it is not a perfect metaphor. The enigma is that He is both in the universe and outside of it.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

Panentheism and the Body Metaphor

In Part One of The Problem with Biblical Literalism, I briefly spoke about the idea of Panentheism, or all-in-god. Not to be confused with Pantheism, or all-is-god, Panentheism is the theory that God exists within His creation, and His creation exists within Him. However, creation is not God. He exists outside of creation as well.

In other words, Panentheism claims God is immanent and transcendent.

Christianity also claims God is both immanent and transcendent. In practice, however, most Christians understand God only as transcendent – He created us and is separate from us. Immanence, or God’s presence among us, is all but abandoned, or briefly mentioned in passing when discussing the Holy Spirit.

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I have read a few Christian articles that denounce Panentheism as another tactic to distract us from Christ. I do not see it this way at all. In fact, the theory helps me better understand the nature of God.

A common metaphor Panentheists use is that of the mind-body relationship. I have expanded on this idea to incorporate Christianity.

The human body is necessary to live and experience, but our souls exist beyond its death.

God, the Great Soul, created the universe out of Himself as His Body – to experience and exist in tandem with His creation. His essence is within all things. While it enhances His existence, He is not transcribed by it – He does not require “the body” to be God. However, as long as “the body” exists, God is within it, just as our awareness is within our bodies until we die.

Sentient beings are like red blood cells, countless but necessary for the body to “live.” Satan and sin are cancers. Free will gives the red blood cells a choice to flow for the benefit of the whole body or be infected by the cancer (turning away and denouncing God).

Christ is the cure, the immune system of mighty white blood cells. Each infected cell (all of them since original sin) now can choose to be healed, or stay infected. The healed cells may become re-infected but always have the option to be healed again. The cells that stay infected wither, and once dead, they are eliminated from the system, never to be a part of the body again.

That is what Hell is – a complete severance from God. It is a choice, and the result isn’t a fiery inferno, but nonexistence. Since atheists already believe death is a metamorphosis into nonexistence, they get exactly what they expect.

Angels exist, too – they were created right before the body as the neurotransmitters, necessary for the mind to communicate and control the body. As I have mentioned before, they are the pathways, not the targets, and so cannot receive God’s love as we do. The brain sends these “messengers” to tell the “body” what to do. In a sense, they are Christ’s support, dictating to the immune system and other “bodily functions.” While the mind/spirit/soul (the “trinity” of the brain) is aware of the body, it cannot itself travel to the kidney or liver or heart. The Father controls the body, angels execute the control, and Christ comes to us personally with the Holy Spirit to continuously heal.

I’ll admit, this is not by any means a perfect metaphor, but I believe it is an appropriate one, as we were created in His image – not only do we have a trinity of mind/soul/spirit, but our bodies function the same way physically that His does metaphorically. “In His image” does not literally mean that He has some kind of physical form that mirrors ours.

The following article acknowledges how Panentheism could be compatible with Christianity, except that it “denies creation ex nihilo” –

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/08/whats-wrong-with-panentheism/

Of course, I disagree. In fact, I believe Panentheism because it affirms creation ex nihilo – if God created out of nothing, then it comes to bear he created from only Himself, and therefore, the universe is His physical form – His body. How is this denying Genesis?

This theory brings God closer to us, and it is more effortless to have a relationship knowing we are part of His body. Olson does make interesting points about redefining what redemption and salvation mean in this context – how it might mean God is dependent on it, rather than it being a gift for us. This is why I agree with Martin Luther’s “weak” Panentheism – God is, indeed, within all of creation, but He is not transcribed by it. He doesn’t need it in order to be God.

We don’t need our bodies, necessarily, but they are a blessing in that they allow us to experience and learn. As I mentioned in Part One of The Problem with Biblical Literalism, perhaps the all-knowing God wants to experience His existence through ignorant eyes, to see what His body/children see and create more from those experiences.

