Tuesday, April 30, 2013
An Individual's Purpose in Society
1:40 am est
from the violence in this world. Yet often the violent have a feeling of a higher purpose.
We have shown the problem with heaven:
Everyone wants to go there, but nobody wants to stay. This is the result of a person’s existence
in heaven being without higher purpose. Oh, sure, you get to be close to God. You get to be God,
or the Goddess, whichever which You want to be. If You want. Anything You want.
And this is extremely joyful. But that is about the most heaven has to offer. What
purpose, for instance, is there to standing around singing His praises, if that is what You choose? Does
God need that? Or is that just something, an activity, He offers His faithful to try to keep them happy?
What other activities are there, in this Celestial Rest Home, to keep the retirees busy, and entertained, and amused?
And for all eternity. Does He dumb His Chosen down, render them too stupid to appreciate the pointlessness
of their tasks?
Actually, of course, He does.
Oh, not when they get to heaven. Many of those who make the visit there, during so called ‘Near
Death Experiences,’ when they then return, report having the experience of a flash of “Knowing Everything.”
(This experience has a name, which I was unable to find. Though these reports may be taken with reservations.
It is quite possible to imagine you know everything, to have the feeling of knowing everything,
and not actually know everything, or even know significantly more than you knew before you had the feeling. Indeed,
people ‘have the feeling’ they know all sorts of things, all the time, but many times, when they are pressed,
they cannot answer the simplest questions about those things. This has a name: The “Illusion of Knowledge.”
It is a phenomenon which has become more prominent in the modern age, as the machinery of life has grown ever more
complicated, and the education of the individual has not, perhaps cannot, keep up.)
Anyway, at the best, the knowledge of the other plane doesn’t
translate easily to the language of this plane. Perhaps it might be described as being higher dimensional
than knowledge on this plane, which often is reduced to the one dimensionality of language. To my knowledge, (on this plane,)
new science has never come back with the visitor on his or her return from heaven. And a description of
some new scientific discovery would be the sort of thing which would help to lend credence to the report of the experience.
But when, at birth, the soul returns to this
worldly plane, it is ignorant not only of this plane but of heaven. Of course, being ignorant is not the
same thing as being dumbed down. Indeed, as newborns, individuals are little geniuses, figuring out
all the skills needed of a adult person, figuring those skills out from nothing, purely from their brief experience in this
life. The tragedy is that all of us, to greater or lesser degree, lose some of this genius.
We are dumbed down by the process of adapting to our world. We learn to be stupid. Some
of this is inevitable, many of the innate abilities of generalized learning sacrificed for more culturally specific skills.
Some of our stupidity is the consequence of choices we made. And some is culturally specific, depending on the peculiar
demands of each particular culture, and the position we each grow into in that culture.
each person is set to the tasks that culture offers to that person in his position in that culture. And
by these tasks the person is expected to define his purpose. To work, to marry, to raise a family, and so forth.
The individual has been conditioned to these purposes, and, when his culture offers them to him
the person is usually, to some degree, satisfied. The combination of dumbing down and the provision of
some illusory, though apparently very real, purposes is enough.
There is a spectrum, or hierarchy, of purposes. One description of this hierarchy is contained
in Abraham Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs,’ which he first described in 1943. See eg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
The, ah, need to fulfill a ‘need’ of course, provides one with a purpose. So
Maslow has five categories. (His hierarchy may be culturally specific, but the individual’s need for purpose, some purpose,
is not.) His first and most basic category is physiological needs, like the needs for food and water. The
second category Maslow calls safety needs: Security of life, family, property, and the like. Third is love
and belonging: Friendship and family, etc. Fourth is the need for esteem: self-esteem,
respect for and by others, and so forth. Fifth he called Self-Actualization: Morality, creativity and spontaneity,
etc. Fulfilling the more basic needs enables, or, in a sense, obligates, the individual to address the
higher ones. Of course, the individual addresses, to one degree or another, all of these needs, but when
the lower ones are easily fulfilled, he has more time and energy to work on satisfying the higher ones. To put it another
way, the individual who easily satisfies is more basic needs has more of a psychic hole to fill, and in filling it defines
his higher purpose.
Now it is the burden of society to provide the means to fulfill these needs, or to provide purpose for, the
individual. Ironically, the wealthier the society, the more difficult this becomes. Because,
in a wealthy society, the lower needs are easily met by the individual, the society must provide higher purpose for its members.
