Words and Truth
“The Egg,” a thought provoking story by Andy Weir…
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me.
“What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right.”
“Well, all religions are right in their own way,” I said “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void.
“Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders.
“Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had. You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me.
“But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.” And I sent you on your way.
Baby 1: And you, you believe in life after birth?
Baby 2: Absolutely. It’s obvious that life after birth exist. We are here to become stronger and to get ready for Whatever awaits us next.
Baby 1: This is absurd. There is nothing after birth! What would life look like outside the womb?
Baby 2: Well, there are many stories about the other side. I’ve heard there is a blaze of light there, an intense and profound feeling of joy with deep emotions, thousands of things to live for… For example, I’ve heard that we’ll eat with our mouth, there.
Baby 1: That’s silly. We have an umbilical cord and that is how we eat. Everyone knows that we don’t use our mouth to eat! And, on the top of it, no one has ever come back from the other world… Those stories are all coming from naïve people. Life just ends at birth. Period. That’s the way it is and we must accept it.
Baby 2: Alright, then allow me to think differently. That’s for sure, I have no idea what life after birth looks like, and I can’t prove anything to you. But I like to believe, that in the next world, we’ll be able to see our mother and that she will take care of us.
Baby 1: “Mother”? You mean that you believe in ‘Mother’? Oh! So where is she?
Baby 2: Everywhere, don’t you see it! She is everywhere, all around us. We are part of her and it’s thanks to her that we are living right now. Without her, we wouldn’t be here.
Baby 1: This is ridiculous! I’ve never seen any mother so it’s obvious that she doesn’t exist.
Baby 2: I don’t agree, that’s your way of seeing things. Because sometimes when everything quiets down a little bit, we can hear her sing. We can feel her hugging our world. I’m pretty sure that our life will start after birth.
Too beautiful and thought-provoking not to share. We can never know what awaits us after this life. Our minds are too busy. But in the stillness of the Heart the answer awaits, like the arms of an unseen mother. Who knows how many layers of reality may await beyond the possibilities we perceive?
Jesus said, “If those who lead you say, ‘See, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”
This is an exert from The Gospel According to Thomas or what has become to be known as The Gospel of Thomas. This gospel is considered non-canonical. Per Wikipedia:
It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945, in one of a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library. The Gospel of Thomas was found among a collection of fifty-two writings that included, in addition to an excerpt from Plato’s Republic, gospels claiming to have been written by Jesus’s disciple Philip. Scholars have speculated that the works were buried in response to a letter from Bishop Athanasius who for the first time declared a strict canon of Christian scripture.
You can read more about this gospel here.
The introduction states: “These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.” However, some critical scholars believe the reference to Thomas is false and the true author is unknown.
Regardless of the controversy, the words are beautiful and powerful and echoed by other prophets and sages across the ages.
A few days ago I stumbled upon these remarkable videos. I’m sharing them with you because I’ve found them to be the most rational, intelligent and unspeakably beautiful journey into understanding what it is we are seeking to understand; marrying ancient spiritual philosophies with mathematics and science. Here is the synopsis from Awaken the World who began publishing these films on April 17, 2012. More are to come.
There is one vibratory source that connects all things. It has been called Akasha, the primordial OM, the quantum field, the super-string matrix, the music of the spheres, and a thousand other names throughout history. This field is at the root of all true scientific and spiritual investigation. It is what saints, sages, Buddhas and mystics have found by looking within, and it is what the greatest scientists have discovered at the farthest reaches of the universe. “Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds” is series of films to be released in 2012 available at http://www.awakentheworld.com. To awaken oneself, one must awaken the entire world.
I have embedded all 4 films here for your convenience. If you subscribe to their Youtube channel, you can be notified of future releases when they’re published. Grab a cup of tea, settle in, and let’s begin…
Each film is just under 32 minutes long. Please feel free to share your experiences with these gems.
My husband and I were doing some reading tonight and ran across this brief discourse on why Jains do not believe in creationism. I like to consider various views and I found this very interesting. Definitely points to ponder. Enjoy.
