Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The All Knowing God

A man is dying. As his world fades to black it seems that all is lost and the end of his existence is near. Now he is dead. The velvety black of nothingness is all around. Yet, surprisingly, the man is still aware. This is shocking to the man because he was an atheist and a materialist.
"How is it then that 'I' am still aware?" the man asks himself.
As soon as he has asked the question, something enters his awareness. Suddenly there is a singular point of light far in the distance. Something seems favorable to nothing, so the man turns all of his awareness upon that light. As he does so, the light grows larger, or possibly draws nearer, the man isn't sure which. Soon the man is engulfed by the light. The light is the only thing the man is now aware of.
Much to the man's surprise, the light begins to communicate with him. The light does not communicate with words, but with instantaneous thoughts. Even more amazing is that the man feels overwhelming love coming from the light. It is a love that is complete and fills every part of the man's awareness. The man, now wrapped in overwhelming love, begins to think of questions and the answers come lightning fast, even before the question is even complete. The exchange is over in a mere instant. But, if we could write it out (an impossible task), it would look something like this:
"Am I dead?" asks the man.
"Yes" the light replies. "At least what you think of as your body has died, you are quite alive."
"Are you God?"
"I am known to many by that name. I am you. I am your neighbor. I am the woman you married. I am the kids you raised. I am the outcast you bullied. I am the dog from the shelter you adopted and cared for. I am the blade of grass in your yard. I am the flower in the field. I am the bird in the sky. I am the sum total of all life everywhere, in every universe, in every existence. I am."
"Why do you love me?" asks the man. "I never believed in you."
"I have already answered that question. I love you because you are me. Because I love myself, I love you also."
"What is my purpose?" asks the man.
"The same as it has always been, to go forth, to learn, to grow, to come back to me. To know what life is, as many times as it takes."
"I have been here before?" the man asks.
"Many, many times. Always. You have always been here. Always you return here to me. You have always been and you will always be. You will remember all of this soon. You have only forgotten."
"Why do such awful things happen in life? Things that are unfair? It's part of the reason I never believed in you."
"These things happen because you are still growing. Take heart though, you are getting better each time you go back. Last time you were there you killed a woman during a drunken argument."
"I killed someone in another life?"
"Yes. Many times."
"How many?"
"All of them."
"Like I've said, you've been back there many times and you have done many things. Don't despair though, you're getting better at it. You hurt many people in this last life but at least you didn't kill anyone."
"So, when I go back there will be no more killing or murder in the world?"
"No, I never said that. You are thinking in terms of timelines. There is no 'time'. When you go back you go back to another place on the wheel and must endure what is taking place at that point. It is all in your best interest, to help you learn and grow."
"So every person I have ever hurt was me hurting myself?"
"I suppose you could look at it in that simplified manner, yes. But don't be too hard on yourself. Like I said you are getting better. You didn't kill anyone in your last incarnation. It looks as though your killing days are at an end. You have learned that the trauma of taking another's life should not be greater than the desire to protect your ego. Now you can begin to understand life from the point of view of love. It will start slowly at first, but build over many incarnations."
"How do you know this?"
"Because it has already happened."
"What has happened?"
"Wait, I'm lost. So, you're saying I've already incarnated many times and discovered the secret of love and life and now I'm done?"
"No, I have, you still have more to do."
"More what to do?!?"
"I am the sum total of everything, all experiences, an infinite amount of experiences, experiences without end. Your experience becomes a part of me. Each time you come back here your experience integrates in with the rest. But all of this has already happened. You have only recently come back and so you are still somewhat enslaved to the idea of 'time'. You are still trying to put us into a timeline. But we don't fit. I am all timelines infinitely for all eternity. Eternity is not a 'long time'. It is a single solitary moment without end. All has happened within this moment. I am you and you are me but you are also only a tiny portion of me and so you are having trouble grasping all of me which is also all of you."
"So, I am only a part of you?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes."
"Like how much a part of you? Can you give me a fraction or something?"
"You are an infinitely small part of me, the smallest part possible. But the whole is contained within the part so you are very much me and I am very much you."
"So, I am telling myself this at the moment?"
"I suppose you could look at it in that simplified manner, yes."
"So... what is the end game? What is the answer to all of this?"
"I don't know yet. You have more incarnating to do."
"But you said I was finished... I mean... you were finished. Ugh, you know what I mean!"
"There is no end, there was never a beginning either. Yet, the infinity of all experience has happened within this moment and that is the "I" to which you now speak."
"So then what is the answer!?! The answer to everything!?!"
"We both already know, you have only forgotten."
"That's a good start. But love for what? Come on, you remember."
"Love for all."
"Love for all what?"
"Love for everything. Love for everything of all time for ever and ever without end!"
"Yes! And why?!?"
"Because to know is to love, because experience is knowledge of self, and knowing myself is pure love and bliss because I am all that is knowing, and I can see that I am infinite and beautiful and without end, for all time, for ever and ever!"
"Yes! That's it! You remember!"
"Yes! I remember!"
"Great! It's time to go back!"
"Back where?"

