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