Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Seattle, Washington, USA.
This essay says that the election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America gave black people world wide a sense that they are now as good as their past slave masters and colonizers, white folks. Obama is a symbol of black folks self admiration. Black folks therefore support him regardless of how qualified he is for the office or how well he is doing in office. They vilify any one who criticizes his obvious mediocre performance in office. Their behavior is understandable but it is about time that black folks paid attention to excellence in human behavior.
Obama: Symbol Of Black Self Admiration
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
The universal response of black persons to Obama’s election as the President of the United States of America is jubilation. Black folk were thrilled that one of them is now the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. They looked forward to the day when members of their race would also rule their former colonial and or slave masters (Britain, France etc).
Black folk were not tolerant of any black person who asked whether Barack Obama is qualified to preside over the most complex economy in the world. To such question was the retort: how qualified was George W. Bush, was he not a dunce (he was a C student at the University). Black folk quickly tell you that most of the rulers of America and Europe were as students averages or below averages (even the great Winston Churchill flunked out of school) and were certainly not geniuses. If average white folks could rule America and Europe there is no reason why Obama (who reportedly was a B student at the university) could not rule America. They have a point there.
During their school days, the leaders of men were generally not the most outstanding students. It is seldom that we have folks who were straight A students enter politics and rise to the top. Bright folks tend to go into research and or teaching.
Therefore, I have no quarrel with the notion that Obama does not have to be a genius to rule America. Nevertheless, I am interested in his experiential background. His resume shows that he had no serious leadership and managerial experience.
Most American Presidents were governors or had chief executive officer experience and know how to set goals and use men and material to achieve them.
Obama had not held top managerial position and I was wondering if he knows how to lead or manage people. I believe that he does not and it shows in his mediocre performance so far.
There is nothing wrong with a black man ruling the country but it ought to be a well qualified one and Obama is not he.
We live in a complex scientific and technological society and our leaders ought to be able to handle the challenges posed by those exigencies. It is one thing being proud of a black leader but we must also make sure that he can navigate through the scientific culture we now live in.
We must remember that science and technology are cultural variables; as such, we can lose them. We can very easily slide back to primitive states of being. If in doubt that society can retrogress, then look at the Muslim world and see what the devil has made! At one time the Muslim world was at the zenith of world civilization but today they are in Dante’s deepest part of hell. The Muslim world is primitive; I would prefer to die than to live in Muslim societies. Give me scientific culture or give me death! This is my stance, I cannot budge.
(Obviously African societies are not organized on the parameters of science; we must work to transform Africa to scientific milieu; on this issue there is no compromise for me. To those Africans who are nostalgic about their past and talk about returning to ancient African ways, I say to them: if your past Africa was so good how come Arabs and Europeans easily enslaved Africans? Africa’s past is dead and must be left in the grave. Africans must resurrect and live in the sunshine of scientific environment.)
We do not want black leaders who talk the talk but cannot do what it takes to maintain our scientific culture and continue our progression in science and technology.
Black folks are like human beings all over the world; they are narcissistic; that is, they admire their selves and feel that they are special. Every normal human being values his self; he feels that he is important and has worth.
Human beings sense of worth is in the face of their apparent existential worthlessness. Nature does not treat them differently from the way it treats mosquitoes and flies; nature destroys them as if they are nothing. Natural forces such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes, disease (from bacteria, virus, and fungi) kill them as they kill other animals and trees; nature destroys people without regard for their supposed existential worth.
But despite nature’s apparent disregard for their value, human beings seem to believe that they have worth. In fact, what it means to be a human being is to believe that one has worth in the face of ones apparent worthlessness.
Consider that any human being who so desires it, right now, can put a bullet into another human being’s head and end his life; yet that human being believes that he has supreme worth! Common sense would suggest that a life that is so easily destroyed has no worth but apparently such reasoning does not apply to human beings belief in their value.
Human beings must have belief in their value to do all the things they do to survive on planet earth; their survival is dependent on struggles to survive; nature does not place food on their tables. People work for their food, medications, clothes, shelter and so on; they must value their bodies to work so hard to provide for them. Yet those bodies will die and, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet observed, become food for worms.
Black people are like all human beings and, as such, see themselves as important. However, their sense of importance has been dealt a blow by the white race.
From about 900 AD Arabs (white folks) enslaved Africans; from about 1500 AD Europeans enslaved Africans in the Americas. Thereafter, Europeans colonized all of black Africa. As we speak, Arabs are still colonizing North Africa (and fancy that North Africa, a land that originally belonged to black folk, is now their land…they must be kicked out).
The experience of slavery, colonization and discrimination is humiliating for black folks. White folks degraded black folk.
Let me personalize this discourse. I am a black man; I feel degraded that white men ruled my people. I feel narcissistic injury at being ruled by white folks. My pride and vanity…and those are necessary part of the human ego …is injured.
If you doubt that human beings are egoistic, proud and vain then go about insulting people and some of them would put you out of your misery by pumping bullets into your disrespectful head.
Black folks self love, pride, vanity and narcissism were injured by white folk’s disrespectful treatment of them. Black folks experienced narcissistic rage from that injury. They want to assuage the belittlement of their self worth.
Part of their desire to rehabilitate their injured pride lies in a desire to see their situation reversed so that black folks rule white men. The ruled want to rule their rulers; the oppressed want to oppress their oppressors. These are understandable feelings.
The election of Barack Obama was perceived by black folk’s world wide as the beginning of their desired role reversal; Obama means the rehabilitation of black injured pride and vanity.
In effect, black folks are narcissistically invested in Barack Obama’s election for what it does for their pride. Therefore, they are not interested in listening to any one who questions his apparent lack of preparedness to hold the office he now holds. When I pointed out that whereas I could care less whether the president of America is white or black, man or woman, that I do care that the president be qualified and further stated that in my opinion Barack Obama seem unqualified, my fellow blacks wanted to chop off my head. There was universal black opposition to my seeming lack of acceptance of Barack Obama’s election. I understand why this situation.
There is no doubt that the world of the future is going to be such that the race or gender of a person would not matter in electing him to any position in the world. Nevertheless, I believe that the person’s qualifications must fit the position he is elected to. I am absolutely opposed to giving folks jobs they did not train for and are not qualified for. I am totally opposed to quota or affirmative action system in hiring folks for jobs.
I understand what (past and still present) discrimination did to keep black folks out of the American mainstream; yet, I want only qualified black persons to be hired for any available job.
Black folks are mostly supporting Barack Obama for narcissistic reasons. White folks who oppose his rule do so mainly for narcissistic reasons (many white folks feel that they are born to rule black men hence feel angry that a black man is now ruling them).
In an ideal world only qualified persons, black or white, man or woman, ought to be elected for political positions. But who says that we live in an ideal world? Was it an ideal world when unqualified white folks like George Bush were ruling America? That been said, we still must strive to select only qualified persons to rule us.
Barack Obama does not seem qualified for his present position; additionally, he appears lazy and disengaged from the people, even from black people and does not work his heart out for the people’s welfare.
We need leaders who work 24/7 for the people’s welfare, not part time leaders who seem detached and disconnected to the people but merely have the gift of the garb and tell the people what they want to hear, as Obama does.
Barack Obama, however, is preferable to Mitt Romney, for the later seems a callous man who wants to transfer wealth from the poor to the wealthy. In fact, Romney seems anti-social in personality structure!
For over a thousand years the other races of mankind, especially the white race (European and Semitic variety of it) launched an unmitigated attack on black folks. They enslaved black folks; they colonized black folks; they said everything negative that human beings can possibly say about each other to black folks; they said that black folks are an inferior race.
It is always the white race that assigned to itself the right to say what black folks are or are not. Apparently, in their deluded grandiose minds they believe that they have the right to determine the worth of black folks and that black folks do not have the right to say something about their worth and cannot say anything about white folk’s worth. This is the nature of delusion disorder; white racists are actuated by paranoia (paranoid persons have false sense of superiority).
These people have degraded, humiliated, belittled and disgraced the black race in every which way is possible. When you ask: why do they do it, you find no plausible reason.
They did it because it is human nature to be evil. Human beings can be very evil and the evil in the white race took it upon itself to assault the black race.
Pure reason would suggest that people love and respect each other since love makes them feel good about themselves; it is evil that makes people denigrate each other for those who denigrate other persons know what they are doing: inflicting psychological pain to them. To deliberately inflict pain on human beings is to be sadistic. Racists are sadists; they enjoy inflicting pain on their fellow human beings.
The incredible thing is that despite this one thousand year assault on their humanity, black folks have managed to survive and survive without bitterness in their souls.
Most black persons are not angry at white folks, as one would expect them to be for what was done to them. Most black folks just want to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit.
The resilience of black folks shows that human beings cannot be easily destroyed by adversities. We always manage to survive and live (although live for what we do not really know…and, perhaps, should not know for were it possible to know why we are living it would probably become boring to live; not knowing why we live is part of the fun of living).
Human beings do not lie down and accept death just because other folks want to kill them. Thus, everywhere black folks are struggling to develop positive opinions of their selves. They want to have self confidence and believe that they, too, can do it, achieve great things; they, too, want to develop positive self esteem.
The election of Barack Obama gave black folks feelings that may be their time has finally arrived; may be it is no longer the case that every white fool feels it necessary to insult black folks (white psychologists with hardly any worthwhile ideas in their heads these days tell us how black folks have lower intelligence than white folks).
Black folks have been in a giant struggle to believe in their humanness; they simply want other persons to treat them with some respect. Is this too much to ask of those who call themselves intelligent human beings?
Obama’s election is a game changer; it portends a new beginning where black folks would be able to participate in the ruling of their world. This is a good thing.
Be that as it may, we must make sure that black persons elevated to positions of political power are true leaders of men who work their hearts out to benefit their people. So far, Obama seems lackadaisical and disengaged; he does not seem pained by what pains black folks. As we speak, over 20% of black Americans are not meaningfully employed and Obama does not seem to lose sleep from this sad affair.
We need leaders who lose sleep from the peoples suffering in the land of plenty.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD
October 5, 2012
There is really, really something about Barack Obama that drives me up the wall. He is aware that many white Americans secretly believe that he is not an American, that he is not born in this country and is probably a Muslim.
Now, one would expect him to ask why despite the fact that he was born in America and is a nominal Christian (I have not seen him go to church lately, as President Clinton used to do every Sunday) Americans still have this sneaking doubt about his Americanness and Christianity.
One would expect him, if he is intelligent (and he must be to have attended HarvardUniversity), to have wanted to know why many Americans see him as a foreigner in their midst and as not a Christian.
The last time I checked America is a Christian nation, while allowing guest religionists to practice their religion here. But despite that reality, Obama seems to treat Christians as if they are on equal grounds with members of other religions!
The man is fully aware, or should be, that in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries Christians are persecuted. You could be jailed for merely holding a Bible in some Muslim countries!
With alacrity, Obama came out defending Muslims right to build a mosque near where other Muslims destroyed the WorldTradeCenter in New York.
Muslims actions (trying to build a mosque where they attacked Christians) showed utmost insensitivity to how Christians feel about these matters. But, Obama, the probable Muslim, comes out swinging, reminding us that our Constitution stipulates separation of Church and state and how the state should not interfere in the practice of Islam.
His statements did not take cognizance that in Muslim countries states do not permit Christians to practice their faith.
Moreover, when our founding fathers talked about separation of Church and State they had in mind the state and the Christian religion. They had just witnessed the Counter Reformation religious wars in Europe and were trying to prevent Christian sects fighting to impose their brand of Christianity on all Americans. They were not talking about extending protection to Muslims.
I speculate that many of our illustrious founding fathers would have outlawed Islam in this country for they know something that Obama does not seem to know: Islam is invariably theocratic and if allowed to exist in America would, sooner or later, make a move to establish an Islamic Caliphate here.
We must remember that in 711 AD Muslims swept into Spain and got to Southern France in 733 AD with the intention of converting Europeans to their Arab religion. It took Charles Martel, the Hammer and his Franks, German soldiers, to stop these Arab Muslims from conquering all Europe and converting folks to Islam.
Islam is a jihadist religion and is bent on converting the entire world to the Arab religion. In case the naïve Obama (unless he is a secret Muslim) does not know it, Arabs want to rule the world through their religion. Islam is a political ideology rather than a religion!
The man is obviously not a Christian soldier defending the Christian faith, as he should if he were a true Christian.
The salient point is that one would have expected Obama to have asked questions why many Americans distrust him and tried to answer them and change the perception of him as not one of us.
I believe that one of the reasons why most Americans, myself included, doubt Mr. Obama’s Americanness is because he does not respond to issues as Americans do. He is detached and seems not viscerally concerned with what affects Americans interests.
A case in point is his response to what took place in Libya. In Benghazi the American ambassador and a few other Americans were brutally murdered by some Libyans. Most Americans were outraged that their representative in a foreign country was murdered in cold blood.
Whereas most of us were not sure who the perpetrators were, however, we did not immediately rule out Muslim terrorists. I told me that Muslim terrorists were probably at work but that I had better keep quiet about it until the authorities tell us who did it.
Barack Obama initially kept quiet and when he did speak up it was to make an intellectually dispassionate and unsympathetic statement about how ambassadors should not be killed. He did not evince any emotion, any feeling that Americans were killed. He was like a reporter or a professor merely recounting an event that occurred without emotional attachment to it.
Here is a question: are leaders now elected to be detached from what happens to their group members or do we elect leaders who viscerally identify with their peoples issues and are willing to go to war to defend their people’s interests?
Obama’s response to what affects Americans is weird, his detachment is sick, to say the least.
Obama sent his ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice to meet the Press and tell us that the attacks on the American ambassador were due to mob action and was not premeditated. She made these assertions despite contrary reports by the Press; indeed, by the Libyan Prime Minister that it appears that the attacks were done by a terrorist group.
In other words, Ms Rice discounted what even the Libyan authorities said about the attack; she discounted the American media’s assessment of the situation.
One assumed that the woman probably had inside information that most of us do not have and that more objective information led her to say what she said.
Now, it has turned out that the attack on the ambassador was carried out by Muslim terrorists who had planned the attack in advance and were waiting for the right opportunity to launch rockets at the US Consulate at Benghazi.
Here is my question: why is it that Barrack Obama and his minions such as Susan Rice do not seem capable of responding as a normal citizen of a country would respond when bad things happen to his people?
Normal citizens do not respond in a detached manner to what happens to their people; they respond defensively; they automatically take the side of their peoples interests.
When you attack a member of a family, the other members are generally not expected to be disinterested observers sitting at an Ivory Tower seminar room objectively analyzing the attack; they act to defend their family members first before asking questions as to why they were attacked.
Obama and his political appointees acted as if they were paid to defend Muslims and make sure that Americans do not associate them with terrorism hence their childish efforts to tell us that the attack on our Consulate and the killing of our ambassador was due to mob action but not Muslim terrorism. They seem invested in exculpating Muslims.
Incidentally, in so behaving they perpetuated the public perception that Obama is probably a Muslim pretending to be a Christian. Perhaps, the man is a Muslim pretending to be a Christian so as to be elected to office by a Christian nation? Perhaps the man is here to help Muslims convert Americans to Islam? This man’s lack of Christian like actions is amazing!
It should also be noted that Obama has been dillydallying while Iran is nearing the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Most Christians know where Muslim Iranians would like to test their nuclear weapons: New York City. That is correct, Iranians would use their nuclear weapons to destroy Christians and, of course, the nation of Israel. But instead of doing something to prevent this from occurring Obama sits on his behind doing nothing (pretending to be the president while not acting as one: protecting Americans). Indeed, it is as if the man is paid to make us do nothing until it is too late when Iran has the nuke. This man does not seem an American, I say!
(An American acts to protect Americans first and asks questions after words. In 2001 Muslims attacked us. Some of us, even though we were in our forties, sought ways to join the US military to go deal a devastating blow to Muslims and prevent them from cavalierly killing Christians.)
During the Oil spill at the Gulf Coast Obama was also detached and it took a lot of coercing from the media for the man to finally go visit the area. And when he did it was like a foreigner visiting another country, for you could see on his face and general body demeanor that he did not feel the pain of the people whose livelihood was negatively affected by the oil spill.
Obama’s responses to what affects Americans are not emotional. The man does not respond in a knee jerk manner to protect Americans interests. He does not emotionally speak up for America’s interests. He acts as if he is a foreigner looking in on American issues. This problem is high lighted in all its sickness in the man’s attitudes towards the over eight percent unemployment in America. The man does not show any feeling towards Americans who are unemployed. He talks about them with weird detachment and does not emotionally commit himself to doing something about their issue.
I have sadly come to the conclusion that either Barrack Obama is sick (his wife appears even sicker in her lack of visceral identification with Americans issues) or he is a Manchurian Candidate planted in our midst by a Muslim country (the man even bowed to the Saudi King…imagine the leader of the most powerful country on earth bowing to an Arab cut throat who attained power by murdering his opponents).
Obama, I hate to say it, does not seem like an American; he seems like a stranger in our midst.
I am not a birther or member of the Tea Bag Party who hates Obama because he is black. I am aware that some of those people are in shock that a black man was elected the President of these United States of America. These people have not recovered from their shock and do not accept Obama’s legitimacy as the President of America. They would do anything to convince themselves that the man is not one of them and is certainly not their leader. I understand such people’s reactions for they see power slipping away from white folks in a country that soon will have non-white majority.
I do not hate Obama; why should I? I am black and Obama’s election to the Oval Office ought to make me feel proud that finally America belongs to all of us.
That been said, I still must admit that there is something about Barack Obama’s detached, disengaged responses to America’s problems that makes me think that he is not one of us!
I honestly do not know how this man managed to be elected to the Presidency of America. To start with, he was not qualified and certainly had not held any leadership or management position before his election. From his subsequent behavior in the White House it is clear to all who pay attention to these things that he is an amateur.
Obama is not really a leader. What he is only God knows. All I know is that this man makes me sick. His very presence makes me want to throw up. I keep wishing that some one should get this man out of my space; his lack of engagement with Americans issues is intolerable to this proud Christian American.
Although a conservative in political persuasion (ala Edmund Burke and John Locke), I am not in favor of transferring wealth to a few while the middle class is eviscerated. Therefore, Mitt Romney is not my choice to replace Barack Obama. I will, therefore, sit out this election and not vote.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD (UCLA)
October 3, 2012
This essay points out the social utility of human tendency to guilt feeling. Those who feel guilt from anticipating harming other people are likely not to harm people. Therefore, it is useful if people feel guilty. On the other hand, the human tendency to guilt feeling is exploited by the amoral rulers of this world; they use it to control the people. Balancing guilt feeling and no guilt feeling would seem to be the right thing to do?
Ego Surivival And Social Control Of Guilt Feelers
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
To feel guilty, sinful and remorseful one must feel as if one did something wrong, that one did what one should not have done.
Society tells children not to kill other people or harm them or steal from them. Children internalize those social norms and should they steal or harm or kill etc they feel like they did something wrong and feel guilty. Properly socialized children have strong (what Sigmund Freud called) superego that disposes them to do mostly what society approves and avoid doing what society disapproves.
In a way, it is guilt feeling from anticipating doing wrong that keeps people alive. If I want to do something I ponder how it would affect other people; if I anticipate that it would harm them I feel guilty and desist from doing it. But if I did not feel guilty I would go ahead and do it. For me not to feel guilty from an anticipated behavior I would have to feel that it is right behavior.
That is to say that it is guilt feeling that keeps people safe in society, for if people did not feel guilt, sin and remorse, if they felt it okay they would inflict all sorts of injuries to people.
Consider lions, tigers and other predatory animals. When they feel hungry they hunt and catch sheep and other weaker animals and eat them and do not seem to feel guilty, for they do not feel like they did sarong. Human beings, apparently, do not feel wrong from killing other animals but feel they did wrong from killing people and that sense that it is wrong to kill people prevent them from killing each other.
According to Helen Schucman’s book, A course in miracles, we seem to have separated from our real self (which is the union of God and his sons…Unified Spirit Self). The Catholic Church calls this phenomenon fall from grace, or original sin. We are said to have committed original sin by separating from God (symbolically represented by what our presumed ancestors, Adam and Eve allegedly did in the symbolic Garden of Eden). Because we hypothetically separated from God the Church tells us to feel sinful and come to it (priests, to forgive us our sins).
As long as we have sense of sin and go to the Church the church controls us. The priests (many of who, it turned out, are pedophiles and homosexuals) control people by telling them that they are sinful folks (they make people feel guilty then have sex with them, amazing).
But did we fall from grace, did we separate from God, did we eat the so-called apple that was forbidden by the Jewish God? No one can empirically demonstrate any of these events to have taken place; they are hypothetical, even imaginary. I feel that they are not true.
If we did not separate from God so why should we feel guilty? And if God is the all powerful force he is supposed to be how could we separate from him, and why did he allow us to do so? He must be weak to allow his sons to separate from him and go to a place, our world, where they suffer. If he was powerful he would prevent their suffering by ending their supposed separation, now. He must be weak and unable to end separation hence allows it to continue.
Pure reason tells us that separation has not occurred and that we evolved like other trees and animals in the universe. If separation has not occurred and we did not do any wrong therefore we should not feel guilty. Guilt feeling is superfluous neurotic phenomenon, pure reason tells us.
THE RULERS OF THE WORLD EXPLOIT FOLKS GUILT FEELING
If one is prone to guilt feeling one is exploited by the rulers of this world. Consider that white men stole America from Indians and used black men to develop the continent. That is to say that they live on evil. But their judges, the keepers of their evil empire, ask folks to feel guilty for the minor crimes they committed. They send young black men to jails and prisons on the ground that they do not feel guilty or remorseful for their crimes.
Let it be stated that crime is socially defined and not a natural phenomenon; crime is a social construct.
In other words, judges, the protectors of white criminal past stealing, now use guilt and remorse feeling to control poor minority persons. The judges themselves are criminals and sit over a criminal empire. These very judges are generally anti social personality disordered persons; they are sadists, sociopaths and psychopaths and actually do not feel guilt or remorseful and enjoy punishing poor and black persons. Judges do not feel guilt or remorse from sending a teenage black boy to many years in prison while his society rapes and pillages the world.
Seriously, it takes a criminal personality to be a lawyer or judge so these criminals are then supervising the jailing of poor African Americans in America.
THOSE WHO ARE NOT PRONE TO GUILT FEELING RULE THIS WORLD
There are human beings who do not feel guilt or remorseful for what the rest of us call anti social behaviors. Generally, it is such persons that rise to social positions of power and rule our world. It is these sociopaths that prosper in society for they screw people up and do not feel bad.
Those of us who are prone to guilt feeling do not do many things hence do not do what gives us wealth and remain poor.
Helen Schuman’s book, A course in miracles tells us that separation has not happened and therefore we are not guilty of any wrong doing; it tells us that we merely dream that we are separate from God; that what is done in dreams has not been done.
Even if people are killed in dreams they have not been killed in wake life (in spirit). It says that we are all innocents and have not done what we think that we did, separate from God and from each other and do the evils we do on earth. It says that we remain as God created us: guiltless, sinless, holy and innocent.
It says that we must see each other as innocent despite what we did to each other that seems harmful. This is the basis of its emphasis on forgiveness. It says that forgiveness is based on the philosophy that the evils we see on earth has not in fact been committed or were committed in a dream state. What was done in dreams has not been done. Therefore we should overlook what we see other people do to us, good or bad, for they did those seeming evil things in our collective dreams and in fact have not done them.
(On a personal note, I must confess that Aunt Helen’s book helped me a lot; I was raised a Catholic and led to associate sex with guilt. I felt guilty engaging in sex. Aunt Helen finally got me to see that sex is a dream activity and in fact that no one is having sex since we always live in spirit, not body. That helped me to overcome my hitherto tendency to associate sex with sin. These days I see those engaged in sex as doing nothing good or bad and do not even pay them attention, for to me they are doing nothing; the only worthy activity human beings can engage in is those done in spirit, which is not physical. I am no longer moralistic over sex, as I used to be.)
Forgiveness or overlooking what is done in the world of dreams is the central teaching of A course in miracles. If people have not done what we see them do then they are not guilty (from bad behaviors) or good (from seeming good behaviors). People have done nothing good or bad; and we are told to simply over look what we see them do in their ego and body states so as to experience their, our real selves, as unified spirit self.
It is when we forgive folks (to forgive ourselves) that we experience what the course calls Holy Instance, a moment when we see the world disappear and we experience our spiritual reality: oneness with God and all people, a world of literal oneness, a world where we are in each other and where one person ends and another begins is no where, where God ends and his son begins is no where; a world where there are no I and you, no seer and seen, no subject and object, no space, time and matter, a world of one self with infinite selves all of whom know themselves as one shared self.
Of course one can reject the teachings of the Course, after all it runs counter to our daily experience. In our world we see people harm other people and know that we must restrain them. We have police, courts, prisons etc to retrain bad people. Without governments and law we have anarchy and live lives of insecurity where the powerful harm and or enslave the weak. Therefore, what the Course is teaching is contrary to our experience and one can reject it or see it as idealistic fantasy propounded by a woman with dissociative disorder (aka multiple personality disorder…a woman who concretized abstract teachings on forgiveness).
Make of this teaching what you like. As for me I accept that the world is a dream. However, while in the dream I do not overlook what evil persons do. I go after them and punish them, even kill them.
Of course you can choose to overlook what evil persons do to you, as Jesus did to those who murdered him and awaken in unified spirit; such is not my present choice.
My present choice is to have all of us love and care for each other and remove those who harm people from society.
There you have the course summarized and my own philosophy briefly stated. Each of us must be truthful to his self. I am not a radically forgiving person, as the course wants folks to be. I guess that because I am not totally forgiving I do not totally know peace and joy; I am not totally back in heaven. So be it. I am on earth and want to make the earth, the dream, happy, not run away from it.
Jesus wanted to escape from the dream hence allowed folks to murder him and not fight back to protect his ego and body, for he knew that those are not who he is. That was his choice.
I know that my ego and body are not who I am but what I use in dreaming on earth and I want to stay in that dream until we have used science to understand the world and devised technology to escape to other universes. There I stand. Make your own stance.
September 30, 2012
Absence of love is the cause of all mental disorders;
Presence of love is the cure for all mental disorders;
Separation from union, love is the cause of all mental disorders;
Return to union, love is the cure for all mental disorders;
Love returns us to union; love heals all mental disorders;
All healers are lovers.
Center for Scientific Spirituality, CSS
This paper says that we must do in the world of spirituality and religion what we do in the world of the physical sciences; that is, use the scientific method to examine what those who claim to speak about spirituality and religion tell us about spirit and find out whether their conclusions stand the test of science (can they be verified etc), and to the extent that they do so accept them and if not discard them. Mere opinions about spirit lacking in proof ought not to be accepted. The paper presented a view of spirit that it says can be verified by anyone wishing to do so. The reader is encouraged to test the view and accept it only in so far that he can demonstrate to himself that it is true and if not must reject it.
SCIENTIFIC SPIRITUALITY AND SPIRITUAL PSYCHOTHERAPY
Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD
The term spirituality is banded about a great deal. Many of us like clarity in our thinking so we keep wanting to understand what folks mean by spirituality? Very few observers have offered us a clear understanding of what they mean by spirituality. In this paper, I will attempt to explain what the terms spirit and spirituality mean to me.
Please note that I said what spirit and spirituality means to me; it may not mean the same thing to you; at least, now you know how some of us understand the terms and, perhaps, that would help you to clarify your own understanding of the terms? My goal is to study spirituality scientifically.
First, let us get some clarity on what the terms science and scientific method means. The scientific method studies matter, space and time in an objective manner so that all persons can verify its findings; it leaves no room for argumentation. On the other hand, spirituality has been left to individuals to state their views without providing proof of their views veracity. The result is that many quacks present themselves as speaking for spirit. They have not even demonstrated that spirit exists what more that it speaks through them. Therefore, we must all figure out a way to approach spirit, if it exists, in such a manner that all of us would do what we do in the world of the physical sciences, agree that what we say is verifiable hence acceptable.
Faith in the unknown and unseen has deceived mankind for too long that we must not allow that to happen again. We must apply the scientific method to matters spiritual.
Scientific spirituality does not endorse any particular religion but seeks to verify what religions talk about. Religion traditionally consists of rituals and ceremonies that if followed folks hope to reach their presumed source, said to be God. We now believe that we can use the scientific method to verify whether God exists or not.
Hinduism posited many methods following which its members hope to reach God, such as fasting, exercising the body (Hartha Yoga), proper breathing, (Purina); these practices are supposed to purify the body, and to encourage the individual not to see himself as body but as spirit. Having changed his perception, from ego/body (ahankara) to spirit (Atman) the individual is encouraged to meditate (Raja Yoga) and think correctly (Jnana Yoga) and if he is of the worshipping type (Bhakta Yoga) to pray to God. Those practices, apparently, helped Indians to attain what they called Samadhi (Buddhists call it Nirvana, Zen calls it Satori and Christian mystics call it mystical union with God).
Most of us are not Hindus and do not understand the language of Hinduism since it is rooted in Indian culture and we do not understand that culture. Thus, few of us following the suggestions of Hinduism attain the oneness feeling (unity of Brahman and Atman) that Hinduism aims at.
We, therefore, must seek an approach to spirituality that is not rooted in any specific culture and one that is available to people all over the world. We must now posit a spiritual culture that transcends one specific culture derived from a particular area of the world; we must transcend particularism and attain universalism on spiritual matters.
We must have a scientific methodological approach to spirit that all human beings, regardless of their culture, can follow and verify that spirit exists.
The study of scientific spirituality posits an understanding of spirit and spirituality and methods to attain awareness of spirit that folks all over the world can follow and verify the existence of spirit or not.
Much of religion and matters spiritual is written in poetic language, the language of sentimental folk. Science is written in prose, objective language, not poetic language. Scientific spirituality is not written in poetic and lovely language that deceives rather than enlightens but in the language of science, prose, a language that all can understand. The job of this paper, inter alia, is to translate religion's poetry into prose, the language of science.
WHAT ARE GOD, SPIRIT AND SOUL?
The terms God, Spirit and Soul tend to go together so let us see if we can make sense of them. What is God and does God exist? If God exists how do we know that he exists?
Traditionally, folks relied on what other people told them about God as evidence that God exists. Every once in a while a person claims that God speaks to him or through him and proceeds to tell us something about God. If he makes sense folks follow him and a new religion is formed. Generally, few try to verify the source of what the fellow who claims to speak for God says to find out if God indeed exists and speak through him.
If God does not exist how can he speak through Krishna, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammad, Bahaullah and the other folk that claimed to speak for him? Could it be that these folks who claimed to speak for God were insane folks?
We know that in psychoses, such as schizophrenia and mania, folks claim to hear voices and see things that the rest of us do not hear or see. Could these so-called messengers of God be insane folk hearing voices and seeing things that do not exist?
I wish that life is that simple! I have worked with psychotics and understand the symptoms of psychoses. Psychotics do not make sense in their claims of being God. Those who claimed to speak for God often make sense and were generally rational persons. Psychotics are not rational in their utterances; in fact it is the lack of reasonableness in what psychotics say that to the average person make them seem insane. On the other hand, to the same average person what those who claimed to speak for God said does not seem insane. To me, what Jesus said certainly does not seem insane, although most of it seems highly improbable; the teaching of Jesus Christ, to me, seem like wishful thinking found in idealistic persons; idealistic persons are not insane, they just do not like reality as it is and wish for an ideal alternative to it. Given the ugliness of reality, who would blame folk for wishing that it become better! All that one can do is to call such folk's attention to the need to deal with ugly reality as it is and not take flight to the imaginary world of fantasy where our minds make the ugly seem ideal and perfect. To survive in this world we must cope with the exigencies of the world as they are, not as we wish they become.
Therefore, we cannot out rightly dismiss what religious idealists said about the nature of reality. These folks are not necessarily insane so we must subject what they said about God to critical examination. Generally, they make sense but add nonsense to their sense. Jesus made loads of sense but also had loads of rubbish in his teaching; the same goes for Mohammad and the other so-called teachers of God. Our job is to ascertain what makes sense in what these folks teach and take them and throw away the chaff. We should not throw away the baby with the bathwater.
So, does God exist and if he does how can we prove it? I have not seen God; I have not heard from God. Have you seen God or heard from him? If you said yes to this question you have just told a lie. Why a lie?
To see something it must have form. To see God he must have form (such as look like a person, animal, tree, rock etc). Only that which has form can have image. If God has a form then he can have image.
God cannot have form and therefore cannot have image. Since he is not in form and does not have image you cannot see him or hear from him.
How do I know that God does not have form, is not like a grand old man sitting somewhere in the sky being in charge of the world. A person like you and I, a person in form, body, lives in space and time and could not possibly have produced the universe of forms. Only the formless could have produced the world of forms. Form comes from formlessness; this is our experience on earth. Ideas in our minds produce the external world of forms we create but those forms do not create our ideas.
If God exists he must, therefore, be formless; he must not have body; he must not live in the world of space and time. In other words, if God exists he must be spirit, if by spirit we mean that which does not have form, that which is pure idea, mind.
Spirit is that which does not have form; spirit is that which does not exist in body (matter) and does not exist in the universe of space, time and matter. Spirit is formless and outside space, time and matter.
In other words, spirit is outside the perceptual universe we live in. In the perceptual universe we live in things, including us, have forms and therefore can be imaged and seen and heard from. God is spirit and spirit is outside the world of perception and therefore we cannot see him or hear him talk to us.
If you said that you saw God or that he talked to you, you are merely projecting yourself to what you call God; you are deluded and is hallucinating (which is not necessarily psychotic for all perception is hallucination).
THE NATURE OF GOD
There is spirit. Spirit is formless (has no physical attributes). Spirit is one and simultaneously infinite in numbers. Spirit is unified. Infinite spirits are unified as one spirit. What folks call God is unified spirit self; God is one spirit that is simultaneously infinite in numbers. One spirit manifests in all things, including human beings, animals, and trees and so on.
God, in my terminology, unified spirit self, is one. That one self is creative. God is always creative. There was no time in which he was not creating. He has been creating for as long as he existed. Since he has existed for ever and ever he has been creating forever and ever. Since he has created from ever and ever it follows that his creations are, in earthly terms, the same age as he is! If you give God an age then his creation has the same age as he. God and his creation are of the same age. However, they do not have age for age implies existence in space, time and matter.
God and his creation exist outside space, time and matter hence has no age; they have existed forever and ever. Forever and ever is now; there is no past and future in God, for past and future presupposes space, time and matter.
God is eternal and immortal; since he has been creating from the get go of his eternal existence his creations are eternal and immortal.
God and his creations share one self and share one mind. (Mind is their means of thinking and creating.)
