Archive for the 'Good stuff' Category

The question of God

October.12. 2017

Just saw part of a documentary about C S Lewis on PBS. No, I must say I did not watch the whole program (or programs), which is just as well.

The show is basically a bunch of academic fluff and apologia that do not address the big question.

(What big question? The question that I’ve been preoccupied with in the last few posts.)

Instead, it’s the usual fare of wordplay and shallow concepts couched in impressive pseudo profound verbiage.

For instance, what does myth have to do with reality?

How does one get from myth that is rooted in pure fantasy to one that is based on faith-based “reality”?

If the myth is that the earth is flat, and my blind faith tells me that it’s flat, does that make it flat?

As Lewis himself said, myths are lies.

And I will add, no amount of blind faith in a lie will turn it into fact.

Our human preoccupation with rituals, and myths and superstitions are attempts to enter into a deeper spirituality.

But all they do is take us away from our spirituality.

Once you start believing in these myths and rituals, they become substitutes to the real thing. God disappears and all you’re concerned about are these myths and lies.

Instead of connecting to the Creator, you’re just obsessing about how many times you should pray and what kind of words will be pleasing to Him/Her.

No, myths and ritual are the source of evil and ignorance.

They do not connect us to the Creator; they separate us from Him/Her.

Just look at the religious nutcases out there and you will see it’s their particular myths and rituals (which they guard so jealously and which they use to separate themselves from the “non-believers”) that are turning them into self-righteous evil-doers.

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A note

August.16. 2017

If some of the preceding sounds familiar, you may be right.

Especially in regard to the teachings of a great master who lived two thousand years ago.

True wisdom is ageless and universal.

And this is the great genius of this man, that he was able to figure out these deep profound truths while living in such backward times.

For instance, the core of his teaching is love.

And what is love, but positive energy.

To enter into the kingdom of heaven, love your neighbor.

Translation: If you want to live a life filled with joy and abundance, release good positive energy to the universe.

Two types of energy/5

August.16. 2017

Sixth, you can’t hoard spiritual energy and expect to use it at a future time.

Spiritual energy that is not used is simply lost.

This is the main difference between physical and spiritual energy.

With physical energy, the more you use of it, the less you have of it.

With spiritual energy, the more you use of it, the more you have of it. And if you don’t use it, you will lose whatever you have of it.

This is a strange phenomenon.

Sometimes the hardest thing in doing something is getting started.

Once you get started, your energy will feed on itself, and in so doing, your spirit is being renewed.

Like playing guitar, the more you play, the better you get. This produces a sense of euphoria which turns into more energy which in turn feeds your spirit even more.

But if you do not start playing, soon even the little energy you have will disappear.

Seventh, energy has no agenda and no purpose. You have to direct its flow and give it purpose. Otherwise it dissipates itself randomly.

All the energy you have is absolutely worthless if it’s not directed at something and used productively.

You may say this is a matter of personal philosophy.

That what we decide to do with our energy is our business and no one is to say that using it productively or wasting it away is better than the other.

Sure it’s a matter of personal choice but is it natural?

Look to nature and you will see direction and purpose in all its manifestations of life and energy.

From ants scurrying around tirelessly, to birds building nests out of little twigs, even to mosquitoes feeding on your arm, nature’s energy is filled with purpose and meaning.

The concept of a purposeless and productivity-less existence is a concept peculiar to human beings, fed no doubt by those who would try to control you.

Because if you have no purpose and no productivity, someone will have to provide for you.

And once you get into this dependency trap and become beholden to them, you’ve effectively become their slave.

Two types of energy/4

August.16. 2017

Fourth, spiritual energy has a transformative property.

Meaning you can sometimes change negative energy into positive energy (and vice versa) simply by the sheer force of your energy.

But only if your energy is more powerful than the energy you’re encountering.

If it’s weaker, the reverse could happen—the energy you encounter could change your energy.

This is why the company you keep is important.

