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\\"We must endure all the Sturm und Drang of our environment even if it is only an illusion. Apparently, this is how we learn and grow" - MP//

How can I not comment on this? Can you learn how to drive a car just by reading a book about it or even watching a video of someone else driving? No, the only way to learn how to drive a car is by getting behind the wheel of a car and driving it. The same holds true of learning how to ride a bike. It is not enough to just watch someone else ride and bike and then say "I know what it is like to ride a bike because I watched someone else do it." Or what about making love to another person? If you watch two people making love can you say "I know what it is like to make love to another person because I watched a movie of two people making love. I remember in high school how badly I wanted to know what it was like to have sex... but I had to wait until I was 19 years old before I got that opportunity for myself.

The same thing is true of being in a body and learning how to control that body. If you are "soul stuff" or pure consciousness and you had never been in a body and learned how to control it ,or what it felt like to be in a body, or what taste, smell, sound, touch, or sight looked and felt like the only way to learn those things is by coming here and getting in a body and learning how to control it. A newborn child wants to "taste the universe" so they stuff everything they can get their hands on into their mouths. They wave their arms and legs around trying to learn how to control that little body.

And it has everything to do with "why we are here" ... to learn all the things that can't be learned in heaven. This world is set up so that we experience everything about what it is like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe, what it means and how it feels to be separate, unique, individual, how to control this body we've been put into, and make memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

Why? Because after we die we are able to use those memories to make our own realities, Gods in training, learning the things here that would be difficult or impossible to learn in heaven. And if we watch someone else living their lives we can empathize and know what those feelings mean.

Excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE: "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. I have always, I don’t know why, had a very strong “pull” toward Scotland. I have some Scottish ancestry, but no more so than English, Swedish, and Prussian, but I don’t know why I have such a strong affinity for the land, its history, its culture, and the music. (No sound in this world can stir the feelings that the sound of bagpipes arise in me!) Well, one of my first “trips” was to Scotland, on a high cliff overlooking a grey, crashing sea during a violent thunderstorm. I was there! I could feel the wind lashing at me and the driving force of the rain while I could see and hear the crashing of the thunder and the sea. All I had done was have the merest fleeting thought of the land and I was there! As I’ve said, I have no idea why I have such a strong tie to that particular piece of space/time."

And the more emotion these "lessons" and experiences here evoke, the more we remember them, the more they imprint on our memory so that after we cross over we'll have a library of what it was like to be in a body and live in this 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe.

Beautiful anecdote!

I agree with the functional aspect of the VR-experience, in that a lot of stuff falls into place nicely when one thinks in terms of Virtual Reality or Gaming Environments.

However I don't think this experience is illusory, as I like to emphasize that idea comes from a group of people - the Brahmin caste - that wanted to deny free will and emphasize individuality as an illusion while sitting atop a brutal caste slave system.

Compare this to the "other Indians", the Native American accounts of reincarnation, where rather than karmic debt their souls choose where they'll end up. (I mean no offense, when I was in NC I continuously used the term "Native American" while the actual modernized tribal peoples I spoke to just said "Indian" while looking at me like I was some odd-ball.)

But also on a personal and perhaps aesthetic note it feels unseemly if this life was just a game, as best put by William James ->

"If this life is not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will.

But it feels like a real fight, —as if there were something really wild in the universe which we, with all our idealities and faithfulnesses, are needed to redeem; and first of all to redeem our own hearts from atheisms and fears. For such a half-wild half-saved universe our nature is adapted. The deepest thing in our nature is this dumb region of the heart in which we dwell alone with our willingnesses and our unwillingnesses, our faiths and our fears. As through the cracks and crannies of caverns those waters exude from the earth’s bosom which then form the fountain-heads of springs, so in these crepuscular depths of personality the sources of all our outer deeds and decisions take their rise."

Great post,

Thank you for it

In the madness of this world, it's always reassuring to read about how the powers that be are consistently loving, understanding, and forgiving towards us. That's an immense comfort, and a logical one: the more you understand why someone acts the way they do, the harder it is to stay mad at them; if God and these beings have a much greater awareness and understanding of us than we do, then we can hope that they view our struggles, our anger, our frustration, and tears with infinite compassion because they understand how we struggle so hard just to get through the day, much less a life.

Hi Michael,
I have been following your blog since 2006 and I have learnt a lot from it. Thank you for your work and I am looking forward to your upcoming book! Consider to promote it a little more. It will be uplifting to people in those uncertain times.

\\"I agree with the functional aspect of the VR-experience, in that a lot of stuff falls into place nicely when one thinks in terms of Virtual Reality or Gaming Environments." - Saj//

Something doesn't have to be real for us to learn from it. As long as we believe it and experience emotion then it will imprint on our consciousness or soul and we will learn from it. It is in the "not knowing" that the learning happens.

When you are in school and your teacher makes out a lesson plan she puts a clearly stated objective at the top of the lesson plan. As you work through the lesson plan you are learning - and the interesting thing is that the more in control the teacher is the more you learn! So you don't even have to have "free will" to learn!

Simply by being here and experiencing what happens around you are learning. It is called "learning holistically" and you are learning whether it feels positive or negative. It doesn't have to cause happiness or be fun as long as it evokes emotion and you are paying attention and you remember it. You are learning from the moment you are born till the second you die and everything is a lesson, even the little stuff. Stuff that you don't know is a lesson is a learning experience. And in fact you don't even have to believe it to have that information imprinted into your brain.

Emotions make the memories last:

Dear Michael,
An excellent post! The phrase you attribute to Chesterton is actually apocryphally attributed to another British Catholic, Evelyn Waugh. From []: “There is a well-known story about the novelist Evelyn Waugh. He was once very rude and his hostess remonstrated: ‘How can you behave so badly – and you a Catholic!’ Waugh replied: ‘You have no idea how much nastier I would be if I was not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being.’”

Thanks, Paul. I guess that explains why I couldn’t find the quote when I Googled Chesterton.

By the way, did you know that Chesterton was the model for John Dickson Carr's scholarly detective Dr. Gideon Fell?

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