Tuesday, 06 December 2011 00:19

Do We Really Create Our Reality As New Agers Say?

Written by 

Science tells us that we are the product of events in the environment. In the beginning was the big bang. The Big Bang produced matter, space and time. In time those produced the galaxies, stars and planets. The planets produced biological life forms, human beings included. On earth human beings are not only produced but shaped by their natural surroundings. Nature produced people, produced their genes, bodies, personalities and everything they do.  In effect we are the product of nature; to say that we have free will and played any kind of role in our evolution is delusion disorder. Animals and plants are the product of the world they lie in; if any of them believe that they played a role in their evolution they are not only laughable but insane.

Delusion insanity is belief in what is not true as true. What is true, according to science, is that human beings are determined by nature; it is not true that they determine their fate. Human beings live for as long as nature permits them to live. They live because the sun provides the earth with heat and light without which they would not survive. In five billion years the sun would have exhausted its hydrogen fuel and would no longer fuse hydrogen to helium and produce heat and light for people’s needs. The sun would expand and blow off its outer reaches and become a white dwarf whose flickering light would not even reach the earth. Thus, the earth would die a cold death.

Actually, during the time the sun is expanding it would produce enormous heat, heat that would destroy all biological life on earth. Thus, the earth would go from a hot place that is too hot to maintain life to a very cold place, pretty much like Pluto, and unable to maintain biological life.

Simply stated, human life on earth is a product of nature and when nature changes life changes and eventually dies out. To say that human beings play a role in their existence is thus laughable and insane. People are the products and victims of their environment; this is the verdict of science.

We live in the age of science: physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and the other physical sciences; these sciences have triumphed and marginalized other ways of seeing things. The scientific method, an epistemology that accepts only materialism, is our dominant way of approaching phenomena. To go outside the scientific mode is to make one’s self a comic figure; very few persons these days take one seriously if one talks about human self-determination. The accepted paradigm of the age is that human beings are victims of nature; that is the philosophy of science, a philosophy backed with awesome data.

Yet in the face of this scientific perception of people as victims is the belief by some people that they play a role in their lives. I have been attending Unity Church, a new thought (new age) form of Christianity. Members of this church believe that they are co-creators of their world; they have this belief despite what science tells us.

Let me briefly review what this church believes and then subject their beliefs to some analysis.   First, here is a little history of the Church. Unity Church was founded in the late 1800s (1889?) by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, in Kansas City, Missouri. Apparently, this church was found in the wake of Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science Church and thus has a lot in common with it.

Christian Science was founded in response to the transcendental movement of the early 1800s. Transcendentalism was influenced by the recently introduced Oriental religions of Hinduism and Buddhism into America and the West in general. Apparently, by the early 1800s Hinduism and Buddhism, perhaps as a result of British rule of India, found their way to the West and Westerners began reading their literature now available in English, German and French. They reinterpreted their familiar Christianity in light of Oriental religions (the German idealistic philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, predicated his philosophy, as explicated on his seminal book, World as will and idea,  on Vedanta Hinduism).

Transcendentalism can be considered a synthesis of Christianity and Hinduism.  Transcendentalism was largely an intellectual effort by some of the forward looking thinkers in America, men such as Henry Thoreau and Ralph Emerson; these men tried to merge East and West intellectual traditions.  However, by the mid-1800s, folks who were not particularly intellectually inclined had latched onto the syncretism being made by transcendentalists and gave it mass appeal. Thus, in the 1860s Mary Baker Eddy clubbed together her understanding of transcendentalism, that is, Christianity and Hinduism, and used that understanding to found a new Church, Christian Science.

That Church, as shown in her book on health and spirituality, presented Jesus Christ as, more or less, like a Hindu holy man (sadhu), a healer of not only physical diseases but mental diseases. If one prayed in the right way, had a correct conception of God (as Hindu’s see God) one would be healed.

Christian Science spread all over America and Europe. Folks believed that if they had the right conception of God in mind and prayed to him that they would get everything they asked for.

As these things always happen, sooner or later, religious communities break into different sects. Folks with different interpretation of their collective scripture move away from the original interpretation of the religion they belonged to and found their own churches.

Apparently, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, husband and wife, originally toyed with Christian Science but believed that they improved on whatever was wrong with it and thus founded their own church, Unity Church of Truth. It is reported that Myrtle had some sort of deformity and healed herself through prayer and since it worked for her they founded a Church based on prayer as a means of healing physical ailments.

