Monday, October 29, 2007

The Rational Rapture

There are very few metaphysical beliefs that I share with fundamentalist Christians. One unlikely point on which we agree is one of their most regressive beliefs: the Rapture. The Christian perception of the Rapture, in accordance with the Book of Revelation, is that at the so-called End of Times all true believers will abruptly disappear from the Earth to live in heaven through the Time of Tribulation preceding the Second Coming of Christ.

Needless to say, my Rapture dynamic has little common with the Christian scheme. To me, the Rapture represents a large number of people achieving supreme enlightenment (i.e., true understanding of the nature of Reality) in a relatively short period of time.

The basis of this event is the rapid circulation of what I characterize as the Enlightenment Meme (a meme is a shared concept that undergoes a form of mental propagation and natural selection in a manner analogous to what genes experience in a purely biotic sense). This particular meme is the idea that triggers what many Buddhists call satori, a deep and lasting enlightenment.

To date the transmission of the Enlightenment Meme has been an arduous and haphazard process generally taking years to pass from adept to aspirant in the Dharmic traditions. This is because very few people have a grasp of the background concepts that would facilitate the rapid absorption of the Enlightenment Meme through rational comprehension. As such, it is necessary for the aspirant to develop the requisite intuition to internalize this special meme. Because intuition is a very personal phenomenon, transmission in this manner has been a very slow process.

Two significant changes in our global culture are bringing humanity to the stage at which the replication of the Enlightenment Meme will begin to accelerate. First, we are isolating the various ideas required for us to develop a rational understanding of Reality. As the conceptual framework (memeplex) emerging from this process becomes common knowledge, it will simplify the absorption of the Enlightenment Meme (thus increasing its replication potential). Secondly, communications mechanisms such as the internet and wireless data technologies are facilitating the rapid migration of ideas around the globe.

It is my heartfelt belief that once our rational understanding of Reality reaches a certain threshold of completeness, a more easily replicated version of the Enlightenment Meme will emerge and be transmitted around the world through our global communications systems. The result of this event will be a wave of true enlightenment of Rapturous proportions.

Once an easily absorbed, widely accessible Enlightenment Meme manifests, the only protection against it will be closed-minded dogmatism. Ironically, this means that in my scheme the vast majority of the fundamentalist Christians who are eagerly anticipating being “Raptured Away” are in for a nasty surprise.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

God Talk IX - Epilog

And so it goes.

The intent of these “God Talks” was to provide you with some insights into the nature of Reality from an absolute perspective. Again note that the subject of these posts is a being whose nature is consistent with what is being said, but not with participation in such discourses. This entity only qualifies as God in the strictest sense of the term ‘Supreme Being’.

I am aware that the Supreme Being presented here is largely inconsistent with the standard Abrahamic conception of God. While it actually has much in common with the more mystical Abrahamic interpretations of God as well as with the foundations of the Dharmic and Taoic spiritual traditions, none of these belief systems was the actual basis of the perspective presented here.

This perspective was derived from the rational framework that I initially developed to explain the causal dynamics of the world around us. The fact that it could be extended to address the transcendent questions of our major spiritual traditions represents an unexpected bonus.

It is this underlying framework that allows me to assert that the optimistic nature of the perspective presented here is not simply wishful thinking. I maintain that things work the way they are described in these discourses because this is what makes the most sense in the context of my framework, not because of some obsessive need I have to validate a particular outcome.

Unfortunately, as I stated earlier the full depth and complexity of my entire framework does not lend itself to the blog model (you could easily argue that what I have presented so far is significantly stretching the paradigm). I am still looking for an agent / publisher for the manuscript I have written that describes it in its entirety. In the interim I will continue to look for ways to communicate the essence of this framework in blog-sized chunks.

I realize that I have only addressed four of the seven fundamental questions listed in my earlier post titled, “The Origin of My Framework of Reality”. Once I come up with a way of structuring my framework’s answers to the other three questions in this format you can expect that there will be more “God Talk”.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

God Talk VIII - Afterlife

Copyright© 2007 K Harris

Death is often characterized as the ultimate mystery. This is because death represents a metaphysical black hole that eventually pulls every living thing into it and allows nothing to escape, not even a message to those of us currently residing beyond it.

