A Voice in the Wilderness
A VERY OLD IDEA ABOUT
WHO AND WHAT THE ‘SELF’ IS

Editor’s Note: For the next several months this space will be used to explore — one-by-one — the messages, metaphysical principles, and spiritual meaning of the material found in the nearly 3,000 pages of the Conversations with God dialogues. This series ofobservations and interpretations is offered with my continuing disclaimer: I could be wrong about all of this.

CWG Explored/Installment #8: What is the Self?

In our last entry here I said that for me, “mastery” is defined as “the fullest expression of the fullness of my being.” That is, the total expression of the totality of my Self.

Yet in order for me to know and to recognize that I have had such an experience, I would have to know (and be able to explain to my Mind) what my “Self” is.

What is the Self that I am seeking to express in fullness? Let’s look at that now.

The thoughts that follow are not my own, but rather, the understandings that I was given in my Conversations with God. It is not necessary for anyone to believe that I have actually had conversations with God for us to discuss this.

While my own conversations with God made it clear to me that we are all having conversations with God all the time and simply calling them something else (we’re calling them moments of “inspiration.” Or “women’s intuition.” Or a “psyhic hit.” Or a “bright idea.” Or a “deep insight.” Or an “epiphany.” We call the results of such encounters “serendipity” or “coincidence” or “chance.”), we can deny them altogether and still look at some of the ideas in the CWG series of books. That’s what we’re doing here…so try not to get caught up in the question or the quarrel of whether I actually spoke with The Divine, and simply take a look at what I claim to have learned from my experience, whatever you think it was.

I understand myself to be an individuation of Divinity, an expression of God, a singularization of The Singularity. There is no separation between me and God, nor is there any difference, except as to proportion. Put simply, God and I are one.

This brings up an interesting question. Am I rightly accused of heresy? Are people who believe that they are divine nothing but raving lunatics? Are they, worse yet, apostates?

I wondered. So I did a little research. I wanted to find out what religious and spiritual sources had to say on the subject. Here’s some of what I found…

Isaiah 41:23—“Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold together.”

Psalm 82:6—“I have said, ‘Gods ye are, And sons of the Most High—all of you’.”

John 10:34—“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods’?”

The Indian philosopher Adi Shankara (788 CE—820 CE), the one largely responsible for the initial expounding and consolidation of Advaita Vedanta, wrote in his famous work, Vivekachudamant: “Brahman is the only Truth, the spatio-temporal world is an illusion, and there is ultimately Brahman and individual self.”

Sri Swami Krishnananda Saraswati Maharaj (April 25, 1922—November 23, 2001), a contemporary Hindu saint: “God exists; there is only one God; the essence of man is God.”

According to Buddhism, there ultimately is no such thing as a “self” independent from the rest of the universe (the doctrine of anatta). Also, if I understand certain Buddhist schools of thought correctly, humans return to Earth in subsequent lifetimes in one of six forms, the last of which are called Devas…which is variously translated as Gods or Deities.

Meanwhile, the ancient Chinese discipline of Taoism speaks of embodiment and pragmatism, engaging practice to actualize the Natural Order within themselves. Taoists believe that man is a microcosm for the universe.

Hermeticism is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs or gnosis based primarily upon the Hellenistic Egyptian pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. Hermeticism teaches that there is a transcendent God, The All, or one “Cause,” of which we, and the entire universe, participate.

The concept was first laid out in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, in the famous words: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One thing.”

And in Sufism, an esoteric form of Islam, the teaching “there is no God but God” was long ago changed to there is nothing but God. Which would make me…well…God.

So the idea that I am One with God is not new—and, of course, the CWG dialogue never said it was. But I wanted to check with other sources just to see if I was unknowingly “making stuff up.” It turns out that if I am, I’m in some pretty good company.

So for me, this answers one of what I have come to call the Four Fundamental Questions of Life: Who am I? Where am I? Why am I where I am? What do I intend to do about that?

I have observed that many people go through their entire lives and never ask themselves these questions. I did not intend to do that. For better or for worse, I did not intend to do that. So in our next installment here, I will share with you, from the For What It’s Worth Dept., my answer to the second question.

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  • Mateia Andrei (A true friend)

    Yeah, Neale how about a time machine! Does God deliver time machines by mail?

  • Jethro

    “”try not to get caught up in the question or the quarrel of whether I actually spoke with The Divine, and simply take a look at what I claim to have learned from my experience, whatever you think it was.””

    Neale, In the beginning there was nothing but God… That’s how I was taught. Now I do home repairs, If I start my project with nothing but wood, it stands to reason the entire project will be wooden. If God was the only thing that existed when the universe was made, it stands to reason that all things are made of God. I was also taught to talk with god and often. My grandfather the Pentecostal preacher said to his congregation that God told him to buy a car of all things. There have been many times I’ve heard people say God talked to them and after reading your books I know I have conversations with God quite often. Like you I can find myself in a mindset that allows communication. I wish I could hold on to that but I’m human. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks, I’m here because I wish to know your thoughts. Anywhere you post these articles somebody is waiting to hear from you and either think about it or discuss it maybe. Not everyone will be positive, but that’s why some of us are here, we’re searching. As long as you keep writing people will keep reading and if people disagree you have helped them to confirm some old beliefs and that’s ok I think. Thank you for continuing to be here.

    May I suggest a gift of H.G. Wells…

  • Jethro

    ”What is the Self that I am seeking to express in fullness?”” I am what I am thinking at any given moment. I can only express that. I am an expression of my own knowledge and understanding of that, I cannot be anything else. I will be at peace with that and I will not and then I will be. I am human and I cannot express myself as anything other than that. I find that satisfying and I don’t. I will complete the rest of my life doing that and being that and that will change many times. I cannot achieve peace if I become rigid in the beliefs developed in life which will change a little in every moment that passes in time as I understand time to pass. I will find peace in acceptance and I will refuse to be accepting and then I will accept. In my current understanding it is how humans evolve and that is true for myself and all others. I am sure that world peace will not be found as long as control is the desire, humanity will never control everything that it wishes and that’s because there will always be opposition. There will always be opposition due to the fact that all things must express “the self” in the moment, any given moment in which they understand it based on all of the knowledge they have in that moment, and that is ok…. unless it is not.

  • Stephen mills

    Question so many people are perfectly ok with the way life is going .They seem outwardly happy ,reasonably wealthy have loving families around them good pensions in retirement .They take a few holidays away some for months on end they even feel complete in there understanding of the way the world is. They probably vote conservative (not all ) but most want the status quo to continue as it kind of validates and reinforces their particular world view. Why would they choose anything different and that includes choosing the future for their offspring . What we are talking about is for people who are not satisfied at the way the world is …..this great disruptor could have unintended consequences as the roots go way deep in the establishment . Try and go against the current and see what happens ….its tough I am there and its lonely walls go up …living to the beat of a different drum particular one so obsessed with competition and win/loose is a challenging path . But the cultural narrative has to be challenged and transcended.

    • Jethro

      And so it is. The battle will continue, a battle that cannot be won or lost. A battle that does not need to be a battle at all, it is life and life is to be enjoyed or not, it’s a personal choice. I have gained nothing by worrying about it, and gained many things by not worrying. As nature moves about doing what nature does, I will follow the example and be as I am naturally. If there are many different beats to many different drums, and there is, we have a symphony… enjoy the music!

    • mewabe

      Humans are essentially tribal and seek the comfort of the group. This causes them to conform, to comply and submit to the group authority, to accept the status quo. It’s hard to be a black sheep, a lone wolf, a truly free individual. I have been all my life, and it can be a lonely path…we all long to find our human family, our spiritual kins.

      But this is worth always remembering:

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
      Krishnamurti

  • Patrick Gannon

    “The thoughts that follow are not my own, but rather, the understandings that I was given in my Conversations with God. It is not necessary for anyone to believe that I have actually had conversations with God for us to discuss this.”

    I don’t know about that. Whether one believes Neale actually spoke with a personal deity or not is going to color their interpretation of what he says. I don’t think Neale had actual conversations with this deity, and that is going to cause me to look at the discussion in a different way from someone else who believes that he did. We all have our prior credences and they affect how we evaluate things.

    Neale cherry-picked the bible which contains more than enough passages, if not the document in it’s entirety, that make it clear that we are separate from god – in fact Neale complains about this all the time. He has his own term for it, “separation theology.” That theology comes from the bible, so picking a couple passages and suggesting that Judaism and a gnostic passage or two from John means that these biblical people viewed themselves as part of god in the same way Neale does strikes me as a bit disingenuous. The eastern religious references are much more supportive of his contention, and he should have left the bible out of that particular piece of support for his contention.

    What it boils down to in saying “there is nothing but God” is to use the term “god” as a synonym for the word “everything” and we already have the word “everything” so why do we need another word that means the same thing? I don’t think Neale thinks of god in a pantheistic way. I think he sees a personal god, one who cares about him, and that gets us right right back to separation. He’s here and the personal god is there.

    I’m still not sure Neale answered the question of what the self is. He said his “self” is part of, or one with everything. So what. We’re all part of everything. That’s undeniable, but again, so what? Everything in our natural world acts upon the physical, upon particles, and there are no actions of particles that need immaterial or invisible forces in order to explain them. If these forces existed, we’d know it by now. As it turns out after all the New Age quantum woo, it seems that quantum field theory is telling us that this is the case with an exceptionally high degree of probability.

    The “self” appears to be the result of things that go on in our brain, and the self goes away if certain parts of that brain are damaged. In particular, it seems like self-awareness is associated with the development of memories, that’s why babies slowly become self-aware, as they develop more and more memories to draw upon in order to define themselves. We don’t start with a “self,” we develop one as the brain matures and stores memories. If we lose the parts of the brain that hold them, we lose our sense of self. This interpretation of self has objective evidence and is actively being studied by neurologists and other scientists. Neale’s interpretation of self – as being part of a god for which no objective evidence exists, should be assigned a lower credence, a lower probability, until such time as such evidence is forthcoming.

    I would say that there is just as good a chance as Neale’s proposal, that the real organism is not us with our individual selves, but rather the human genome from which those illusory (?) selves arise. It’s also just as good a chance that our entire universe is a simulation and the kid playing us like a Sim city game, might turn it off at any time when his mom calls him to bed. Perhaps we should be hoping he says, “Ah, come on mom. One more level.” And maybe that’s how we got Trump! LOL

    The only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know. Why is that so hard for us to admit to ourselves? What if we did?

    • mewabe

      I think that with any idea, theory, theology or philosophy, the point is not really to determine the ultimate truth, since we do not know what that is, but whether these ideas can improve our lives, at least temporarily until new and better ideas replace them.

      I personally think that the idea that we are part of everything, that all life forms are interconnected and interdependent might, if we are lucky, possibly cause humanity to stop destroying so much of this planet so fast, as it does now, seemingly under the influence of the ideas of separation from nature and of scarcity.

      On the other hand, ideas are not necessarily the sole motivators of our human behaviors. Animals fighting and competing for food, even when there is plenty or even too much of it, obviously do not base their behaviors on ideas of scarcity or on a theology of separation.

      We humans might be a little too full of ourselves thinking that our “superior intellect” determines our behaviors. Looking at animals, don’t we recognize our humanity?…Competition, jalousie, being territorial, aggression, etc, none of these animal behaviors come from religion, ideology, or any other form of conceptual thoughts…yet these behaviors are also very human.

      Evolution might actually mean that we should start by acknowledging our animality, our striking and for many people very embarrassing and humbling similarity to animals, and find an honest way not to suppress or deny such instincts, but understand them fully and possibly transcend them if we can.

      I know that I have come full circle in this comment, starting with the thought that ideas are valuable, and ending with the notion that ideas might not be what actually motivates us…but that’s the way I usually think, seeing the two sides of the same coin simultaneously.

    • Jethro

      There are many things that we have been told that are not true. We have come up with sayings like “believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see”. Quite honestly that would apply to “the self” if we keep counting on someone to explain that to us. In any given moment of our life, Self is truth and subject to change. It’s entertaining that the only thing that recognizes untruth in self is a “different self”. “Self” will never be perfect as long as there is a “them” to compare it to.

  • Spiritual_Annie

    I’ve read Neale’s column and all the comments thus far. There’s much to discuss, but what follows are (mostly) my own thoughts and process, more in logical rather than chronological order.

    I don’t know at what point I began believing in God, or what I call Divine Energy. I do know that I connected with nature very early. I also had understandings about my father very early out of necessity, earlier than most people give credit to the very young for being able to think and understand. (Although I no longer posess it, there’s a picture of my father holding me at seven days old and I am stiff-bodied and wide-eyed in what my mother described as fear after her trying to calm me several times.) Eventually I stopped differentiating between the two–nature and myself. I also, having been raised Catholic, was familiar with the concept that in the beginning there was only one thing. That melded with my nature-self and I came to the understanding that all of existence is Divine Energy expressed in a wide variety of forms–plants, animals, Earth, rocks, water, air… Thereafter I began to recognize Divinity everywhere and in everything.

    There was a moment in my childhood when I was laying in my bed when I realized I was thinking. I got up from the bed to stand in front of the door mirror to gaze into my eyes to see if I could see my thoughts. As I was doing so, I raised my hand to my face and found myself wondering how it was that I’d done so because I hadn’t thought it like the thoughts I’d been having while laying in bed. I became fascinated by my body’s movements, which could happen with or without thinking. I took all my clothes off to more closely watch my body and realized it did many things without my thinking–breathing, blinking, my heart beating… It was then I understood I am a combination of my thoughts and my body.

    I took somewhat the same path with my feelings. I knew that there were times when I felt angry or sad or happy or hurt or, sometimes, nothing at all. So I became, in my mind, nature-self-thoughts-feelings. It was later, after therapy helped me remove the inaccurate thoughts my father and those who followed him had convinced me about myself, that the process picked up where it had left off. I acknowledged that if all of existence is Divine, then I am as well. For me, that’s not just about my Soul being an individuation of Divinity, but all the different parts of me–every cell, every emotion, every thought, every breath, every action whether voluntary or involuntary.

    The most difficult part of my journey came when I acknowledged that if everything and everyone is Divine, then so were my father and my other abusers. So were all their thoughts, breaths, emotions and actions. Divinity, for me, is all or nothing. I had to develop a much higher perspective of existence in which all of creation has meaning and purpose to be able to include those seen as bad or evil.

    That higher perspective has broadened and deepened over the years, but it has never left me. Some of the things that have helped me broaden and deepen my perspective have been precognitions, knowing what’s happening thousands of miles away, a couple of near death experiences, many out of body experiences, communing with my Soul during meditation, synchronicities, people who have entered my life at just the right moment, people who have brought me to my knees, books and their authors, inspiration, and watching children and animals.

    It doesn’t matter to me whether people name Divine Energy as God or Yaweh or Allah or the pantheons of the Greeks or Egyptians or Vikings, or don’t believe in Divinity. We are all unique and therefore we all have unique understandings. I like what my understanding adds to my life and hope that other’s understandings add to theirs. For me, that’s the bottom line.

    Love and Blessings Always,
    ~Annie

    • Jethro

      “”It doesn’t matter to me whether people name Divine Energy as God or Yaweh or Allah or the pantheons of the Greeks or Egyptians or Vikings, or don’t believe in Divinity. We are all unique and therefore we all have unique understandings. I like what my understanding adds to my life and hope that other’s understandings add to theirs. For me, that’s the bottom line.””

      And that’s all that truly matters, and it is the bottom line. It shouldn’t matter what others believe and there’s no reason for anger when others argue that. If we place that in a public forum we should accept a little or even a lot of feedback, positive and negative! We tend to believe what we believe, it doesn’t matter if someone needs a time machine to join in or a science project of some sort. push on!

    • Patrick Gannon

      Read Sean Carroll’s “The Big Picture” Annie, and then explain how immaterial things can affect the particles in our natural world. A precognition would mean something outside yourself had to affect the particles in your brain – the neurons, and other components of the brain, in order to form the precognitive thought. Surely you would agree that without a brain, you would not have thoughts in this natural world! Specific electrochemical stuff comprised of particles would have had to be passed through the connectome (network) of your brain to make this thought occur. We understand all the ways that particles can be affected, and there is no evidence for any forces affecting particles in ways that violate the laws of physics, as this would require.

      Quantum field theory says that at a certain state below the particle level, everything is in a state of probability. Some physicists suggest the entire universe is a wave function and we get weird results when we do measurements, because we are a part of the very thing we are measuring. Many people think QM says all sorts of random, weird psi stuff can occur as a result. This is not really so, as I am coming to understand. The thing is – those probabilities are what work against the existence of psi, consciousness, souls or other unknown forces. The theory will say that there is a probability vastly greater than 99.999999999% that a particle can and will act in such and such ways, and only these ways, and this is confirmed in every experiment ever run. It also says there is a probability of next to zero that the particle will act in some other way that will produce psi results, for example, that defy the laws of physics in our natural world. Yes, the probabilities of QM say strange stuff can happen, but with an exceptionally low probability. If you wait around a few billion times the age of the universe, it may happen. But does it make any sense to spend time on something with such impossibly low odds? Quantum mechanics doesn’t mean that things happen randomly. They happen with an extremely high degree of probability, exactly as the laws of physics dictate. QM has not weakened the laws of physics, it has confirmed that they are accurate to an exceptionally high degree of probability.

