Something to think about
CHARLOTTE, SYRIA, & NORTH KOREA:
WILL OUR TURMOIL NEVER END?

Is there no spiritual solution, can there by no effective and impacting spiritual response to the events in our world today? Whether it’s the breakdown of the cease fire in Syria or the rioting, burning, pillaging and looting in the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, or the openly public testing of rockets and nuclear weapons by North Korea, everywhere we look today we find death, anger, suffering, threats, agitation, deep and bitter unrest and unending turmoil.

How is the human race to take care of itself? Can we not even find a way to simply get along with each other? Are our differences so great that we cannot resolve them except by killing? And where is the spiritual leadership in all of this?

Annette Albright, a woman who attended one of the protests on Charlotte’s streets, was quoted in a report on CNN saying that persons in the protesting group who were misbehaving need direction.

“We don’t have leadership that this crowd can relate to,” CNN reported that Albright said. “We know how to protest and have our voices heard in a civilized way, but who is going to teach the younger crowd? Church leaders need to get out there and tell these kids that this is not the right way.”

The Charlotte protests arose following the shooting of a black man, Keith Lamont Scott, by police. The chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, Kerr Putney, said Mr. Scott was approached while sitting in his vehicle in an apartment complex. Police were there to serve a warrant on another individual, but saw Mr. Scott in the vehicle, allegedly holding a handgun. Chief Putney told reporters that police repeatedly told Mr. Scott to put the gun down, but Mr. Scott did not obey the order. That is when he was shot, the police chief, who is also black, said. The officer who shot Mr. Scott is white, and Mr. Scott’s death caused the city to erupt into racial protests and violence.

The problem, of course, is that this is not an isolated incident. Nor is the unrelenting death and suffering in Syria. Nor is the sword-rattling by North Korea. The whole planet seems to be losing its bearings, and no one — not one national leader, not one global religious or spiritual figure — has so far stepped forward with an appeal or a response that appears capable of touching people’s hearts sufficiently to drive an effort forward that could bring to an end an entire species’ apparent headlong fall into self-destruction.

I wrote about this in the days after 9-11 in 2001 — and what I wrote then is every bit as relevant today, and could just as easily be applied to the events and circumstances making headlines in this moment. These events cause every thinking person to stop their daily lives, whatever is going on in them, and to ponder deeply the larger questions of life.

We search again for not only the meaning of life, but the purpose of our individual and collective experience as we have created it—and we look earnestly for ways in which we might recreate ourselves anew as a human species, so that we may end at last the cycle of violence which has marred our history.

The hour has brought us much sorrow, yet behind the sorrow, if we look closely and long, we will see opportunity. It is the opportunity for us to take a new path, to show the world a new way, to demonstrate at the highest level our most extraordinary thought about Who We Really Are—as a people, as a nation, and as a human family.

The whole human race is invited now is look to see what it is we truly wish to experience on this planet. Then we are invited to be the source of that for each other.

If we wish to experience peace, we are invited to provide peace for each other.

If we wish to know that we are safe, we are invited to create safety for each other.

If we wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, we are invited to help each other to better understand.

If we wish to heal our own sadness or anger, we are invited to heal the sadness or anger in each other.

If we wish to have justice done, we are invited to act justly with each other.

The world is waiting now. It is anxiously awaiting the morrow, not knowing what may come. Its people are looking for guidance, for help, for courage, for strength, for understanding, and for assurance at this hour. Most of all, they are looking for love.

The words to that familiar song were never, ever more meaningful than they are today:

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No, not just for some, but for everyone.

This is the moment of your ministry. This could be the time of your greatest teaching. What you teach at this time, through your every word and action, will remain as indelible lessons in the hearts and minds of those whose lives you touch, both now, and for years to come.

We will set the course for tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment.

There is much we can do, but there is one thing we cannot do. We cannot continue to co-create our lives together on this planet as we have in the past. Yet we will continue to do so if we focus our energy on pinpointing where blame falls, rather than where cause lies, in the unhappiest of our experiences.

Unless we take this time to look at the cause of our wounds, we will never heal. Instead, we will forever live in fear of retribution from those within the human family who feel aggrieved—and, likewise, we will forever seek retribution for them.

To me the cause is clear. The majority of the world’s people have not learned the most basic human lessons. They have not remembered the most basic human truths. They have not understood the most basic spiritual wisdom. In short, most people have not been listening to God, and because they have not, they do ungodly things.

The message of God is clear. No matter what the religion, no matter what the culture, no matter what the spiritual or indigenous tradition, the bottom line is identical: we are all one.

The Bible, which is only one of humanity’s many sources of spiritual teaching, carries this message throughout, in both the Old Testament and the New.

(Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Malachi 2:10… so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:5Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body…1 Corinthians 10:17)

This is a message the human race has largely ignored.

Our religion, our politics, our economics, our education, our whole way of life is based on the idea that we are not one, but that we are separate from each other. We are thus willing to inflict all manner of injury upon each other. We would never do this if we thought that we were actually inflicting injury upon ourselves, yet this injury inevitably does fall upon ourselves—for like begets like, and negativity only breeds negativity.

Our history has proven this. Still, there seems to be one thing for which many human beings will give up anything. They will give up peace, love, happiness, joy, prosperity, romance, excitement, serenity, everything—even their own heathfor this one thing:

Being right.

But even if we are right, what is spirituality’s recommended course of action? What do the greatest spiritual teachers of all time, each in their own way, tell us at times such as these? It is something that many of us cannot (or do not wish to) hear.

…I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:44)

Can this be sound advice?

If we could love even those who have attacked us, and seek to understand why they have done so, what would be the final result? Yet if we meet negativity with negativity, rage with rage, attack with attack, what then will be the outcome?

It is easy at times like this to fall into rage—and even to mistake it for justice. Yet rage never produces authentic justice. Indeed, it inevitably creates injustice—for someone. That is because rage is anger that has been repressed, and, when released, it is always misdirected.

Anger itself is not inappropriate. Anger is a natural human response, and can even be a blessing, if it leads to change. Yet as we feel our anger and express, there is one thing about which we should make no mistake. The human race has the power to annihilate itself. We can end life as we know it on this planet in one afternoon.

In the early days of our civilization, we were able to inflict hurt upon each other using sticks and rocks and primitive weapons. Then, as our technology grew, we could destroy a village, or a town, or a major city, or even an entire nation. Yet now it is possible for us to destroy our whole world, and do it so fast that nothing can stop the process once it has begun.

Is that the process we wish to begin? This is the question we must answer.

In searching for our answer, I hope that each of us will have our own conversation with God, for only the grandest wisdom and the grandest truth can address the greatest problems, and we are now facing the greatest problems and the greatest challenges in the history of our species.

It should be no surprise that we are doing so. It is not as if we have not seen this coming. Spiritual, political, and philosophical writers for the past 50 years have predicted it. So long as we continue to treat each other as we have in the past, they have said, the circumstance we face in the present will continue to present itself in the future.

We must change ourselves. We must change the beliefs upon which our behaviors are based. We must create a different reality, build a new society. And we must do so not with political truths or with economic truths, and not with cultural truths or even the remembered truths of our ancestors—for the sins of the fathers are being visited upon the sons. We must do so with new spiritual truths. We must preach a new gospel, its healing message summarized in two sentences:

We are all one.

Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.

This 15-word message, delivered from every lectern and pulpit, from every rostrum and platform, could change everything overnight. I challenge every priest, every minister, every rabbi and religious cleric to preach this. I challenge every political party spokesperson and the head of every national government to declare it.

And I challenge all of us, right now, to become spiritual activists. If we want the beauty of the world and not its ugliness to be experienced by our children and our children’s children, we must choose to be at cause in the matter.

Please Note: The mission of The Global Conversation website is to generate an ongoing sharing of thoughts, ideas, and opinions at this internet location in an interchange that we hope will produce an ongoing and expanding conversation ultimately generating wider benefit for our world. For this reason, links that draw people away from this site will be removed from our Comments Section, a process which may delay publication of your post. If you wish to include in your Comment the point of view of someone other than yourself, please feel free to report those views in full (and even reprint them) here.
Click here to acknowledge and remove this note:
  • mewabe

    Most of humanity does not know how to deal with emotional pain. Rather than feeling their feelings, and healing, many seek revenge…perceiving a hurt or an offense, they want to strike back, not to stop the hurt, but as payback. This is when they must justify their actions by claiming to be “right”, to have morality or God or some law on their side, to validate such payback.

    To heal, we must stop blame. If one of us is guilty, all are guilty…if one can be judged, we all can, and will be, by ourselves and by others.

    Healing means ending the blame, ending judgment, it means acquiring an understanding from the heart, not from the head or the ego. It means understand, from within, why people behave the way they do…because they refuse to or cannot release their emotional pain, and consequently suffer, and act in accordance with such suffering.

    • Spiritual_Annie

      Mewabe, my friend,

      I agree with much of what you’ve said here so well. I would expand on a couple of things.

      Part of the problems of today is the common person’s acceptance of the status quo. I think that there are so many people living in fear, especially as homelessness continues to increase. I’m not sure if that comes from the woundedness of people, or just blatant fear. Fear that there’s not enough of the basic supplies of food, water, shelter, clothing. Fear that we`ll spend the rest of our lives lonely (which is different from being alone, though not all see the distinction). Fear that we`ll be pulled over for something benign and be killed (or doing anything that the local police could question, whether or not in a vehicle). Fear that, because we bought something illegal to use for our mental or physical health that we couldn’t get through legal means, we`ll be thrown in prison and fined so highly we can’t pay (and thus be thrown in prison for failure to pay). Love overcomes fear, but it can take work as deep as healing woundedness.

      I also think that we no longer know who to trust. It seems more apparent every day that mainstream media is no longer just reporting facts but is either biased or entertainment. All we have to do is look at the accusations about Fox being pro-Trump, or for that matter, Trump and his blatant lies. Even Snopes is now accused of being nothing more than a sophisticated Google search that’s no more accurate than any other, rather than the truth. And, of course, we`re given the message, outright and in many other ways, not to trust ourselves. This lack of trust also leads to fear, conquerable by love because learning to love ourswlves allows us to connect with the still, small voice inside. That voice can be used as a compass, to help us discern what is true.

      The only thing I would disagree with is that the minority of people willing to do their own Spiritual work is insignificant. I have seen how little it can take in my doing my own work has affected my inner circle, and how it can spread outward in ripple effects from them. I think that’s why Margaret Mead said we should never underestimate what a small group of committed people can accomplish, because eventually those circles of ripples begin to overlap and build strength, affecting those around more strongly. One only has to look at history to see how individuals drew people to their cause and changed the world: Mohatmas Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Osama bin Laden, Adolf Hitler.

      If enough of us are willing to focus our energies on love, from self-love to loving all, then no matter how close we may come to self-annihilation, there is still hope. There’s nothing more powerful in creating change.

      Love and Blessings Always,
      ~Annie

    • Gross Prophet

      Thank you, mewabe, for so eloquently and earnestly conveying the HEART of the matter (no pun intended or implied).

      @patrickgannon:disqus, I want to make sure that you see this post by mewabe, above, and then tell us all how science could possibly address this issue?

      You complain of straw-men, yet you constantly build them yourself, just so you can
      triumph over what you assert other people ‘believe’ about their own subjective experience, and you consistently limit that interpretation of their beliefs to your own narrow understanding and frame of reference. Just stop. Realize that science can not possibly be the be-all and end-all of human experience, when so much of human experience is, BY NATURE AND DEFINITION, SUBJECTIVE.

      This is the ‘live and let live’ that mewabe was trying to get you to see, but you adamantly refuse to allow for others. You are not ‘happy’ unless you think you can tear down their erroneous ‘beliefs’ and assumptions. Let others have their beliefs. Not all of these NECESSARILY (as you seem to BELIEVE) do you, or them, any harm.

      The ‘beliefs’ in the world of science are simply the best that we are able to derive AT THAT TIME, and are always superseded and/or refined as we (the collective human consciousness) achieve a greater, or further, or more acute understanding of reality. ALLOW THAT SAME PROCESS TO OCCUR IN MATTERS OF FAITH/SPIRITUALITY!!!

      I am aware that you consistently deny/negate any of your own personal experience(s), so that you might not wander into that morass of ‘belief’ (god forbid), but stop trying so hard to project your own doubt and uncertainty onto others. You want to live your life the way you do — fine. We need all different sorts in this world. Just allow the same courtesy to others, and stop trying to dispense wisdom unto everyone else from your own (as you perceive it) lofty perch so obviously superior to their ‘beliefs’.

      Some may chastise or castigate me for this post, but this is why you inspire such ‘friction’ from others — because you refuse to simply live and let live, and constantly try to minimize or outright nullify their own experience, about which you can ‘know’ ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, by definition, and your own admission.

      Don’t forget to enlighten everyone just how SCIENCE can deal with the issue as delineated so passionately by mewabe.

      • Patrick Gannon

        Mewabe has expressed the same sentiments as myself regarding the value vs. potential harm that may come from holding beliefs. The primary difference between us, as I see it, is that I hold science (actually objective evidence) in higher regard than he does. I don’t trust subjective evidence. Tell me why I should. Tell me how I can know with a high degree of probability that it is true.

        Neale does not “live and let live.” He has pounded mainstream religions and their beliefs with great relish. I have taken much from his material and use it to this day when debating with other religionists. He has a right to express his views, and to insist that we need to change beliefs (to what he believes, that’s the way it always is), but I have a right to question whether the problem might be beliefs themselves.