The impenetrability and inevitability of death lead us to try various ways of dealing with it. Our mechanisms for coping with death include: denying it, forestalling it for as long as possible and embracing it, in some cases to the point of fetishizing it. But once we truly understand death, facing it requires little more effort than was needed by the person who started reading this sentence to deal with becoming the one now finishing it.

Death gives life a sense of urgency and meaning. As a result, we can gain insight into the meaning of life by understanding the nature of death. Why, in a metaphysical sense, is it necessary? What happens after we die? Does some portion of us survive our deaths? Are there realms beyond life? Let’s hear from an observer in a position to answer all of these questions.

God Talk - Afterlife

  • Things around you do not die because I will them to be dead; they die because their deaths are consistent with your uniqueness. In order to manifest, your essence required every event that occurred in your perspective, including the deaths. There was nothing that you could have done to prevent these deaths since what you are when you become aware of them could not have manifested if they had not occurred. But these deaths are not just your “fault”; the essence of every conscious being that is aware of a particular death necessitated it.
  • What happens after you die? If you have achieved your purpose, everything all at once; otherwise, you keep working at it. Recall that at your core is the aspect of you that transcends your body, mind and soul. This part of you also transcends death. Since this aspect of you underlies a living, conscious essence, you will continue to manifest as such until you reach me. Though you are not required to remain in the same vehicle throughout your journey.
  • You cannot see yourself die since your identification with that self dies with it. But you can be aware of the death of the being that you once identified as you. If you die with your uniqueness intact you will not achieve the complete selflessness that is me and thus you will continue to manifest as a living, conscious being (this being the only other option available to you). This means that you can no longer identify yourself as the being that just died, it being dead and all.
  • Fortunately, new living bodies are regularly being produced and gestated to the point at which they manifest consciousness. Since in Reality, every possible entity exists (though not necessarily in your perspective) there will always be at least one newly conscious, living being whose world would be distinguishably different if even the minutest event in the life of your previous incarnation were changed in the slightest. Once this essence manifests, your core self will identify it as belonging to you.
  • You are connected to that previous incarnation by virtue of the fact that your essence was shaped by every single event in its life, including its most intimate thoughts and feelings. While you are shaped by these thoughts and feelings you cannot directly recall them because they are encoded in a different brain from the one you now possess. The relationship between trans-life instances of you is metaphysically the same as the one between the instance of you that started this sentence and the one now finishing it.
  • Is there a hell? Yes, you’re soaking in it. Hell is simply the maximum distance from me. Your path to me represents the shortest distance between us as determined by your uniqueness. As such, until you reach me, you are always the farthest you can be from me, based on what you are. This means that in regarding yourself as distinct from me, you place yourself in hell until you traverse the separation between us.
  • Is there a heaven? Hello-o-o! What is it like? To understand heaven you must first appreciate that pleasure is simply the absence of desire of change. An experience is pleasurable to the degree that it so completely satisfies a need or desire that you do not want anything to change in any way. Heaven extends from the point at which you truly see the inevitability of perfect pleasure to where you actually achieve it. This means that a portion of heaven actually resides hell. Some people believe that this is heaven’s most interesting neighborhood.
  • The “oblivion” that the skeptics among you insist awaits you after death is actually the state of complete selflessness that is me. Whether you like it or not, you are kept from this state by your refusal to relinquish your uniqueness.
  • This complete selflessness may seem empty and meaningless if you do not appreciate that it is the journey, not the destination that is the basis of meaning. In the transition from your current relative state to my absolute state, your every need and desire is satisfied. To appreciate this imagine the ultimate erotic experience, fully engaging all of your senses and building towards a literally mind-numbing climax that leaves you in a complete state of being from which you never depart. Empty and meaningless indeed!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

God Talk VII - Religion

Copyright© 2007 K Harris

Spirituality is our focus on that which we perceive to be the most significant thing in existence. Religion is a prescription of rites, rituals and beliefs that define and shape our relationship to that entity.