      This is a hard concept to understand and communicate, and I’m still low on the learning curve, but as a result, it’s an easy concept for New Agers to corrupt. They figure if consciousness is hard and QM is hard, they must somehow be related. Not so. The idea that consciousness plays a role has largely been discarded by QM physicists according to Carroll – a very prominent QM physicist.

      Roger Penrose suggests the brain may act as a quantum computer, but this doesn’t translate to producing psi effects – it’s about a process that occurs at a different stage. When we talk about water, we don’t talk about the quarks that make up Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms and the reactions taking place to form the molecules there. We talk about water. These are all different stages (QM, quarks, atoms, molecules, water), and each is discussed independently of the others except where they overlap. Think of QM as being the discussion that takes place below the quark state – at a level that has no direct bearing on what happens to particles and matter in our natural world. When discussing water, we don’t care that QM has predicted with near certain probability that when certain particles act in certain well known, well understood ways, water will result. Using QM to talk about things that happen in our natural world, is like talking about the quarks that make up water. These are different ways of talking about something at different states, but you can’t start a discussion at one stage and then hop from that state to another in the same discussion (which is what New Age QM -woo people do), and continue to make sense. Everything in our natural world emerges from something else and QM is way down there, below the particles that make up our physical matter reality.

      Out of Body experiments have been performed numerous times in which researchers placed objects important to the subject in a places easily available like on top of shelves, under the bed, behind the door, etc. but out of direct observation, and these things are never seen by the subjects in OoBs in these experiences. We can actually induce OoBs manually by stimulating a certain part of the brain. I used to be a big fan of OoBs as a follower of Tom Campbell, but I think now that he’s mistaken and his subjective visions are not based in reality. It’s not impossible, however the level of credence for this, given the lack of objective evidence, must be placed very low.

      It would be cool if there was a consciousness that survived the death of the brain, but the more we study this, the less likely it appears. It’s OK to hope for this, I suppose, but having faith in it – pretending to know things we don’t know – I have trouble seeing that as being cognitively healthy.

      • Spiritual_Annie

        Patrick, you’re repeating yourself. And I have to pay a $100 copay for an MRI out of next month’s check to find out if it’s time for surgery on my lumbar stenosis and three severely bulging lumbar disks, so I can’t afford a book this month. (I’m hoping it is time so that my pain is reduced. Chronic pain is draining.)

        I do have a couple of questions, though.

        We know that the basis of all matter is energy. Einstein’s theory proves that. What difference does it make to you (or anyone) if I see that energy as Divine? I’m not asking anyone else to believe it, I’m just talking about myself. I don’t force my ideas on anyone, although I do share them. What possible problem is there in my calling the energy from which all matter is created as Divine, especially since we don’t know its origin, if doing so adds value to my life?

        As far as my personal experiences, they’ve been validated by others whether precognitive, long-distance knowings about events that are happening at that moment, OBE’s, etc. Whether or not it’s a scientific experiment, these things are repeatable in my life, though not on demand. It’s not that I “believe” they’ve happened (and continue to happen), but that they have actually happened. Does not having a scientist there to observe and record them make them any less real? (My own answer is obviously that it doesn’t.)

        The last question is personal and asked out of curiosity rather than animosity. I wrote several paragraphs in my post that explain my journey to my understanding of self. Why is it that you chose to comment on only the one that mentions my precognitions, long-distance knowings, OBE’s, etc?

        Love and Blessings Always,
        ~Annie

        • Patrick Gannon

          Annie, I’m sorry to hear about your medical issues and expenses, and understand why you can’t buy the book. If I knew how to reach you, I would send a copy to you.

          Challenging one’s closely held beliefs may end up in changing them. Most of us seek confirmation bias – we only seek out things that support what we already believe. It’s very difficult to intentionally seek out information that disputes one’s closely held beliefs. We define ourselves in part, by our beliefs, and by challenging them, and worse, finding out that they are misplaced, we feel like we are cutting out a piece of ourselves, rather than what’s really happening – real, positive, personal growth. I think the best path to personal growth starts with questioning our most closely held beliefs, by intentionally trying to disprove them. Then see what we come up with. Few are able to do this. It’s hard for me, but when I find myself starting to believe something, I force myself to try and debunk it, so I know how much I can adjust my credences for these things.

          No it makes no difference to me if you think energy is divine, and I don’t think I implied that. I didn’t even use the word “divine” in my post. What is important to point out, is that the phenomenon you discuss are completely unsupported by the laws of physics that are responsible for our natural world. We know all about energy and what it can and cannot do with regard to the particles that make up our natural world. For the things you describe to have happened, these laws must be broken, and we have no compelling objective, evidence that has ever happened in our natural world. If it’s valid for you to make these unsupported supernatural claims, then it’s equally valid for me to question them, particularly since the prior credence for your claims is very low – after all we have no compelling, objective evidence for these things, or we wouldn’t still be debating it.

          As for why I only responded to part of your post – I don’t see where there was any response called for, with regard to your personal story, which you’ve shared in varying degrees of detail here a number of times before. I’m sorry you had a rough life. I’m not a particularly empathetic person. I know I cannot put myself in your shoes, and I’m not going to pretend to do so by suggesting that I can understand your pain. If sharing it here helps you to feel better, then go for it, and perhaps others will provide the compassion you seem to be seeking. I care about truth and facts and how our natural world works. I have nothing to offer with regard to your personal story, except keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep breathing in and out. It’s all going to end one day, so we should probably do as much with what we’ve got as we can, in the small time we have to do it. You seem convinced that you will get a second chance, an opportunity to make up for all the pain of this life, in some future life or afterlife. The odds are against that, so my advice would be to make the best you can of a bad situation and get as much out of life as you can, while you still can.

          This may be off topic, but I would add that if “happiness” is your goal, then you might want to reconsider your goals. Everyone seems to have the goal of being happy. Happy, happy, happy…. When you think of the famous people in the world – even mythical figures like Moses and Jesus – were they happy? Is that how we describe them? No. What we remember is what they accomplished. Surely they had moments of happiness, but that’s not how they are defined. Being happy doesn’t get anything done. You can stare at your navel all day and be happy, while the kids go hungry and you boss lays you off. Being happy is not all that it’s cracked up to be. When you stop seeking it, I find it’s more likely to happen spontaneously than when you have happiness as a concerted goal that can never be fully achieved, thus guaranteeing the opposite, or so it seems to me.

      • Jethro

        For two thousand years the Catholics said people would go to hell, then it was decided there was no such thing as hell. For thousands of years humans have eat chicken/other eggs and more recently began to wash them down with coffee. Science gave proof that both were bad for us, a couple years later science proved that eggs and coffee were actually good for us. The truth in either depends on faith.

        It has come to the point that it doesn’t matter. The national enquirer seems to be in charge of reporting everything! Even science projects. Since everything on earth is being argued over and over, the truth, even in those things we once knew as truth has been blurred. I have become not so inquiring, if I don’t need to know, I don’t want to.

        Faith… Its about all we have anymore. We don’t have truth anymore! About the time we discover something to be true it changes. The only question is where will you put your faith? We can read a book for proof but who made the author an authority. Its just a person who has more to say on the subject than anyone else. But then, everyone is arguing over which book is true.

        My Grandmother had a strong feeling one day, she calls her daughter in-law and has her go check on a child, the child’s real father was reaching over the fence to get the child, “kidnap” that is. This is only one of many times she experienced these things. I “KNOW” this to be fact. Have science prove something there. It could come down to just being aware of the probability of things, the woman was in constant contact with every living family member and friend she ever had. A connection that many people use to have and do not anymore.

        We can come up with all kinds of theories and scientific proofs, we can write a thousand books to explain why we feel or how we should feel but nothing will ever be as great as just giving a damn about each other.

        There is my book… Give a damn about each other! One page with six words and punctuation. The book will be thick with credits and legal disclaimers otherwise.
        of course the contents will be argued and scrutinized, There are words that don’t apply to some religions, there is no proof that it will work, Can anyone truly “Give” a damn? If anyone was to give something, by definition why would a “damn” be anything we want to give? The use of the word “a” giving unnecessary substance to “damn”….. and so on. So it catches on, and one day while I’m signing a persons book and they are bragging about how they finally started to “give a damn”, I respond you are very blessed. Uh-Oh!!! Now its a ploy for people to believe in God because I used one of those words associated with… You know who. I will lose every penny due to law suits and court costs from all the mental damage I caused even though there was a disclaimer covering that. Somebody will prove they own the rights to “Give a damn about each other” and so on….

        FINE!!! NO BOOK!!! :-) Well that was fun.

        • Patrick Gannon

          Sorry to inform you, Jethro, that the Catholic Church very much believes in a hell of torment and punishment. It is still in the catechism. It’s a core part of their faith. Without it, how would they fill the pews and coffers? What’s worse is that the default destination according to the Catholic Church for aborted, miscarried and stillborns who commit the heinous crime of dying before being baptized is Hell. Catholics worship an evil god, but seem not to realize this.

          I have to disagree that faith has any value whatsoever. Faith is pretending to know things you don’t know. If you know them, you don’t need faith. Faith is lying to ourselves. How can that be good for our mental health?

          Let’s look at your example. Early research indicated that eggs and coffee might be bad for us, but the scientific process did what it is supposed to do. It challenged the common wisdom, conducted experiments, made observations, submitted results to peer review and then revised its views based on the new evidence. Has religion EVER done that? Has the Catholic Church EVER said they may have made a mistake regarding a two-person DNA bottleneck, without which there is no basis for original sin? Of course not. Faith is not interested in truth.

          Trust is a different story. We can trust or hope that something is true, but this is not the same thing as pretending to know that it’s true, which is what faith is.

          You said, “Since everything on earth is being argued over and over, the truth, even in those things we once knew as truth has been blurred. I have become not so inquiring, if I don’t need to know, I don’t want to.” That’s sad to me. The truth is, we humans have a better ability to learn new things as we mature and get into our middle ages and even older, but most of us stop learning new things as soon as we get out of school. I started reading all sorts of books, and some of the science stuff was hard to understand, but the more I learn, the easier it is to learn more. Don’t stop learning. You are at your peak ability to do so. That you are here participating, means, I think, that you really are interested in continuing to learn, but expand your horizons beyond this forum. Truth is not blurred. There are no “alternative facts.” There are things we know, things we don’t know, and things we think we know, and the scientific process is careful to keep them separate, while it continues to try and know more and more. We’ve learned as much in the last 10 years as in we have in the last century. A shame to let all that go to waste.

          Start by bringing yourself up to date with science. Read the book I suggested to Annie – Sean Carroll’s “The Big Picture.” He brings us up to date on the generally accepted status of the various components of the sciences, and talks about how they relate to our lives in our natural world.

          • Jethro

            Patrick, I guess this article or those like it created the idea that I stated. I was repeating what I heard.”””””””The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God” Pope Francis declared.””””””””” – credits are unknown

            Most religions are over a thousand years old in most cases, while they don’t change the words in the books to change understandings, they do recognize that burning witches at the stake is just silly among other things. rituals are abandoned and teachings are taught differently to bring new ways of thinking. But none of that really matters since everybody is still angry at everyone who doesn’t believe the way they do. People are passing around hate and anger. Religion is supposed to be teaching love, kindness, even understanding. Where is all that? Maybe its in the minds of those showing it and on not on the tongues of people trying to explain it. People have become most comfortable preaching to the choir. I can understand that since we can’t say hardly a thing about anything because people either argue or try to one up your knowledge, THEN argue.

            As far as not needing to know, there are many things that I felt were important over the years. So I learned about things and came to the conclusion (for example) that its none of my business what’s going on in Ethiopia. I care about starving children but I have people here in arms reach that need my help. If I can do something some day for Ethiopia I will. I simply believe we should be putting our energy into our community, when the community is healthy enough to help Ethiopia then it will happen. it does not serve me to know about it. Now that sounds cold maybe, and if anyone will chastise me for it then they don’t understand what I mean.

            It’s silly to believe I’m ready to quit learning. I stated ” If I don’t need to know, I don’t want to”. To list what I feel is unnecessary would take a lot of space. I am currently involved in learning to do those things that have been forgotten. Things that will be important if this country has trouble like that of the depression. It’s not so much as I don’t want to know really as much as, I think there are better things to think about. What I’ve decided is important is not necessarily what you find important and that’s ok. As a matter of fact, if the country does run into trouble, I sure hope there are other people besides me with different knowledge and ideas, we’re gonna need each other. I hope to pass on what I learn. In a situation when people need to be coming together it won’t matter how life evolved, it will matter how we evolve in that situation. It will matter how well we can work together, which won’t happen if we are arguing over needless things. And honestly, I really enjoy rediscovering nearly lost arts of what we call homesteading these days, it serves a purpose even in town.

            A book is a book. I cannot read them all. You have asked me to read one. I think its great that you found something that adds to your interest. “Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void?” As a single person my emotions, my beliefs, and my hopes and dreams are important right here. The void begins at that place my physical body never goes. We like to think our earth is small, it’s not that small as an individual. It’s as an individual that I decide what’s important for myself and household. All individuals make the same decision. We have allowed the rest of the world to creep in through our televisions and its become a war on emotions. I say that because there is little we can do outside of our communities unless we are sending money to those who are in those far away places. Our kids our hungry here, people are hungry here, people are out of work here, struggles are happening here, trees are coming down needlessly here… you get the picture. Why not just share with people some of the amazing things you have discovered rather than make fun of, or argue what people are posting about. Say something that adds knowledge, rather than having people question what knowledge they have. Everything that’s going on in the world is like a nuclear bomb exploding, I’ve seen the flash of light, I see the mushroom cloud, I even see the shockwave coming. What do I do with that? I think I’d rather be deaf dumb and blind in that moment, all the fear and anger in the world will not help and a God may be the only entity you have to talk to. It could also be an excellent time to show my wife my love for her. Now, I’ve seen that the world appears to be dying and the thoughts of humanity reflect that, I’m going to try to show not only my wife, but all the people in my life that I care. I’m going to talk to God even if that means I’m talking to my own experiences and thoughts about life and search, at the very least, to guide myself into that next moment with the best choice I can make.

            I posted a “god wants you to know” post for Neale because of the amount of defense I sense in some of his posts. No need for defense, just do it. I had a little fun explaining my fake book because of the amount of scrutiny anyone faces when not sharing mainstream ideas, and God forbid you say something that might sound contradictory. If millions of people are screwing themselves over with these beliefs it’s because they need those beliefs to escape the B.S. being heavily spread in the name of making another million. Anything that counts on theories as facts until proven otherwise are the worst because its all about opinions and beliefs. Nothing is sacred, not even truth, because its not about truth, its about funding and reputations. It’s almost mandatory to come up with our own conclusions because we can’t trust even the facts anymore. We have to run on that which is proven to ourselves. I used eggs and coffee because I called B.S. on that when it was reported. There was no study needed. 91 years in the life of my great grandma had already proven the study incorrect. It was a waist of time and money like a lot of things being studied these days. There is more money being poured into studies about how to get people to buy things that they can’t afford than there is in correcting mental health. I don’t know that to be a fact but I would bet money on it.

            As a child, (due to recent arguments I’ll define child as any human under the age of 18), As a child I went to Disneyland one or twice every summer. It was magical!! Then I became old enough to question what was behind the scenes. I studied it, snuck around, found all of the little secrets. Realized the marketing that went into it. Magical? not anymore. I wish I had that unknowing back!! I want the magic to exist again. I do see a beautiful work of art though, Amazing mechanical devises, Talents that go virtually unnoticed in the name of protecting the magic that can still be seen in the eyes of the children. I felt it necessary to expose the truth as a teen… A truth that serves no purpose because it destroys more than it creates. If some kid feels the need to know they will figure it out and it will be a curse or the step towards of a happy life. A life in which they may become the creators of more magic, a magic that has everything to do with facts and nothing to do with facts at all.

            Neale just posted…“Now if God so loved the tree that it encoded in its seed everything it needed in order to become what it was created to become, would God not all the more encode you?” We are born with all we need around us. the plants, the animals, the stones and the trees, the soil. And so much more. We’ve been given just enough to destroy ourselves and we are. maybe a time machine isn’t such a bad idea!!

          • Patrick Gannon

            Jethro, I simply informed you that you heard wrong. I’m not trying to one-up your knowledge, but neither am I going to put my education and knowledge in the waste basket. You may have heard that the RCC dropped Hell, from Neale, as he has taken a brief sentence spoken by one of the Popes out of context and posted articles based on that a couple times. He’s wrong. The Catholic Church IS the catechism, and Hell is very much real and alive in Catholicism. How could they survive without it?

            Ah, hang on… I found it. There are no credits for your quote because….. this is a hoax. The Pope never said this. It comes from a satirical site. (I knew he couldn’t have said this. I participate in Catholic blogs. I know the Church’s position. Catholics remind me frequently that Hell is my final destination). Google: “dont-fall-for-this-pope-francis-hoax-5-things-to-know-and-share.” Snopes apparently also addresses it. When you get a quote like this that sounds too good to be true – search for it, because most of the time, like this time, it’s not true. Doesn’t it peeve you just a bit to be played for a sucker by whoever put that out there?

