Blog powered by Typepad

« Dreamcatchers | Main | Civil war, what is it good for? »


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.

I am not a fundamentalist Christian, therefore, my view of ACIM is not based on such a stance.

One problem with ACIM, is that it speaks as if God has nothing to do with this world, because everything God creates is perfect. Or in other words, something other than God created this world. The question is, Since God is the ultimate creator of everything, didn't he also create that which created this world? If so, then how could this something be imperfect enough to create something imperfect, if everything that God creates is perfect?

If a person allows his or herself to be deluded by the idea that God doesn't have anything to do with this world, such person might create a barrier that makes it difficult to experience God while in this world. Many people have found that it is possible to experience God's presence and love while in this world, as long as they don't place barriers that prevent such conscious interaction.

ACIM says that we don't need to be concerned about the suffering that takes place in this world, because it doesn't exist. This world isn't the first and final reality, but it exists while we experience it. If you see somebody suffering, they are in fact suffering, regardless of how many times you repeat lessons 1-365. By the way, does it really seem sensible that Jesus would dictate a one size fits all 365-day affirmation course, that could lead people to becoming indifferent to the suffering that takes place within this world?

ACIM makes too much of an issue of ego. It speaks of ego in a manner that doesn't match what ego is actually about. There is nothing wrong with having a sense of self. It wouldn't be possible to share love and oneness with another soul or God in substantial and reality based way, if our souls didn't exist in a substantial way. People who claim to be beyond their minds and ego, use a portion of the individual mind they deny, to come to such a conclusion. After all, how could pure awareness do such a thing? It is too formless to do anything accept be aware. Because the awareness aspect of being is inseparable from the mind and creative aspects of being, it is able to create things it can be aware of, including love, peace and joy.

ACIM claims that only that which is changeless is real. This isn't true. The awareness, creative and mind aspects of being all come from God. It is not wrong for God to use all aspects of his being. As long as God, or us, use our mind and creative aspects of being in a wise and loving way, there is no problem with using such aspects. Souls purposely incarnate into this world because the challenge doing so provides, helps them gain the wisdom that enables them to use their mind and creative aspects of being in a wise and loving way.

I am able to communicate with spirits. I have prayed to God and Jesus several times and asked them if ACIM comes from Christ, and each time I was told in a visual symbolic way "no.' I have found that I can receive spirit messages through dreams, and a couple of times I have had dreams that made the point that ACIM is misleading. Consider how it has many words and is written in a repetitive brainwashing based way. I know of two other people that have also had dreams that made the point that ACIM is misleading.

You might want to check out what Bruce Fraser Macdonald has to say about ACIM. He makes the claim that he received information from God and Jesus, and they say that ACIM is misleading. I won't state that Bruce actually received information from God and Jesus, but what he said they told him matches up with what I was able to figure out before I found out about what Bruce wrote.

Below is a small portion of what the Jesus Bruce spoke to said. (from "Jesus, God and ACIM").

"All of this immediately creates a conflict, as you can see. You are left with the choice whether to believe what is written through Bruce MacDonald or what is written through Helen Schucman.

That is a critical choice. Again I assert that ACIM did not come from me, from Yeshua, Jesus, the one you know as the Christ. We have already seen that the narrator, the person actually doing the teaching in ACIM is not reliable. And in claiming that it came from me, it also lies. ACIM thus has a primary level of its meaning which came from a major deception when it claimed to come from me. It is built on a lie, and your confidence in it is based on a lie.

The choice is yours, of course, whether to believe the lie or to examine the matter more closely. The consequences are very real, since neither your life nor the world are illusions and decisions you make have real effects which stretch through centuries."