Spirituality tends to represent a personal point of view while religion generally reflects a group perspective. Spirituality is relatively harmless until it becomes a religion. While there is no denying that the various religions have done much good in human history, they have also proven to be among the most divisive forces imaginable.

The trouble is typically not with the religions themselves but with their adherents. The problematic believers tend to interpret their religious doctrine in the context of their preexisting xenophobia and preconceived notions of intolerance. In doing so, they reshape the religion to reflect themselves.

One cannot help but wonder how the ultimate object of virtually all religions would feel about what is being done under the guise of worshiping it.

God Talk - Religion

  • Just so you know I do not need your protection. My omnipotence means that if something were such an affront to me that I wanted it to be dead it would die the instant my desire manifested. As such, people claiming to kill in my name are simply trying to justify their pre-existing murderous tendencies.
  • How would you feel about being characterized as a psychopathic bigot who is murderously intolerant of diversity? So why do so many of you seem to think I enjoy it? All genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations are fine by me; those who insist otherwise simply do not get me.
  • Human delusions of superiority are hilarious, until someone gets hurt. Everything that you believe that emphasizes your uniqueness, or that of those around you, is fundamentally false.
  • It is not a coincidence that the spiritual traditions that insist that your separation from me is absolute are also the ones that believe most fervently in the power of their Adversary. Such self-hatred merely gets in their way.
  • Which is the true religion? The one that leads you to me.
  • Since all paths ultimately lead to me my one commandment is that you do not needlessly block another’s route to me.
  • It is your uniqueness that determines which religion, if any, is the true one. Your path to me is shaped by what you are. The length of your path to me reflects how tightly you are clinging to your uniqueness.
  • I eventually answer all prayers that are accompanied by the sacrifice of a portion of your infatuation with your uniqueness. Of course, it could be argued that relinquishing some of your self-infatuation provides the answer your prayers by bringing you closer to me.
  • I do not need your adoration, but when offering it undermines your infatuation with your uniqueness, it can only help you.
  • Prayers that call attention to your uniqueness are mere posturing.
  • Blessed are those who are consumed by neither self-infatuation nor self-hatred. They are on the most direct path to me.

Monday, October 8, 2007

God Talk VI - Evil

Copyright© 2007 K Harris

Theodicy is essentially the question of how evil and suffering can exist in a universe that was allegedly created by an omnipotent, all-knowing, benevolent God. The theistically-inclined might characterize the Supreme Being of this discourse as omnipotent in that it is through this entity that everything that can happen does happen. Since this Supreme Being witnesses every possible event, theists would regard it as all-knowing. Because it guarantees that your manifestation as an incarnate being will end well, theists would perceive this Supreme Being to be a benevolent entity. In light of this, the undeniable fact that there is evil and suffering in our world means that the theodicy question is relevant in this context. Who better to speak to the nature of evil in our world than the Supreme Being whose nature evidently could, but does not prevent it?

God Talk - Evil

  • What is Evil? Evil is that which hampers your advancement towards me.
  • Why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? Because your uniqueness is consistent with a world in which evil and suffering manifest. If such a world did not exist, then neither would you.
  • The desire for change is the basis of all evil and suffering. As such, to reside in harmony with a world beyond evil and suffering, you would have to never again desire things to be different. Since most such desires relate to obtaining something that you currently do not have, you would only be able to sustain this state if you had everything that you could ever possibly want. The further you are from being such an entity the further you are from such a world.
  • If you were placed as you are, in a world without evil and suffering, your presence would represent the potential for them to manifest there. In other words, you would not be either Adam or Eve in this Garden of Eden; you would be the Serpent. The only way to avoid this is would be for you to no longer be what you are. To accomplish this you must increase your willingness to relinquish your uniqueness. When you are completely willing to give up your uniqueness, you will put yourself in a world beyond evil and suffering.
  • Many of you believe that I have an Adversary that you refer to by many names, including Satan, Samael and Shaitan. In your minds this Adversary represents the ultimate source of evil and suffering in the world.
  • Is this Adversary real? In sense, yes, but it is not my Adversary, it is yours. Your Adversary is simply your perception of separation from me. It does not manifest as a distinct conscious entity that plots, plans and schemes to disrupt your efforts to advance towards me.
  • The only thing keeping you from me is your infatuation with what you are as a result of your perception of separation from me. Your Adversary is the perceived separation that distinguishes you from me and from everything else. In other words, your Adversary is your uniqueness.
  • From my perspective this Adversary does not exist as a distinct entity. It is only when I look through your eyes that I see it as such.
  • To you this Adversary is the boundary of my presence, the limit of my omnipresence, if you will. Because your Adversary manifests where I am perceived to not be, evil and suffering are only observed to manifest in its presence.
  • The important thing to realize is that your Adversary is a passive being; you are its active component. Your infatuation with your uniqueness animates your Adversary. As you relinquish this infatuation, your Adversary loses its power to inflict evil and suffering upon the world.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