        You’ve spent a fair amount of energy going after me, but why do you think I am wrong? Beliefs cause people to fly into buildings, to blow themselves up, to beat their wife and children, to force other to ascribe to their beliefs – I see a lot of bad that comes from beliefs, and Neale has pointed this out for years. HIs solution is not to examine whether beliefs themselves might be the problem, but to propose instead that he has better beliefs we should adopt. That may actually be a “patch” on the problem, but I don’t think it’s the cure. I’m open to hearing why I’m wrong, keeping in mind the undeniable fact that science works. It’s not necessary to believe that!

        • Gross Prophet

          And just so does religion and their concomitant ‘belief’ systems work. Neither has access to the WHOLE TRUTH, neither has the entirety of humanity or the universe in which it lives completely figured out — but each have discovered some few certain truths about their respective spheres of concern.

          I will grant that religion tends to be more dogmatically ‘fixed’ (or fixated) in its expression, but that is simply due to the difficulty of adequately expressing truths apprehended, and the inability of most to grasp what they themselves have not personally experienced (remember 2+2=4? It is a mathematical verity, yet is not ‘true’ for a particular individual until they themselves have apprehended/understood that truth.)

          But religion as a whole was a necessary evil once upon a time, without which your vaunted ‘science’ would never have arrived. The problem as it exists today is that so much of established religion denies the veracity of new revelation(s), still seeing itself as more beneficial than detrimental, even though most people have already, individually, moved past such immature understandings as presented by the established sects/religions.

          Everyone has to have some sort of beliefs by which they interact with the world around them. You choose to believe in the scientific method. Good for you. It is the best we have derived SO FAR, but it is by no means perfect, or complete. What I and many of the others here try to convey is what we believe, which may or may not fit what you continue to assert they do. None is complete, or perfect, but many do represent a deeper, or clearer, or more refined understanding of that same spiritual impulse which is every human’s birthright.

          What established religions do to any new experience/revelation that does not fit with their dogma is the same thing that you attempt to do to others who post here. My question is — if their ‘beliefs’ do not threaten your ‘beliefs’, then why do you spend so much time and effort to try to repudiate them? Why is it that you can’t seem to simply ‘live and let live’?

          I am not looking for a long, drawn-out ’round-n-’round with you about this, simply putting my two cent’s worth out there. I have other things to do with my life than spend countless thousands of hours on here, arguing with people who have no intention of actual discourse, but simply want to win some imaginary mental duel.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Not that it matters, but I have several reasons for participating in blogs like this one. One of those is that I put forward this proposal about beliefs themselves perhaps being the problem, as opposed to the ‘wrong beliefs’ being the problem, some time ago and have yet to hear any half-way decent rebuttal. I ask this of other Christians, particularly Catholics in other blogs, and nobody has given me a good reason to consider changing or abandoning my hypothesis. As far as I know, the way I put it, is my hypothesis, as I don’t see anyone else positioning it as I do. I don’t like the word “belief” or “believe” (even though it’s in one of my favorite songs), so that’s my foundation. Others talk of cognitive dissonance in a related fashion, but I don’t see anyone else proposing that it may be beliefs themselves that are our core personal and societal problem.

            Another reason I participate here and in other blogs is to let people know it’s OK to challenge the guru’s the priests, the clergy, the philosophers, as they don’t have all the answers, or in some cases any of the answers. I think it’s empowering to see the status quo or authority challenged. I wish I had been exposed to more people challenging religion when I was younger. It might have saved me a lot of wasted time being joyless.

            Finally, it’s fun and stimulating and makes me think. I want to be challenged, I want to think, I want to avoid dementia and I’m getting up there in years. If you don’t like my posts, the solution is very simple – don’t read them. There are a couple people here whose posts I don’t read. No harm, no foul. But don’t tell me not to post my thoughts… it’s called the global conversation. I’m conversing.

          • Gross Prophet

            I notice that you have brought up a dozen or so other thoughts, while pointedly avoiding the one most salient point from my OP in this thread — that of any kind of coherent response to mewabe’s post about healing emotional scars, and just how, exactly, science is ever going to help there.

            Like I have said before, you simply want to blather, and try to appear intelligent and (in your mind) superior to those (again, in your mind) STUPID enough to hold actual ‘beliefs’ — and you still don’t see how the scientific method is just another set of beliefs.

            Again, I am done with you. I have no desire to play your stupid games.

          • Patrick Gannon

            One of my posts appears not to have been placed here. Science provides all sorts of help with healing emotional scars through the development of psychiatry, the development of drugs to help people who have mental health issues, to the research and discovery of what the brain can do and how it affects our bodies, emotions, etc. Of course science plays a very important and critical role in addressing these problems. Science can even be used to show the effects of meditation and to study whether visual imagery or other techniques can help with such conditions.

            I’m glad that you’re done with me. You’ve said nothing to dissuade me from my proposition that it is beliefs themselves, rather than having the wrong beliefs, is bad for us.

          • Gross Prophet

            I had no intent for, nor delusion of the possibility of, dissuading you from your position about beliefs. My intent was to get you to stop harassing others about it. But you knew that already.

            Science will never be able to understand, or ameliorate, or alter, how someone reacts, subjectively, to external events, and will therefore never be able to solve the problems described by mewabe’s post. But you knew that already, also.

            All you ever do is divert, deflect, never address the main issue, unless doing so ‘sideways’, so you can always appear to be reasonable, while refusing to ever even ponder the thoughts of another. You are pathetically transparent, to the point one could describe you as Neale’s most ardent stalker – with all the malevolent and psychotic connotations that word usually engenders.

          • Patrick Gannon

            And thank you for illustrating and sharing your highest version of the grandest vision that you hold for yourself.

          • Patrick Gannon

            And I disagree that science will “never” understand the subjective output of the brain. One of these days when computer processing power is large enough, we will be able to map every single neuron in the brain. We will then be able to see if the brain acts in accordance with the laws of our physical matter reality, or whether it is acted upon by external forces. If it is acted upon by external forces, we will be able to indirectly observe and measure them (as we indirectly observe and measure dark matter, for example), and at that time we can know rather than believe.

            I’ll also note that your hostility to me is in line with my hypothesis. In challenging your beliefs, you are angered. I think this explains why Christianity has become the religion of hostility to the other. As scientific knowledge increased, our brains run into cognitive conflicts when what we learn conflicts with what we believe, and I suggest that makes us anxious and angry and hostile. Your response adds evidence supporting the hypothesis. Thanks for your contribution. (grin)

          • Gross Prophet

            If I seem ‘hostile’ to you, that must be your own guilty conscience. I simply have little patience for stupidity, and that is all you display in these threads. You toss out ideas, and say that no one has ever posited a decent rebuttal to them, while MANY have, you have simply refused to ponder them. No matter the train of thought, no matter how it is phrased, or presented, you dismiss it out of hand, and throw out some other mental chew-bone, kick it around for a bit, and believe that you have made some sort of point.

            I have never seen you respond in any pattern other than, ‘…yes, but…’. It is intellectual dishonesty of the basest sort, it is tiresome, and you should be called on it. The fact that you try to ‘shame’ me with some of Neale’s phrasing shows that I have hit pretty close to the mark — your true motivations revealed.

            I really don’t care that you are too benighted to see that your BELIEF in the scientific method is the same kind of thing you rail against, I simply would like you to stop lying to yourself and others about exactly WHY you post so much here, and post in the the way that you do. The stalker motif is blatantly apparent to any who read through these threads. You’re not intellectual, you’re pathological.

            And, before you try ‘shaming’ me again, I BELIEVE that telling the truth is among the highest of virtues.

          • Patrick Gannon

            And you never respond when I point out the flaws in your arguments… so let’s drop it, OK? As I said earlier, all you have to do is ignore my posts.

            What you will not see, is me calling anyone stupid or pathological, etc. While I disagree with Neale’s focus on beliefs, I probably take a lot more of his ideas to heart than those who spew venom at me for challenging the accepted wisdom. When unable to respond to the issue, believers always seem to resort to personal attacks. There’s nothing to be gained from that, so goodbye. Done here.

          • Gross Prophet

            The truth hits home, and you can’t handle it, so you throw up your hands and call for a time-out? Typical… Please show anywhere, in any of our back-and-forths, where I have made an ‘argument’.

            Ignore the posts? Physician, heal thyself. Glass-house, meet stone-thrower. Choose your analogy. Just spend a little time pondering what I have said.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Aargh, I hesitate to continue with this, but you asked where you “have made an argument.” How about this as an example. Is this not an argument? I put forth a response, you ignored it and called me names.

            “Science will never be able to understand, or ameliorate, or alter, how someone reacts, subjectively, to external events, and will therefore never be able to solve the problems described by mewabe’s post.”

            That, Mr. G. Prophet is an argument. (Speaking in absolutes like that is generally unwise based on my experience!)

          • Gross Prophet

            You even alluded to the answer for this in an earlier post. Subject 1500 people to the exact same external experience, and you will receive 1500 responses/descriptions of it, to all varying degrees. Some will focus on the smell(s), some on the sound(s), some on the emotions it triggered, etc., etc., etc..

            I can speak in absolutes about this, as you have consistently failed to acknowledge the intrinsic dichotomy between science (the natural world), and metaphysics (the super-natural world). If you ever could achieve the ‘Grand Unifying Theory’ to merge these two, then you would, in effect, BE God. (Hint: absolute coming) That will NEVER happen as long as we are within this physical realm. Science will NEVER be able to answer those questions.

            The reason your posts are so tiresome, and so irritating, is that most everyone on here has moved past these kinds of questions L-O-N-G ago. Were you really so interested, you would enroll in a college course in philosophy, where you could do an in-depth study of what much greater minds than yours have concluded in regards to these questions, instead of just some Google snippets or Wikipedia perusal to be able to pretend you know what you’re talking about.

            You continually, consistently try to act like you already have all the answers, when you have never even seen all the questions – let alone given them any real thought.

          • Patrick Gannon

            So why do you engage me then? All you have to do is skip my posts; but you can’t resist the opportunity to tell someone you disagree with how stupid and pathological and tiresome, and irritating they are – all very unspiritual words representing your personal character, rather than mine. Further you have absolutely no idea of my reading list. and how long and varied it is. I read at least one book a month on subjects such as history, religion, science, philosophy, etc. I could probably teach college classes on some of these subjects.

            This is exactly what I face when I debate fundagelicals and Catholics. It almost always devolves into personal attacks by the believers, once they realize they can’t defend their beliefs. I used to debate Muslims, but after having my life threatened twice, I backed out of those forums, as I can be found since I don’t hide my identity. The cognitive dissonance hits some of them very hard.

            Again, I disagree that science will never be able to explain our subjective experiences in the future. I am certainly not claiming to know the answers. My proposal is that we should not lie to ourselves and pretend to know the answers until and unless we actually do – either by dying, or by science learning more.

            But again, you don’t strike me as being interested in anything but attacking me, so this dialogue is of little value and unless there is something worth discussing besides your unspiritual depiction of my personal character, I shall bid you adieu, Mr. G. Prophet. Hmm – I wonder if the fact that I don’t hide behind an avatar identity is the problem. I’m an open book. My name is there. Anyone who wants to find me should be able to do so in a 5 minute google search. I’m not hiding my identity; you are. It’s easy to call people names when you’re pretending to be some fake internet persona; but it’s still childish and immature.

          • Gross Prophet

            Childish and immature is lying to yourself, and that is the worst of what I see in your posts. You consistently refuse to consider ANY information that does not comport with your preset, foundational BELIEFS. What you SAY you read means absolutely nothing. The fact that you live your entire life lying to yourself means everything.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Psychiatry and the tests used to diagnose would never pass the rigorous standards of the scientific method as they are based primarily on the subjective experience of the patient, usually via a questionnaire. Psychiatric medications do not always treat illnesses, but rather symptoms, and there are mental health issues that can’t be treated with medications, such as PTSD and personality disorders. If you’ve ever read the prescribing pamphlet each manufacturer must include with the original packaging, you would be aware that many are tested on a small sample (often under 500 patients) and state that the method by which the medication achieves the result is unknown.

            Psychotropic medications aren’t necessarily researched for the sake of science but for profit, and are often approved without a clear understanding of the overall effects on the brain, mind or body as a whole, again for profit. Science is also restricted in this area as the benefits of marijuana and other scheduled “drugs” can’t be studied legally in America, even though marijuana has proven elsewhere to treat anxiety disorders and LSD has proven elsewhere to be useful in terminal patients in facing physical death.

            If you want to cite how science helps, I’d suggest you find another example. In medicine, profit rules over science.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Researching subjective experiences in a controlled fashion is not scientific? It’s not employing the scientific method?

            You seem to feel that since science has not solved all psychiatric problems, that it is of no value. You disparage the medicines the discipline has provided because they aren’t perfect and because corporations make excessive profits on them. If there was no science, there would be no way to put profits over medicine in the first place. Where do you think they came from?

            You seem to be suggesting that since science hasn’t solved every single problem it should be done away with. Cool. Go live in the deep woods without any of the benefits of medical science or any other science. Have fun.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            And there you go. Sure, it would be scientific if science had the tools to take such detailed readings so as not to miss any minute aspect that could ever be discovered now, in the past and in the future, because my experience can’t yet be completely detected by the latest equipment. That’s the only way I can try to fit the type of experiences we have into the box that’s necessary for a controlled experiment, and it still doesn’t speak to the entirety of the experience because it is an experience, not a set of data or a collection of knowledge. And not all of us can or will perform on command.