Of course their interpretation was not the last for other new thought churches, such as religious science, soon sprang up.

In the late 1900s the term new thought was transformed to new age but these churches essentially have similar beliefs.  Let me review their key beliefs as I gleaned them from attending Unity Church and reading its literature.

It is difficult to summarize the belief of a church and movement in a few words but I will try.  Ellen Debenport, a Unity Church minister, in her book, The Five Principles (Kansas City: Unity House, 2009), says that Unity philosophy can be put into five principles:

1. God is present everywhere and he is good;

2. Each human being is a fragment of God and thus is at root as good as God is;

3. Human beings create their experiences by their thinking; everything that happens in the individual’s life is a product of his thinking;

4. Prayer is a means of communicating with God and brings God into one’s life;

5. One must not only know about the laws of truth but must practice them, live them and make them real in one’s life.

Now, let us look in some detail at these five laws of truth. The first principle is that God is everywhere and that God is good.  If one accepts that God exists it makes sense to accept that he is everywhere. God created the world and must by logical necessity be everywhere in the world he created.

The world that God created is in God and God is in it.  God and his creation are not apart from each other. In the language of A course in miracles, the creation of God, aka God’s Sons are in God and he is in them; they cannot be separated.

Everywhere we go is in God. To say that we are separated from God is to go on a journey without distance.  Separation is impossible for ideas do not leave their source; we are ideas in the mind of God and cannot leave God’s mind. We are always in God; we always live in God even when we think that we are not in God.

God is love. Thus, we are always in the presence of love; we always live in love. Even when we think that we are operating outside love we are in love; we live in the presence of love while blocking our awareness of that love (with our egoism).

God is good; therefore, his creation, us, is always good, although we may mask that goodness by pursuing separated, egoistic goals.

The individual is surrounded by God and is part of God but not all of God for God encompasses everything in existence. Each human being is a part of God.

If God is everywhere it follows that each of us is in God. This is a logical proposition if the premise that God is everywhere is accepted.  Consider the following syllogism:

God is everywhere    (Major premise)

Human beings are part of everywhere (minor premise)

Human beings are part of God (conclusion)

If God is good and he is in people it follows that human beings are good. One must demonstrate that God is not good to say that human beings are not good. Is God good? How do we know that he is good?

In the empirical world we live in we see tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanos, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, plagues of virus, bacteria, fungus etc. destroys animals and trees, human beings included. Could it be said that a good God created a world where environmental disasters destroy people? A recent earthquake in Haiti killed 250 000 people; a recent tsunami in East Asia killed almost the same number of people. How could a good God create a world where such a dreadful thing could happen to his creation? Our common sense would see such a God as a monster and reject him.

A course in miracles tried to get around this conundrum by denying that God created the empirical world. As it sees it, God created us in spirit and we are always part of his spirit and mind.  But we resented his creatorship of us and wanted to go create ourselves and seem to have separated from him. Our world of space, time and matter is a world we invented to enable us seem separate from God. We now house ourselves in matter (body) and live in a world of space and time.  One is over here and you are over there and it takes time for us to reach other so we must be separate from each other, it seems.

If we created this world, then God is not responsible for the problems we see in our world, we are.  One therefore should not blame God for the earthquake and other natural disasters that destroy people; one should blame us; blame the son of God who created this world but do not blame God for he did not create this world. This way the writer of A course in miracles believed that she exonerated God of responsibility for the evil we see on earth, retained God as a good agent while blaming his son for being the evil agent that causes the problems we see in our world.

The problem with her logic is that she had told us that God is in his son and that God and his son are one self, and, therefore, if the son of God created this world it follows that God created this world through his son. In effect, God is still responsible for the evils of the world he created through his son. Hinduism did not mince words; it told us that the world is the dream of Brahman (and his parts, Atmans).

Unity is kind of like A course in miracles (the writer of A course in miracles, Helen Schucman, for a while attended Unity Church; her mother reportedly attended Christian Science Church…Unity influenced the Course’s philosophy); both see God as good and see our true essence as good but our temporal behavior as not so good.

Upon manifestation on earth, apparently,   we decided to not love each other hence are no longer as good as God. We came to earth to live as the opposite of God; the opposite of our true nature. God is love and we are love; we came here to live the opposite of love (hate). Love is union and we came here to live as the opposite of unified state hence separated state.

A course in miracles tried to retain goodness for the sons of God by saying that they are merely dreaming, that life on earth is mere dream and as such what is done in it, in dreams, have not been done.  Our true essence remains as God created us, love and good. We only dream that we are bad.