Below is a link to what Bruce wrote.,%20God%20and%20ACIM.html

It is interesting that Marianne ran for president, since ACIM basically states that you don't need to be concerned about the suffering that takes place within this world, because it doesn't exist. One would think that a person who runs for president considers the world real to some degree, otherwise, why would such a person seek to make the world a better place? It doesn't look like Marianne will be able to do so by becoming president. Perhaps she could do so in another but very significant way. She could read what Bruce Fraser Macdonald wrote, and see if it makes more sense than what ACIM says. Since she is one of the main ACIM supporters, she would really do God, Jesus, the Oneness, and anybody who misled by ACIM a favor, if she saw the course for what it is, and spoke out. My guess is that despite what ACIM claims, God is aware of EVERYTHING that takes place in this world, including my post, and Marianne's reaction to it, if she read it.

ACIM seems to take a gnostic approach, claiming that the world was created by an inferior deity. Though I’m not endorsing this viewpoint, I understand how people come to it. There is so much suffering in the world, it’s extremely hard to see how a benevolent, almighty god could be responsible for it. This issue is what turned liberal New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman against his former religious convictions.

One way out might be to say that God, however we understand that term, is not all-powerful but limited. Perhaps God, like the universe, is a work in progress?

"ACIM seems to take a gnostic approach, claiming that the world was created by an inferior deity."

Thanks for this, Michael! You bring up a point about which I had long been unaware, despite years of acquaintance with the course. Your statement was so surprising to me—in fact, seemingly just plain wrong—that I googled your words and was led to this interesting essay:

The author, Timothy Conway, examines ACIM from the standpoint of his own non-dualist worldview. Conway has created a vast site on this philosophy that is so dear to my heart, a concept he expresses this way:

"There is only [one divine reality], formless, shapeless, colorless, soundless, stateless, yet paradoxically and simultaneously playing as all forms, shapes, colors, sounds and states of the myriad worlds and gazillions of beings populating these worlds. In short, there is One Reality doing everything and being everyone."

I'm glad to have found his site—thanks indirectly to you. And I just wanted you to know, this morning, that while I don't contribute here much anymore, I still check in frequently, and am grateful for what you do!

I was just reacting to what Albert said. "One problem with ACIM, is that it speaks as if God has nothing to do with this world, because everything God creates is perfect. Or in other words, something other than God created this world."

This sounds like Gnosticism. I’m not that familiar with ACIM, so maybe this description is inaccurate.

I tried reading ACIM but couldn’t get into it. I know little about its tenets, though I do have the impression that it counsels detachment from the problems of this imperfect and illusory world (which, again, sounds like Gnosticism).

I’m not necessarily against Gnosticism. Though it’s a rather convoluted belief system, at least it tries to explain the problem of suffering in the world.

Regarding how much suffering takes place in this world, going by what I have been able to figure out (spiritual experiences, things that I have read), the state of this world doesn't represent what the rest of reality is like. Most of it is quite fine.

This world is a place where our souls learn, it provides challenges that aren't found in higher realms.

Going by what I have figured out, everything works out wonderfully in the end. It is important to remember that time isn't actually linear, so in a way, perfection is around the corner.

Regarding ACIM being like Gnosticism, ACIM claims that collective ego created this world as an attack against God, so it isn't precisely like Gnosticism.

Going by what I have figured out, our higher selves exist in an Oversoul like way (I once experienced what it is like to exist as an oversoul being that is aware of many incarnations at once), and each projected self incarnates just once. Therefore, each of us, as projections, won't have to experience numerous difficult incarnations. It is a team effort. Consider the below.

Near death experiencer Ron Krueger wrote the below:

“Directly in front of me, but slightly below, stood a group of spirits: less than 100, but more than 50. Each spirit had an identity of sorts, but they were part of each other-a single entity, a single awareness, all part of a single force. In the center of the front row were three oriental women. I realized that all of the spirits comprising the entity were my past lives, and the oriental women were my most recent lives.

Their faces were clearly humanoid, but from their shoulders down, their forms blurred gradually. Their arms and legs dissolved near their ends. Hovering on the same level, in rows, they seemed loosely joined at the shoulders. Their identities were of both sexes and all nationalities. None were deceased relatives, and I recognized none of them from my recent life.