The most eloquent refutation of this (creationist) view is provided by Ācārya Jinasena in Mahāpurāna as thus –
|“||Some foolish men declare that creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected.
If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now?
How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression.
If you declare that this raw material arose naturally you fall into another fallacy, For the whole universe might thus have been its own creator, and have arisen quite naturally.
If God created the world by an act of his own will, without any raw material, then it is just his will and nothing else — and who will believe this silly nonsense?
If he is ever perfect and complete, how could the will to create have arisen in him? If, on the other hand, he is not perfect, he could no more create the universe than a potter could.
If he is form-less, action-less and all-embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul, devoid of all modality, would have no desire to create anything.
If he is perfect, he does not strive for the three aims of man, so what advantage would he gain by creating the universe?
If you say that he created to no purpose because it was his nature to do so, then God is pointless. If he created in some kind of sport, it was the sport of a foolish child, leading to trouble.
If he created because of the karma of embodied beings [acquired in a previous creation] He is not the Almighty Lord, but subordinate to something else
If out of love for living beings and need of them he made the world, why did he not make creation wholly blissful free from misfortune?
If he were transcendent he would not create, for he would be free: Nor if involved in transmigration, for then he would not be almighty. Thus the doctrine that the world was created by God makes no sense at all,
And God commits great sin in slaying the children whom he himself created. If you say that he slays only to destroy evil beings, why did he create such beings in the first place?
Good men should combat the believer in divine creation, maddened by an evil doctrine. Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning or end, and is based on the principles, life and rest. Uncreated and indestructible, it endures under the compulsion of its own nature.
Know this, our intellects argue almost constantly with the God we seek. Be still.
This is one of the most beautiful moments I’ve witnessed. It’s just that simple and the laughter at the realization is just delicious! I just had to share this. Beautiful!
I discovered these pictures on the blog Simply Sammi via We Think, We Dream. They are moving and they’re important. As American warships are approaching the Libyan coast this is the side of things we don’t get to see. To quote “WeThink, We Dream”:
“Of course the news won’t show this. No, they’ll just keep stating over and over that the US is sending two warships to the area because that is more important than showing Americans that not all Muslims are evil like they already believe because that would be asking too much of the media.”
The irony is not lost on the people of Benghazi. Radical fundamentalists, protesting their prophet being portrayed in a recently-released satirical film called the “Innocence of Muslims” as a crazy murderous barbarian bombed the U.S.Consulate in Benghazi, killing the U.S. Ambassador and three others have responded by acting like crazy murderous barbarians. Now the Embassies in Cairo and and Yemen have been attacked by protestors who are behaving like crazy murderous barbarians. The irony, unfortunately, is lost on them.
Please look at the following photos and understand. Not all Muslims are like those committing these acts. Please pass this on so their voices may be heard above the din of sensationalist media. I do not, however, under any circumstance sympathise or condone the actions of violent men and women who hide behind religion to exercise their darker bloodlusts. I find using any god as an excuse for such things abhorrent. People like these offenders believe an “eye for an eye” as retribution is their duty, never realizing that it’s nothing but the perpetuation of a never ending cycle of revenge and ultimately destructive. It solves nothing as is illustrated by U.S warships on the move. Another war.
Was the movie in poor taste? Yes, however many such movies exist satirizing different religions and have not led to bloodshed. People can be mature enough to simply turn away. People will always inevitably voice opinions we don’t agree with.
Was this film worth bloodshed? NO. NO. NO. Letting it die in obscurity instead of feeding its publicity would have been the smarter move. Now it’s going viral as the world’s curiosity has been piqued. I viewed the trailer. I’m equally guilty. It wasn’t worth it.
Let the peaceful voices of these people be heard. Please pass this on.
Opinions? Do we really need more warlike involvement in the Middle East? What are your fears?
