Consider some stuff

I often hear of, or run across people who espouse all sorts of ... well, quite frankly, incoherent, contradictory ideas and beliefs.

Here's a few ideas that might reset standard thinking.

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Consider some "stuff" of which the entirety of existence is composed. Not physical, not even necessarily spiritual. Let's just call it "stuff", or if you like, "energy" or better yet, "energy-stuff" (in light of Einstein's E=MC2 that matter is energy and vice versa, so "energy-stuff" accounts for both matter and energy).

Now, this "energy-stuff" is, by definition, literally everywhere, in everything, everyone one, every thought, God, Evil ... it's literally everywhere. In fact there is no place it is not. Given its ubiquity, we can say it is "one-energy-stuff"1.

If we want to believe that some spiritual beings or others are not composed of this one-energy-stuff, we need ask of what they are made. Whatever that is, it will ultimately need to be made of said "one-energy-stuff" in that said one-energy-stuff is the ground energy of all existence. No exceptions.

Now it gets interesting.

Making God small. Not good.

The white-bearded guy in the skyWhile at a social function recently I got chatting with some religious people who started to talk about how we're all 'fallen', sinners in need of saving, and how we're all needing His forgiveness, and so on.

Now, from a systems perspective this all makes no sense.1

So I asked, "if God is infinite, isn't all necessarily WITHIN God? After all," I added, "if we and all else, including evil is not of God, then we're outside and beyond the infinite — and that would make us and evil bigger than God. That would make God small relative to us, and relative to evil."

"Best not do that," I said.

"Think of it this way," I explained "God is infinite ... literally that means "He" has no limits — he's everywhere, and in everything, everyone, every spirit, including Evil. In other words, everything and everyone is of God.  It's His energy that's behind all the muck-ups, and the beautiful wonderful things, and ..."

If all — including Evil — is not God's creation then that means "He" has limits to where His creative energy goes. That makes Him small. Best not do that.

If it's not His energy, then it's someone else's, but that again means He has limits to where His energy goes.2

Pretty straight-forward, I would think, to understand all this.

All God, all good

Yesterday had an interesting, somewhat intense discussion with someone who confessed to being a Christian.

It seems to me that there are some very simple, fundamental errors in thinking by Christians (as a general rule — and don't get me started on rules, systems, probabilities, and individuality. "We're all individuals"  yeah, yeah, I'm not. Kudos to Monty Python. But i digress).

Rest-stops in the sky

[update, October, 2016: see below]

Over the years I've come to more fully appreciate the extent to which many people seek refuge in illusory ideals ... be it religious perfection, or scientific certainty.

As I've explained elsewhere on this and the Belief Institute website, the ideal of perfection (and of perfect scientific certainty) was born around the time of Plato, and has persisted ever since. In spiritual new-age teachings and practices, it's the seeking of spiritual perfection — of transcending one's ego and finding one's perfect higher self1; in religion it's the perfection of God and of the Pope's infallibility; in science it is the certainty and control of life expressed through some equation or theory, perhaps most tellingly exemplified by the incorrect and unsupportable assumptions surrounding the solutions to Zeno's Paradoxes that date back nearly 2,500 years.

An ego by any other name still smiles like one

Last night while enjoying a wonderful dinner I had the pleasure of engaging conversation with a number of intelligent men on matters philosophical.

It became evident that some held beliefs that were rooted in the ideal of perfection: the age-old belief that when we get 'over there' or perhaps 'up there' everything will be 'perfect' (at which time, we'll have 'transcended' the troubling, fault-ridden ego).

Calling Gurus to Account

There appears to be a large and significant blind-spot in the awareness of many people. This blind-spot can’t usually be seen or recognised directly. Like a galactic black-hole, we usually only learn of its presence by how it sucks the life and light out of surrounding bodies — in this case, ourselves and others in our communities, cities and world.

We can learn of its presence by the high and growing incidence of depression which is now recognised by the World Health Organization as “the leading cause of disability.”1

To some extent this black-hole, or blind-spot can be ignored by being busy, taking drugs, acquiring wealth or enjoying ourselves … but it remains in the background, sucking the energy and light from all. And no more importantly is its effect felt, than in the area of health and wellbeing .. the main focus for my contributions to this column.

It’s about time

I recently learned of this ‘blind-spot’ after reading about a self-development teacher who had achieved success; met and positively influenced world-leaders, and done or achieved many other wonderful things.

Why then did I feel deflated after reading about this person? Was it that, by way of comparison, I was left feeling inadequate, or a failure? Was it because I felt I hadn’t achieved great things?

No, I realised it went deeper and after sitting quietly and reflecting on the cause, recognised it … the blind-spot that many of us, if not most, don’t seem to notice. Part of the reason it is not recognised is that it is so simple to feel – it’s too obvious and taken for granted. So we ignore it.

What's wrong with science, religion & new-age

In the midst of the 'swine-flu' scare a while back it struck me ... how science, religion and various new-age philosophies are very similar.

The swine-flu scare has gained considerable media coverage, despite 30+ years of research confirming that physical things (bugs, bad genes, obesity, bad diet) account for a minority of the cause of disease, disability and premature death. We now know it is poor 'psycho-social eco-systems' that are the majority cause of early death and illness. But still the panic, or at least the media hype.

It's clear ... they each (in a strikingly similar manner) place the 'cause' of life 'out there' -- with religion it's God, with science it's 'chance' and new-age it's the planets, or some set of numbers or some reclusive soul that never seems to show up when it counts.

Psychic abilities and skeptics

Being skeptical is perhaps one of the easiest means by which to protect ourselves from silliness, naivety and from being enlisted into the ranks of 'space cadets'.

Skepticism (or scepticism) naturally motivates one to question, to devise experiments, or thought-experiments to test the credibility of ideas. And asking questions is, in my opinion, one of the most noble, useful and valuable tools anyone can possess. It could be argued that a healthy scepticism amongst the populace and judiciary would have seen off some of the more pernicious superstitions and crowd behaviours in times past, such as the executions of those suspected of being witches during the Salem witch trials.

But from my experience the not-so-good side to being skeptical outweighs the benefits. Being quick to dismiss claims of religious, spiritual, or psychic experience leaves one closed to possibility, and closed to finding deeper congruent frameworks of belief. As I have found, that closed-mindedness can result in quite debilitating health issues.