Associate with a bunch of negative people and you’re likely to become one yourself, unless you’re so driven and filled with positive energy, you can actually change their negativity into positivity.

Fifth, the impact of your energy is directly proportionate to the energy you release.

In other words, don’t expect to release ten minutes of energy and expect to reap a ten hour benefit.

Whatever energy you put into the universe is what you will get out of it.

In this sense energy and outcomes are directly tied together.

This is important to know so it doesn’t lead to unrealistic expectations.

For example, if you only spend five minutes a day playing guitar, don’t expect to be as good as someone who’s spending five hours a day playing it.

Or if you spend zero hours tending your garden, expect to see a jungle out there.

As they say, there’s no free lunch.

What you put into the universe is what you get out of it.

Two types of energy/3

August.15. 2017

Second, once it’s released into the universe, spiritual energy stays in the universe.

(It’s important to note that this is in the spiritual realm, not the physical, meaning it doesn’t exist as a physical force out in the universe, but rather in the spirit only.)

This has two implications.

First, you can actually cash in on the spiritual energy that you had released earlier.

For example, if you release energy today (in the way of certain actions), you can recall that energy another day.

This is useful to know because that means you can accumulate and store energy in the universe and recall it when you need it.

That’s assuming you’re releasing good energy.

Because if you release bad energy, that bad energy also stays in the universe.

And this is the problem, it will come back to haunt you one day.

Because all spiritual energy is tethered to its source and returns to its source.

You can try to forget it or pretend it’s not there, but it has a homing instinct (and a long memory) and will return one day and usually at the most unexpected and inconvenient times.

Another useful thing to know if you want to avoid a nasty surprise one day.

In tandem with this law is that, and this is the third law of energy, energy released to the universe stays in the form it was released in.

That means if you release bad energy, that bad energy stays as bad energy in the universe.

You can try to neutralize it by releasing good energy after it, and that might work or it might not.

Which means that you have to be careful about what kind of energy you release to the universe.

If you release good energy, you will create a reservoir of goodwill out there.

Release bad energy, and you will have to live with its consequences too.

Two types of energies/2

August.14. 2017

There’re a few things about spiritual energy which differentiates it from physical energy.

First, spiritual energy (we’re talking about human spiritual energy here) has moralistic overtones.

That’s because spiritual energy takes on the characteristics of what it’s associated with.

And humans are judgmental.

Things are separated into good and bad, positive and negative.

Good is whatever impacts them in a good way, bad whatever impacts them in a bad way.

So when you release energy into the universe, your energy will be colored with human values of good and bad.

This is important to know if you’re concerned about the impact of your energy on the universe.

(Especially when you combine it with the next law which is that energy released into the universe stays in the universe.)

Most of the time, the impact of your energy on the universe is predictable.

Good energy produces good outcomes, bad energy bad outcomes.

But because good and bad is subjective (what you think is good may actually be bad for someone else), there is some unpredictability here.

In this case, keen sensitivity to others is important.

So that you only release the energy that will produce the outcome you’re looking for.

But this will only work under normal conditions.

There will always be the occasional perverted individuals—whatever energy you release will be subject to the interpretations of their twisted minds.

It can also happen when you meet with spirits that are insensitive.

In which case, they will miss whatever intentions are in your energy—good and bad has no meaning for them.

And then there’re the individuals who are so filled with negative energy, all energy that they encounter is interpreted as negative energy.

With these individuals, the best thing to do is to stay out of their way.

Any energy you release to them will produce negative outcomes.

Bar these exceptional situations and under normal conditions, good energy will produce good outcomes and bad energy bad outcomes.

Two types of energy

August.12. 2017

There’re two types of energy in the universe.

Physical energy and spiritual energy.

To illustrate this, let’s take the simple act of playing the guitar (something which I know a little about).

To play guitar, you need the energy in your fingers to pluck the strings, but you also need the energy within you to make you want to sit down and play it.

The former is physical energy, the latter spiritual energy. (Spiritual because it comes from your spirit.)

It’s the latter that I’m interested in.