            I care about truth. I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings when I point out things they post that are wrong, but to permit untruths to propagate is like failing to address a wrongness, which makes us at least partially culpable for that same wrongness. Do you really want to be responsible for propagating a lie? Many believers have no problem with this, but you don’t strike me as that kind of person.

            You are correct that people are passing around hate and anger. Tell me, how much of that is religious in nature? How is the concept of “god” a unifying concept when it puts people at each other’s throats, and appears to have been doing so for as long as it has existed? Neale claims his New Spirituality is not a religion, but by invoking “god” he necessarily made it so. It’s unavoidable given the baggage associated with that word.

            You don’t have to like what I do, which is to try and get people to question their own closely held beliefs, as a path to personal growth, but just as you are going to take your path, I am going to take mine. I am going to point out things that are incorrect and have no basis in science because somebody has to. Somebody has to care about truth. Somebody has to point out when a satirical post about the Pope is taken as truth, when it’s completely and utterly incorrect. Somebody has to say something.

            Neale does have the need for a lot of defense in his posts. He is hostile to people who don’t believe in gods, calling us “damaging,” he has taken words like the ones you posted about the Pope and another about Billy Graham completely out of context in order to support his views. He has used quantum and evolutionary woo to try and support his belief in a pervasive consciousness for which no compelling evidence exists. Someone has to tell the other side of the story – particularly when the truth is at stake. Someone has to point out that he is a businessman who makes money peddling beliefs and (a vain) hope for an afterlife. You said, “nothing is sacred, not even truth” and I couldn’t agree more – hence my efforts to portray the truth when I know I’m looking at misinformation or outright lies. I do not feel any guilt over this.

            The example you gave of eggs and coffee is a good example of the scientific process. Eggs have lots of cholesterol, so maybe they are bad. Coffee is a stimulant, so maybe it’s bad. Of course the press is going to grab headlines and scream that these things will kill you, while in the background, quietly working away, the scientific process plods along and in time, comes and tells us what you already knew. That doesn’t mean the exercise was a bad one. It means we should be cautious, very cautious of what the media tells us, but there’s nothing wrong with raising questions and doing research to find out for sure.

            We are different people, and that’s OK. Unlike you, I don’t want the magic back again. I want truth. I want to know how things really work. That to me, is what is fascinating, if not magical – not the idea that it’s easy for people to fool me with magic and marketing. It’s OK that we are different people and want different things and that we can have a discussion like this to discuss those differences, on the off chance we might learn something from each other. I like your interest in homesteading ideas, and as a bit of a country boy, I have interest in that as well. When I was younger I went to some efforts to make sure I had a ‘survival hole’ so to speak, with what I needed to support my family for some extended period of time. I can also hunt, fish, and farm. I know how to skin a deer and pluck a turkey. I can start a fire and sanitize water. I know basic first aid. I know many of the useful plants in my region. But I also have an interest in what makes the universe tick, hence the interest, not in magic from Neale, but in science from people much smarter than either myself or Neale!

            “Now if God so loved the tree that it encoded in its seed everything it needed in order to become what it was created to become, would God not all the more encode you?”

            I can’t let this nonsense go without a comment. A. We have no idea whether there are any gods, given that we have absolutely no more objective evidence for his god or any other, than we do for unicorns and fairies. B. Trees evolved. They weren’t “encoded” by some divine being. We know how trees came to exist, and there is no evidence for, or requirement that some magical invisible being that lives in the sky kick it all off by encoding it. That’s debunked nonsense. It was fine 100 years ago, but we know better now – just as we know about eggs and coffee now.

            Intelligent design, which is what this implies, has been quite thoroughly debunked. See Francis Collins who helped decode the human genome, and who despite being a devout Christian (he conveniently drops the scientific process when it interferes with his beliefs), will agree that there was no intelligent design and that evolution explains why our natural world is the way it is. We know we weren’t “encoded” by anything other than natural selection and the process of evolution. No gods are required to explain trees or dinosaurs or humans. Neale’s post is right out of fundagelicalism if it’s implying intelligent design as seems to be the case. It can’t go unchallenged unless we agree that peddling ignorance is a good thing, and I don’t.

          • Jethro

            Patrick, I call you friend for a reason. I said many things that go against your grain and you responded in kindness. You explained yourself and gave definition to your purpose. You do come off a little strong sometimes but I get it, and that’s ok.

            I didn’t do a lot of homework on the “no hell” statement because it doesn’t really effect me much. In other words I don’t care. I have been moving away from Neale’s stuff lately. I have been trying to hang on to an idea I had that actually saved my life. It was Neale’s book that did that. It’s one of the reasons I prefer people just go with what works for them. I had developed a hatred for myself with a Christian belief and knew something was wrong. Then Neale’s books went with what I was thinking and it worked for a while.
            Neal’s first book was pretty awesome! He started losing me towards the end of #2 and I can’t really remember #3. #4 has communication with interdimensional beings….Alrighty then. I said using the word God was a mistake but, interdimensional beings? After all the talk about god? Not a great marketing move.

            I gave you plenty of ammunition to be insulting and you gave explanation. You even gave a compliment. I said something a couple articles back about all of this being a very long advertisement for the new book and was greeted with anger and defense from a man teaching love and acceptance. I think he apologized? I don’t really care anymore. Mewabe helped me through a tough spot and I appreciate his points. I really do enjoy your scientific facts, You are correct, I couldn’t let someone believe what I knew for a fact to be a lie.

            “It can’t go unchallenged unless we agree that peddling ignorance is a good thing, and I don’t.”
            Carry on my friend. I don’t know that I’ll ever get into your line of study as my interests are headed somewhere else, but you never know. If I ever see you’ve authored a book, I’ll read it.

            I’m going to go find the magic of the past, the good parts. I find peace in that at the moment and my wife thinks I spend too much time on here anyway. Thank you!!

          • Patrick Gannon

            Thanks Jethro. We’re closer to being on the same page, than not, I think. I understand the attraction and draw of CwG. It had a powerful effect on me too. It’s full of good advice, and different ways to evaluate ourselves. If only he had called it “Conversation with Life” or something like that, but “god” sells better, and there’s so much more room for repeat business!

            It’s a good bridge away from Christianity, given that it’s a sort of “Christianity Lite” like going from Marlboro’s to Lights or Miller to Lite, in an attempt to improve your health – but you have to get past the “Lite” to really make a positive difference that sticks with you – or at least that’s what I found. The all important admission that we just don’t know, is, I think, where personal growth starts.

          • Jethro

            “”We’re closer to being on the same page, than not, I think.”” Well…I’m headed in the same direction if we’re not close to the same page.

            Look at the above statement:…..””I understand myself to be an individuation of Divinity, an expression of God, a singularization of The Singularity. There is no separation between me and God, nor is there any difference, except as to proportion. Put simply, God and I are one.””….. We can say here that god exist because we exist, I’m almost sure that’s the idea. Almost saying, we are God. If we have a conversation with ourselves we talk to god. When we consider the collective thought of humanity, we consider the word of God. I’ve had this thought long before I read Neale’s books, Just from listening to the preacher.
            And then…… “”That which is whole cannot grow to become whole. That which is complete cannot grow to become complete. That which exists in its ultimate totality cannot grow to become its ultimate totality. It already is that which the Mind might imagine that it seeks to become.””……. So here, what I’m getting is we are just trying to learn better how to be ourselves. There’s nothing to learn to bring that out, just do it. If I don’t feel good in my actions just act differently. I get to define what’s divine, no God needed. I think that’s the understanding here.
            Above starts out with this…..””In our last entry here I said that for me, “mastery” is defined as “the fullest expression of the fullness of my being.” That is, the total expression of the totality of my Self.””….. I truly don’t mean to be insulting on this one but, it doesn’t say anything. This statement works for sadists too! and there’s not an explanation to follow either. It just so happens I know what he’s talking about.

            There seems to be a change happening here. But I have felt since book 1 that Neale wasn’t actually discussing God at all, but the human psyche which is why he draws a large crowd. Be in touch with yourself and act on the best part of what you find. Psychology over religion. Call it God and you get quite a crowd! But religion has been doing it for millennia. I mean, who could read and write and know much more beyond the farm until the 1960’s? Tell them God said so and it was so. We have not really evolved beyond that and in so many words I’ve stated that before. So, is Neale really that far off? Getting people away from religion to look at the truth of who a person really is? He just used the word “GOD”, and like you said, some of it is pretty good.

            I have grown up with all kinds of paranormal shows and movies and weird beliefs, I think my father really wanted to believe in it and did, and then transferred all the paranormal over to Christianity in which he called his third wife (remember the sin of adultery? She had three kids, not his) he called her a priestess! a very laughable statement!! Aside from the freakish things that my grandmother made good calls on, I have absolutely not seen any evidence supporting any paranormal activity higher than human thought. I have felt weird sensations that I’ve excused as muscle spasms to date. Herd things that I’ve investigated without fear finding that poor hearing in one ear created an effect. My wife on the other hand… She will swear to you that she lived in a haunted house, but I can’t investigate it so I have to humor her. Then my grandparents, the Pentecostals. Lived in a house they swore was haunted. Front door unlocked every morning and a stagecoach, that couldn’t be seen, passed by at noon everyday. So I’m open minded still. Time may settle the argument for me. I’d love to experience a ghost though.

            When someone has experienced the amount of trauma that Annie has, intuition runs strong. She may have actually had experiences that seem very paranormal. Give her some space. She’s a real sweetheart and needs what she has. There are times when it’s best to let someone have what they got no matter how we feel about it.

          • Patrick Gannon

            It is difficult for me to take Neale seriously when he writes some of the things you list here, Jethro:

            “”I understand myself to be an individuation of Divinity, an expression of God, a singularization of The Singularity.”

            First, what is the difference between “divinity” and “Divinity?” How does putting caps on the word change its meaning, and why does Neale get to decide what new meaning to give words we’ve used in a particular way for a very long time? Why should his attempted redefinition of words be given any merit or consideration? To me, they sow confusion.

            “A singularization of The Singularity.” Note again the caps – that always means Neale is giving the word some meaning other than what the word is defined to mean, and it strikes me as dishonest and misleading, and immediately puts my BS radar on full alert. “Singularization” isn’t really a word, but in slang terms would mean the process of becoming single. What is the futile process of making single, something that is already single? It makes no sense. This strikes me as Gobbledygook.

            Neale likes to use words that people don’t really understand and then turn them into something – lord knows what, sometimes – that give his words a meaning and authority they wouldn’t otherwise enjoy. He often chooses words like “singularity” that have something to do with science, but which most people don’t understand.

            Singularity:
            1: something that is singular: such as
            a : a separate unit
            b : unusual or distinctive manner or behavior : peculiarity
            2: the quality or state of being singular
            3: a point at which the derivative of a given function of a complex variable does not exist but every neighborhood of which contains points for which the derivative does exist
            4: a point or region of infinite mass density at which space and time are infinitely distorted by gravitational forces and which is held to be the final state of matter falling into a black hole

            Most of us who know the word, think of black holes (definition 4) when we hear the words “the singularity” and indeed for me, his sentence deserves to go into a black hole and like light, never make it’s way out again. It sounds “cool,” however, so no matter how meaningless or misleading, it may well become a staple for future use.

            “We can say here that god exist because we exist, I’m almost sure that’s the idea.” Oh? How so? The fact that we exist only proves that we exist. That’s it. No other conclusion can be drawn from that to support the existence of gods.

            If the message is that we’re just learning how to better ourselves, why doesn’t he just say that? Why all the gobbledygook? Answer – because it gives his words an air of authority and value that they don’t really deserve, given that they don’t really say anything as profound as he would like his readers to suppose. He’s very good at this, and it’s something he’s obviously put a lot of thought into. It’s a technique or method that has worked well for him, and I have a grudging admiration for his ability to shear the sheep with his clever use of words.

            I’m a reasonably well educated guy. I know what a singularity is, and when scientific terms get thrown around and manipulated to present religious ideas, it grates on my nerves. Sorry, but it just does. Dumbing down science is not a good idea. Instead we need to bring people up in their intellectual and critical thinking skills so they can think for themselves – but unfortunately, that takes a lot more work. It’s easier to take advantage of ignorance, as religions have always done.

            If you look at the article Stephen Mills mentions above about the potential for a holographic universe, I can almost guarantee that in no time, the New Age crew will jump all over this – because we don’t understand it yet – and, just like with quantum mechanics, they will leverage the concept to support their “singularization of the singularity” or some other batcrap nonsense; and in so doing, they will continue to dumb down science for their own financial gains – which after all, is what this is all about. Don’t forget – this is a business.

            I disagree that Neale is speaking of the human psyche. He really seems to believe in a deity, in a personal god. He insists that I am “damaging” because I and other agnostics and atheists don’t believe in his god, or any gods. (I would simply say I have no evidence for gods or afterlives and give them a very low credence based on the total lack of empirical objective evidence). Neale, formerly a Catholic, like myself, recognized the many weaknesses, incongruities, and indeed evil of the Catholic god, but he also saw the power of the idea of god, so he designed his own, borrowing from eastern faiths, fiction writers and New Age woo, in order to do so. I really think Neale believes in his god, and belief is contagious, and he’s out to spread his beliefs, because nothing is more consoling than to know that others believe what you do. That’s how many people evaluate their value and self worth. It’s difficult not to, but I think truth is more important than incorrect shared beliefs, no matter how consoling.

            I know this isn’t what you want to hear, Jethro. Trust me there was a time when I was very defensive of Neale, and indeed took on a missionary role to spread the word to as many people as I could. I bought and gave away CwG books and CDs – but no more. Now I see how I was hooked and landed, and I’m not quite so gullible any longer, and I’m certainly no longer afraid to challenge authority despite my upbringing as a Catholic – an organization that shudders at the thought of questioning authority.

            The most important authority to challenge is ourselves – our own beliefs. Attempt to debunk them. If you can’t then maybe they have some value, but many of them are quite easily debunked when you put a little work into it.

            Remember, CwG did not save your life. It may have acted as a catalyst, but whatever you did to get out of a formerly bad situation YOU did, on your own. Give yourself, and not Neale, credit for that accomplishment. Don’t demean your own accomplishments by crediting a book by a man who is talking to himself.

          • Jethro

            Patrick, I want to start by saying Thank You for recognizing my loose statement, giving what appeared to be total credit for my life to CWG, and your giving credit back to me. I was bankrupt spiritually and morally when I first started looking into Neale’s ideas. I have stated before that I was already thinking these things that I found in book one. When I say it saved my life, I mean that moving forward in my need for a higher power at the time was allowed because there was a guy who stated I was correct, If I wasn’t correct, it was ok. I will expand my statement to say it was “one of many” things that saved my life. Not drinking 12 to 24 cans of beer a day saved my life actually and I’m totally responsible for that. I don’t give that credit to anyone.
            My spiritual views played a major roll in moving forward. I needed to hear what Neale wrote and I needed it desperately. It could have been any author in the world but CWG was where I landed. I think Neale has some awesome points of view but I wont be traveling to Comet Hale–Bopp or roasting marshmallows in Waco with him, any more the he will be following Werner Erhard’s “Erhard Seminar Trainings”. He enrolled in the est program and he “got it.”. I did some reading and “I got it”. I’ve loaned out a book once or twice to those who needed something other than Christianity and it worked for them too. There is a place for Neale’s thoughts I believe. You called it a “bridge” I believe. I honestly don’t care how the earth began at this point, I mean I’m interested in knowing, It’s just not life changing information for me. Knowing how to properly cut a butt roast out of a pig, or making a raspberry wine like an old fellows wine I tasted a few years ago, or finding a cream separator for a couple hundred bucks that gets cream from goat milk, that’s life changing!! Perfecting food, home and my relationship with my wife, that’s life changing. Stopping all this spiritual crap and just rotating with earth is looking like the best answer. I cant change anything except how I feel about it all and that’s all anyone is trying to do…Right?

            “”I know this isn’t what you want to hear, Jethro. Trust me there was a time when I was very defensive of Neale,”” I meant absolutely no defense in what I wrote. I stated before that the biggest mistake and the best marketing for the books was the use of the word “God”. I was reading the books at the same time I was studying to be a counselor. There were things I related at the time that made me think that Neale wasn’t talking about God at all. The human mind is a very complex tool in itself but like any tool its only as good as the person using it. We have the ability to guide others without them knowing they are being manipulated. Some people, you call them “Sheople”, follow closely, things that sound wonderful or mystical. We are both guilty of this. Sometimes we need something to build on. (Grin) Astrology says I’m prone to be highly spiritual. It’s been a while since I read the books and I just read the morning inspirational and Saturday emails, well Saturday has been lost due to this blog. When I logged into here I expected something a whole lot different, I seen lots of arguement. Then I looked at the religion channel and…Man! Nobody is allowed to say anything. The confusing part was the number of up votes I got from the atheist crowd. I didn’t want that, I wanted everyone to speak freely without the argument. I know about Christian oppression and the holy wars and stuff but I expected a more peaceful resolution from believers in God. My only direct conversation with Neale was a response of anger. So what’s it all for?