            And he’s off. First one extreme, then the other with no middle ground allowed. Your “seem to feel…” and “seem to be suggesting…” lines let you make gross mischaracterizations? I did not say, or imply, that science is of no value because it hasn’t solved all ppsychiatric problems. In the first paragraph I stated facts about a subject you brought up. Period.

            It’s not that the medications “aren’t perfect” but that they’re dangerous. The method by which they provide an effect is often unknown, they are often tested on a small group (half of which receives a placebo) rather than larger ones or over the long-term, they treat symptoms rather than conditions, and not all psychiatric conditions can benefit from medication.

            It’s not that corporations make excessive profit on psychotropic medications. It’s that the profits are so grossly excessive as to be out of reach financially for many, even with (or including the cost of) insurance. It’s the greed and indifference behind the profits, at the risk of the physical and mental health of those who can afford it, that bothers me. It’s the withholding of natural substances like marijuana and kratom, and synthetic drugs like LSD, which are known to provide the same or better benefits with fewer side effects, that in part allows for those who manufacture medications to set their prices so high that I see as inhumane.

            I never suggested, said or implied that science should be done away with because it hasn’t solved every single problem. Science has its place. It’s not, however, the be all and end all, or the final word as new discoveries are made all the time. It’s not an all or nothing proposition, either. Science is already controlled, both by law and by financial concerns. Why not consider quality of life issues as controls as well? Things like deaths from combinations of medications in classifications commonly combined, and long-term effects especially as diagnoses are allowed at younger ages in the DSM-V.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I interpreted your previous posts as proposing that science had nothing to offer in the way of studying subjective experiences. Subjective experiences such as yours can be counted, classified, described, collated and potentially used to draw conclusions to explain them. Maybe it turns out that every person who has X experience has N condition. I think some people might be afraid to discover this as it would blow away their long held beliefs.

            I use terms like “it would seem” because as Neale’s article that we discussed earlier explains, perception is a big part of reality. I always try to explain my reality by telling people how I perceive their statements, so that they can correct my perception if it is wrong. Some people put words in the mouths of other people, that they didn’t say, in order to create false perceptions about those people in an attempt to put them on the defensive. I’m too experienced at this game to let that happen to me.

            The content about corporate greed has nothing to do with the value of the scientific method. It strikes me as a distraction to the discussion, in an attempt to link a process with an unrelated issue – much like straw man arguments. You launched into a discussion of the things that science should investigate and research (but is perhaps held back by corporate interests) and I would agree with you on practically all of that; but the scientific PROCESS has nothing to do with the fruits of its labors. The individual scientists and their individual and collective beliefs are a factor, but science – the process – stands alone. It is a process designed to determine truth. What could be better than that?

          • Patrick Gannon

            Hmm. I responded to this, but my post hasn’t showed up. Perhaps it will show up in a while.

            I want to add a comment about how Neale’s weekly newsletter this week was more about doing than believing – which I liked, but he spoke a little about beliefs.

            He said, “What we call “reality” is a simple mental construction. Our perspective creates our perception, our perception creates our belief, our belief creates our behavior, our behavior creates our experience, our experience creates “reality,” and our “reality” creates our perspective. It is a circle, and one thing inevitably leads to another.”

            He should have called it a “vicious circle.” It seems self-evident to me, that the more objective the perception is, the more reliable the belief (which I would prefer to call the thinking or knowing), and thus create better behavior. Catholics, from their perspective, believe the cracker to be Jesus, but there is no objective evidence for this. Neale from his perspective believes there is a deity that we are all part of, but there is no objective evidence for this. He may be right that it’s all a (vicious) circle, and I suggest that if we are to make progress, we must break out of the circle, we must stop believing thngs for which we have no objective evidence, and change our perspective to one of open minded skepticism, and I predict that will change our behavior in a positive manner, as it will have reduced the amount of cognitive conflict we endure as a result of beliefs, both individually and as a society.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You obviously missed the point if you believe that the quote above is about “doing” because it’s not. In context, this is derived from Neale’s Conversations with God experience, and it is an observation about hown this circle can work if one doesn’t intercede. He goes on to say in the material that we can choose a different perspective, thus changing everything.

            You also continue to state that Neale believes in a “deity” without clarification. Neale clearly tries to connect with others through the use of the term God but doesn’t identify God with a particular deity. He regularly changes gender references on purpose. He states that what underlies all of Creation is the Divine Energy that puts subatomic (and maybe subquantum) particles in motion, that science has yet to understand. It’s more along the lines of Einstein’s and other’s search from a Unified Theory than it is a deity.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Straw Man Annie, I didn’t say any particular quote was about “doing,” I said the newsletter article was primarily focused on doing instead of all the usual believing. Most of the column was a list of wonderful things we should be doing, whether we believe in gods and afterlives or not.

            I have questioned Neale directly about his use of the term deity and he sticks to it.

            Deity: a god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion).
            “a deity of ancient Greece”
            synonyms: god, goddess, divine being, supreme being, divinity, immortal;

            Frankly I think what he describes is not really a deity as the word is defined, but Neale frequently redefines words for his own purposes. Putting capital letters on certain words, for example, allows him to attempt to change the meanings of words whose meanings are otherwise well established. This only contributes to confusion and more cognitive conflict in my view.

            The point is, there is no objective evidence for his deity, or any other, and he’s admitted as much, yet he wants us to change our beliefs to his. I’ll wait for the evidence.

  • BALO

    The overall awareness of our human race is in a limited state and our deeper understandings are therefore microscopic. Our eyes see life like a telescope to the Universe. We have tunnel vision and are on a train that’s heading away from unity. Even when we are greeted by truth and acknowledge it, we still disregard it. Why? Because we don’t love ourselves enough to make the necessary changes. Because our personal love for self is lacking, our love for another isn’t in sight. Even if we come to know this, we are too lazy to do anything about it. It would be an inconvenience to take action and alter our behaviors and thoughts for a better world and a much grander life experience.

    We act according to our independent wants and needs instead of seeing someone else as a part of us and including them in our life picture. You are someone reading this, I too, am someone…we are all the sum of one. That sounds beautiful but it doesn’t enter the human heart barrier for a life altering experience in most cases. It’s just not enough to wake people up because they have strayed so far from the path that they aren’t just sleeping, they have locked themselves in a cryogenic chamber without a defrost date. The youth who look to us for “the way” are given these examples of how life is lived here and then follow suit. Deeper down the rabbit hole each generation goes.

    Some who are thawing out may agree and even produce good feelings from the idea of making change but no one wants to make this concept a reality. We seek pleasures of the body instead of pleasures of the soul as is stated in the CWG book. More people flourish to the cell phone store to obtain a thousand dollar device to entertain their minds with meaningless content than to gather in the name of love for free. People everywhere are spending their life time on experiences that serve no real purpose because they do not understand the purpose for which they have come here for. We have disconnected our passion for life and love and have plugged ourselves into a digital dreamland of despair. Things are our priority. Objects are our obsession.

    Technology isn’t to fully blame for this abuse because if we lived a different way we would use our technological advances differently as well. Tech has its place when balanced and built with the utmost care for health in mind, but this isn’t the case at present moment and we don’t use it properly; me included. The chemical world we have created along with the food and drug industry (which are all becoming almost identical by the way), assists in the destruction of our planet and of our physical selves as well. Little wonder people use narcotics to escape the pain and depression this life program has caused, only to be chastised for its use even though the contraband is hardly any different health wise than what they are forced to consume and environmentally absorb around them. The real difference is the mighty dollar needs to drop in the right pocket. Hitler was a visible face of genocide but the present people within these industries hide behind their products and so called care programs to make a buck on our lives. We the people have been taken advantage of and we don’t seem to want to rise up to at least defend our very own rights as human beings to live a healthy, happy, equal and peaceful life here on Earth. Who blames them when they have youtube and iphones to keep them content; blind to the real world and its corruption and chaos right behind the very screens they stare at.

    All of this behaviour is even larger on the scale when observed globally. Entire nations who have been subject to lies and deceit, who are victims to greed and belittlement and are damaged by those who seek to be more powerful a neighbor do the same to their societies. The result is a frustrating lashing out in return on every level. As the youth follow us, we the made up adult society do the same from our examples handed to us by our leaders. Our societies have been manipulated into living life this way and as a nation we represent ourselves this way with the help of our governments persuasion for political purposes. We seek to hurt instead of to heal. We seek to look after self instead of our larger self which is all.

    Even as I write this I find myself hypocritical when reflecting on even my most recent behaviors, and trust me, I have many ticklish skeletons in my closet just like most everyone else! Don’t feel bad about that, feel good. Feel good to have the opportunity to choose again. I’m pinching myself everyday to wake up and take action out of love. A love-olution is what we need and I am making my way to the front lines! I have made significant changes as I listen to my soul and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I am my own soulmate and my mate helps me out in every moment, just that I wasn’t aware of this before not too long ago.

    One person CAN make a difference. The CWG books have altered my life significantly and I would like to think my insightfulness and inspiration which is growing within me, is partially due to the CWG novels which has helped sculpt some of our world as a result. But it’s going to take each and every human being to cause our planet to fully Unite. No more leaving it up to the few who have walked this twirling rock, telling of our most extraordinary truths. All of us have to join hands for a global sculpture to take loving form. We don’t have to do anything, but if that is the change we all want and are not getting as Neale has said, then we must make it happen together.

    Love never backs down. So continue to help your fellow earthly beings with love and understanding, patience and compassion. See your self within them and help end their struggles as you would try to do for your closest family members. They are your family members so help them to re-member. Most of all, love your wonderful self. No matter what you think or feel, give yourself some sugar baby!

    Martin said it perfectly: You can’t fight hate with hate, only love can do that. Love is your heavyweight champion of the world. Let it enter the ring.

    Want to make some change? Love is the answer.

    I love you all.

  • Theresa Weaver

    I used to think that we could heal ourselves as a species, but the possibility of doing so seems questionable at the moment. The idea that we can instantly have peace if we choose it is a wonderful idea. In the biggest and grandest picture, it is very true. The question does not lie in the possibility of it being, as I see peace as part of the true nature of all things, but with whether or not we (the human race) are so deeply ingrained in the illusion of separation and conflict that we even have the capacity to choose anything else. Are our collective wounds (whether they’re real or illusion) cut so deep for many seeing the way out is beyond expectation? Have we been living in a state of fear and separation so long that it is simply part of our DNA and a physiological response? What if the undoing of our species is something being chosen by the collective as a means of displaying what happens after tens of thousands of years of conflict, and we need to experience this destruction to maybe learn a better way next time around?

    I don’t know the answers to those questions. I agree that every religion teaches us to love one another, but it also acknowledges a sense of brokenness in our story. It seems to acknowledge that we fall short and mess up an awful lot. It’s alluded to time and again how the pat of spiritual awareness might be simple, but it’s hard to stay on. The bible itself is not so much a history of God as it’s a history of our own folly, foibles, and falling short….and then self-judgement for those things. It’s so plain, but it is blurred and twisted so much.

    Perhaps all I can do is my best….my best to remember that we are one in spirit, to love, to forgive others and myself, to be at peace, to be honest, to be empathetic, and to continue to grow in our understanding of life. Can doing/being those things really save our planet of species? Will it catch on? Will it start “trending” within our collective consciousness? These days, I honestly don’t know. But, I never will know if I don’t at least make the most valiant effort to be peace and love. Maybe I’m just here to give it my best shot.

    • Patrick Gannon

      I haven’t completely given up hope, though the picture is bleak – but from the perspective of a peasant serf in medieval Europe, we are living in paradise, so everything has to be put in perspective. Over the last couple centuries we have made tremendous strides overthrowing the evils of religion by admitting genocide, slavery, sexism, racism, homophobia, wrath, vengeance and jealousy are undesirable traits, even though they are all espoused by the Abrahamic gods. We have a long way to go, but we are much better off than we were in centuries past, thanks not to religion – but to science.

      Neale speaks of us being “all ONE” and I used to love that concept in the spiritual sense, but am no longer convinced that there is any reality to it. On the other hand, it is incontestable that we are all ONE in terms of our human DNA, and in fact our DNA is all ONE at some level, with every other organism on this planet. We may or may not have a soul or consciousness that survives this life, but our genes survive us as long as mankind lives; and indeed we are ONE in that sense.

      • Spiritual_Annie

        I disagree that things are better than for the peasant serfs in medieval Europe, who were no better off than slaves, indebted to their “employers” as many are today. It’s obvious that you don’t struggle with hunger or shelter, or other basic neds. I know many who are fighting just to make ends meet, even with both partners working and without any children. You sound like someone who doesn’t have to concern yourself with food, water, shelter, medical care, keeping the electric on, indoor plumbing, or paying your cable bill. Those are luxuries for some of us. Far too many.

        Have you ever considered that our consciousness is derived from our DNA, which determines so much of the rest of who we are? Science knows so little about our DNA that it’s possible it’s triggered by a certain series in a specific order that triggers our brains to connect with our consciousness, which we humans use to both build an existence that separates us from and then leads us back to connecting with our Souls. Maybe that’s part of what happened eons ago that differentiated us from the rest of the animal kingdom. It’s as possible as anything else having to do with our DNA as there`s so much yet to understand.