I stumbled upon an article I think is not only timely and interesting, but important. I’ve touched a bit on these things previously, but Mariana Caplan, PhD, Psychotherapist and Author, Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path, has expressed it in a no-nonsense fashion that gets to the guts of the problems faced by those seeking self awareness and enlightenment.
The mind is very cunning and Mariana has presented a good reminder to all of us to use honesty and discernment when looking at ourselves spiritually. Here is her list of 10 spiritually-transmitted diseases:
1. Fast-Food Spirituality: Mix spirituality with a culture that celebrates speed, multitasking and instant gratification and the result is likely to be fast-food spirituality. Fast-food spirituality is a product of the common and understandable fantasy that relief from the suffering of our human condition can be quick and easy. One thing is clear, however: spiritual transformation cannot be had in a quick fix.
2. Faux Spirituality: Faux spirituality is the tendency to talk, dress and act as we imagine a spiritual person would. It is a kind of imitation spirituality that mimics spiritual realization in the way that leopard-skin fabric imitates the genuine skin of a leopard.
3. Confused Motivations: Although our desire to grow is genuine and pure, it often gets mixed with lesser motivations, including the wish to be loved, the desire to belong, the need to fill our internal emptiness, the belief that the spiritual path will remove our suffering and spiritual ambition, the wish to be special, to be better than, to be “the one.”
4. Identifying with Spiritual Experiences: In this disease, the ego identifies with our spiritual experience and takes it as its own, and we begin to believe that we are embodying insights that have arisen within us at certain times. In most cases, it does not last indefinitely, although it tends to endure for longer periods of time in those who believe themselves to be enlightened and/or who function as spiritual teachers.
5. The Spiritualized Ego: This disease occurs when the very structure of the egoic personality becomes deeply embedded with spiritual concepts and ideas. The result is an egoic structure that is “bullet-proof.” When the ego becomes spiritualized, we are invulnerable to help, new input, or constructive feedback. We become impenetrable human beings and are stunted in our spiritual growth, all in the name of spirituality.
6. Mass Production of Spiritual Teachers: There are a number of current trendy spiritual traditions that produce people who believe themselves to be at a level of spiritual enlightenment, or mastery, that is far beyond their actual level. This disease functions like a spiritual conveyor belt: put on this glow, get that insight, and — bam! — you’re enlightened and ready to enlighten others in similar fashion. The problem is not that such teachers instruct but that they represent themselves as having achieved spiritual mastery.
7. Spiritual Pride: Spiritual pride arises when the practitioner, through years of labored effort, has actually attained a certain level of wisdom and uses that attainment to justify shutting down to further experience. A feeling of “spiritual superiority” is another symptom of this spiritually transmitted disease. It manifests as a subtle feeling that “I am better, more wise and above others because I am spiritual.”
8. Group Mind: Also described as groupthink, cultic mentality or ashram disease, group mind is an insidious virus that contains many elements of traditional co-dependence. A spiritual group makes subtle and unconscious agreements regarding the correct ways to think, talk, dress, and act. Individuals and groups infected with “group mind” reject individuals, attitudes, and circumstances that do not conform to the often unwritten rules of the group.
9. The Chosen-People Complex: The chosen people complex is not limited to Jews. It is the belief that “Our group is more spiritually evolved, powerful, enlightened and, simply put, better than any other group.” There is an important distinction between the recognition that one has found the right path, teacher or community for themselves, and having found The One.
10. The Deadly Virus: “I Have Arrived”: This disease is so potent that it has the capacity to be terminal and deadly to our spiritual evolution. This is the belief that “I have arrived” at the final goal of the spiritual path. Our spiritual progress ends at the point where this belief becomes crystallized in our psyche, for the moment we begin to believe that we have reached the end of the path, further growth ceases.
Please read the article in its entirety here.
If you’re left feeling uncomfortable after reading any of these, or even all of them, embrace it with love and a sense of humor. The realization is a step in breaking free. There’s no need for self judgement. We are all learning. Just experience it and let it burn away in your heightened awareness. It’s a blessing. I know I encountered a few moments where I felt a little shaken while reading these and I’m delighted for the reminder.