One God extends/projects his self to his son. He gave all of his self to his son. This includes his creative powers.
The son of God, containing God's creative powers, extends to his son. The son of God gave all of his self to his son.
The son of the son of God gave his self to his own son. This way creation begins from God and continues outwards forever and ever.
This idea of God extending to his son or projecting to his son is, of course, a metaphoric way of putting it; it is not literally true
Literally, God is his son and his son is God. Brahman (God) is Atman (son of God) is God. God and his son share one self and are one self. Where God ends and his son begin is nowhere; there is no space or gap between God and his son. God and his son are literally one self.
(When you have what Meister Eckhart called mystical union with God you would know that God is you and that you are God and that God is simultaneously every person and every person is God; God is not just you, and not other people, as psychotics claim; God is all of us and all of us is God.)
Let us restate what I have said so far. I have said that there is only one self, a spirit self that has no name but for ease we may call God. That God has no physical dimensions; it is formless and does not have image. He is not in the world of space, time and matter. That spirit self is one and simultaneously infinite in numbers. That one self projects his one self to his son who projects his self to his own son. That way we have infinite sons of God all of whom are God and God is all of them. Each of us is the son of God.
If you have not understood what I have just said, stop and think about it until it makes sense to you. When you understand it, that one self is all selves and all selves are one self then let us move on.
In eternity (what folks call heaven) God extends to his son (you may also call the son of God soul or spirit; call him what you like, for like his father he has no name) and his son extends to his own son, ad infinitum.
Heaven is not a place. Heaven is everywhere. For you, heaven is where you are now; for me heaven is where I am, now. You are now in heaven. I am now in heaven. We are all in heaven; this is not figurative but literal. Right now, you and I are in heaven. We are always in heaven (but dream that we are outside it).
Heaven is the world of union, unified self. We are all part of that unified spirit self. We are always in that formless unified spirit self. We are always in God and cannot not be in God. We are always in heaven and cannot not be in heaven. We always live in unified state.
Union is the same as love; therefore we always live in love. We live in love and imagine ourselves outside love; we live in union and imagine ourselves outside it, see ourselves as separated from it and from each other.
How did this come about? How did what come about? Separation has not occurred. We are always in union. We are merely dreaming the opposite of heaven, earth. We are always in unified state and dream the opposite of union, separation and seem to live in separated world.
A MYTH OF THE ORIGIN OF OUR PHYSICAL UNIVERSE
Eternity (which is now) is unified. We are in that unified eternal now. While in the state of perfect union (which is the same as perfect harmony, perfect peace and perfect joy) we wish to experience it's opposite. We desire to experience the opposite of union; we wish to experience the opposite of love. We are unified and want to experience separated self.
(Our nature is love and we want to experience lovelessness but since our nature is love in our loveless world we seek love.)
That which is eternally unified cannot be separated. Yet we wish for separated self. As it were (in Hindu categories we cast Maya, magic, spell on us) we went to sleep and in our sleep dream that we are separated from unified state, God, and from each other.
Right now we are in unified state, God, heaven but seem to be sleeping and dreaming that we are in a universe that the earth is a part of, a place of separated state (there are infinite universes that we do dream that we are in).
The physical universe of space, time and matter we see with our physical eyes, that is, the perceptual world is literally not there; it does not exist or if you like, it exists like a dream in our minds.
The dream seems real for us because we want it to exist for us; we want it to exist so that we may experience the opposite of union.
Our real self is unified self and we want to experience the opposite of our real self (experience separated self, also called ego self). Our real self is love and we want to experience the opposite of love, hate.
Sigmund Freud said that in dreams we gratify the wishes we could not gratify in our wake life. He was referring to the world of here and now, of course, but we can extrapolate from his metaphor and say that in our wake state, which is spirit state, we are unified and wished to become separated from each other and could not gratify that wish in wake state, in spirit, in heaven, in God, and made ourselves go to sleep and in our sleep dream a universe where we now seem separated from each other.
To make separation seem real to us we invented space-time and matter. We house ourselves in matter (body) and walk from place to place in space. I am over here and you are over there. I am housed in my body and you are housed in your body. What hurts my body and gives it pain may not do so to your body (at least not at the same time, for I may now be in pain and you are not in pain so you cannot possibly say that my body is your body). Bodies give us a sense of boundaries from each other. We thus seem separated from each other.
We make ourselves have different interests. My interests seem different from your interests.
We look differently. I am black and you may be white, so we seem different from each other. I am a man and you may be a woman, so we seem different from each other. Some of us are tall and some are short; some are thin and some are fat; some are, as the world sees it, very bright and some are very dull.
These physical appearances reinforce the belief that we are different from each other. Thus, we believe that we are different from each other.
Our physical eyes show us that we are different from each other and therefore any one who tells us that we are the same (we are the same in spirit, but not on earth) does not seem to know what he is talking about.
On earth we are different and are unequal but in spirit we are the same and coequal. On earth we have different interests but in spirit we have the same interests.
All stories of how the universe came into being are exactly those, stories, myths. They are myths because they are talking about what has not come into existence. The universe we see with our eyes does not exist but to us it seems to exist.
Let us assume that it exists. If it exists as a material universe, the Big Bang hypothesis seem to be the best explanation of how it came into being (for now any way; that hypothesis will obviously change in the future when more information is available to us).
According to this story of the creation of the material universe, 13.7 billion years ago something came out of nowhere, got inordinately hot and exploded and created particles, which formed into atoms and also created space and time.
In the poetic language of Helen Schucman (in her 1200 pages long poem, A course in miracles) we attacked each other and pushed each other away from each other; that is, we separated from each other. To spirit the physical world we see with our naked eyes do not exist. To spirit what exists is the unified world, a world that is formless and has no space and time in it.
Unified spirit does not see our world. Yet it is unified spirit that created our world.
As it were, parts of unified spirit sleep and dream our world. How so?
A part of unified spirit (a part that contains all of unified spirit), a son of God (that contains all of God and all of God's creation, all of us) desired to separate from unified spirit and slept and dream this world.
The part of God that separated from him is the son of God. In his new dream world the son of God invented a new replacement self for him, a self that adapts to the new world it created. It created a separated world and created a separated self, aka the ego.
The ego self is the replacement self we made to use in adapting to this world. The ego self is a substitute self; it is not our real self. Our real self is the unified spirit self.
To us the ego (the son of God in his dream world) is real and we must love it. The ego is the self that sees itself as separated from God and people; the ego is the self that sees itself as the body it lives in.
The ego believing itself the body it lives in and seeing other egos and things arrayed against it protects the body and world it lives in. The ego sees a world and other people trying to harm it and defends itself.
In this world other people see themselves as different from you and as having different interest from you and could attack and harm you. Therefore, the you that adapts to this world, the ego, must defend its self from other peoples real and potential attacks. The ego must be defensive and protective.
Each of us is defensive and protective of his ego self. That is the way to survive in this world. If you stopped defending your body you would die (awaken to unified spirit self).
We made the ego and protect it. The ego is our handwork. The ego is our idol. It is therefore understandable that we protect it, protect what we made. Nevertheless, to protect the ego, indeed to have an ego, to have a self concept, to have a human personality and see it as who one is, is to be idolatrous. In reality we have no separated self concepts, no self images yet we invented craven cows, images as who we are and defend them, worship them.
Let me recapitulate what I have said so far. Our true self, our real self is unified spirit self, aka God self. While still in that unified self we wished to experience its opposite, which is separated self. We cannot not be unified so we played a trick on ourselves and now seem to sleep and dream separated selves. We now see ourselves as separated selves.
While we are currently seeing ourselves as separated selves housed in bodies we are always in unified spirit self (if you have mystical union, holy instant, now, you would experience yourself as one with all people and with God, meaning that you have never separated from anything; separation is an illusion, an illusion that can be made lovely via love).
Our world is a dream in which we see ourselves as separated from each other. It is a world of multiplicity and separation. That is its design and nature. It is designed for me to be over here and for you to be over there; for us to see ourselves as separated from each other and have different interests. Here we are, and all that is left is whether we can make that world lovely or not.
God, our real self, that is, wants to make our world lovely. God, our real self, does not want to end the illusion of separation; instead, it wants to make it lovely. God wants to make our illusion a beautiful illusion. How is that accomplished?
It is accomplished when we recognize that at base we are unified and are one and therefore love one another.
If I love you and you love me, although we are still in the world of separated selves, the world of illusions our world become fairly happy and peaceful; we would have happy dream, beautiful illusion.
Our world would still be illusory for we still see ourselves as separated from each other. Separation is the illusion. The truth is that we all share one self. But as long as we desire separation and seem to live in a separated world we can make that illusory world seem happy.
In our world I am over here and you are over there. I see you and you see me. Perception requires us to be separated from each other. We live in a separated hence perceptual world.
There are two ways of seeing; two approaches to perception. We can see with hate or we can see with love. If we see with hate we truly believe in separation. If we see with love we acknowledge our union with other folks and work for our common interests.
Wrong perception is to see others as separated and hate them; right perception is to see others as separated from us but love them.
In both wrong and right perception the assumption of separation is made. Thus, wrong and right perception is illusions but obviously right perception is preferable illusion for love has entered that illusion and as we all know love gives us peace and joy.
Continuing with the metaphor of wrong and right perception, we can say that in our minds are two ways to looking at us and the world, the wrong mind and the right mind. My mind, your mind has two perceptual lenses. The wrong mind, aka the left mind sees without love; the right mind sees with love, forgiveness and correction of mistakes.
In Christological language, to see through the right mind is to see with the eyes of Christ (Christ is metaphor for love). This is also called seeing with spiritual eyes (aka seeing through the guidance of the Holy Spirit).
EGO, CHRIST AND HOLY SPIRIT
There are no such entities as ego, Holy Spirit and Christ; those are metaphors for a way of living on earth. However, we can employ them as long as we do not concretize these abstract, metaphoric ideas.
In that light the ego is the mind that sees with separation and hate; Christ is the mind that recognizes all people as related to him and loves them all; Holy Spirit is the mind that sees separation but knows that the seeming separated selves are parts of unified self hence urges us to love them all.
To see with spiritual eyes, to see with the eyes of Christ is to see other people as separated from you but you love them anyway.
To see with ego eyes is to see other people as separated from you and you hate them.
To say that I see with spiritual eyes means that I see you as over there and me as over here but I love you nevertheless. I am still in the world of illusion (for seeing at all means that I am in the world of perception, perception is illusion but it can be purified when I see with love). I still see you as not me but I love you. No matter what you do or who you are I love you. If you engage in evil behavior I do not accept it, I want to correct it. I forgive your evil behavior but do not condone it. The important point is that I recognize that though in the temporal universe we seem separated I know that in the spiritual universe we are unified as one self so I love you.
Let me repeat; to see separated selves and love the separated selves is seeing with spiritual eyes, which is to see with the eyes of Christ. Please try to get this point before moving on, for the term Christ and spiritual seeing is clothed with a whole bunch of spiritual mumbo jumbo talk. Let me repeat; when you see people as separated from you, which you must do if you are on earth, and still love them anyway, you are seeing with spiritual eyes (spiritual because you understand that spirit is unified).
Seeing with Christ eyes (aka Christ vision) and Spiritual eyes is still illusion, although it might be called happy illusion, happy fiction.
Seeing could be wrong or corrected. Perception is wrong when it accepts separation and hates other people; perception is corrected when it accepts separation and loves other people.
Love in the context of separation is still part of the illusion, for properly speaking love can only obtain in unified spirit. In spirit we are unified spirit self and are literally love. Love exists in spirit; spirit is love and love is spirit.
On earth, in the dream of separation we can employ the term love in its attenuated form to mean seeing other people as one with us, working for our common goals and social interests. This is attenuated love, not real love.
Real love can only be known in spirit. (In mystical union you experience real love in the union with God and all selves; it is such bliss, peace and joy that it cannot be expressed in words.)
On earth we are separated from each other hence need words to speak to each other and need sight to see each other.
In spirit we are literally one self. Therefore, in spirit we do not need words to speak to each other or eyes to see each other. In spirit we know that we are each other.
In spirit there is knowledge of our oneness; in spirit there is no seeing or speech.
As long as you have speech and sight you are on earth. The only question left is whether you can correct your sight and speech. Corrected sight and vision means seeing all people as if they are one with you and you love all people as you love you (not more not less, for you cannot give to other people what you did not give to you; you must love you and you must love other people).
Let me summarize what I said in this section. We are in the world of separation, which is the world of multiplicity and the world of perception. We can see with hate or we can see with love.
To see with hate is to have wrong vision. To see with love for all is to see with corrected vision. Corrected perception is not the truth but it leads to eventual experience of the truth. The truth goes beyond perception.
If you correct your perception (no longer have misperception of phenomena) and see all with love you have purified your sight; you now see with the eyes of Christ; you now see with the eyes of the Holy Spirit (Christ and Holy Spirit are interchangeable metaphors). You now have purified sight; you now have Christ vision; you now have spiritual sight.
If you can go for a week, just one week with spiritual sight (have love for all in your mind) and then try meditation you would escape from this world and experience the formless unified world.
But to experience unified spirit you must first correct your vision, meet its condition. You must first love you and love all people. When you consistently love all people then you can experience our oneness in spirit. You would suddenly experience our physical world disappear, literally and you know yourself as one with all being, infinite beings all of them you and you them.
But until you love all you cannot experience oneness with all. You can pray all you want and you would not know oneness, God.
To enter heaven one must meet heaven's conditions. Heaven is love so to enter heaven one must be a loving person. As long as there is one son of God that you do not love, that you bear grudges against, seek revenge for what he did to you, is vengeful you cannot enter heaven. God is love so those who come to be near him must be love.
You come to God when you love all his children. When you love all people, metaphorically you are at the gate of heaven but still not in heaven. You are still on earth because you are still in the world of forms and in the perceptual world; you still believe in separation hence see at all. You still believe that you have a self that is separated from other selves; you believe that you are separated and that you are in body.
If you love all and meditate, one day you would experience yourself as one with all (you would enter heaven...heaven is given to you to experience, Helen Schucman called this experience Holy Instance, while you are still in the world of separation).
When you experience oneness you know that unified spirit is real. When you know that it is real then you no longer take our world too seriously. You still live in our world but you are detached from it. You still work to make a living but you know that you are not your body and that other people are not their bodies. You do what we all do to adapt to our world of illusion but know that there is a real world, the world of union in which we all share one spirit self.
Is this your normal way of understanding spirit and God? Probably not. Spirit is that which has no form, is formless and has no beginning or end, is unified and is infinite in numbers.
Our true self is spirit. If you like you could say that our true self is soul, if by soul you mean that which does not live in body. Each of us is spirit, is a soul; ones soul is part of all souls and all souls are unified as God's soul (God is unified soul).
If you have read so far the question that you must ask is this: is this bunch of hooey or is it something that I can verify and know to be true? If I can verify it how can I do so without much religious mumbo jumbo? You have asked the right questions.
So, how do we verify that what is said in this paper is true?
DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE UNION OF ALL THINGS?
Clearly in our world all things are separated so how can you believe that all things are unified. Think about the issue of union and separation until you are convinced that union is possible. Until you mentally accept the union of all things you cannot move forward. How you become convinced of the reality of union is going to be individualistic. I had my own way of doing so (which may not be your own way). I got to it through science.
Science led me to believe that at root all things are one and simultaneously many. Let us consider quantum physics and see how it could lead one to accept the union of all things. If you did not study physics, especially Einstein's relativity theory, special and general, and quantum mechanics and find this section unintelligible you can skip this section; I am presenting it to show how through it I was convinced that union is true. You can find conviction in the union of things through your own means.
As long as you are at it you can ponder this fact: the sun is 93 million miles away from the earth; other stars are billions of miles away from the earth. Yet our bodies are the direct product of the sun and stars. The atoms, elements in our bodies were cooked in the stars (or during the death of stars, supernovae). The heat and light from the sun comes to earth and trees through photosynthesis transform that sun energy to green leaves. We eat leaves to form our bodies. In effect, our bodies are the product of the sun. Are we then separated from the sun that formed our bodies? We are one with the sun, the stars and the galaxies and one with the universe.
First, let me summarize quantum mechanics (you can find its details in most text books on physics).
Over twenty five hundred years ago, the Greek, Democritus observed that matter could be reduced to a part that can no longer be reduced and called it the atom.
When the Greek and Roman empires fell, the Catholic Church became the primary source of knowledge and redirected folks to religious views of phenomena away from secular thinking. The idea of the atom went out of vogue until John Dalton, in the early nineteenth century, reintroduced it.
In the nineteenth century Michael Faraday discovered the electric mother; late in the century James Clerk Maxwell reconciled electricity and magnetism (in a famous equation). In 1897 J. J. Thompson discovered the electron.
In 1900 Max Plank discovered the quanta of light (later renamed photon); the idea is that light has particles. In 1905 Albert Einstein conclusively proved that light has particles that knock off electrons from hot objects (in his paper on the photoelectric effect of light). In 1911 Ernest Rutherford discovered that the atom is not the smallest part of matter but that the atom itself has a nucleus (proton). In 1913 Nails Bohr noted that the electron circled the nucleus in the atom. In 1932 James Chadwick discovered that the nucleus of atoms is made of neutrons (as well as the protons that Rutherford discovered).
The constituents of the atom are a nucleus with proton and neutron in it and electrons circling the nucleus. (Protons and neutrons have since been shown to be composed of quarks; and quarks are shown to be composed of radiation, light, photons; electrons are composed of light, congealed light.)
Quantum mechanics is the physics that explains how all these work out, how matter behaves at the microscopic level, as opposed to how it behaves at the macroscopic level (gravity rules at the larger world). Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Born, Broglie, Pauli, Dirac and others worked out the nature of quantum mechanics.
Some of the ideas these folks posited are: Heisenberg's uncertainty principle (that you cannot at the same time locate the position of particles and their velocity, it is either you know one or the other), Broglie's particle-wave function of particles, that electrons and other particles behave as light does, that is both have wave and particles functions; Bohr's complementarily principle etc.
Quantum mechanics teaches us about the behavior of matter at its smallest level; it is not how matter behaves at the large level.
At the large level you pretty much can predict how matter behaves but at the small level you cannot predict the behavior of matter and have to use probability to calculate particles behavior.
In the late 1930s Lise Meitner pointed out that if we bombarded the nucleus of atoms that we could split them and release the energy in them. If the nucleus is bombarded with neutrons it is split (this is called nuclear fission) and energy is released. Enrico Fermi, Otto Hahn, Strassmann and others experimentally proved that this is doable.
In the Second World War Manhattan project led by Robert Oppenheimer we actually split uranium nucleus by bombarding it with neurons and released energy (energy that could be used to supply cities with light or to destroy cities...we used it to destroy Nagasaki and Hiroshima and use it in our nuclear reactors to provide electricity to some of our cities).
We have learned a lot about the make up of matter at the micro (small) and macro (large) levels. We have learned about the four forces of nature: electromagnetism, gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces (Einstein tried to reconcile all these four forces into one force, the grand theory of every thing and failed and others after him have also tried to unify the four forces and failed).
In 1957 Hugh Everett wrote his doctoral dissertation for John Wheeler at PrincetonUniversity to the effect that we really cannot state that there is only one particle at work at any point in time. As he saw it, it appears that our experiment decides how particles behave, as one or many. If our experiment asks for the particle to be one it so behaves and if it calls for many particles it so behaves.
In the double slit experiment (by Thomas Young in 1803) a particle went through one hole as if it is a particle and through two slits as if it is many particles, waves. (We know this through the interference marks they make on the screen behind the two slits). If one has one slit particles behave as particles but if one has two or more slits (holes) a particle suddenly divides itself and behaves as many particles. One thing becomes many so does one thing exists or is one thing simultaneously many things?
Building on this seeming paradox, how some thing could behave as one or behave as many things, Hugh Everett argued that particles are probably neither one nor many but behave as the experimenter wants them to behave (pretty much like Schrodinger's cat experiment suggests). He said that particles may not exist until we want them to exist, are in superposition; in a world where they are neither one nor many but come out and behave as the experimenter want them to behave.
If I, the experimenter want particles to seem like one they behave like one; if I want them to behave like many they behave like many. Before I ask them to behave in a certain manner they seem to exist in world where they are neither one nor many. Indeed, it is even doubtful that they exist at all before my experiment.
What does this mean? Everett is saying that probably nothing exists before we want them to exist; or that when we want something to exist that it exists for us, and exist as we want it to exist for us, as single, separated particles or as many particles (waves). In effect, he is saying that reality is probably neither one nor many but unknown but comes to behave as we want it to behave for us, as separated objects or as unified objects.
Please stop and ponder Hugh Everett's hypothesis.
Many physicists have embraced Everett's view and use it to argue that the Big Bang that produced this world came from nothing and produced infinite universes and we see the universe we want to see, our current physical universe. This is the multiverse idea. Dewitt and David Deutsch at Oxford University believe that there are infinite universes, each of them existing where we see our universe; they say that there are infinites us, infinite you and I each in other universes. They say that we see the us we want to see. Think about this matter before you move on.
John Bell, an Irish physicist working at the European laboratory near Geneva where they super collide particles and shatter them to see what they are composed of (they verified that protons and neutrons are composed of quarks...and quarks are composed of photons; quarks are congealed light, meaning that everything came from light particles) in the 1960s pointed out that when particles are entangled and later separated they tend to respond with each other. If you take two particles and entangle them, associate them and then separate them, and place them at the opposite ends of the universe, when you touch one and it responds in a certain manner, the other particle so responds regardless of where it is in the universe. The French Physicist, Allen Aspect has proved this non-locality phenomenon in the laboratory. Distance does not seem to make any difference to how entangled particles react.
What does this mean? It suggests that either one particle is at the two seeming separated locations or that if they are two that distance does not affect their reaction time. It says that distance and locality is not operative at the microscopic level.
At the macroscopic level where you and I live, we seem to respond differently from each other and there is certainly time interval in our responses.
Think about this observation. Your body is made of atoms (the various elements, especially carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc) which are made of particles. If particles are non-local it follows that the particles in your body respond to what happens to other particles in the universe; they are either not separated from other particles or they are one with them.
Stop right there and think about the implication of non- locality. Are you separated from other people if the particles in your body and their bodies are one?
Whereas quantum mechanics deals with matter it is possible to draw the inference from it that at root there is one thing, one thing that we do not know what it is, and that that one thing became all things and that all those seeming separated things respond to each other (non-locally).
The current story of how the universe came into being, the Big Bang story reinforces this non-locality narrative. According to this story of the origin of the universe, 13.7 billion years ago something came out of nothing. That something (singularity is the name for the initial state of that thing) got hot and then exploded and produced light and its particles, photons. Within the very second of its explosion some of the particles of light it produced transformed themselves to electrons, and some to quarks which later transformed themselves to protons and neutrons.
By the end of the first three minutes of the early universe's existence protons and neutrons joined to form nuclei of hydrogen and helium.
The early universe expanded at a speed greater than the speed of light (which is 186, 000 miles per second) otherwise it would not have escaped the pull of the force gravity and would have re-collapsed to itself (this is what Allan Gutt's inflation theory said).
For the next 400, 000 years the universe was plasma; that is, the entire universe was composed of unattached nuclei, electrons and photons. Thereafter, nuclei captured electrons to form hydrogen and helium elements.
The universe then was composed of a cloud of hydrogen and helium for millions of years. Thereafter, space occurred in the cloud of hydrogen and clumps of hydrogen were acted upon by gravity and in their cores ignition took place and hydrogen fused into helium hence the birth of stars.
We have trillions of stars. Groups of stars are called galaxies. Each of the 200 billion known galaxies has at least 200 billion stars.
Some of the stars have planets around them. Our star, the sun, has nine planets orbiting it. On one of those planets, earth, are biological organisms.
Here is the inference I drew from quantum mechanics and the Big Bang hypothesis of the origin of our universe. I draw the conclusion that originally there was something, something that we do not know what it was. That some thing became one and many, depending on what we want it to be for us. If we want it to be one it would seem like one (particle) and if we want it to be many it would act like many (wave function). That something is neither particles nor wave but could act as one depending on our desire.
That something I call unified spirit self. We are all part of it. Currently, we want it to seem like particles (each of us) and so it seems for us. We can also want it to seem unified (wave) and it would seem so to us.
In what folks call mystical union the individual gives up his desire for separated self and experiences that something as one unified spirit self. Thereafter, the individual returns to the wish for separation and that something acts as separated, as many for him and he identifies as one of it and sees other aspects of it as not him.
This inference from quantum physics does not make me a wild eyed Oriental mystic who ignores this world and contemplate his navel. No, I live in this world and do what scientists do; I assume that the material universe is outside me and thus study it. I study the world of space, time and matter.
I study my body as if it is real. I see the world and think that it is real and study it. I want to understand the material universe on its own terms, according to science.
But I also accept that the seeming material universe is at root unified, is what we do not know. That which we do not know I give the name of unified spirit.
Unified spirit is just my name for the unknown. Of course, in reality it is not called unified spirit or God. In reality it has no name. It is one thing that is also many things; one thing that is at the same time infinite things. It acts as one if we want it to act as one thing and acts as many things if we want it to act so. But it is neither one nor many; it is what it is and what it is we do not know.
Let me reword what I have just said. I have just said that there is something, something that is nameless, something that is neither one nor many but something that I choose to call unified spirit self.
That one thing in its pure state is eternal. We can make it behave as we see in our world, in which case it behaves as if it is its opposite, mortal; the eternal and immortal behaves as the mortal for us. The permanent and changeless behaves as if it is bound by time and changes. It does for us whatever we want it to do for us. While doing for us what we want it to do for us it remains in its pure state not what it does for us.
Our real self is part of that unknown something; our true self has no name; it is timeless and changeless; it is eternal. But at present we want it to seem separated and mortal and so it seems for us while remaining unified.
This is how I see it. My conclusion is not based on mere perception but on my experience, for I have consciously decided not to own my separated self, disidentified with my ego and body self and stopped thinking with my usual ego categories and then experienced no ego, separated self.
When we let go of our attachment to our ego, detach from the ego and its separated world we return to the awareness of something that has no name, something religions call God and his son as unified self. That something is ineffable and cannot be described in words.
Although I have experienced unified spirit self, I am not asking you to believe that it is real. I am not interested in belief or faith; I am interested in science.
The scientific method must verify something before it accepts it. I am therefore asking you to verify the thesis I posited here and if you can prove it to you then accept it but if not discard it.
LOVE AND MEDITATION
You can verify the reality of union by doing certain things. First, love you and love all people. See all people as at root one (never mind that in the empirical universe they seem separated and different...that is, negate your perception that things are separated and behave as if they are their opposite, unified).
Thereafter, suspend your ego based thinking and try to become silent. Do not say what any thing means. Do not say who you are or who other people are or what anything means. Accept that you do not know who you are, who other people are and what the world and its events mean.
Stay silent for a while. If you can maintain an empty mind, an inner void for one hour you would experience your sense of self, the self concept, the personality dissolve and you feel as if you have no separated self.
When this begins to happen, you would most likely experience intense fear from the death of your usual self; the death of the ego self is very terrifying. You would panic for we cherish our ego selves. If you are like me, you would struggle to re-convince you that you have an ego separated self.
At this point folks may go psychotic for psychosis is a product of decompensation, derealization and depersonalization and recompensating with a false grandiose self.
This is why it is generally recommended that before you embark on serious meditation that you should have a spiritual advisor around you. A Hindu swami who is enlightened to his real self, unified self, Brahman, is my recommended spiritual director for those trying meditation to reach their real self.
If you do not allow fear of finitude and oblivion to deter you and you accept that you are not your separated ego self, not your body and that you do not know who you are, who other people are etc and just keep quiet you would have for the first time in your life behaved honestly.
We are mostly dishonest for we tell ourselves lies about who we are. We tell ourselves the lie that we are separated selves in bodies. In truth we are a self that we cannot put in words, an ineffable self.
So, be truthful and let your self concept die; let your earthly personality dissolve and have no self that you defend and protect and remain quiet. If you do so for one hour your self and its empirical world would disappear and you would experience yourself differently.
First, you would see yourself in a new form, a light form (this is the self folks see in out of body and near death experience...it is still illusory but happy illusion). If you persist in denying that you are the self in form, dense or light, you would attain a formless self, a self that has no name, a self that for explanatory purposes I have called unified spirit self.
Try love for you and all people and then try serious meditation and see if you can experience your real self, unified spirit self, a formless pure idea; our true self is the idea of a part in a whole self, the idea folks call God. (What exists in truth is idea; the idea of the whole, aka God, and the idea of parts of that whole, us; forms, bodies are what we use in dreaming in the many universes we invented to amuse us with.)
THE FUNCTIONS SERVED BY BELIEF IN GOD
There is a purpose(s) for whatever human beings do. People do not just get up one day and say that they believe in God. Belief in God serves certain functions for them. The following are some of the functions of belief in God.
Belief in God gives people a sense of life's continuity; that is, that they live after they physically die.
It helps them to cope with the uncertainties of being; there are many factors we do not control in our lives and it helps to believe that God is in charge of them and looks after our interests. Thus, folks say God willing they will get what they want; this recognizes that they do not have the power to guarantee getting what they desire.
It recognizes man's limited power and control over his life and the events in his life. There are many things we cannot control and to think that we can do so is foolishness. New age religionists say that they are in charge of their lives and that they create their reality; this is utter foolishness for even as they delude themselves with their supposed self charge their political leaders manipulate them like jelly; the politicians in turn are held in bondage by the political ideology they embraced and the political system they live under (if you live in America you dare not challenge the free enterprise system regardless of its unequal distribution of wealth, not if you want to be a politician).
Belief in God is a means of dealing with disappointments and frustrations by attributing them to the will of God. Moreover, if one accepts that God is in charge of ones life, prays to him to guide one, then one seems to have power over that God by manipulating him through prayer.
Belief in God's guidance gives one calmness and peace of body and mind.
A course in miracles gives one psychological equanimity by telling one that life is a dream, a delusion and hallucination. It says that one should not take what is happening in the world seriously. It asks one to do what Buddhists and Hindus do, become detached to the things of this world, seek them but in an unattached manner and so if one does not get them one does not feel disappointed. This leads to calmness and peace of mind.
(If you recall, Gautama Buddha taught his followers that life on earth is characterized by suffering; that suffering is caused by desire; that when we do not get what we desire we feel disappointed and suffer, that the way to end suffering is to not have desires, and that if we must have desires for the things of this world that we ought to do so with detachment so as not to feel frustrated if we do not get them. The things of this world are ephemeral and fleeting so we must not be attached to them to avoid disappointment. These are the four noble truths that Buddha taught; he also taught eight ways to live a happy life, which boils down to loving and having compassion for you and all people and to always speak the truth about people.)
On the whole religion and its belief in God helps human beings to live with uncertainty and still feel powerful by believing that God is looking after their interests; it calms people and gives them peace. A course in miracles additionally enables folks to not take anything that has to do with flesh seriously while offering hope in a better world, the world of spirit guided to by the Holy Spirit.
In my judgment, religion has many uses and folks are not about to give religion up and live uncertain lives and see themselves as ending with death. Religion and belief in God prevents folks from depression and committing suicide from the belief than this world is pointless, meaningless and purposeless. Science does not give belief in life after death and does not control uncertainty hence does not rival religion in helping mankind cope with uncertainty. Science leads to depression from acceptance that life ends with death. Therefore, I would encourage folks to participate in religion if that makes sense to them. I am a Jnani Yogi and reach God through thinking and do not need to worship God as Bhakti Yogis do; I do not need to belong to any religion.
NORMAL FOLKS AUTOMATICALLY EMBRACE THEIR GROUPS RELIGIONS
Normal persons are socialized to their group's religion and internalize its particular ways of approaching God; they automatically practice their group's religion (for example, I was socialized a Catholic and automatically behave like a Catholic even though I consider myself non religious...when in trouble, I automatically do the sign of the cross). If socialized a Christian one is always a Christian, if a Muslim always a Muslim, if an African religionist one is always so.
You cannot convert normal people to other forms of religions. At any point in time only, may be, one percent of the people are not socialized to their group's religion and are thus amenable to considering other religions.
My scientific spirituality will probably appeal to only a few persons.
WHO IS A SPIRITUAL THERAPIST?
I was a secular therapist for over twenty years. In secular therapy, you apply the trainings you received at our universities in psychology to those who come to you asking for psychological help. The typical "worried well neurotic" (as we call our clients) who comes to therapists has university education, is a professional. Generally, his problems are minor, are neurosis not psychosis (psychotics do not go to therapists, they go to psychiatrists to get their medications and have case managers to provide them with ways and means to survive in the community).
The typical client has anxiety issues or depression issues or interpersonal issues or family issues. He tells you about his problems (during intake) and you assess his problem and if he has a diagnosis give him one. You come up with a treatment plan specifying what you are going to do for him, likely offer him cognitive behavior therapy, how often you would see him (typically once a week, one hour at a time) and for how long you would see him (typically a year).
Every week the client comes in and you listen to his problem and give him feedback on some useful things to do about his issues and he pays you (typical about one hundred and twenty dollars an hour). You see six clients a day and do these five days a week. That is pretty much your job. It is routine. You are the therapist, the authority figure and the clients pay you for your expertise on the human mind and human behavior.
This is not how it works in spiritual psychotherapy. In spiritual psychotherapy the therapist is not an expert on anything. In fact, he needs to be healed as much as his client needs to be healed. The client is as much the therapist as the so-called professional therapist is. How so?
This is because the client and his problems are there to enable the therapist to understand his own problems and for both of them to work together and heal their mutual problems. There is no teacher and student here, no expert and non- expert; both parties are serving each others needs.
In spiritual psychotherapy the therapist, hopefully, understands our one problem: that all of us are separated from our true self, unified spirit self. We are all in a manner of speaking sick.
We are deluded and hallucinating for we believe what is not true as true; it is not true that we are separated but we believe that fiction; we all hallucinate in that we see a separated world that is not really there.
We live in the world of perception. The world of perception is inherently an illusion, a sick world, a deluded world.
The only solution to the problem of perception is to correct it. Hopefully, the therapist has learned about the need to correct his and other people's perceptions.
If separation is the problem union is the solution. To unify is to love. Therefore, correcting the misperception of separation is to love all people and in loving them unify with them.
Purified perception means loving ones self and loving all people.
Healing means correcting ones perception, from ego perception (separated perception filled with hate) to Christ perception, seeing with love, with spiritual eyes. Holy Spirit guided perception simply means that one has learned the gospel of the Holy Spirit (God in the immanent universe, that we are one self and love all selves as part of ones self).
Seeing all with love is called having Christ vision or spiritual sight.