The pursuit of the chimera of separation leads us to dream that we are not love and good. All we need to do is stop seeking separation, and seek union and we return to the awareness of love, goodness, our true essence.

The sons of God dream separation (sin) but dreams are not reality; they remain as their creator created them: sinless, guiltless and innocent.

The murderer, the thief, the pedophile etc. did those things in a dream; his true self is still love and good. You have to overlook what you see him do on earth, in the dream; you have to forgive him to know that he remains as God created him. Ideas do not separate from their source. God is love and we are love and cannot separate from love and not be love.

Hitler is still good despite his mass murders, for he murdered in a dream and in actual fact has murdered no one; the children of God are eternal and no one can kill them.

The course says that all attacks, all evils are calls for love. The person you see doing bad things to you is doing those things to offer you an opportunity to forgive him (to choose again, this time love) and in doing so experience the love you already have for him. We already have chosen attack and hate, if not we would not be in the temporal universe; the attacker offers us another opportunity to choose forgiveness hence return the love we always are in eternity. If we forgive the attacker we experience the love (union) that is always there hence return to God. Therefore, the attacker who offered us opportunity to forgive him hence return to love is our savior. In effect, Hitler attacked us and if we forgive him he is our savior!

If you are metaphysically oriented and is inclined to accept this sort of reasoning you would accept what the course’s parent, Unity Church, teaches about God being good and us being good. But if you limit yourself to only our observable behavior clearly you cannot accept that people are good. You cannot accept that Adolf Hitler is good and that his creator is good. The only option left for you is to accept atheism; you are free to pursue that alternative path.

I will leave law number three to the last and proceed to four and five.   Prayer is said to be a means of communicating to God. When we pray we are talking to God. Since we are a unit of God and God is everywhere we might then say that a unit of God is talking to all of God. In prayer a fragment of God talks to all of God. Since God is in us, is our true self, we might then say that the God in us is talking to the God around us.  In prayer one communicates with the God everywhere.

Conversely, in meditation one silences one’s mind and allows the God everywhere to talk to one. In meditation one stops thinking, stays quiet and listens to God.

God is always trying to communicate with his sons but their ego chatters, their ego wishes for separation prevent them from hearing him. When they stop their ego chatters, stop wishing for their ego goals to come into being they attain inner silence and hear the voice of God that is always trying to talk to them.

As a course in miracles put it, when we separated from God and no longer listen to God, God created another God, the Holy Spirit, and placed him into our minds. The Holy Spirit is the immanent God (who is one with the transcendent God and also one with God the son; all three share one self and one mind and are one self, the Holy Trinity). As the Holy Spirit God tries to talk to us but our egos (replacement selves) are filled with ego wishes for separation) and do not hear God’s will for union. When we stop listening to the ego (separation) we hear the voice for God (union).

The ego’s chatter must be silenced for the voice for God to be heard; the voice for God is always talking to us but we do not listen to it; we listen to it when we shut out the egos voice, the wish for separation in us.

When we listen to the voice for God, the Holy Spirit, what we hear is a call to return to love, to return to union, to give up separation (illusion, dream) and to awaken to the truth of unified state.

As long as we desire to live in the temporal universe of space, time and matter, the voice for God reminds us that we are unified  and, as such, what we do to other people we do to ourselves; if we hate other people we hate ourselves and if we love other people we love ourselves.

In as much as we do harm each other in the dream of separation the Holy Spirit asks us to overlook the harms done to us to be able to awaken to our true selves. A black man must overlook white racism and slavery and in doing so see that white folks are still as God created them, love, they are not the monsters they seem on planet earth; and in seeing other folks as innocent one sees one’s self as innocent; in forgiving other people one forgives one’s self; but in not forgiving other persons one condemns them to the ego state and condemns one’s self to the ego state.

Prayer and meditation is a means of communizing with God; in one, one talks to God, in the other one listens to God talk to one.

The fifth principle says that one must not only know about the truth but live it for it to work in one’s life. As St Paul said, one must have faith in God but faith without works is useless (dead).

What is the use of knowing that God is love and good if one does not love and is a bad person?  One is part of God; God is love and good; to be true to ones godly self then one must love and be good towards other persons.

This view is so self-evidently true that it would seem to not need explanation, but then pause and ask yourself how many Christians actually live as Jesus Christ asked them to live?

Jesus asked his followers to love and forgive one another; how many so-called Christians love and forgive one another?