Because if you have it, the physical energy will come on its own.

Spiritual energy comes from the soul, the deepest part within us.

It’s the unfathomable.

Some people seem to be filled with it while others seem to lack it.

You see it in those who are filled with spiritual energy.

They bubble with life, they’re driven. They know where they want to go and they get there.

While those who lack this are listless, they’re incapable even of getting out of bed.

They have no clue where they want to go. To them, life is one big drag and at the end of the day, they blame everyone and everything except themselves for their miserable life.

My main interest has been the source of this mysterious energy.

Why do some people seem to be blessed with it and others not?

The answer lies in equilibrium or rather the lack of it.

Equilibrium creates a comfort zone.

Everything is exactly is it should be. It’s like water lying at its lowest level. In this state, there’s really no incentive, no reason for change.

Why should you change when everything is exactly the way it should be?

And so no energy is created.

But if you create disequlibirum, if you bring water to a higher level, it wants to move to the lower level.

And so movement is created and in this movement energy is produced.

In the same way, if things are in disequlibirum, the movement back to equilibrium will produce energy. (Like water at a higher level moving to lower ground, disequilibrium will always cause a movement towards equilibrium.)

And therein lies the cause of a major disease among many people who are too blessed with the good things of life.

Their lives are in a state of complete equilibrium.

There’s no need for them to make any move.

And so no energy is created.

But when a person is not so blessed and he looks around and he sees all the comforts of life which are denied him.

The desire to get into a better level produces energy. People look at him and they say, that man is driven.

There’s no deep philosophy behind this, no earth shattering truths.

It’s as simple as understanding that a state of disequilibrium will produce a movement towards equilibrium.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of psychologists and academics who’ll try to disprove this assertion and probably do many scientific tests to try to produce the empirical evidence to refute this.

But look around you at the affluenza epidemic afflicting our young these days, that’s all the empirical data you need.

The search

July.15. 2017

How did a search for the secrets of the guitar turn into a search for the secrets of the universe?

Maybe not as farfetched as it sounds.

The universe exists in simple patterns that replicate themselves at different levels, from the micro to the super macro.

If you can identify these patterns, you can pretty much deduce other things from these basic patterns.

Take the Big Bang, if it is indeed true, could it be just part of a pulsation?

After all, everything in the universe operates in pulses. It’s hard to imagine just one event, like having the earth go around the sun just once.

But I digress.

My search for the secret to that great guitar technique led me to understand one thing.

Everything can be reduced to its most basic elements.

In fact, many things can be reduced to just one basic underlying principle.

Once you identify this basic principle, you can master anything in that realm.

That led me to think, is there some basic underlying principle to the universe and to life itself?

If you’ve read my earlier musings, you can probably see the evolution in my thinking and how and where this is leading to.

Yes, it all comes down to energy.

Energy is at the heart of all living things and the universe, being a living and breathing thing, exists through energy.

The key to understanding it and therefore to life itself is to understand the flow of this energy and how it operates and harness it so we can create a good life.

Next, two types of energy.

Fluff and essence

June.1. 2017

In a sense, almost all religions are metaphors.

How else can you describe and explain what is unexplainable except through metaphors.

The universe created in six days.

The tree of knowledge.

Eighteen levels of hell. (Why eighteen? And who came up with this number?)

There was a time when all this made sense.

When man looked at the skies and saw only little dots of light and made up elaborate cosmoses based on the earth at the center of the universe.

But now we know better.

Those little dots of lights are really huge suns and so distant their light took billions of years to reach us. And there’re more of them in the universe than all the sand on earth.

Against this new reality, eighteen levels of hell?

Where are they situated? Certainly not deep beneath us as it’s just magma and rocks down there.

And a physical afterlife where you are serenaded by angels?

Or in another religion, where you need cash in the afterlife so you don’t end up a beggar?

How are we to respond to this new reality?

Do we just discard these old beliefs and traditions as mere superstitions and fairy tales and worship science as our new religion?