            I am moving into thoughts of reality and getting in touch with real things that really matter, that are tangible and effect me directly. Some folks really believe their dreams are extremely important, or they have out of body experiences. I have a friend I guided towards Wicca. She a nut job! She enjoyed the ceremonies of the spells and the mysticism. It brought more peace to her insane thinking. I’m not going to claim to be as sane as I should be but I have realized that all of the fantasy thoughts about having special senses or powers or whatever little freaky idea I’ve had about myself being special somehow just isn’t true. All that is needed is to obey a few of the ten commandments and carry a gun. I restate, not much has changed over the years. We should recognize the seasons and be aware of the movement of the moon and sun. We need to know the state of our land, the seasons, and the thoughts of people around us. I’m going to learn more about what nature is offering us. That statement romanticizes what I really mean. I’m going to learn to live like great grandma and grandpa who built, grew, and made what they had. Anyone who is smart will do the same thing. Not make a life of it, just learn it. Then get our heads out of books looking for easy answers and pay attention to the community around us. It’s how communities were built, it’s how things must be maintained.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Much here I agree with, Jethro. I think you can probably blame the arguments that arose on this site on me, more than any other person. When I first started here, years ago – using a different blog engine – it was a Kumbaya site, with everyone stroking each other’s ego and in nearly complete agreement on everything Neale had to say. It was the Neale Donald Walsh Fan Club, for all intents and purposes. Oh there were occasionally some heated discussions, but they were usually off topic and had to do with a couple people who hated the crap out of America and took every opportunity to denigrate it. Neale and I actually agreed in our responses to some of those folks.

            Most people, even if they disagreed, would fear saying anything because Neale is a guru, an authority figure, a spiritual leader, an author, and in our society we are hesitant about questioning or challenging spiritual authority figures. When I began to see how much BS was going on, I changed that. I started asking tough questions here, and haven’t stopped. From my perspective, the quality of the discussion improved considerably, making it a far more interesting blog with far more participation and comments, than in the past. I will accept either blame or credit for that depending on one’s point of view!

            Similar discussions as this could be held on at least one of the Catholic blogs I regularly participate in. The very idea of challenging the Pope! My goodness! Talk about freaking believers out. I have no compunctions doing that. My favorite way to refer to the clergy is… disordered, celibate virgins dressed in robes who insist we call them Father, despite having chosen to remove themselves from the human gene pool. The word they most dislike of course is “disordered” but celibate, virgins are very unnatural in the natural world, and I will use the term for as long as they refer to LGBTs as disordered. If they are, then so too are the Catholic clergy. It’s critical that we question authority, whether Neale or the Pope, but the most critical authority to challenge is ourselves and our beliefs!

            I love this line: “All that is needed is to obey a few of the ten commandments and carry a gun.” LOL. I stopped carrying after I became single and my son grew up and moved away. I’ve lived a satisfactorily productive life and if I were to learn that it ends tomorrow, I’d shed no tears. I would mostly regret not getting to learn any more new things. On the occasions I do carry, it’s only because there are others with me, like my girlfriend, who I have an interest in protecting if possible.

            Off topic, but under Obama I never felt the need, unlike my Christian friends, to run out and buy a bunch of new guns and ammo. Under Trump, I can assure you that I plan to do more practicing and to buy more ammo in order so as to be prepared when the Christians come down my driveway with pitchforks and torches to burn me out. If gun sales were tracked by political affiliation, I wonder if stats would show that liberal gun purchases are ticking up…

          • Jethro

            Questioning authority is the only way to keep authority in check. Authority, gurus, presidents, they are all humans, last I pinched myself I’m human too. While I don’t always have the words that say what I’m thinking, I think. Our country is a little off right now but so is the world and we still live in the best country on earth.

            Clergy, I’m not catholic but I’ve never trusted anyone who says they gave up sex! Of course I’m avoiding an alter boy statement. I could care less about the LBGT movement. I’m neither for or against. it’s a crotch thing and only two of them in the universe matter to me. Whatever a persons preference, treat it like a crotch and keep it under wraps in public. It doesn’t matter if it’s man and woman or otherwise. Need to use a public restroom and have a penis, The sign with pants….got a vagina, sign with a dress, It’s really simple! We can change the pictures of course to a vagina and a penis, but there’s another argument. People need to get past it. Sodom and Gomorrah wasn’t about homosexuality, it was the abuse and force involved. IF, it actually happened. Why would God intervene 2000+ years ago and not today? Tower of Babel…trip to the moon?

            Ten commandments and a gun. Cowboyish. The red line says I invented a word! I quit carrying a long time ago too. Guns are not for intimidation, to pull a gun is to pull a trigger, chances are very slim that I would ever have to pull a trigger in my normal routine. If the SHTF, I have all I need to obtain more firepower. No need to waste my money on it. I’m sure somebody knows who is buying guns, it’s another fact nobody is talking about. My wife knows nothing about guns, she was afraid of them actually. I edumacated her a bit and she’s a lot more comfortable, even claimed one as her favorite.

            We have been seeing violence on the rise on the news all over the world and even here in America, even Canada has joined in on the stupidity of attacking in ignorance. Could be I’m the ignorant one because I don’t know what reason anyone has aside from fear. The news is good at telling what happened but they never give us the “why?”. Too many people stuffed into one spot I’m guessing. We continue to separate people and parties, by political, religious, racial, financial, and so on, affiliation. There’s no humans left. Very few anyway. It should not be our purpose to fight “against” others all the time. Our purpose should be fighting “for” people. I’m aware of how that statement can be manipulated to condone current actions but I think your intelligent enough to know what I mean.

            The groundhog predicts more winter! What winter? We’ve been on the verge of spring here since November. It’s getting close to seeding time, recognizable by date alone.

            Why do you think Christians would be mobbing up driveways under Trump? I haven’t had that thought yet. It looks like rioting is going to become a new fad though. I’m not fearful, just shaking my head. I’m sure Trump will give orders to attack back eventually.

            Off topic? This is a place of thought, it all counts. Spirituality is thought isn’t it? A sharing of beliefs and ideas beyond the average occurrences of our days. Even more so, that which conducts how we move through our daily activities and why. How we feel about it all and why. There’s no off topic.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Jethro,

            I’m glad you added the comment that “people need to get past it” after your statements about public bathrooms.

            Are you aware that gender reassignment surgery to transition from male genitalia to female does, indeed, produce a vagina? The same is not true, however for surgery to transition from female genitalia to male as surgeons haven’t figured out how to compensate for urination yet without complications. However, many female to male transgendered persons actually do have penises. They’re prosthetics that look so natural they can’t be distinguished at a glance at a urinal, and provide the ability to stand up and urinate.

            I consider myself part of the LGBTQ community. I love who I love because of who they are and how they act, not what’s in their crotch. That makes me bisexual, although I don’t like the term because it sounds like I can’t be satisfied without both and, therefore, cannot be in a committed, monogamous relationship. But, the “movement” has refused to replace it as it’s been in use for so long.

            And I hope that you can still trust me even though I gave up sex nearly 20 years ago.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Jethro

            Hi Annie, It would benefit everyone to just get over it. Homosexuality has been around long enough that people need to just get over it. It’s always been here, and it’s not going to go away. Force it into hiding is the best anyone can do with what comes naturally to people. Matter of fact, nothing is ever completely abolished, just hidden.

            Now to address that you gave up sex nearly 20 years ago and made claims to being bisexual. Can’t do both. Bi-love-ual is the word I’m going to make up for you in this conversation. Love and sex are two different things and either can exist with the other. But I know what you mean.
            I hoped you would just know what I meant concerning clergy and giving up sex. I did state “anyone”, but It’s Men saying they’ll give up sex, young men. Alter boys can testify to the destructive nature of a man who has been trusted to give up sex. So no, I won’t trust a man because he says he gave up sex even for God, and yes, I will trust you, but I have only a need to trust the experiences and thoughts you write about. Neither you or I have proof that either is speaking the truth at any given moment. I trust you are. My mother also gave up sex or gave up on it, but then she just gave up finding a man to share her life with after the 6th husband. The hysterectomy and hormonal imbalances may have had a lot to do with it too.

            I actually had no idea that they could not surgically reproduce the penis. That’s a shame for those who need the transformation. It will happen with time I’m sure.

            Love and blessings.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Jethro,

            Unfortunately, it’s not just the altar boys who know priests aren’t always celibate. I was molested by a priest when I was 13. That was about six years after I (and the entire parish, neighborhood and school system) learned nuns aren’t always celibate, either, because my father had been having an affair with one and got her pregnant. I do have two aunts who are nuns, though, and don’t doubt their celibacy. I asked each if they were lesbians during conversations about relationships and sex, and they both said they’d not had sex at all.

            It’s the “bi” part I have a problem with, actually. It means two, like bi-monthly. One relationship is enough. I couldn’t handle two relationships at the same time, and the experience of finding out about my father’s infidelities kept me faithful. I am unwilling to have sex outside of a relationship. Giving up sex was probably easier for me than most because there were always years between relationships. One of my sisters and I even had a “contest” that I won when I went eight years. Her longest gap was six.

            I gave up relationships because I’m not willing to burden anyone with my disabilities and their effects. When I was in relationships, they varied. They were with men or women. One was with a woman who transitioned to a man later, and one was with a woman who had transitioned from being a man. I’m a good example of why labels, or putting people into boxes, just doesn’t work well. The only label I truly like to go by is Annie, but social media doesn’t like just one name.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Jethro

            Annie, I know that every person has the capacity for hurting others and I mean to any degree. It doesn’t matter what promise they made to God or Godzilla. That was my point to begin with. They can say they are celibate but I don’t put a lot of faith in that. I also know that doesn’t mean there are not people are celibate through out there lives. It is my experience, just as yours, that there are some people out there who abuse others for their own pleasure. Due to that, I don’t trust what anybody says, guilty until proven innocent. That may be bad but that’s all I got.

            It should not matter to anyone what your sexual orientation is, it shouldn’t matter what color your skin is, or what god you pray to or if you choose to do so, as long as nobody gets hurt by it. We are human beings and should be allowed to be comfortable with that. That is until we start pushing others based on our beliefs without consideration for others.

            There are many things people will argue in what I just wrote, some would try to prove a point with it and reconfigure some things and manipulate and redefine and cry and throw a fit… I say, Get over it!

            There are bigger problems! like, I can’t get the “Ballpark Franks” jingle out of my head!!

            Love and Blessings

          • Patrick Gannon

            Gee. Thanks for that. Now I have Oscar Meyer “hot diggity dog diggity” going through my head. Curses!

          • Jethro

            Hey Patrick, just replaced “ballpark franks” with “hot diggity dog diggity”!! I appreciate the help… or damn you… I’m not sure yet.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Do you have any evidence of the abuse at 13? If so, why haven’t you sued them? Was the priest ever charged? Is he still alive? Accused by anyone else? Moved to another diocese?

            Out of curiosity, what became of the pregnant nun? Did she stay in her order? Have the baby? Abort? Kicked out? Do you know your step-sibling?

            If you can produce any evidence, you should take them to court. Surely there are attorneys who would take the case on a contingency basis… The Church may pay to shut you up if you can convince them that you are going to make a big stink.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Patrick,

            I had a witness to my being molested by a priest when I was 13. It happened in the kitchen of my own home where my mother was hosting a progressive dinner. It wasn’t the first time he was inappropriate with me, but it was the first time he molested me. She had enlisted us kids to serve the guests. I went into the kitchen to fill the water pitcher I was using, and the priest followed me. He had me trapped in a corner, kissing me while one hand was under my skirt and inside me with the other on my breast when my mother walked in. I had a typical survivor’s reaction and just froze.

            Her initial reaction was to not make a scene. She told him in the coldest tone I’d ever heard her use that he would be allowed to finish his dinner, and that when he left he would never be allowed in our home again. If he ever touched me again, she would report him. After he walked out of the kitchen, she turned on me with that same coldness, blaming me for how I was dressed and saying I must have encouraged him. I was sent to my room and we never discussed it directly again, but didn’t argue when I told her the following Sunday that I would no longer be attending church.

            By the time I got to dealing with the issue in therapy (my father and a series of abusive relationships came first), my mother had passed. The therapist I was seeing had gone through the process with the Archdiocese with other clients and so was familiar with it. When I mentioned the priest’s name, she knew him and wasn’t surprised. She left it up to me whether or not to report him, but also said that it was her experience that without a witness the Archdiocese wouldn’t consider it credible. It would allow me to face the priest in person and she would go with me, but I decided to write him instead.

            It was a difficult decision to make. At the time, he was the pastor of one of the wealthiest and most influential parishes in the Archdiocese. My therapist allowed me to use her office address as a return address (she’d already done so with my father), but he never replied. I also reported him to SNAP, an organization that provided support, peer groups and a database. I was told his name was already in the database, and he’d been officially investigated for allegations from the same timeframe and was moved to a different parish as a result.

            As for the nun, when it became public knowledge, her belongings were literally thrown into the street in front of the convent by the pastor. Apparently her Order and the Archdiocese felt that her removal was enough punishment as she wasn’t excommunicated, probably because my father held a lot of power. He also purchased an anullment from the church and married her in the church right after. She had Paula seven months later as a (supposedly) nine pound preemie. Last I heard, Paula and Joy, my adopted half sister, were both drug addicted single mothers, but that was years ago. We weren’t encouraged to develop relationships with them, and shortly after Joy was adopted, they all moved to Arizona.

            My father cheated on his second wife, as well, and they divorced over it. He married a third time, but she divorced him as well. He joined all kinds of 12 Step programs, including Sexaholics Anonymous, completing the steps in only 10 months so I suspect he didn’t work much of a program. It was enough, however, to convince his second wife to remarry him. As far as I know, they’re still together in Tulsa.

            Sorry for the long reply, but it’s not a simple story.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            Holy crap! And your soul put you in this position in order to advance its agenda? Swell. You get all that misery and your soul gets to grow. Not sure that’s a good deal for you! (See my comments in the other thread regarding the soul).

            Have you considered writing a book? You write well, and your story is compelling. Your mother’s reaction is probably what my mother would have done, though as far as I know, none of my sisters experienced any such abuse. I didn’t, but priests have always made me nervous – disordered, celibate virgins dressed up in robes insisting we call them “Father” despite having voluntarily choosing to remove themselves from the human gene pool. It’s a messed up organization, like no other. Back then, you just didn’t talk about such things. The process of figuring out how to end the book – the story of your life to this point, even if you used it as a mechanism to pitch your New Age soul, would probably be the most useful part of such an exercise; even if you just write it for nobody to read but yourself – but who knows, sell a million copies and throw a party for everyone on the CwG forum! I’ll buy a copy, and I’ll drive down to Largo for the party!

          • Patrick Gannon

            With regard to bathrooms – that was an issue that never would have come up if the Supreme Court hadn’t validated gay marriage. The Christian right lost a battle, and had to strike back in their self-righteous anger at something, and LGBTs are an easy target. They have forever been using the bathrooms of their choice and nobody was any wiser. What someone does in a stall is private, no matter what genitals they have. I think we should let them keep using whatever bathroom they want. I mean, we’re not going to know anyway unless we install bathroom police to check genitals, and I doubt that would go over well. The only reason for the uproar was for Christianity to exercise what it does best – hostility to the other.

            I think the Sodom story was about treating strangers decently. Christians don’t want to hear that message, so they turned it into a story about homosexuality that is not supported by the actual text of the story. The story should be a wake-up call to Christians about what their god can do when they treat outsiders as the people of Sodom did, but Christianity didn’t learn a thing from that story. Of course nothing like that actually happened, though there may have been an earthquake or asteroid or volcano or something long in the distant past that destroyed a city or two. Primitive people would have made up stories about it, in an attempt to explain it. At that time they thought gods were responsible for things that today we understand as natural events. If a city was destroyed, a god had to have done it, and there had to have been some reason, hence the biblical story.

            What I always found interesting about the story is Abraham bartering with Yahweh, saying – will you destroy it if there are 50 righteous people? “No.” How about 45? 40? All the way down to 10, Yahweh says, if there are 10 righteous people, he won’t destroy it. But then he destroys it. This means women and children don’t count, because surely the children at least, were righteous, and surely there were more than 10 of them. The Sodom story is a good one to use in the abortion debate, because it clearly illustrates that Yahweh doesn’t give a crap about innocent children or babies. Like women, they aren’t real people; they don’t count. For Yahweh, only men are real people.

            You ask why I think Christians might come up my driveway with pitchforks and torches. You answered your own question in saying, “We have been seeing violence on the rise on the news all over the world and even here in America…” Fundamentalist Christians are quite gleeful, seeing Trump as the guy that issues in the rapture. The Christian terrorism in Canada that you mentioned is probably just the start, as fundagelical terrorists feel emboldened to commit more acts of violence. The world may not be finished with burning heretics. Robert Heinlein wrote a fictional story “If This Goes On,” that you might enjoy. The novella shows what might happen to Christianity in the United States given mass communications, applied psychology, and a hysterical populace. The book written in 1940s is surprisingly prophetic, though details are different. Unlike Europe, we never went through centuries of religious rule and Christian violence. Europeans think we’re nuts to be tearing down the one truly unique thing America did – which was to put up a wall between church and state. Many Christians are desperate to tear down that wall so we can go back to the dark ages, and they see Trump as someone sympathetic to their cause.

            Here’s my take on the “why.” I think we have a massive case of national cognitive dissonance. The foundation for the Abrahamic religions has washed away, and all that remains is to let everyone know it. As this information becomes more widely known, it creates a condition in which facts counter beliefs, which creates discomfort, anxiety, angst, fear and eventually violence, unless one is able to adjust their beliefs to encompass the new data that debunks them.