On the other hand, the members of a poor society are occupied by the fulfilling of their more basic needs, and higher purposes
are not so much their concern.
discontent occurs when a society undergoes change. The society changes form, so that many of its members can no longer fulfill
the purposes they have been conditioned to. Under these circumstances, the discontented members may seek
to return that society to the institutions whose purposes they were bred to fulfill. Ironically, they find
a higher purpose in this, even though they may be returning the society to one where the mass of people are preoccupied with
fulfilling the lower needs in the hierarchy. That is, these individuals find higher purpose in denying
other individuals the opportunity to find their own higher purpose.
And the immigrant sometimes finds himself denied purpose. He is conditioned to the purposes,
or means of meeting those purposes, of the society he has left. These are usually different from those
of the society one he now finds himself in.
sometimes the conditioning simply does not take in an individual, or the individual escapes it. (By one criterion or
another, these are exceptional individuals.) Or perhaps the individual is subjected to an asocial conditioning.
In each of these circumstances, the individual seeks his own purposes beyond those provided
by his society. Sometimes this results in antisocial, and even criminal behavior. Or an act may, if expressed
in terms of the purposes of another society, or alien values, appear the act of enemies.
But, there is no ultimate purpose. And it is always merely the substitution
of one delusional purpose for another, either an individual’s own eccentric delusion, or a delusion of a foreign society
different to the society of which the individual is now a part.
All that can be claimed is that there is a highest
delusion, and that is the purpose of God, whom You are. And that is the care, and welfare of the Earth, of which humanity
is the steward, and the creation of a society which cares for it.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
God and Morality, Again
12:41 am est
good and evil as just because God commands so does not provide a sound basis for morality. Indeed, the believer in God who
claims morality depends on the existence of God, and in particular that morality is as God commands it to be, is in error.
The believer in God, if he is to become morally
mature, must, in fact, eventually deny that God and his commands are the basis of his morality. He need not deny God. But he must deny that he does things simply because God says to, or does
not do things simply because God says not to.. Instead, the believer must come to believe that the people in
his life, those he shows concern for, deserve concern in their own right. He must believe that moral behavior toward
others is desired not just because someone, some authority figure, some God, values them, and says to ‘love’ them.
He must love them for themselves. If he loves others only because God commands it, he destroys the worth of the ones
he loves. Indeed, he cannot truly love them.
can the believer in God act positively merely out of fear that the consequences to himself, to his soul, if you will, would
be negative if he did not. If he treats other people morally just because God will punish him if he did not, he also
reduces those people to objects. He makes a mockery of morality, and betrays the very teachings he professes. These
are traps, which the believer in God must escape, if he is to develop to moral maturity.
Thus the believer in God must believe in the independent existence, and worth, of others, in themselves, and
not just value them because God values them. And he must believe in an objective morality, in itself, as a guide to his behavior.*
God, far from commanding, only advises.
To be fair,
many, if not most, believers in God already do this, at least for those close to them. By their own actions, they eliminate
the need for their claim that God’s commands are the necessary basis for morality. They love other people because
they value those people, and not because of any command of God.
say something is moral or immoral, right or wrong, because God commands it so is what is told to children, but this is not
a basis for the morality of a mature individual. It is stunted. For one thing, children are not old enough to accept
the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.“ In particular they are not ready
to accept the iron form of the golden rule: “You do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” They
certainly do not understand that the Golden Rule is based on the innate worth of others.
To whom, then, might the idea of God, and His judgment on the immortal soul, have weight? To whom but
those whose moral development is limited to the teachings of childhood: That people are of no consequence in themselves,
but only valuable because God values them.
what if an individual, who has never developed to moral maturity, escapes the belief in God, and the soul? What shall
guide his behavior towards other people, when he has never come to value other people in themselves?
How many of the so called masters of the universe are Godless? These very wealthy imagine
they act without apparent negative consequence to their depredations. Their wealth and power protect them. Inflicting
harm on others, or on the environment, does not bring punishment or even deprivation. There is nothing to discourage them
from asocial, and even anti-social behavior. (And this is reason for society to place restrictions on, to regulate,
their actions. Indeed, because they are powerful, the scale of the harm they do is greater.) They drive people
from their homes, and take their land. They ensnare people in debt slavery, and prosecute wars on the innocent. They
lay waste to the environment. Would they act the same, if they believed in God, or that their souls were immortal,
and subject to judgment for their actions?
assuming the existence and immortality of the soul, the consequences of action become reversed. Everything a person does primarily
affects oneself. No longer is the major affect of a person’s actions on others. The person’s actions instead
become a demonstration of how that person, himself, wants to be treated. (The recipients of his actions are, after all,
immortal, and God. Each action is as it were, a bump in their road, infinitesimal on the scale of the eternity of their
existence, and small to the scope of their true power. though the actions of the wealthy are amplified
many times.) Instead, every action a person makes affects that person’s own self. Yes, an individual action
may be small, but it is the habit which has the large effect. And it is the motive which gives it the power over the actor.