No, we take these ancient beliefs to a different level.

We interpret them.

We see them as wisdom that transcends time and science.

We see them as metaphors to a deeper truth.

To borrow a metaphor from one of these ancient wise men, we put old wine into new wineskins.

The key is to strip away the layers of metaphors that surround religion and go to its essence, to its inner truth.

And at the heart of (almost) all religions lie three basic concerns. (Why this disclaimer “almost?” You’ll have to watch the evening news to get the answer.)

The first is the question of Creator—who made all this stuff?

The second is morality—to maintain the fabric of society, religion provides us with clear rules of conduct and an elaborate system of justice to make sure we don’t break them.

This system also serves another purpose, to provide us with answers to the afterlife.

The third is that existential question—why are we here?

Three basic concerns, the rest is just fluff.

The differences that lie between religions are mostly in nomenclature and in the fluff.

Unfortunately, most of mankind is more preoccupied with fluff than essence.

They would rather focus on what makes their particular religion the “one true religion” because their fluff is better than yours (because they got their fluff from the “real God” and your fluff is from the devil).

If we are to adopt a new approach based on metaphorical interpretations, we can actually cut through the fluff that divides us and see the commonality of the essence in (almost) all religions.

And understand that we (almost) all believe in the same things.

But that’s an unlikely scenario.

Because shallow (and evil) men like the fluff because it gives them an excuse to continue their mischief.

If your fluff is the “one true righteous fluff,” it gives you an excuse to persecute those whose fluff is “false.”

An obscure gospel

May.27. 2017

I’ve referred to a rather obscure gospel a few times.

Why my preference for this particular gospel? Instead of the other four (the synoptic gospels as they are known)?

It goes back to my research scholar days.

Whenever a work exists in different versions and had undergone editions and revisions, it is always preferable go to the earliest version.

But how do we determine chronology when it is not clearly established as is the case with these gospels?

We look for other clues to help us find it.

The first is the leaner is better theory.

Editors and revisers tend to add rather than subtract. So a leaner version is usually an indication that it is an earlier one and truer to the original source.

The second is consistency of content.

Let’s say there are two versions of one work and both have content that are the same and content that are different.

First, we conclude that the content that is present in both works is probably reliable and authentic since it appears in both versions.

And that the content that is present only in one version is added material.

Then we examine the added content for consistency.

We determine if the added material in each version is consistent with the content that is present in both versions and which we have established to be reliable.

If it is consistent, the version with the consistent content is probably more reliable and vice versa.

The Gospel of Thomas is written in sutra form, basically a list of about 110 wisdom sayings. There are almost no narratives of any kind.

About 60% of the wisdom sayings in the Thomas gospel are also found in the four synoptic gospels.

The rest are mostly narratives and attempts to legitimize the great teacher as a divine being.

Using the lean theory, we can establish that the Thomas gospel is earlier, which means it is probably more reliable.

This is supported by the consistency clue.

One can surmise that the following happened.

After the great teacher had died, his followers began to collect his teachings and assemble them into compilations.

In time, probably a few compilations emerged and circulated, among them, the Gospel of Thomas.

As his followers expanded, an organization grew around his legend and persona and as is common with many great people after they died, a process began to deify him.

Within the organization, efforts were made to standardize his teachings as well as to solidify his new status as a divine being.

And so the four gospels were born, each with their own attempts to establish his divinity with many reverse prophecies and supernatural accounts.

It is possible that as his deification process began, accounts of his “supernatural” exploits began to be circulated and the four scribes were just adding these accounts to the text. Or they might have simply made them up.

Whatever the case might be, we’ll never know.

The true history of what really happened is forever lost to us (unless we happen to build a time machine one day).

But using the plausibility test and considering all the factors, and looking in from the outside, this is really the only plausible explanation for the two differing types of gospels.

And if it were not for some brave monks in the desert of Egypt, the true original gospel might have been lost to us forever, so effective was the establishment machinery in quashing all dissenting literature.