            We know today beyond reasonable doubt that there was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt, and no conquest of Canaan. Non-religious scholars are in near-unanimous agreement on these things, and without them, what is left upon which to base the Abrahamic gods? Nothing.

            So you have this situation in which people’s deepest beliefs have been debunked by modern science, and the cognitive dissonance that sets up in the brain creates great discomfort for the person who knows deep down that their beliefs are wrong, but just can’t let go of them for fear of losing a part of how they identify themselves. We’re seeing this on a massive scale and the results look pretty predictable to me, but we have to get through it. We have to face the facts, just as before, when we finally accepted that the sun had stopped going around the earth, and that Galileo, Giordano and others were correct and the Church was wrong. This is a much greater challenge though and it’s going to take some time to work through, and there is likely to be a lot of violence before we get there.

            The solution, as for most things is education. If we keep at it, we can change beliefs – after all, we convinced Americans that smoking was not good for them, despite long held beliefs to the contrary. It can be done, but the people who would have to put this in motion are the very people who have the greatest cognitive dissonance, and all they can do is strike out with hostility at those who do not believe the same thing they do.

            I am not “fearful,” but I am a bit concerned. I write frequently in our local newspaper blog, and my agnostic views are known by a lot of Christians who would be quite happy to see me hurt, I’m sure. They sure look forward to my eventual trip to Hell! These people may feel emboldened by Trump’s support for the many ignorant fundagelicals who put him in office. I have been threatened with death twice by Muslims in other forums which I dropped out of, but so far Christians have been happy enough to see me burn in Hell. I hope that’s good enough for them and that they don’t come down the driveway, because if they do, we’re all going to find out if there’s a Hell or not.

          • Jethro

            It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other, Like you said, stalls are pretty private. My problem with getting it all mixed up had nothing to do with the homosexual anyway. It was the thought of the heterosexual predator in the women’s room with my daughters that had me a bit upset. Doesn’t seem that it’s going to be a problem anymore than it ever was.

            As far as Sodom goes, I believe the same as you. treating people poorly is the point. Christians have been using the bible to treat people poorly for centuries. With the bible being the most read book ever it would also be the most misunderstood book in history. Matter of fact, any holy book used as an excuse for violence is misunderstood. That’s my uneducated opinion. With the bible, the number of denominations is the proof of holy word manipulation. Or somebody needed a reason to open a new church in pursuit of non-profits. I’ve never been accepting of religious beliefs concerning women, I’d never even considered the children beyond sacrifice but you make a good point, the children at least were righteous.

            “Fundamentalist Christians are quite gleeful, seeing Trump as the guy that ushers in the rapture.” No man or woman will usher in anything. It will just be time if it’s going to happen. I don’t understand why so many people feel so self destructive! They say that heaven is where they wish to be and they are ready now. Yet they are persecuting murderers. A murderer can help them right out. Of course they say in that matter they still have to wait for the rapture, but let grandma die and see how many say she is with God. Stay alive, go to heaven, can’t do both and can’t make up their minds.

            I had a feeling I had answered my own question there, but I was curious if you had a different thought on it. If such riots begin to occur I’m pretty sure I’m not on the radar. Since we are talking about humans though, Hatred has no radar. They may decide the color of my house represents Satan.

            Its funny you use a round earth as an example. Now we’re just a hologram or 2D at least. That makes the earth flat again and it only appears round. Because Elon Musk suggested it? Any of it is only believed because the right person spoke up. I don’t mean the person is right, its just the right person speaking for people to consider the possibilities. If I had gone public with the same idea, I would be laughed out of the room.

            “we can change beliefs, but the people who would have to put this in motion are the very people who have the greatest cognitive dissonance.” I know what you mean but have to add, This can’t be true, the cause would then have to the cure. We can of coarse change beliefs, but it will take a different group of people in those positions. Look at what trump is doing, replacing people left and right who don’t agree with him, with people that do agree with him.

            “Christians who would be quite happy to see me hurt.” I can’t call them Christians. I will tell them that to their faces. If their faith is so weak that a news paper could put them in fear of their faith changing, they have bigger problems than the author. I give interest to all points of view. Just because the street has a “one way” sign doesn’t mean its impossible to drive the other direction. it requires a mass cooperation for it to work. and Who decided which way was best anyway?

          • Patrick Gannon

            Sorry to nitpick again, Jethro, but the Qur’an passed the bible as the most purchased book, and probably the most read book, since Muslims are supposed to memorize parts of it. While most American families have a bible on the shelves, only a pitiful few have actually read the whole thing. Indeed there are probably more atheists and agnostics who have read it, than actual Christians. Reading the bible cover to cover, is a sure fire way to gain converts to atheism and agnosticism. That’s how I got here.

            I’m not sure it’s the most misunderstood book either. It quite clearly advocates or condones slavery, racism, sexism, genocide, homophobia, conquest, discrimination against the disabled and a host of other horribles. It’s not a misunderstanding to use either the bible or the Qur’an in defense of violence. Both “holy books” clearly advocate violence against the unfaithful. For example:

            Deuteronomy 17
            “If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.”

            “Deuteronomy 13:6-10 6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

            You’re supposed to kill your own family as well as the people of the nearby towns who worship the wrong god. It’s quite easy to find passages in the bible that will support the plans of any extremist, and the same is true of the Qur’an.

            Or read Numbers 31, of which this is just a small piece, when Moses is upset that his men didn’t kill everyone, but spared women and children, so he says: “17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” Moses, acting as Yahweh’s voice, commands that everyone including the animals should be killed, except the young virgin girls whom the soldiers can keep for themselves. Now what do you think they did with those girls?

            There are a number of such examples. The whole mythical “conquest of Canaan” is about Yahweh commanding genocide. We know historically that none of this happened, but many people believe it did, and they insist that these and similar passages justify bombing abortion clinics, for example – and much worse in third world countries where Christians still hack others to bits with machetes.

            The real problem we have is that as long as mainstream believers insist that their texts are sacred, holy, inspired, etc. then they are supporting the foundation for the extremists, who are fully justified in carrying out the words that the holy texts dictate – and violence against non-believers is very much justified in both the bible and the Qur’an. When the mainstream says the books are holy, the people who carry out the words within are not terrorists, they are righteous.

            Even Jesus wasn’t particularly nonviolent: “30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Scattereth abroad can be taken as a command to fight against them). “Sell your cloak and buy a sword.”

            But some things are even worse – Jesus says we will go to eternal torment, not for what we do, but for what we think: “31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” This is thought crime. We’re to be punished for what we think. Who among us can control all the thoughts that come out of our head? Answer – none of us. Thoughts arise out of the blue and there’s nothing we can do about it – yet if our brain generates these thoughts, Jesus is going to punish us for all eternity. Jesus, when you read about him carefully, is not a nice guy at all. He’s actually far worse than his dad. Keep in mind that his sermons about turning the other cheek and so forth were meant as rules for how Jews should treat each other. Jesus was a racist, and was not there for the gentiles or anyone else but the Jews.

            The idea of the “rapture” is a new one that developed in the 1800s; it wasn’t something the early Christians considered. I have my own theory for the rapture – I think the rapture will occur when an interstellar space ship slows down over our skies, and sucks up all the fundies to replenish food supplies for the next leg of their journey. Some will be breakfast, some lunch, some dinner, and some will be “saved” for desert! That something like 40% of Americans believe in this rapture nonsense is quite frightening. All three of the Abrahamic religions have as their ultimate goal the destruction of the earth and mankind. They see a guy like Trump making that happen.

            No, the earth is not a 2D object; the early universe might have been though; and no, this isn’t something Elon Musk said. He’s not a physicist, as far as I know. Elon is a man with vision and a goal – to save the human genome by getting it off this planet.

            We have a different definition of the word “Christian.” I used to hold your definition, back when I was younger. There was a time when Christianity stood for helping others, kindness, charity, etc. but today Christianity has morphed into the “religion of hostility to the other.” A comment like that from GP, who says I am “insanely stupid” is an example of a very “Christian” comment. You should hang out on Catholic or fundagelical blogs if you want to see just how “Christian” these hateful people can be to those who don’t believe what they believe. If someone said to me, “That’s very Christian of you,” I would have to see what it is that I should apologize for.

          • Gross Prophet

            Lying again, to try to gather sympathy. What I DID say was that what you had said was, ‘…either horribly contrived simply to make your ‘point’, or you actually are insanely stupid.’

            You refuse to admit that you deliberately contrive a perspective in order to fit your argumentation. It was entirely your choice to accept the other label.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Edited my response to say ” A comment like that from GP, who suggests that I may be “insanely stupid” is an example of a very “Christian” comment.” There. Is that better? Happy now?

            Your intent was pretty clear, because my comment was not horribly contrived, thus leaving only the option of insane stupidity.

          • Gross Prophet

            Every single post you make is carefully crafted as to content, so that you can continue to keep slaying those strawman zombies.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Well a zombie is dead, and you can’t slay something that’s already dead.

            Answer my question, so we all know here whether you have any clue about the topic of discussion – have you read any of the CwG books? Yes or no?

          • Jethro

            If you weren’t nit picky I’d wonder who’s post I was reading.
            If it was a religious book it was misunderstood, if it was sold the most it was the one misunderstood the most. Of any of them. The message I always received from the bible “ultimately” was love. and revelations was scary. To help you understand that, I haven’t studied the bible much ever and the message was coming from Sunday school, grandma, and my mother, over 30 years ago. I’ve had discussion after discussion and I’ve read the bible since then, but I really haven’t gotten into the book itself very deep for just me..

            “The idea of the “rapture” is a new one that developed in the 1800s”
            I didn’t know that one. You think it might have been due to the translation and more people who could read developing their own ideas outside of the church?

          • Patrick Gannon

            I too was taught in Sunday school that god was love, but then I read the book for the first time about 10 years ago, and discovered quite the opposite. Bible God (Yahweh-Jesus) is fear, and fear is not love.

            The god of the bible is arguably one of the most evil characters in the history of fiction. I mean, right out of the gate, he punishes the mythical kids for doing something they couldn’t know was wrong until after they did it. As though that wasn’t enough, he punishes all their offspring who had absolutely nothing to do with this mythical event, and he goes downhill from there, drowning the entire world in a mythical flood, and on and on it goes… He’s genocidal, sexist, racist, homophobic, discriminatory, condones slavery, and wanton destruction, the list goes on and on.

            In his Jesus persona (remember Yahweh and Jesus are the same god) he sends mere humans to eternal torment in hellfire, knowing in advance which of us will go, and torturing us for trillions of years, though we live here but a few short decades. Jesus is not the “good news.” Our condition was much better before he came. In the old days, before Jesus, we were to be judged at the end of time and rewarded or destroyed, but with the “good news” of Jesus we are now judged immediately upon death and if found wanting, instead of simply being destroyed (fair enough), he tortures us for the rest of eternity…… but he loves us. Yeah right. He’s the most evil monster ever invented. As scholars look more and more closely at the evidence we have, it’s becoming more and more evident that Jesus, like Abraham and Moses, are mythical people, and not historical individuals.

            Most Christians don’t know this, but when the religion started there were several competing sects of Jesus including Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics and proto-orthodox. I forget which one of these it was, but there are scriptures (that obviously didn’t make it into our bible) that describe Yahweh as Satan, and Jesus battles him for us in a celestial battleground above the firmament. If one of these other groups had won the war of words, Christianity could be very, very different. For Ebionites, it would have been basically a Jewish sect, for Marcionites there would have been multiple gods, and for Gnostics, Jesus would not have been an actual god any more or less than any of the rest of us, but the proto-orthodox got hooked up with Rome, the source of political power, and that was the end of the competition. Proto-orthodox became Orthodox which in turn became the Holy Roman Catholic Church who did all they could to destroy the competitor’s scriptures, and prevent them from being copied. (No printing presses in those days – it was all by hand and the Church was the primary source of the scribes who did the copying). Thanks to occasional finds (Nag Hammadi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Library of Alexandria), we’ve stumbled across enough of these early texts to give us a more complete view of what was going on back then.

            I just looked up “rapture” again, and it actually started earlier than I remembered, back in the 1500s and 1600s. It is not Catholic doctrine, so the concept couldn’t have come about till after the Reformation. The idea really took off back in the 1970s, here in the US (it’s not a big concept overseas), and culminated with the “Left Behind” series of books in the 90s. I remember picking the first “Left Behind” book up in an airport before going on a business trip because it was getting publicity. It opens with all the Christians on an airplane being raptured off, including the pilot… fun thing to read while flying! I don’t remember what happened, but I think the co-pilot fortunately was not a devout Christian so he landed the plane despite air controllers and good Christians all over the world floating off into the heavens. I think I finished it, but it was too ridiculous to entertain, so I didn’t read any of the other books in the series that deal with the aftermath and the anti-christ. That was back when I was still a nominal Catholic, and the fact that the Church disavowed it probably still had an effect on me. I thought it was silly.

            You take a passage or two out of context – Paul’s flash of light from the east, and you create a new concept that allows a subset of people to believe they are the superior ones who will be taken away before the SHTF at the second coming. Oddly enough, the people who embrace this the most, tend to be the least educated among us. All I can say is that the sooner Jeebus comes and hauls them away, the better it will be for the rest of us.

          • Jethro

            I’m having a hard time posting for some reason. The site is blinking off and on… Going to try later.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I can’t remember where I read it, but yes, gun sales are up among liberals, especially women. There are even gun clubs specifically for liberals and they go to shooting ranges in groups so that they feel more comfortable amongst the regulars.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Gross Prophet

            9 days ago. I almost completely missed this excellent post. Thank you for speaking from your heart.

          • Jethro

            Thank you for the positive feedback Gross Prophet. It makes me happy to know something I had to say touched someone in a positive way. Thanks again.

      • Spiritual_Annie

        Patrick,

        Thank you for your kindness about my health. While I experience high chronic pain, I no longer suffer with it. It affects me physically but not often emotionally, and while it limits my activities it no longer keeps me from doing what I have to do. (I’m regularly told by doctors that I’m doing too much.) I’m looking at a free trial for Audible, and will see if they have Sean Caroll’s book.

        I admire your willingness and ability to question your beliefs. I understand how difficult it is because I do it myself regularly. I reached where I am today because I didn’t accept someone else’s experiences and beliefs as more valid than my own, but by questioning and researching. The difference between us is that I take into account my personal experiences and that of others, including spirituality and the paranormal, along with what science tells us. Science doesn’t yet explain spirituality or the paranormal, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. I choose to accept them as part of my reality because they add value to my life.

        I didn’t mean to imply that you had a problem with my calling the originating energy of matter as Divine. I was asking your opinion about why or if it makes a difference if I refer to it as Divine if doing so adds value to my life and I don’t force my idea about it on others. You answered that by saying it makes no difference to you. Thank you for your answer.

        I do have a question, not yet having read the book and not knowing if it’s addressed. How much has science figured out about “dark” energy? It’s been quite a while since I investigated it, so I’m not sure where science stands on what it is and if or how it affects us or any other matter.

        As for my “phenomenons,” I have had confirmation from those I’ve visited during OBE’s that include a verbatim conversation between a friend and her husband (among other confirmations), precognitions about one of my sister’s pregnancies even before she conceived where I knew it would be a boy born on 10/31 (again, among others), long-distance knowings while they were occurring about my other sister having three rear-end accidents in two months while in left turn lanes and at which intersections (again, yadda yadda). I’ve also met many others, IRL and online, who have had similar experiences, down to the details of feeling ourselves leaving our bodies from the top of our heads to predicting that a lawyer a woman worked for would be in an accident with the particulars about the make, model and color of the other vehicle and the color of tie he would be wearing (yadda yadda). While none meet the standards of the scientific method, I consider that to be validation even though I neither need nor look for it. And I don’t feel like we’re debating it, just sharing different opinions and experiences. Having a conversation. ☺️

        The post that I wrote was mainly about the journey I personally took in defining what “self” means for me and how it evolved. It felt appropriate to the column Neale wrote. I wasn’t looking for compassion. I share my journeys here and elsewhere to encourage others to share theirs and to let others know they aren’t alone if their journeys have been similar to mine. As a “lone wolf” most of my life, one of my greatest joys is when someone tells me I’ve relieved them of feeling what I call the “no one could possibly understand me” sense of loneliness. It’s a mission of mine.

        I don’t believe that I’ll get a “second chance” in another life because I believe that everything happens for a reason, so there’s nothing to “make up for.” I do believe physical death is a doorway to another, different, nonphysical existence where my Divine Energy is no longer as individuated but, rather like a wave that has spent its energy returns to the ocean, the “I” that has lived this physical life returns to that energy from which all matter is formed. If I choose to experience another physical life, then I will, whether here on Earth or elsewhere. I have been told, by every paranormal reading I’ve had, that this is my last physical life on Earth, but I believe the choice will be mine and I won’t make that choice until after I pass through death’s doorway.

        I’ve reached the point where I don’t consider anything to be a “bad situation,” but rather an experience about which I can choose my attitude and actions. Of course there are times when I get frustrated with my limitations or fatigued by the pain or depressed about events like the loss of my best friend. But I’ve been at this for decades and have a whole toolbox of things I can do to change my energy, attitude, mood and/or perspective.