Each of the spirits had lived once, but the truth and experience and wisdom of each lifetime was integral to the entire group. When each soul returned, their lives were absorbed by all, so there were no distinctions between thoughts and attitudes within the group. Each of them shared completely every experience and every knowledge of every lifetime into a single conscience. Like spices and other ingredients added to a Mulligan stew, each added to the mix, but the resulting flavor was one. I was them, and they were me. They were all of my past, and they were of my present.

They communicated with me as one, not with words, but by a kind of telepathy. Every thought, whether it was one simple emotion or volumes of information, came packaged with instant and complete understanding. No message could suffer misinterpretation, the problems of syntax, or variance of intelligence.”

Near death experiencer Thomas Sawyer wrote the below:

“Reincarnation is not a linear thing. One of the problems in defining it is that there is no analogy to it. It is outside of time, yet we can’t help but think of it in terms of the past and the future, and this incarnation. The whole story is so big and so involved.

Reincarnation is an opportunity to reach a goal. The goal is true self-realization. Self-realization is to know that you are a soul, a part of God, yet also the Whole. Perhaps no one has a very good image at all of his or her soul – the whole self. And they have no idea of what proportion their personality is in relationship to their soul.

As an example, a characteristic of your personality is one percent of all of your personality characteristics put together, and all of your personality characteristics make up your personality, and your personality is only about five percent of your soul, then we are blinding ourselves to 95 percent of the rest of our soul in order to reincarnate.

Reincarnation is an opportunity to evolve through many personalities. The definition of reincarnation is that your personality is who you are in your current lifetime, and that it can be reincarnated as an entirely different personality with the characteristics of the previous personality and previous personalities including even characteristics of another soul altogether. That is, characteristics of your present personality may be the reincarnation of other characteristics of personalities from your previous lifetimes as well as characteristics from personalities from other souls.” ... awyer.html

Near death experience P.M.H. Atwater wrote in her book We Live Forever, page 37:

“I saw that what resides within our earthly frame, what we think defines us as human beings, is but a finger of what we are, a projection from our soul’s mass.”

Near death experiencer Christian Andreason wrote:

“What I observed in the realm went way beyond what I would have originally thought reincarnation would be….

Reincarnation (I learned) is about birthing new energy from our original energy. When we take on a new lifetime, this happens by us merging new energy (gifted to us by God) with bits and pieces of our older energy mixed all together.

Heaven then helps us to fit into a new space (in this case a physical body) so that we might explore new ideas or feelings that require additional Soul searching and/or experience.

If there is any part of our core Self that causes us to hold serious questions about ourselves and our abilities, you can bet your bottom dollar that we will re-incarnate again and again until we are satisfied with the answers we eventually find.”

Robert Monroe’s book "Ultimate Journey" (page 166) also provides an example of a soul projecting additional parts of itself according to need:

Robert: “How far back does this [his soul’s history] go?”
Robert’s I-there: “Before you were born.”
Robert: “You had better tell me. I don’t remember.”
Robert’s I-there: “You wouldn’t. You didn’t exist. We made the decision to become human again. We selected the time and place and organized the DNA mix—elements from the physical and elements from us. We took those parts of us that seemed most appropriate, rolled them up into one, and sent them in. There you—and we—were!”
Robert: “What exactly did you send in?”
Robert’s I-there: “Personalities, memories. What else?”

Such way of evolving spiritually extends to Soul Groups. Paul Elder’s book Eyes of an Angel (pages 157-158) provides an example of souls sharing their lessons to a significant degree:

“As you know,” Meldor [Paul’s spirit guide] explained, “the main goal of a soul’s journey is to attain the perfection of unlimited love through the accumulation of knowledge by experience. Most soul groups accomplish this through a cycle of incarnations, challenging themselves, and working to overcome the obstacles. Every entity in the cluster adds to the experience, knowledge, and energy of the group. Although each soul has its own plan and life blueprint, it is loved, encouraged, and supported unconditionally by the entire group.