Is it loved to oppress people, to structure the economy so that only a few has all the wealth and the many are poor?  I do not see people who live as Jesus asked them to live hence I do not see Christians anywhere I look. I do not see Christians on earth!

Jesus asked us not to judge. Does not judging mean seeing Hitler kill people and not say that what he is doing is bad? Should we leave it only to God, the Holy Spirit to judge since we do not individually have all the information on what is good or bad, past and present to make sound judgment?

I am judgmental and do judge behavior that does not seem loving bad. From where I stand only behavior that cares for all people is acceptable. If ones behavior is hurtful to other people, I want society to arrest, try and punish one, putting one into jail, even killing one, as in capital punishment. The world may be a dream but in as much as we do not know that it is a dream and live in bodies and bodies do feel pain no one has a right to inflict pain on other persons and if one does one must be given a dose of pain to learn not to give others pain. (The Holy Spirit is not another person; it is ones voice if one is a loving person; therefore, listening to the Holy Spirit, the voice for God, does not mean hallucinating and hearing external voices talking to one; it means doing things according to the part of one’s mind that urges one to love all people.)

Now let me return to principle number three and dwell on it in some detail for it is really the subject of this chapter.  The principle says that our thinking creates what we experience; that we are responsible for our reality. Is this true?

As observed at the beginning of the chapter, science tells us that nature produced us.  If one accepts science’s epistemology one must reject the thesis that we create our experiences.  However, if one is open to alternative approaches to life and would like to explore them then let us think aloud; thinking is allowed by whoever created us and gave us the capacity to think.

Principle five essentially says that we are not victims of nature (other people included) and that we play a role in what happens to us. Is this true or false?

I will personalize the discourse for I know no other way to make it realistic.  Am I responsible for my life or am I a victim of existence?

Let us see; I was born with certain genetic disorders, Cytochrome c oxidase deficiency and spondilolysis. Cox is very fatal; most children born with it die in childhood and before they die they live in wheel chairs and suffer excruciating pain. Am I responsible for this biological disorder?

To be responsible one must have consciously chosen something, so did I consciously chose this disorder? I do not consciously remembering choosing this disorder. It would seem that science has won the argument and I am a victim of nature.

Science tells me that I inherited the disorder from my father (who has it) and from his grandfather (who also had it). Science attributes my bodily state to genetics and tells me that my genes were determined by the environment my ancestors lived in and ultimately by nature itself. The universe caused the disorder, I did not cause it.

Science sees me as a victim of nature and circumstances and exonerates me from all personal responsibility for my physical status.

This perception of me as a victim appeals to my ego; I would like to see myself as the victim of the environment. If I see me as a victim of the environment I could easily justify being angry at nature (and by implication at people and God).

Science offers humanity a very simplistic epistemology with which they easily see themselves as victims of existence and justify fear and anger at everything (and since the fearful and angry person is living in psychological pain, live in pain).

Despite what seems the self-evident nature of scientific rationalization something in me would like to see me as not a victim of the environment? Something in me refuses to see me as determined by nature. I would like to believe that I play a role in my life.

Perhaps, I do not play any kind of role in my life and merely have a fantasy, a delusion that I play a role in my life? If it pleases you, you could assume that science is correct and that I am not correct, that I am deluded and have false belief that I play a role in my existential status. From where I stand, I play a role in my existence. I have internal locus of control and authority and believe that I am in charge of my life; I do not see my life controlled by external factors although those affect me.

In that light, I believe that I am not a victim of nature and circumstances. I believe that somehow I play a role in my existence. If so how?

Since I was born with the said medical disorders how did I play a role in their etiology? The only way in which it can be said that I played a role in the genesis of the said disorders is to say that in a place other than this life time I chose them. That takes us to what folks call reincarnation.

This means that before I was born I chose to be born with whatever disorders I have; I chose to be born into the family I was born into; I chose to be born into whatever race I was born into; I chose to be born into whatever economic class I was born into; I chose to be born in whatever historical era I am born in. In other words I deny the role of accidents, chance and randomness in my life!

If so where is the proof that I made these choices before I was born? Alas, I do not have such proof!  I cannot prove my claims and therefore would have to leave them at the level of belief.

Science does not operate on the basis of belief and easily dismisses my beliefs regarding my choices in a different life time.

Some scientists probably would say that I am very desperate to convince myself that life exists beyond the grave hence cling to the absurd belief in reincarnation. All things being equal these persons are correct; but all things are not equal for I do not fear death and oblivion. If I die and finitude awaits me, that would be fine with me. I do not grovel to please any God so as to be permitted to live in so-called life after death.