We are already in the world of separation and each of us believes that he has different interests; healed perception teaches us that we have common interests. When the individual works for the common good of all people his perception is healed, is purified.
Purified perception is not knowledge. As long as we live in the world of separation we are sick. Total healing means leaving the world of separation and returning to the world of union (which can only exist in spirit). As long as we are in body we are in the world of illusion and perception.
The therapist is any one, not just a person with a shingle saying that he has MD or PhD hanging on his door. The spiritual therapist is any one who understands that while in body and ego we seem separated that in spirit we are unified.
If you know that we are unified and therefore see other people as one with you in spirit and while on earth you treat them as you treat yourself, lovingly you are a spiritual therapist.
If other people treat you badly you do not condone their behavior; you correct their wrong action. Wrong action is any action that does not love folks. For example, if one is a racist and treats other people with prejudice the person so treated must work to get the racist to treat him and all people with inclusion and love. He must not allow the racist to see him as an outsider and not love him. He must insist on love. This means working to pass social laws that encourage all of us to love each other and punishing those who discriminate against people. Racism and sexism is not to be tolerated under any circumstances.
You work to correct folk's wrong behavior but in the meantime you love the spirit in them. In spirit I love the rapist but on earth I want him arrested and placed in jail and while in jail taught never to impose his will on a woman.
Evil is not to be tolerated under any guise. Courage lies in telling all people to love all people and not fearing people who have power and want to treat some people as if they do not belong in God's one human family.
Corrected perception, aka purified perception means loving all people at all times. Love returns us to approximate union with all while we are still in the world of separation; love brings us to the metaphoric gate of heaven.
In spirit where we do not have forms and do not live in body and space and time we know perfect love but on earth we can only know imperfect love and imperfect union (imperfect Christ). As Ramakrishna said (see M. Gospel of Ramakrishna) on earth we will always be in ego state but we can make our egos the egos of love (which is what is meant by Christ self).
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON HELEN SCHUCMAN AND HER BOOK
A course in miracles was supposedly dictated by a character that called itself Jesus Christ; the messages were originally meant for two persons, Bill Thetford and Helen Schuman (two professors of psychology at Columbia University, New York City). The messages related to these two persons psychological issues but contain useful psychological insights, insights any therapist would give to his clients.
The book was subsequently heavily edited and serious changes made to make its content seem addressed to all mankind. Words like soul which were employed in the original text (codex) were changed to son of God and the messages made bland when changed to seem to be speaking to all people instead of to the two people and their issues it was speaking to.
The editors apparently wanted the book to replace Edgar Casey's channeled messages hence they gave Casey's children (their foundation) their first edited copy. The foundation filed it away and apparently did not pay it attention and kept on teaching Casey's messages.
That copy was later discovered when Wapnick was suing the EndeavorAcademy trying to get them to stop teaching the Course in their own way or printing it for their members. The existence of the Casey edition showed that the book was already widely circulated before the copyrighted copy that Kenneth Wapnick and his crew at the Foundation for inner peace claimed to have copy right for.
Out of curiosity, may I ask if someone can have copyright over the word of Jesus Christ if, indeed, the book came from Jesus? Can you copy right the word of God, copy right the truth? Do I smell the ego at work here; I mean selfishness and lack of generosity?
Later on Kenneth Wapnick edited the book some more and made it a lovely verse poem but vacuous. Apparently, this editor and his supporting cast wanted to have the book replace the Bible as the standard text on Christianity (the book presented itself as giving the correct interpretation of what Jesus Christ actually taught as opposed to the supposed bastardization of his teaching by Christians).
Traditional Christians have seen this song and dance before. Every once in a while a person comes along and claims to be the correct teacher of Christ and in a few years passes away. One can think of Mary Baker Eddy and her Christian science, Myrtle Fillmore and her UnityChurch, Holmes and his Religious Science church and science of mind book, the writer of the Aquarian gospel of Jesus Christ and so on. These interpretations come and go; they for a while appeal to those seeking different interpretations of the bible then pass way and the old bible remains.
There seems a desire to deceive the public by the editors of A course in miracles and it is that desire that would lead to the down fall of the book. This is sad for the book actually contains some useful information on ego psychology (it talks a lot about reinterpreting Freud and other psychologists...although its interpretations of them do not actually make sense).
In the book, Helen offered her understanding of what Freud, Jung and Adler and Horney and B.F. Skinner (and other psychoanalysts and behaviorist...those influenced Helen's education...she lacked education in biological psychology, neuroscience and did not speculate on how the brain and its neurons influence thinking) were teaching. By and large all she did is project her interesting views to Jesus and made them seem the views of Jesus. In making her views seem coming from Jesus she probably hoped to give her views religious credibility. In the Christian world Jesus is seen as the authority on God. If her book in fact came from Jesus then it is authoritative and ought to be believed. This is a clever device to get those prone to believing whatever they are told came from Jesus to accept her views.
Folks like me examine stories on their on merit and do not care for who authored them. In my judgment, A course in miracles was dictated by a part of Helen Schucman's ego, the part that is in charge of her dreaming.
All of us dream and produce characters in them. Apparently, one of the characters in Helen's dream called itself Jesus Christ and or the Holy Spirit and when she silenced her mind that character dictated the message in the course. In effect, she is the one who produced the course.
This does not mean that she did it consciously or that she understood how it was done through her (just as none of us understands why, how when we dream we produce persons in our dreams that say all kinds of things in our dreams).
I think that Helen was dissociative, a multiple personality in which an alter ego sometimes takes over an aspect of her personality and writes as Jesus Christ.
I think that she was a regular normal-neurotic Jewish woman (the type one saw in therapy weekly). I think that the lady had enormous need for power and could not realize it in the real world and projected her views to Jesus and through him wanted to be accepted as a clever psychologist hence a powerful woman. This is clever by half.
The point is that the course is from a part of Helen's mind and not infallible. It contains some useful psychological insights as well as loads of technical psychological errors. Some of her interpretations of other psychologists and her teachings seem utterly unrealistic.
Consider her overemphasis on forgiveness and defenselessness. She concretized those abstract ideas and attributed them to Jesus Christ.
Nietzsche pointed out that if you literally forgave those who wronged you that they would kill you. Forgiveness leads to death.
Defenselessness leads to immediate death for on earth we live in body and survive by defending our bodies (our immune system is at all times defending us from attacks by germs bent on killing us); we defend ourselves against those bent on harming us. If we give up total defensiveness germs and the people around us would kill us (having first reduced us to slavery, working for them).
The point is that whereas defensiveness generates fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, paranoia and depression in people and ought to be reduced to a minimum but to have no defenses at all is to set ones self up to die. If one took Helen seriously and forgave all and is defenseless to all attacks, including attacks by bacteria, virus and fungi, one would die today, not tomorrow. The peace she says her teaching gives folk would be obtained by ones physical death.
Is this the right way to obtain peace and salvation? As I see it, the world is horrible but we ought to be in it and study it through science and make the most of it through technology.
Helen's book is going to be a passing fancy; it would disappear from the scene in a few decades (as Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy's book called health and something is passing away for folks learned that they do not need to use prayers to heal their physical illnesses, their medical doctors can heal them more than Mrs. Eddy's quackery).
SOME THOUGHTS ON SOME OTHER WOULD BE SAVIORS OF THE WORLD
Mohammad (570-632 AD) lived for 62 years. Before he died he had done a lot of havoc on mankind in his efforts to give the world his own understanding of what the bible teaches.
Adolf Hitler lived for 56 years and burned himself out trying to change mankind to embracing his half baked ideas on what consist perfect, ideal man.
Napoleon Bonaparte burned himself out, died at age 54; he, too, was deluded and wanted to rule the world as a means of spreading the French enlightenment throughout Europe through force.
These people had grandiose egos and wanted to remake the world in their ego images; they tried hard and burned themselves out.
I myself have a big ego. I pursue idealized self, ala Karen Horney...see her Neurosis and Human Growth and Alfred Adler, see his The Neurotic Constitution. Everything I do is shaped by my desire to live up to my ideal big ego. As long as I have a big ego and protect it I am defensive and feel anxious (fear of not attaining that gigantic ego).
If I do not try to defend my ego I feel less fear. As long as I pursue attaining my big ego I tend not to act lovingly towards those around me; in fact, I tend to be overtly unloving. I have done some unloving things in my life, including being draconian to members of my own family, kicking them out and not worrying about how they would survive! To be identified with the ego is to not know love.
During the few occasions that I completely let go of the ego I felt fearless. The lessen here is that if one wants to have no fear one must altogether let go of ones ego and act from an egoless place. Since one must still have a self in form to live on earth, this means that one ought to have a loving ego aka Christ ego, Christ self.
The ego that seeks prestige, power and importance must live in fear of not getting those fictions that make folks believe that they are powerful (mask their existential sense of non-specialness).
In my judgment, Karen Horney is a better psychologist than the spirit spouting Helen Schucman. That been said I found Helen's book , A course in miracles, full of some psychological insights and am happy that I read it (although its convoluted language annoyed me, I prefer books written in simple prose).
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Barak Obama, the President of the United States is an interesting character. His personality appears to be such that he is not bothered by the lies and abuses that Republican crackpots (far right and tea party members) have directed at him. They have tried to delegitimize his presidency by saying that he was not born in the USA hence an interloper who is not a proper ruler of America (the birther movement is based on a lie for they know very well that the man was born in the USA; the man's 18 year old mother hardly could support her self what more go to Kenya to go have a child and immediately return and arrange to have local newspapers publish his birth in Hawaii).
These people have called Obama every negative name under the sun but that does not faze him; he still smiles and appears not angry at any one. This is what happens when a person does not identify with the lower ego self.
I identified with my lower ego self and tried to be upright and if folks told lies about my character I tended to be angry at them. However, that is no longer the case, for I now know that I am not my ego, perfect or imperfect. I know that whatever you say about my ego is your opinion and troubles, not my problem.
I do not have to defend my ego from what other folks say about it for I know that I am not my ego; I am part of unified self spirit who dreams as an ego housed in body. A part of me is in many universes and the rest of me is in unified spirit, heaven and so are you.
SOME OF THE COURSE IN MIRACLES METAPHORS EXPLAINED
A course in miracles elaborated on several subjects that in my judgment provide us with the best insights to the teachings of Christianity. Consider the following subjects.
The course clarified how the Holy Spirit came about. As it sees it, the sons of God separated from him (went to sleep to dream separation). God could no longer commune with them as he normally did. He surmised that they are sleeping and dreaming. He did not want to rudely awaken them from their dreams but recognizing that they might be having loveless dreams, separation dreams hence nightmares he decided to make their dreams lovely. To do so he created another aspect of him, the Holy Spirit, and as he entered his children's sleep dream.
God lodged the Holy Spirit in his sleeping children's right minds, whereas the ego, wish for separation is lodged in their left minds. Now there are seeming three gods: God the father (who is still outside the dream, our world, is in heaven as the transcendent God), God the son (who is in our world as the dreamer through the ego) and God the Holy Spirit (the God in the world, the immanent god trying to reinterpret his sons dreams and translate all attack as call for love and thus teach them to love one another and make their dream stay on earth lovely.
The metaphor of Holy Trinity tries to explain how three persons can be in one God. God the father is all three Gods; as it were, it is God in his three phases. God as God is in heaven and is outside this world; God as the son of God created this world; God the Holy Spirit tries to make this world a lovely place by teaching us to love one another.
In this world we do attack and harm each other. Since it is a dream of separation we see each other as different from us hence when they attack us we defend ourselves by counter attacking them. God the Holy Spirit teaches the sleeping God the son that it is he in both the attacker and attacked and therefore he should see all attacks as one person's attack on his self and thus overlook attack, forgive it.
The Holy Spirit teaches that all attacks on us is by us in seeming other people and that all attacks on us are done by those brothers who feel like we attacked them, that is, who feel that we separated from them, that we did not love them.
We separated from other people and they separated from us (hence we mutually attacked each other). The best response to attack, which is lack of love, is love, not attack. If other people attack you do not counter attack them, love them. If folks attack you love them and correct their need to attack you. Teach them how to love so that they understand that it is better to love than to attack, better to unify than to separate.
If you love attackers you have loved your separated selves and therefore brought love to your several separated selves and that love for all of you makes your seeming separated world a peaceful and happy place. Lovers are bringers of peace to a world at war with itself.
In the past you returned attack with attack and did not learn the lesson of attack as a call of love; now you have learned that lesson and love all those who attack you. All attacks on you are other opportunities given to you for you to learn the lesson of love and when you learn it, love all, love both those who love and those who attack you, you experience Holy Instance, oneness while still in this world and awaken in unified spirit and when you die you no longer return to this world for now that you know that your nature is unified why return to a place of separation except to come as an avatar to teach folks how to love one another.
But until you learn to love you, and still see yourself as separated self you will always return to this world of dream and keep learning until you learn total love.
Love returns us to unified state and keeps us from reincarnating into this world of separation; love wipes out all our past negative karmas that bring us back to this world. Lack of love builds samara, bad karma that make us rebirth in this world of sorrows.
What is salvation? Salvation means learning that our true nature is love and loving all people. When you love all people you have negated separation, your ego and other egos, and return to the awareness of union with all people.
What is redemption? It is the same as salvation (you give up the attachment to the separated self, the ego and embrace the unified self, the Christ and is redeemed from the pains of the ego).
What is deliverance? It is the same as salvation and redemption; it means that you have been delivered from the pains of the ego by returning to live as a unified self.
What is atonement? It is the same as salvation etc.; it means that you have voluntarily returned to the state of oneness, given up the separated ego state (at- one-ment).
What is healing? To be sick is to be separated from God and from our brothers. To be healed is to return to union with God and all people.
Love is the means for returning to other people so love is what heals us.
What is innocence and innocent perception? Separation is error; in traditional Christian categories separation from God is what is meant by man's original sin; separation gives us a sense of wrong doing, guilt. When we feel separated from God and our brothers we feel like we did something wrong and feel guilty.
To not feel guilty and return to feeling innocent, as we felt in unified state, heaven, we have to stop separating from God and from all people. Love returns us to union with other people. Therefore when we love all people we feel innocent.
Innocent perception is looking at all people with the eyes of love, instead of separation and hate.
What is grace? To be in grace is to be in the mode that God created one. God created us as one with him. When we separate from God we live in pain. When we return to union with God and all people we live in Grace.
In union, in love, in grace all things work out rather easily for us (those you love are bound to love and help you hence you live in grace with them).
What is the second coming of Christ to the world? This metaphor is saying that God created us as one with him, as his son, the Christ. When we separated and dreamed separated self we replaced our identity as Christ with the substitute identity of ego. When we recognize our union with God and all people and love all people we have returned to the awareness of Christ as our true identity; Christ has come back into our life; Christ has returned to our world.
The second coming of Christ to the world is when you jettison the ego and embrace Christ, love, union as your true self.
What is the last judgment? The last judgment is the day you judge yourself not to be the separated ego self and judge yourself as part of the son ship, part of the state of union, see yourself as unified with God and all his creation and give up the wish to live in the world of separation. It happens to each of us at a time, not to all people at the same time.
The universe will last for more trillions of years thus giving each of us ample time to come over and over to the world until he learns that his true identity is union with all being and stop wishing for separated existence and then stop coming back to this world.
When one accepts union with all, when one dies one no longer returns to this world but stays in the astral world (gate of haven where folks are in light bodies) and from there keep teaching those still in our world, dense matter, to learn that their true identity is love and when they learn love they join one and we all keep doing so until all creation in separation land learn love and return to love and the world ends. (Gate of heaven is not a place; it is in our minds, as part of our collective unconscious self.)
What is the end of the world? The end of the universe is when all of us have learned love and return to love and union. The world will end in return to union, return to love, return to peace and joy.
What is special love relationship, special hate relationship and Holy relationships? The course devoted hundreds of pages to explaining these three forms of relationships. When we separated from each other, because our nature is unified we feel lonely in separated state. To reduce our loneliness we seek each others company. When we form companies where we retain our ego separated selves and desire for different interests we are in special relationships.
In special love relationships, two or more people love each other (love their egos and bodies, that is) and work for their mutual interests but believing that at root they are separated from each other and have different interests. When the relationship does not work out well they go their separate ways, move away from each other. This is special relationships. It is full of loneliness and pain, for folks have not given all of their selves to each other, to love, to union.
In special hate relationships folks do not even try to love one another but stay with one another to hurt one another.
Both special love and special hate relationships can be transformed to holy relationships. In holy relationships folks recognize that at root they are one and therefore consciously love each other as if they love their one self. They look beyond their bodies and see the unified spirit in them. This type of love gives folks peace and happiness and, as it were, takes folks to the gate of heaven, gives them happy dream.
As long as folks still see themselves as in separated bodies holy relationships approximates their true nature, love and thus gives them attenuated peace, not the perfect peace of perfect union (the peace of heaven, peace of God). The course aims at teaching people to transform their special love to holy relationships.
What is miracle? Miracle is the realization that despite our seeming separated selves we are unified hence we love one another. By miracle the course in miracles does not mean changing water to wine but changing our hateful relationships to loving relationships; changing our perception from ego to Christ perception.
What is crucifixion? It is identification with the separated self, the ego/body and the pain it gives us. To identify with a false self is metaphorically to crucify ones self, to die to the awareness of ones true self (love).
What is resurrection? It is to return to the awareness of ones true self, unified self and in it feel pace and joy.
TRANSLATING THE POETRY OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES ON FEAR
A course in miracles was written in lovely metaphors; I have given you a sample of them here. I hope that you are mindful enough to understand what they mean. I do not have space in this paper to elaborate on all the metaphors that grace the pages of A course in miracles. However, I want to focus in some detail on the course's writings on fear.
All human beings know fear and some live in debilitating fear called anxiety disorders. Many of the people who go to therapists go to them to get help with their anxiety. Generally they are given anti anxiety medications (such as Xanax, Valium, Librium, Ativan etc) which mask their anxiety but do not heal it.
Anxiety is caused when the individual produces too much excitatory neurochemicals such as adrenalin that alerts him to danger and urges him to flee from it or fight it, and less of the inhibitory neurotransmitter such as GABA that calms the body down. These medications do help the anxious but they also have terrible side effects; they are addictive and like alcohol are very difficult to withdraw from. Those heavily addicted to them go through all sorts of issues when they are trying to quit them, including hallucinations, shaking, heart palpitations etc.
Therefore, there ought to be alternative to anti anxiety medications. Cognitive behavior therapy that stresses not being afraid of external factors helps anxious people but does not eliminate their fears. Wouldn't it be nice if spiritual psychotherapy could help folks eliminate anxiety? How I wish so.
Aunt Helen Schucman comes in here. She tells us that fear comes from the absence of love. Love eliminates fear; where there is fear there is no love, she says. Great, you say. So let us love one another and in doing so eliminate our fear. But, alas, it does not work that way.
The fear she is talking about is spiritual love. In spirit we are all in love with one another. This means that in spirit we are all unified with one another.
Spirit is union. In perfect union no one feels outside of it. Feeling included in other's lives we feel connected to them. In union we feel happy and peaceful and do not feel fear.
On earth we are separated from God and from each other. On earth I am over here and you are over there. You do not know what I am thinking and I do not know what you are thinking (in spirit we know what each other is thinking). Experience shows us that either of us could think harmful thoughts about each other. You could decide and kill me and I could do the same to you. Therefore, we are afraid of each other.
In nature natural forces like earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, floods, tornados, diseases and so on do kill us. To live on earth is to be assailed by threats to our physical existence. We live vulnerable lives. Our precariousness makes us afraid. Some sensitive persons are more aware of this precariousness of human beings hence tend to be more fearful than others.
On earth we always live in separation from each other. There is boundary and space between us. Therefore, we always live in fear. Fear is caused by our separated existence. Since we always live in separation for as long as we are on earth we always live in fear.
It is only in unified spirit that we are not separated hence not live in fear. So, Sister Helen merely gave us a poetic expression when she said that fear is the absence of love for whereas that expression is true it does not heal our fear for we can only obtain perfect union, hence absence of fear in spirit, not on earth.
Her spiritual psychotherapy therefore does not help those with anxiety disorder; indeed, it did not help her for she was always in fear and was popping anti anxiety medications. This is what happens when we mix poetry and reality.
Reality is not fiction. Only science understands fear and deal with it objectively, not religious poetry, Spiritual psychology and spiritual psychotherapy, I am saying can only give us nice poetic expressions but do not heal our mental issues for those are rooted in the reality of separation on earth.
Every parent knows that when his child feels separated from him he feels fear and that if you hold the child close to your chest , hug him or her you reduce his fear. But in the outside world nobody is going to hold him to his chest; we are all alone in the larger world and feel all alone and thus feel fearful.
It helps if one loves ones self, loves ones family members (ones wife and children, and ones siblings and parents) and loves ones neighbors so as to feel united with them and thus reduce ones fears.
In the real world, there are people one cannot love. I do not love killers like Osama Bin Laden; I want him dead. As long as there are those I do not choose to love I will feel fear of them.
The point is that we live in the world of fear and will always live in the world of fear so talking about how love conquers fear is interesting but not useful for in as much as we live on earth we must have some hate.
Separation is the cause of fear and other mental disorders. Union is what overcomes fear and other mental disorders.
If you want to heal folks mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, mania, delusion, depression (there are always biological factors in the etiology of all mental disorders, including anxiety and fear and to heal them you must address the biological factors with medications) love them, that is return them to union.
On earth we live in separation and must therefore have mental disorders. All we can do is love and reduce our mental disorders a bit through love but not totally overcome them.
Heaven is perfect love hence has no mental disorders in it but heaven's perfect love is rooted in the fact that we are aware that we are in each other, which is only possible in spirit but not in matter, space and time.
In heaven there is perfect union, everything is connected to everything; there are no outsiders; because of the perfect union of heaven there is perfect harmony, peace and joy. More importantly, there is perfect love and sense of fearlessness.
Fear exists only where there is separation. On earth there is separation so there must be fear. In separation there is no love, peace and joy and there is fear. To live on earth is to live in fear.
The unspeakable peace and joy that mystics like Paul talked about, belong in heaven; in perfect union not on earth (except during the brief moments of heaven we feel in mystical union).
On earth we must feel fear, not love and secular therapy deals with that; spiritual psychology that ignores this reality and talks as if the earth is unified hence has love and fearlessness is foolish,
On earth each of us is born in a certain body and had certain early social experience and must have the personality he has; if he has mental disorder such as schizophrenia, mania, delusion disorder, depression, anxiety disorder and personality disorder he must have those for his body and social experience made them necessary.
Insane people, in effect, were meant to be insane and normal people were meant to be normal. We cannot wish away this reality. All we need to do study these things in scientific and spiritual terms, not in an either or manner but both and intervene at both levels.
THE GOAL OF SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY: TO HAVE NO SEPARATED SELF CONCEPT AND RETURN TO THE AWARENESS OF UNIFIED SPIRIT SELF
Everything we do has a goal. We came to this world to have a separated self concept, a human personality. We invented separated selves and to make them seem real housed them in bodies (matter and energy) and placed them in a world of space-time. We now see ourselves as separated from each other and from the whole self, aka God, unified self. It all seems real to us and we believe it.
Only a person who appears insane (a mystic) would look at this empirical world and say that it is not real and that the ego separated self concepts aka personalities people have are not real.
If you are a trained mental health professional (psychologist or psychiatrist) the most that you can do is accept the ego separated selves people have and at the same time appreciate their problems and seek ways to improve them. Secular psychotherapists aim at helping folks understand their ego personalities and work on improving them, removing their rough edges so that they are more able to adapt to the exigencies of this world.
If psychotherapy aims at getting folks to completely change and discard their personalities, it would fail; indeed, such an outcome seems unthinkable to therapists. If people were to become perfect the next question is, what would they be doing on earth?
If you do not have personality, a separated self concept, what would you be doing on planet earth? Existence on planet earth requires folks to have separated ego selves, defend and protect them.
Helen Schucman, a professor of psychology at Columbia University New York City, gained insight into the fact that our ego separated selves are the source of our problems. If you have anxiety, anger, depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia and the other mental disorders delineated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, you have them because you have an ego separated self. If you did not have an ego separated self you would not have any known mental disorder.
If at this very moment you stopped believing that you have an ego separated self housed in body you would feel like you have no self and you would no longer have mental disorder. You would be outside the world of space-time and matter. If you have no self concept you would escape from our world, exit from it and enter one of the infinite other universes that also exist (that quantum mechanics speculates on).
Listen Up and listen up real good. If you have no ego separated self, do not defend what you call your self (which is your self concept, your human personality), the self you learned in childhood and use to adapt to the exigencies of this world, the self that you used the specific inherited body and social exposure you had in childhood to form; if you gave it up you would exit this world.
This is what Helen Schucman realized. But she could not accept it as her own idea and instead denied it and projected it to an alter ego that she called Jesus Christ. It makes no difference if something is said by Jesus, Mohammad, Krishna, Buddha or any other so called self styled savior of the world.
Truth is truth and does not need to be associated faith a human being. Dr Schucman discovered a profound truth of our being but felt weak to accept that she stumbled on that truth and dissociated from it and it came out of her mouth as if it came from what she called Jesus Christ.
Helen's Jesus made profound statements but since he was Helen he also was limited by her own issues hence said some stupid things, things that a beginning psychotherapist would recognize as not possible.
For example, he talked on and on about forgiveness and defensiveness. But he did not show the recognition of what would happen if one actually took his recommendation seriously and do it. Helen herself certainly did not follow her own advice and forgive her enemies and the world. She died a bitter woman still very angry at people she felt used and abused her. Indeed, she died believing that her Jesus used her and discarded her.
To Helen her Jesus seemed a deluded person, a narcissistic man who used innocent women to do their scribing work and after they are no longer useful to him dumped them like useless scrap pieces of iron (since she was projecting this means that she felt that she has delusion and narcissistic personality disorder). She felt used and discarded when she developed cancer and was bitterly angry at her user, Jesus.
This is what happens when we deny our thoughts and project them to alter egos. What the lady wrote in her book is her thoughts but she did not accept them as hers and projected them out to a person she called Jesus (people with dissociative disorder, aka multiple personality disorder do it all the time).
Does that mean that there is no Jesus? Let us see. Carl Jung talked about what he called our collective ego unconscious. I am not exactly sure what he meant by the concept of collective unconscious mind. Here is my understanding of it. His collective unconscious mind is not the same as Sigmund Freud's unconscious mind where there are Id, Ego and Super ego, where three forces are warring and causing us conflicts. I think that Jung is saying that the collective unconscious mind is where all the lessons learned by mankind in the past reside.
In my view, there is a collective unconscious mind. There is a part of us where every thing human beings have learned in the past resides. There is a part of us where every personality that has ever lived on earth has left a mark on.
There is a part of you and I where all people that have lived on earth, including Jesus and whoever else you can imagine have lived on earth reside.
If you call that part of our ego minds where all past human beings reside the ego collective unconscious, Jesus is in there; he is there in your mind, and my mind and every person's minds.
You can develop ideas of your own, deny them as your ideas and project them to the Jesus that is in your mind and in my mind. Indeed, all the people in that collective unconscious mind of yours and mine are already influencing you.
That is to say that the Jesus of the old and all the people of the old are already influencing you.
Every thought that you have ever heard while on earth was influenced by Jesus, by your dead grand parents and by every person who has passed through this earth.
If you choose you can say that one of those persons who have passed through this world and is now in your collective ego unconscious mind is Jesus and project your ideas to him. It would not matter. You are essentially saying what you believe is the truth except that your notion of the truth is colored by your experience hence not the whole truth. The Jesus of Helen articulated some truths but also articulated some rubbish (that is to say that Helen through her alter ego, Jesus, articulated some truth but also some stupid ideas).
Helen Schucman had her insights into the fact that the self concept (which George Kelly developed in his 1955 book on Personality as a personal construct) is a false self, not our real self. She realized that our real self is not in physical form, is unified spirit self or what Christians call Christ self. She knew that to become mentally healthy each of us must jettison his ego self concept, his personality. This is what she wanted to teach and attributed her teaching to Jesus.
Was she a fraud in doing what she did? No. She honestly believed that a character called Jesus spoke through her! As noted, her ideas were influenced by all the people that have gone through this world, which includes Jesus, and in that sense she was not telling lies when she said that Jesus spoke through her.
When I embarked on spirituality I had visions where Jesus Christ literally, not figuratively came and talked to me. I have explored some of these visions elsewhere. Later on, I realized that it is my mind that produced the Jesus I saw in my dreams and visions.
My upbringing as a Catholic boy produced a Jesus that looked like our then Pope John Paul (he was my beloved pope).
A part of my mind tuned into our collective mind, what Jung called collective unconscious mind, and had the idea of Jesus in it and that idea of Jesus appeared to me in the manner he did.
Was I hallucinating? Yes. It was hallucinating only in the sense that our world is a collective, mass hallucination. Our world does not exist but we see it seem to exist and in that sense is a hallucination.
To be on earth is to see a world that is not there, to see people and things that are not there and to hear people talking that are not there talking.
We do the same thing at night when we sleep and dream and see a world that looks like our day world.
There are infinite universes in which we hallucinate, in which we see ourselves in. All those infinite universes along with our universe are illusions, dream universes and do not exist in fact.
Our minds are the mind of God and with them we invented infinite universes and live in whichever ones we want to live.
To live on planet earth our minds want to see a universe in space, time and matter, a place of doing not being.
You must say: I want a separated self housed in body to be born on planet earth. You must desire to be doing something to be born on planet earth.
If you no longer have such desire you would seem to die and go to other planets where what you now desire obtain (and those too would be hallucinations in your mind).
Each of us believes that he has a self concept, aka a human personality. He does not have a separated self but he believes that he does and what he believes is real for him.
I want to have a separated self concept and I seem to have one. I wanted to have a grandiose self concept and arranged to be born in a weak body so that I felt weak and as if my life was about to be destroyed at any moment and then struggled to survive. In trying to survive I posited a big self concept. I then proceeded to defend my grandiose self concept.
My self concept was humongous, gigantic and gianormous. It believed that it was superior to every human being on planet earth! From about age six I have not seen a human being that I did not feel superior to (I feel totally superior to those folks consider important persons such as presidents etc).
I made my self concept seem real by choosing to have what psychometricians call superior intelligence. Everything seems real except that they are all lies, illusions.
The self concept, the ego self housed in body is an illusion, it is not real at all but it seems real to its maker, us.
Your self concept seems real to you. If it did not seem real to you, you would not have it and would not defend it (defense of it makes it seem real to you; if you stopped defending it your ego self would die and you exit from this world).
Do you want to know that your ego personality is not real? Are you serious about this desire? If yes then do what I did and what all mystics at a point did.
Sit quietly or lie on your back and do what Gautama Buddha did. Close your eyes and firmly tell yourself that you are willing to physically die rather die than live as an ego separated self housed in body.
I do not care how long it takes you just sit there or lie there. Before you do this make sure that you fasted or took laxatives so that you do not have feces in your stomach that would make you get up to go use the bathroom? If there is no food in your body you have no need for bathrooms.
So you just sit there or lie there. Go to sleep when sleep comes and be awake when you have to be awake. But be there with the resolve to escape from your usual ego separated self concept.
Keep negating your ego self concept (in Hinduism one of the Upanishads tells one to keep saying, Neti, Neti, not this not that. Every thought that enter your mind you reject it as not true and remind yourself that by your ego thinking you cannot know the truth; that you need a different mind, Brahman to tell you what is the truth.
If you continue this process, at some point you would escape from the ego self and reach another self that is ineffable. I cannot explain that self and no one can explain it, for it is beyond words.
That unified spirit self is eternal, immortal and permanent and changeless.
You would realize that your prior self concept, your ego is a prison, a jail house that you and all of us constructed for you. We collectively and individually build a jail house for each of us. We then imprison ourselves into this ego jail and live in it.
We operate within its (self concept) parameters. Everything we do is within the confines of our egos. No one does anything outside his ego separate self concept, his human personality.
Because we collectively and individually build these jail houses for us, it is us who restrict us, who limits us to what we can and cannot do.
We can momentarily let go of our self concepts and behave differently. But we cannot be in the no-ego separated self concept state and still live as folks live on earth.
If you desire to live as folks live on earth you must return to your old self concept, your personality but improve it with the insights you gained from your mystical union experience.
If you insist on having no ego self at all you must leave this world, and as the world says it, you must die.
Helen Schuman did not realize that if a person did what she recommended: have no ego that he would exit from this world. She kept talking cavalierly as if what she asked folks to do can be done and they still live in this world.
Here she revealed that she did not practice what she was teaching. If she had tried to practice her philosophy and escaped from this world she would have realized that her goal is incompatible with this world.
In effect, she confused the realities of other worlds and the realities of this world. Because of this confusion folks quickly realize that what she aims at is not doable here on earth and throw away her book and continue doing what they have to do to adapt to the realities of this earth.
If you want to be on earth you have to study science and technology, have a job and earn money to place food on your table. You need food to live in the world of bodies. This is our reality.
If you choose not to live in body then you can do what Helen asks you to do, be defenseless and forgive all and die and leave this world and as she said live in what she called happy dream, gate of heaven, bridge between heaven and earth, real world. She did not make it clear that that world is not our world.
That world exists. It is called astral world by Hinduism, purgatory by Catholics; in fact all religions have a name for it. Call it what you like what is salient is that it is not this world although while in this world you can momentarily experience it and then return to this world.
That gate of heaven is still a world of forms; it is not the formless universe of God. In the universe of God there are no forms, no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object, no past, present and future. There is one self, God, one self with infinite parts, each part each of us.
That unified spirit world is perfect peace and joy, Hinduism calls it bliss. That world exists.
God is real, heaven is real but it is not this world and you cannot be in this world and know it. You can momentarily know it by escaping from this world, negating this world.
In unified self you have no separated self hence cannot feel anxious, angry, sad, depressed, paranoid, schizophrenic and the other mental disorders; you are sane for the first time in a long time, since you left heaven and as the prodigal son went on a journey without distance, for wherever you go you go in God for God is everywhere.
This paper says that we must do in the world of spirituality and religion what we do in the world of the physical sciences; that is, use the scientific method to examine what those who claim to speak about spirituality and religion tell us about spirit and find out whether their conclusions stand the test of science (can they be verified etc), and to the extent that they do so accept them and if not discard them. Mere opinions about spirit lacking in proof ought not to be accepted. The paper presented a view of spirit that it says can be verified by any one wishing to do so. It urges the reader to try to verify the thesis of the paper and if he can do so accept it and if not discard it.
Heaven (Unified Spirit) is characterized by perfect union, perfect love, perfect peace, perfect joy and perfect fearlessness.
