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Michael Prescott said, “[I]t's rather sad to see people's intellectual horizons so narrowly constrained and their spiritual vocabulary so pitifully reduced. For them, if it's not in the Bible (as interpreted by their particular congregation), then it must be both false and Satanic.”

One could list other books and teachings venerated by various religions and cults and say the same thing. No one easily accepts challenges to their belief system so efforts to ridicule and demonize other beliefs are to be expected regardless of how sensible or evidential the new concepts are.

I don’t think of spiritualism with all that includes and implies as a religion. It seems more like a lot of scientific hypotheses to me, each one being tested to see if it is falsifiable or not. If it conflicts with the Bible, the Koran or Buddhist teachings, then that’s just the way it is. It is like Copernicus saying that the earth goes around the sun. The Catholic Church and Martin Luther rejected the heliocentric theory of Copernicus so much so that when Copernicus died he was buried in an unmarked grave, the Church apparently hoping that his ideas would be forgotten with him.

Eventually truth will win out, whatever ‘truth’ turns out to be and however long it may take. - AOD

This is the double whammy parapsychology always gets hit with. It faces tremendous knee jerk opposition from materialists and the religious.

"An intelligent comment, which naturally provokes an unintelligent response" - Michael P.

LOL. Love the subtle humor. Its funny because it is so true.

Needless to say, but I don't like Marianne Williamson's politics and policies at all. Nor do I care for new age self-help material like "A Course in Miracles'. However, I totally agree with the gist of what you wrote.

I am often surprised - for some reason - by the fanatical fundamentalism of a lot of Christians.

I was watching a youtube of a Catholic priest that specializes in exorcisms. I was engaged until he started deviating into a long list of ordinary activities that he stated were satanic - or at least the Devil's helpers. Basically, according to him, anything other than reading the Bible and going to church is following Satan's path to destruction and damnation.

I thought that maybe this one priest is an outlier. So I started clicking on related videos and all of the clergy in them were promoting the same ideas.

Is this some form of revivalism? Or has the church always held these views? I don't recall such a thing from my early days in Protestant and Baptist churches. We used o go the to the Armenian Orthodox church on special events and I don't recall it there either. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention or was too young to understand?

Great post, Michael.

What bugs me about such claims by fundamentalist Christians is that their God doesn't "represent."

Why not have Jesus himself or angels or whomever come down and make sure we are properly educated, that we know *exactly* what we are supposed to know? Why the preference for doubt and confusion? Why does God allow thousands of sects and non-Christian religions to proliferate? Why give Satan so much power to influence people?

Is it supposed to be a game of some sort? Whoops, you believed the wrong thing--enjoy your eternal damnation?

Or could it be that... there is no such "God" and thus the chaos is explainable as being fully human in origin. Hmm...

\\"Or could it be that... there is no such "God" and thus the chaos is explainable as being fully human in origin. Hmm..." - Matt//

It's not a game, it's a school, and the goal is to create as much duality and separation as possible so it imprints on the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate, unique, individual which is something that can't be learned in heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness that so many near death experiencers describe. This Earth life is a school and we simply learn here the things that can't be learned in heaven.

And if we knew absolutely 100% for certain that there was life after death and that one day we were going to be reunited with our loved ones that have died death would cease to be the powerful lesson in separation that it is.

It is in the "not knowing" that evokes the emotion that is necessary for our memory to remember the things it learns here on this planet. There is a strong connection between emotion and memory and the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

I could go on and on about this but I'll stifle myself for now. Suffice it to say everything happens for a reason, even the bad stuff. But the good thing is that after we cross over we'll look back on this life like it went by in the blink of an eye and that it was "Maya" an illusion.

Emotions Make the Memory Last

New controversial theory: Past, present, future exist simultaneously

Life isn't supposed to be fun and happiness all the time. Life is supposed to be hard and challenging and difficult because that is how we learn the things we came into this world to learn.

I have 30 graduate semester hours towards a Masters Degree in Holistic Teaching and Learning from the University of Tennessee's College of Education. What it means to learn holistically is that our lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and we are learning all the time even though it is not anything like formal learning. It is more like how a baby duck imprints on it's mother as soon as it is born and how our distant hunter gatherer ancestor's children learned how to survive.

We are here simply to learn what it means to be separate, unique, individual, what time and space look and feel like, what it feels like to have a body and be in control of that body, and also the parameters of that body - what "out there" feels like, and lastly to make memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe. People who have NDEs routinely say that the physics of heaven seemed to be very different than the place we are now. They say that there is an overwhelming feeling of oneness and connectedness and that time and space on the other side don't exist there like they do here. The physics of heaven is very different from the physics we normally experience here. But it will feel normal to us after we get there.

A newborn baby is pure consciousness, sentient, but an empty slate, and it spends the rest of its life exploring this universe. What it looks, smells, tastes, feels, and sounds like. It uses its 5 senses to learn about the Universe. It stuffs it's hands and feet in it's mouth and kicks and waves it's little arms around and slowly learns how to control them and in the process learns what "out there" looks and feels like. I don't know at what point that little soul enters that body or if it even needs to since consciousness seems to be everywhere so as that body goes about living it is learning just by being here.