My motivation for claiming life after death is to avoid seeing me as a victim of nature; something in my revolts at seeing me as determined by nature. Call this grandiosity; call it refusal to accept reality.

I know that all people and nature affects me as I affect them. We live in a general system where everything affects everything else. I affect other people and other people affect me.  Nevertheless, I do not like to see me as completely determined by other people. Call this ego arrogance, pride, hubris, narcissism, delusion or whatever suits your fancy but the fact is that something in me does not want to see me as a total product of nature.

I know that my body is part of nature but I think that something in me is beyond nature; I would like to believe that I have a soul and that it is beyond nature. I do not have proof for my position but such is my position.

If I chose to be born and chose the body I am born in, chose my parents (who simultaneously chose me), chose my social class etc. (I have no proof for these claims, mind you) it follows that I also choose what happens to me in this world. Here I have some evidence to back up my claim. The evidence is my personality.

I think that I have thorough understanding of my personality.   As I have pointed out in different parts of this book, personality, aka character, is fate. The individual’s personality is shaped by his biological constitution and social experiences.

Regardless of the forces that shaped it, once personality is in place it affects how the individual responds to other people and to life in general. I respond to my world in accordance with my personality.  I take the consequences that my personality’s response generates for me, good or bad.

As a child I was oppositionally defiant. Nobody could tell me what to do without my asking him to tell me why I should obey him.  I had a big ego and no person dared to impose on that ego. I had to be asked but not told what to do. If what you told me to do is reasonable I gladly did it and in fact did it better than all the other children around me. The only issue I had was being told what to do without consultation. First, consult me, explain to me why you want me to do something and if your reasoning is persuasive I would do what you asked me to do but if you are not rational I would tell you no. Once I said no to your request there is nothing that you could do to make me do what you asked me to do, even if you beat and killed me I would not change my mind. What mattered to me was what is right. If your command is not right I would not do it, period. Pointing a gun at me and trying to intimidate me into doing what you want me to do would not help you are all.

In adulthood I pretty much do only those things that my judgment tell me is right; I do not do what my judgment tells me is wrong regardless of the consequences. If I feel that I am in an unjust situation I immediately leave it.

I am not what folks call a militant, or activist who fights to correct bad situations, I simply walk away from them and try to be where I feel is good. Of course it would have been nice if I stayed and fought for justice but I am merely stating my nature, not my ideal self but my actual self.

I walk away from bad situations. I have walked away from jobs that I felt were not good for me. I was a university professor and felt that I was wasting my time and quit; in some cases I felt that I was in a racist situation and simply left.

The point is that I believe that I do make choices and that my choices affect what I get out of life. I tend to experience the consequences of my choices, as well as the consequences of other peoples choices.

No one is an island; we are all affected by what each and all of us do. I do affect you and you do affect me.  There is no such thing as the individual experiencing only the consequences of his choices; what one chooses one chooses for all of us.

A course in miracles got it right here when it stated that the individual’s choice is for all of us hence the need for one to carefully ponder one’s choices. Think about what you are going to do next for it affects not only you but all of us, especially those close to you. If you hate people you give them pain; if you love people you give them joy and peace; the choice of whether you give people peace and joy or pain is yours to make.

In sum, I believe that I, up to a point, determine what happens to me. I also accept that other people’s choices play a role in what I experience and my choices play a role in what they experience.

Those who talk about us creating our experiences often employ quantum mechanics to rationalize their view. I really do not have a need to rationalize my view; I simply believe that I am not a victim and that somehow I influence what happens to me; exactly how I do not know.

In as much as folks talk about quantum mechanics as possible rationalization for our choices let me briefly review the subject here, so that we are all on the same page and know exactly what it is we are talking about.

At the beginning of the twentieth century (in 1900) the German physicist, Max Planck, discovered quanta (particles of light).  In 1905 Albert Einstein wrote about the photoelectric effect of light and showed that light acts as particles for it knocks out other particles. In 1911 Ernest Rutherford discovered that atoms have an inner nucleus (protons). In 1897 J. J. Thomson had discovered the electron. In 1913 Neils Bohr noted that electrons circled around the nucleus. In 1920 Rutherford suggested that the nucleus might have another particle other than the proton, which he called neutron. In 1932 James Chadwick experimentally showed that Rutherford’s suggested neutrons are there.  Thus, we came to know that an atom of any element has a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons (hydrogen has only one proton…some isotopes of hydrogen has neutrons) and elections orbiting around the nucleus.  The electron is negatively charged and the proton is positively charged and the neutron has no charge, is neutral.  In the 1930s Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner showed that if the nucleus is struck with neutrons that the strong force holding it together would be split and energy is released. Enrico Fermi experimentally showed that this is possible. In 1945 the Manhattan project led by Robert Oppenheimer actually split the nucleus of uranium thus producing the first nuclear fissional bomb and the atomic bomb age was born. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were used as experiments to show how many people atomic bombs could kill.