        ~Annie

        • Patrick Gannon

          I would invite you to move back to that time if it was possible. I don’t know your age, but I suspect that you would already be dead, as the average lifespan was half what it is today because those people had no scientific knowledge to speak of. They didn’t know anything about germ theory; they were told by the Church that their role in life was to suffer in hopes of some glorious afterlife. If you think the number of people (in America at least) who starve to death, comes anywhere close to what they experienced in those days, then I invite you to read a history book or two.

          No, I have not considered that consciousness derives from DNA, but indirectly, I don’t see why that wouldn’t be true, given that our DNA is responsible for our brain’s construction, and consciousness appears to be an emergent property of the brain.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I love reading and have read many history books, including about medieval Europe, because that’s where my ancestors came from when they came to America. Thank you for the recommendation, though. It allowed you to see me as ignorant, though, and I am not.

            You are using the quantity of years where I consider quality. You also see death as the end, where I do not, and I understand that there are times when death is preferable to life. Would it be better to live longer in illness and near starvation, living only to perform hard labor for another? Is it better that a person who loses their employment, then their home, then their health, live another 30 years in the same circumstances that they cannot change because there is no work to be had? I also consider the whole planet as America doesn’t exist in a vacuum. I care about human existence, not just Americans. I would suggest you broaden your horizons to include those you apparently don’t consider. There are people struggling to meet basic living requirements all over the planet, including in America.

            Since we’re talking about what appears to be, consider that all matter, including our DNA and our brains, consist of particles caused to be in motion. Maybe it’s the energy that causes the motion of particles that contains our consciousness. Maybe there’s that same energy, with consciousness attached, everywhere, in everything and everyone to varying levels. Maybe all that energy is God and we just need a new definition of a term we misunderstood and personified in order to relate. It’s not only a possibility for me, but something I’ve come to know through my own and others’ experiences.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Annie, I think it matters more to agnostics and atheists when people don’t have good lives here on earth. Religions tell us not to worry about it, because it will all be better when we die and go to a better place. New Age God tells us don’t worry about it, because we never die, we just keep recycling, and in fact when something goes bad here it’s because we chose it ourselves. Why should we try to fix something a person chose to experience?

            In both those cases, there is no strong driver to do something about conditions here and now. All will be taken care of in the hereafter. Atheists and agnostics think this is most likely the only life we will ever get, so what happens in the here and now is what really counts.

            As for the maybe, maybe, maybe in your last paragraph – maybe so! But we don’t know, so we shouldn’t believe until we have objective evidence.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I’m not sure where it is that you’re getting the idea that Neale proposes we just live with our circumstances as they are. That’s certainly not my take on his books, websites, courses or seminars. It’s certainly not what’s at the core of the two organizations he started. I haven’t seen any references to karma and repeating the same choices. On the contrary, he says each lifetime of experiences is unique and precious.

            Yes, Neale proposes our Souls choose why it is we’re here in this physical life. He also says we have the power to choose differently from what created the events in our lives, and thereby create new circumstances. Our circumstances aren’t the same as our Soul’s purpose. I haven’t seen in any of the CWG materials that proposes we simply accept our fate, either in this life or any other. In fact, my reading of it all is that we’re here in this physical life for a purpose, but we can experience it in an infinite number of ways based on our choices.

            Referring to some New Age God as if all New Age spirituality is the same is a misinformed stereotyping of both New Age spirituality and what Neale has shared with us through CWG. Neale’s understanding of God is that it’s the creative energy that sustains this physical realm. My understanding, from extensive reading, is that there are many branches on the tree of spirituality. Neale expresses this by saying his is not a better way but is another way to express ourspirituality, rather than proposing it’s the only way. I see his proposal for all the people he mentioned announcing what he suggests as a challenge for some of the most stuck people to get unstuck – to come to a new understanding about God and ourselves. The 15 words he proposes would serve to open people to a larger perspective, whether within religious or political organizations or not.

            You can choose to believe in what is in the CWG materials or not, just llike you can choose to believe anything else, including the sciences that use our brains you say we can’t trust. If we can’t trust it to reveal our spirituality then we also cannot trust it in its observations or calculations. If the masses can be deluded, it can be just as deluded in scientific discovery as it is in organized religion or spirituality.

            Even science itself is becoming less dogmatic, referring to habits of our existence rather than laws. At the quantum and subquantum levels, particles exist as probabilities rather than a specific placement in space-time. Science isn’t as precise as most people believe. If they’re open to things that aren’t certain, I see no reason to accept what I’m told more from one than the other. Instead, I base my life on what I and others experience, including scientists who I see as having an experience with a different perspective of the same thing – our existence.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Where did I say ” Neale proposes we just live with our circumstances as they are.” I wondered how long before the straw man stepped to the podium. Neale has some wonderful advice and I would never make that statement. However he says we have no need to forgive. There is nothing we need to do. We have no needs. We cannot fail. I’ve read his material too, Annie.

            When I refer to New Age God (NAG), I’m primarily referring to Neale’s god. No, I do not believe in NAG, although I did for a while. Now I insist on evidence and it turned out that there was as much evidence for NAG as there was for Yahweh. I like NAG a lot more than Yahweh, but that doesn’t make either one of them real.

            The reason we need science is because we can’t trust our brains – that’s why objective, empirical evidence is so important. Our brains aren’t being subjective, when they are working with objective evidence. Your conclusion that because we can’t trust everything our brains tells us, means we can’t trust science is patently absurd and illogical. Our brains told us the sun went around the earth. Objective evidence told us otherwise. Our subjective brains were wrong, but using objective evidence, the scientific process worked. No belief required. (However it could all be a simulation!).

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You’re still not getting it that we use those same fallible brains when making what you call objective evidence is being culled. Scientists can have as much a bias and brains they can’t trust. Why trust theirs more than my own fallible brain when it is to my experiences?

            More later on this. Gotta run.

          • Patrick Gannon

            When you have a subjective experience, what evidence is there? There’s nothing but your personal testimony. When scientist investigate evidence that is objective – everyone can see the evidence. Science depends on peer review. We can’t peer review your experiences.

            Of course scientists have biases, but that’s what the scientific process is designed to overcome, by using repeatable experimentation and observation by multiple scientists.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            To continue from above…

            Paraphrasing Neale out of context is the same as “cherry picking” verses from scripture. He says forgiveness isn’t necessary when there is a more complete understanding. He says there is nothing we need do in order to meet some requirement of others, especially God. He says not that we have no needs but that we can rely on our needs being met as evidenced by our history and the fact we’re still alive. He says we cannot fail because there are no requirements to meet.

            Our observations are often subjective. What we take in through the five physical senses is distorted by our individual instruments and processed by our unique brains without our giving it conscious thought. Some see auras, for example, where others do not. Seeing auras doesn’t invalidate the rest of an observation, such as seeing brown hair and blue eyes. However, our perspective or history may inform an observation, such as skinny or tall, or by comparison with a standard or norm. We don’t live in isolated, controlled environments like a scientific lab.

            The scientific method involves first having a hypothesis, then proving iI true or false. At a quantum and subquantum level, some particles exist in different places as possibilities. I don’t think it’s outlandish to consider that a scientist’s expectations can affect where those particles appear to be when they are observed.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I would not agree that I took Neale’s ideas about forgiveness out of context; I simply didn’t expand on them as you did. I know all that. As I said, I’ve read the material. I’m not going to use my posts to repeat things Neale has said hundreds of times. If one is not familiar with Neale’s ideas about forgiveness, then he or she is new to this forum and Neale’s material. I’m assuming a certain level of familiarity with his material in this forum.

            You went on to agree that our observations are often subjective. I completely agree and have made this point repeatedly. Given that our observations (and experiences) are subjective, they are difficult, if not impossible, to verify based on our current state of technology. One day when we can map the entire brain, we may know better. Today, we know for a fact that our brains “fill in” the blanks with memories, emotions, etc. and that this information is frequently wrong, and hence this subjective material cannot be trusted to be accurate.

            I wouldn’t use the word “outlandish” in the consideration that observation may have effects at the quantum level, but to the best of my knowledge, there is no definitive evidence for this idea. In scientific terms, “observation” refers to measurement, and measurement means the inclusion of some measuring device, which may be affecting results. If you have to bounce photons off of particles in order to measure (i.e. observe) them, you’ve probably affected the original thing you were measuring. It may be valid, but until proven, it’s foolhardy to believe it. Your brain knows that we don’t have the answer to this yet, but when you believe you have that answer anyway – you lie to your brain, set up an internal cognitive conflict and get mad – at me! LOL That’s my hypothesis, and again and again the evidence supports it.

        • Patrick Gannon

          I’m going to back out of the personal stuff that debates with you always seem to turn to. I’m certainly not blind to the plight of others.

          The second paragraph is interesting, and presents a viable scientific possibility – one for which we have little or no objective evidence, but which remains a possibility until and unless proven otherwise.

          The difference is that I see it as something to be studied because we clearly don’t know yet, but you believe in it without any objective evidence. Be patient. We’ll get the evidence in time. As computer processing continues to expand, one day we will map the entire brain – every neuron, and then we’ll see if the brain acts according to the laws of physics in our physical matter reality, or whether it is acted upon by outside forces – said forces, now having become observable through their direct or indirect effects, will no longer be supernatural.

          But for now, we don’t know and the evidence we do have, does not seem to support this hypothesis. Rather than lie to our brains, telling our brains to believe things the brain has no evidence for, doesn’t it make more sense to wait and see what the real truth is? Can it be healthy to lie to ourselves like that?

  • Awareness

    Thank you Neale Donald Walsch 🙂 I came across a youtube video containing an interview of Abraham (SOURCE ENERGY!) channeled by Esther Hicks and decided to share some wisdom from it as follows (video titled: “The answer to EVERYTHING!!”):

    “You cannot look at things that make you feel terrible and create a wonderful world and this world is full of as many creators as it is full of as many perceivers. In order words you don’t have to wait for the entire world to figure this out for you to live a wonderful life experience. We know we see so many wonderful teachers and leaders suffering because they feel guilt over the joyful life that they are living because they do not have the power to bring every person on the planet to the same joyful life that they are living and we say you teach through the clarity of your example.” 🙂

    I also came across a youtube video where Abraham (SOURCE ENERGY!) was asked regarding “911” (video titled: “ABRAHAM HICKS If Abe Was President At 9-11”:

    “Here is what we would say, we would say and we would say it to the world, we would gather a world forum, we would ask all of the television cameras to come and this is what we would say.

    It seems that this act has come in response to other actions. It seems that someone is seeing this as a way of sort of levelling the playing field. And it seems to us that if we respond in kind that all that will happen is it will stir up more of the same and ensure more of these pockets of disaster happening globally as time goes on. And so we have decided that we will do the unthinkable or the unexpected and not respond. Not because we think that they are right but because we do not think that in doing that we would be right either“ 🙂

    Regarding the nuclear issue, I feel that everyone involved should speak to and negotiate with each other without preconditions. All countries including the current nuclear powers must get rid of their nuclear weapons 🙂 In any case they would never be allowed to use them in a large scale global nuclear war according to BASHAR channelled by Darryl Anka:

    “This arena of your Nuclear weaponry is just about the ONLY area in which the civilizations observing Earth will actually DIRECTLY INTERVENE depending upon the situation.” “LARGE SCALE GLOBAL WAR WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.” “And this has been demonstrated to your government and your military many times in many different countries, where our craft have prevented those delivery systems from working at all and sending a message that WE CAN DO SO ANY TIME WE WISH” from BASHAR channelled by Darryl Anka 🙂

    Regarding the North Korean nuclear issue, I suggest that Neale Donald Walsch get in touch with that country to convey his peaceful approach 🙂 Recently a group of 11 boys from Britain’s Eton college met with the Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss world Affairs 🙂 If these boys could do this then I am sure Neale Donald Walsch can meet the North Korean Leader/Leadership to discuss the Nuclear issue and world affairs 🙂 God has given you all the tools to do this 🙂

    Bless ALL 🙂

  • mewabe

    One quick comment about the events and protests in Charlotte: it appears, and this unfortunately does not surprise me, that mainstream society and the deadstream corporate media care more about property than about lives. That so many unarmed people are shot unjustifiably by trigger happy and unaccountable officers who are protected by powerful and corrupt police unions and by unaccountable and secretive police departments and sympathetic prosecutors does not seem to upset the mainstream in the least or the political establishment…but a few broken windows and a bit of mayhem in the street and that is the end of civilization.
    Is order more important than human lives? Is broken stuff more damaging to society than bodies riddled with bullets? When the authorities act like organized crime, lying and hiding evidence, what are the people to do, write to their Congressman?

    • Patrick Gannon

      I think there’s a bit more to it than just destroyed property. The people in buildings, cars, etc. that are attacked, are fearful and we can feel for them, envisioning ourselves in a similar situation. Violent protest is generally not as effective as civil protest.

      • mewabe

        And we can feel for black people and other minorities who fear for their lives every time they are approached by police, can’t we? Apparently not…otherwise changes would have occurred already and violent protest would not be necessary!

        • Patrick Gannon

          It’s a question of bringing the issue to the attention of the American people, who are already suffering from information overload. When we bring things like this to our attention, we tend to deal with them and make them better; but civil protests are far more beneficial. Violence is not “necessary.” It’s usually counterproductive. In your post at the bottom of this thread, you deplored violence, but here you are claiming that it’s “necessary.” Gay people did not engage in violent protest in order to get marriage equality. We can change things without violence.