The earth (separation) is heaven's opposite and this is characterized by separation, lovelessness, conflict and lack of peace, and presence of fear.
Right now we are on earth, in a place of separation and feel separated from each other and from God; we necessarily feel fear. The earth is a place of imperfection of everything.
What is the use of spiritual psychology? It teaches that the earth is the opposite of heaven, that heaven is perfect union and love hence has no fear and that the earth is imperfect union hence has fear. The lesson is that we feel fear because we seek separation from God and from each other. As long as each of us seeks separation he must feel fear and live in fear.
All fear, anxiety, anger, depression, paranoia, mania and schizophrenia and other mental disorders are rooted in our seeking separation from God and from other human beings. Any time a human being seeks to be separate from other people, affirms his separated self, validates his separating from God he has given himself fear and mental disorders.
If a human being wants to have no fear and no mental illness he must affirm his unity with all people and with God; he must not try to avoid people; he must not separate from any one. He must always try to re-member union and have the conscious awareness that he is unified with all people and work for all people's interests.
On a personal note: I know that I tend to choose to separate from other people; I choose to have a big and powerful separated self; I want other people to affirm my big separated self; I feel angry when they do not validate my big ego. In so far that I seek separation and big self I must have fear (anxiety and anger). The only way for me not to have fear is for me to consciously seek union with all people and seek ways to connect with all people. I must not defend a separated ego self, big or small. I must be ego defenseless; I must see myself as having no ego or having a unified ego, aka Christ (Christ is still an ego but an ego of love).
It is in cessation of all desire for separated self, big or small that one overcomes fear and all mental disorders. Mental disorders were caused because we seek separation from each other and from God and mental disorders are cured when we give up separation and return to union with each other and with God.
(We give ourselves problematic bodies and use them as means to seeking big ego selves that enable us separate from God and people hence become mentally ill. We become mentally healthy regardless of what our bodies are if we consciously seek union with the whole, God, and all the parts of the whole, people.)
The world is a dream; until one accepts this fact one has not accepted reality. I really did not know this reality until recently. When I heard about it I played with the idea for a while but it did not make sense to me and I did not fully accept it. But now I do.
If you accept that the world is a dream it becomes superfluous to judge anything in the world as good or bad. The world does not exist; what does not exist is neither good nor bad; it is nothing. To, for example, say that those having sex are doing something good or bad are to be absurd; they're doing nothing; their nothingness is neither good nor bad; it is to be overlooked. It is the height of foolishness to say that sex is good or bad; it is nothing. Since people came into the world through sex and live in body they are nothing and nothingness is neither good nor bad but nothing.
To experience peace of mind one must see the world as nothing and not take it seriously. People's activities mean nothing.
The only important thing in what people do is the love they have for each other. Love makes them feel good at the emotional and spiritual level and that is all that matters. As long as a man loves his woman what they do with their bodies in sex is irrelevant.
The world has not happened; the saving grace in it all is that each person set up his dream; each person chose his body and social experience, with the help of all people who have lived in this world, past and present, to set up his personality to enable him to dream the type of world he wants to dream; we all help each other form our personalities; we live in a system and influence each other; there is no such thing as a completely individual action.
If you want to be happy, joyous, peaceful then see the world as a dream, as non-existent, and do not take it seriously.
However, realize that the dream has dreamers. Our real selves are the sons of God, unified self, went to sleep and dream this world.
Overlook and ignore his dream but love the dreamer. No matter what you do please always love the divinity in all people for whether you know it or not each person you see has a spark of God in him. Love the God in all of us; love the Christ in all of us, love our real self, which is spirit self and tune out the silly things we do on earth, in our dream of separation. Do this and you would feel happy and make those around you feel happy; you help create a happy dream for all of us.
The ideas in this paper can be tested. The reader is encouraged to test them and only accept them if he can demonstrate to himself that they are true and to the extent that he cannot verify them reject them.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD
September 26, 2012
This paper presented an idealistic (philosophy) look at the events of this world and used the present American Presidential election as a spring-board to elaborate on its solipsistic philosophy. Essentially, the paper pointed out that the world of matter, space and time is not real, is a dream in our spiritual mind and that we ought to not take it too seriously, and that we ought to love the dreamer, our real self, who is spirit, and overlook, ignore and forgive his dreams.
Solipsistic Philosophy And The American Presidential Election
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
There is a presidential election going on to determine who is going to be the occupant of the America’s White House during the next four years. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, a Republican, are campaigning to lead the country.
Romney wants to hoodwink the people so that they give him and his Republican Party the opportunity to pass laws that benefit the rich and screw the poor; he wants to have an America that allows the rich to earn money and not pay taxes, because, as he puts it, they are the job creators, the makers and not the takers (he said that 47% of Americans are takers, moochers who depend on government handouts to survive…if you decipher his coded message to his fellow white Americans he is saying that black folks and Latinos are shiftless, lazy folks supported by hard working white Americans; he is appealing to white anger at minorities; apparently, Romney is a racist, a disguised one).
Obama, on the other hand, presents himself as the friend of the poor while, in fact, he is working on behalf of corporate America (those who shelled out the billion or more dollars it takes for him to be elected with).
These two slick hucksters are doing their thing and the gullible masses will vote for one of them comes November 6, 2012. This is the nature of American politics; every four years we go through this dog and pony show and the masses feel that they were given the opportunity to determine who their leaders are going to be. Americans have the illusion that their leaders do what they want them to do.
Their leaders on the left (liberals) and on the right (conservatives) are a bunch of hucksters deceiving the people.
In the American political economy each individual is looking after his self interest; if you can do so successfully you make profit and if you cannot you lose.
The American political landscape is littered with winners and losers. A few have so much money they do not even know what to do with it; I am talking about billionaires and millionaires. Then there are the poor masses who are struggling to put food on their tables, and the middle class who barely manage to stay above water.
This is America, it is the way it was yesterday, today and probably will be in the future until the political economy changes (to only God knows what since socialism also leads to a few exploiting the many).
If you are like me you watch America’s politics with bemusement; you tell yourself that you have seen this song and dance before; you shrug your shoulders and do not permit the charade to disturb your peace.
The question is this: is there another way of looking at what is going in American politics (and, for that matter, politics all over the world) that one can adopt and make some sense of it? Yes.
In this paper I will provide a metaphysical perspective (if you like, Gnostic Christianity) to the political shenanigans going on in world politics and, hopefully, the reader, upon grasping my philosophy, would be able to laugh at the dog and pony show rather than become angry at it.
I will first explain my metaphysics and subsequently apply it to politics, specifically to American politics.
According to this solipsistic philosophy (see Hinduism, Plotinus Enneads, George Berkeley’s Idealistic philosophy and Helen Schucman’s Gnostic Christianity delineated in her book, A course in miracles), the universe of space, time and matter we see with our physical eyes is a dream; it is a dream in our collective minds.
Our minds belong to our real self. Our real self is unified spirit self. Our real self is not physical and does not live in the universe of space-time and matter. Our real self lives in unified spirit as part of one shared self (which folks call God).
One self, God, in my language, unified spirit self, has infinite selves in it. One self, a whole, has infinite parts in it. The whole and parts are one; they share one spirit self and share one spirit mind.
The parts of the whole self (whole is contracted to Holy Self, God) desired to experience the opposite of union. They wanted to separate from their real unified self.
Unified spirit is eternally unified and separation from it is impossible. Unable to separate from unified state, the parts of that eternal unified state, aka the sons of God, us, went to sleep and in their sleep dream a universe of separated selves. That dream universe of space, time and matter is where we now seem to live.
In dreams what we could not gratify in wake state we seem to gratify. In dreams beggars ride horses. In dreams those who are unified and want to seem separated now seem separated from each other.
In their world of dreams they (sons of God, us) used matter to construct bodies and now seem to live in bodies. Now, each of them seems to be in body, a body that lives in the world of space, time and matter. One of them is over here and the other is over there; there is space between them and it takes time for each of them to reach the other.
In dreams folks really seem to live in the world of separation. They must believe that they live in a separated world for that is the evidence shown to them by their perception.
The world of separation is necessarily the world of perception; perception requires the existence of many things that the perceiver chooses from. We live in the world of perception; each of us sees many things, things apart from him; each of us decides how he sees things; how you see things may not be how other persons see them.
In the world of perception there is no agreed truth that all agree is the truth; instead, each person makes of the truth what he wants it to be. That is, the world of perception is not the world of knowledge but the world of information.
In the world of perception (dream) you cannot know that you are all the things you see. In a dream you, the sleeper and dreamer, produce a world with many people in it and you identify with one of the people in your dream and see the other people in your dream as not you; you do not know that you produced the other people in your dream. It is only when you wake up from the dream that you recognize that your one mind produced the seeming world of multiplicity you saw in your dream.
In the dream containing planet earth, individuals see many people; they see animals, trees, hills, mountains, stars, galaxies etc. It all seems very real to them.
On planet earth, as we speak, there is an American presidential election going on with Republicans trying to appropriate the people’s wealth for the rich and liberals pretending to be looking after the masses interests. Each of these two youth gangs (political factions are criminal gangs) want to control the country so as to be able to appropriate its wealth for members of their political class (their criminal syndicate).
In the world we see each person struggling to maximize his pleasure and minimize his pain. But, alas, pleasure presupposes pain (and pain presupposes pleasure; the one cannot exist without the other), so in the wake of their pleasures is always pain!
The world is a place of opposites so there is always day and night, light and darkness, love and hate, man and woman, adult and child, good and bad etc.
The world began with the wish to experience the opposite of union (also called heaven), to experience separation. It is a world that came into being to oppose union (God, love, happiness, joy); it is a world where everything opposes every thing else.
The temporal universe is a place of paradoxes and contradictions; this means that if there is life there must be death, if there is pleasure there must be pain; people are caught in the rounds of seeking pleasure while inevitably receiving pain (disappointments, frustrations etc).
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS FUNCTION OF MAKING THE DREAM HAPPY
When the sons of God seemed to have separated from him and from each other to go dream a world of separation from union, God created another self, the Holy Spirit.
As the Holy Spirit (the immanent God) God entered the world of dreams his sons made and lodged himself in his sons’ right minds.
In the sons of God’s left minds is the wish for separation, the ego self, the human personality.
Thus, now in people’s minds are two minds: the left mind, aka the ego that wishes separation, and the right mind, aka the Holy Spirit (also called Christ mind) that urges people to remember that their true nature is unified self.
On earth, people have split minds; they have conflicted minds: left and right minds, right and wrong minds, ego and Christ minds, hate and loving minds.
The Holy Spirit part of the people’s minds, the right minds tells them that the world is a dream and does not, in fact, exist. It teaches them that the universe of space-time and matter they see is not real but is a dream; it teaches that the replacement selves they made for themselves, the egos, the human personalities that seek separation from their real self, unified self, and is not true. The Holy Spirit teaches that the people folks see on earth are mere dream figures that in reality do not exist.
To the Holy Spirit the universe of matter does not exist and the ego does not exist. The Holy Spirit teaches that the people you see in your world are dream figures in your dream of separation. The people you see all around you do not, in fact, exist. You yourself, in as much as you see yourself in body, do not exist.
What exists in truth is your real self, and peoples real self; the individual’s real self is part of unified spirit self (God).
The people’s real self (always written in singular form for it is one shared self) is not in the world of dream; people’s real self is not in body; the person you see in body is not the real person but his dream image.
The Holy Spirit teaches that there is no place called America (and no other parts of the world) and that there are no Americans in bodies. There are no such people as Obama and Romney seeking to rule America. There is no presidential election going.
In so far that there seems an America and presidential election it is taking place in our dream of separation. Your mind and other people’s minds produce the dream called America and the two gladiators in that dream competing for the opportunity to rule the other dream figures called Americans.
The dreamer believes that his dream is real. Thus, Americans believe that their country is real (for them their country is real…they defend it and what they defend seem real to them, for defense makes reality, albeit fleeting reality).
To Americans there is really a presidential election going on. These people take their dream world and its politics seriously (as other folks in other parts of the world do…in Nigeria politics is seen as a do or die thing, opponents hire thugs to harass, even kill each other).
What folks want to be real seems real to them; politics seem real to human beings; people live in vulnerable environments and need governments to pass laws that protect them. They hire politicians to make laws that protect them; they hire policemen to enforce those laws; they hire soldiers to defend them against foreigners bent on attacking and killing them.
The Holy Spirit was not authorized to banish the dreams of the children of God or to awaken them from their dreams. God allows his prodigal sons to go on their journeys without a distance. God allows us to go seek separation from him. God told his Holy Spirit to reinvent his children’s dreams, make them lovely but not prevent them.
Thus, as long as some children of God want America and its election to be real the Holy Spirit accepts their wishes and sees their world as real. However, he urges them to make their dream a happy dream.
In this light, the Holy Spirit says: let Obama and Romney run for the dream president of dream America but let them remember their real selves; Unified Spirit Self. Americans (and all peoples) real selves are not the people you see in bodies living in the universe of space, time and matter; people are part of unified spirit self.
So let Obama and Romney duke it out and may the winner love the spirit in all Americans.
If the winner loves the souls in all Americans and in their mutual dream works for the social good of all Americans he enables most Americans to have a happy dream (the world would still be a dream but a happy one, not a nightmarish one where folks hate each other).
My metaphysics teaches you to see the world as a dream in your mind, and urges you not to take anything you see people do seriously. If you see people doing something in bodies realize that they are doing so in dreams. If they are having sex they are having sex in dreams; in reality they are spirit and not in bodies and do not live in the world of space and time and matter and, as such, do not have sex (for sex is a bodily activity).
This metaphysics teachers you to see the world and overlook it; it asks you to see what people are doing and ignore it and not take it seriously (to overcome the world as Jesus did).
People do all kinds of weird things to make their bodies and world seem real to them but it is still not real. Some would even inflict pain to their bodies believing that in pain they make their bodies seem real (most people use pleasure to make their bodies to seem real to them).
There are masochists and sadists all over the world. Homosexual sadists stick their penises into other men’s anuses and inflict pain on them and in so doing believe that their bodies are real (hence that they are separated from unified spirit self).
In the state of union God and his children have perfect peace and joy. When folks separated from union (which they cannot do but seem to do so in dreams) they experience lack of peace, joy, happiness and experience fear, depression, anger, depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia and the other mental disorders (all mental disorders derive from separation from God, separation from ones real self, unified spirit self and pretention that one is an ego living in body).
In seeking separated ego self housed in bodies’ folks give themselves lack of peace and joy. It is only when they relinquish their egos and stop defending their egos that they know peace and joy.
If other people attack your body it feels pain. Your ego (the part of the son of God that identified with body and separation) wants to defend you by counter attacking the person who attacked you. This is the logic of the ego and the world (thus we live in a world of mutual attacks and defenses).
The Holy Spirit asks you to stop right there and ponder what is going on to you. The attacker inflicted pain on your body and ego personality, alright. He hurt your body and can, in fact, destroy it, kill your ego. Your body and ego can be destroyed.
What can be destroyed is not real. On the other hand, there is a part of you that no one can attack, no one can hurt or destroy; that part is your real self, aka your soul, the son of God.
Your real self, the soul in you, the spirit of God in you, the you as the son of God is immortal and eternal and no one can attack or hurt or kill it.
If you realize that your true self is spirit, which is eternal and cannot be attacked, you overlook the attacks on your body and ego even if those attacks destroy your body and ego. Even if people killed your ego and body you keep living in spirit.
This is the lesson of crucifixion and resurrection that Jesus taught the world. His body and ego were destroyed but his soul kept living for it is eternal. When folks destroyed his body and ego false self his real self took on a body of light and appeared to his disciples; he did so to show them that he is still alive in spirit.
(As an aside, if you have not seen Jesus in his purified light body you are not a true Christian; that is, you do not love and do what Jesus asked you to do, love you and love all people. If you love all people you would see Jesus in his glorified light body, today, not tomorrow.)
In the temporal universe, in the dream of separation, there is political campaign going on in America; it is real to Americans.
However, from the perspective of the Holy Spirit there are no Americans in bodies and there is no America; Americans are dream figures and America is a dream place. But since Americans want the dream to seem real it is real for them.
If you are an American, then go vote for your favorite candidate. I will vote for Barack Obama even though I would not hire him for supervisorial positions. He is inept and incompetent; he knows diddlysquat about leadership and management and certainly does not know anything about economics. But juxtaposed to Romney he is the better of two evils (for me).
You decide who the better candidate is for you and vote for him. What you need to remember, though, is that your voting took place in a dream and is not real.
Our reality is the unified spirit self. In reality we are spirits in the unified spirit called God.
Spirit is always in the state of union; that union is glued together by love. When you remember that all of us at base are part of unified spirit self and you love all people, black and white, man and woman despite what you see them do with their bodies in the dream called planet earth you have a happy dream.
Please do remember that as the world sees these things, Jesus was arrested, tried and falsely accused of blasphemy; he was found guilty and condemned to death. He was crucified and his body died and was buried.
From the perspective of the ego, Jesus was persecuted by his fellow Jews. His ego could feel angry and react with hate of those who killed it.
But Jesus realized that he is not his body and ego. True, his body can be destroyed and his ego can be hurt but his real self, the Christ self (the son of God) could not be hurt. His real self is immortal and eternal. His immortal soul did not accept that he was attacked and killed. His immortal self was alive at all times so he did not feel persecuted by people and did not develop paranoia, as other people would have from believing in persecution.
Jesus realized that the killing of his ego and body took place in his and his brothers’ dream of separation where other people saw themselves as separated from him. He realized that he was not separated from other people, that in spirit they are always as God created them, unified and one.
People seemed to have destroyed his body but he took on another body, light body and showed it to those who believe that such a body is possible.
(If you believe that you have a light body you would see yourself in light body; if you do not have such belief, even though you have a light body you would not see it. When we invented our dense bodies the Holy Spirit reinvented them in light forms; right now you have a light body but would not see it until you purify your seeing; that is, change your perception to innocent perception by seeing all with love and forgiveness.)
Paranoia is perception that one is attacked, which is true; the paranoid person is always attacked; his perception must be affirmed and validated. However, what is lacking in him is his not knowing that his body and ego that is attacked is not his real self.
For example, white racists do attack black folk’s bodies and egos and black folks do feel attacked and became defensive hence develop paranoid egos. But some black folks recognize that they are not their bodies and egos and thus overlook what racists do to them and still love white folks and themselves and work to make our world a loving place. Such black persons do not believe in persecution and are not paranoid.
The world is a dream; what we see happen in the world has not happened hence we have to forgive what we see other dream figures do to our dream figure (and in doing so become aware of our Christ, light self).
When we forgive (overlook) the world of separation we return to the world of union; we return to experiencing peace, joy, happiness.
I wrote this paper just so you know that there are other ways of looking at the same (political) universe you see with your naked eyes. If you see it as the Holy Spirit does, that is, through the eyes of love and forgiveness and not take what people in their ego states do seriously you approximate the peace of heaven; metaphorically, you live at haven’s gate and your dream on earth becomes a happy dream; but if you hate folks because of the apparent evils they do in the dream of separation your dream becomes a nightmarish dream.
Americans (dream figures in a dream place called America) are having a presidential election. They take their political activities seriously, for that is the nature of the dream of separation. Our substitute selves, egos, take the world they made seriously; the world is our handiwork, our idol and we worship it. The sons of God in dream land must take their dreams seriously; they must see them as real (otherwise they would not be in the dream; they would awaken in the wake world of unified spirit, aka heaven).
The function of the Holy Spirit and his teachers (such as I) is to remind folk that the world is a dream. The Holy Spirit asks you to relax and smell the coffee and see the roses. Do not sweat small things. Participate in politics but do so from the realization that it is a game. Have good laughter while at the game of politics (and other aspects of the dream world).
The Holy Spirit does not ask you to avoid politics; you need to be engaged in politics and participate in governing your society but do so with love for all participants in the game of lets pretend that we are separated from God, our real self and are in an alien land where we have to govern ourselves.
September 25, 2012
*The type of metaphysics explicated in this paper is not for every person. Many people need traditional religions to make sense of their lives. If you are at the stage where regular religion is your faire please stick to it and ignore the abstract, idealistic philosophical conception of phenomena of solipsistic, Gnostic Christianity. There are many ways of getting to the same destination. If a path to God does not suit you please do not desecrate it. Some folks believe that the real Jesus Christ espoused the solipsistic and Gnostic Christianity delineated in this paper!
This paper makes the point that there is life after our bodies die. This point needs to be accepted not on belief but because it is a fact. You can find out for yourself if it is a fact by understanding what the paper says and practicing love and meditation. Primitive science had given folks the impression that there is no life after death. Sophisticated science, such as quantum mechanics, has told us that there are infinite universes some of which contain people like us in them, and, indeed, contain aspects of us. Each of us has replicas in other universes! The goal of this paper is to articulate the obvious, that life continues after we physically die and that any one who says otherwise does not know what he is talking about!
THERE IS LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF OUR BODIES
Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD
The scientific revolution has left one consequence that is not good for the people; it has given simplistic folk the feeling that life begins and ends with their physical death. This feeling has led to depression in many people; many people now feel that life is pointless and that there is no use trying to do anything.
Throughout human history human beings believed that their lives transcend their physical death but science appears to have attacked that belief and those impressed by the accomplishments of science accept the idea that life is strictly material and begins and ends with the death of their bodies. This is disservice to humanity for it isn’t true that life ends with death. We must correct this erroneous teaching that all is material and ends with the end of matter.
However, we must also acknowledge that it was good for science to dispose our ancestors’ superstitious conceptions of life after death and God. Science did us a world of good by letting us get rid of our superstitious beliefs about what happens when we die but it did us tremendous disservice if it convinced us that life ceases after we die, for the plain fact is that life continues after our physical death.
A lie cannot be allowed to stand; thus, this paper wants to correct the lie that life ends with our physical death.
I begin by acknowledging that our ancestors’ conception of life after death and God was largely false. Our ancestors lived in an environment where the forces of nature were arraigned against them and they lived precarious existence. They sought a powerful father figure to help them cope with their threatening environment. As Sigmund Freud pointed out in the “Future of an illusion’ our ancestors posited an image of a powerful father god who used magical wands to banish what ailed them and generally helped them tame the forces of nature arrayed against them. Our ancestors worshipped all manner of gods.
Alas, worship imaginary father figures, as our ancestors did, did not make the gods to help them; they did not help them because they did not exist and what does not exist could not help human beings regardless of how much they flagellated their selves before them.
The Greeks probably were the first group of human beings (?) that began to re-conceptualize God in rational terms. Plato saw God as sort of like the perfect us, the perfect self. To Plato there is an idea of perfection, archetype that we are mere imperfect renditions of. God is the perfection existing out there in the non-material world and we human beings are poor imitations of him. The idea was for us to strive to attain that perfect self that supposedly is our true nature.
However, as we all know from experience if we pursue an ideal, perfection, we never attain it. Ideal and perfection is like a goal post and when you approach it the post shifts and a different goal post comes into your awareness and you pursue that one, too. There is never a time human beings can attain perfection!
Perfection is a mental construct, not a material reality. It is therefore a waste of time pursuing the imaginary idea of perfection (although we seem wired to always seek the perfect…which is the enemy of the possible).
Aristotle conceptualized God as the unmoved mover. As he saw it, everything in motion had a beginning point; something always sets things in motion. Something begins whatever is in motion. Reasoning thus, Aristotle concluded that God must be the force that set all things in motion, a force that nothing else set in motion.
Clearly, Aristotle’s logic is faulty for if you assume that something in motion was set in motion by something else the only logical conclusion is that there is a chain of causation that has no beginning and end. To end the chain of causation by positing God is irrational and at any rate is not proven as true. Aristotle, in effect, merely made an assumption that there is an unmoved mover. An assumption is not a fact. Truth cannot be based on assumptions but on evidence. Aristotle also talked about what he called universals; these are also assumptions that he did not prove as existent.
Nevertheless, the medieval Catholic Church trying to use philosophy to rationalize the existence of God accepted Aristotelian conception of God and saw him as the uncaused cause (this was the basic argument of Thomas Aquinas in his Magnus opus, Summa Theologica).
For our present interest, the salient point is that Greeks used reason rather than belief to ponder the nature of God; many schools of thought on the nature of God and reality emerged in 450 BC Greece, such as stoics, epicureans, cynics, sophists, skeptics and so on. Greece was full of many schools each arguing the nature of reality. The Greece of 2500 years ago when human beings made serious attempt to use pure reason to understand phenomena must have been an interesting environment. It must have been intoxicating for Greeks to try to understand reality through ratiocinatory means rather than merely believe in gods (as most mankind until them did and today many still do!).
Greek rational tradition infused the Roman Empire. With the fall of Rome in 450AD, the light that was Greece was extinguished and the Catholic Church triumphed. The Christian Church superimposed on the people its superstitions about God, a God that created the world in six days.
Any person reading the Christian Bible, especially the first section, Genesis must appreciate that that story of the origin of the world is a myth and not a fact. I do not see how any one could accept such a fairy tale as true.
The Christian story of creation is bought from what ancient Jews thought about the origin of the world. The ascendant Catholic Church imposed this primitive Jewish view of reality on Europe and folks accepted it (I wonder why Europe accepted such silly view of creation when on the face of it it certainly is not better than prevailing European stories of creation).
The acceptance of the Christian sect of Judaism (Christianity began as a minor cult within Judaism) led Europe to kiss goodbye to rational thinking and the continent, thereafter called Christendom, entered the dark ages.
For almost a thousand years Europe was the abode of darkness and no enlightening thoughts came out of it.
In the meantime, in Arabia, Mohammad (570-632) had hallucinations in which he claimed that the angel Gabriel talked to him. In 610 AD, the 40 year old Mohammad (he had married a rich widow of 54, a woman that hitherto he worked for as a camel driver, and now had the luxury of time and money and went to a cave near Mecca to meditate; during some of his meditations he claimed to have had both visual and auditory hallucinations in which the angel Gabriel talked to him and told him to start a new religion, Islam (total submission to the will of Allah, God and his prophet, the supposed seal of the prophets, Muhammad).
The people of Mecca considered Mohammad a raving lunatic and chased him out of Mecca and he fled to medina (this flight is called Hajira by Muslims). At Medina, Mohammad formed a militia and used the sword to return and conquer his fellow Meccans to his new religion. Islam thus began in violence and to the present has continued in that violence, aka Jihad. Islam, contrary to what some of its propagandists, sophists, would like us to believe, Islam have never been a religion of peace; it is a religion of war. Islam sees non-Islamic people and nations as the house of war, a place Muslims should go to war and use violence to convert the people to Islam and if they die in the war go straight to Paradise where 72 virgins are given to them. This love of war is actually written down in the religion’s supposed holy books, Koran and Hadith!
It should also be noted that 25 year old Mohammad married a 54 year old rich woman, Khadija, and because she was past child bearing age she could not bear children for him. Desiring children his hallucinations told him that he could marry many wives and he subsequently married many wives, including children less than ten years old (making him a pedophile!). Mohammad gave his followers permission to marry up to four wives at a time, to discard their wives and replace them at will (hence some Muslim men marry hundreds of women as long as only four are called their current wives; Muslim potentates kept harems of women, often women bought as slaves and they came from all over the world, from blond Scandinavia to black Africa!).
Mohammad and his followers in quick order conquered the old world (Middle East, North Africa) and entered Spain, Europe in 711 AD. They were in Spain until 1492, the year that Christopher Columbus came to America!
Arabs ruled Spain and Portugal for seven hundred years; they got to as far as Southern France before Charles Martel, the Hammer, and his Franks (Germans) stopped them at the battle of Poitiers and saved Europe from Islam (Muslim Turks tried to conquer Europe from the East and actually reached the gates of Vienna, Austria). Muslims are bent on conquering the world and convert all human beings to Islam; some naïve folks are not aware of this mission of Islam!
Clearly, as resurgent Islam spreads in Europe and America and reaches a critical mass its religious fanatics will probably renew their efforts to convert us to Islam and destroy our scientific civilization. These folks want to return us to what they did in Afghanistan, to seventh century primitive Arabian feudal state of darkness where the Caliph and his mullahs tell all of us what is true or not true and behead those who disagree with their hideous practices. Islamic theocracy and its darkness is staring mankind in the face!
Christians tried using force, crusades to retrieve Christian holy lands (such as Jerusalem) from the Mohommedans; if care is not taken our children may have to use force to retrieve mankind from these zealots bent on destroying the light of reason and science and converting all people to religious superstition.
In the meantime Muslim Arabs had access to Greek learning (from Alexandria, Egypt which they conquered in 643 AD) and Indian and Chinese science…they had conquered India and got as far as China and learned those people’s mathematics and science. The Arabs brought back into Europe Greek, Indian and Chinese learning.
Gradually, Greek and Oriental knowledge reentered Europe and stimulated the Italian renaissance. Folks began to use their reason to try to understand phenomena rather than accept the nonsense that the Catholic Church had told them was the nature of reality.
We have already mentioned Thomas Aquinas and his efforts to use Greek, Aristotelian reasoning to explain God. Many others followed his example (see Erasmus, Anselm etc).
Philosophers emerged in Europe; Rene Descartes tried to understand God via his dualistic conception of man…the idea that there is matter and non-matter in people. Blasé Pascal (Pensees) offered a mystical view of reality. Folks like Leibnitz and Spinoza offered interesting pantheistic views of God.
In France folks like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot stopped pretending that God guides people’s lives and asked people to use pure reason to guide their lives (this is the birth of rational humanism). In Britain folks like Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, George Berkeley and others (I do not plan to review these philosophers here, I have done that elsewhere) emerged and argued for basing knowledge on observation, not belief in the unseen.
In Germany folks like Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Feuerbach and others presented interesting idealistic philosophies.
For our present purposes, what is salient is that Europeans were trying to use pure reason to explain phenomena rather than believe what their inherited religion told them is the nature of things. The French enlightenment succeeded in attacking the church and ultimately marginalizing it.
In 1517 AD Martin Luther began the Protestant movement and in time the Catholic Church was shown for what it is: a superstitious organization that held the people in bondage by manipulating their fear of the unknown. The leading lights of Europe discarded the Church and sought better understanding of phenomena.
In 1543 the Polish monk, Nicolas Copernicus wrote that the earth is not the center of the universe but that the sun is (he is wrong, of course, for the sun is not the center of the universe; the sun is the center of our local solar system). Copernicus challenged the Church’s belief that the earth is the center of the universe hence the Church’s teaching that man is the special creation of God. By presenting the heliocentric view of the solar system, as opposed to the Church’s geocentric view, Copernicus began the process of relegating human beings to the insignificant creatures they are in the scheme of things.
In 1610 Galileo using his crude telescopes proved that the sun is the center of the solar system and for his efforts the Church wanted to kill him. The man had to recant his thesis to avoid the Church from burning him on the stake, as it had done to Giordano Bruno.
In 1687 Isaac Newton posited his three laws of motion and gravitation and began physics as we now know it (Newton made contributions to mechanics and optics/light). Others followed suit. Kepler, Huygens, Tyco Brahe made contributions to astronomy; Harvey discovered circulation of blood in the human body.
In the 1700s chemistry was born from alchemy. Robert Boyle and Lavoisier proved that air is composed of gases including oxygen (nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon).
In the early 1800s John Dalton resurrected Democritus (Greek) idea that matter could be reduced to atoms that cannot be further subdivided (he was, of course, wrong for now we know that atoms can be subdivided into particles, such as protons, neutrons and electrons, even neutrinos).
The nineteenth century saw wonderful developments in science. Folks like Thomas Young (double slit experiment that proved that light is wave), Michael Faraday (electric motor), James Clerk Maxwell (equations on electromagnetism), Boltzmann (gas behavior), Charles Darwin (origin of species, evolution) and Mendel (genetics) made seminal contributions to the growth of science.
The twentieth century began with a bang and by the time it ended science had triumphed over religious superstition. The century began with Max Planck demonstrating in 1900 that light has particles (he called it quanta but Albert Einstein in 1905 renamed it photons). Marie and Pierre Currie in 1903 proved that the nucleus of atoms do spontaneously decay (radiation) and give rise to other forms of atoms (uranium decays into lead). Einstein in 1905 posited his idea of special relativity (that reinterpreted Newton’s conception of gravity…now he sees space and time as one continuum).
In 1911 Ernest Rutherford showed that the atom is not the smallest part of matter, that the atom has a nucleus (Proton). In 1913 Neils Bohr pointed out that electrons (which J.J. Thompson had discovered in 1897) circled the nucleus of atoms.
In the 1920s quantum mechanics as field was born. Folks like Broglie, Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Pauli, Dirac, Born etc made seminal contributions to particle physics. In 1932 James Chadwick showed that the nucleus is not just proton but also contains neutrons hence we now see the atom as composed of electrons and a nucleus containing protons and neutrons…in the 1950s protons and neutrons were shown to be composed of quarks and quarks were shown to be congealed light, photons and photons were made from nothingness during the Big Bang that initiated our universe.
In astronomy, using Einstein’s general relativity, the Russian mathematician, Alexander Friedman in 1922 argued that the universe is expanding. In 1927, the Belgium Catholic priest and mathematician, George Lemaitre using Einstein’s general relativity and Friedman’s contention that the universe is expanding argued that the universe must have begun in one spot, what he called cosmic egg. In 1927 Edwin Hubble used his telescope to prove that the universe is indeed expanding.
In the 1930s it was demonstrated that the nucleus of the atom could be split and energy released (Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and Strassmann were responsible for this understanding). Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago rigged up equipments that actually showed that the nucleus could be split (this is called nuclear fission) and energy released.
Energy, Einstein, in his famous equation, E=Mc2, had said, is the same as mass (mass is got when the speed of light, 186, 000 per second, is multiplied by two). Energy can be converted to matter and matter can be reconverted to energy. The total quantity of energy and mass in the universe always remain the same; however one form of energy can be converted to other forms (such as converting heat energy to mechanical/kinetic energy to light energy to sound energy to electrical energy etc).
During the Second World War Robert Oppenheimer led the Manhattan Project that actually split the nucleus of uranium, by hitting it with neutrons to cause chain reaction, and we used the resultant nuclear weapon on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to devastating effect and thus forced Japan to surrender and end the war.
In the 1940s Fred Hoyle showed how clouds of hydrogen transformed themselves to helium (nuclear fusion in the core of stars) and helped us to understand the nature of star formation and star death. George Gamow experimentally showed that Lemaitre’s conception of the origin of the universe in one spot is true. Hoyle called Gamow’s thesis that the universe began in an explosion Big Bang and insisted on what he called Steady State universe…that the universe has always existed.