“The life experience of every member of the group contributes immeasurably to the strength of the whole. This is a very important aspect of the soul group. As the entire cluster of souls vibrates as one, the individual life experience of any single member becomes an experience shared by the rest of the group. This is of tremendous benefit to the advancement of the entire group. With several members of the group incarnated at the same time, the process of learning and accumulating experience is significantly improved. As the combined experience of the cluster grows, so does the power of its overall spiritual vibration. This acceleration of the developmental process allows the group to move more quickly to higher levels of understanding and vibration.”

Meldor’s statements intrigued me. “So are you saying that other members of my soul group are able to share the experience of the life I am now living?”

I am weary of information that is obtained through channeling; however I have found a few such sources that seem credible. Geraldine Cummins received information from the spirit of Frederick Myers. In the book “Road to Immortality” she wrote the below:

“Chapter VI THE GROUP-SOUL THE GROUP OF PSYCHIC CONSCIOUSNESS-- THE PHYSICAL BODY A GROUP OF ATOMIC CONSCIOUSNESS THE group-soul is one and yet many. The informing spirit makes these souls one. I think I have explained to you before, that as there are certain centers in the brain, so in psychic life there are a number of souls all bound together by one spirit, depending for their nourishment on that spirit. When I was on earth I belonged to a group-soul, but its branches and the spirit--which might be compared to the roots--were in the invisible.

Now, if you would understand psychic evolution, this group-soul must be studied and understood. For instance, it explains many of the difficulties that people will assure you can be removed only by the doctrine of reincarnation. You may think my statement frivolous, but the fact that we do appear on earth to be paying for the sins of another life is, in a certain sense, true. It was our life, and yet not our life. In other words, a soul belonging to the group of which I am a part lived that previous life which built up for me the framework of my earthly life, lived it before I had passed through the gates of birth. In this invisible world there is infinite variety of conditions.

I can only speak of what I know. I do not claim to be infallible. Take the following as the axiom I would lay down for you. Many Soul-men do not seek another earth life, but their spirit manifests itself many times on earth and it is the bond which holds together a group of souls, who, in the ascending scale of psychic evolution, act and react upon one another. So, when I talk of my spiritual forbears I do not speak of my physical ancestors, I speak of those soul-ancestors who are bound to me by one spirit. There may be contained within that spirit twenty souls, a hundred souls, a thousand souls. The number varies. It is different for each man.

But what the Buddhists would call the karma I had brought with me from a previous life is, very frequently, not that of my life, but of the life of a soul that preceded me by many years on earth and left for me the pattern which made my life. I, too, wove a pattern for another of my group during my earthly career. We are all of us distinct, though we are influenced by others of our community on the various planes of being. When your Buddhist speaks of the cycle of births, of man's continual return to earth, he utters but a half-truth. And often half a truth is more inaccurate than an entire misstatement.

I shall not live again on earth, but a new soul, one who will join our group, will shortly enter into the pattern or karma I have woven for him on earth. No doubt "karma" is a word I use incorrectly here. For it is something more and something less than karma that he inherits. I am, therefore, a kingdom, and yet I am but a unit in that kingdom. You may say to me that, for the Soul-man, one earth life is not enough. But, as we evolve here, we enter into those memories and experiences of other lives that are to be found in the existence of the souls that preceded us, and are of our group.

I do not say that this theory, which I offer you, can be laid down as a general rule. But undoubtedly it is true in so far as it is what I have learned and experienced. Now, this speculation--as you would probably call it--is interesting when applied to genius. The souls who have preceded us on earth naturally stamp us mentally and morally. If a certain type of psyche is continually being evolved in the one group, you will find that eventually that type, if it be musical, will have a musical genius as its representative on earth. It will harvest all the tendencies in those vanished lives, and it will then have the amazing unconscious knowledge that is the property of genius.