In the 1920s Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Broglie, Dirac, Pauli, Born and others contributed to our understanding of the behavior of particles inside the atom.  They gave rise to what is now called quantum mechanics. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (that we can know where the electron is but cannot at the same time how about its momentum, speed and vice versa) gave rise to the notion that particles have magical behaviors. Schrodinger’s cat experiment contributed to the notion that the observer’s choice determined whether the cat is alive or dead but before he made his choice the state of the cat cannot be known.

In 1954 Hugh Everest posited that every possible outcome of any observation existed in different worlds. This means that there are many worlds and whatever one thinks has an outcome in one of those worlds.

Bell showed that if particles are entangled and later separated by distance (even trillions of miles apart) they simultaneously respond to whatever happened to each other without seeming to go through space and time. A particle at one end of the universe can affect another particle at the other end of the universe in no time. That would suggest that time and space do not exist; indeed, it would suggest that only one particle exists and, as it were, divides itself and seem to exist in several places.

The non-locality of particles added to the spookiness of quantum mechanics. Add to all these Einstein’s 1915 general relativity theory that suggests that time can be reversed, that we can technically know the past and future, that space is curved and  you see how folks began to see quantum mechanics as some kind of freak show of nature.  The funny thing is that all these seeming strange ideas are rooted in physics hence factual; they gave folks the impression that science has unwittingly discovered the mysterious.

The fact that in a quantum field every possible outcome seems possible (in different worlds) led new age religionists to believe that we choose the outcome we experience in life. The observer, out of infinite possible outcomes, as it were, chooses what he wants to experience, engages in behavior that would elicit what he wants to experience. He does so even when he is not conscious that he is doing so!

All the possible outcomes of behavior do not exist as a reality until chosen, Schrodinger’s cat experiment showed.  Wheeler, Murray Gell-Mann, Witten, Linde, Vilenkin and many other serious physicists seem to agree to all these seeming bizarre ideas.

Nevertheless, let it be said that physicists do not permit themselves to engage in philosophy (pure reasoning without empirical observation to back it) or mysticism (speculation about that which is beyond matter, nature). Physicists are aghast at what metaphysicians do with their quantum mechanics and certainly would disagree with how far folks take those speculations.

Quantum mechanics is experimentally verified and much of our electronic and nuclear industries are based on it but why it works no one can actually explain.

Now let us return to the idea that we choose our experiences, rationalized with quantum mechanics or not.

I must admit that what I focus on tends to happen to me. If I fear that something is going to happen to me the chances are that it would happen to me. I remember when I feared that I would be fired from my job. I did not like my boss and sought every opportunity to avoid him. He was homosexual and I did not like homosexuals. I felt that in his presence my disgust at his life style would show so I avoided him. It was clear to me that I had no respect for him. To me he lower than dogs and I wanted nothing to do with him. How could he do what homosexuals do: put his penis into another man’s mouth or anus and call that pleasure! He seemed more like Satan itself so I avoided him.

If one does not respect others it shows in ones demeanor and body posture. Obviously, my contempt for the man showed in my body posture and in the tune of voice I talked to him. Apparently, he recognized that I had no respect for him and one day called me into his office and said that he thinks that he and I do not get along well, that a director and his associate director ought to work as a team and we are not doing so, therefore that I ought to go find another job and gave me three months to do so.  In effect I was fired from my job. For our present purpose, what I feared happened to me.

Generally, what I fear tend to happen to me. Please do not ask me how it happens. Whatever I focus on, especially if it is negative tends to happen to me.

I must, however, say that what I focus on positively don’t seem to happen to me. For example, at some point I wished that I could win the lotto. I did not and gave up on the desire to win the lotto. I told me that I simply have to work for whatever I want and that there are no free goods for me.

The point is that I seldom get what I want on the positive side.  Someone could say that the reason I didn’t win the lotto is because I did not believe myself worthy of wealth or that I believed in working for whatever I want. May be so but the fact is that I generally do not get what I like but get what I do not like; I cannot explain it.