        I agree that happiness (I call it joy) isn’t necessarily a goal to achieve, but rather a state of being that’s often a “side effect” of accomplishments, or spontaneous. My only goal is to be me, which I’ve chosen to be a compassionate and unconditionally loving (and somewhat quirky or eccentric) individual who helps others in need. I do have a plan of action that will allow me to help more people, but it’s in the very beginning stages. Whether or not I complete it is to be seen, but I won’t consider myself a failure if I don’t. I use everyday opportunities to be compassionate, loving and helpful, so there’s nothing at which I fail.

        BTW, I’m enjoying our conversations much more lately.

        Love and Blessings Always,
        ~Annie

        • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

          “I do believe physical death is a doorway to another, different,
          nonphysical existence where my Divine Energy is no longer as
          individuated but, rather like a wave that has spent its energy returns to the ocean, the “I” that has lived this physical life returns to that energy from which all matter is formed.”

          Just to let you know that according to CwG and Neale’s book, “The Only Thing That Matters” We are always physical. see quote below.

          “And here is a great secret. You are never not “physical.” You are sometimes simply less physical. Even as a snowflake is never not physical. When it is snow, it is physical. When it is water it is physical. When it is vapor, it is physical. When it is moisture, it is physical. When it is unseen and utterly invisible, it is physical. When it falls from the clouds as rain, it is physical. And when it hits the freezing temperature beneath the sunlit clouds, it crystallizes, becoming a snowflake once again. ” p.43

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Hey, Marko,

            That’s one of those “take what rings true for you and leave the rest” situations that helped me develop my own spirituality rather than following a system in its entirety. My beliefs aren’t far off from your quote, though. I believe that the process through which we go is to lose our sense of individuation in steps, and I’m unsure of how physical we are as we do so. Eventually, in my opinion, we finally reunite our Divine Energy with the Divine Energy that is All. At that point, I see us as energy, which might be physical or might be metaphysical. For me, the process and the reunion are more important than our physicality.

            Just my opinion, offered with respect for all others. ☺️

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            I agree. When we die, we are still physical. We compost and break down to the basic elements the human body is made of. Still material, and almost surely, nothing else.

            Unless perhaps, this whole kit and caboodle universe of ours, is a simulation…

          • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

            It could be a cosmic holographic simulation, which continues after the body dies & changes energy, like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly.

            If you believe we only go around once, well, enjoy that belief.

          • Stephen mills

            Strange you should say that Marko in todays Independent newspaper there is an article stating that ….The universe according to some Astrophysicists could be a Hologram .Thus giving us a possible solution to reconciling Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum theory .

          • Patrick Gannon

            I saw this press release which unfortunately was very thin on details, sources, or anything else. What I found most interesting was the idea that we can test the competing theories and will begin to get answers in as little as five years:

            “We are proposing using this holographic universe, which is a very different model of the Big Bang than the popularly accepted one that relies on gravity and inflation,” lead author Niayesh Afshordi, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Waterloo and Perimeter Institute, said in a statement. He’s referring to the idea that the universe expanded at an almost unthinkable rate in the moments after it burst into existence nearly 14 billion years ago.

            “Each of these models makes distinct predictions that we can test as we refine our data and improve our theoretical understanding — all within the next five years.”

            Believing things when we may be in a position to actually have some answers in such a short period of time, seems like a fool’s game to me. Patience is what is called for. Patience.

            The article I read on this announcement, ended by saying: “There’s no word on whether those tests will include attempting to determine if the holographic universe is also part of a massive computer simulation.”

            I can hear the mom in the background…”Timmy, it’s time for bed.” “Ah mom, come on. One more level.” “Young man, you get to bed right now!”

            “Click.”

            Universe ends.

          • Jethro

            Or the process never ends… The game goes into “peace in the universe mode” when nobody is playing games.

          • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

            All very Fascinating Stephen, I enjoy thinking in terms of a holographic Universe. In the mean time, I work & play toward inner peace, joy & enlightenment as the way I prefer to experience my life & influence others. Peace.

          • Mateia Andrei (A true friend)

            “The universe according to some Astrophysicists could be a Hologram” That is not what scientists are saying. They are saying that the world might be a 2d realm as if if we would be living on the surface of a paper and that the idea that it’s 3d might be just a illusion.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Well said ATF.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I don’t “believe” we only live once. I think this to be the case with a pretty high degree of probability, given that this life is the only one we have any evidence for. If you believe we go round and round (someone please let me off!), well, enjoy that belief. It gives me no comfort.

          • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

            We all have our logic that we use to understand life. One works for you, one works for me & there you have it.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Sorry to nitpick, but logic doesn’t work that way. Something is or is not logical. We can’t have different logic.

            Logic: reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity.

            Beliefs seem to have little to do with logic in my experience.

          • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

            Depends if a belief is strong enough it can be manifested. If the collective has a strong belief, it’s much harder to counter if not near impossible.

            By logic, I meant we all have our perspectives of how life is, operates etc. It can of course change with new revelations, evidence, information etc.

            But the greater percentage of man’s greatest potential may lie in the psychic spiritual area, mixed with our reason & other faculties.

          • Patrick Gannon

            “… if a belief is strong enough it can be manifested.” I’d sure like to see that proven. I guess it depends on what you are trying to manifest. I can believe that if I work hard I will make more money and manifest that, but no matter how much I believe, I will never manifest a limb to replace one that was amputated. Even if you could get every person in the world to believe somehow that it can manifest a new limb for someone, I would bet my savings that it will not happen.

            Come on Marko, don’t be like Neale, changing the definitions of words that already have well-established meanings. Logic is reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. Strict principles of validity. One more time. Strict principles of validity.

            Personal perspective has nothing to do with strict principles of validity, and is often at odds with such. There are not “all kinds of logic.” Logic has very exacting components, otherwise it would be useless. Redefining words in this way leads to miscommunication and pushes people further apart. We have to agree on common terms and stick to them, or we’re all just flailing away at windmills.

            “.. the greater percentage of man’s greatest potential may lie in the psychic spiritual area, mixed with our reason & other faculties”

            I’m glad you used the word “may” because this is the area of man’s potential for which the least amount of empirical, objective evidence exists. Like the first statement – where’s the beef? Where’s the evidence? The belief that “man’s greatest potential may lie in the psychic spiritual area,” has most definitely not been manifested into empirical, objective or compelling evidence. Why not? Because the believers don’t believe strongly enough, or because there are no psychic spiritual areas to begin with? Which is the more reasonable conclusion, given the available data?

          • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

            The evidence (of paranormal) is interior to your personal experience.

            Starfish grow limbs back. People have grown fingers back. But the belief in limbs may be too much to consider at this time, so you won’t see it for awhile. But medical science had attached new hands to people & the mind can comprehend that more than growing a hand back & there is stem cell research & all that entails.

            There is the story of native primitives who could not see a large ship form Europe because they had no reference point for it. The only one that could see it was the shaman. Perspective & the mind set are key here. But I’m not here to change any of your beliefs.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Delusions and psychosis are also interior to the personal experience. These things are subjective and in no way prove the paranormal.

            We aren’t starfish. Children have grown back the tips of their fingers if the cut is not too far back, and some remnant of the nail remains. This is not growing back a limb. You are going to have to provide sources if you are to make this claim.

            Medical science attaching limbs has nothing to do with mind over matter and using consciousness to regrow limbs. It’s a mechanical process developed as a result of the scientific process, not in Dean Radin’s Noetics lab. Yes, the scientific process will probably figure out in time how to grow back amputated limbs, but external forces like Neale’s god or any other god will have nothing to do with that.

            I can find no good evidence to support the idea that primitive people couldn’t “see” ships since they didn’t know what they were. We know primitive people living on islands in WW2 saw ships and airplanes for the first time and worshipped them.

            This discussion, as you well know, has nothing to do with my beliefs. It has to do with evidence. When one has empirical, objective, compelling evidence, one doesn’t need beliefs. One simply knows. Faith is no longer required. One need not pretend to know things they don’t know – when one has the evidence, one knows without the need for pretense.

            You didn’t answer my question. Why haven’t paranormal beliefs been manifested as objective evidence? Is it because people who say they believe in the paranormal, deep down, really don’t, and therefore the psychic stuff doesn’t work, or is it because there really is no such thing as psychic stuff? Which is the more realistic answer?

          • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

            All I can say is I have had psychic experiences & science has yet to be able to detect them. But it probably will at some point.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I think it probably won’t, but we shall see. It would probably require overturning the laws of physics, which in all other respects are “dead on, balls accurate,” to use a technical term from “My Cousin Vinny.” I started paying attention to all this paranormal stuff back in the 70’s and the amount of objective evidence available to confirm these ideas now is no greater than it was then, despite all the experiments and research in the intervening years. It’s the only area of “science” if it can be called that, in which zero progress has been made; yet in all other areas of science and nature, we have had an exponential increase in our knowledge. If there was something to this, we should have known by now.

            What’s the worst that could happen if you are wrong? I mean, these paranormal effects aren’t having any effect on us now, unless the effects are what gave us man-child Trump. Is the paranormal responsible for that? LOL.

          • http://markoworld.com/ Marko

            Donald Trump is a result of the Hadron Collider accident which caused us to be in an alternative reality of which we are now in. And now, you know the rest of the story. :-)

          • Patrick Gannon

            That’s the most believable thing you’ve said in this discussion! I bow to your astute observation. :)

          • Mateia Andrei (A true friend)

            “If you believe we go round and round (someone please let me off!)”
            I find it curious that we have this thing in common.
            What could cause us to think in this certain way? The followers of CwG seem very content with this idea.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Great question! A couple possibilities… Many, if not most converts to the New Spirituality, are surely Christians who were raised on hellfire and brimstone. Many here have reflected upon that sort of upbringing in the years that I’ve participated here.

            Most of our beliefs we don’t want to change because they define us, but some beliefs, like Hell, many people are probably anxious to dispose of, if given some reasonably persuasive argument, and CwG does exactly that. I latched on to that aspect of it myself. I wanted to be told that there was no Hell, and CwG told me what I wanted to hear and believe.

            I must say that this does not apply to everyone here, as some of these people who believe in Neale’s god were not raised in oppressive religions. Maybe because they did not go through this, they do not object to having to get on the merry-go-round over and over again. I wonder if they would feel different if they had experienced the psychological child abuse that so many of us experienced as young children.

            The problem with CwG is that it suffers from the same problem legacy religion does – there’s absolutely no objective, empirical, or compelling evidence to support it. If one continues to seek, learn, research, study, they will find that CwG’s god is extremely unlikely, but most people don’t take this step. They got what they wanted; they formed new beliefs that said Hell is not real, and they are OK with the lesser Hell that New Age proposes. I’m not.

            New Age, New Spirituality, CwG, etc. has it’s own Hell – the idea that we come back here again and again until we get it right, whatever that entails. When the alternative was the Christian Hell, this didn’t sound so bad, but psychologically, it’s really not a huge improvement. It’s still a way of telling us that we are failures, and must keep trying till we get it right – again, whatever that means. Though it would never use the word, we are nevertheless to be “punished” by having to get back on the ride. True release, is running the race, crossing the finish line and not having to repeat the race again and again because of some small misstep along the way. True release is being finished, the job done; the race run.

            In the Old Testament, everyone good and bad alike went to Sheol – a holding pen so to speak, where everyone was unconscious, but not punished. At the end of time, Yahweh was going to wake us up, judge us, and if found wanting, destroy us. When Jesus came, his “good news” was that instead of being destroyed at the end of time, we would be judged immediately upon death, and if found wanting, we’d be sent to eternal torment in hellfire, which I have trouble seeing as “good news,” or any sort of improvement in our condition. Along comes New Age Neale, the New Spirituality and other similar stories from New Agers, who say, “No Hell isn’t like that. Your real punishment is coming back here again and again till you get it right.” Now they don’t call it punishment or Hell, but I don’t see a whole lot of difference. Once is enough for me. I’ve done more that I’m proud of than ashamed of, and have no need and little desire to come back here again. The only thing I would really miss is learning new things that help me understand our universe and how it works.

            Now another reason New Agers might give for why we have little desire to get back on this merry-go-round, is that we are “old souls.” We’ve been through the ringer countless times before, learned the major things we need to learn (or remember as Neale says), and now we’re ready for retirement and want to get off the ride for good. We’ve achieved a spiritual level beyond that of our peers. We get to go join the Big Guy, Neale’s deity, his personal god. However, given that you and I are not big fans of New Age woo, it seems unlikely that we would qualify as “old souls” in their understanding.

            Maybe it just comes down to a fear of death. Maybe many people would prefer the Hell of getting back on the merry go round, just so long as they are still alive. I don’t really understand this fear of dying that is so pervasive among humans, but I think it’s a big part of the reason we give money to religions including New Age religions in exchange for the “hope” they sell us. I’m not buying.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Patrick,

            I have a couple of comments about how you perceive CWG’s stance on what happens when we pass through death’s doorway. I wish I still had the books to reference directly. Maybe someone else can help out with references.

            CWG doesn’t propose a “merry-go-round” or returning to another life on Earth in order to “get it right.” In fact, CWG says there’s nothing we must do here. We are born in utter perfection, rather than into an ideology that promotes original sin. Our Souls have an “agenda,” which basically boils down to being the grandest version of the greatest vision ever we hold about who we are. One cannot fail at this, so if our Souls return here, it’s by choice not as punishment or in order to fix something we did “wrong.” In fact, CWG says there is no such thing as “right” or “wrong.”

            In “Home With God,” it’s made clear that there is a Spiritual realm and that we can either choose to stay there or take on a physical life again. It doesn’t say that those who choose to stay in the Spiritual realm are “old Souls” who have somehow “gotten it right,” earned the right to stay or somehow graduated from the school of life. It does say that most of our Souls joyfully return to physicality after spending time in the Spiritual realm. The choice, however, is yours. If this is it for you, that’s fine. It also says our experience immediately after death will match our beliefs, so if you believe that there is nothing after death, that’s what your initial experience will be.

            I haven’t had a fear of death ever, that I remember. I often thought it would be a relief and tried to commit suicide more times than I can count, starting when I was eight. I stopped trying when I had my first NDE at 22, where it was made clear to me that it’s not my life to end but my Soul’s. That’s before therapy, before recovery and before CWG was even published. I know you will write my NDE off as a subjective experience or chemical reactions in my dying brain, and that’s OK. For me, it was one of the most powerful Spiritual experiences of my life. We don’t have to agree about it.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            Annie, admittedly I’m lumping CwG in with other New Age beliefs, and including authors like Newton’s “Journey of Souls” and yeah, they say we have this choice – but “we” don’t.

            Here’s how I see it if things work as New Age proposes:

            “We” aren’t real. Only our souls are real and they decide whether to create new “we’s” that will continue to endure this earthly plane to help out the “soul” that “we” appear to have no permanent connection to. I would appreciate it very much if my soul (if I were to accept that such exists) would stop creating “we’s” for its own selfish purposes. “We” are punished because our soul failed to advance to the stage it thought it should. “I” don’t get that choice – my soul does. “I” am just a puppet, similar to the way Yahweh pulls strings. “I” have no real free will. “My” purpose is to advance my soul’s agenda. My soul, my slave master holds the real free will.

            When “I” die, I will be dead and gone forever. My slave master soul will retain what it wants of “my” memories, but “I” will be gone. “My” personality, memories, experiences, emotions, are all the product of a now dead brain so they will be gone, gone, gone. “I” will be gone. If this soul master exists, and given the laws of our natural world, I cannot conceive of how this immaterial soul would retain these memories and such in the absence of the mechanism that produced and held them, but even if it did, “I” would still be gone. How could it be otherwise when there is one master soul and many slave “me’s” throughout a history of reincarnation? All those personalities are different, with different experiences, memories, emotions, etc. Who “we” are is formed by those things, and no two individuals can ever be exactly the same. The only “me” that exists, is this one, right here, right now. The others, if they existed don’t matter to me as they are not “me.” We would have nothing in common except a soul that used us to advance its own agenda.

            What’s the difference from “my” perspective, in just being dead with no gods, no afterlives – just dead? From the standpoint of “me” there is no difference. “I” will be gone. My soul will have abused this individuation of the human genome for its own purposes and abandoned “me” to move on to advancing its own agenda. Screw that. If it exists, “I” really don’t care what my soul wants, because it isn’t “me.” It’s only using “me,” and that rubs me the wrong way.

            This is little different here, from the Christian heaven concept when you get right down to it. I am not in the least bit attracted to heaven (and I don’t think most believers really are – most people just fear Hell). What happens when I get to the Christian heaven? If I am still “me,” then “I” will be absolutely horrified at the idea that there are billions of people in eternal torment and I can’t do a thing for them. I think I’d rather be burning with them in moral superiority. But Yahweh is going to “wipe away every tear,” (Rev 7:17), which means I will not be “me.” I will be a zombie without free will – “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – Yahweh’s will, not ours. Without free will, and without “evil,” there is no room for choice. Even if I get a hoot out of watching non-believers burn, after some 100,000 years, I think it will get boring. No matter what magical wonderful things I dream up, long before the first million years I will be bored out of my tits. Boring, boring, boring. Do you know how long eternity is? Imagine a solid brick the size of our Milky Way galaxy. A drop of water falls on it once every 24 hours. By the time the entire brick has eroded away, your day has only just begun. If I know everything there is to know, there will be no room for growth, no room to learn, no room for new experiences. This is sounding more and more like Hell to “me” but as I understand it, “I” won’t have any of these issues because I’ll be a useless immaterial mass of happy-drugged, zombie bliss. No thanks. “I” would much rather just be dead and gone – which fortunately is what appears to be the case.