It is the expression of one’s own desire, towards oneself.
Believing their victims to be without value in themselves, then at least, because they valued their own fate,
the powerful might be brought to exercise some restraint. Thus they might be brought to do the right thing, even if
only for the wrong reasons. But, still, this seems to be better than the fact that they may be doing the wrong thing,
to the harm of us all.
*This is developed from an article
Thursday, February 28, 2013
God's Moral Compass
4:28 pm est
In which direction does God point His moral compass? Does it
point in some direction, other than always at Himself?
Here is one way God is seen by some to be a servant to His worshippers. Big God lifts away
from His little mortal images, both male and female, the burden, the problem, of having to work out their
own morality. If God is the definition of morality, then what God says is good is good because God says so. The problem then
is when Big God seems to stray. After all, if God is the definition of morality, there can be nothing wrong,
a priori, about God allowing the murder of innocents, or all manner of injustice. He’s
God. He defines morality. If God says it’s OK, then it’s OK. (Indeed, a terrorist, or
a tyrant, might say God has said the murder of innocents is OK.) Note that, if you define
morality in terms of God, you cannot say God would never allow that, because the murder of innocents is simply not OK.
You have just claimed God wouldn’t allow the murder of innocents because there is a higher morality than God!
So instead you have to agree that God might allow the murder of innocents if He decided it was OK. It’s
all up to Him. That is what you do when you define all goodness in terms of God. You can’t have it
both ways. (Well, you can, but then you have to realize you are having it both ways.
You are saying good is because God says so, AND there is an absolute standard of Good, which God acts according to.
So then you have to watch what you think God is saying, because if He’s not upholding some absolute standard
of Good, you’re probably getting the message wrong.)
As may be, the murder of innocents is not OK. There is a higher
standard. Those societies which practice the murder of innocents, or allow its practice, tend to collapse, or be in collapse.
Indeed, never mind the murder of innocents. Sufficient tolerance of injustice is enough
to destroy societies. Unjust societies are either unjust to other societies, and so create enemies dedicated
to that society’s destruction, or the members of that society are unjust to each other, and so those societies tear
themselves apart from the inside. They are sick in thought, or sick in body, and perhaps both.
Revolution is not necessary for this. (Although one might argue that any society tearing itself apart is
undergoing a revolution.) The parts of a society must exist in justice to each other, for that society to maintain itself,
just as in a biological body, each part must be fed, in proportion to the work it does. A society whose
members are unjust to each other deprives parts of itself the nourishment necessary for those parts function, to work, and
even survive. And a society without all its parts functioning well is like a body without all its parts
working well. It is sick. It may even be disabled, unable to perform functions necessary to maintain itself
in the greater world.
From the other point of view, when
God tells (or is seen to tell) a society it is OK to murder innocents, or cheat the laborer of his wages, that society has
become unjust. It has become sick, in thought and/or in body, perhaps unto collapse.
The point being that God only seems to take away the responsibility
for moral choice. In reality, each of us still has to work it out for ourselves. There
is instead something immoral in saying goodness is because God says so. It is avoiding the responsibility
of working out the morality of things for yourself. It is avoiding becoming a moral person in yourself,
of doing the right thing because you know it is right, and not because some authority figure says so.
That is what happened to Germany with the Nazis. The Germans did what they did, murdered
millions of innocents, because some authority figure, an authority figure they themselves created, told them it was the right
thing to do. They stopped trying to figure out for themselves what was the right thing to do. They gave
up that responsibility, and became immoral, and did immoral things. As a society, they became unjust.
They were unjust within their own society, and weakened it. And they inflicted
injustice on other societies, and so created enemies who became intent on their destruction.
Morality seems to be a broader term than justice. All
I will say here is that some people feel they can be unjust to people they consider ‘immoral,’ even though these
‘immoral‘ individuals and their practices have nothing to do with just or unjust behavior toward those people, or even others. They take offense at the sight, or thought of these practices.
Indeed, they invoke God, their authority figure, and say He takes offense to them, and thus they imagine they
are justified in their unjust acts toward these people. But perhaps that is not the test God has set them.