Here, in the After-death, we become more and more aware of this group-soul as we make progress. Eventually we enter into it and share the experiences of our brethren. You must understand, therefore, that existence for my soul-as separate and apart from my individual ego--is dual. I lived two lives, one in the world of form, and one subjective, in the community of which I am a member.

\\"If so, then how could this something be imperfect enough to create something imperfect, if everything that God creates is perfect?" - Albert Haus//

Because it is through life's imperfections we learn the stuff we came here to learn. This Earth life is a school and we simply learn here the things that can't be learned in heaven. Life is supposed to be hard and challenging and difficult and painful and evoke lots of emotion because the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

This life is not the main show. It is a temporary place that only lasts a little while. Compared to eternity this life is "the blink of an eye." Believe me as you grow older you'll realize just how quickly it went by. Excerpt from Michelle M's NDE description, "I felt an understanding about life, what it was, is. As if, it was a dream in itself. It's so very hard to explain this part. I'll try, but my words limit the fullness of it. I don't have the words here, but I understood that it really didn't matter what happened in the life experience. I knew/understood that it was intense, brief, but when we were in it, it seemed like forever. I understood that whatever happened in life, I was okay, and so were the others here."

The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it is holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or even what we believe. We experience and learn whether we want to or not. That is what it means to learn holistically. We learn as we simply go about the business of living.

Pain imprints on the soul the parameters of the body. What "out there" looks and feels like. Soul stuff is pure consciousness and occupies neither time nor space. The soul comes here to learn what it means and how it feels to have a body and control that body.

Can you learn how to drive a car without getting in one and getting behind the wheel? Is it enough just to read a book about it or even just watch somebody else do it? No, you have to get in the car and drive to say you "know how to drive a car." The same is true of a lot of things in life. Can you say you know how it feels or what it's like to make love to another person if you've never done it? No, the only way you can really say you know what it's like to make love to another person is if you've actually done it. Or taste food, or listen to music, etc.

A newborn baby is conscious and sentient but it is an empty vessel. It is like a sponge that is ready to absorb and "taste" the Universe. It stuffs everything in its mouth to see what it tastes like. It kicks it's little feet and waves it's arms around so it can learn about having a body. Before the soul can learn about the physical universe it has to experience it.

Heaven is a place where nothing exists and everything exists. It is a place where consciousness is primary and matters is secondary. I remember reading one NDE description where the guy said that they went into a library or hall of learning and it seemed like the building itself was "made of knowledge."

Why didn't our ancient ancestors make airplanes and cars and telephones and TVs? Because they hadn't been thought of yet. Without coming to this universe and dimension the soul would just be an amorphous blob of consciousness but would have no idea what it was looking at if it was just watching our 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe. It would spend eternity experiencing nothing and wouldn't have any idea what anything was. Life is one great big school and everything is a lesson, even stuff that you don't believe are lessons.

People who have NDEs say that time and space don't exist in heaven in the same way they do here. Everything exists at once, past, present, and future and just by having a thought things appear. Whatever they focus their attention on that is what they see and experience. Excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE description, "From this vantage point, I had to merely think of a place and time and I was there, experiencing everything about the place and time and people present."

This Earth life is a school and we learn here what we are supposed to learn and it has to evoke enough emotion so that we remember it for eternity. The very first thing we experience when we are born is separating from our mothers. The umbilical cord is cut in two and come screaming out of the womb. Then life is one great big long lesson in separation. Politics, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, color, weight and height, wealth, education, I.Q., socioeconomic status, etc. are just a few of the ways we experience separation in this life.

Separation teaches the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate which is something that can't be learned in heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness.

Pain and suffering teach the soul about the body. Each cut or nick or scratch or itch or burn are little bits of information, teaching the soul what "out there" look like. And the more emotion it evokes the more we remember.

We learn about time and space from just living in it and experiencing it. And the only thing we get to take with us to the other side are our memories, and the emotion and feelings, and the love we shared, and everything else (like our bodies and money) stay here.

The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it is holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or even what we believe. We experience and learn whether we want to or not. That is what it means to learn holistically. We learn as we simply go about the business of living.