            “I” am not attracted to New Age afterlife because, it’s something else’s afterlife, not mine. “I” will be gone, any way you look at it. Now what right does this slave master soul have to go around creating all these “me’s” so that it can grow at “our” expense?

            As a believing Catholic, it was impossible for me not to have a fear of death. I believed in Hell, and there were times when I was younger that I considered taking my life, but was scared I’d end up in Hell. Once I came to realize there was no Hell, that fear disappeared, but then there was no longer the interest in doing so because I realized that the thing that scared me in the first place didn’t exist. I never seriously tried to take my life, and if I hadn’t been psychologically abused by my indoctrination, I probably would not have experienced those thoughts in the first place. We spoke in another thread of clergy sex abuse, but I’ve read accounts from a number of people who were sexually abused who said the Church’s psychological abuse was much greater and had a worse impact on their lives.

            The safest bet for our sanity is to avoid believing things for which we have no objective evidence – otherwise we’re lying to ourselves and that can’t be good for us. I’m not going to lie to myself for the benefit of some nebulous soul that wants to advance its agenda at my expense. It can make itself known and prove its existence using compelling, empirical, objective evidence, and then I might take an interest in it. If there is an afterlife and some slave master soul got something out of what “I” did in this life – fine; but “I” don’t care, and “I” don’t want to do it again, and “I” am relieved that all the evidence that we have about how our natural world works says I have no need to worry about it. When I’m dead, I’m dead, and that’s OK. Let that soul, if it exists, get on with its agenda, but leave “me” the hell alone. If you’re right, it very well may create a new victim to help it advance its agenda after it discards “me,” but as long as it’s not “me,” I guess I don’t care.

          • Gross Prophet

            That has to be, by far, the most ignorant load of horse-apples I have ever seen anyone post about the idea of reincarnation.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Can’t think of anyone else here whose opinion means less to me than yours GP. When you can prove reincarnation with objective, empirical evidence, then you can decide what is and is not horse-apples.

          • Gross Prophet

            I don’t have to ‘prove’ anything with regards to it in order to recognize that as either horribly contrived simply to make your ‘point’, or you actually are insanely stupid.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Debunk it then.

          • Gross Prophet

            Not interested in going ’round and ’round the mulberry bush with you any more, pat. That’s like mud-wrestling with a pig.

            If you want to spend hours spouting nonsense, feel free. Just know that your contrived hypotheticals are transparently obvious.

            One teaser thought, to set you off on the chase. Has your entire life been so horribly unhappy, that you would truly view the chance to ‘ride the roller-coaster as many times as you wished’ as a ‘punishment’? If so, that would explain a lot.

          • Jethro

            I have had or over heard conversations lately where people have expressed a desire for the rapture, Isis is creating turmoil so that God will return and remove them, It seems a lot of people wish to be removed from this life but are fighting tooth and nail to live and participate in living. Not a lot of common sense involved in those beliefs. “calgod take me away!”

          • Gross Prophet

            There’s a mod on one of the channels here on Disqus, who ends a lot of her comments/posts with the phrase ‘Come quickly, Lord Jesus’. Fanatics are prone to a lot of bizarre behaviors and beliefs.

            What you mention about ISIS is one of the biggest dangers to a fundamentalist/literalist/zealot type of belief — they believe that they must precipitate a global conflict, to help ‘usher in’ their interpretation of ‘the second coming’. Religion of peace, my azz…

          • Jethro

            I recently read that Trump is the Christian hope for ushering in the rapture. I guess unrest is the key to entering heaven. Its enteresting that all that love needs a whole lot of evil to get to paradise!! Ridiculous. “Come quickly lord Jesus”, “Just shoot me now”, “I want to be dead”… same thing. It’s no wonder people find it easy to wish death on another. Nor is it any wonder suicide is on the rise.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Compared with someone like Annie, for example, my life has been a cakewalk. Try again.

            Perhaps the difference is that I feel like I’ve accomplished some things with my life, and perhaps you have not, GP? I don’t need to get back on the merry go round and don’t want to share it any longer with people whose grandest version of the greatest vision they held of themselves is down in the gutter with the mud-wrestling pigs.

            For those who might be interested in thinking rather than insulting, what’s the difference between the self, the self-aware consciousness that we all refer to as “I” or “me,” and the soul, that is always spoken of as something separate from the “I” or “me?”

            Neale, for example is always speaking of “the soul’s agenda” or “your soul’s agenda,” which quite clearly indicates to me, that the soul is not the same thing as “I” or “me.” He speaks of all things being “one” but in the same breath speaks of the soul as something separate, something different from the self-aware consciousness that is each of us. I see no evidence for this soul, and I don’t care what its agenda is, because it’s evidently not “me.”

          • Gross Prophet

            Just like the ‘fundagelicals’ you so love to deride, you take a chance turn of phrase, and impute one specific meaning to it, with absolutely nothing to support such an inference other than your own prejudices. I know of absolutely no one who holds such a view of ‘your soul’ — other than yourself, and that is only to erect another straw-man which you can then ‘burn down’ with nonchalance.

          • Patrick Gannon

            GP, I wish I could take credit for having this ‘original thought,’ but I can’t. The nature of the soul and it’s relationship to self-aware consciousness has been a topic of discussion for as long as the concept of the soul has been around.

            I may have expressed it in a little different way, but the concept has been discussed even by Neale, who says we are comprised of three parts: body, mind and soul. “Mind” to my way of thinking is the self-aware consciousness that is “me” or “I.” A soul is some make-believe thing for which no evidence exists, but nevertheless it is separate from the mind, from the “me” part of us. Here’s one example of how Neale puts it in CwG:

            “If the soul knows that there is no further way it can evolve through this body, then it will leave. The soul is careless for the mind and body’s achievements. It knows that death is tragedy, yet when not evolving any more the tragedy is for the soul to remain in the body.

            “The soul is careless for the mind and body’s achievements.”

            It’s pretty clear that these three things are separate to Neale, and he agrees that the soul doesn’t care at all about the mind, the “I” the “me.” The soul has its own agenda, and Neale says we should help the soul along. I ask, “why?” What’s in it for “me” given the soul is going to dump me like a bad habit when it’s finished using “me.” I say let the soul take care of itself. “I” don’t care any more about what happens to it, than it cares what happens to “me.” “I” get nothing out of the soul’s agenda but an eventual death, and a release from serfdom and servitude.

          • Gross Prophet

            Neale can speak for himself, but your interpretation of what YOU SAID he said is childishly simplistic — just as you intentionally crafted it so.

            Again, creating your own strawman to swat out of the sky.

          • Patrick Gannon

            I think I’ve asked this before. GP, have you ever actually read CwG? Are you completely clueless when it comes to what CwG is all about? I get the feeling that you’ve never read the book. Annie would have jumped on me with both feet (and rightfully so) if I had materially misrepresented CwG. Believe it or not, I’m not as “insanely stupid,” as you so eloquently put it, which you might notice if you stopped to think before launching straight away into insults. Why don’t you go read the book…. If you read it once, you’ve clearly forgotten it.

            The quote comes from, “Lessons from ‘Conversations With God’ Book 1, Neale Donald Walsch (Part 2 of 3)” pg 82, and I randomly selected it out of a number of passages that say more or less the same thing.

            Quoted directly out of CwG Book 1 Chapt 3: “The soul is very clear that its purpose is evolution. That is its sole purpose—and its soul purpose. It is not concerned with the achievements of the body or the development of the mind. These are all meaningless to the soul.”

            Or on the same page: “The body and the mind—ever servants of the soul…”

            One difference between Neale and I is that he preaches servitude to the soul, and I say, let the soul take care of itself since, if it exists, it doesn’t care about the body and mind that it is using, abusing and discarding for its own selfish purposes. We just assume that the soul is somehow good, because religionists tell us that it is, just as other religionists tell us Yahweh is good (despite his book saying the opposite).

            Using and discarding bodies and minds for personal evolution does not strike me as “good.” The Abrahamic religions are all about servitude to a god. Neale puts us in servitude to a soul and then says the soul is part of god. What’s the difference from being in servitude to Yahweh-Jesus? He still insists that my mind is a slave.

            This mind, in my brain, says “no” to serfdom and slavery. “I” am not playing that game. If my soul wants to treat my mind decently, then tell it to prove its existence; otherwise there’s no benefit to “me” in pretending it exists. Me myself and my mind will be gone when I die, so what’s in it for “me” to believe in this slave master of a soul? I prefer to use my mind to think, and actually do something good and useful while I’m here.

            Any way you look at it, religion makes humans behave as if they were inferior, so that those who claim to know that this servitude is necessary, can benefit from that proposition in terms of wealth, influence, power, etc. We’re being suckered by people who did use their minds in order to put the rest of us into imaginary servitude.

          • Gross Prophet

            Again, you see only one possible interpretation for what Neale said, because it is the one you know you can ‘argue’ against. There are numerous nuances possible, yet you automatically and summarily discard them, as they don’t fit your ‘argument’.

            Like I said, transparent, contrived, clumsy – and boring and futile.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Have you read the book? Any of his CwG books? How would you know whether my interpretation of what Neale said is accurate, if you have not read the books?

            Neale is very likely to agree that I got the gist of what he thinks the soul is. He will disagree of course, over whether the soul is good or not, but you don’t seem to have read the books or you would not have claimed that I misrepresented him in the first place. You’re just digging a deeper and deeper hole for yourself.

            Have you read the books? Yes or no?

          • Gross Prophet

            I don’t have to read the book you cite to know that there is a multiplicity of meanings possible in the phrase you cited.

            Again, trying to create a strawman to eviscerate with your ‘lance’.

          • Patrick Gannon

            That’s baloney. If you read the book, you would know the context in which those passages were written and you would be able to make an educated argument as to whether I misrepresented them or not. Given that you (apparently) haven’t read the books, you are not qualified to voice an opinion on whether or not I misrepresented them. You don’t know because you haven’t read the book, right? You have added nothing besides insults to the debate….. therefore, you lose this debate on points.

          • Gross Prophet

            Again, trying so desperately to slay them strawmen, that you must make ridiculous assertions in your vain attempt to ‘win’. This is not a formal debate, it’s not even, between you and I, very often civil.

            I never said whether or not you had misrepresented them. All I said was that YOUR INTERPRETATION of the passages was not the only one possible.

            Again, I’m not going to get into a protracted ‘battle’ with you, as that seems to be what you want (the pig-in-the-mud anecdote), and I don’t care to waste my time, having already seen how ‘honorably’ you ‘debate’, and with how mindlessly pathological you are in general.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Like you are interested in civility? Spare me.

            I feel pretty confident that Neale would agree that there are not a multiplicity of interpretations for those passages. The passages I quoted are pretty cut and dried, and I know the context in which they were written since I read the book(s). My use of the passages is based on what I think the author said and intended, but you would not know that since you did not read it, and do not have the context, and thus are not qualified to discuss it.

            In any event, those passages only came up because you questioned whether anyone else had the same view of a soul as I did – so I provided evidence from the author and owner of this site to illustrate that others do indeed hold that view of the soul – that it is different from the mind and body and that it discards them when it’s finished with them, though Neale may not have used that word.

            Neale and others of course would disagree with me that the soul is not particularly good, and that is the subject I am interested in, regardless of how insanely stupid and mindlessly pathological I might be. At least I can debate the subject, while you are capable only of slinging insults. Since you can’t debate this, I think we’re done here, though I appreciate the opportunity to flesh out my hypothesis a bit more by linking it to Neale’s words on the subject, and thus making it more relevent to the discussion of the original article which has to do with what the “self” is.

            I’m far more interested in opinions from Marko, Mewabe, Annie, Jethro, etc. than I am in your uninformed opinion, and endless insults.

          • Gross Prophet

            Again, you selected specific passages, offered YOUR interpretation of them, and now insist that that is the only ‘correct’ interpretation.

            Exactly like a ‘fundagelical’. You are what you despise.

            Do you really believe that Neale would agree with your definition of where the ‘me/I’ comes from? I don’t, and that’s where YOUR contrived interpretation becomes absurd.

            Again, you have no ‘hypothesis’, or even any high-minded intent behind your incessant belittling and dismissing of others’ experiences – you simply do it because you must, because your mental disorder compels you to. And, again, I’m not going to get dragged into your personal psychoses, as it is a useless endeavor. You will continually ‘move the goal-posts’, then claim victory over a chimera. I’m not interested. I’m simply pointing out what is obvious to all.

          • Patrick Gannon

            They were “representative” passages, and if you had read the book you’d know that. I have not insisted on any particular “correct” interpretation, because there’s nothing to interpret. The words are there in black and white, and that’s how I took them. I only referred to Neale’s words to illustrate that my description of a soul separate from a mind (and body), was not unique. I think I proved that pretty well.

            I certainly do not expect Neale to agree with my understanding of a soul that acts as a slaveholder to the mind and body – but that would be an interesting thing to discuss with him, since he’s actually able to intelligently discuss such things in a civil manner. Neale will surely agree that he has written that the self is composed of soul, mind and body and that the soul is boss. I have proposed that the soul is not just a boss, but a slaveholder (a tongue in cheek description since I’m quite confident that the soul is a fantasy). If this soul existed, I don’t see why I should give a hoot about it, since it doesn’t give a hoot about my mind or body – and I pointed out that Neale pretty much agrees with that. I would love to have Neale address this idea since you’re clearly incapable of doing so.

            How did we get to my belittling of others experiences? Let’s stick to one subject at a time. I’m not talking about ESP stuff in this thread. Examples please – from this thread – and while you’re at it look up the definition of “straw man” again.

            Funagelical refers to fundamentalist evangelical. The word has no bearing in this discussion/debate. I’m not talking about the bible, other than to make a comparison between a slave-holding soul and a slave-holding god.

            And now I have a mental disorder. Gee, I’m falling apart by the minute… You claim you aren’t going to get dragged in to my personal psychosis, but in reviewing the thread, it seems you’ve done exactly that. Welcome to my mad world. Now go read CwG so you have at least some idea of what the people on this thread have as a background for discussions here.

          • Gross Prophet

            When you behave precisely the same as what you decry in ‘fundagelicals’ — selective presentation of text, followed by proffered interpretation, then insisting that yours is the ONLY POSSIBLE interpretation — the reference certainly does belong.

            Yet again, you refuse to confront the truth of what you do in nearly every post you make. Precisely as I said you would. We can’t ‘stick to one subject at a time’ because you keep shifting the emphasis, like a demented rodent in a game of semantic whac-a-mole.

            You know you have a mental disorder. What other explanation is there for the behavior you exhibit in these threads? A psychiatrist’s review of your posting patterns would likely include phrases like ‘Narcissistic…constantly seeking reassurance and validation, often from ineffective, even inappropriate, means…deep-seated feelings of inadequacy’, etc., etc., etc.

            You’re like that jerk in the movie-theater balcony (back when they still HAD balconies) throwing peanuts and popcorn on all those below, trying desperately to keep them from enjoying THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE(s) of the ‘movie’. And then, if anyone objects, trying to tell them that it is ‘for their own good’. Pathological? Absolutely.

          • Patrick Gannon

            GP, please provide a quote to prove or at least support your contention that I have insisted that my interpretation is the only one possible. If you can’t do this, then shut up. You’ve made this accusation a couple times now and have yet to provide evidence. In a real debate, you’d be losing points left and right, and this is a debate because you seem to have no interest in a discussion. The problem is that the only tool in your bag is the ad hominem attack, the use of which scores against you in an actual debate.

            For the last time, I presented text from Neale’s material to support my contention, and rather than contest that, you just started insulting me. Of course, how could you contest it? You (apparently – because you won’t come right out and admit it), did not read his books, so you have no basis upon which to disagree. Lacking anything with which to refute my point, you just launch into ad hominem attacks, like you always do. A real one-trick pony.

            I know you don’t want to debate or discuss my original post regarding the nature of the soul. I get that. It’s too difficult to actually think. You are only interested in bashing me. That’s fine, but I’m not going to let you make unfounded accusations. Prove from within this thread that I stated that only my interpretation was valid. If you can’t do that, please understand that your credibility is being buried in the graveyard.

            Now I’m a demented rodent. My goodness. I guess I chewed your cheese! Oh, and I know I have a mental disorder. Really? I know this? Actually, I didn’t but thanks for the heads up. You’ve contributed so much to my psychological evaluation over the last year or two – I just can’t thank you enough. Can you send some money for treatment? ObamaCare doesn’t leave me any money for treatment after I pay the premiums!

            Sorry to inform you that I’ve never thrown peanuts or popcorn from the stands, and I don’t hide behind an avatar name and throw insults. By the way, how old are you? Are you an adult? I’m usually pretty good with kids, but you’re an exception.