The proper job of the church, then, is not to tell you what is the right
thing to do, just because that is what God says may be the right thing to do. To be sure sometimes, perhaps
even most of the time, what they say God says is good, or bad, is correct. But
that is not the point. Even then, the point is to help to teach you to figure
out, to understand, what is the right thing to do, for yourself. It is to teach you how to have your own
moral compass, and how to use it. It is not just logic. It involves feelings. You, who are God and in the image of God, must
work it out proper moral behavior for yourself.
Because that is what God does. He does not just sit with His moral compass pointed at His navel and say "I'm
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Why Does the World Exist?
12:51 am est
Why are not all souls in heaven, all the time? Why are souls separate from God, at all? Or more
properly, why are souls, here on earth, laboring under their illusion of separation from God. Is it an indulgent God
that allows them their peregrinations? (Yes, You do!)
You being God, You are, of
course, not separate from God, although you may suffer from that delusion. Although You are God, and being immortal,
this does not make Your actions without consequence, either to Your self, or to Others, who are other faces of God.
Indeed, this world is the plane of consequence, to which souls, aspects of God, return to when they want to give their existence
And it is not that you have a soul. It is that you are a soul,
who has a body, in this world. Some souls get so involved in their body that they forget that they are a soul, and instead
think that they are the body, and that the body has a mind, if not a soul. They forget that the true consequences of
their actions are not in this mundane world, (although there are consequences in this world,) but in the next. Or perhaps
it might be said, the consequences of the soul's actions transcend this mundane world.
is not just the simple minded evildoers go to hell, good people go to heaven, kind of thing, although there is some of that.
After all, the Golden Rule implies evildoers desire to have evil done to them, and thus their hell, that is, their paradise,
is the fulfillment of those desires, at least until those desires are sated.
problem with heaven, for the soul, is that the soul's existence in heaven is without purpose, or meaning, or consequence,
which ever word you might want to use. In heaven, the soul exists in a state of "...the ultimate end and fulfillment
of the deepest human longings..., supreme, definitive happiness."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_%28Christianity%29 (In Islam, heaven, "Jannah," seems to be the instant gratification of rather materialist desires. But
each religion has its heaven, and the gratification, or satisfaction, of material desires is a common theme. Union of
one sort or another with God is another.)
The problem for the soul is that happiness is only
possible if the soul feels useful. That is, the soul must feel it is doing something, God's work, in particular,
in order to be happy, and there is no work in heaven to be done. God does it all. Or his angels, or youthful servants,
or whatever. All the soul's needs and desires, everything, is taken care of for it. But the soul's happiness
in heaven is eventually overcome by the underlying unhappiness of existence without purpose. So the soul seeks purpose,
which can only be found in a return to the mundane world, where God's work, or perhaps rather just the illusion of God's
work, is accomplished.
So the earth, the world, exists for the pleasure of the souls, to give
them purpose, or at least the illusion of purpose.
after all, God is already perfect, and does not need anything. Indeed, a perfect God, is even lacking in desire, for
desire implies the possibility of improvement, thus that things are not perfect. Therefore, what work does He need to
have done? From this perspective, there is again nothing to do, even on the mundane plane.
course, for us living on the mundane plane, there is much work that must be done. "In the sweat of your face..."
etc. And then there is the saving of souls, and such. So the departure from the Garden of Eden is
the recurring choice of every soul. Thus there are plenty of reasons in the material world for providing purpose to
life. And indeed, most souls in the mundane world turn away from the spiritual and its contemplation, finding in the
fulfilling of the needs of the body purpose enough. They turn from doing God's work, in returning to earth from
heaven, to merely satisfying material needs. See: "Fun, Fun, Fun."
But this provides a happiness of a sort, for the soul which cannot find it in rest.
For "there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold, the angels of God were
ascending and descending on it!"
Monday, December 31, 2012
The Limits of Reason
9:11 pm est
The world cannot be understood by pure reason. This is because it is not created out of reason.