          For example, CNN showed the Charlotte videos yesterday, and it does not look good for the police. Those videos are going to provide empathy for blacks. That makes us very aware of the problem that black people face when dealing with the police.

          On the other hand, if you watch videos of these protesting blacks breaking into buildings, beating up white people, looting and burning, stealing everything from shoes to cars, (much of which the mainstream media does not play, but the videos are all over social media of this violent activity) it does exactly the opposite. It makes us ask – where the heck are the police; and it feeds our fear of black people; and we all know what fear does – just ask Yahweh.

          • mewabe

            What does it take to bring the issue of police shootings and beatings to the attention of the American people, when one unarmed black person is shot about every other day in America, and many beatings make the Rodney KIng incident look mild?

            I know there is information overload, such as keeping track of the Kardashians or of the latest Trump tweet.

            I have never feared black people or any other minority, so I do not relate to this type of consciousness.

            Gay people did protest violently during the Stonewall riots.

            I do not condone violence, which is why I oppose police violence and brutality. By “necessary”, I meant that the protesters seem to think violent protest is necessary because no one pays attention to the problem otherwise, even with the black lives matter movement. What I see as necessary regarding this specific situation is a change in police protocol and a better training, as they for example undergo in England, as well as transparency and accountability.

          • Patrick Gannon

            The problem of police shooting blacks, pales in comparison to blacks shooting other blacks. The numbers aren’t even close. This is the same with Islamic terrorism. They kill tens of thousands of each other, but only a handful of us, yet we live in needless fear.

            I’m glad that you are not in fear of blacks – but I’m white, and in my newspaper on a near daily basis there is some black guy killing someone – usually another black – but day after day there is black person after black person in the newspaper, charged with murder and other violent crimes. Sure, there’s a white guy from time to time, but the numbers aren’t close. Of course I’m alert and somewhat anxious when I go to areas of town where there are a lot of blacks. I would be foolish not to be concerned, given the increased odds of violence. It’s a simple fact of life, regardless of the cause.

            Frankly, I think black leaders are largely to blame for this, preferring to play the race card and the chip on the shoulder card, instead of exhorting their fellows to get educated, get a job and stay with their kids. When I see videos of protesters throwing rocks at cars from overpasses – cars with families in them – when I see them breaking the windows of buildings other blacks live in, when I see them busting up the busses that take other blacks to work, when I see them kill each other – then what I see is a law enforcement problem. If we give up the rule of law, then we’re lost.

          • mewabe

            “The problem of police shooting blacks, pales in comparison to blacks shooting other blacks.”

            This is a classic Fox News argument. It is flawed because although it is obviously true that there is a lot of lack on black crime, the police are not supposed to be competing with criminals in a killing spree. They are supposed to “protect and serve”, not be vigilantes, and we have the right to expect more from them than acting like gang members.

            The solution is not to blame one side or the other, but to actually heal both sides, to fix actual practical problems on both sides.

            On this particular issue, all the police had to do to prevent or stop the protests was to release the video. Instead they keep acting as if they were above public scrutiny, unaccountable to the public, essentially giving the public the finger.
            That’s a problem, beside killing unarmed citizens, both black and white, and red.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I am not disputing that there is a problem. Nobody is proposing that the police are competing with criminals, given the low numbers, but these numbers have to be put into perspective. I’m sure you know that cops kill a lot more white people than black people. This year there have been 708 shootings so far (no judgment being made on how justified or unjustified they might have been), and 173 have been black. Should white people be rioting and burning cars and throwing rocks off overpasses and breaking windows, and beating up people? That behavior cannot be tolerated, no matter what color you are.

            I agree that the police probably screwed up here, based on the inconclusive evidence we have so far – we really don’t know for sure. Whether it was the right thing to sit on the videos until the investigation reached a certain point or not, is difficult to say. Releasing it early could have further inflamed people leading to more lawlessness, property damage, injuries and deaths. It’s always easier to be an armchair quarterback after the fact.

            What gets the sympathy of the people is the videos themselves – when in fact they do show cops killing people they shouldn’t. Where the sympathy gets lost and the gains backtracked, is when the rioting, looting and civil disorder tells us that the black community should be feared, and we all know what fear leads to…

          • mewabe

            Again, you are quoting conservative talking points.

            I don’t have time to go through the details with you, but if you are interested in this topic you can google and read the following article online from the Washington Post:
            Aren’t more white people than black people killed by police? Yes, but no.
            You may also google this from the Denver Post:
            Fact check: More whites shot by police in 2015 than minorities?

            Black people do not loose my sympathy for rioting…again, I do not approve of violence, but I can understand their anger and frustration, and looting and civil disorder pales in comparison to murder by police, which is an on going problem.

          • Patrick Gannon

            No, I’m not. I simply googled for the statistics. I haven’t watched Fox news since Colmes left. I subscribe to no “conservative” publications.

            We shall have to disagree. I am appalled by the rioting and lack of respect for the rule of law. I don’t think we fix the ongoing problem with violence – I think that just makes it worse.

          • mewabe

            If you want to look at statistics, you have to see them in context, not out of context. That’s what the articles I mentioned do, they present the statistics in context. Presenting them out of context is what Republicans like Huckabee have done, because they have an agenda.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I just read the Post article, and it points out that blacks commit more crimes, and more of them confront police with guns. It tries to make excuses for this, but the numbers speak for themselves. Yes blacks are killed at rates higher than their percentage of the population, but they threaten cops with guns at a higher percentage, and they commit crimes at a higher percentage than what they represent of the total population. As the article points out: “But it is true that a disproportionate amount of murders and other violent crimes are committed by black Americans.”

            Crime rates are higher in black neighborhoods, which is why cops are there in the first place. The article says, “Overall, the majority of the people who have been shot and killed by police officers in 2015 and 2016 were, based on publicly available evidence, armed with a weapon and attempting to attack the officer or someone else.”

            What’s going to happen is that cops are going to stop enforcing the law in black neighborhoods…. Let’s see if that improves the situation.

          • mewabe

            Read the Washington Post article as well…
            The point is that too many people, not just black, are shot and killed by an unaccountable police force that is, generally speaking or so it appears, protected by powerful unions, corrupt police administrations that fire good cops and promote bad cops, and sympathetic prosecutors.
            If you do not think this is a problem, you either do not know the facts or are biased…either way, very unscientific of you, don’t you think?

          • Patrick Gannon

            Did I ever say this was not a problem? You guys are desperate to straw man me into a bad guy because I think the black community has to take some responsibility for their actions, just as everyone else does. I’m not saying we have no problem – I’m just saying that rioting is not the way to fix it. I think that will make it worse.

          • mewabe

            I am glad to know you think it is a problem….mainstream society however does not seem to think so, or at least not an urgent one, otherwise the problem would have been fixed. This might be why people riot, when they are not heard by government. However the media does not seem to get that.
            Perhaps when a politician or a banker or a CEO or a judge’s daughter or son becomes a victim of police brutality or of a shooting by police, then something will be done?

          • Patrick Gannon

            Perhaps we just need to keep feeding these videos to the public who will create the impetus to reduce these incidents and punish those who do wrong. I’m appalled by some of the videos and would like to see some of those cops in jail. Some are more questionable. When the public sees videos of rioting, the videos of the cops unjustly shooting people get moved to the background of their minds. The violence that could affect them moves to the front of their minds, and thus the violence is counterproductive in my view.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            A question: are you lumping together the rioters and the BLM movement? Many do by referring to them by the grouping of “blacks.”

            I was in St. Louis when Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson. I lived between Ferguson and the area in the city where another unarmed young black male was shot and killed by a city police officer, though it and the looting we had wasn’t widely reported. The looters in St. Louis were mainly criminals who took advantage of the unrest, along with people desperately poor who followed and grabbed what they could in order to sell it for food. Until the looting, the only violence done was by the police against the young men they shot, and against reporters who were there to cover the peaceful protests.

            All we need do is look to the Standing Rock Native American protests to see where peaceful protests are being met with violence. Prayer gatherings are now being met by the national guard, who use military force against the protesters. Those at the Standing Rock camp have caused no damage beyond spray painting heavy equipment that will wear off with the weather and use, but they have been met with tear gas being dispersed by a crop duster, armed military rifles, even a weapon that uses sound.

            Not all people have the patience or the support of the Standing Rock and NoDAPL protesters. If one tries peaceful protest and legal measures, is ignored or misrepresented by mainstream media, and is still ignored despite their best efforts, what other recourse is available to them? I don’t promote violence, but understand the feeling of frustration that can lead to it.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Anyone who takes advantage of legal protest to loot and riot is a criminal, regardless of whether they are normally law-abiding citizens.

            The point I was trying to make was quite clear at the debates. Hillary was speaking of her plans to make things better for blacks, (even though her husband was complicit with the 1994 3 strikes crime bill that sent so many of them to jail for minor crimes), and Trump was saying what his followers wanted to hear: “Law and Order.” Of course “Law and Order” coming from someone like Trump means abusing minorities, but the riots give him the excuse to drum up racist hate. When blacks riot and fail to keep their fellows in control, then they all end up suffering as the Trumps of the world say, “Look! See? They are all criminals and we need harsh Law and Order to control them.” They should work hard to avoid frightening white people and thus giving the Trumps of America that excuse to continue in their bigotry.

            I understand the frustration, but let’s not forget that some of it is self-imposed. Many black leaders, instead of exhorting women to get married and stop having children without fathers (72%), and instead of exhorting young blacks to stick with their women and raise their kids to be respectful in school and get an education, and get a job and support their family, instead focus on the huge chip on the shoulder and how they are “owed” something by white society. Other ethnic groups from Poles to Irish to Italian have gone through this discrimination and racism and emerged from it, but the black community has failed to do so to the same degree and I think there are a number of black leaders who are complicit in this failure of many blacks to more fully integrate into society. When they riot, it’s “us vs. them” and that makes it that much harder because they give ammo to the Trumps of America, and frighteningly, there seem to be a lot more of such people, than I ever would have expected.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You are lumping all Blacks together. You’re assuming that the people involved in the BLM Movement or its organizers somehow have control of the public at large, specifically those who are Black. That is just as stereotypical as is profiling by law enforcement. The people who are rioting may not have anything at all to do with the BLM Movement. The same goes for your references to Black leaders. There is no one Black leader who represents all Blacks, just as there is no one White leader who represents all Whites.

            When one is homeless and hungry, obtaining food for themselves and maybe their families is instinctual. Even science certainly proves that. If there is no other source (many food pantries can’t keep up because of a decrease in donations), I can’t fault those who follow in the wake of rioters in order to not starve.

            Obviously, Hillary Clinton is running on her own history and merits, not her husband’s.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I wasn’t referring to BLM at all. I was talking about blacks in general. No, I’m not expecting BLM leaders to control the public at large. I’m hoping that school and church and political leaders, and most of all responsible parents, in various communities will exhort each other and their kids to self discipline. I recognize that the problem goes beyond their current leaders, and indeed I think some black leaders have made things worse. I understand the frustration that drives them to riot, but I think it’s counterproductive because it gives ammo to the Trumps of the world. I would not look favorably on any rioting in a country that exists because of adherence to rule of law. If we give that up, we’re done.

            Are you suggesting that Hillary disagreed with her husband? She’s on record as wanting to “bring them to heel,” as you may recall. Ah, let’s not get into politics here.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You’re the one who brought up both Trump and Clinton. “On record” from when? Is this part of her current platform, or from when she was Secretary of State? Or as First Lady? If it’s from the past, you’re not allowing for societal changes and her changing in response to new circumstances. Science is self-correcting, but not people?

            The problem of absent fathers isn’t limited to any one race or culture. You quote statistics about Blacks with no reference point or comparison to other ethnicities. If Blacks should (according to you) “[exhort] women to get married and stop having children without fathers (72%), and [exhort] young blacks to stick with their women and raise their kids to be respectful in school and get an education, and get a job and support their family,” then it holds true for all. You also seem to forget that marriage is a choice. I can attest to the fact that not all children are better off with their fathers in the home, married or not.

            You are again lumping all Blacks together. This is patently unfair as within any race, culture or ethnicity there are a wide and wonderful variety of individuals with varying lifestyles.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Straw Man Annie, I said, “I’m hoping that school and church and political leaders, and most of all responsible parents, in various communities will exhort each other and their kids to self discipline.” This does not lump all black people together.

            So tired of your dishonest, unspiritual straw man arguments. You just can’t seem to make a point without attempting to misrepresent my words. I’m not going to discuss this further with you. Bye.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You immediately follow with, “I recognize that the problem goes beyond their current leaders, and indeed I think some black leaders have made things worse.” To whom are you referring with “their” if not Blacks that you refer to in the very same sentence? And to whom does the percentage refer?

            How much clearer can I be when I’m quoting you?

          • Patrick Gannon

            You very rarely quote me – you usually just put words in my mouth.

            I’m referring to the black community, however you would like to define that. According to the latest statistics 72% of black babies are born out of wedlock. Look it up.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I haven’t contested the statistic. I have said you cite the percentage without context or relation to other information. I made a point of quoting you because of your recent complaints about my supposedly putting words in your mouth. Thus the quotation marks.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I explained the words you put in quotes. I think you’re struggling to twist my words in order to try and paint me as a racist. If you didn’t understand the applicability and context of my reference to out-of-wedlock births in the black community, then I’m sorry. I thought it was pretty self-evident.