Some folks say that if one does not get what one wants that it may be good for one. They ask: how do you know that what you want is good for you, anyway?  Perhaps, the Holy Spirit, your higher self, knows what is good for you, as opposed to what your ego thinks is good for you, hence steers you away from getting what your ego wants.  That job that you were fired from was probably not good for you. That job you quit was probably not good for you. That girlfriend that dumped you was probably not good for you.  Winning the lotto probably could have led to developing bad habits that are not good for one.

We could go on and on talking about how your higher self knows what is good for you hence prevents you from getting what your lower self, the ego desires. Okay. Nevertheless, it would be nice if my conscious mind knows what I want and go for it and get it.

Having said all these seeming doubtful things, the fact remains that a part of my mind tells me that somehow it is I who create what I get in life. Why do I have that belief that there is no empirical proof for? I do not know.

Why does a scientist dabble in metaphysics, anyway?  Why not dismiss it as mumbo-jumbo and move on?

The relevant point is that somehow I believe that there is something to the belief that each of us is creating his experiences with his thinking!

I know that the perceptual world is our mutual creation and that it does not in fact exist apart from us. Consider that when we die we no longer see this world; that suggests that the world is projected out by us and that when we die the world no longer exists for us thus we created the perceptual world.

That brings to mind the old philosophical sore; if a tree falls and there is no observer to witness it fall did a tree fall? If we do not exist to witness the world does the world exist apart from us? You point out that we did not exist millions of years ago yet we observe bones of animals that died millions of years ago.  Still, it is us who observed those fossils. If we did not exist to observe the fossils did the fossils exist?  That is to say that the observer, us, makes the existence of the world possible; without the observer the world does not exist.  If so observers created their world.

DISCUSSION

It is difficult for me to accept that this vast universe sprang out of nothing and has no point to it. I choose to believe that perhaps our minds are incapable of understanding the nature of the universe. Consider the term nothing. It does not mean that there is nothing; it means not any particular thing, and not anything that we know of. Thus, to say that the universe came from nothing means that it came from what we do not yet understand.

Quantum mechanics tells us that out of nothing, or vacuum particles emerge and live briefly and disappear or are annihilated by their opposites. How do we know that they emerged from nothing? They could have emerged from universes that we do not have access to. Considering that they do not emerge randomly but come to perform a function and when that function is performed die we cannot say that they are random. We do not know that they died or that they even disappeared, for all we know they are still here but in an unseen manner, after all we know that 73% of the universe is made of dark energy and 23% is made of dark matter, meaning that 96 percent of the universe is unknown and unseen to us, only four percent is known to us.  What is in the 96% that is unseen by us and unknown to us?  We cannot assume that it does not exist and is nothing; we simply do not know what it means.

The share immensity of this universe fills me with awe. Consider that there are over 200 billion galaxies, each galaxy with over 200 billion stars. Our milky way galaxy is so vast that light takes 100, 000 years to cross it travelling at 186, 000 miles per second and 6 trillion miles per year. The nearest star to our solar system is Alpha Centauri which is 25 trillion miles away and it takes light over 4 years from it to reach us. The next galaxy close to ours is Andromeda and is over 2 million light years away from us. And these galaxies are part of super galaxies, super galaxies expanding away from each other. (It is said that in trillions of years’ to come the super galaxies would be so far separated from one another that the stars would lose heat and die a cold death. The elements would decay to particles and the particles would decay into radiation and nothing (no matter, but energy, light is energy, would still exist) would exist in the universe; only cold would exist). Our sun is 93 million miles from us and it takes light 8 minutes to reach us from the sun. Our moon is 250, 000 miles away and it takes light a little over a second to reach us from the moon.  Just image the speed of light, it is awesome. How could that be?

How did this universe come to be? We are told that out of nothing a point the size of a particle emerged and in less than a second exploded and sped off creating all the particles, space and time that now constitute our universe. Yes, our universe was created in less than a second!  The particles formed nuclei and those attracted electrons to circle them and elements were born. From those elements stars were born, planets are born, plants and animals are born! This is awesome.

How can a universe come into being in less than a second? In the Biblical story of creation it took God six days to create the world but it takes nothing less than a second to create the universe; is this magic or what?

I think it is magic. I think that there is mind at work in this magical universe of ours. A magical mind, the mind of a part of God (God’s son) wishing to separate from his father in a second projected this world out. In a second the all-powerful mind of the son of God, us, invented this world.