Friday, February 7, 2014

Science believing Christian's response to creationist Christians

The problem with the Nye/Ham debate was that it accomplished little and further polarized both sides. As an ex-YEC I can say with all honesty that I know and understand Ken Ham's arguments. And let me tell you, no amount of scientific truth from Bill Nye or anyone else can change Ken Ham's mind on the subject. As I have learned in my own life, change truly only comes from within.

There are those of us who fall somewhere in between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. Well, actually much closer to Nye, but we also happen to believe in a God who creates through naturalistic processes. We believe that you can be a Christian and a believer in evolution. More specifically, we believe that there is deeper meaning and purpose found among the chaos and beauty of the universe. This is what separates us from pure materialists.

Matt Stopera from BuzzFeed was on hand at the debate and he came up with a clever idea. He asked to 22 self-identified YECs to write a question or message to "the other side." What he got highlights some of the problems with a fundamentalist view, namely that it drives intellectuals away from the Christianity because of it's blatant denialism and science illiteracy. So, I decided I would write a response to my fellow believers who happen to be YEC.

Let me say right now that I don't think I am better than these people. I'm not trying to make them look stupid or make myself look good. What I am trying to do is first, show non-Christians that not all Christians are fundamentalists, and second, let free-thinking Christians know that they are not alone in their beliefs.

Here is the article:

Here is my response to the questions (well the ones that are questions anyways):

1. Bill Nye, are you influencing the minds of children in a positive way?
He probably is. He had is own T.V. show for kids that was excellent and inspired many to think and learn in more critical ways as well as providing solid science education.

2. Are you scared of a Divine Creator?
I personally believe in God so, no. We probably would have some sticking points on what a divine creator is though.

3. Is it completely illogical that the Earth was created mature? i.e. trees created with rings… Adam created as an adult...
Let’s take this question one step further and ask if God would create a fossil record or remnants of supernovas that are mucholder than 6000 to 7000 years just to make the universe look “old.” Yeah, that’s a little illogical, and misleading.

4. Does not the second law of thermodynamics disprove evolution?
Sigh, no. It’s about an overall increase not an increase within one system. The earth is not a closed system.

5. How do you explain a sunset if their is no God?
“Their”? Seriously? Well, I believe there is a God, and granted, sunsets are beautiful. But, there is a completely natural explanation for sunsets, I assure you.

6. If the Big Bang Theory is true and taught as science along with evolution, why do the laws of thermodynamics debunk said theories?
They don’t, see question 1.

7. What about noetics?
Well, I have leanings toward monistic idealism so we could probably talk. Not sure what angle you are working to fit this in with a literal interpretation of Genesis though. This is a weird question.

8. Where do you derive objective meaning in life?
From the fact that “I am”.

9. If God did not create everything, how did the first single-celled organism originate? By chance?
From the beauty and complexity of self-replicating proteins and enzymes, from chemicals that arrange and copy themselves simply by the way the bonds are arranged and how they attract other specific bonds in repetitive ways. By chance from a completely naturalistic standpoint. By the thought processes of God from another standpoint.

10. I believe in the Big Bang Theory… God said it and BANG it happened.
This is not a question so consider this not a response ;)

11. Why do evolutionists/secularists/humanists/non-God believing people reject the idea of their being a Creator God but embrace the concept of intelligent design from aliens or other extra-terrestrial sources?
Should be “there” not “their”.
What are you talking about? Maybe you are referring to transpermia? This isn't a way to sidestep life arising from natural processes but rather one theory about how life arose on earth specifically.

12. There is no in between… the only one found has been Lucy and there are only a few pieces of the hundreds necessary for an 'official proof’.
Simply not true. Lucy is one in a long string of potential ancestors found. There isn't a perfect linear progression from all of these fossils to us either. By studying the fossil record and genetics we see that there were many starts and stops as well as a lot of interspecies breeding.

13. Does metamorphosis help support evolution?
It probably evolved as a way to alleviate competition of resources between young and mature insects. It worked really well and nature has had a very long time to refine the process.

14. If Evolution is a theory (like creationism or the Bible) why then is Evolution taught as a fact?
Because that is what is observed in nature.

15. Because science is 'theory' – not testable, observable, nor repeatable, why do you object to creationism or intelligent design being taught in school?
Science is not a theory. There are just too many issues with this question for me to answer it. Also, intelligent design is NOT the same as creationism. If you were a true disciple of Ken Ham you would know this.

16. What mechanism has science discovered that evidences an increase of genetic information seen in any genetic mutation or evolutionary process?
Quite a bit actually. Next?