Niels Bohr, the founding father of modern quantum physics said "everything we call real is made out of things that can't be considered as real." And after we die we'll look back on this life like it was a "hoax or illusion" to quote Roger Ebert in his last moments with his wife. Excerpt from Roger Ebert's final moments with his wife, "But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: "This is all an elaborate hoax." I asked him, "What's a hoax?" And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion."

Excerpt from The Universe as a Hologram, "For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion."

It is like a puzzle and when we put all the pieces together and stand back and look at it from a whole it all makes sense. Consilience: "In science and history, consilience (also convergence of evidence or concordance of evidence) is the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can "converge" on strong conclusions. That is, when multiple sources of evidence are in agreement, the conclusion can be very strong even when none of the individual sources of evidence is significantly so on its own. Most established scientific knowledge is supported by a convergence of evidence."


I would like to add to what you wrote (I hope you don't mind).

We couldn't fully understand what humility is, if we didn't know about arrogance.

We couldn't fully understand and appreciate unconditional love, if we didn't experience limited conditional love.

We couldn't understand what compassion is about, if we never needed it, or knew of someone that needed it.

We couldn't fully understand about loyalty, if we didn't know about a lack of loyalty.

The same can be said about other important factors of existence.

Also, everything that exists, including negativity, comes from God and us as extensions of God. In order to know what our being is capable of, and to become masters of ourselves, we need to explore the possibilities. An incarnation in a place such as this world provides the required contrast.

One evening I went to bed feeling distraught about the problems that exist within this world. I suddenly experienced myself in like an expanse of space and I heard a voice say, "it's a school, a way of learning" and then received the feeling, "so don't stress out."

"I tried reading ACIM but couldn’t get into it."

Yes, it's a strange document, Michael, and I've always had mixed feelings towards it. There was a time, though, when glancing through its pages helped me to remember to forgive myself continually for all the ways in which I felt I was failing. That was liberating.

Anyway, without getting into all the specifics, I'm finding that the best way to deal with *any* source of information, channeled or otherwise, is to treat it like a buffet table: focus on what interests me, and pass by the rest.

I have heard (or read) New Agey types say things like "we're here to have fun", or "we're here to be happy", or "we're here to learn to love one another."

If that were true then the Creator of the Universe was pretty inept because for the vast majority of people they are rarely happy or have fun or spend their time thinking about loving one another. The majority of humans on this Earth spend their time just struggling to survive. Whatever the reason we are here it has to be true at all times for the vast majority of people.

Life is supposed to be hard and challenging and difficult and involve frustration and work because that is how we learn. That is how we remember the things we learned. The physics of "heaven" as described by numerous near death experiencers is very different from the physics we normally experience here. Excerpt from Mark H's NDE description, "There is no distance here. So time does not exist." and The NDE and Time,

We simply learn stuff here that can't be learned in heaven and it is because the physics that we will experience on the other side is very different from what we experience here.

It seems obvious to me that there are some people who are not “struggling to survive” and are in fact happy and having fun in life, maybe not for their whole life but for a major part of it.

Unfortunately, there are many people who face challenges in life, some of those challenges almost unendurable. Maybe there is learning in them---maybe not! - AOD

I tried to read ACIM but I too couldn’t get into it. It seemed like a lot of gobbledygook to me and I consider myself to be open to esoteric ideas.

It saddens me Bruce to hear that you ever had thoughts that you were failing. I intuit that you have brought music into the lives of many people which made them very happy. I don’t know you, but what I discern about you makes me believe that you have been very successful in this life in ways that you would never suspect. There doesn’t have to be some stupendous purpose in each life. What better purpose could there be in life than to love others and help them find happiness which I know you have done. - AOD

Art, related to what you wrote, numerous NDErs are told that life will be difficult after they return to this world; however, things will work out for the best.