The following article explains Panentheism but refers to it as an “age-old heresy” and gets some facts wrong (I blame her source), such as “God is bi-polar,” “God is finite,” “Creation is ex materia,” and “God is changing.” These are tenets from pantheism, which dictates as the universe changes, God changes with it. This is not necessarily true of Panentheism.

http://www.rebecca-writes.com/rebeccawrites/2008/3/28/theological-term-of-the-week.html

Weak (Palamite) Panentheism replaces the idea of God’s essence with “divine energies” that permeate the world and allow God’s presence among us, without the possible interpretation that He is dependent on creation. It is more compatible with the Christian idea of God than what I have described here, and does not mesh as well with my metaphor, but it is enlightening for Christians and those investigating Christianity who are uncomfortable with how the faith tends to reflect deism and stoicism, which focus on God’s transcendence and disregard His immanence.

Watch this video for more information on how weak (Palamite) Panentheism is compatible with Christianity:

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part Two

(I actually wrote this one first as more of a rant, so I may repeat myself.)

Biblical literalists make me want to slam my head into a wall.

I just read some comments regarding the new “Ark Encounter” exhibit in Kentucky. People are vehemently arguing that dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans, saying science has changed theories several times, while the Bible never changes (ignoring of course the differing interpretations and teachings done in churches). They claim death did not exist until Adam sinned. So, dinosaurs were still around [again, ignoring 1) the Bible doesn’t mention dinosaurs, 2) the extinction would have killed Adam and his descendants, and 3) the earth is not 6,000 years old].

Literal death. Did not exist. Until sin.

No.

Spiritual death, yes.

Otherwise, Jesus would have made us literally immortal with his sacrifice. I’m pretty sure we are all still physically dying, yes?

Our spirits die (read: rend from God) because of sin. Jesus paid the bounty to the devil to restore our spiritual immortality alongside our creator.

Now, did God originally intend for us to live on earth longer than 100 years? Perhaps. The Bible supports this theory. But arrogance through sin shortened our mortality.

While Christians interpret literally to “prove” science wrong, atheists often are biblical literalists as well, for the opposite reason — to prove Christians are ignorant.

And, unfortunately, the atheists are successful. One pointed out for the Flood to cover the entire earth, it would have had to cover the Himalayas. Sea creatures would have died at that reach of the atmosphere.

This is true! But such mockery only works if the Bible is entirely literal. This is not true.

The flood covered the entire known world. God inspired the writers of the Bible, but humans communicating with other humans, that far in the past — they didn’t know the Himalayas existed, and obviously did not mention it. Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, is a flood plain. What with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers overflowing, along with the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea, forty days of intense rain could easily have flooded the land mass. And all of humanity likely lived within that area at that time.

Besides, what if the Ark had drifted out into the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea?

Much of the Old Testament is the history of the Hebrews. History is recorded by those who experience the events, not objective third parties who interpret evidence millennia later. Those who were there described it as the whole world because that is what they observed. As such, that became the oral tradition and eventually written word.

The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. — Genesis 7:18-20, NIV

The waters covered all the high mountains the witnesses knew about. Fifteen cubits is roughly twenty-three feet. “More than” is ambiguous but does not necessarily include all heights taller than twenty-three feet; most likely it referred to mountains that were only a few cubits taller that could not be reached to measure.

The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. — Genesis 8:3-5, NIV

Ararat is a region, not a specific mountain. The ark may have landed on a lower ledge or hill rather than the very top of a mountain. We don’t know how rapidly the water receded either, only that it did so steadily. It is not heretical to doubt the flood covered the entire world or the highest mountains. In fact, knowing the context and geography helps align our faith with science, rather than ignorantly disputing what God is revealing.

Also worth noting is that the writer (assumed to be Moses) records Noah’s age to be over 600 years old. As I mentioned above, sin shortened our mortality. Oral tradition may have exaggerated his age. Whether we were meant to live over 1000 years, whether God blessed Noah with a longer life due to his righteousness, or whether “year” is a completely different length of time than what we use today is up for debate. Our year is based on the earth’s revolution around the sun, which was not even considered a scientific possibility until centuries after Christ. All explanations are possible.

The Real Noah's Ark

More information about the flood (historical/mythological correlative evidence):

https://ncse.com/cej/8/2/flood-mesopotamian-archaeological-evidence

http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6746/20140128/noahs-ark-round-mesopotamia-flood-cuneiform-instructions-mathematically-accurate.htm

https://newrepublic.com/article/116287/babylonian-tablet-describes-noahs-ark-pre-bible

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.