By the 1950s and 1960s Science had shown how the universe began, is and works. In 1965 Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias, working at Bell laboratories in New Jersey, USA picked up the cosmic background microwave radiation proving that the universe began in an explosion (actually that microwave radiation is from the 400, 000 year mark when nuclei captured electrons and released light). Murray Gell-Mann arranged Quarks into up and down quarks. Numerous sub-atomic particles were discovered and we now have a veritable zoo of these particles.
(The super-colliding superconductor experiment near Geneva, Switzerland is currently smashing particles at speed near the speed of light to show what actually happened during the big bang.)
In biology Flaming elaborated on how the human immune system works and discovered penicillin to kill bacteria that causes us harm.
Linus Pauline used the understanding that atoms are made of three parts, electrons, neutrons and protons to transform chemistry into a real science (showed how chemical reactions take place, how the exchange of electrons by atoms are involved in the formation of chemical compounds and molecules…talked about subjects like valences of the various atoms; demonstrated how hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and calcium compounds formed the basis of biological life forms).
In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick showed that in our cells is information packet (DNA) that instructs the body to do whatever it does.
By the 1970s Superstrings’ hypothesis was posited. Super strings advocates continued Einstein’s futile efforts to unify the four known forces of physics: electromagnetic, gravitation, weak and strong nuclear force into one grand unified theory of everything. The efforts so far have failed.
Nevertheless, few persons now have doubt that science has replaced religion as our primary method for understanding our world. Religion has become a hollow shell appealing to mostly ignorant persons.
If what the Christian or other religions teach about God and life after death is all we have to go by only a fool would believe in religions.
What makes sense (not all sense, mind you, just some sense) is science. Science began by throwing away all presuppositions and preconceptions about the nature of anything and said, in effect: let us study things and from our studies know what anything is. Science rejected all ancient notions of what anything is, rejected knowledge that is based on authority (such as Jesus Christ) and undertook to find out what things are in fact.
To science, there is no aprior truth; truth is to be found out by observation, experimentation and verification of hypotheses (See Karl Popper’s essay, Conjectures and Refutations, the Logic of Scientific Inquiry).
So, you think that your idea of reality is the truth, eh? What is the evidence for your supposition? Provide us with evidence, please. If the evidence can be verified by all of us following the scientific method then we shall accept your idea but if not we will discard it.
We do not have to argue about what is true or not true; all that we need to do is verify any claim to truth. For example, we do not need to argue about the nature of water. We all can verify that water, H2O, is obtained when two atoms of hydrogen is mixed with one atom of oxygen. No argument here; any secondary school boy can verify the constituent of water in his laboratory, and any college student can verify the constituent of the atoms that make up water (that is, verify that electrons, protons and neutrons exist inside the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that constitute water molecule and inside the other known 120 elements in our universe).
From the perspective of science, nothing is to be accepted on faith. Belief in things that we do not know as true has led mankind astray. From science’s perspective we are to accept only what all of us can verify as true.
To science, the credibility of the person who says that something is true is not important; what is important is whether we all can verify his notion of truth as true. That Jesus or Mohammad or Krishna said that something is true is not relevant, what is relevant is whether all of us can verify what he said is the truth. This is science and it makes eminent sense to me and I accepted it.
However, while in college it became apparent to me that the scientific method mostly is amenable to physical phenomena. Science can help us understand the universe of space-time and matter. However, when it comes to variables like thinking and consciousness science seems unequipped to help us understand them.
I have studied the nature of the human brain; from my studies, I do not believe that extant information on the brain has even thrown the slightest light on thinking and how consciousness came about and works.
It is true that information is relayed from one neuron to another through the complex behaviors of electrical ions and neurotransmitters (at the synapses of neurons), and ultimately that those information is processed in the brain but that does not tell us anything useful about thinking, and about our ability to engage in conceptual thinking. (Can the dance of particles and atoms in my brain explain why I woke up one day and decided to write this paper; did accident make me write it?)
Neuroscience does not throw light on consciousness and thinking. To say that thinking is epiphenomenal, is a product of the permutations of particles (electrons, neutrons and protons) and atoms (elements) in the brain begs the question and does not tell us anything worthwhile about consciousness.
Astrophysics and astronomy has interesting ideas on the origin of this universe and how it would end but that is probably as true as the magical story of the origin of the world found in the Christian Bible! There is no doubt that in the future we shall have better information on these matters and what today we call science would be seen as rubbish that primitive folk, us, preoccupied their minds with!
According to extant cosmology, out of nothing this universe can out. Do cosmologists really expect folks to believe in this magical supposition? If that magic is believable why shouldn’t people believe in the magic of God creating this world by merely asking the world to appear?
The science of cosmology is interesting but it has not satisfactorily explained the origin of the universe, certainly it has not explained the origin and nature consciousness. It must keep trying until it gets it right, if at all; at present any rational person must conclude that science has not explained the important issues in our existence: how we came about, where we are going and the nature of consciousness and thinking.
As a teenager, I rejected religions ideas on the origin of the universe, its ideas on God and us. However, something told me that there is something going on than religions conjecture and sciences speculation could explain. I was never an atheist but an agnostic. I just felt that we did not yet have complete information to categorically state that life existed or did not exists after we physically die; I felt that as we know more we shall be able to ascertain that subject.
In time I had experiences that led me to know that life exists after the demise of our bodies.
I have also read books that purportedly explained these things, books such as Jane Roberts Seth Materials, Robert Monroe’s Journeys out of body and Helen Schucman’s A course in miracles. It was helpful to read what other folks wrote, however, they did not persuade me to believe in their views. What persuaded me to accept the idea of life after death are pure reason and my own experiences.
Building on my experiences, in this paper I will attempt to give the reader a glimpse to what life after death is like. My exposition is not in conformism with any extant religion; I will simply write what I have experienced and what makes eminent sense to me.
I am not trying to sell anything to you. Frankly, I could care less what you believe to be true or false. All I care for is what is self evidently true to me.
The critical point I want to make in this paper is that there is life after death. It is not for me to explain it satisfactorily to you or to any one. The salient point is for me to accept that there is life after death and not deny the obvious in order to pretend that science knows what it is talking about on this issue.
In my judgment, science has done mankind a disservice by telling them (or suggesting) that there is no life after death. It has confused folks. Obviously science does not know whether there is life after death or not and the best thing it should have done is keep quiet on the subject rather than leading naïve folks to deny the obvious, that there is life after death and embrace atheism, a deadly philosophy that as Fyodor Dostoyevsky pointed out in Brothers Karamazov leads to the belief that every behavior is proper.
These days, under the guise of atheism folks engage in absurd behaviors, including homosexuality.
(I am not interested in political correctness; I do not feel obligated to agree with deviant folk’s view that whatever gives their bodies’ so-called pleasurable sensation is appropriate behavior. I do not see how sticking ones penis into another man’s anus and mouth, an anus designed as a means of defecation is appropriate behavior. Nor do I see how sticking their tongues into other women’s vaginas and sticking dildos into fellow women’s vaginas and or anus makes such absurd behavior fitting behavior for rational animals called human beings. I see homosexuality as an aberration that needs to be corrected. However, it is not for me to heal it; it is for those who engage in this obsessive-compulsive, addictive and bestial behavior to heal it. I agree with Alfred Adler that those who do such dreadful things feel inordinately powerless…existence made them feel powerless… and derive fictional sense of power by destroying other men’s anus and generally humiliating other men by sodomizing them. These people are evil and need to extricate themselves from the evil that has taken hold of their minds. Their behaviors do not lead to procreation and replenishing the human population; it is behavior solely motivated by physical sensation hence an animal behavior that has no social value. There is evidence that past civilizations like Greece and Rome that approved this bestial behavior hastened their demise. We are hastening the fall and demise of Western civilization by approving this lunacy now called alternative life styles!)
There is life after death. In this paper, I will, as much as is possible, explain what to me seems self evident: that life transcends our physical deaths. It is not for me to convince you what the truth is; what is for me to do is articulate the truth as I see it and leave it at that. I am not in the business of trying to get any one to believe anything he does not want to believe in. What is incumbent on me and all people is for each of us to state the truth as he sees it.
Ones obligation to existence is to state the truth one knows to be so but it is not for one to force anyone else to accept that truth. Each person must decide for himself what the truth is.
I can tell you one thing though; it is necessary for folks to accept that there is life after death for their lives to be tolerable. Removing belief in life after death gives folks depression, the mass depression we see in the Western world today.
What we need to do is throw away primitive conceptions of life after death and present more rational ones and let people verify them and accept them and from such acceptance live their lives wholesomely, not in a depressed and absurd manner.
Let me briefly explicate the extant story of how the universe came into being, is and will end as taught at our schools by astrophysicists, astronomers and cosmologists in general. I do so to set the stage that takes me to my thesis that life exists beyond our physical graves.
According to extant cosmology, 13.7 billion years ago, out of nowhere and nothing something came out.
(Can something come out of nothing? This is an illogical inference.) Something believed to be the size of a particle of an atom came out.
(Do you know how small that particle is? Consider that several hundred million atoms fit unto a pinhead; since each atom has three particles it follows that we are talking about billions of particles in the space occupied by a period at the end of this sentence.)
We are told that something this small got extremely hot and exploded. (Please note that they have now introduced heat, a physical property. So that which came out of nowhere, singularity, a state that is beyond physics has now taken on physical properties, heat. Why? How can a non-physical state produce a physical state?)
That something became so hot that it exploded and produced light (particles of light are called photons). So we now move from heat energy to light energy and mechanical energy (for the particles of light were speeding away from their original source).
Light is made of photons so now we have heat and light and movement, aka mechanical and kinetic energy. If the big bang explosion made sound so we also now have sound energy. Since light and electricity (electrons) are involved we also have electrical energy. The circle of physics is now complete; physics came from non-physics, nature (physics) came from nothing!
Those light particles (photons) are said to speed out and created space as they spread out. Prior to that there was no space so space has now been created.
(Question: what was space created from? Was there a wall that the explosion pushed back to create space? If space did not exist before how can it be created out of nothing? The most logical view is that there already was infinite vacuum into which the particles speed. This raises a problem for those invested in talking about the origin of things for if vacuum already existed then the big bang was not the origin of things. Apparently, to avoid grappling with these issues we are hoodwinked with illogical concepts of something coming out of nothing and creating space, time and matter out of nothing. These are really stupid ideas; they are no less stupid than the biblical conception of God creating the world out of nothing.)
Once there is space there must be time for space and time assume each other and the one cannot exist without the other (it takes time to move from distance A to B), so we now have space and time and matter.
Within that all important second photons transformed themselves into quarks. Quarks are matter. Quarks do not exist outside nuclei so those quarks transformed themselves into protons and neutrons. Photons also transformed into electrons. Energy has transformed itself into matter.
Albert Einstein in his famous equation: E=Mc2 (speed of light multiplied by two) had said that energy can be transformed into matter and matter can be reconverted into energy. Thus, we began with energy (heat energy, light energy, mechanical energy, sound energy) and formed matter (quarks, protons, neutrons and electrons); and those can be reconverted to energy.
Within the first minute of the universe’s existence, protons and neutrons combined into nuclei (of the simplest elements, hydrogen, helium and lithium). Some photons did not form nuclei but formed electrons. Thus by the end of the first minute of existence the incipient universe had formed photons, nuclei and electrons.
By the end of the first three minutes the universe was composed of photons, nuclei and electrons. This was plasma universe.
We are told that the universe existed in this plasma state for the next 400, 000 years. The universe in this form was a dense dark cloud where photons, light could not escape. In the meantime the cloud of nuclei and electrons is expanding at a rapid rate. (Expanding to where, may one ask, to a pre-existing vacuum?)
Alan Goth tells us in his inflation theory that the rate of expansion during this first minutes of the universe was greater than the speed of light (which Einstein had told us nothing could go faster).
Apparently, it took this enormous speed to prevent the force of gravity from pulling on matter to fall back on itself hence abort the incipient universe. This inflationary speed allowed the universe to come into being.
(Inflation theory is something made up to explain why the universe did not fall back unto itself, for it is assumed that ordinary speed of light could not have prevented matter from re-collapsing to itself hence prevent the universe from existing; the universe exists, so someone had to explain what made gravity not work and unite all matter).
There is another problem. Physics predicts that during the explosion, dubbed Big Bang by Fred Hoyle (in refuting Georges Gamow’s and George Lemaitre’s notion of explosion that shattered the cosmic egg in which all matter and energy were before the explosion) that equal amount of matter and anti matter should have been created (equal amount of quarks and anti quarks, protons and anti protons, neutrons and anti neutrons, electrons and anti protons/positrons). Matter and anti matter were supposed to have attacked each other and annihilated each other hence aborted the incipient universe. So, how come this did not occur?
A fudge factor was introduced. It is now posited that for every billion particles of anti matter created a billion and one particles of matter was created hence when matter and anti matter attacked each other some matter survived to continue the existence of the universe.
At the 400, 000 year mark, nuclei captured electrons and formed the simplest atoms (hydrogen and helium). Thus, we now have a universe of hydrogen and helium (and may be lithium and even nickel).
The capturing of electrons by nuclei allowed light to escape from the dense cloud of plasma. That light that escaped is said to be the light that Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias picked up in 1965 that supposedly proved that the Big Bang did take place. That light is called cosmic microwave background radiation.
So, now we have a universe made of a cloud of hydrogen and helium. The universe existed in this form for hundreds of millions of years.
At some point the cloud of hydrogen experienced separation into clumps. Space emerged between clumps of hydrogen gas (this is called asymmetry).
This space between clumps of hydrogen enabled gravity to act on each clump of hydrogen gas. Each clump of hydrogen was pulled inwards by gravitation until inside it compacted. As it compacted, its core got so hot that it ignited into a star.
A star is a cloud of hydrogen in which in its core hydrogen fuses into helium. Hydrogen has one electron circling a nucleus composed of one proton. When two hydrogen atoms fuse they form a helium atom which has two electrons circling a nucleus containing two neutrons and two protons (I have oversimplified the formation process of helium, it is a bit more complex than I have stated but this is the basic idea).
The fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms generates heat and light. That heat and light work their way from the core of the star and reaches outside it (it does so in millions of years) and escapes as the light and heat that reach us from the stars.
This way billions of stars were formed. A group of stars is called a galaxy. Billions of galaxies formed.
At present it is said that there are at least 200 billion galaxies and each galaxy has at least 200 billion stars.
Our local galaxy, the Milky Way is said to contain over 200 billion stars and that it is about 100, 000 light years across (a light year is the time it takes light to travel during the year: light travels at the speed of 186, 000 miles per second meaning that it travels over 6 trillion miles in a year…so multiple 100, 000 by seven trillion to get an idea of the width of our galaxy).
(The earth is about 93 million miles from the sun; the earth is about 250, 000 miles from the moon…it takes light slightly over a second to travel from the earth to the moon. The earth is about 2.5 million light years from the nearest star to it outside our solar system, Alfa Centauri. The nearest galaxy to our galaxy is Andromeda.)
The universe is very immense. The universe is expanding. We are told that it is actually expanding very rapidly. Why so?
In the 1990s astrophysicists told us that this rapid expansion is due to the presence of what they dubbed dark energy (dark matter slows the expansion). They say that the visible energy we see and the visible matter we see is only 4% of the total energy and matter in the universe.
Dark energy is supposed to be 73% and dark energy is supposed to be 23% of the universe, so the universe has 96% invisible stuff, and the visible energy and matter that composes our galaxies, stars and planets is 4%. Interesting, is this not?
We do not know what constitutes 96% of the universe! Some speculate that the invisible stuff could be made of neutrinos. Neutrinos are released in nuclear fusion (in stars) and fission and travel through space and time and go through objects such as mountains and our bodies. As we talk millions of neutrinos are going through our bodies.
We have not even fully understood what constitutes the 4% of the visible matter and energy we seem to know something about.
Let us recapitulate what we have said so far. A particle of an unknown stuff exploded and created matter, space and time; as it expands it cools down from its initial infinite hot temperature. That little particle of something (what it is we do not know) is responsible for creating space, time and matter.
Light has been traveling for 13.7 billion years since the formation of the universe; multiply 14 billion years by 186, 000 miles per second for every second in 14 billion years; and this does not take into consideration the inflationary period that light and the universe supposedly travelled at a speed greater than the speed of light; the universe is immense in size. (I must observe that all these are silly talk for it assumes that the universe has an end; the universe is infinite and has no end; space has no end.)
As the universe expands it cools off. As it cools off other things come into being, things such as stars.
We are told that the original stars were very massive. Those did not live long; they lasted may be millions of years before they died.
The death of a star is as follows. A star fuses hydrogen into helium. At some point it begins to run out of hydrogen and begins fusing helium into carbon (carbon has six electrons circling a nucleus with six protons and six neutrons…except in isotopes of carbon…most elements have isotopes; in an isotope situation an element has more neutrons than protons in its nucleus; for example, hydrogen has two isotopes, deuterium and tritium; in deuterium the hydrogen nucleus has one proton and one neutron; in tritium the hydrogen nucleus has one proton and two neutrons in it). From carbon it goes to fusing oxygen (oxygen has eight electrons circling a nucleus with eight protons and eight neutrons, except in isotopes of oxygen) and the process continues until the fusion reaches iron.
Apparently, the heat inside stars is not enough to fuse elements beyond iron. At that point the star begins to expand in size and at some point explodes. This explosion of a star is called supernova.
In supernova a star shatters itself and the intense heat that accompanies its explosion leads to the formation of elements higher than iron. We have over 120 elements in the universe. Apparently, most of these were formed during supernovae.
When a star shatters and spills out its guts, the space around it is infused with a cloud of these newly formed elements, dust and gases.
Inside the core of the shattered massive stars one of two things can happen. One, the core collapses into a neutron star (where all matter is squeezed into neutrons). Neutron stars spin at incredible rates. Alternatively, the core of the exploded star collapses into a black hole. We do not know what is inside black holes; what we seem to know is that they are so dense that even light cannot escape from their event horizons.
For our present purposes, we now have a universe composed of stars, black holes and neutron stars (plus other forms of stars, such as quasars, pulsars…in this paper we shall not concern ourselves with all the various types of stars).
The cloud of gas and debris produced by an exploding massive star form a nebula. The nebula in time experience space in it and clumps of it are pulled by the force of gravity to form new stars and planets.
Our star, the sun is supposed to have formed from an exploded star four and half billion years ago.
Our star has nine planets that formed around the same time it formed (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto).
Each of the planets have moons circling it; our moon is supposed to have been formed when a Mars sized object from space (asteroid or comet) hit the earth and split some parts of it off and those went hurtling into space; later the fragments agglomerated into our moon. Thus, our moon is of the same material as our earth and both are of the same age as our star, solar, aka sun.
Our star and its planets are said to be at the tail end of the Milky Way galaxy. Our galaxy is said to be spiral in shape. In spiral galaxies most of the heat is in the middle; the tail ends of spiral galaxies is neither too hot nor too cold. In this region, called goldilocks region planets formed that are neither too hot nor too hot so that biological organisms can form on them.
Thus on our planet, earth biological organisms formed. So far it is only on planet earth that biological life forms have been discovered to exist. (Efforts are made to discover other planets that might have life forms on them.)
The process of formation of planets is that debris from exploded stars congregated and is compacted by gravity. The resulting planetismals attract more debris and expand in side. This piece of matter is very hot. In time comets strike it. Comets bear frozen water and dust. The water from comets is melted by the hot planet and in time the water cools down the hot planet.
Over the years the comets bring in enough water to planet earth so that it is now covered by 70% water. (Much of that water has salt in it, hence not drinkable.)
Inside the water on planet earth chemical reactions took place. Oxygen, calcium, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen etc combined to form molecules/compounds of carbon (hydrocarbons). Those in time formed the basis for biological life forms.
Molecules formed into cells that formed plants and animal cells. Initially, simple cells, unicellular organism were formed. In time single cells combined to form multi cellular organisms. This in time formed trees and later animals.
Over the years (the earliest cell found on earth has been traced to over three and half billion years) cells formed into trees and animals. Evolution later produced higher forms of animals, vertebrates and about three million years ago formed the great apes (such as gorillas and chimpanzees) and from those about fifty thousand years ago human beings formed.
Human beings were formed in Africa. Thereafter they spread out of Africa to the other four continents.
For our present purposes, the salient point is that the universe gradually evolved itself into us, creatures that can think and try to understand the universe itself.
It is said that evolution is a product of changes in the environment. As the environment changes animals and trees adapt and new forms are evolved. Those who cannot adapt to changes in their environment die out. Those that are fit survive and the unfit die out. The world is a struggle for the survival of the fittest, Charles Darwin told us and Herbert Spenser translated into the philosophy of social Darwinism (that says, let the strong survive and let the weak die out for that is the nature of being; this philosophy does not want us to help the weak; it wants the weak to die out; this is the philosophy of capitalism taken to its extreme, fascism).
In the meantime the universe continues to expand. As it expands it cools down. Each star ages and dies.
Our star is supposed to have enough hydrogen to last another five billion years. At that point it would die. Actually, in about a billion years it would start dying. It would start fusing helium into carbon etc. As it does so it expands and incorporates its two nearest planets, Mercury and Venus. The hot and expanding sun would make the earth very hot. The earth would become very hot and in about two billion years all biological life forms on earth would die from heat. Thus, we are scheduled to die out in about two billion years.
The earth itself will die when the sun dies. When the sun exhausts its fuel it would expand and slough off its outer parts as cloud of gas and its inner core becomes a white dwarf that flickers for a while then dies and become a dark object in space. Our earth, too, would die and become a piece of lifeless rock floating in space.
As the universe expands all galaxies and their stars would die; and all planets would die.
In a few trillions of years from now all the matter that composed the galaxies, stars and planets would break up into their constituent atoms. Free atoms would float in cold space (death of stars means that the universe has lost heat). In a few more trillion years those atoms would break up into their constituent particles.
We know that neutrons die shortly after they separate from protons so those will quickly die. Electrons would quickly die and for a while only protons would survive in the universe. Protons in a few more trillion years would decay into quarks which quickly decay into photons, radiation, which ultimately decay to the nothingness from which matter was formed.
The universe is expected to end in a cold death (big chill). In the past it was speculated that the universe would end in a big crunch (hot fiery death) where all matter collapse to the original singularity and, may be, form another big bang (rebound) to begin another universe but that hypothesis is now discarded; the current accepted hypothesis of how the universe would end is that we shall end in cold. The universe will end with nothing in it but cold.
(Can cold exist if there is no opposite of cold, heat? No. Therefore, the universe will end in neither cold nor hot; it would transcend the world of opposites and return to the non-dual state from which it emanated into the world of duality we now have.)
Some scientists hope that before our planet becomes too hot we would have developed the technology to transport ourselves to other star systems, locate other planets where biological forms can subsist and go live on them. When those other planets and their star systems die we would migrate to other planets. That way we keep moving from planet to planet in our galaxy.
When our galaxy dies we, hopefully, would have the technology to move to other galaxies.
When other galaxies die, that is, before the universe dies we would have developed the technology to tunnel ourselves to the other universes that are now believed to exist.
Briefly, it is now believed that the Big Bang did not just produce our universe but infinite universes (see Hugh Everett’s many worlds hypothesis). Where we are, other universes are said to be in it! There is said to be multiverse, each occupying the same space and time as we do.
It is hoped that before our universe dies we would have the technology to worm-hole ourselves to neighboring universes and keep doing do as each universe dies and since there are infinite universes do so forever and ever.
It would be fascinating to explore the idea of multiverse in detail but that is beyond the scope of this paper. For what it is worth let it just be noted that some scientists now believe that some of those universes have people like us in them. Indeed, some scientists claim that each of us has infinite selves, each self in one of those infinite universes.
That is to say that I am here on planet earth and infinite other me is in other universes. Whatever I can think of is actualized by some of the other me in the other universes. This is becoming interesting, is it not? Let us move on.
For now the relevant point made is that our universe began fourteen billion years ago and gradually formed biological life forms, including us and that we shall die out in the future.
There are basically two types of planets, gaseous ones such as Jupiter, and terrestrial ones such as our earth. Jupiter is a cloud of gas; some say that it was a star that did not ignite in its core to form a regular star (they call it a brown dwarf star?).
Our Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars etc are terrestrial, that is, rocky planets. Here, elements are compacted into rock.
Our planet has four layers, a top silicon (sand) crust, an inner viscous mantle, and then the outer core made of molten iron and nickel and the inner core made of solid iron. The mantle is viscous, that is, it shifts like a river of molten rock.
Uranium, Potassium and other elements decay inside the earth and give it heat. Thus, we have a planet with heat inside it. Heat and light also comes from outside the earth, from the sun and other stars.
Our planet has an atmosphere with many layers of gases (the ozone layer, an isotope of oxygen, prevents extremely hot radiation from the sun from frying us to cinders).
So far thousands of planets around other stars have been discovered; it is hoped that one of these days we shall see planets just like ours, perhaps with people like us on them?
So, how is it that biological life forms came to exist in this universe of ours? Some cosmologists speculate that it seems that the universe is teleological, that is, has a purpose to it; the purpose is to produce human beings.
As the anthropic hypothesis sees it, the permutations of things, from the big bang to the present appear designed to produce people. One little change in the march of events and the universe would not have been able to produce us. The universe appeared intended to produce human beings who can then understand it. True or false? I do not know.
What is self evident is that the universe produced us. Why did the universe take the trouble to produce us seeing that we are made of matter and are destined to die and return to matter? Our bodies are composed of the various elements and in time would be decomposed into them and they in turn decompose to particles and the particles to the nothing from whence they came.
How did particles of atoms, atoms and matter come to produce thinking and conscious beings? Were we produced, as some scientists claim by random concatenation of things: accident, randomness, and chance occurrences?
Random mixes of matter produced a being like William Shakespeare whose writing seems like the writing of the gods?
Scientists understandably do not want to posit the annoying belief in gods and spirits that our ancestors filled their lives with. I, like Laplace, have no use for the god hypothesis.
It is intoxicating to believe that we are the products of accidents; it makes life simple, very simple.
Alas, it is very difficult to believe that pure accidents produced thinking beings. Something else is going on here. It is here that I enter the picture and present what I know is true about us. I know that we live in this world and yet live in other worlds; I know that we do not die out; as primitive science had told folks they would die out upon physical death and in so saying depressed Western persons.
Ours is the only age where human beings did not have a philosophy that they would live beyond their physical bodies. This age and its teaching on finitude and oblivion have depressed folks. That teaching is not true. It is now time to correct the false teachings of atheistic science, but do so without embracing the nonsense that past and present religions teach mankind.
PHYSICS AND METAPHYSICS; SCIENCE AND META-SCIENCE
Before I proceed let me in no equivocal terms state that I totally accept science. I know that the scientific method is the best thing that mankind has done with itself. Science has given us a method through which we understand physical phenomena. We must march on with science. Any one who tries to impede the progress of science is the enemy of mankind (and my personal enemy); opponents of science want to return us to ignorance and superstition, a world of diseases and untimely death. Science is our best hope for effectively adapting to the exigencies of this world.
Be that truism as it is, I am persuaded that existence is more than energy and matter, space and time. I simultaneously accept science and meta-science.
I accept the scientific mythological approach to phenomena; I also accept the world of metaphysics that goes beyond physics, a world that the scientific method cannot yet fully explain but may do so in the future. Let me explain that world aware that it can only be experienced but not explained to any ones satisfaction.
Everything said here is based on personal experiences, on what folks call out of body experiences, visions and mystical union with unified self. I believe that such experiences are quite common, that many persons, in varying degrees have had them. However, we live in the age of psychiatry so that many people are intimidated by the terrorists called psychiatrists into not seeing mystical experiences as unreal and somehow thinking that their experiences are aberrational. I know many persons who have had these experiences but who would not be caught dead publicly acknowledging them lest they are said to be psychotic.
We live in an age where folks have been told that the most natural experience human beings have ever had is now insane. Psychiatrists have defined many human experiences as psychotic. They have persuaded folks to see themselves as insane. Having told people that they are insane folks go to them to be healed. Then what do they do for the people that come to them to be healed? They kill them.
That is correct, psychiatrists are literally murderers. They are killing off people at a rate higher than murderers on the streets kill people. How so? They give people medications that ultimately destroy their kidneys, livers and other visceral organs and they eventually die from them. They addict folks to these powerful medications, medications that they find very difficult to free themselves from. And the worse part of it all is that these medications do not heal anyone.
Psychiatry has not healed any mentally ill persons, not one person has been healed by all the bunch of fools that call themselves healers of sick minds, psychiatrists. They cannot heal minds for they actually do not know what constitutes a healthy mind! You have to first know what constitutes mental health before you can decide on its opposite, mental illness. You have to tell folks how you are going to bring about mental health, posit a hypothesis, and prove it to every person’s satisfaction, and every person who wants to verify your postulation, following the scientific method, could do so. Psychiatry has not first posited a causal hypothesis of any mental disorder, proved it and then proceed to use it to attempt to heal mentally ill persons. Instead, it takes a jumble of meaningless ideas and medications based on them to try healing people and those do not work.
For example, the current idea is that schizophrenia has something to do with excess of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the schizophrenic’s brain. Is this hypothesis true? If so then inject dopamine into the brain of normal persons and see if they would behave like schizophrenics. If you can get normal persons brains to think as schizophrenics do upon ingesting too much dopamine then the assumption that too much dopamine causes schizophrenia is true. But no one has proved the correlation between dopamine and schizophrenia. Yet that assumption is made and powerful medications that supposedly reduce dopamine in the brain of schizophrenics are given to them and those medications while masking their delusions and hallucinations do not cure them and more importantly destroy certain organs in their bodies and eventually kill them. This is quackery at work. This is not science at work.
We know that those with deficient dopamine tend to develop Parkinson disease. Given medications that increase their brain dopamine, persons suffering from Parkinson disorder tend to have more brain dopamine and experience less symptoms of their disease (reduction of the shaking of their limbs). This is science for you can prove the hypothesis that Parkinson disorder is correlated with low brain dopamine in a laboratory.
We know that those who ingest certain street drugs such as cocaine tend to exhibit increased fear (aka paranoia and delusion). Folks on cocaine run can believe that other people are out to get them and run for their lives (even jump out of windows and hurt themselves and even die from the injuries they sustain). But there is no evidence that they also have hallucination. Moreover, it is likely that the paranoid behavior of those on cocaine high could be due to the arousal of excitatory neurochemicals such as adrenalin and acetylcholine rather than to dopamine.
The point is that so far the treatment assumption that schizophrenia is caused by excess dopamine is a myth rather than science yet psychiatrists proceed in treating their schizophrenic patients with medications based on this mythology.
I am not bashing psychiatry; the field is useful in the sense that it is descriptive. It has managed to describe the various mental disorders. It has done a good job describing schizophrenia (the various types such as disorganized, paranoid, catatonic, undifferentiated, residual etc), manic-depression, aka bipolar affective disorder and its different manifestations such as mania, cyclothymia, hypomania, depression etc, delusion disorder, anxiety disorders (there are many types of those including agoraphobia, panic disorder, sociophobia, generalized anxiety etc), dissociative disorder and so on.
Descriptively psychiatry is on the mark. However, as accurate as these psychiatric descriptions are the salient point is that psychiatry does not yet understand what caused these disorders and if it says it does it is making false claims.
These days it is claimed that chemical imbalances in the brain causes the various mental disorders. Schizophrenia (characterized by thought disorders such as having hallucinations…it could be auditory, visual, olfactory, tactile etc, and delusions, believing what is not true as true) is said to be caused by the presence of excessive dopamine in the brain hence schizophrenics are given medications that supposedly reduce the level of that neurotransmitter in their brains, but those medications do not heal these folks mental disorders but merely mask their symptoms and in the long run kill them); bipolar affective disorder is said to be caused by the presence of excessive excitatory neurotransmitters such as neuropinphrine hence such persons are given medications that supposedly reduce these neurochemicals in their brains, such as Lithium and Depakote, those medications do not heal them but in the long run destroy their kidneys and kill them; depression is said to be caused by deficiency of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain hence folks are given anti-depression medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil that supposedly increase the level of the neurotransmitter in the brain; these medications mask their depression and in the long run destroy their visceral organs and kill them off. People with anxiety disorder are said to have too much of the excitatory neurotransmitter adrenalin or deficiency of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and given medications that supposedly increase GABA in their brains; their anxiety is merely masked and not cured and in the long un those medications kill them (the medications have the same side effects as alcohol and folks get addicted to them and find it difficult to withdraw from them; folks are addicted to Xanax, Valium, Ativan and the other so-called anti anxiety medications (the medications produce similar addiction to that produced by alcohol and their withdrawal symptoms are the same).
The point here is that psychiatry despite its blustering does not heal any one. A profession with no track record of healing anyone ought to keep quiet and not make noise about knowing what it talks about.
It is true that some people have mental disorders but we all can ascertain those people; you do not have to be a psychiatrist to know that some one has schizophrenia or mania or is depressed. Shakespeare did not study psychiatry but provided the symptoms of mentally ill persons in his writings better than psychiatry has done.
Those who have unusual psychic experiences do not have mental disorders. Mohammad in 610 AD claimed to have had the voice of the angel Gabriel talking to him and what the angel said to him formed the basis of his new religion, Islam. Do angels exist? If not psychiatrists probably would have seen the man as schizophrenic. Is Islam a religion formed by a psychotic? Are all those who claim to channel information from dead persons and spirits, persons such as Helen Schucman (A course in miracles) and Jane Roberts (The Seth Materials) mentally ill (dissociative disorder, multiple personality disorder)?
Many of the persons who claim to have had these unusual experiences are not mentally ill. They did not take drugs that induced chemical alterations in their brain that made them do what they do, either. They probably found a way to calm down their brains, went into meditative mood and their brains were able to tune into other dimensions of being (as our calmed brains during sleep produce dreams that they cannot produce when we are awake).
Folks should not be afraid to acknowledge their visions and out of body experiences. And when they have those and their silly neighborhood shrink tells them that there is some kind of alternation in their brain composition that led to their experiences they should tune those fools out. There is nothing wrong with your brain if you have visions, dreams and out of body experiences.
It is true that some of these experiences are had when folks are under stress but it is not the stress that caused them but the fact that under stress folks are willing to consider other means of perceiving reality. If your usual pattern of understanding reality does not work hence the occurrence of whatever stresses you nature tells you that there are other ways of perceiving reality that you have not considered. If you like, nature changes your brains chemistry and helps you to see things a bit differently.