This tells me that our minds are very powerful. It tells me that we invented everything in the temporal universe and can change everything. With our minds we can recreate our world and make it a lovely place. Don’t ask me whether I have done it yet, I have not but I believe that eventually we shall be able to do it, and science would lead the way!

Unity Church members believe in what they call affirmative prayer and that makes sense to me. What we ask for and believe that we already obtained we get. This is magical thinking, of course. But have I not shown that a universe that came into being in a second is also a magical universe?

Unity Church members talk about the laws of attraction, that our thinking attracts to our lives what we focus on and want to experience. I say that this is correct. However, I would put it differently and say that we project out whatever we see in our lives.

This universe is like a dream; we project out what we see in it just as we do at night when we sleep and our minds project out a seeming real world and we believe it to be real until we wake up in the morning and realize that it was not real, that it was only in our minds; this world is in our minds.

All of humanity projected out the universe; however, local groups projected out their local experience; black folks, for example, projected out their current experience of oppression and those who oppress them projected out a world in which they oppress other children of God. The world is a place for our mutual oppression, a world of separation not of love, remember!

The world is our idea. What we can ideate we can change and ideate differently. We can choose to think loving thoughts and love all people and make this world a lovely place. I think that is what Jesus meant when he talked about replacing the kingdom of man with the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is love; the kingdom of the ego, man is lovelessness. The will of God is love; when we love one another we have obeyed the will of God; on the other hand, when we hate one another we have disobeyed the will of God and obeyed the wishes of our separating egos.

We cannot disobey God’s will for the world of union God created is always there; we can only seem to disobey his will in a dream setting. In truth we still obey the will of God for we still live in union and still love one another albeit unknown to us.

What we need to now do is consciously bring the kingdom of God into being by loving one another; we should forgive those who harmed us but not leave it at mere forgiveness but correct their behaviors by showing them what it means to love. Love does not harm anyone nor does it tolerate harm; love teaches love and corrects harmful behavior.

CONCLUSION

Members of Unity Church and similar new age churches believe that they experience only what their minds think about and what they attract into their lives. When I was acquainted with this belief it seemed nonsensical for I could look around me and see that what seem accidental events affect people. I could see children born with dreadful diseases and could see Arab Muslim terrorists attacking the world trade center in New York City and killing what seemed to me innocent people. I simply did not see how people in the twin towers wanted to experience death in the hands of Muslim terrorists and therefore could not believe the idea of experiencing only what we want to experience.

Upon further thoughts, however, I recognized that we probably come to this world in groups and groups do to each other what they want to experience. Group members experience what they want to experience from members of other groups for the awakening to the awareness of their true nature.

Upon coming to earth we forget our true selves and eventually do what would enable us remember our true selves.

Sometimes adversity and even death is most helpful for us in remembering our true selves, unified spirit selves. When we are in good circumstances we seldom remember God. As Jesus said, it is difficult for the rich to remember God; it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich man to enter heaven. What this means is that the rich seldom think about their souls but concentrate on the affairs of this world mostly. But when adversity befalls them they suddenly begin thinking about their soul’s journey through matter, space and time; they start thinking about God.

Arab terrorists attacking Americans offered many Americans the opportunity to start thinking about God. Americans had become self-satisfied and believed that they had made it and that this world is it and suddenly death visited them and they realized how insecure this world is and started thinking about a secure home, spirit.  Jesus, in one of his parables, talked about a rich man who did not pay attention to God and went to sleep and died. What he meant is that death can visit us at any time and as such we had better put our souls in good standing with God (love).

It dawned on me that the terrorist attack has some positive outcome; it made us return to the awareness of God.

At the moral level I could very easily say that both Arabs and Americans were screwing each other and that none of them are innocent. Arab leaders screw their people, sell their oil to Westerners and pocket the moneys. Arab masses suffer and blame Americans for their suffering, see Americans as in cahoots with their autocratic leaders and vent their anger at Americans by attacking Americans.

There are no innocents in this world. We all play roles in our mutual suffering (and joy).  Arabs felt attacked by Americans and attacked Americans; Arabs are not innocent for they attacked innocent Americans and by the laws of cause and effect call for Americans to attack them hence Americans foray into  Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, removing their governments (as in the Arab Spring).

This world is a bed we mutually made and sleep on.   We made a loveless bed where we feel pain but we can remake it by loving one another and feel secure.

I conclude by agreeing with new age religionists that we individually and collectively experience the world we produced with our thoughts and actions.

Read 1322 times
Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

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 Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176