            I would encourage you to continue to use direct quotes of mine, rather than putting words in my mouth. I will certainly comment on anything I actually said, and will admit if I erred, but let’s be honest here – very few of your attacks on me are based on things I’ve actually said.

            Why are you so antagonistic to me, but you give Mewabe a pass? Our views are very similar when it comes to beliefs and the New Age “religion.” As I mentioned earlier, I put more emphasis on objective evidence and the scientific process than he does, but otherwise, our views are very similar – but I’m the one you straw man over and over again. Why don’t you beat up on Mewabe for a while? Why is it that Mewabe and I can have spirited discussions and end up on good terms, finding some area of agreement in almost all cases? What is it about me that antagonizes you (and Gross Prophet) so much?

            My hypothesis for this has been clearly stated. I propose that believers hate having their beliefs challenged, as it creates an internal cognitive conflict – particularly if one is intelligent; i.e. the genius you’ve claimed to be – and this internal conflict creates anxiety and makes the believer hostile. Mewabe is not a believer, hence he does not get hostile with me. He understands the problem with beliefs, and thus there is no cognitive conflict when I present my ideas, thus no hostility from him. That is my hypothesis, and I see it confirmed here and in other forums, again and again.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You call that “commenting on everything [you] said”? Point of fact, your didn’t. You simply sidestepped. You didn’t address why it is the only statistic you cited, out of context.

            You assume a lot. It’s not about you. It’s about mewabe. He has shown me we have more in common than not, even though we have differing opinions about some things. I get his sense of humor, so I often laugh with him even when his silliness isn’t addressed to me. I appreciate his courtesy and kindness. I respect his opinion and his transparency because he has earned it. “What is it that you’re not doing that mewabe does?” is the more appropriate question as I see it.

            You assume hostility. I have learned that it’s in my best interest to speak plainly and directly with you. If you hear antagonism, it’s not about me because it’s not coming from me. I sound stilted and clipped to myself sometimes, and I’m careful to be blunt with you because I don’t want to be misunderstood, to inadvertently leave an opening for misinterpretation, to lead you to repeat the themes you fall back on by the end of the discussion if not the end of most of your posts, or to make myself a target. It’s tiresome to again hear that you feel you have the right to direct the conversation here back to the same subject, and to “sound as if” you feel entitled to answers to your questions. I more often roll my eyes or chuckle while shaking my head than anything else. That’s neither hostile nor antagonistic. I even pointed out two recent instances where I could have called you on things but hadn’t, then you said something about my jumping on what you say, so I pointed them out. All out of not wanting to give you the remotest reason to call me unspiritual or Ms. “Nit-Pik” again.

            I ask questions most often to get clarification, sometimes because I’m confused and sometimes when I’m flabbergasted. Your posts may sound clear to you because you already know the subject and your opinion but may not be as easy to follow for those of us who don’t. You “seem to find” some kind of hidden motive behind everything I say, even when I do quote you. Again, that’s not coming from me so I cognitively deduce it must be coming from you.

            It appears to me that you’re the one incorrectly assigning meanings to my questions and statements, the one who shows often he doesn’t like being questioned by answering a question with a question or taking something I said personally, and the one seeing evidence where it doesn’t exist because I’m only proof of your hypothesis if you misunderstand me.

          • Patrick Gannon

            How is the statistic I quoted out of context? I was making the point that there are a great many children in the black community without two parents, and I cited statistics to back up my point. I don’t get where you are going with this, or how you could be confused, but it’s not that important – I just wanted to provide some evidence for my point, so I wasn’t accused of making things up.

            Yes, at the end of my posts, I generally come back to my original point, because those who respond such as yourself are so careful to avoid addressing it. I don’t recall hearing you defend why you think having beliefs is healthy for us, even when our brains know they don’t have evidence for what we are telling them to believe. Mewabe has agreed with me. You’ve avoided the subject. The discussion always migrates to being about me, and why I’m such a horrible person for not believing what you believe.

            I am always happy to clarify something I’ve said, if you ask. Just quote the section that is confusing, and I’ll attempt to reword it so that it’s more clear.

            Well it’s the end of the week, and it’s unlikely I’ll return to this thread before next week, so have a good weekend.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            See the next of Neale’s columns where I answer it fully because it’s the actual column topic.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            The problem with any police officer shooting their weapon or beating a handcuffed prisoner is about power over others and lack of accountability. It happens more to people of color than it does whites, as statistics show. It happens far too often when the individual shot is unarmed.

            Watching the video footage, whether by police or the public, it’s obvious that in many of the shootings the officers involved don’t provide any assistance to their victims, even after they are handcuffed. There’s no call for an ambulance, no first aid or CPR administered, no checking for even a pulse and breathing. This is callousness and an us versus them mentality born of power over others due to lack of training, accountability and empathy.

            I grew up in an area that was about 50/50 of whites to persons of color, most of whom were black. I have seen firsthand the racial profiling by police, starting in my teens several decades ago. It’s only gotten worse with time. The movement today reflects the civil rights movement, which eventually split between peaceful protesters and those who choose violence because they feel that they’re not being heard peacefully.

            I choose the rule of love over the rule of law. I am certain that, when we’ve lost that, we’ve lost everything.

  • Patrick Gannon

    “We are all one. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way. This 15-word message, delivered from every lectern and pulpit, from every rostrum and platform, could change everything overnight. I challenge every priest, every minister, every rabbi and religious cleric to preach this. I challenge every political party spokesperson and the head of every national government to declare it.”

    Never going to happen – for the very reason that Neale himself promotes, and that is “beliefs.” All of those other players have beliefs, and those beliefs insist that they are right and others are wrong. Neale has no problem with beliefs; he just has a problem, like all those others, with people not believing the right thing – what he believes. All our problems would go away if everyone would just believe what the Pope believes, or the Rabbi, or the fundagelical – or Neale Walsh. It’s all about beliefs – and what are beliefs? They are lies we tell ourselves when we don’t know the truth.

    A far better approach would be for all those religious people and politicians to stand up in front of the cameras and say: I don’t know. Nobody does. All we can do is keep searching. It’s OK to “hope” that there are gods and afterlives, but don’t have faith in this – don’t pretend to know things you don’t know. Don’t lie to yourself. Lying to yourself sets up internal cognitive conflict and this is not healthy. This cognitive conflict that is growing as science gives us more and more that contradicts our deeply held beliefs, may be responsible for Christianity becoming known as the “religion of hostility to the other.” Individuals and society may be so hostile right now, in part, because of the lies we tell ourselves about pretending to know things we don’t know. Faith is not a virtue; faith is a character flaw.

    I am becoming ever more convinced that the problem is not having the wrong beliefs, the problem lies with beliefs themselves.

    • Spiritual_Annie

      Once again you`ve written off all of us who know, through our own experiences and the experiences of others, that we are connected as One. That’s standard practice when you troll here to vent because you feel you were duped by Neale.

      Not everything can be proved by the scientific method. I look in a mirror and see that my hair is brown. That’s an experience whereby I come to know I have brown hair. I meditate and my consciousness expands to know we are all one consciousness on a plane not kept in our normal, everyday level. Another experience whereby I come to know. It`s no more a “belief” than my having brown hair.

      ~Annie

      • Patrick Gannon

        No, you only believe you know, because without objective evidence all you have is subjective evidence and we know the brain fools us all the time, and that we can’t trust it to feed us accurate information. As I’ve noted before, all you have to do is ask 10 people what they saw at an accident or crime scene to discover that we can’t trust what our brain tells us. It “fills in the blanks” with information that is often false. This is very well documented.

        “Not everything can be proved by the scientific method”? Such as? You may be right, but give me an example, because I can’t think of one. The use of logic, reason, and most of all, evidence, is required by the scientific method. The only things it can’t prove, are things for which there is no evidence.

        You look in the mirror and observe that your hair is brown. You can actually observe that it’s brown – you can compare your hair with other things that are defined as being brown, you can probably have it analyzed to confirm that it’s brown. That’s all objective evidence. What you experience when you meditate shares none of that confirmation. I’m not putting down meditation – I do it too – but it’s all subjective. You know with a near 100% probability that your hair is brown. You don’t know at all that your subjective experiences that we are all ONE, are “real,” because you can’t produce the same kind of evidence you can that your hair is brown. It’s pretty simple, actually. I’ve had that same subjective experience myself, a number of times, but I recognize that it is a flood of electrochemical reactions in my brain that produce a feeling of euphoria or oneness, or whatever you want to call it – but there’s no evidence to assert that this happens anywhere but in my brain.

        • mewabe

          I will only make one quick comment here because I do not want to intrude on your conversation with Annie.

          “…we know the brain fools us all the time, and that we can’t trust it to feed us accurate information.”

          This thought that you have is eerily parallel to the Christian view that the devil is out to get us and evil is everywhere, and that we cannot trust our instincts, desires or impulses because they will lead us on the road to perdition. The bottom line in both scenario is distrust of self, as if we were somehow flawed.

          That’s a terrible way to live! Think about it…

          • Patrick Gannon

            I see no such parallels. The devil is a fantasy figure. Our brains can do fantastic things, but we have to be very careful about what we believe based on what we get from our brains. Like I said – get 10 people to describe the same accident or crime scene. How does that parallel the Christian devil?

            Yes, we should distrust ourselves. I discovered for example that my Christian beliefs were based on garbage. If I had not distrusted myself, I might be telling you that you are going to a literal Hell because you don’t believe what I believe. If scientists had not questioned themselves, they’d think the earth was flat and the sun rotates around it. Questioning ourselves is the most important thing we can do. It’s not a terrible way to live – it’s the only way to live a full life of honesty to the self.

          • mewabe

            Native Americans never though the earth or the moon or the sun were flat, because they were careful observers of nature…but that’s another topic.

            The parallel, as already explained, it a distrust of ourselves. I agree however that we should question everything, specifically those thoughts and conventions that are accepted by the mainstream.

            You mentioned previously that you are not sure love is real…obviously love cannot be proven, so until it is it should be regarded as an illusion, the result of chemicals interactions within our brains and bodies, according to the scientific process.

            Actually, according to such process, absolutely everything about human consciousness is the outcome of physical interactions within the brain…meaning that we are nothing more than machines, sophisticated computers. When we create computers capable of outthinking us, we will be obsolete according to this way of thinking.

            This is a sad way to perceive and experience life. But if it suits you, then knock yourself out!

          • Patrick Gannon

            We may already be a simulation. Note that I am not a particularly sad person. I sit here at the keyboard with a smile on my face much of the time.

            As for love, wasn’t it Neale who said we should stop saying “I love you very much” and exchange that with “I trade you very much.”?

          • mewabe

            I don’t know what Neale has said…I am just a visitor here.
            But it sounds right, most people view love as a trade, a pitiful commerce…”you give me this and I will give you that”. That’s not love…actual love is unconditional.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I assumed you had read his books. I don’t want to take anything away from Neale with regard to this point, because he was talking about how most of us end up viewing love as something we need from other people, and when we don’t get what we think we need, we get upset with our partners. He suggests, if my memory is correct, that we aren’t going about that in the best way, and that it may make more sense to enter into a relationship with openness about each other’s needs and who will provide what to whom. I see a lot that is good in that approach.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Neale suggests that we expand our understanding of love and grow into loving unconditionally.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I’m grateful you spoke your piece, and I don’t see it as an intrusion. Carry on, my friend!

        • Spiritual_Annie

          Fine. I have observed that all consciousness is, at a level outside of our usual one, One consciousness. I have observed and understand that there are varying levels of consciousness throughout physical matter, at levels science has yet to explain. I have observed that many of us are unaware that this level of consciousness is reachable through many avenues, not limited to meditation. I have observed it in myself and others that it can be attained looking deeply into the eyes of an animal including my own, spending time with a young child, even though sex.

          You are playing with words. There is evidencein the experiences of many. Just because you choose to see it as a chemical reaction in the brain doesn’t mean that’s all there is. Maybe that’s where our ignorance lays.

          • Patrick Gannon

            No, you’ve only observed your consciousness. How can you observe mine or anyone else’s? And what evidence exists to support your observation? We can all look at your hair and see that it’s brown if given the opportunity to meet you or see a picture or video or other objective evidence. Where is your objective evidence that your consciousness is at ONE with all else? I’m not saying it’s not – but neither you nor anyone else can prove this.

            I am not just playing with words. I observe that I have dreams – all kinds of dreams – that are not objective evidence for anything, and neither are those experiences we have when we meditate. We have subjective experiences, and these are of little value as objective evidence.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            And again, maybe that’s where our brains fool us the most, insisting on empirical evidence when it’s not always necessary. Maybe our experiences are what lead us to evolve. Maybe that’s the next evolutionary step for humanity that saves us from destroying ourselves and our planet.

            Is it not possible for you to see that you have a belief in the scientific method and empirical evidence? How is that belief in science any different than other beliefs?

          • Patrick Gannon

            I’m pretty sure that every major advance we have made as a species was based on objective evidence, otherwise the sun would still be going around the earth.

            You may use the term if you like, but I separate believing from thinking in my mind. I don’t “believe” in the scientific method. I think with a very high degree of probability that the scientific method is the most accurate and reliable way to learn and understand anything about our universe. I don’t believe this. I think it to be true because it works. Science works.