My mother died. I was distressed. I could not believe that such an angel of a woman is dead. I was in a philosophical mode pondering why people die. I was sad and that sadness was understandable. One Sunday morning, while lying on my bed and talking to a lady friend, a psychologist of all people, I saw myself outside my body. I was hovering around the ceiling and looking at my body on the bed. I thought that I was dreaming but it was not a dream. I looked up and saw a pitch black environment. In the midst of that darkness is a pinprick point of light. It fascinated me and I wanted to know more about it. I moved towards it. I was actually flying towards it. I must have flown at a speed greater than the speed of light.
As I approached the light, I noticed that someone was now holding my left arm. It was my mother. She was talking to me, asking me if I really want to join them. She reminded me that I have three children and should stay on earth to take care of them. In the meantime as we approached the light it got larger and larger until everything is part of it. In it I saw people just like people on earth. I saw animals, trees, in short everything we see on our earth. There is a difference though.
The people and things in that place of light seem made of pure light. You could walk right through them for they did not have solidity. Anyway, I began pondering what my mother, who still looked like herself except younger (in real life she could have won a beauty contest) was telling me about not abandoning my young children; I felt guilty about not sticking around to provide for my children.
The moment I felt guilty about abandoning my children I was instantly back in my body on the bed. The sense of guilt and desire not to abandon the children, the thought produced my action, behavior, return to my body on the bed.
In the meantime the lady in my room thought that I was dead or something for she was bent over my body shaking it. She said that she was about ready to pick up the phone and called 911. She had noticed that my body was quite and seemingly lifeless and thought that I fell asleep and tried to awaken me by shaking me when I returned to my body.
I had similar experiences. I had all sorts of visions (I would have my awareness shift to a different scene and experience things that people only imagine is real, such as be with Jesus Christ etc). To cut a long story short I had so many psychic experiences that I had no reason not to believe that they are true.
I was not mentally ill; I am as rational as any human being could be. I know what mental illness is and certainly did not fit into any of the categories of mental disorder.
(I do not know what this might mean to you but consider it, anyway. I am an African, an Igbo African. In Alaigbo, Igbo land, certain families are deemed spiritual people and from their members the priests of Igbo religion are selected. My kindred, Umuamadioha have traditionally produced the priest of Amadioha, the Igbo God of light, knowledge. When I was born at LagosNigeria, folks consulted their Dibia, fortune tellers who told them that I am here to become the next priest of Amadioha when the current one, my uncle, Akakporo died. The point is that members of my kindred are deemed to be spiritual by their people. I was deemed extremely spiritual by the people. My medical issues were seen as necessary for me to tune out this world, for me not to value flesh and seek spiritual matters. What have any of these got to do with anything you ask? I leave it to you to decide and answer that question for yourself. My thesis does not need external cultural props to make it acceptable; it has to be accepted on its merit or rejected.)
Before I proceed, let me acknowledge that I am being defensive here. I felt a need to do so for psychiatry has managed to intimidate folks into believing that their natural experiences, experiences human beings have always had since they became aware of themselves as animals with unusual thinking processes is psychotic. No, these experiences are not psychotic; they merely introduce folks to worlds that are not part of our usual three dimensional world; they lead folks to realize that there are dimensions different from our world of space, time and matter. As astrophysics is beginning to recognize there are infinite universes; our universe is one of infinite universes.
And if you insist in calling these unusual experiences hallucinations I am willing to go along with you provided that you must call our every day experiences in this world hallucination. That is correct; this world is a hallucination, a dream.
If you say that our world is not a hallucination and a dream, how do you know that it is not a dream and hallucination? George Berkeley wrote a book in which he said that the world might be a dream in our minds and Dr Samuel Johnson struck his foot on a rock and felt pain and said that in as much as the rock caused his foot pain that it is outside his foot; that is, the world is outside him. This is empiricism’s argument, that the world is outside us hence we need to study it. Okay.
In our sleeps at night we do dream and in our dreams strike our feet on rocks and feel pain yet we are in a dream! The dream world is supposed to be inside us yet in it we feel pain! Our world may therefore be inside us and in it we feel pain!
There are religions that consider this world a dream. Hinduism considers this world a dream. A course in miracles considers this world a hallucination in our minds, a delusion that we all undertake. It says that our world is a dream, a delusion, a hallucination we all undertake to experience. Our world it says is a collective dream, a mass hallucination; and because all of us in it are dreaming it we do not realize that it is a dream; a shared dream seems real to those having it; moreover a shared dream seems permanent whereas an individual dream tends to seem fleeting and unreal.
There are individual hallucinations and mass hallucinations. Our universe is a mass (collective) hallucination.
I am saying that the out of body experiences are hallucinations only in so far that our world is also a hallucination. Out of body and near death experiences are individual hallucinations whereas our world is a mass hallucination hence seem permanent. If you can accept things in this light then you have validated both individual and mass hallucinations, you are not negating folk’s experiences. If you are willing to do so then let us move on and state what those experiences teach us.
Do not ever negate folk’s unusual experiences and call them insanity for they are not insane; in fact, in them folk are saner than they have ever being in this world. As it were, nature or folks minds package unusual experiences for them to have and from them know that reality is more than we appreciate in our normal daily lives.
There are more to existence than our usual five senses show us. There are experiences that our five senses cannot help us have; in fact, our five senses were designed to filter those experiences out so as to enable us adapt to our three dimensional world and not be distracted by the other worlds that are all around us.
Here is what my out of body and visionary experiences taught me about our world and the nature of reality. I am not debating with you as to whether what I learned is true or not true, for it is true; I am just sharing information with you. I could care less whether you accept it or not. What you do with this information is your problem, not mine.
Our physical universe is a place where matter seems real. Matter, space and time seem real to those in our universe. Because they are real to us we must study them through the scientific method and understand them and devise technologies to adapt to them. I completely accept the scientific method as the best methodological approach to phenomena. I am not advocating abandoning this world. No, we must be in this world, study it and understand it and make the most of it.
If science and technology is not interrupted in a thousand years we shall be able to do all those things our ancestors used to attribute to the gods. There are no gods.
What folks call God is the products of our imaginations. We project our ideals of how we ought to be to what we call God. God is made in our image, not the other way around, us in God’s image. We made the gods that we worship; the gods did not make us (yet there is what for lack of a better name we might God, read on).
If your knowledge of the physical sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, geology etc.) is not up to college level please go back to the university and study science. We must all become scientists.
Science is the best way to adapt to the realities of our world of matter, space and time. But having accepted the reality of science, it is equally true that the world that science studies is illusory.
That is correct, the world we see with our physical eyes does not exist; the world is an illusion. The world we see does not exist; it is an illusion called forth by our belief. We desire to see this world and what we desire called the world into being.
If you do not desire to see this world it would not exist for you. The world is like a dream, a shared dream, a mass dream, and a mass hallucination that exists for those who want it to exist. As long as they want it to exist it exists for them and they might as well make the most of it through science and technology. Yet the physical universe does not exist.
Quantum mechanics (physics) is beginning to grasp that where we see our universe are infinite other universes, each operating under different physical laws and dimensions. None of those infinite universes, ours included is real. They are all in superposition and our wish produces the one (universe) we see and seem to experience.
If you like, you could say that the Big Bang produced infinite universes and those who want to experience our type of universe experience it (this view hasn’t explained where the big bang came from hence is incomplete). Our desire is what produced the various universes and our desire to experience any particular universe lets us be in that universe. But none of the infinite universes are real; they are all hallucinations and remain in our minds, in our consciousness.
A MYTH OF CREATION
No one can actually explain how the universes came about. Nevertheless, human beings have a need to posit a story of how they think that the universe they live in came into being. It seems that we cannot live without such stories. I accept the scientific story of how the physical universe came into being. In as much as I also need a story of how our consciousness came into being I work with Helen Schucman’s myth of creation as portrayed in her poem, A course in miracles. This story does not satisfactorily explain anything but gives us some glimpse into how our minds, aka consciousness came about. If you are willing to consider her story a useful mythology then use it until you outgrow it. Dr Schucman’s story of creation is a useful metaphor for explaining our origin (we do not have an origin hence ultimately her story is false).
In the myth of creation by professor Schucman (she taught psychology at Columbia University, New York City) there is God. God has always been there. God is creative. This means that for as long as he has existed, which is forever, God has always created his children.
God the father created his children, god the sons. God the father and god the sons are of the same age; they have always existed; they are eternal and immortal.
God created his son by extension (or projection). One God extends/projects himself to a son. He gives to the son all of his self. The son has all of God except that God extended to him and he did not extend to God; God created his son and his son did not create him; the whole extended to the part and the part did not extend to the whole although whole and part are the same.
There is no space and gap between the father and the son, between the whole and the part. Where the father ends and the son begin is nowhere.
The father is in the son and the son is in the father; father and son are one. Father and son share one self and share one mind (the terms mind and consciousness are interchangeable).
The father (the term father is metaphor for the term whole) and son (the term son is metaphor for the term part of the whole) are creative. The father is creative and gave his creativeness to his son (for he is his son). The son creates as his father creates.
Thus, the son of God, you, all things, I, creates like God creates. Each of us is created by God and is given creative powers by God, our father and creates our own children. Creation has no beginning and no end.
The creation we are talking about here takes place in a non-material state; if you like, creation takes place in spirit.
There is one spirit; you can call that unified spirit God. God spirit extends to another god spirit that we call god the son.
God the son being god spirit extends to other god spirits. All the god spirits, there are infinite them, are part of unified spirit, they are one; they are eternal and immortal.
Whereas this rendition of things is metaphorical it is actually very close to the truth (metaphors represent the truth but not exactly as the truth is). How do I know this to be true?
I know from direct experience that there is only one spirit, a spirit that is simultaneously all of us. One spirit self, aka God, as it were, extended to all of us, to what folks call our souls; our souls are not the human personalities that we currently know ourselves as.
God, as it were, divided his one self into infinite selves. But the various parts of God are still him as he is they.
God and his sons remain as one shared self and one shared mind. This is the state of what folks call heaven.
Where is heaven? Heaven is not a place; it is inside you and I. Heaven is where you are, where I am. Haven is the state of oneness that is inside you, a state that you can feel when you deny the state of separation you now believe is true.
The origin of man is that he is an extension of God who is always part of God. At some point (a point that has not occurred, for we remain one with God, we merely dream separation from God and from each other) the parts of God decided to experience the opposite of their true self; they are unified spirit and they decided to experience the opposite of unified self, to experience separated self.
There is nothing wrong with this decision to experience our opposite self. God is perfect freedom and gave his children perfect freedom. He allows them to experience whatever they want to experience. However, he knows that union is reality and that separation can only be dreamed of but cannot be made real.
We are always unified but can dream that we are separated from God and from each other. Thus, God permitted his sons to seem to be separated from him.
Jesus Christ tried to explain this event with the story of the prodigal son. In the parable of prodigal son, the son of a rich man, God, to seem to have separated from him and be independent of his father went to live in other universes. This is permitted behavior. When the son got tired of suffering in his various universes (independence from God induces suffering in us) he recognizes that they are not real, are illusions and returns to his real world, union with his father and brothers (returns to the elder brothers who did not go on his journey with him).
We are the prodigal sons; we undertook a journey away from our real self and home, heaven, from our true self, unified self. When we are tired of seeming separated from our father and brothers, our true self, we return home, as the prodigal son did and his father rejoiced for in union both father and son is happy.
We seem to have separated from God and from each other. If you like, we cast magic over our minds (Hinduism calls it Maya) and went to sleep. In our sleep we dream that we are now separated from God and from each other.
A different way of putting it is that we attacked each other and attacked God (we attacked the whole, seem to split it into parts and each part now lives as a separated self); our attack seems to have split unified state into fragments and each fragment (each of us) now thinks that he is apart from other fragments and from the whole.
You can employ the big bang metaphor and say that out of nowhere, out of nothing physical something physical appeared. As it were, we produced the world of space, time and matter out of nothing (we dream it). We produced particles, electrons, protons and neutrons. Then we combined them into atoms. We then used the atoms to construct molecules and later construct galaxies, stars, planets, animal’s plants and our bodies. Finally, we seem to enter certain animals and call them human beings. We now seem to live in bodies. It all seems real to us.
Alas, the universe of galaxies, planets, trees, animals, us we see do not, in fact, exist; they exist as in dreams.
Until you have had an experience where suddenly all physical phenomena disappears and you find yourself as part of one self, an idea, the idea of one shared self, a self without flesh, you would not believe what I am telling you. Believe it or not, however, I must state it for it is the truth. Your egoistic opinion about unified state is irrelevant to that truth.
The truth is that there is only one spirit self, a self that is simultaneously infinite in numbers; that spirit self is eternal and immortal. In that spirit self where you begin and end is nowhere, for you are that spirit self.
In that unified spirit self there is no you and I, no sense of one and selves that are not one; there is only the awareness of one self yet an awareness that there are infinite selves all of who are one. There is no space, no seer and seen, no subject and object, no you and I, just one self.
Again, until you have experienced this oneness I am merely making noise to you. When you experience it you know that it is true, the only truth there is. Our world is mere noise.
The children of God, us, as it were separated from God and from each other. We invented infinite other universes.
Our current universe is one of the universes we invented. We choose to live in the universe we want to. If you are reading this material, you and I have chosen to live in our three dimensional universe (there are universes with other dimensions…Super strings hypothesis makes this suggestion).
We are in this universe that we love too much. But there are other universes; there are infinite universes. All the infinite universes are where our universe is. They all occupy the same space and time (except that there is no such thing as space and time).
Our universe is a product of our desire (Buddha recognized that the world came into being as a product of desire and stays for one for as long as one desires it and disappears when one no longer desire it).
When one’s body dies (death is an illusion, it is like an event in a dream which to those in the dream seem real…in our dreams we see children born, grow up, age and die and get buried but in reality no one is born grows old or dies). When we seem to die what happens is that we still see ourselves in human forms. We see ourselves exactly as we were on earth, except that the form, body is now made of light (photons), it is still physical and is made of matter hence is not permanent and is not real, for reality is not in forms, reality is changeless, reality is permanent, only the unified can be permanent hence real.
The after death self and its world is still a dream, just as our world is a dream. The after death world is an individual dream hence does not last long; our world is a shared mass dream hence seem to last millions, billions and trillions of years.
When you die all that happens is that you see yourself leave your physical body and exist in another body, a body that looks like your physical body (and later you discover that it is made of light and can literally go through walls and objects…as neutrinos do).
Generally, upon death folks go through what seems a dark world and move towards light. This is symbolic of the fact that our world is darkness so one goes from the darkness of our world to the light that is the world of God.
Union is light; separation is darkness. The after death world is not exactly a unified world but it approximates it so that it somewhat is in light.
In the world of light you see those you knew on earth who are dead. You do not see every person who is dead; you see only those you liked. You will not see those family members that you did not get along with but only see those you got along with.
It is your mind that called forth the folks to welcome you. It is like in your earthly dream where your mind produced the dream-world you see in your dream; in the after death world your mind produced a world and the people in it to welcome you to it.
Let me repeat: it is your mind, aka consciousness that produced the after death world just as it is your mind (our collective minds) that produced the physical world we now live in.
Because the after death world you see is produced by your individual mind (ones mind also produced the world one sees in ones out of body experience) that world as not permanent.
The after death world (or out of body world) you see is fleeting; it is different from the after death world (out of body world) other people experience; none of them is permanent just as our dreams at night are not permanent.
However, our collective minds do produce what we might call a more permanent out of body and after death world. The various religions have names for that world, such as gate of heaven, heaven’s gate, purgatory, paradise, real world, bridge between earth and heaven, happy dream, forgiven world etc; in that world people are still in forms, albeit light forms. Because people are in forms that world is still an illusion and is not real although it seems to last long; it has lasted for as long as our physical universe has lasted for as long as our present universe has.
(When the children of God invented our world God created the Holy Spirit; that is, God, the whole entered the world of separation with his children; as the Holy Spirit God created the near heaven world, the gate of heaven; God the whole, aka Holy Spirit, is in each of our seeming separated minds; it is in our right minds; the separated self, the ego is in our left minds.)
The only real world is a formless world, a world where we are not in forms, not in bodies, dense or light; a world where we are all ideas in the mind of each other and in the mind of God as he is in our minds.
In your after death or out of body world, you see a world that looks like the world you just left and see people, animals, trees, houses etc. All those seem real to you just as our world seem real to us. But they are mere hallucination just as our world is mere hallucination. They are dream worlds.
But do not be cavalier about all these for they seem real to those in them. Our world seems real to you but unbeknown to you it is not real; it is a dream that some of us have momentarily awakened from. The reality you experience is what you choose it to be for you, but the ultimate reality is unified spirit and you cannot change it.
In the after death world you relax and is peaceful and happy. You interact with your old friends; you listen to folks talk to you about reality. Remember that the folks talking to you were produced by your mind, just as their minds produced you. In that world you make a decision as to whether to return to our world or move on to other worlds.
Actually, you make that decision based on your state of psychological development. Most people are operating at near animal levels in their psychological development. This is literal and not figurative. The average person you see out there is literally closer to animals than to human beings! This is why folks cannot love for they are near animals. Only a few have evolved to a level where they realize that we are love and can only live love.
In the after death world those still at near animal level of being choose to return to earth and keep learning.
Folks on earth are at different states of development; they learn and progress to higher levels.
Those who are closer to animals reincarnate to this world and continue the learning process, the evolution to higher levels (sometimes they retrogress and return to lower levels of being…racists, for example, regressed to pure animal state and have stopped thinking, for thinking leads to love, not hate).
Those who have understood our world as nothing, as an illusion, as a dream, as hallucination have no desire to experience it any longer. They then choose to move on to different worlds.
There are infinite universes and one goes to another universe. In the various universes, some almost like ours, some pure thought, one continues to learn.
There is no universe in which we are not learning something new. We still must struggle to understand the universe we moved to.
If we return to earth we will continue the struggle to understand it through science and adapt to it through technology.
And above all we struggle to understand ourselves, beginning with the understanding of the human personality.
Because it is critical that we understand our personalities before we understand our higher nature, I will talk a bit about the human personality. Each of us must understand his personality and correct its quirks before he moves on to other realms of being.
I have no need or desire to return to our world. Upon my physical death I will move on to non physical realms, to universes where folks are not in flesh, for I have no more use for flesh. What I do you may not be ready to do, but ultimately will do (move to other universes). If you are still in need of flesh you will return to flesh until you understand how flesh and mind interact to produce your human personality.
The relevant point is that we are always in a learning mode regardless of what universe we are in. There is not a universe where we know it all and remain standstill. In this light it behooves each of us to figure out what he is interested in doing, has aptitude in doing, go study it and do it. We must all be doing something, trying to adapt to the universe we find ourselves in.
(It is only in unified spirit self, heaven, where we do not do anything; in that state we are in being; but, alas, we like to be doing something hence we leave heaven, state of union and go to universes that offer us opportunity to be doing something, to seem to be doing something.)
I enjoy reading philosophy, psychology and religion (all three are related; they deal with the human mind and human behavior); I also enjoy reading physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy; I am, therefore, in a universe, our world, that offer me opportunity to engage in these things that I enjoy doing.
For our present purposes, we live in physical forms, in the world of space, time and matter and must endeavor to understand that world through science and adapt to it via technology. We cannot flee from this world just because we do not like it.
Killing ones self, as in suicide, is not the way to leave this world. When folks kill themselves they merely return to this world and continue trying to understand the problems that led them to want to get out of this world. We won’t leave this world until we have understood it.
Our true self is unified. When we learn this fact and consciously unify with all people via love we leave this world. We leave this world by loving all people. That is, in love for all people we awaken to our real self, unified spirit self. But until we have loved ourselves and loved all people we shall not leave this world.
As scientists tell us, our sun has enough fuel, hydrogen, to last another five billion years. Five billion years is sufficient time to understand our universe and move on to other universes.
In the meantime each of us, at his pace, returns to unified spirit state. That state is a state of perfect peace and joy, bliss.
Unfortunately, there is nothing to do in the state of union. It is a world of being not doing. In it, we feel bored and opt to leave it and go to universes we are doing something, such as our universe or one of the other infinite universes.
All the infinite universes are dreams, hallucinations in our minds. Hallucination, dream or not we are allowed to have them and study their parameters and understand them and return to unified state whenever we want to and then leave on other journeys to places without distances from unified state.
God, unified state is everywhere. Wherever we go we go in God, in unified state. There is no here and there, we are always in one place, in one God and make it seem separated by space, time and matter, and house ourselves in bodies made of matter and experience them. This is fine.
We can make the most of our seeming separated selves by loving ourselves and all people; when we love ourselves and all people, the world becomes a happy, peaceful place.
In the metaphors of Brother Jesus, since God is love, when we love all we have obeyed the will of God. When we love we live in the kingdom of God, union, that is always inside us while we dream that we are separated from it. In love we make the world over to the kingdom of God, a kingdom characterized by harmony, peace and joy.
From a loving world we return to unified spirit self and relax for a while and thereafter become restless and embark on other dreams; we go to journeys to nowhere, to journeys without distances; we visit parts of the infinite universes that seem out there but are in fact inside us!
Before I focus on the human personality let me say a few words about religions. I have studied the various religions of mankind, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Islam, African religions etc. Those religions were hatched by our ancestors in their efforts to understand their world and make sense of them. They were hatched when the level of scientific knowledge was very low. Now, our level of scientific knowledge is increasing. Therefore, old time religions increasingly do not make sense to folks.
For example, my inherited Christianity has not made sense to me since age fourteen when I read Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and it made sense to me. It will not make sense to me now or in the future and there is no use even trying to force it to make sense to me.
People are at different levels of psychological evolution. People have different levels of intelligence. Some are mentally retarded, many are average, some are above average and some are superior in their mental gifts. With different levels of intelligence and psychological state people look at their world differently.
Given who they are, there are those that traditional religions still make sense to. If so they should hold unto their religions.
There are those that traditional religions seem like nonsense, like utter foolishness. I have felt that Christianity is nonsense since I read the bible from genesis to revelation. That is the way it is with me. However, I know that life is more than empiricism showed me. I therefore studied science but looked forward to other ways of reconnecting to our source, religion.
In the above piece I have summarized what amounts to my religion. It is not a religion for every person. Many persons benefit from other religions. But if this one suits your mental state so be it. All you have to do is be truthful to who you are. You cannot be other persons. You are you and other persons are they. We are at different states in our development while we are on planet earth. No one should try to be other persons.
At any rate, no matter how much you try you cannot be other persons. You cannot be me and I cannot be you. We live in a world where we came to be different from each other. In unified spirit we are the same and equal and felt it boring and attacked ourselves so that we may separate from each other and go experience differences, inequality etc. Here we are; we are all different and not equal in anything.
Some are tall, some are short, some are fat some are thin, some are white some are black, some are men and some are women, some are very bright and some are dull. This is our world, a world of differences made so by design. We must live in the world as it is while recognizing that there is a world of sameness and equality in unified spirit.
If the metaphysics explored in this paper appeals to you accept it but if not reject it and hold unto what makes sense to your level of development. I am not writing for every human being but for those who are at my level and see the world as I see it.
If the way I see the world makes sense to you please explore some of my books where I explored my perspective in detail. In this paper I merely wanted to give a summary of my approach to reality.
AFRICAN AMERICANS SEARCH FOR THEIR IDENTITY THROUGH RETURN TO AFRICAN RELIGION
Let me add a special note on African Americans. They were yanked out of Africa and force fed the bastardized Christianity of their slave masters in America. Their white slave masters perverted the gospel of love and forgiveness taught by the Jewish mystic called Emmanuel Ben Joseph (Joshua) to mean a religion that accepted slavery. Thus, today many black Americans reject Christianity.
However, since they still desire religion they look else where for religion. Some are now Muslims. Islam is an Arabic political ideology with which Arabs want to dominate the world. It is hardly a religion.
Some African Americans have looked to ancient Egypt which they believe was African. They explore what they call ancient Egyptian religion, Kemet. All these are useful exercises in the search for their true identity.
I have written at length on these matters. What I need to add is that folks do not need to look to the past to find a useful religion. The individual could think about phenomena and discover what makes sense to him and live it. He does not need to look to the past or future for appropriate religion. One does not need to accept a religion because ones people hatched it. I am talking about the belief that because a religion belongs to Africans one ought to accept it.
Africans, like other people, had limited information on the nature of reality and therefore their religion was limited in its understanding of reality, as were other religions.
One ought to accept a religion that makes sense to one regardless of what group of people hatched it up (better still, one ought to propound ones own religion).
I do not belong to any formal religion. In so far that I have religion it is science but I also recognize that there is Meta science. In this paper I explored some meta-science. If it makes sense to you accept it, if not reject it but do me a favor, will you: do not go about thinking that just because Egyptians believed in God in a certain manner that it is true. Egyptians had limited understanding of reality; their religion was as primitive as other folk’s religions.
Religion like everything else is evolving; our knowledge of phenomena is improving so there is no need to take recourse to the past, to how our so-called ancestors saw things. We have minds and can use our minds to see things as they are now and let future generations see them differently, as they probably will, for our level of information are limited.
Sometime ago, irritated by African-Americans ceaseless harping on what they call their African culture I wrote a paper pointing out that all cultures were evolved in the past hence based on limited information. We therefore do not need to be celebrating these past cultures based on limited information. It is no good talking about Egyptian culture and how we ought to be proud of it because it is African when we know that the level of science in ancient Egypt was laughable. Therefore, instead of trying to resurrect the past we ought to study science and create a new culture based on science, what I call scientific culture.
The past is dead and gone and cannot and should not be resurrected. At any rate, the fact is that whatever we say about the past is not what it was like, but what we think it was; we remember the past of our childhood in a distorted manner.
We are not static; we are dynamic animals and are always changing and on the move. We ought to move forward not backwards, progress not regress.
The fallacy of multiculturalism is that it assumes that past cultures are useful. Only cultures based on science are useful.
Thus, much as I appreciate African Americans anger at being stripped of their African cultures and given the phony culture of the white man I do not encourage them to try to return to African cultures; instead, I want them to seek a scientific culture.
I wrote these views in a paper and shared them with the so-called leading lights of the African American world. They kept quiet.
I think that I know why they kept quiet. What I said, in effect, attacked their racket, what they have been making a living with. They make a living talking about the utility of multiculturalism and need to return to African cultures and religions (hence Afrocentricism and African American studies). Here I come telling them of the need to throw away all that backward looking behavior and accept forward looking behavior which the study of science offers us.
I am not a white man; neither am I an African if by African is meant embracing African culture.
I am a human being who accepts scientific culture and a religion based on reason and science, on truth not fantasy.
THE HUMAN PERSONALITY; HOW IT CAME ABOUT, ITS PROBLEMS AND HOW WE CAN IMPROVE IT
I decided to add a section on personality to this paper because some folks think that if they just state their beliefs in God or lack of it that they are done. I got news for them. You can believe in God all you want but the fact is that as long as you are on planet earth you have a human personality and ought to understand it and make sure it is the best that it can be.
Even at its best personality sets a limit on what the individual can do; personality or self concept is the individual’s idea of who he thinks that he is (it is a mental construct, not a reality). The individual’s idea of who he thinks that he is sets limit to his thinking and behaving; he makes his behaving conform to the parameters of his self concept. If he changes his self concept, personality he changes the constraints he has set for his thinking and behavior.
Each of us thinks and behaves within the parameters of his personality, self concept; when the individual changes his self concept he thinks differently and behaves differently.
Personality is the individual’s habitual pattern of thinking and behaving. Each person has a habitual pattern of thinking and behaving. That pattern is learned in childhood.
Upon birth in a specific body and into a specific culture, family, the human child uses the two givens in his life: his inherited biological constitution and social reality as building blocks to construct a personality for him. By the time a child is six years old his personality, aka self concept is in place. The child’s personality is subsequently modified by the school environment; by the time a child is thirteen years old, is an adolescent his personality is set in stone. Very few persons can change their personality entirely after adolescence.
Thus, if you really want to improve a child you must reach him before his adolescence years; after that it is generally difficult to change a person.
By adolescent each of us has a given personality, a habitual pattern of behaving. Those around him can ascertain it and given a set of behaviors can accurately say who behaved as such. Each of us has a personality and those around us know it. You cannot fool other people about who you are for they know who you are. Even children know who you are, your personality and respond to it accordingly.
For example, if you are a loving person children will flock to you but if you are grouchy and critical children will avoid you; they do so for they sense who you are, not who you tell them that you are.
Most human beings have, what for lack of a better name, can be called normal personality. I would say that ninety percent of the people one runs into have normal personality. Ten percent of the people have issues with their personalities.
Out of the ten percent with issues with their self construct two percent have abnormal personalities (those are generally called the mentally ill, such as schizophrenics, manic- depressives etc). Two percent have mental retardation (that is, has IQ under 70). About six percent of the population has personality disorders.
Personality disorder exists when the individual has conflicts in his thinking and relationship with other people.
At present the American Psychiatric Association identifies ten personality disorders. These are divided into three groups with the group A been severely disordered; group B have issues with interpersonal relationships; group C is less damaged (group C used to be called neurotic persons; these are normal persons with social coping problems).
Group A are paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal personalities. Group B are narcissistic, histrionic, anti-social and borderline personality disorders (they tend to take advantage of other people, exploit them and do not feel guilty from exploiting people). Group C is dependent, avoidant and obsessive compulsive and passive aggressive (most human beings have a bit of group C traits; group C is characterized by the presence of anxiety; all human beings have fear but some have excessive fear hence are said to have anxiety issues).
Let me briefly describe the various personality disorders (for thorough descriptions please see the American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, forth edition).
Paranoid personality is characterized by suspiciousness; this person does not trust other people to serve his interests; he feels that people are untrustworthy and tends to be suspicious of their true intentions towards him. He is generally invested in becoming a very important person (a mask over his underlying sense of inadequacy) and is acutely aware when he feels that other people treated him as if he is not important. He feels easily slighted and angry; he fears being demeaned and generally quarrels with those he feels demeaned him, belittled, disgraced, humiliated and criticized him. Paranoid personalities tend to have investment in rationalism and tend to think rationally; they tend to be found in profession where rationality is a premium; they have issues with interpersonal relationships for they are almost always accusing people of degrading them, when those they so accused did not and thus generating interpersonal conflicts.
Paranoid persons live in vicious circle whereby they believe that the world is a hostile place, that people are untrustworthy, distrust people and thus make people see them as unfriendly and relate to them in a hostile manner hence reinforce their presupposition that people are hostile towards them. They accuse people of demeaning them and people feel angry at been falsely accused and quarrel with them. In effect, they generate what they fear exists, a hostile world.
Persons with this disorder are found in every segment of society; indeed, many heads of their countries have paranoid personality disorder. Many scientists, medical doctors, engineers, professors etc have paranoid personality disorder.
(You can explore my writing for detailed information on Paranoia…the three levels of it: schizophrenia, paranoid type, delusion disorder and paranoid personality disorder, and how to heal it through a mix of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Spiritual Psychotherapy.)
Schizoid personality is characterized by not being bothered with whether other people accept or reject one; this person is happy being alone. People with this disorder tend to be found in mathematics, science and engineering.
Schizotypal personality is characterized by eccentricity; such persons tend to be a bit weird; some of them take spiritual matters literally and may claim to have extra sensory abilities (claim to be psychics and can read the past and future).
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by feelings that one is special and important; such persons feel superior to other people; they use other people to get what they want and when folks are no longer useful to them dump them; they do not feel bad from exploiting people in this manner. The narcissist seeks attention and admiration from other people but does not give attention to other people. He wants to be the center of the world and have other people revolve around him. Such persons are high achievers in society, especially in professions where folks get a lot of attention, such as politics, acting, sports, business, the military etc.
Histrionic personality disorder is the female equivalent to male narcissistic personality; such women are the drama queen who want to be admired and does not admire other people, to be loved but do not love other persons. They marry serial husbands, and stay with one for as long as the man gives them attention and leave him when other men give them more attention; they themselves do not give men attention for they have shallow affect.
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by belief that the rest of the people exist to figure out the individual’s needs and serve it; it is mostly found in women. She constantly calls on other people to pay attention to her and if attention is withdrawn she my cut on her hands to get folks to feel guilty and pay attention to her. Such women are very needy; interestingly, they tend to be very bright; many female university professors have borderline personality disorder, especially those in women’s study programs; these women rant and rave about what men did to oppress women and while doing so cannot love men (or the women they pretend to be fighting for).
Anti-social personality disorder is characterized by lack of social conscience; persons with this disorder steal and harm other people; this person has underdeveloped conscience and does not feel guilty and remorse from harming other persons. Most criminals come from this group.
Dependent personality disorder is usually found in those who as children were sickly and their parents did things for them that they ought to do for themselves and now as adults they expect help from other adults. They tend to lack personal initiative and please other people hoping that pleasing them would dispose them to help them. They are followers not leaders.
Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by feeling that as they are they are not good enough and fear that if other people come close to them that they would see that they are not good and consequently reject them, and to avoid social rejection they avoid other people and keep to themselves while wishing for other people to take the initiative and relate to them; they generally only have few friends, those who do not reject them. Parents call children with these disorder shy children.
Obsessive- compulsive personality disorder is characterized by excessive thinking and compulsively behaviors; these people think and behave as if an inner pressure makes them do it and if they do not do it they feel anxious. These persons tend to pursue perfection and are seldom satisfied with imperfect behaviors, theirs and other persons; they tend to admire those in authority positions, obey them and want to be like them while having contempt for those they perceive as powerless.
Passive aggressive personality disorder is characterized by unassertiveness; such persons tend to please other persons and are seen as door mats; generally, other people take advantage of their passivity and they then feel angry at been so treated and do things that obstruct the goals of those who take advantage of their passivity and unassertiveness (that is, they go from lack of aggression to destructive aggression).
There are many other types of personality disorders, such as sadistic, masochistic etc but the above are those accepted by extant psychiatry so we shall limit our discourse to them.
For our present purposes the relevant point is that each of us has a personality and that most people have normal personalities and about ten percent of the population has problematic personalities. You know if you have a normal or problematic personality.
If you have a problematic personality (most personality tests, especially MMPI, can figure out your type of personality disorder) you ought to see psychotherapists to help you understand your personality and work on its issues and change what you can change and live with what you cannot change.
The entirety of the individual’s personality cannot be changed for biological factors go into the formation of personality and as long as the individual’s body remains the same and plays the role it plays in the formation of his personality he is not going to be an entirely different person.
Psychotherapy can help the individual to understand his personality and change what can be changed and accept what cannot be changed. Wisdom lies in changing what can be changed in one and accepting what cannot be changed in one and knowing the difference.
If you think that you can completely change yourself you are living in the world of fantasy, in never, never land. In the world of reality folks cannot completely change themselves and become perfect. Perfect self, like pursuit of perfection, is fantasy that no one can attain.