The world is greater than reason. Though reason can model, or reflect, the world, reason can, at best, only provide
an ideal, an image of the world. A map of the world. Reason can, at best provide a measure of the world, yet the measure is
not the world. The world is always besides the measure, as is the mind of the knower besides the world. And both are besides
the measuring rod, before the mind and besides that which is being measured.
world can be understood as created for a reason, if we allow ourselves sufficient understanding. We must allow
ourselves understanding, though we may have been told, since childhood, that we cannot have this understanding. Sufficient
understanding can be denied by ourselves, for bad reasoning. Indeed, we always start out with bad reasoning. After
all, we start out as children, and our reasoning ability must be formed, and is, from the way we interact with reality, and
the way reality interacts with us. This is usually through our parents, our teachers, and other children. As a child,
we have no test, for the veracity of what we learn, or what our elders teach us. We are taught a model of reality, a
map, which is only as accurate as the map those who teach us have. If the map is bad, or limited, or does not conform
to reality, then neither does what we learn conform to reality.
usually, the map that is imprinted on the child and which the child absorbs conforms within the bounds of daily experience,
within which bounds it is a more of less valid model. And we suppose, as children, that therefore, what we are taught
by our elders also conforms beyond the range of daily experience. Yet how can it? Only with modern science, has
the reality of the world beyond the knowing of normal experience come within the range of human understanding. Only
through the methods and the tools and instruments of modern science has the shape of the greater world, the cosmos, become
And even science itself has its limits. There is knowledge beyond science.
Science is limited by its requirements, that is, by its method. This method excludes the subjective knowledge of individual
experience, despite the fact that all knowledge, ultimately, is subjective. Science demands is repeatability.
It is this which, in the domain of science, makes for the objectivity which is its standard.
some of this failure is not the fault of science, but of its practitioners and interpreters. Much, all actually, subjective
experience, is repeatable. Much of this is covered in the field of psychology. Yet some of this repeatable, and repeated,
experience, is rejected as un-scientific. Of the things I am speaking about are near death and out of body experiences.
(There are in fact, sites dedicated to near death experiences, or NDE's. One, with thousands of reported experiences,
is at http://www.nderf.org/.)
But there is always knowledge
beyond science. And science recognizes this. Indeed, it is somewhat the hope of science, that there will always be knowledge,
that which is beyond what is known, that there may ever be more to explore. Yet this is in a peculiar way a forlorn
hope. Because while there are infinitely many things to know, and so will always be things to discover, not all knowledge
is of equal importance. Wisdom comes from knowing which of these things of knowledge are most important, so one can
dedicate one's limited time to studying these things, and not stuff which is irrelevant to a person's larger
But allowing ourselves understanding, we can transcend the limitations
of science, and also religion. Religion also provides a description of reality, but one which
has been uninformed by science, though also, not restricted by the requirements of science. But uninformed by science,
religion is limited by the subjectivity of the experience of those who first enunciated its principles, its promulgators.
It is limited by their understanding of the world, even in revelation, which must have conformed to their
Which brings us back to why the world was created. This seems
important to know. Only by understanding the why of creation can one deduce why some actions are appropriate and others are
not. Understanding the why of creation is the first, no, second, pillar of moral thought and behavior. The first
is understanding one is God.
And from reason we can deduce, as I have shown elsewhere, that the world was created
because God was alone, and that it is therefore the way it is because God wants the company of, among others, equals.
reason is besides the actual experience of the awful solitude of God, and the filling of that void with all He/She/It
has, and had, and has ever had, (since it is all things,) which are images of self. These are the creations of will.
Reason provides a description of the motive, but is not the motive.
with a description of what we are experiencing, but it is not the experience. It is besides the experience, yet alters
the experience, by rendering clarity to our understanding of that experience. Like the measuring rod, it shows perspective,
and true relationships.
As it is the aim of the student to transcend the knowledge of his teachers.
it should also the goal of the teacher that the student transcend his understanding. And the wisdom. And the will.
But these things cannot be taught. Experience cannot be taught. The experience of God's solitude cannot be taught.
It must be experienced. It must be felt.
And it is within each of us all, waiting to be experienced.
For we are each God.
And with this experience, wisdom, understanding of the world, and reason follow.
For that is who You are.
Whether or not You choose to believe that You are God,
the One God, that of course is your divine prerogative.
As for the reality, You are God, whether You want to be or not. So Welcome!
Here You will find some
answers to some questions You may have about Your divine nature, and the nature of Your creation.
If you are
satisfied with your
life, your faith,your
God, you are
But of course,
who am I to
is only God.
God is known by
Faith and belief comprise a very important part of our lives. A person's beliefs in
many ways define who they are -- how they see themselves, what they want out of life, and more.
On this web site
I'll offer a personal account of my own beliefs. I'll describe how my beliefs have changed my life in profound and
exciting ways, and how I think they might change the lives of others.
I'll also be sure to provide links to
my favorite sites as well as information about organizations that help strengthen or support my beliefs., or provide interesting
We're still under construction here. Things
to be added. Things subtracted.
Thanks for visiting. Have a good day!
are at: truthabouttheone.com