God Talk V: Purpose

Copyright© 2007 K Harris

Since the origin of our species, we humans have sought to understand our purpose. Being alive and conscious in a universe in which the vast majority of phenomena do not seem to be either, allows us to perceive ourselves as special. Regardless of how unappreciative we are of our individual circumstances, the non-suicidal among us would generally agree that the experiences afforded us by being alive and conscious make it preferable to the alternative. We demonstrate this preference by not trying to kill ourselves. As we enjoy the benefits afforded us by our higher functioning consciousness, the more introspective among us invariably wonder, what are we actually supposed to be doing with it?

Non-spiritual atheists who believe we have free will generally conclude that our purpose is what we make of it. This is also true of theists whose Supreme Being is not the God of scriptures. While this answer appeals to the libertarian in many of us, it does not provide us with the sense of being a part of something greater than ourselves. This feeling is what many of us are seeking when we ask about our purpose.

Spiritual atheists and theists whose Supreme Being is the God of their scriptures generally agree that our primary purpose is to try to achieve an ultimate state beyond all tribulation. While this goal gives us something worthwhile to strive for, it does not provide a sense of the specific difference we are supposed to make in the world. Yet this is what many of us expect from the pursuit of our true purpose.

Theists and those atheists who do not believe we have free will generally describe our purpose in the context of the will of their Supreme Being (e.g., God, market forces or causal determinism). Their teleological angst flows from the fact that they do not always know what their Supreme Being wants them to do.

Do we have a special purpose? If so, does pursuing it make us a part of something greater than ourselves? Is this pursuit how we make the most positive difference in our world? Will achieving our purpose bring us to the ultimate state of being? Here is my interpretation of what the Supreme Being has to say on this subject.

God Talk - Purpose

  • What do I want you to do? Being selfless and complete, I have no desires. In addition, as the being through which all things are possible, I am essentially omnipotent. As such, there is nothing that you can do for me that I cannot effortlessly do for myself. To state it bluntly, I do not want or need anything from you.
  • It is your self-defined uniqueness, not my will that determines the most appropriate thing for you to do next.
  • It would be best for you to simply be authentic. Don’t do what you think I want you to, do what is most meaningful to you. Paradoxically this will lead you to eventually become less self-centered and thus spend more time facilitating the growth of others.
  • Selfless beings do not merely occupy a special place in my heart, they are my heart.
  • What is your purpose? To rid the world of all evil and suffering.
  • But as one person how can you do that? One selfless person is all it takes. Not only that, I guarantee you that you will eventually accomplish your purpose.
  • When you achieve your purpose, you and I will become one. When this happens you change but I do not. This event represents your coming to see yourself as you have always truly been.
  • You are one thought away from this state of complete self-awareness. What is this thought? It is different for each of you. As such, it is not only the content of the thought that is crucial; what you are when you think it matters just as much.
  • In manifesting as a conscious, self-aware being you are compelled to shape your experiences to facilitate your becoming completely self-aware. This impetus is a deeper version of the influences that push matter towards temporal equilibrium and drive living beings to survive. As a conscious, living, material being all three of these ultimately divergent forces are pulling at you. Ultimately, the one that is bringing you to me will win out.
  • As you come ever closer to me, you make the world around you an increasingly harmonious place. When you finally reach me, you completely rid the world of evil and suffering and achieve the ultimate state of being. It is important for you to realize that the only thing actively standing in your way is you.
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