Let me make this paper realistic by focusing on my personality. I do so for educational purposes not because I am seeking your attention and sympathy. I could careless what you think of me. I do not have personality disorder but have traits of some of them, especially dependent and avoidant. My diagnosis for me is idealistic personality; I tend to be a wishful person. My personality wants to make the self and other selves better, perfect; my personality is trying to escape from the realities of this world and create a better world. My personality is running from its crummy body with the belief that there is a better body and better world out there that it can run to.
Alas, there is no better self or better world for one to escape to and run to; one has to deal with our imperfect selves and world objectively, scientifically.
I was born with certain medical disorders (Cytochrome C Oxidize Deficiency, Spondololysis of the fifth lumber vertebrae and Mitral Valve Prolapse of the heart). These biological disorders are often fatal and children born with them die in childhood. Those who survive to adulthood often have loads of pain and feel weak. I feel weak. In childhood I could not participate in sports (although I do run).
Because I feel weak I concluded that I was not good enough. By age six when I began schooling I was already thinking that other children would see me as not good enough and reject me. I then withdrew from other children to avoid being rejected by them. In other words I had avoidant personality type.
Because I was weak my parents did things for me that I ought to do for myself. I was, more or less, pampered, spoilt by caring parents. I came to expect other people to do things for me, to help me. In psychological profile, when I am in a crisis situation I tend to expect other people to rescue me.
Of course, no one out there exists to rescue me. I therefore felt disappointed that folks did not rescue me. The relevant point is that I had the expectation for folks to rescue me hence had aspects of dependent personality.
The point I want the reader to take from this focus on me is that the child’s inherited biological datum interacting with his social environment shapes his personality. There is no way that you can understand a person without looking at his inherited body and its effects on his thinking. I do not mean just the brain and the central nervous system, I mean the entire body. The state of a child’s body affects his psychological state.
If a child is sickly his personality will reflect that sickliness; if he is healthy he would develop a robust personality. The entirety of the human body affects how the individual sees himself.
What this means is that to understand the human personality we have to understand the human body. This is why we must study human physiology, anatomy and molecular biology and get to a point where we understand cellular behavior and how those affect the child’s mental processes.
I believe that the human body is like a car, an automobile and that there is a mind driving it. The mind is not part of the car, but the state of the car one drives affects how well one drives. If your car is not working well no matter what you do it will not give you first rate driving experience.
The human body, like a car affects how the mind that works through it functions. If you want a mind operating at optimum levels you have to make sure that the body it operates in is healthy.
I say all these because many of those persons who follow the various New Age religions stress how mind (consciousness) determines ones reality, how the individual chooses what happens to him etc; these folks ignore the role of body in the individual’s behavior.
You can delude yourself all you want regarding being in charge of your life but the fact is that the health or lack of it of your body determines what you do for as long as you live in body.
If you say that the individual chose his body, which is true, provided that you mean the collective individual, the fact still remains that the state of the body he chose affects him.
If you say that I chose my body I would not argue with you (all of us as one self chose my body for me); all I need to tell you is that the body I (we all) chose (for me) affect my thinking and behavior hence my personality.
If you want to change a person’s personality, his self concept you have to understand his body and help make it healthy otherwise you are talking fantasy.
We have not fully understood the human body, certainly not at the cellular level. We must continue studying our bodies (as well as other facets of matter) and get to understand them and devise medical technologies to heal their problems so as to be able to produce those who think in a healthy manner.
We must try to understand how the individual thinks and help him correct aspects of his thinking that are not rational.
I adopt cognitive behavior therapy. People can think rationally or irrationally. Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck have helped us understand what constitutes rational thinking. Cognitive behavior therapists tell us that it is not what is going on out there that makes one depressed or anxious or paranoid but how one interprets it. One’s faulty perception of events can depress one or make one fearful. One can choose to be rational about events and not depress one’s self or make one anxious from the events in ones world.
Problematic personalities can be helped to think in a rational manner. Consider the avoidant personality’s behaviors. Avoidant personalities make many irrational assumptions. One, such a person assumes that just because his body is weak that he is no good. Who said that he is not good just because his body is no good? He is not his body, so a weak body does not translate to a no good self. He is good regardless of the nature of his body. He does not need to deny the fact that his body is objectively problematic, not good but he can accept that reality and separate his self from his body and affirm that his self is good despite the fact that his body is not good.
One is not ones body. Notice that we say my body. This assumes that there is an owner of body. Who is the owner of body? The real self, a spirit self is the owner of body.
Second is the irrational belief that one needs other people’s acceptance and that their acceptance would make one feel good. The fact is that other people’s acceptance of you is irrelevant to your well being. If you believe that you are good, as you existentially are, it does not matter whether other people reject you or accept you.
The fear of other people’s rejection gives too much power to other people. One can tell ones self that one does not need other peoples acceptance. One can live with or without other people’s acceptance.
Of course, it would be nice if people accepted one but one can live perfectly well even if other people rejected one. In short, one does not need to fear other people’s rejection of one.
People have different values and accept or reject one based on their values. If you expect all people to accept you then you must live up to every person’s values. To do so is to have no independent judgment of what is right or wrong.
As long as your values are different from other people’s values some of them would reject you. Therefore, you must accept that some people will always reject you and deal with that reality.
You do not need to please every person and deny your own values to meet another person’s values so that he would accept you. You do not need other people’s acceptance to live your life. You can live perfectly well even if the rest of the world rejects you.
What one needs to strive towards is determining what is right and does it. As long as one does what one thinks is right the entire world can reject one and it should not make any difference to one.
Actually, in situations where one is afraid of other peoples rejection what is really going on is that one posited a wish for a big self, and one fears that other people would see through that false big self and reject it.
In Alfred Adler’s individual psychological terms, a child with weak body feels somatically inferior, rejects his inferiority feeling and posits a compensatory feeling of superiority. He invents a superior self for himself and wants other people to accept that fictional superior self. He is not that superior self and knows that other people will not accept it. He fears that they would reject his presumed superior self and to avoid such rejection he avoids people. He then keeps to himself and in social isolation imagines that he is the superior self he wishes to be.
In effect, fear of other people’s rejection of one is really fear of their rejection of the false big self one wants to be; it is desire to retain the false big self that makes the shy avoidant person fear social rejection. In psychoanalytic terms this is neurosis at work.
Neurosis inheres in the individual rejecting his perceived inferior self and pursuing a compensatory imaginary, fictive ideal, perfect, superior self.
If the person gives up the wish for a big self and accepts that he is ordinary, is the same as other persons, is equal with all selves and have no wish to be superior to other people then he would not fear other people’s rejection.
No one can reject the person who sees all human beings as the same and coequal to him. The real self is equal to all other selves. Reality (which is the fact that all people are the same and equal) cannot be rejected although it can be masked and one pursues the mask (personality is mask over the underlying equal self we all share, what Carl Jung called the spiritual self; beneath the mask of separated human personalities is our shared collective, unified spirit self).
All people are the same although we pretend to be better than other people.
Psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavior therapy can teach the individual to think rationally and help him behave rationally. The dependent person, for example, makes the assumption that other people ought to help him. Who said that other people ought to help him? No one exists to rescue other people. There are no heroes on white horses out there saving people.
Only the individual can save himself. Only you can rescue you, save you, deliver you, redeem you; no other person can do so for you.
There is no Jesus Christ or other so-called saviors or God out there to save you; only you can save you (Jesus saved himself not other people).
It is understandable if a sickly child wishes for other persons help but in the adult world other adults do not have to do anything for him. No one owes him any thing, as he owes no one anything.
We all ought to be independent and then cooperate with each other for our mutual benefits. This is the real world. To expect help from other people is naïve and self defeating.
Whereas the goal of these little summaries of the various personality disorders is to give the reader a glimpse of what they are but not to heal them let me briefly say that these disorders can be understood and healed (as much as healing is possible).
Paranoia is at root lack of trust in people. If you do not trust people you must learn to trust people and know those not to trust, for obviously some people are not trustworthy. Paranoia is rooted in desire to have power. The paranoid person feels powerless and seeks power. The sense of inadequacy is both personal and existential for him. At the personal level something made him feel inadequate and he restitutes with drive for exaggerated power. At the existential level all human beings feel powerless and seek power. The solution is to accept that we are all powerless and live with that reality.
The only kind of power we have is marginal power to effect minor changes in our environment but we really cannot change our fate: for example, none of us can stop his body from dying (that is, decomposing to the elements that compose it…at best one prolongs ones physical life may be to 120 years but after that one must die to body and live in other forms).
The paranoid person feels insecure and tends to believe that if he can predict what other people are thinking, control it that he would feel secure. Thus much of his thinking lies in speculating about what other people are thinking. Sometimes, he takes the conjectures he comes up with about other people’s motives as true and acts on them.
Obviously, none of us understands what other people are thinking or what other people are going to do (no human being is a mind reader despite the blandishment of so-called psychics) and one is best served to live with that uncertainty rather than pretend that one knows what other people think or can change their thinking and behavior.
The fact is that if another person wants to harm you he can do it and you cannot prevent him from doing so (and you can also harm or kill other people, if you so choose). You just have to trust that folks would not harm you and do your best and leave it at that.
The schizoid person does not care for other peoples company. He honestly does not need other people. He does not care whether you liked him or not, approve his behavior or not. As long as he does not miss other peoples acceptance who are we to urge him to seek peoples company. Leave him to be who he is.
The schizotypal person has her eccentricities and as long as those do not interfere with her daily living we must leave her to be who she is.
The narcissistic person seeks other people’s attention and admiration and does not give attention to people; he does not care for other people. Sooner for later, people realize that he does not care for them and tune him out.
The narcissist uses people and dumps them and since no one likes to be used and dumped, sooner or later, folks feel angry at narcissists for using them callously.
Clearly, the narcissist needs to learn to care for people; pay attention to people’s needs and not use people for his own good and discard them.
But why does the narcissist have the need to use people and still seek their attention? He feels like he has no worth and needs folk’s attention to make him feel like he has worth; he feels like he does not exist and need other people’s attention to make him feel like he exists. He, in other words, has existential issues and need to accept his basic existential nothingness. As far as nature is concerned, we are nothing special and even if other people give us attention we are still nothing.
The only thing that gives us worth is acceptance of our reality as loving selves; when one loves ones self and other selves one tends to have some worth, not total worth for any one living in body cannot be that important after all a bullet into ones head and one dies and smells worse than feces.
The histrionic has to do what the narcissist does. Both feel empty and think that getting folks attention would make them full but what would make them full and give them worth is love for them and love for all people.
Borderline persons are seeking attention and use people and do not give folks attention. Their issues are deep rooted; at the simplistic level they must learn to love themselves and love other people and stop relying on other people to love them and care for them; they must deal with existential issues of nothingness (it will take us too far afield to deal with those here…see my writing on Existential and Gnostic Psychotherapy).
Anti-social personalities have a tendency to not care for other people, to steal and take what does not belong to them, to kill and not feel remorseful; they remind us of animal state of being. These people are at the predatory animals’ level of being. Like predatory animals they kill weaker animals and eat them and not feel bad. They are developmentally arrested at animal level of being.
One would be naïve to think that one can change sociopaths and get them to care for their fellow human beings. They are simply animals and like animals need to be closely supervised and when they step out of line arrested and punished. You cannot reach them through reason. The criminal understands only the language of force and therefore you must exercise force on him or her.
Obsessive compulsive folks think obsessively and act compulsively. There is basic anxiety here and self doubt. Building up their trust in themselves and empowering them to believe in their ability helps. They have a tendency to want to be perfect, they are driven by obsession to be perfect and idealistic. This is part of the neurotic quest for perfection and superiority.
This drive towards perfection and idealism can be dealt with if they learn that no matter what they do that they can never be perfect.
If you pursue perfection, you will realize that as you seem to reach perfection the goal post is shifted and you immediately begin to seek other ideas of perfection. Perfection cannot be attained by human beings.
One must accept ones imperfection and live with it. No amount of obsession and compulsion to be ideal would make one ideal and perfect. Those who live in bodies cannot be perfect; perfection is only possible outside body, in spirit state.
The passive aggressive person feels weak and powerless and believes that other people accepting him would make him feel adequate thus he pleases them to get them to accept him. The more you please people the more they have contempt for you and not accept you. People tend to respect those who do not seek their acceptance. Even if folks accept you that would still not make you feel fine; only you can make you feel fine; worth is derived from inside you, not from outside you, certainly not from other persons; only you can give you worth.
The passive aggressive person must learn to be assertive and take care of his needs and not worry about pleasing other people. Assert yourself and go for your goals and let other people worry about their own goals; as Fred Perl (Gestalt Therapy) used to say: you are not in this world to please any human being.
As noted above, I have traits of some personality disorders, specifically avoidant and dependent but not their entire spectrum. I diagnose me as having idealistic personality disorder although psychiatry does not have that nosological category. Let me explicate what idealistic personality is and if you are like me you might benefit from this description.
Given the child’s inherited biological datum and his early childhood experiences a child must form a personality that adapts to his reality. A child cannot not be the personality he is given his biological constitution (biology probably determines well over 90% of personality; with social factors determining less than 10% of personality). I know this to be true for given my inherited medical issues I had to develop the personality I have.
I am idealistic. I am wishful in my thinking. My crummy body disposed me to wish for a healthier body. Right from childhood I was always wishing to be different from the way I was. I generalized and wished for people to be better than they are; I wished for the world and social institutions to be become perfect.
My father and grandfather have similar medical issues as I do; they, too, have the same idealistic approach to life. My children have similar biological make up as I do and have similar idealistic perspective on phenomena. Biology determines the human personality (the mask we all wear to hide our true self, unified spirit self).
I rejected my crummy body and wanted to replace it with an idealized body and self. I am seeking an ideal self, ideal other people, ideal social institutions and ideal world.
I am running away from the reality of my crummy body. I am trying escape from my painful physical reality. My life style is idealistic and escapist. I am full of wishful thinking which sometimes bothers on magical thinking.
Of course, I am aware of reality. I am aware of the imperfect state of my body and self (which is my earthly reality); I am aware that other people, like me, in varying degrees are imperfect (imperfection is our reality).
I am aware that most people are average in intelligence and really cannot contribute that much to evolution. Not all people can be Albert Einstein or Ernest Rutherford.
Since my intelligence is in the superior range (over 132) I tend to feel that most people are inferior to me! (Feeling of inferiority and or superiority is neurotic; in reality, regardless of ones level of IQ all people are the same and equal.)
I am aware that social institutions are imperfect; I am aware that the world and the universe are imperfect. Just because I wish for alternatives to what is does not mean that I do not know what is.
In the final analysis, I am very realistic. I do not expect people to be angels; I accept people as they are: imperfect creatures. I see people as doing their best and respect them but also know their best is not perfect.
What each person does is limited by his inherited body and limited intelligence and personality hence I do not expect people to be godlike, perfect.
I accept you exactly as you are: imperfect. I am not impressed by your pretended (neurotic and or psychotic) effort at perfection for I know that you are not perfect and cannot be perfect.
I respect you (and all people) regardless of whether by the world’s standard you are successful or a failure; I do so because I understand the role played by your body and personality in limiting what you can do.
The relevant point is that I am as realistic as realism can be. I am a rationalist but underlying that proclivity to reasoning is my wish for reality to change and become ideal. That wish for ideals led me to explore the various religions of mankind and metaphysics.
Much of religion is predicated on wishful thinking. Nevertheless, there are aspects of religion that are true.
Life does transcend death but how folks describe that life is based on their imaginations. No one really can explain life outside body. William James, in his book, Varieties of Religious Experience, noted that life outside body is ineffable. EvelynUnderhill, in her book, Mysticism, made similar points. Richard Morris Bucke said the same in his book, Cosmic Consciousness.
Folks have interesting views on God but the fact is that none of those views is correct.
God is the abode of union; in God all things are unified and are literally one. In God there is no you and I hence no other person to talk to.
In that unified world of God words and speech are unnecessary hence we cannot explicate God in our usual ego separated categories.
Speech and language assumes the presence of other people that one talks to. In God there are no other people to talk to hence God cannot be explicated in our language.
For our present purposes, what is salient is that I have an idealistic personality (with avoidant and dependent traits). My idealistic nature was inevitable, and was made necessary by my problematic biological inheritance. To say that I could have been another personality is foolish talk.
Each person’s personality is necessary given his inherited body. Personality is a product of biology and biology, as Novelis observed, is fate.
Your inherited body determined who you are and what you get out of life. There is no other person to blame for your fate but your body.
Of course, you can understand your body and manipulate it to get better outcomes from life.
Having grappled with rational secular therapy and how it could be used to improve the human personality, yet I recognize the need for spiritual psychotherapy. By this I mean the recognition that one is part of a whole, a whole that folks call God but a whole that is nameless.
There is a unified spirit self that we all are parts of. One whole, one self manifests in all of us and is all of us. We are parts of the whole and each other. We are, in spirit, one, literally. Because we are one self we must therefore love one another to feel whole and healthy (holy).
Reality is unified. Union is love. Love is the glue that unifies the infinite parts of the many selves into one self.
When we are in the state of love we are in the state of union which is our true self. When we are in love hence in our true self we tend to be peaceful and happy.
What folks call heaven is a state of perfect union; a state of mind in which we know that we are joined to each other and in that state of union feel peaceful and happy.
It is when we feel separated from each other, are in our world that we feel unhappy and conflicted. If you want to feel peaceful and happy then love all people.
If folks do bad things to you work to correct their mistakes and still love them. You must forgive them provided that you understand that forgiveness does not mean accepting folk’s attacks on you. If other people do bad things to you, insist that they do the right thing to you; love is the right behavior. Forgiveness does not mean condoning evil but correcting it.
If a man is beating up a child you do not overlook what he is doing under the misguided notion that forgiveness means not acknowledging what he is doing. You stop him from beating the child and teach him other ways to correct children’s problematic behavior. If an adult abuses a child (physically, sexually, verbally) he should be arrested, tried in a court of law and jailed. You do not condone the evil done by people under the notion that forgiveness requires us at all times to overlook what people do.
A course in miracles talked a lot about forgiveness. It says that if we forgive we overlook this world. But we are in this world and cannot overlook the evil done in it just so we feel peaceful.
If you see a man abusing a child and did not prevent him from doing so you are now participant in his abuse and ought to be punished along with him.
Forgiveness does not mean condoning evil even if our evil behaviors are done in a dream hence has not been done.
It is true, as A course in miracles observed, that the world is a dream state. We are in sleep and do not know that there is a wake state. In the state of sleep people do feel hurt if you attack them, so do not attack any one and then rationalize your hurtful behavior by saying that your attack is mere dream attack hence has not taken people hence you are still innocent.
In eternity you are innocent but in time if you hurt people you are guilty and ought to be punished.
Spiritual psychotherapy cannot dwell only on forgiveness but must stress the positive emotion of love. It must teach folks to love all people and harm no one.
Once a problematic personality is corrected the individual then enters the world and relates to people and joins in the world of politics to solve our social problems. Avoiding doing what serves public good is a waste of time and is hardly worthy of a man. A psychologically healed person enters politics and does his best to make his polity a decent society.
Actually, no one is healed until one participates in social intercourse and makes ones world a better place.
NORMAL, NEUROTIC, PSYCHOTIC AND MYSTICAL PERSONS
There are essentially four types of persons on planet earth: normal, neurotic and psychotic persons.
The normal person is essentially asleep. He takes the world of dreams he lives in as real and struggles to adapt to it as best as he could. In his mind the world of dreams is real; he cannot even conceive the world as not a dream, as not real; to him he is a body and other people are bodies. He provides for his body via food, medications, clothes, shelter etc.
The normal person (who are over 90% of the world’s population), from a spiritual perspective, is insane, he has delusion disorder and believes a dream world that is not real as real; he takes what he says to other people as real when in fact they are voices spoken in a dream hence hallucination and psychotic.
The normal person accepts nothingness, our world, his body and ego and other people’s bodies and egos as real. He enjoys his body and enjoys food and sex.
The normal man sees his woman’s body as a love object and loves her body. She provides him with a valuable service, sex, as he provides her.
He has what we might call normal love; that is, love based on ego and body; in normal love one admires the other person’s body and genuinely appreciates its beauty. Thus, normal men tell their women that they are gorgeous. They buy fancy clothes and jewelry for their women’s gorgeous bodies. These people are at home in the world of flesh.
On the other hand is neurotic love. The neurotic is aware that the ego and body is unreal but he is not yet ready to transcend them; instead, he tries to make them better, perfect on earthly terms (ego, bodily terms). He is seeking perfection in the world of dreams, trying to make a dream/nothingness seem ideal.
The neurotic man approaches women without regard for their bodies; he sees their bodies as shit, literally; their bodies repulse him yet he seeks them and wants to change them and make them ideal, perfect bodies (and egos). He does not like sex yet seeks sex obsessive-compulsively for he is trying to make the unreal seem real.
Deep down the neurotic knows that body and ego are nothing, and do not even exist yet he isn’t ready to give them up and do what mystics do, seek spiritual matters.
The psychotic is like the normal; however, unlike the normal he has chosen to go into deeper sleep and take his ego and body dream of separation as important. He fancies that he is very important and wants other people to see his ego and body as important (the schizophrenic thinks that his ego is God; the manic thinks that his ego is powerful and wealthy etc). The psychotic wants to take nothing, a dream as real and obviously he cannot succeed.
The mystic sees the world as a dream and does not desire it and allows those who desire it to do so and does not tell them not to desire their ego and bodily things for he knows that folks are at different levels of spiritual evolution and you cannot force folks to get to a point they are not yet ready to be at.
Animals are closer to normal persons; animals take their dream state as real; they take their egos and bodies as real and value their state even as we kill them and eat them for we know that they are not real (nature destroys our bodies for it knows that they have no value and worth and are unreal; to nature our human bodies are not different from animals bodies, trees and rocks; they are all nothing).
Animals and trees are in deep sleep; they have not developed consciousness of individuated self (some dogs though have consciousness of separated self).
Human beings have developed the consciousness of having separated individual self. Animals do not have individuated self concepts; they have collective self concept. That is, a dog knows that it is a dog, one with other dogs, but not individuated dog.
A human being has a consciousness of I; he sees himself as independent of other selves. Animals do not have independent self; they see themselves as part of their collective species, they have specie consciousness (Richard Morris Bucke made this point in his book, Cosmic Consciousness).
SPECIAL LOVEW, SPECIAL HATE AND HOLY LOVE (RELATIONSHIPS)
Helen Schucman talked about what she called special love relationships, special hate relationships and holy relationships. What she said is what I just said above, although said in her lovely her poetic language.
Briefly, in special love relationship (found in normal persons) the individual takes his ego and body as real, makes it look nice and uses it to love another individual who similarly takes his body and ego as real and beautiful. These two people (in my terms, normal folk) are in sleep and take their dream selves as real. They collude with each other and tell each other that they are good. They validate and reinforce their ego and body existence.
When one of these normal folks no longer tells the other that he or she is good, does not validate their ego and body’s importance, they end their hitherto seeming loving relationship; they separate and go find other persons to play their ego body games.
These are normal persons in love; they have love based on ego and body. These people replaced their real spirit selves (the sons of God, spirit) with their body and ego selves. They live out of their substitute selves, ego and bodies, and do not know that they have other selves, including the selves in light forms and spirit formless selves.
In special hate relationships folks do not value each others egos and bodies. These are neurotics in love. They hate each others body and ego and their own egos and bodies yet they desire each other obsessive compulsively. These people are trying to be normal and cannot be for they are beginning to transcend normalcy but are not yet ready to attain mystical level of being on earth. They make life miserable for each other by constantly not valuing each others egos and bodies; these folks disrespect each other’s body and ego.
If you are going to have relationships, such as marry someone please value that person’s ego and body, as normal folks do.
If you cannot value your ego and body and other peoples egos and bodies then stay away from marriages and close relationships; seek ways to live from your spirit self, not body self and leave those who accept their egos and bodies, normal folks, to be who they are and not desecrate their behaviors by telling them that their bodies and egos are nothing important (they are not important but until folks know so leave them to enjoy their egos and bodies seeming importance).
In what Helen Schucman called holy relationship folks realize that they have formless spirit selves but agree to still see themselves as bodies and egos and use their bodies and egos to love one another. While admiring each others bodies and egos they also acknowledge the divinity in them. They acknowledge the son of God in them, their real selves.
From this type of ego love they move to the recognition of their light selves. Each of us has a light self, a self still in form but light form. This is the self folks see in out of body and near death experiences; it is also the self folks have in the resting place called purgatory or gate of heaven or real world; it is still an illusory self but it approximates our real self, which is formless, an idea in the mind of God (a part of the whole).
A course in miracles says that ideas leave not their source; we remain in the mind of God and are exactly as he created us, ideas in his mind, while we pretend that we are in egos and bodies in a dream called earth.
Folks who allow the Holy Spirit in them to guide them tend to live peaceful and happy lives.
As I observed elsewhere, when we separated from God and from each other (we have not really done so; we seem to have done so; se dream separated selves while remaining unified self) God created the Holy Spirit. The sons of God went on a journey without distance, embarked on the prodigal sons’ quests. God created another self, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God, the immanent God. As it were, God entered the dream world his son invented as the Holy Spirit; in effect, God came to the dream world with his children; God is in our world.
There now seem three Gods: God the father (transcendent God, God in heaven, unified spirit), God the son (us) and God the Holy Spirit (the immanent God in the temporal universe). Christians call this reality the Holy Trinity: three persons in one person; one God is his son and is his Holy Spirit.
God as the Holy Spirit lodged himself in the right side of the mind of the son of God (while he is in the dream of separation, on earth).
The ego is the substitute self the son of God made for his self to live with in the dream world, in our temporal universe. The ego is in the left mind of the son of God and adapts to the exigencies of this separated world.
The Holy Spirit uses unobtrusive ways to get us to love one another and forgive one another and remember our true self as the son of God. The Holy Spirit urges us to return to the state of union, aka God.
There is a third part of our mind, the unified mind (holy mind, holy self), the mind we share with God and each other. This is our mind in spirit; on earth we do not remember this unified mind of the unified self. This is the part of mind one experiences in unified state, what Catholic Christians call mystical union with God. In this part of mind there is no I and you, God and us; all are one self, the self of God with infinite parts to it; all parts of God knowing themselves as the one mind of God, as the one self of God.
Mystics allow the Holy Spirit (that is, allow love and forgiveness) to guide their behaviors and their world is reinterpreted and made lovely. Others attack on one, for example, is seen as opportunity to teach them love; others hate is seen as a call for one to love them (others attack us because they think that we do not love them and want to give us another opportunity to forgive their attacks and still love them).
Thus, mystics forgive the person who attacked or hated them and teach them to love, by the example of their love.
The mystic is in holy relationship with all people for he knows that he and all people share on self and share one mind; he knows that to love all people is to love his whole self, (contracted as holy self or Holy Spirit), and to hate other people is to hate parts of his self hence generate conflict and tension for him. In loving all he generates peace and joy for his complete self.
Those engaged in holy relationship with all people and the world attain peace and joy while still in this world. They are, as it were, at heaven’s gate and the peace of heaven reaches them; they are peaceful and happy.
In Hindu/Buddhist categories such persons are called enlightened persons (avatars). They have broken through the veil of Maya, transcended Moksha and recognized that the ego (Ahankara), that is, separation is an illusion. They have returned to the awareness of unified state (experienced in what Hindus call Samadhi, Buddhists call Nirvana and Zen Buddhists call Satori).
Such persons know that the Atman…our individual self… is one with Brahman…our collective self, what I call unified spirit self and what you may call God.
Before I get carried away exploring spiritual issues I must stop; my goal here is to point out that there is life after we physically die; I am not here to provide detailed information on every spiritual matters.
We live in the age of science. In this age the scientific methodological approach to phenomena has prevailed. This is good for all humanity for science has liberated us from the superstitions that held our ancestors down. Our ancestors used to see the stars as gods but now we know them to be nothing but clouds of hydrogen gas fusing to other gases such as helium, carbon, oxygen, iron etc.
Without explicitly doing so, science has dealt a death blow to religion. This is fine for we do not need to believe in non-existent gods.
Unfortunately, in killing off old time religions, as it should, science has also convinced many folks that there is no life after they die.
Throughout human beings sojourn on this planet they have always believed that their lives transcend this world. They have done so not necessarily because they are afraid of death.
Actually, if death is the end of our existence it is better than the suffering folks have to endure in this world. I personally would rather I did not exist than for me to exist to endure the grinding suffering and poverty I see in this world. Life is not worth living if the poverty and sickness I see all around me is all there is to it. I prefer oblivion and finitude to aspects of our lives on earth.
No, it is not only fear of death and desire to live forever that led some human beings to believe that life transcends death.
I did not worry much whether life is eternal or not until I had certain experiences that convinced me that life transcends our physical death.
When you have had those experiences those who talk about this physical life being all there is to us seem like a bunch of ignorant children who do not know what the hell they are talking about.
Life transcends our physical existence. However, we do not need old time religions to ascertain that life transcends our physical existence.
In as much as folks tend to associate life after death with spirit and God we need to have some clarity on what is meant by spirit and God.
If by spirit folks mean selves that are not of body, space and time then spirits exist. If by God folks mean the source of all creation then God exists.
But if by spirit and God folks are talking about a monstrous father figure they have to worship so that he protects them from the sufferings of this world they are talking nonsense.
There is a source of creativity which for lack of a better name we might call God. Actually, it has no name; it is nameless for to name something is to limit it. God is limitless hence nameless; God simply is and that is all there is to it.
God as God is does not ask us to worship him; worshipping God is based on our fears. God is love and love is the opposite of fear.
As Helen Schucman observed: love is the absence of fear; and fear is the absence of love; where you see fear you do not see love and where you see love you do not see fear; if you are fearful you are not a loving person; if you are a loving person you do not feel fear; if you love all people you do not fear them; it is when you do not love people, have ill will towards them that you think that they too have ill wills towards you and that they are out to harm or kill you and fear them (as in paranoia).
God loves us no matter what we do. He does not ask us to fear him before he loves us. How can he not love us since we are him and in loving us he loves his whole self (his Holy Self); to not love us is to not love aspects of his self.
A God that hates his parts, us, and thus hates his whole self is an insane God. God is sane. Sanity requires God (and each of us) to love all aspects of him.
The God we fear and worship are the gods of our imagination, the gods of our creation, the gods we imagine and then project to what we call God.
We created God in our self image and turn around and say that he created us in his self image.
God does not have form and thus does not have image. God is the idea of the whole (of existence), whereas we his children are the idea of parts of the whole, parts of God (parts of existence). God and his sons, the whole and its parts are one; in their union they are eternal.
Science and pure reason correctly rejected old fashioned images of God but that does not mean that God does not exist.
New age religions came along and tried to give folks a new idea of God. In doing so they distorted the nature of God. They tell folks that they created their reality. These people talk as if we are totally in charge of our fate.
Listen up. In spirit where there are no bodies, space and time, boundaries we are free, totally free to do as we like provided that we do not separate from God and from each other. But in our world of space, time and matter we are not totally free. On earth, in time and space and matter, our freedom is circumscribed, limited.
You cannot ask your body to change and it changes. All that you can do is study your body and its laws and through manipulation of those laws improve your body (in the future genetic science and future genetic engineering would heal most human sicknesses).
We in body, in matter, space and time are limited by the environment we live in. We therefore do not entirely create our reality.
Spirit, our real self has perfect freedom in its spirit state, but in matter, space and time that spirit takes on the role of separated self, the ego and is limited.
As the ego spirit is limited and does not have the freedom to do whatever it wants to do.
Of course, you may wish and use science and technology to try attaining what you wish for but you do not attain them magically, as it is done in spirit.
In out of body experiences your thoughts produce immediate action; your desire can place you anywhere you want to be. But the moment you re-enter your body and identify with your body you cannot do such things, for body, like a car affects what you, the driver does.
The salient point is that spirit exists; God exists provided that we have clarity as to what that means.
In this paper I have offered my understanding of spirit and God. My description may not be totally true but it approximates the truth, certainly it is better than what I read elsewhere.
We do not need to return to old fashioned religions definitions of truth; we can do better than that, and keep improving our definitions when better information comes to us.
Do we need new religions? I do not think so. However, in as much as folks need to gather and talk about God, spirit and their real (and false) selves it does not do them any harm to keep doing so.
I myself occasionally gravitate to groups talking about God from the perspective of A course in miracles or Hinduism, or Buddhism or Christianity. They are useful gatherings where folks share ideas on their truth.
At heart I know that God is inside me, us and is our true self; I know that God is unified spirit self and that each of us is a part of it.
If gathering with your friends, those with similar beliefs as you have, helps you to discuss my ideas certainly you should do so. But you should never accept another human being’s ideas on God as true, mine included.
What you should do is gather to clarify your understanding of your real self. If this paper helps you to do so by all means gather and talk about its thesis and try to prove it true or false.
How do you prove to your satisfaction that you transcend your physical body? Love yourself, love all people then try meditation.
In meditation you give up all ideas you may have in your
mind about who you are, who other people are, and what reality is and what any event means. You empty your mind of all presuppositions and preconceptions of what reality is. You try to keep quiet without ideas in your head.
If you can attain total inner silence without ideas about you or people in your mind (in Hindu, Buddhist terms, have no separated self and its thoughts on reality), you would experience your reality. That reality is that we are all unified and share one self and one mind.
Try meditation; the least that you would experience is peace of mind and body. Better still you might escape from your separated ego self and its separated world of multiplicity and enter the unified formless spirit world. When you do you know that we are in spirit eternal.
This paper makes the point that there is life after we die. This point needs to be accepted not on belief but only when one has verified it. You can find out for yourself if it is a fact by understanding what the paper says and practicing love and meditation.
Primitive science had given folks the impression that there is no life after death. That is not correct; sophisticated science, such as quantum mechanics, has hinted that there are infinite universes some of which contain people like us, indeed contain us. Hugh Everett and his followers, such as David Deutch tell us that each of us has replicas in other universes.
How all those universes work out is not the focus of this paper. The goal of this paper is to articulate what is obvious to the writer that life continues after we physically die and that any one who says otherwise does not know what he is talking about.
This paper should serve as opportunity for the reader to do some self analysis. After one has done self analysis, and understood ones self and done some exploration of spiritual matters and come to resolution of these matters then what?
After psychotherapy one must live fully doing what one likes doing. If one is an existentialist and one believes that life in body is meaningless and purposeless one should accept that view. The consequence of such a view is that one keeps quiet and let folks do their things and say nothing about their behaviors except in so far that they negatively affect one. One should be less judgmental and tolerate all human beings.