            With religion, on the other hand, I have no evidence for any of it, and what we do have counters most of what we were told to believe. We know that the foundation for the Abrahamic gods has washed out. There was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt, no conquest of Canaan – all these things people believed in, but the objective evidence says they are all myths. Shouldn’t we have learned from this that we shouldn’t believe in things for which we have no evidence?

            When I find myself believing something, it raises alarm bells in me, and tells me I need to do some research. It’s uncomfortable to challenge one’s own beliefs, but failure to do so is to continue misleading ourselves. Show me where the scientific method has failed… keeping in mind that it doesn’t end. When it makes mistakes, the method itself ensures that in time those mistakes will be found and corrected.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            So you allow for science to make corrections, but we can’t make a correction in our misunderstanding of God. We’re stuck with the dogma of organized religion that we can’t expand on or replace with spirituality. We have to throw it all out and revere science instead. We’re to follow the dogma of the scientific method. You are as dogmatic as any person in religion can be but refuse to see it as such. And you keep referring to religion, especially the Abrahamic ones. You make a distinction between thinking and believing, but not religion and spirituality.

            How is it that corrections are allowed for science, but not our understanding of God? If science can’t be certain of what can’t yet be observed, or isn’t seen as important enough to study, why believe in it or think it’s better, based on evidence that excludes our own experiences? For me, that would be a delusion because it would be denial of self.

            I am my experiences. They aren’t to be discarded simply because they don’t have scientific validation. My understanding, and that of many others, don’t need either science or organized religion to develop our spirituality and make connections science has yet to understand. Am I to wait my whole life for science to figure it out? No, thank you. My life is far too meaningful with spirituality included than sitting around waiting for science to decide spirituality is important.

            And I’m pretty sure myself that every major advancement humanity has made, whether scientific or otherwise, is due to human beings who have been inspired. It all depends on what is considered advancement.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I don’t “allow for science to make corrections.” That’s part of the scientific process, not something I or anyone else “allows.” Where does that process exist in the spiritual or religious world? What “processes” are there to begin with?

            Nobody is suggesting that we revere science, but we should respect it because it works – it gives us answers that work. Again and again and again.

            I’m happy to make a distinction between religion and spirituality. Sam Harris, a well known atheist explores this subject in his excellent book, “Waking Up. A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.” I told you, I meditate regularly. I’m not antagonistic to spirituality and inspiration, but I think these things come from the electrochemical processes in our brains. I am prepared to be proven wrong when evidence suggests this.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You believe that life as we know it is working? That science and organized religion brought us to the brink of self destruction I won’t argue. But scientific advancements aren’t always humanity’s advancements.

            It’s science that keeps creating substances that harm us and our planet, such as developing chemicals that pollute our bodies and our environment. It’s science that creates bigger and better ways for us to engage in war, killing by the thousands. It’s in the name of advancement that rain forests are destroyed when we don’t understand what it is we’re destroying, people are exposed to medications that kill and deprived of those that cure naturally, people are payed less than a living wage because it’s better than nothing… We do a lot of damage in the name of advancement.

            Often it’s the ripple effects of scientific discoveries that are the root cause of the damage. Waterways and oceans wouldn’t be contaminated with chemicals and nonbiodegradable materials that kill us, other species of animals, and plants without scientific advancement. Industrialization of farming has added more and newer chemicals to the soils while depleting them of valuable minerals due to science, not to mention the altering of genes that we don’t understand the effects of on humans or other living things.

            Science also has its dark side. I have yet to see you address that in your comments. Religion isn’t the only thing causing damage. Spirituality may save us if it leads to our treating everyone as true equals that matter.

          • Patrick Gannon

            No, I don’t “think” that life as we know it is working, and the reason for that, in my view, is that human beliefs have brought us to the brink of disaster. I doubt you disagree about the harm that religious beliefs have imposed on our society, but changing beliefs doesn’t make the new beliefs right, and doesn’t seem to be fixing the problem. The storm before the calm does not seem to be dying down.

            Science is a process. How the products of science are used is not what we are discussing. People with beliefs use the products of science for their own ends, often based on their beliefs.

            If you want to go back to the Bronze Age, be my guest. I’m sure there are still a few places in the world where you can do that. I’ll pass. I like indoor plumbing, and will do what I can to bring it to those who don’t have it so as to make their lives better as well.

            The “root” of the problems you mention is population growth, though admittedly, science made that possible by improving health care and allowing more babies to live, more children to thrive, more lives lived longer and more fully. Would it be better if we all died miserably at 30 years old? In any event, science also gave us a solution – contraception; but believers forbid people to use it under threat of eternal punishment, so science is not stopping us from addressing the problem, beliefs are.

    • mewabe

      Whatever happened to the motto “live and let live”?
      There would be no real problems with beliefs if people understood the meaning of diversity and multiplicity…that my own valid experience does not invalidate yours, or vice versa.

      We do not need uniformity of thoughts, culture, skin color, beliefs, convictions and aspirations in order to get along and have peace. Thinking that we can only get along when we are all the same, clones essentially, is a mistake humanity keeps making.

      All we need is to accept, honor and even celebrate differences, diversity. It shouldn’t be that difficult. The reason it is difficult for most people is that most are on extremely shaky ground when it comes to their own experiences…they can consequently only validate them, see them as true, by invalidating those of others who are different, by labelling their experience untrue.

      When you think about it, arguing about beliefs is as ridiculous as would be thinking that because blonde people exist, all who have dark hair are wrong. Come to think of it, that’s what racism is all about…we have to stop thinking like chimpanzees.

      • Patrick Gannon

        Did I say or insinuate that we “need uniformity of thoughts, culture, skin color, beliefs, convictions and aspirations in order to get along and have peace.”? Don’t straw man me, like Annie does, Mewabe.

        I’m talking about the dangers of believing things for which we have no evidence; I’m not saying everyone has to be the same.

        I don’t see the correlation between arguing about beliefs being ridiculous, and thinking that because blond people exist those with dark hair are wrong. I don’t get the connection. Holding that those with dark hair are wrong would be a belief unfounded by evidence. I would argue about that belief, and suggest that its unfounded because it lacks evidence and note that indeed there is much evidence to the contrary.

        Live and let live sounds good, but believers are the ones who historically have refused to allow this to happen.

        • mewabe

          Patrick, relax, I never wrote that you said we need uniformity…I wrote that it is what humanity thinks. I presume you are human, but don’t take it personally.

          You seem to be in such an argumentative mood that you keep missing my points. So let me make it again as clearly as I can: in my view, no belief would be an actual problem if no one was trying to impose his or her views on others. If I believed that the earth was hollow and populated in its core by giants red frogs, and did not bother anyone about it, why would anyone else care?

          Humanity is however authoritarian in nature, or so it seems, driven to eradicate all cultural, ideological, religious and other differences because it perceives differences to be sources of conflict rather than enrichment.

          And that is the problem, the way I see it…this belief (yes it is a belief rooted in primate dominant drives) that peace comes from uniformity (under an authoritarian system) and diversity causes conflicts.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Sorry if I seem defensive, but you were responding to my post, and someone else here frequently puts words in my mouth that I didn’t say; so I’m a little sensitive to it.

            I can’t agree that “no belief would be an actual problem if no one was trying to impose his or her views on others.” A belief that you are doing the world a favor by releasing a poison into a community’s well, would be a bad thing, even though the person doing so is not trying to impose their beliefs per se. If you “believed that the earth was hollow and populated in its core by giants red frogs” that might indicate that there is some concern for your mental health, or it might be a harmless idiosyncrasy. If you believed this in spite of evidence to the contrary, it would set up internal cognitive conflict and that wouldn’t be healthy for you, would it?

            I have no problem with cultural differences, they give life richness. I have a problem with believing things for which we have no evidence. Hope in such things, if one must, but don’t believe, don’t have faith, don’t pretend to know things you don’t know. That’s my point.

          • mewabe

            Of course I am talking about beliefs, not crimes such as poisoning a well.

            Early scientists who thought Eugenic was the way to weed out the “undesirable” to keep a race pure and strong pushed for the sterilization, against their knowledge and consent, of many full blood Native American women up until the 1970’s, not to mention many poor whites, earlier.

            Theirs was a belief, but the action itself was a crime. Beliefs can be tolerated, crime should not. Again, a person who poisons a well or sterilizes the poor is attempting to change the world according to his or her belief…that’s when the line is crossed.

            When the line is not crossed, when people do not attempt to change the world according to their beliefs, or to impose their beliefs on the world, there should not be any problem.

            So you not not believe in Turkish speaking red frogs living in the center of the earth? I am really disappointed in you.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I will agree that beliefs can be tolerated; however they need not be respected, and may even be ridiculed in certain instances, and protested against vehemently in others.

            While what you say is true – that beliefs don’t do anything until they are acted upon, I think that they are being acted upon within the brain of the individual who holds the beliefs – and particularly if that individual has enough information available for his or her brain to know that it doesn’t know or have evidence for something or other, and I suggest that this is cognitively unhealthy and affects the individual – and it could be said all of society in a miniscule fashion (but repeated by millions who hold the same belief), in such a way as to be detrimental to all of us.

            I’ll have you know that the red frogs living in the center of the earth speak Greek, not Turkish. Your belief is mistaken (grin).

          • mewabe

            I forgot to mention that there is another problem with beliefs, and that is when they are transmitted to very young children.

            I personally have no beliefs. I got rid of them long ago in a garage sale, they were cluttering my basement. I had expensive beliefs, so I made some money.

            Seriously (I am tired of being serious), I truly try not to have any beliefs, because they act as a filter between the self and the world, as do all preconceptions. I want to experience “what is” clearly, not through a filter. Krishnamurti spoke about this topic intensely, have you ever read his stuff?

            Alright, the frogs speak Greek with a Turkish accent. happy now?

          • Patrick Gannon

            Oh, I absolutely agree with the part about kids. Children should hear as little as possible about religion till they are capable of critical thinking. Of course that would be the end of religion. Children are just children, not Catholic children, or Jewish children or Baptist children or Hindu children – they’re just children.

            The problem with “what is” is that when it comes from our brain, it will always be subjective and open to question, because of the way our brains work. No, I have not read any of his work. I read the Bhagavad Gita though! Does that count?

            What’s funny is that Annie will jump all over me for saying that beliefs are unhealthy, but she doesn’t castigate you – probably because you aren’t as partial to science as I am….

          • mewabe

            I think that the difference between us is that, if I understood correctly, you need scientific proof to accept that something exists, and you tend to think that consciousness is the product of electrical and chemical processes in the brain although you are not sure, because science is not sure. Did I get it right?

            I appreciate science as a practical tool that is useful to achieve certain results, but I have another form of direct knowledge which has been proven to me to be accurate numerous times, to my surprise. I think Annie does as well. I totally accept the fact that you are skeptical, I would be as well if I was in your slippers. If you were not skeptical, I would worry about you. But I have no need to convince anyone.

            I know the earth is hollow and I communicate daily with the red frogs in Turkish with the help of a Greek interpreter. I can’t see why you would have a problem with that.

            On another note, the Bhagavad Gita is worlds away from Krishnamurti’s material.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Pretty close. I need objective evidence. Proof is a higher standard, which is desired, but seldom available in its entirety.

            I don’t understand consciousness, but am currently drawn to Graziano’s social brain, in which a working outline of awareness, based on attention, in a continual feedback loop of information, leads us to the same sort of personal consciousness that we attribute to others. We look at other people (and even inanimate objects like puppets) and we attribute a conscious awareness to them. In the same way we may do this to ourselves. It seems to be the leading theory and has been embraced by philosophers as well as scientists. Essentially consciousness is said to be an illusion.

            This is not something I believe. There isn’t enough evidence yet. I think it is probable with a likelihood greater than 50/50 though.

            There have been many people who have claimed the direct knowledge that you and Annie claim – but where’s the objective evidence? You’d think by now, there would be some.

            Fun task for you – ask the Greek interpreter the meaning of the word “aionion.” In the bible this word was translated as “eternal” as in eternal torment. However the word means ‘of an age’ and ages always end. Think of how much fear that belief has been responsible for.

            Sorry, I don’t know your author – I read the BG because a friend wanted me to. I didn’t really care for it.

          • mewabe

            Just a quick thought: one of the reason why there is no objective evidence of this form of direct knowledge is that Christianity has associated these things with the devil for centuries, and still does to this day. Interestingly, the Soviets, who had rejected religion, did a lot more research on ESP.

            Such things are difficult to research because they are difficult to use or manifest with perfect consistency or mastery. Humanity is, in this field as in many others, in infancy. My best experiences were spontaneous. I have been however, as I mentioned already way back, able to help other people with their (random but very specific) questions with extreme accuracy, as well as able to answer my own questions. My help was so accurate that a young family member, who had a troubled life, called me almost daily…that was too much, I had to wean her out gently.

            I don’t have much interest in all this ESP stuff however. To me it is just a tool…very useful, but that’s not what spirituality is about either, it is a by-product.

            But believe me, I hope you remain skeptical until you have some serious evidence. There are too many gullible people out there, who are ready to believe anything.

            I have to get back to work…deadlines. I hate deadlines!