Life seems to be one great big long lesson in separation though. From the moment we are born and separate from our mothers till the day we die and our death becomes a lesson in separation to our loved ones we leave behind life is a never ending lesson in separation. Religion, politics, race, language, dialects, wealth, education, I.Q., socioeconomic status, looks - weight and height, gender, sexual orientation, the list is endless we experience separation over and over and over again in life.

I have read so many NDEs that describe heaven as a place of love and connectedness and oneness so it seems to be the exact opposite of what we normally experience here. And I suspicion that that dichotomy between here and there exists for a reason. If you want to be a separate unique individual it has to be learned here. There is no separation in heaven.

And by the way I believe we get it all back. Everything we have loved and lost in this life I believe that it will be waiting for us on the other side. This side seems to be a holographic projection and from how NDEers describe heaven it seems to be the original holographic film from which this dimension is projected. One NDE I read said they went into a library or a "hall of learning" and the experiencer said that it seemed like the building itself was "made of knowledge." A.J. Ayer, a famous atheist, had an NDE and he was talking to a journalist and he said "you know it was strange, my thoughts became persons?"

"Why not have Jesus himself or angels or whomever come down and make sure we are properly educated, that we know *exactly* what we are supposed to know? " Matt

The church I attended as a child taught that you are supposed to look deep into your heart and mind and find the spirit of Christ there and then cultivate that relationship and listen and learn.

So I would say that meets your demand.

Eric wrote,

||So I would say that meets your demand.||

It does not seem to have resulted in a global consensus concerning the will of God. :)

When I was a kid my mom used to say to me sometimes "life ain't a bowl of cherries you know kiddo!" It wasn't until I was a whole lot older, and had done a whole lot of reading that I figured out that not only isn't a bowl of cherries... it isn't supposed to be. It is like there is some great big cosmic lesson plan and we experience these powerful lessons over and over and over again, enough to last us through eternity.

Pain imprints on the soul what the body feels like. Bits of information, or like a sculptor that takes a hammer and chisel and slowly cuts a body out of a block of marble. Every cut, every scrape, itch, scratch, bruise, bug bite, poison ivy, cut, the pain teaches the soul what "out there" looks and feels like. What it means and how it feels to have a body, the parameters of that body.

Imagine if you were pure soul stuff, and had never been in a body? How would you be able to empathize what all those people you see are feeling? How could you even begin to know what it felt like to be in a body? There are so many things in life that the only way you can learn about them is by actually experiencing them for yourself. Can you know what it is like to eat an olive if you have never tasted one for yourself? Or how about driving a car or riding a bicycle? The only way to learn how to drive a car is by actually getting behind the wheel and driving it yourself. Just reading a book about it or even watching a video is not enough. The same thing is true about making love to another person. Reading a book about sex or even watching a video, or even watching two people make love isn't enough for you to know what it feels like to make love to another person.

The alternative would be to be pure soul stuff, pure consciousness, but empty of thought, like a newborn baby, floating around in a sea of nothingness but not knowing anything. In order to have an idea of what separation feels like you have to have experienced it for yourself. The only way to know what it's like to have a body and what "out there" looks and feels like, what time and space looks and feels like, you have to first spend some time living in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe and experience enough of it that you remember what it was like to be alive and in a body and be limited by that body.

And the wonderful thing is that we aren't living just for ourselves. After we transition to heaven, because of those feelings of oneness and connectedness, we will have access to every lesson that every other consciousness in the Universe experienced. Like being plugged into the largest internet of "all that is" so that we can know what it is like to be a whale and dive down to the bottom of the sea or a golden eagle and fly over mountains and valleys.

If you were pure "soul stuff", conscious and sentient, but had never been in a body and hadn't experience time and space, and didn't have a clue what it meant or felt like to be separate if you had seen and experienced what Mark Horton experienced in his NDE you wouldn't have a clue what it was you had seen and experienced.

This is an excerpt from my most favorite NDE, "I had to merely think of a place and time and I was there, experiencing everything about the place and time and people present." - Excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE description,

I've been studying A Course in Miracles for over 10 years and I can say that when you read the original writings (the Ur-Text, which is in public domain and freely available for download), prior to when all the good stuff, the stuff that's relevant to our every-day lives, was removed during the editing process and the book was sanitized so as to be less offensive, the Jesus of the Course and the Jesus of the Gospels are very similar.

Modern, mainstream Christianity has more in common with the teachings of ISIS than the Church Fathers, or Victorian era Christianity (which contained a lot of occult practices) or even the preachers of the Great Revival. Modern Christianity is either 1. a social club that tries to avoid anything controversial, or 2. the wealth gospel, which is a blatant heresy and direct contradiction of the teachings of Christ, or 3. the worship of ignorance and belief in a world where everything from stage magic to Bigfoot are literal demons and the belief that a supposedly good God created a world with trillions of demons who have nigh omnipotence who are allowed to drag 99% of the population to Hell forever.

That said, I still think Marianne Williamson is a fruitcake who would be a total disaster as a President. She would cower and bear her throat to Xi Jinping or Putin and the Iranian Mullahs and let them carve the world up because to oppose them would be "mean", while racking up trillions more debt on worthless feel-good projects at home.

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