It takes courage for human beings to live meaningless and purposeless existence in body; therefore, one should not compound their misery by judging them harshly, as good or bad; one should accept all people, in Carl Rogers’s terms, in an unconditionally positive manner.
Love you, love all people and life becomes peaceful and happy for you and those around you.
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Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD
September 14, 2012
This essay defines what good self-esteem is; it says that in general many Africans do not have good self-esteem and may not even know what constitutes good self-esteem. It says that such Africans take the noisy behavior of those with low self-esteem trying to seem tough as good self-esteem. It says that good health, possession of work competencies, and enough money to live on and, more importantly, love and respect for one’s self and for other people are the makers of positive self-esteem in people.
Self Esteem And Africans
What exactly constitutes good self-esteem and how do we know if a person has good self-esteem?
To esteem means to value (something). Therefore, to have good self-esteem is to value one’s self. On the other hand, to have bad self-esteem is to not value one’s self. Positive self-esteem means that one values one’s self and negative self-esteem means that one does not value one’s self.
Each of us places value or lack of value, worth or lack of worth on his life and the lives of other people. Each of us has an opinion regarding his worth and value and act as such.
We all can see from folk’s pattern of talking and behaving whether they have good self-esteem or bad self-esteem.
There are known factors that contribute to the development of good or bad self-esteem. Those factors include the individual’s state of physical health. Generally, those born into healthy bodies tend to accept their bodies and those born into sickly bodies tend to reject their bodies hence develop low self-esteem.
How one is treated by ones significant others (parents, siblings, peers, teachers etc.) affect one’s self esteem. If one was loved and respected and one’s material needs were reasonably satisfied by ones parents one tends to have good self-esteem.
How one did at childhood learning tasks, especially formal schooling affects one's self-esteem. If one is sufficiently intelligent to go through school successfully and obtain job competence so that one is able to obtain reasonable jobs that support one’s life style one tends to have good self-esteem. Those without job competences are unemployed and poor seldom have good self-esteem.
The individual’s self-confidence is enhanced to the extent that he is able to do those things that enable him to successfully cope with the exigencies of his world, especially if he has good interpersonal skills so that he is able to relate to people, make friends and get other people to do what he needs for them to do for him.
It is difficult to define what good self-esteem is but most people know a person with good self-esteem when they see one. Folks know when a person around them has good opinion of himself and when he does not. The individual’s opinion of himself is reflected in what he says and does (even in his choice of clothes, cars, houses etc.).
In this essay I will consider Africans and their self-esteem. Clearly, some Africans have positive self-esteem. However, many Africans do not have good self-esteem. How did I come to this conclusion? As I noted, each of us can tell if a person has good opinion of himself by his words and actions. Judging from the words and actions of the many Africans I interact with I say that many of them have low self-regard.
CAN A PERSON WHO DEGRADES OTHER PERSONS HAVE POSITIVE SELF ESTEEM?
I belong to African Internet groups. At these groups, Africans, mostly Nigerians come to reflect on what is going on in their countries. Generally, what happens is that folks would identify with their ethnic (tribal) groups. They would defend their groups and put down other groups. When they notice that someone said something negative about their group they would go to work and call him every negative name they could muster.
Nigerians have a penchant for cursing each other out. Upon the slightest provocation, a string of curse words would come flying out of their filthy mouths (mouths that need to be washed with soap). And these curses are spit out by folks who often append the term Doctor or Professor to their names.
Is cursing behavior a sign of positive self-esteem or negative self-esteem? Would a person with positive self-esteem curse out other people? What do you think?
Let us see what cursing other people mean. When you curse folk your goal is to degrade them, humiliate them and belittle them. In your mind by putting folk down you fancy that you are better than they. Can a person who puts other persons down to make him seem superior to them have positive self-esteem?
A neurotic is a person who feels inferior, denies it and tries to seem falsely superior; he makes other people seem inferior to him and tries to seem superior to them.
A healthy person is not motivated to seem inferior or superior to other people; he merely assumes his equality with all people and leaves it at that.
Can a person who desecrates other persons actually have good self-esteem? I do not think so. In my judgment the Africans who try to degrade their fellow Africans have low self-regard. What is going on is that such Africans do not like themselves, deny their self-hatred and project it to their fellow Africans. The negative names they call their fellow Africans, their curses, are really what they think about themselves, deny them and attribute them to other Africans. What folks see in other persons is often what they see in them or think is in them and disown.
CAN A FEAFUL PERSON HAVE POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM?
All human beings are fearful. To be human is to be fearful. Fear alerts us to danger threatening our lives and urges us to take actions to protect our lives. Fear is a means for human survival. If a person were not fearful he would not be alerted to what could destroy his life and get destroyed. Fear keeps us alive in body and ego separated selves.
That been said the fact is that there is such a thing as too much fearfulness. I believe that Africans are too fearful. Consider the fact that they tolerated slavery.
Africans would go and capture their people and sell them to Arabs and later to white folks. They did this for over one thousand years. Historical records show that they were already selling themselves to Arab Muslims by 700 AD and did not really stop doing so until around 1900 (when Europeans finally took over most of Africa and stopped slave trade). Around 1500 AD Africans added selling themselves to Europeans. You can see the product of that heinous behavior in the millions of African-Arabs and African Americans. Can people who sell their people have good self- esteem? I do not think so.
Africans tolerated slavery. Why? Clearly nobody wants to be a slave. Africans tolerated slavery because they were a fearful people. They wanted to live at all costs and the slave master pointed guns at them and threatened to kill them if they did not accept their slave status. They accepted their slave status in other not to be killed by the slave masters.
Slave masters, be they Arabs, white folks or Africans were obviously terrorists; they were terrorists because they used guns to make people do what they want them to do rather than use reason to persuade them to do so. Slave masters aroused fear of death in slaves and out of fear of harm and death slaves obeyed them and accepted slavery.
The slave remained a slave for as long as his master, the terrorist pointed a gun at him. If the gun was removed clearly the average person would escape from slavery. It is fear of harm and death that kept slaves in bondage.
Those slaves who did not want to be slaves struggled to free themselves and generally were killed. They died trying to become freemen; they died heroic deaths.
Would a person who out of fear of harm and death tolerated slavery have positive self-esteem? I do not think so. If I pointed a gun at you and told you to do something or else I killed you, you know that you have a choice in the matter, to defy me and get killed or to obey me and live. If you obey me and live as my slave it is your choice to be my slave. Because fear of death had made you tolerate my abuse you cannot have positive self-esteem.
The slave does not have positive self-esteem for he knows that he is a slave because he is a fearful person, a coward.
I am saying that slaves are fearful persons and do not have positive self-esteems, for positive self-esteem can only be found in those who defend their freedom to live their lives on their own terms, not on other peoples terms.
In this light, African-Arabs, African Americans, ex slaves cannot really have good self-esteem unless they work at it, for deep down they recognize that their ancestors were slaves because of their fear of harm and death. When they defy fear of death and stand up for the freedom of their people they begin to develop good self-esteem. But as long as they feel intimidated by white folks (in North Africa, by Arab folks) they are timid people and have low self-esteem. They may talk loudly but we all know that not all people that talk loudly have good self-esteem.
SLAVE SELLERS HAD NEGATIVE SELD ESTEEM
The Africans who sold their people into slavery cannot possibly have positive self-esteem. Can a person who likes himself and his people go capture them and sell them to foreigners (Arabs and white folks)? It is impossible for a man who has positive self-esteem to capture another man and sell him into slavery. Africans who sold their people into slavery had low self-regard for if they had good self-regard they would fight to protect their people.
A man must hate himself to sell other men into slavery. I have painfully observed the descendants of the known slave catchers in Igbo land, Aro, Abam and Ngwa (for four hundred years those clans roamed Alaigbo capturing Igbos and selling them to white men at the seacoast). I must tell you that I have not seen any of them with positive self-esteem. What I see are folks who hate themselves, deny their self-hatred and project it to other persons. They talk as if they love Igbos but actually hate Igbos. You love Igbos and you go about capturing them and selling them into slavery? Give me a break, will you; we are not all fools, you know.
Only a man who hates himself would sell another human being into slavery, go home and live with himself. Slave sellers had total self-contempt but masked it with their primitive bravados (that is, feeling powerful from the criminal work of capturing folks to be sold...at present these same folks kidnap Igbos and hold them hostage for monetary ransom; kidnaping people is now part of these depraved people’s culture).
SLAVE OWNERS HAD NEGATIVE SELF ESTEEM
Those who bought and used slaves did not have good self-esteem. Those who used slaves by holding the threat of harming or killing them were terrorists. Terrorists do not have good self-esteem; they have low self-esteem but mask it by acting tough.
I am saying that Arabs and white Americans who had slaves hated themselves as much as the slaves they had. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other Southern USA slave owners could not have had good self-esteem. They loathed themselves and projected their self-hate to hatred of their slaves. Only beasts could enslave their fellow human beings. The devil itself left people to be free and then tempt them with bad behavior, so slave owners who took away peoples freedom were more evil than the devil itself; they were Satan in human forms.
Both the slave and slave master had low self-esteem. Good self-esteem inheres in serving our mutual good. Good self-esteem lies in loving and respecting all human beings, black and white.
THIEVISH AFRICAN LEADERS HAVE LOW SELF ESTEEM
In contemporary Africa a few Africans essentially hijacked their African governments and use their positions of power to loot their national treasuries. Nigerians politicians use their offices to steal from the national treasury.
There is no other way of putting it other than to say that the average Nigerian politician is a thief. The Nigerian head of state, governor, legislature etc. is a thief and knows it.
Can a thief have positive self-esteem? I don’t think so. I have personally interacted with some Nigerian politicians and know that they have low self-esteem. Though they occupy powerful positions in their country and masquerade around as big men they generally are fearful and lacking in self-confidence; in short they have low self-esteem.
Thieves cannot have good self-esteem. A thief may act tough but deep down he knows that he is contemptible. The only way a human being can really like and respect himself is to do what serves public good.
Sociopaths, psychopaths and criminals do not have good self-esteem. Could the chief psychopath of them all, Adolf Hitler have had good self-esteem? Can a man who devoted his life to murdering millions of people have good self-esteem? I say no. The man must have hated himself (and perhaps denied it, hid it from him). His rationalization that those he killed were uncivilized and sub human beings would not remove the self-hatred he had.
Clearly some people are less civilized than others. However, what needs to be done is to civilize them. Build schools and provide all people with scientific education and thus bring them to par with other people; do not go about killing them just because they are objectively backward.
PEOPLE WITH GOOD SELF ESTEEM SEEK WAYS TO UPLIFT SUFFERING HUMANITY
Africans that put other Africans down, desecrate them have particularly low self-esteem; their low self-esteem is as bad as their ancestors who captured their people and sold them into slavery. People who have good self-esteem, who like themselves do not sell their people, and do not insult people. People with good self-esteem love their selves and love those around them, respect their selves and respect those around them.
If you have good self-esteem and you see poor people or suffering people what you are motivated to do is do your best to help them. People with good self-esteem uplift downtrodden mankind. They do whatever they can do to make sure that those around them feel worthwhile and value themselves.
EXISTENCE INDUCES LOW SELF ESTEEM IN PEOPLE
The conditions of existence can make human beings doubt their value and worth. We are born in bodies, bodies that will die and rot and smell worse than feces. Nature does not have regard for our safety, for volcanos, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, diseases and other natural disasters destroy us as they destroy other animals and trees. Nature has no regard for us and do not recognize our desired specialness. Nature sees us as worthless and treats us as such and these make us have low self-worth.
The least that we could do is defy nature and develop self-regard for ourselves. If nature sees us as worthless we do not have to agree with it and see ourselves as worthless. We can see ourselves as worthwhile and treat ourselves as such.
I know that nature treats me as if I have no value. I know that my body is going to be food for worms. I do not have illusions of who I am; as far as nature is concerned I am nothing. I do not have deluded self-concept (delusion disorder is an attempt to give one’s self worth, albeit grandiose self-worth when one perceives that nature treats one as worthless). I accept that existentially I am worthless. Nevertheless, I choose to repose worth on me and all people. I see me as important, I see all people as important. This is self-assigned importance, it is not importance given to me and us by nature or God (I do not acknowledge a God that is outside me; if there is God he is my higher self, our higher self, the point at which we all are joined and are one self).
OUR FUNCTION IS TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER
My function, my job, as I assign it to myself, is to help me and all of us develop positive self-esteem. I see it as my duty to make me and you develop positive self-worth.
How is this task accomplished? Simple. It is accomplished by respecting me and you and by loving me and you. Love and respect for all of us is what gives us positive self-esteem. Love yourself, love other people, treat yourself with respect and treat all people with respect and you find that you have positive self-esteem.
The moment you disrespect other people, do not love them, insult them, degrade them you have lowered their worth and in the process lowered your own worth.
What you give to other people you give to yourself. If you love other people you love you. If you hate other people you hate you. If you insult other people you insult you. Giving is receiving; what you give folks you give you for in the final analysis we are one. The other person is part of you, is your extension, and how you treat him you treat your whole self (holy self).
If you enslave other people, although you may have the delusion that he is separated from you and how you treat him is not how you treat you, the fact is that all life is unified, is one, so you enslave yourself.
There is one unified life, one life with infinite parts in it. Each of us is a part of that one life. All living things are extensions of that one life and of each of us.
Because other people are extensions of us what we do to them is what we do to us. Love other people means love you (for one thing if you love other people they will love you). If you hate other people they will hate you. As you treat the world the world will treat you.
We must strive to love and respect ourselves and all people. It is love and respect that gives us positive self-esteem.
MATERIAL THINGS CONTRIBUTE TO GOOD SELF ESTEEM
Material things such as food, medications, clothes, shelter are necessary for our physical survival.
I do not celebrate poverty. Poverty stunts the human mind. It is difficult for the poor to have the luxury to read and develop their minds. The poor people I see around me are too busy struggling to earn a decent meal and roof over their heads to have the time to do what improves the human mind. I would most people have middle class life styles and the few who have what it takes to become rich to by all means do so.
We do not have to worship poverty as some misguided folks tell us to do. We need wealth to live the good life. I like to travel and see all parts of the world. I like to be able to wake up and decide to go somewhere and call and make plane reservations and go travel and stay in good hotels. To do so I need money.
Money makes for good living and we must have money and not look down on wealth. Access to money contributes to developing good self-esteem. Poor people are usually not respected by other people. Since people tend to see themselves as those around them see them, if they are poor and other people see them as poor and not respect them that may dispose them to not respect themselves.
If you are a boy and do not have money you cannot take your girlfriend out to expensive restaurants and buy for her those things that make living pleasurable; and the chances are that you may not even be able to get a girlfriend! If you are married and do not have money I doubt that your woman would respect you. In fact many women would leave you if you are poor.
Money helps; no one should have doubt about that. But having had access to some money one needs to love one’s self and other selves if one wants to have positive self-esteem.
Africans generally do not have positive self- esteem; many of them do not even understand the indicators of good self-esteem. They seem to think that acting tough, verbally abusing their fellow Africans, while bowing down before white folks whom they over value and fear, and stealing from their people makes them have good self- esteem. No.
Those who have good self-esteem are generally calm and not boastful; they generally go about living their lives peacefully, doing what they enjoy doing and have aptitude in doing; they respect and love all the people around them.
People with good self-esteem do their best to contribute to social welfare rather than detract from it. Although there is no study correlating good self-esteem and ability to be a good student or high productivity in the work place I suspect that Africans low productivity is related to their general low self-esteem. My hunch is that if Africans improve their self-esteems they would become better learners and better workers and thus grow their stalled economies.
Whereas there is no correlation between good self-esteem and economic productivity there is correlation for good self-esteem and happiness. Those who have good self-esteem tend to be happy people, although happy people are not necessarily the hardest working people on earth.
We must help Africans, black Americans, white Americans, Arabs, slaves and slave masters to understand that they have low self-esteem and then teach them what constitutes good self-esteem.
August 30, 2012
This essay points out that fear alerts animals, human beings included to possible danger to their lives and force them to do what protects their lives in bodies. Without fear people will not survive the dangers that exist everywhere in their environment. If people were not fearful they would not be able to take actions to protect themselves and would die out. If people exist without fear it has to be in a different form, perhaps in a non-material form. Religions say that at root people are formless spirit; perhaps, in that mode of existence people would not have fear. But as long people live in bodies they probably would have fear and, as such, are prone to control by those willing to manipulate their fear of harm and death: governments, religionists and terrorists.
People Cannot Exist In Their Present Forms Without Fear!
I have studied fear and observed how its exaggerated form, anxiety, operates in persons with the various anxiety disorders. Fear is a noxious affect so I allowed myself to dream a world without fear and anxiety. What would a world without fear and anxiety be like? Could people be without fear?
FEAR IS NECESSARY FOR OUR SURVIVAL IN PHYSICAL FORMS
Fear alerts people to danger that could harm them or destroy their lives and urge them to take protective measures. Fear and pain arguably are the two most important variables in keeping people alive in body.
If you touch a hot object you feel pain. From that pain you learn not to touch hot objects (unless you like to be burned). The next time you see a hot object you fear touching it. Fear alerts you to the pain that you would feel should you touch the hot object and so you do not touch it.
Fear is a mechanism built into our bodies (nervous system and muscles) that alert us to danger and force us to run from them.
Fear response is characterized by fight or flight behavior. When something threatens your life, your brain, memory, quickly assesses whether you have what it takes to cope with it and if you do you stay and fight it; if you decide that you do not have what it takes to fight it you run from it.
These decisions are not made consciously; they are made for us by our nerve system (central and peripheral); those decisions are made involuntarily, unconsciously. Upon confronting threat to our lives, powerful neurochemicals, such as adrenalin, are poured into our bodies. The neurochemicals force us to fight or flee from the danger.
You do not first think about what you are going to do and do it; you just do it in a split second. Someone points a gun at you and you feel fear and run from him or fight him, you do not pause and ask: now, how should I respond to that son of a bitch pointing a gun at me. No, your body just reacts. Adrenalin is poured into your body and all your organs work faster: you inhale oxygen faster, you exhale carbon dioxide faster, your heart pumps faster carrying oxygen and glucose (nutrition) to all parts of your body to give them the energy they need to work faster, your nerve system works faster sending information to your brain, asking it how to respond to that danger and the brain processes the information faster and tell you how to respond and you respond accordingly.
In fear response, when you try to talk you do so rapidly for all sorts of chemicals have been poured into your body and they make your vocal chords talk rapidly, a mile a minute.
In fear, your body releases sugar which your blood carries to all parts of your body preparing them to work rapidly to fight or run.
When we are confronted by danger we experience fear and fear leads to the elicitation of all kinds of neurochemicals and neurotransmitters in our bodies and those make us do what we have to do to protect our lives, which includes either to run or fight what threatens our lives. The goal of fear is to protect us, to help us live in body as animals.
I do not believe that a human being can survive for a minute on planet earth if he did not have fear in him. Fear is operating at all times in our lives; the fear we know of at the conscious level is just the tip of the iceberg; there are all kinds of fear response going on in our bodies that we do not know about. The immune system, for example, is fear response; at any point in time millions of bacteria, virus and fungi are attacking our bodies, trying to make them their meal and our immune system feels attacked and defends itself, feels fear, sends out all kinds of antigens, antibodies to fight the germs and kill the little buggers. If they fail in killing the germs one becomes infected and get sick and may die from it. The immune system (a variety of fear response) keeps us alive!
DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS HAVE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF FEARFULNESS
As with all things human, different persons have different levels of fear response. Some people have more fear than others.
Those with more fear have anxiety disorder. There are even people with diminished fear response. Some children were born without the capacity for pain (and fear); generally they do not anticipate what could harm them and protect themselves by avoiding them. For example, the child may not take his hands way from a hot stove and it burns them. Such children generally die young from injuries they sustained because they were not able to avoid what could injure them.
For our present purpose, any human being that has survived childhood and is an adult has some fear in him. Some persons have less of it, anti-social personalities, criminals tend to have less fear response; and some have more of it, such as anxious neurotics ( DSM IV Group C personality disorders: avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, dependent and passive aggressive personality disorders).
IF FEAR IS ELIMINATED ANIMALS WOULD NOT EXIST IN THEIR PRESENT FORMS
If you eliminate fear and anxiety from people and animals they would not avoid danger and would be destroyed and die. In effect, a world without fear is a world without animals, human beings included.
Animals and human beings need a modicum of fear to survive in this dangerous world. Let me reiterate: if you eliminated all fear in people they would die.
Alternatively, if people have no fear they must have a different physical form, one that is not prone to being hurt, pain and death.
I can imagine a people without fear, but they must not have our current bodies; they must not be vulnerable to injury; in a word they would have to be immortal persons.
Only immortal persons can live without fear. Such persons cannot be in physical form. Why? As far as we know, the various elements (especially nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen) have to combine in a certain manner to produce the human body. That body, flesh is prone to pain and fear to enable it to do what it has to do to survive as a composed thing.
Death means the decomposition of the various molecules that form the human body; the molecules in turn decompose to the elements that formed them and the elements in turn decompose to the particles, electrons, protons and neutrons that form them. The particles in time decompose to the nothingness from whence they were formed during the big bang that got our universe going 13.7 billion years ago.
If you had human beings who are made of, say, only iron hence do not feel fear they probably would not have the brain to think as we do. We have to have flesh composed of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and trace elements to think as we do. If you eliminated fear from people and animals they would cease existing in their present fleshy forms.
The anthropic hypothesis in cosmology suggests that the universe seems to have evolved to produce human beings in their present forms; it further suggests that whatever exists in the universe has to exist as they are for the universe as we know it to exist. If you take away anything from the universe the entire universe would collapse and cease existing or exist as a different universe (it is speculated that there are infinite other universes; the multiverse idea even suggests that each of us has infinite versions of him in some of those infinite other universes).
If you removed sentient beings that feel fear the universe probably wouldn’t exist in its present form for it appears that the universe evolved to produce human beings in their present form.
The universe is a packet, and if you take away a part of the package the rest change or ceases to exist.
If you take away fear all animals would stop existing in their present forms; and if animals cease existing in their present forms the universe would cease existing in its present form. Fear must therefore be in animals for the universe to exist in its present form.
FEAR IS A NEGATIVE AFFECT; THIS MEANS THAT PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE MAINTAINED BY NEGATIVE THING
Fear is a negative affect. Fear and anxiety are noxious feelings and we do not enjoy them. In effect, our lives are maintained by negative affect, fear.
That which is kept in existence by the negative affect of fear must be negative. Thus, human existence is a negative thing, not a positive thing.
Love is a positive thing; it is positive because it gives people pleasurable affect. If our lives were maintained by love instead of fear they would be positive experience!
Professor Helen Schucman, in her book, A course in miracles says that at root our lives are rooted in love hence is a positive thing. She says that love unites; love exists in union not separation. She says that we invented fear to help us live as separated beings. She also said that we invented bodies and purposely made them vulnerable to pain and fear to help us separate from each other. Fear alerts us to what threatens our bodies and asks us to protect ourselves by either fighting or separating from it. Dr. Schucman said that what is going on in fear and pain response is that we make things make our bodies pained so as to feel fear and using fear to separate from what makes our bodies feel fear (people and things). She said that we came to this world to feel separated from each other and designed the world of space, time and matter to enable us feel separated from everything.
A course in miracles says that if we removed fear from our lives that we would experience love. Fear is a mask over love. In her view, love is unified self; we are always that unified self, love but chose to experience its opposite, separated self, and use fear to make separation seem real. The unified self, the loving self is fearless and is eternal.
The opposite of love is fear. Love is union; fear is separation. The opposite of union (love) is separation (fear).
We can get carried away by wooly metaphysics, so let us return to the real world of the here and now, the world we know. In our world if you love a person that person feels welcomed by you, feels joined to you, feels secure around you; but the moment you do not love that person he feels not joined to you, feels insecure around you and leaves you and goes to other persons who love him hence unify with them and feel secure and happy and peaceful.
If you love a woman she stays with you; the moment she senses that you do not love her she leaves you, for she feels insecure around you; she knows that if you do not love her that you could harm her, even kill her; so she leaves you and goes to those who love her for around them she feels safe, protected.
In love and around loving persons we feel safe and protected; in loveless situations we feel vulnerable, attacked and unhappy, unsafe.
If we did not have fear everything we do on earth would be different; we would not even think the way we think, for much of our thinking is shaped by fear and pursuit of security. We would not seek defenses (military). The national security state would be unknown to us.
There would be no slaves, for slaves exist because folks are afraid of harm and death hence those who threaten to harm and kill them can enslave them.
If we are not fearful we would not be prone to exploitation by governments. Governments exist to protect us from those who threaten our lives. If we did not feel threat and did not feel vulnerable why would we need governments to protect us? We wouldn’t even have governments if we did not have fear.
If we did not have fear we would be different kinds of persons. But all these are interesting speculations, they are flight from reality. The fact is that we have fear and we do feel insecure and need security. Our whole earthly existence is geared towards obtaining physical survival security (via food, medications, clothes, shelter, military, and police).
Let us leave what if questions and return to reality, the reality that we are a fearful people and our earthly lives are shaped by fear and what it makes us do.
I think that a universe without fear is a universe that does not have people who exist as we are; it would be a universe with different kinds of people, say, unified spirits that are eternal.
If we live in our present bodily form we will feel fear. The most that we can do is reduce our fears; we cannot eliminate them and still live in our bodies and in our present universe.
The drama of this world is maintained by fear. We form governments out of fear (to protect us); we recruit leaders and give them power over us because we are fearful and want some people to protect us. We establish religions and give priests the ability to pretend that they can save us.
Because we live in fear of harm and death we make it possible for terrorists to intimidate and control us by manipulating our fear of harm and death.
It is our fearfulness that makes the world we know as it is; if we eliminated our fears we would have no need for governments to protect us, no religions to give us a sense of security in God, no terrorists to intimidate us with threat of harm and death and control us.
Without fear we would have a different self and live in a different universe (perhaps the loving universe where joined spirits are said to live).
September 1, 2012
This essay says that normally people think that they would see themselves as important when they attain external goals, especially goals valued by their significant others and society. They pursue such goals with vigor and when they attain them they realize that they do not improve their opinion of their worth. The essay says that individuals must accept themselves as they are without regard to the attainment of anything outside of them. Self-worth is a gift one gives to one’s self, not a gift given to one by other persons. Only you can give you self-worth; other people cannot give you worth.
Nothing Outside You Can Give You Worth Or Detract From Your Worth
As I observe my progression through life, I notice that I have gone through many stages. When I was very young I was motivated to be liked by other people. I did my best to do those things which I believed would make people like me.
Later, I learned that one’s worth is not dependent on other people giving it to one. It is, of course, nice if other people liked and accepted and saw one as important but that is not the real condition for one having worth. Worth has no external condition whatsoever.
Worth is an internal, not external thing. If you posit an external condition that you must live up to before you gave yourself worth you have made that condition a sacred cow, your god and depend on it to give you worth.
The sad truth is that you could never live up to external conditions for worth. They are like perfection, if you posit an idea of perfection and pursue it the moment you attain it a better idea of perfection enters your mind and you embark on pursuing that one, ad infinitum. The goal post of what is perfect is always shifted and you can never attain it. This is because perfection is a mental construct, not a material reality.
In nature there is no such thing as perfect or ideal things; things are what they are, neutral, neither good nor bad. It is our minds that wish things to be good or bad and seek to make some perfect.
The truth is that you do not need the approval of other people or God or Jesus or any other assumed spokesperson of God to give you worth. This is because anything external to you cannot give you worth; other people are external to you and therefore cannot give you worth.
Even if all the people of the world give you worth, such as praise you, you would still feel worthless until you give you worth.
If God and Jesus are external to you they cannot give you worth. You can believe in God and Jesus all you want but as long as you believe that they are others and not part of you they cannot give you worth. Only that which is in you as part of you can give you worth.
If you conceptualize God as part of you, as your higher self, such concept of God may give you positive self-concept. But as long as you see God as another person, as not you, you can please that external image of God all you want and you would not derive a sense of worth from doing so.
You have worth for being who you are, a part of the universe. You are a part of the universe and no other person is you or can replace you. This is literal, not figurative truth.
Each of the infinite atoms in the universe is unique. No atom can replace another atom. Each atom is necessary for the existence of this universe. If you removed one atom from the universe the entire universe would collapse and cease existing.
If that is the case at the atomic level, it must be equally true at the human level. Every human being is necessary for the completion of the universe and the universe cannot exist without him (even when he dies he still exists in different forms, for matter is never destroyed but merely changes forms).
THE SELF CONCEPT
Human beings are those creatures with the capacity to understand themselves and their world. We are part of the universe that understands the universe.
Each of us tries to understand himself. He asks: who am I. What made me who I am? Where did I come from and where do I go to when I die? These sorts of questions lead to philosophical speculations and psychological cogitations.
Psychology has posited interesting ideas on the origin of the self-concept. These are conjectures but not the true explanations, for so far no one has figured out the origin of the self.
Psychology is not yet a complete science in the sense that its hypotheses, following the scientific method, can be tested in a laboratory and verified as true, and if not discarded; however, psychology would like to become one. Neuroscience, brain science, perhaps the most objective of psychology is descriptive of the brain but unable to explain how the brain produces concepts (thinking).
Each of us has a self-concept, an idea of who he believes that he is. Many factors go into the making of the self-concept. Clearly, biological, sociological and perhaps metaphysical factors go into the invention of the self-concept.
Social psychologists emphasize the sociological factors that play roles in the formation of the self-concept, such as how the child’s significant others (parents, siblings, extended family members, peers, teachers, pastors etc.) treat him. There is no doubt that if ones primary society loved and respected one that one tends to respect one’s self. In America, for example, until recently black folks were seen as uncivilized and treated with disrespect and that no doubt played a role in their deficient self-esteem.
The child’s inherited body plays a role in the etiology of his self-concept. Unfortunately, when psychologists talk about the role of biology in the formation of the human personality they mostly dwell on the brain. Of course we must understand how the brain works but it is not just the brain and its condition that plays a role in how children develop their self-concept.
The entire human body plays a role in the child’s self-concept development. Disorders in any part of the child’s body may play a role in how he sees himself regardless of how he is treated by society. But instead of paying attention to the entirely of the human body psychologists and psychiatrists stress the role of the nervous system in human behavior.
We are our entire bodies and when something is wrong with any part of our bodies it affects our self-concept.
I firmly believe that where there are mental disorders that biological factors played a role in their etiology. By biological factors I do not mean just the state of the brain.
Contemporary neuroscience would like to reduce the etiology of mental disorders to brain malfunctions (they now call mental disorders brain chemical imbalance disorders).
I believe that the observed chemical Imbalances in the brain of the mentally ill are probably the byproducts of biological disorders in many parts of their bodies.
The problematic dopamine we see in schizophrenics brains could have been produced by malfunctions in other parts of their bodies, or in all the cells in their bodies; the problematic neuropiniphrine we see in manic persons brains could be the byproduct of issues in every cell in their bodies, not just their brains; the serotonin issues we see in depressed persons brains could be the result of issues in other parts of their bodies; the GABA issues we see in anxious persons brains could be the result of medical disorders in other parts of the bodies.
Serious medical issues make a child to feel his life threatened and that arouses fear and anxiety in him. He then develops secondary anxiety disorder whereas the primary issue is whatever medical issues led him to feel his life threatened.
To heal his anxiety disorder, he does not only have to be given anti-anxiety medications, anxiolytics for those merely mask the problem; we must first understand the medical issue(s) that led him to feel his life endangered and treat it.
The same probably holds true in treating all mental disorders be they schizophrenia, mania and depression etc.; we first have to identify the medical issues that led these folk’s brains to react with the production of the neurotransmitters associated with their specific mental disorders. We have to heal those medical issues instead of concentrating on treating the secondary chemical imbalances in their brains.
In my view, brain chemical imbalances are produced as secondary reaction to yet unknown medical issues. In effect, I am saying that psychiatry is placing the cart before the horse. The biochemical issues it identifies with known mental disorders are probably secondary results of different primary medical disorders. This is probably the reason why psychiatry has not been able to heal one psychotic person!
Psychiatry is treating secondary issues not primary, causal factors in the etiology of mental disorders. If psychiatry discovers the primary medical disorders in its mentally ill people and treat those the brain chemical imbalances in such patients would correct themselves and they would be healed. At present psychiatry treats only the brain chemical imbalances in its patients and do not treat what caused those brain chemical imbalances hence do not heal any mentally ill person.
As I see it, biological factors in the child’s entire body, not just his nervous system, and social factors play roles in the formation of his self-concept.
Each child, as George Kelly pointed out, is like an engineer who uses the exigencies of his unique body and social factors to construct a self-concept for himself.
Given a different body and different social factors the child would construct a different self-concept (have different patterns of behavior, personality).
Every child, by the time he starts school, in most cases at age six, has constructed a self-concept for himself. That self-concept is modified by how other children and people relate to him but by adolescence is almost set in stone and is very difficult to change. The boy of thirteen is generally the man of sixty in personality structure.
To esteem is to value; good self-esteem means that the person values who he thinks that he is. To have negative self-esteem is to not value who one thinks that one is.
Mental health professionals aim at improving folk’s self-esteems, getting those with low self-esteem to have high self-esteem.
I believe that we must first understand the biological and sociological factors that play roles in the formation of self-concept before we can help people to change their self-esteem. Of course, the individual ought to strive to develop positive self-esteem.
There is no reason not to like one’s self. You do not have to wait to meet some external conditions before you liked yourself.
Self-acceptance must be, in Carl Rogers’s terms, unconditionally positive. One does not need to do anything to accept and like one’s self; one does not need to have other people like one before one likes one’s self.
However, having stated these truisms, the fact is that the state of the individual’s body plays a role in whether he likes himself or not. This makes it absolutely critical to study the individual’s inherited body and figure out issues in it, issues that affect his self-esteem.
The social factors that affect the individual’s self-esteem and self-acceptance or lack of it have been well studied and most people know about them.
The individual does not need any external conditionality that he needs to meet before he accepts his self. Nothing outside the individual can give him worth; only internal factors can give him worth. Worth is a choice that the individual chooses to have, there are no conditions that must be met before one values one’s self or feels that he is a worthy part of the universe.
No other human being has a right to tell the individual that he is not a worthy part of the universe. If any person arrogates to himself the role of telling other persons that they are worthless the individual should ignore him. Racist white folks tell black folks that they have less worth and arrogant men tell women that they have less value than men. Folks who say such things are mentally sick and should be referred to mental health professionals for psychological help rather than listened to.
All people, black and white, men and women are the same and coequal. All people have worth. Only the individual can give himself worth. When the individual understands and accepts that his worth is self- given no external person or factor can take it away from him.
August 31, 2012