          • Patrick Gannon

            Once upon a time, I think Christianity was more open to this sort of thing. The Apostle Paul for example embraces all sorts of revelatory stuff. He knows Jesus only through revelation and scripture. He has zero knowledge of an actual human being. Paul’s Jesus was a celestial being that he visited in his visions – even being escorted to the third heaven in very much the same way others describe such experiences. We’re pretty sure that this is a matter of brain function, but nothing is proven, and as you say, there’s little or no objective evidence.

            It turns out that Jesus was almost surely, a mythical character envisioned by Cephas and Paul and turned into a real flesh and blood person by the author of Mark. Paul spurned any knowledge that did not come from personal revelation, and he knows nothing of Jesus’ birth, family, baptism, ministry, miracles, parables or sermons. All he knows of is a crucifixion and he knows of this only through his visions and scripture. It wasn’t a real earthly event for Paul. Today, as you might imagine, the Church does not support this at all. They organized the NT in such a way as to tell a misleading story, because when you read it chronologically, it all changes. They went to great lengths to de-emphasize Paul’s visions. If anyone can have direct revelation, what do we need a church for? So you’re accurate in this regards. It doesn’t prove that these ‘experiences’ are real, only that the Church used to embrace them and doesn’t anymore; but an entire religion is based on beliefs by the Apostle Paul that are very similar in some regards to your own! So that’s where my caution and skepticism comes from!

          • mewabe

            I know nothing about the Bible, as you probably know.

            Many people get attached to forms and disregard the content. That’s how religion is born of spiritual or mystical experiences, and such experiences true meanings get lost. It is the meaning that matters, not the experience itself…but experiences make people feel special, and they hang on to that, to form, and form becomes belief and religion.

            My experiences are devoid of religious or mystical baggage. I do not see “angels”, or “third heavens”, or winged horses, or burning bushes. As in my own daily life, I cut to the chase and get to the core of the matter, to the content. That’s all that matters to me. When I spontaneously get symbolic dreams/visions, they can still be clearly understood…perhaps because I cleaned myself of beliefs as much as I could, so my mind is not so encumbered by useless stuff.

            I seriously have to get back to work…thanks for the dialogue!

          • Patrick Gannon

            Maybe you aren’t really experiencing something supernatural, but because your head is not clogged with beliefs you simply think more clearly and efficiently and you are processing information that perhaps you don’t know you have in order to arrive at conclusions and information that seem extraordinary and unusual, but really aren’t.

            I think I can extend your point, to my story about Paul. He had all these mystical experiences, but he wrapped them up in beliefs, and we’re still paying for it 2000 years later.

          • mewabe

            Hey Patrick, picking up where I left off, just for a minute or two (still busy as ever).

            The ultimate spiritual realization is self-realization. This is not about theology, about whether God exists or what or who he or she or it is, and what he or she wants for us. These are all useless pursuits that lead nowhere.

            Spiritual self-realization is the realization of the nature of being, of the “supreme reality”, which is you…not being a person, or something, but pure being, being life, as in “I am”, “I” again not being a person but a non limited, non defined state.

            This is why self-realized individuals as well as Taoists say that they known nothing. Those who know, or think they know, do not know. It is not that there is too much to know, but that there is no “thing” to know, as there is, in that state, no longer any difference between the outer and the inner, the observer and the observed…all there is is life…uninterrupted, ever lowing like a river yet unmovable like the river bed.

            This has absolutely nothing to do with any God concept…which is why there is no talk of Gods or Goddesses in Taoism, Zen, pure Buddhism or in the pure Vedanta philosophy of India, or in the higher forms of yoga. The God concept is primitive and unnecessary, and misleading, as it is then seen as separate from us.

            This is why I have never been a follower of any religion or of Neale’s teachings…these are not my way.

          • Patrick Gannon

            That is very much in line with Sam Harris’ book, “Waking Up. A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.” I have no problem with any of that. I think it’s essentially a case of exploring personal consciousness regardless of whether or not that consciousness is actually an illusion created by the brain. Harris speaks of the many insights, the personal growth, awareness, control of self, etc., all beneficial to us, and requiring no beliefs whatsoever. I’m good with that.

            I get a lot of joy out of seeking truth, and the only way I’ve done that is with objective evidence, so I have what I hope is a balance in my life. I spend time meditating, but I’m not seeking to reach any particular state. I tried that for a while and gave it up as the ‘trying’ is counterproductive I suppose. I appreciate the practical things I get out of it, like learning to get off the hamster wheel in the head, or learning to deal with stress and anxiety by consciously breathing, etc. I know the goal is to essentially meditate all the time, even when you’re as busy and active as you can be – to always be in the moment. Not sure I’ll ever get to that point, as my mind is always looking to the next thing I can learn.

            You were fortunate not to have been indoctrinated in a religion, because you never really get it completely out of your system. Neurologists say that when neurons fire, the brain is wired. Every time you think, say, hear, do the same thing another copy is made, another thin wire laid down – which is why practice makes us better. But aside from dementia, there’s no erasing all of the crap that would have been better left unwritten in the first place. I think that gives you an advantage over many of us Mewabe.

            My point in my OP here, is that Neale is laying down those wires, firing those neurons, making copies of beliefs – not things with evidence, not truths or facts, but beliefs, things that specifically have no objective evidence. I don’t think it’s good for us, and you may be an example of why that is; whereas I’m an example of an ornery old cuss made that way, perhaps, by a lot of old snarled wiring laid down in large part by celibate virgins dressed in robes who hail from the Iron Age!

          • mewabe

            I never read Sam Harris’ book…it sounds like he got his inspiration from the far east. It sounds good.

            Not trying for any particular state or aiming for any result in meditating is good, it leaves your mind open to the unknown. Trying and efforts are indeed counterproductive…
            I have never meditated, I do all I do naturally, effortlessly, spontaneously. If I feel like sitting under a tree for 2 hours, I do that…then when I feel like walking for 6 hours through the hills, I do that too. The key is to find that childlike state of spontaneity, appreciation for life and sense of play and adventure…it’s easy once you clear your mind, you can just be here and now, because there is nowhere else and “nowhen” else but in the busy mind, as you know.

            As Joseph Campbell said: follow your bliss!…It will spontaneously guide you to your true nature.

            I am very grateful to my family for not having exposed me to any religion. My mother was spiritual, and all my immediate family had ESP experiences, which is why I shied away from theses kind of experiences, although I also had some, for a long time (I was trying to find my own way).

            I think Abrahamic religions are truly poison, as they trigger natural human guilt and fears and validate them with these ideas of sin, judgment, and hell or condemnation. They did not create guilt and fear, but they exploit them to keep their flocks in line. That’s not good, but that’s what powerful institutions do.

            I think you can deprogram yourself, like a person who has been brainwashed in a way…it probably takes a lot of work, and you might have to call on the emotion of anger, to propel the stuff out (basically regurgitating it). To do it without anger might be difficult…let’s face it, if something is forced on you early in life, it’s a form of mental rape, and that should make anyone angry. Sometimes anger is good!

            Neale has to do what he understands, what he does…he might be able to help those who have followed Christianity, to ease them out of fear and guilt…those who are guided towards a different way can find it. There are many voices out there today, everyone wants to teach something…and make a living off of it…but there is very little new content. I find more content in a moving cloud or a blade of grass…as a matter of fact I find all I need in life itself, because that’s what it is all about…life renews itself continually, look at nature and follow her example and guidance, she is the true teacher…when you make your mind like water, everything flows in and out of you without struggles, pain or efforts, without yesterdays or tomorrow. A clear mind reflects all life in the present moment, like the calm surface of a lake, and finds satisfaction and insights in this alone.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I most often don’t object to you but to your statements, unless I feel it necessary to point out that you are an ex-follower of Neale’s who seems to feel duped by him. Mewabe has rightly noticed how you have a tendency to personalize disagreements. I didn’t “jump all over [you]” when you said, “never going to happen,” (as one example) which ignores that it’s possible but not probable. I haven’t (as another example) suggested that people who disagree with me need mental health care, either.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Why is it “necessary” or even pertinent that I used to be an evangelist for Neale? What does that have to do with anything? I don’t recall using the word “duped” and it’s not worth the time and effort to search it out for confirmation, but the truth is, I “duped” myself by buying into another belief system, exchanging one set of unsupported beliefs for another. I’m upset with myself that I allowed that to happen, but as Mewabe has pointed out, New Age can provide something of a bridge from mainstream religions such as Christianity, to freedom from beliefs, or at least recognition that they might not be healthy.

            I do not think I have ever said that people who disagree with me need mental care. Please provide evidence of that.

            I have suggested that we can’t trust our brains, and if we’re having “experiences” that are not so-called, “normal” then it may be worthwhile to speak with a professional health care specialist about our experiences.

            And of course you do “jump all over me,” i.e. challenge my assertions, every time I bring up the question of whether beliefs might be bad for us – and you are entitled to do so; however it seems to me that you spend most of your energy trying to make the discussion about me and what’s wrong with me, rather than discussing the issue I raise, which is: Are beliefs bad for us?

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Maybe a change of subject, instead of the same one repeated for every topic, would cause a different type of reply. As might something other than your suggested “psi experiment.” With which you try to make tthe discussion about what you want, which isn’t always about what Neale has written or asked.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I said something about a “psi experiment?” You put that in quotes, but the term “psi” only shows up in your post above when I search for it. Much has been discussed here, so feel free to reference this in more detail so I know what you’re talking about.

            As for what Neale has written or asked, I always make my initial posts pertinent in some way to the original post. Unlike Mr. Awareness, for example, I don’t make posts that have nothing to do with the subject and that try to direct people to someone else’s website. If the discussion strays, that’s generally because I’m responding to the ebb and flow of the discussion.

            The subject of beliefs is always relevent when it comes to any religion including New Age, because that’s what it’s based on.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I resist labeling myself – other than as an agnostic – but I just saw a definition of Humanism in a nutshell, and I think I’m a Humanist.

            1. Put human beings and other living things at the center of your moral outlook. [No gods, not even NAG]

            2. Seeing the world as a natural place and looking to science and reason to make sense of it. [Definitely]

            3. Promoting and supporting human flourishing across all frontiers, and championing human rights for everyone. [Absolutely]

            Now I suppose some might say that because I oppose riots, that I am not championing human rights for everyone, but I don’t see it that way. The rest of us who are peaceful have a right not to have our society torn apart.

          • Stephen mills

            Is Humanism not a belief system ,a way of life centered on human interests or values . The interests of humans and gods are the same.Only Organized Religion gets to waste life with impunity.Humanism in its purest form would never allow us to destroy life.
            So the greatest interest of all humanity is Life .This is the greatest interest of god as well .But some claim god has a higher interest than human life and this has been the cause of our on going suffering and creating a nightmare world causing the annihilation our species and all the other creatures that live here too.
            One belief has the potential to help us evolve and see the bigger picture ,as it raises the collective consciousness the other gets to destroy life sanctimoniously in a never ending downward spiral . Belief has a lot of power one might say .

            Anyway its about what works .What works for the highest good of all .And that,s a question of functionality.But the questions have to be heard to be answered . At least Neale is asking the questions .I haven’t heard any of the worlds leaders giving humanity a hand up recently have you ?

            Thanks Patrick i enjoy reading about your thoughts and your need for objective evidence .
            The truth is out there as Fox Moulder said or perhaps seeking inward and trusting your natural intuition and developing your sixth sense can lead you to greater clarity .

          • Patrick Gannon

            Thanks for your note Stephen. Humanism is not a “belief system” as I understand it. It’s a list of ideals to follow or ascribe to. I don’t see anything in the list that requires believing.

            What works for the greatest good of all? Difficult question. I found an interesting answer in Sam Harris’ book, “The Moral Landscape,” in which an effort is made to come up with a mechanism to determine what is the most moral thing to do in any given situation, aided perhaps by processes that science can help develop.

            Neale doesn’t ask a lot of questions unless he already has an answer in mind, and he is just setting the stage; and his answers almost always require having some sort of belief. That’s not always true. He dispenses some wonderful advice and suggestions for living our lives in greater harmony. I have no problem with that and have taken many valuable things away from his books – many of which serve me well in other religious blogs. My problem is that he and other believers will not consider the possibility (probability?) that the root of our problems is not having the wrong beliefs (which is always what the purveyor of new beliefs preaches) but that the beliefs themselves may be the problem – as they require that we lie to ourselves in conflict with what our brains actually know. I would like to see belief become be a dirty word – even though it’s a word in one of my favorite songs! Faith strikes me as a character flaw – pretending to know things we don’t know or understand. Seek to know, through direct evidence, and of course objective evidence is of far greater value than subjective evidence given the way our unreliable brains work.

  • mewabe

    “We are all one.
    Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.”

    Very true. Unfortunately the imposition of authority and power by some people on other people, and the endless conflicts that result from this may be rooted in more than a need to be right or in any false belief…but in a primate drive to dominate, which is also found in chimpanzees. Unfortunately nothing can overcome this primitive drive but slow evolution…

    We believe ourselves to be intelligent and sophisticated. We have created some sophisticated tools, smart technologies. But we also use these to kill more efficiently, as would any baboon, and to control, dominate and prey upon those we deem to be inferior to us, those we feel deserve to be subdued and to be kept below us, because of their skin color, their culture, the fact that they are different, from a different tribe, nation, gang, clan.

    We are currently witnessing a rise in authoritarianism throughout the world, due to a rise in population density and a proportional push in the drive to dominate to determine who will come out on top. This is as primal a behavior as can be found in any primitive organism.