\\"We couldn't fully understand what humility is, if we didn't know about arrogance. We couldn't fully understand and appreciate unconditional love, if we didn't experience limited conditional love.We couldn't understand what compassion is about, if we never needed it, or knew of someone that needed it. We couldn't fully understand about loyalty, if we didn't know about a lack of loyalty." - Albert Haust//

Those are "here" things and not "there" things. Because of those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness in heaven anything you do to someone else there you would feel. You feel what you do to other people.

Believe me when you get to heaven you'll feel tons of love or at least that is how literally thousands of near death experiencers describe it. That is the thing most often mentioned in NDE descriptions, "overwhelming feelings of love." Whatever we are here for it has to be things that can't be learned in heaven. Otherwise what is the point?

It is impossible in heaven to be a mean or evil person simply because you feel their pain. The physics of heaven is very different from the physics we normally experience here. The separation we experience here simply does not exist in heaven. That is how a large percentage of near death experiencers describe what they felt and experienced in heaven.

So all the "we're here to learn how to be good people" is a moot point because when you get to heaven you can't be a bad person. You feel others pain, including their emotional pain. You can't be a bully in heaven because you'd feel it yourself.

Whatever we are here for it has to be something that can't be learned in heaven. Otherwise what is the point of coming here? Why not just stay in heaven and avoid this place of suffering? The "we're here to learn how to love?" Why? If we wanted to experience love why bother to leave heaven? Why not just stay there and be immersed in a gigantic pool of love?

Thanks, Amos. I appreciate that.

In the largest sense, though, I don’t think failure is real. I believe we’re here as artists, creating in a physical medium. Or as storytellers, telling tales. In such things, success or failure is not the point. (Unless you’re trying to sell, and the universe is not built around sales.)

What I was talking about were *feelings* of failure, the emotional residue of a difficult family environment. Old feelings aren’t so easily dismissed. Don’t you sometimes feel that you’re letting yourself or others down, even when you know you’re just being yourself, doing the best you can?


I don't completely agree with what you wrote. I have communicated with many spirits, and some aren't friendly at all. Going by what I found out, ACIM comes from spirits that seek to mislead people.

A spirit doesn't have to go towards the light if it doesn't want to.

One night I was feeling concerned about spirits in lower realms, and I my spirit guidance showed me an image of men in black and white striped prison uniforms. They were standing at the entrance way of a prison. There wasn't a gate or door that prevented them from leaving the prison, yet they didn't do so.

I intuited what the above message meant. Spirits are free to leave lower realms when they want to, but they aren't forced. If they choose to cling to a negative way, that is their choice. They go through the life review process only after they have some willingness to overcome their negative ways.

If you read what afterlife explorers Robert Monroe, Bruce Moen, Emanuel Swedenborg and Jurgen Ziewe have found through their explorations, lower realms exist.

There are some people who had NDEs where they went to light right away, and while there, they found out that lower realms exist.

Going by what Carl Wickland's book "Thirty Years Among the Dead" states, not all spirits go to the light right away.

Spiritual growth doesn't happen automatically. People need to strive to grow spiritually.

I think I agree with you Bruce. I don’t consider any life a success or failure, rather each life engages and is played out in ways maybe preordained or maybe just by taking what comes and making the most out of it with no obvious direction or purpose. If there is a failure in life maybe it is just not engaging with life, failing to live to the fullest by not accepting with gusto all that life offers. That failure produces a feeling of great sadness at the end of life knowing that so much had been lost.

Personally, I have never had feelings of failure. Looking back I had feelings of frustration (and still do) that in spite of my best efforts to do the right thing, life had a way of carrying me along toward some outcome which seemingly was not of my choosing.

But upon reflection from my current vantage point, I suspect that it all was of my choosing.

I don’t feel that I have let anyone down but I do feel that I probably could have done much better by some people. So in that sense perhaps I did let them down. I did the best I could with all of the baggage of my personal circumstances. I am a product of my parents and my environment. Both molded me in ways that I still do not know the full extent. - AOD

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)