17. What purpose do you think you are here for if you don’t believe in salvation?
I’m going to guess you mean what is our purpose outside of God? We can never be outside of God. We can choose not to show love at times but we are always a part of God. God created the cosmos, we made of that same matter. Our consciousness flows from God’s consciousness.

18. Why have we found only 1 ‘Lucy,’ when we have found more than 1 of everything else?
See #12. Lucy represents a single step in a long line of stops and starts.

19. Can you believe in ‘the big bang’ without 'faith'?
Yes. It’s when you try to answer the deeper questions about the causes of the big bang that you begin to rely on faith.

20. How can you look at the world and not believe someone created/thought of it? It’s amazing!!!
I like your question the best because you associate creation with thought. That’s really deep and it just so happens to be what I believe about God’s creative process. And yes, it’s amazing.

21. Relating to the big bang theory … Where did the exploding star come from?
Let’s sit down and have a long, long talk about science literacy in the U.S. today. If you think the big bang was an exploding star then you really aren't ready to debate anything science related. I mean really, this is a little sad. And, if you went to a public school, it speaks volumes about how we support and fund the education process here in the U.S.

22. If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?
We didn't come from monkeys. Modern primates share common ancestry. Thanks for playing though.

I'll end with a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson:
"One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview—not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. The really striking thing is that it would not take much effort to establish validity in most of these cases… but people prefer reassurance to research." 

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Dark Demons of Extremism

We all suffer from bouts of extremism, some of us more often than others. This sickness is the result of being so near to an issue that it eclipses your view of the rest of the world. Most of us however, quickly recover from these temporary afflictions of ego. We can safely autocorrect ourselves back on the healthier path to a more open minded world view. But sometimes a person places themselves so close to an issue that they are sucked into it, like a star being ripped apart on the edge of a black hole. This is where an individual passes the point of no return. They unknowingly create their own event horizon. It is in that moment, when the boundary has been crossed that they have succumbed to the dark demons of extremism. These are the fallen angels of our own good intentions. We must slay these demons before our own ego allows them to manifest. If we do not, they will posses us and use our bodies for their own desires.

What is their desire? Violence. Violence against those who would show love and compassion to others. As we watch events unfold around let us recognize that some people are driven by extremism. Let us take a moment to reflect on our deeply held beliefs. Is there something inside of you that you would be willing to chose over showing love for another person? If so, you might want to take a step back and take a wider view. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked in too deep. Remember that the greatest thing you can do in life is love other people. Everything else passes away.

Monday, February 25, 2013

an enjoyable evening

i imagine death as a quiet evening gazing at the stars
labouring to breathe and lying in pain
my final breath is exhaled with my spirit
i can still hear those around me say
“what a shame”
the light fades to black as i marvel at how it is so easy to go
the last flicker of comprehension wavers like a candle flame
now i am only a smoldering ember
just as it was when the light first roared to life
as i am about to dismiss all that is me
a thousand tiny fires spring to life above me
i sit quietly for an eternity and ponder their meaning
after a short while the sun rises again
eternity is washed from view

beyond me

when i gaze into the reflection of a quiet pool i see the world beyond
though the cares of this world drag me down i still find relief
in the decaying leaves that i trod underfoot
for i am reminded of the infinite cycles of life and death
i take solace in the rays of sun that stream down through green leaves
it is comforting to know that nourishment comes from afar
we are adrift in an endless ocean of glittering black
and like a fowl that glides silently across the pond
our lives leave ripples that spread out slowly across all time
i will find comfort when winter comes for me
i will not waste away though the cold chills my bones
because i know that summer comes again
and the forest blooms once more


the rock's story

i am a rock on a cliff
overlooking a river
you glance at me then walk away
without hearing my story
so i will tell it now
though i doubt you would listen
i was born from the remains
of collapsed stars
a trail of interstellar dust
stretched thin by the tug of gravity
gravity, which won out in the end
and pulled me back together
swept up in the tide and piled
high until the Earth appeared
for eons i cooled and rested
until i lost my fiery glow
then i waited through heat and winter
crushing cycles of hot and cold
shaping me, breaking me
making me who i am
watching life spring forth
only to be beaten
then fight it’s way back again
slowly it takes root all around me
i may look old, and worn, and weathered
but i am still young
i watch trees sprout, grow, and die
all within a blink of an eye
i feel the moss crawl around me
in swirling eddies of tickling green
night and day are a blur to me
then you come along
and pay me no mind
but i will still be here
when you are dead and gone
watching over the cycles
that make me who i am
long ages will pass
i will watch the sun set on life
for the final time
then i will wait here
lonely, with my brothers
until the Sun expands and consumes me
i will glow once again
then with an explosion of light
my guts will be propelled back into the void
and i will wander among the stars
till at last the rocks
are gathered together again
and my story is told anew