            This was fun for a while, but you refuse to debate or discuss my original post, and I’ve had enough mental health evaluation for now, so unless you can come up with something that has substance – I’m done here. I’m sure everyone appreciates all the efforts you put into insulting me, and I’m guessing there are more than a couple people wondering why you would comment on my interpretation of material you (apparently) have never bothered to read for yourself – that material being the one thing that drew almost all of the participants to this forum. Read the material. Maybe you’ll learn something about spirituality and useful techniques to become a better person (no gods required).

          • Gross Prophet

            This is the mental disorder that you refuse to confront. You know perfectly well what has been said in this conversation, and so does every other person who might have been reading along. I am not interested in spending my entire day in some stupid cat-and-mouse with your ever-changing demands or points of emphasis.

            Ask yourself the important questions — why is it that you can not simply leave a comment, and let it stand on its own? Why do you feel compelled to try to ‘crush’ even the slightest dissent? Why do you feel that you have to ‘win’ at whatever cost? Why do you even view these discussions as a contest?

            Until you can answer those questions HONESTLY, and admit that you have a mental disorder, then all of our exchanges will be like this.

          • Patrick Gannon

            ” I am not interested in spending my entire day in some stupid cat-and-mouse with your ever-changing demands or points of emphasis.”

            Sure you are. Otherwise you would have given it up.

            “why is it that you can not simply leave a comment, and let it stand on its own?”

            Because it’s supposed to be a conversation, a discussion, or in your case – a debate. Why can’t you let me post a comment without always launching into childish personal insults?

            “Why do you feel compelled to try to ‘crush’ even the slightest dissent?”

            Crush? I will certainly disagree with others, but I will try to use sources, logic and reasoning to explain my position. It’s a conversation. That means conversing. You haven’t offered up any objections to my original post on the subject of the soul – you’ve just called my post “horse apples” and suggested that I am “insanely stupid” not to mention a slew of other middle school insults, for being so bold as to post something you disagree with – but cannot debate since you lack the background to do so. Crush you? Yes, that’s been pretty easy since you’ve contributed nothing of your own except insults. If this was a real debate, the facilitators would have shown you the door by now. Your ad hominem attacks would have disqualified you from further participation.

            “Why do you feel that you have to ‘win’ at whatever cost? Why do you even view these discussions as a contest?”

            Only with you GP, only with you. Even my heated discussions with Annie have at least been “on topic.” The only topic you’re interested in is trashing me. You haven’t said a word about my discussion of the soul.

            There is a saying though – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a form of insanity. It’s obviously insane for me to assume that you are going to act as a reasonable person and converse in a civil manner, given that you have thus far added nothing to the discussion, so consider this the end of the debate (unless you actually add something of value to the topic).

            One final word – once again, you failed to provide evidence for the charges you made, such as the one that I insisted that only my interpretation was correct. You lose again!

            Read the CwG book so you understand why even those of us who disagree with many of Neale’s ideas are still here to discuss and debate them. You aren’t qualified to participate if you haven’t even read the primary book. Go play in the sand with your toys and leave the big kids alone. Good bye.

          • Gross Prophet

            Your entire post above is nothing but lies. I already specified where we disagreed, and why, as anyone who cares to wade through our exchange can see. Once again, you do nothing but deflect and prevaricate.

            As I knew you would. You can not even honestly ASK yourself those questions I posed.

          • Jethro

            My friends, if you’re looking for outside opinions. Quit typing. There cannot be a winner. Gross Prophet you attacked first. Every belief is true to the believer regardless of how many horse apples are involved. I know Patrick is open to discussion, I also know he’s not going to paint anything all nice and pretty for anyone. It’s ok to feel strongly about something, we should not have to worry about attacks as this is a place of learning for nearly everyone, Including Neale. We learn by sharing and we learn by what is shared. Just let it be ok. We don’t have to agree, it’s not a requirement in any discussion. I look forward to posts from both of you but I do not look forward to this discussion continuing. The day has been wasted on negative feelings without benefiting anyone.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Jethro, our voice of tolerance and reason! Love you man! I don’t normally let a tit for tat discussion like that go on for so long, but in all honesty I was enjoying it. It’s a way to sharpen my debating skills, keep my mind sharp (dementia runs in my family), and there’s always the chance something useful could be discussed.

            What’s interesting to me is that GP always pops up to insult me when I’ve proposed something that seriously challenges CwG, yet he/she has (apparently) never read the material – or perhaps he/she recognizes an apparent flaw in Neale’s logic regarding the soul, and wants to move the discussion away from that. I get this on occasion in Catholic blogs, where it appears that the motivation is to “change the subject” by turning it to personal attacks, in order to deflect from the real issue.

            The whole idea of the soul having an agenda and that we (our minds and bodies) are just tools to be used by that soul and then discarded, is a topic worthy of discussion. So far nobody has even tried to show how I can be wrong. If anyone besides Neale could do that, it’s probably Annie, but she’s gone silent.

          • Jethro

            There is not any proof of any spiritual belief. Can’t argue what cannot be proven. The strength of any arguement is usually relative to the depth of faith, for or against, any particular belief. Spiritually and religions tend to be one long winded explanation for “everything will be alright”. I have always asked “how do you know that?”. Since I am a who, what, when, where, and WHY? Type of person, I find myself open and believing of most statements. It’s not that I begin to believe the statement, it’s that I know the person making the statement believes it. I’m not all knowing, and even in my job I look to the experience of others. I can only prove that their experience will or will not work for me.

            There is not a single person here who knows what is best for another person, not one. I left the other sites alone because of the amount of arguements and personal insults, no knowledge or sharing of experience, just simply being mean over a disagreement. It’s wrong. When two people argue loudly without common sense in public, the world goes silent and everyone concentrates on the silly negativity. In our world of strange human behavior, the arguement will be remembered long after the point has disappeared. I find no entertainment in it. There has to be a point where people can just agree to disagree. I know I don’t agree with everything I read! I’m not going to rob someone of their happy thought though, I don’t have enough knowledge to do it in kindness. Besides, my physical butt is here in my real world and it loses no skin over it.

            Looks like your buddy came back! Annie, good call with those doctors! Do what you know to work.

          • Gross Prophet

            I ‘attacked’ only because patrick was, as he always does, ascribing an absurd meaning to someone else’s words, painting them as their ‘position’ on the subject, with the sole intent of decimating yet another strawman.

            I’m not looking to ‘win’ anything, but I will not abide being lied to, or having someone else lied about. If I am directly addressed, I will (usually) respond, but I am not interested in any protracted ‘conversations’ with anyone on here — I have no desire to spend that much time and energy on things that are, ultimately, pointless.

            Pat is the one who is obsessed with this one particular little corner of cyber-space, and has the pathological need to ‘win’ at any cost. Never have I seen a (supposed) adult human being with such a fragile ego, or one who would constantly employ such dishonest tactics in order to satisfy his pathology. He doesn’t really believe 75% of what he writes, he simply knows that it is ‘safe’, from a logically-defensible standpoint.

            But I assure you in the strongest terms possible, I am not the one who ‘attacked’ FIRST. Pat has been doing that to everyone on here since he began posting, as his entire history demonstrates. He will ‘converse’ somewhat civilly for awhile, but will always come back to his default position, that everything you believe you experience, no matter how you describe it, is simply a fabrication of your own mind, or flat-out could not possibly have happened.

            Knowing his reasons for doing so, I am not willing to let that go unchallenged.

          • Patrick Gannon

            GP how can you know my reasons for anything? How could you possibly know I don’t believe 75% of what I write? You don’t even know if I’m an adult, right? You know nothing about me, my motivations or intents, other than to annoy you (which I have come to enjoy!). What makes you think other people here are incapable of defending themselves, but must rely on you to keep mean old Pat from questioning their beliefs? That’s rather insulting to the smart people here. Who elected you moderator for this site?

            I have no problem with, and in fact take great pride in presenting a “logically-defensible standpoint.” I thank you for that compliment. It’s exactly what I ascribe to do.

            You don’t like me questioning people’s subjective experiences? Tough. Get over it, or at least let them fend for themselves. Some of the people here are pretty smart.

          • Gross Prophet

            It’s not even your own original thoughts, pat. You just appropriated it from others. How do I know your motivations? It’s what I do. It is nearly always the ‘why’ that is the most interesting part of the story. It’s not like it was difficult with you — you invest your entire ego in each post.

            How do I know that you don’t believe what you write? Because if you did, that would be enough. You could state your opinion, and leave it at that. But your ego, and accompanying mental disorder, will not allow you to do that. Plus, when you constantly and consistently lie, about what you have said, what others have said, or even what those words ‘mean’, then it’s kind of hard to give you any benefit of the doubt.

            Also love how you whined about me supposedly trying to shut you up, and have now done that very thing at least twice. Flaming hypocrite, thy name is patrick gannon.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Hey folks – click on GP’s name and go to Disqus and see how he/she treats other people. Peruse through the posts and you will see the same insults, name calling and childish behavior throughout. I find that I am in good company. The way he/she talks to me is standard fare. I went through a number of posts, and there is never any meaningful dialogue. Anyone who takes issue with GP is subjected to this behavior. I am in good company. I should have checked this before. I won’t be responding to this person any longer.

          • Gross Prophet

            Yet more lies from the mouth of the pathological. ‘…NEVER any meaningful dialogue…’?

          • Keyote™

            He’s pretty much a troll.

          • Jethro

            Gross Prophet, The discussion was going nowhere. It was all insults and prove it’s. I’m not choosing a side here, just stating that you had made the first comment that led to this particular engagement. After five days it seemed pointless. If you truly feel something good can come of this, please carry on. there are many wonderful conversations here to strike up rather than an angry one. Your views are respected and desired… by me for sure! I enjoy most everyone’s opinions, even if it has a little bull excrement to it. The truth of another gives wonderful perspectives and some leave us looking at that bulls backside, but it’s all good. Really!

          • Gross Prophet

            It was one day. There’s no way I would waste five days on a fool so full of himself that nothing else can get through…at least, now that I know that’s what he is. I did try for nearly a week (or more) early on, but you could never get a straight answer. I doubt seriously even the Socratic method would work…he’d simply wait two or three days, then disagree with something he’d already agreed to, and dare you to prove otherwise.

            At this stage, it’s kind of, well, I could write a song/play some music…I could shuffle my portfolio…I could learn something new…read a bit of some of my favorite authors (classical non-fiction)…clean house — in short, do nearly ANYTHING that might be either enjoyable or productive, or I could waste my time on someone who will never admit to any flaws in his world-view — or even his view of his own importance. Not much of a contest there.

            Thank you for the kind words, though.

          • Jethro

            I have been wrong before. I referenced the time stamp.

            “I could waste my time on someone who will never admit to any flaws in his world-view — or even his view of his own importance.”
            It is belief that makes us right or wrong in the spiritual arena. The truth is you are both right because you both believe to be. When someone is sharing their beliefs they are speaking fact as fact has been experienced. In Patrick’s case, something in his experience created a need for tangible facts. That makes most spiritual beliefs false to him. That’s OK. I personally have dropped a few beliefs that had been imposed on me by my family. I have created a few new ones too. Not everyone agrees with them either. But you see, I think we are here for each other. Sharing over arguing, learning over proving. Kindness over anger.

            I was on disqus religion channel for a short time, I quit logging in due to the amount of insults being passed around. Christians discussing beliefs with atheists. Whoever thought that was a good idea is probably running an animal rescue for cats and mice, then keeping them all in the same space. Maybe it was ingenious! It was to prove just how evil a proclaimed lover of God could be and it doesn’t matter if atheist or christian, the harshness of humans is strong regardless of belief. I have no need for the holy-war channel. If I do log in it will be to test my arguing skills.

            Both of you are important, It’s my belief we should all feel we are important, as important as all existence, whats the alternative?

            I’m OK with the thought that anything I wrote is horse apples, I’ve been known to grab a few apples and go out to the stalls and and hand out a few, Horse apples = happy horses! I did a report in college on horses and human mentality, ever notice that a human doesn’t want your attention until you turn your back on them? One morning I was woke up by yelling and whistling, the horses had gotten out. In nothing but my robe I walked to the gate after grabbing a hand full of hay, I stood at the gate, turned my back to the horses and and raised my hand. Everyone was happy to come on back. Took about two minutes. If you want to get the attention of a human, present something that they might want from you, but most important, don’t force it on them, turn your back to them. Humans come running to you in the same manner as a horse.

          • Gross Prophet

            The horse-apples comment was about patrick’s posts, in case you thought I was addressing anyone else.

            I grew up on a farm, so am familiar with animal behavior. I have no interest in getting patrick’s ‘attention’, or manipulating him into a particular behavior — I simply can’t abide willful stupidity, and that is all I see from him. He’s stuck in that ‘rebellious adolescent’ phase, and is still too self-centered and resentful to move beyond that.

            He’s not guided by anything but his absurdly-exaggerated sense of his own magnificence, and has nothing to offer here but blind criticism — and everyone here has seen his opinion/beliefs more times than they care to recall.

          • Jethro

            I know precisely what the horse apples comment pertained to. I was entertained by it. I know your not interested in Patrick’s attention. I told a story about horses, nothing more nothing less, some people find it entertaining, so I shared it with you while on the subject…sort of.

            Aside from letting you know that both of you are important I had let go of your Patrick problem and was just doing a Saturday morning ramble. Saturday is usually my Sabbath, my alone time morning, but my wife got up early too, so that busts my thought process. I can’t ignore the Facebook cute animal clips she likes to share with me.

            Go ahead and work out your problem with Patrick and I’ll catch you when not so angry with him.

          • Gross Prophet

            By the way, as far as the discrepancy between accounts of time. Unless it’s over a month ago, or the thread has been closed, I don’t look at when something is done – only the total amount of time involved. A by-product of the nature of the Disqus platform, and what aspect of my involvement is most important to me.

          • Jethro

            Patrick, you bring up something else that has bothered me most of my Christian life. I could not fathom a god of love, with so much love that I’m not supposed to be able to understand it, that would throw anyone into hell as its described, with fire and brimstone, for even a second, let alone eternity. I do have problem with that one.

            I seen a little twist on hell while watching “Lucifer”, the T.V. show. Trapped in a hell of our own making. The only thing keeping people in hell was their own guilt. It was even stated they could leave when they were ready, but it was unlikely. That idea falls in close to what Neale, (or God :)) said about hell in the books. Except, the books say you will come to realize it’s all unnecessary and you will join the collective. That said, we would have to exist as we think now if our now would take us to hell. I know that it’s a T.V. show, but every show represents the thoughts of the writers, the writers had to get the idea somewhere. Do you know of other religions with this idea? I don’t wish to rob Neale of his divine experience but He could not write what he didn’t know.

            I’m sorry to see the argument that follows here. In the world of spiritual belief you both get to be right. It’s a belief that serves you best that you must have.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Hi Jethro. Sorry but I haven’t seen “Lucifer” so I don’t know the gist of the show. I think a lot of philosophers and religionists have agreed with the idea that we can create our own hell, right here on earth. The idea of a perceived hell that evaporates once we realize where we are after death is one that I cannot seriously entertain, given that the mind is being left behind with the body. People who see heaven or hell in NDEs are surely having hallucinations, just like dreams, and these delusions are no more real than dreams are. It’s something our brains do.

            I can speak of the biblical hell (there are actually four of them), but none of them means “hell” as most of us think of it. Look up the words “Sheol, Gehenna, Hades and Tartarus” the four words translated to the pagan word “Hell” by the Church. Hell as we think of it, is not biblical. It’s a construct of the Church intended to keep us in fear and thus more easily controlled.

            I can’t agree with Neale that when we die we go to a hellish place our mind envisions, until we realize where we are, upon which we join everyone else in ‘heaven.” One of the reasons I can’t buy that is because our minds die when our brains do. There is no “I” or “me” to experience this hell. It simply can’t exist without the brain. In any event, according to New Age Neale, only the soul moves on, and while according to Neale and others, it may carry our memories and so forth – it isn’t us, because our mind is left behind. (And how it can carry those memories without the physical brains that produced them is a scientific question that New Age has no answer to).

            If a soul has reincarnated countless times, then the mind of the soul (so to speak since the soul is not a mind), must be the combined mind of all the people it ever was – a whole bunch of “me” and “I”s that no longer exist. That combined mind is certainly not “me,” because If mind and soul are one and the same, I should have these memories of who I was before. That I don’t supports Neale’s apparent contention that mind and soul are separate, and the mind is discarded at death. Neale always speaks of the soul as something separate from, and in charge of, our minds and bodies. He calls it the boss. Our self-aware consciousness – our minds – go bye bye when we die. Based on everything we know about our natural world and the laws of physics that represent and describe it, I am quite convinced of this, though I realize others don’t agree. In any event, if some soul thing survives my death – tell me why “I” should care, given that my mind – the thing that makes me, “me” will be dead.

            Descartes was an early promoter of dualism – the idea of soul and body being separate. His explanation for body-soul duality residing in the pineal gland has long been debunked. For Descartes, however, the mind, the self-aware consciousness was the soul, not a separate component as Neale suggests. Descartes could not explain how the immaterial soul moved the body. Neither can anyone else.

            For Descartes, the mind, the self-aware consciousness, and the soul were one and the same. Neale breaks it into a third piece – body, mind, soul, with the soul in charge. Descartes’ idea actually makes more sense to me, because the soul and mind are the same, and he’s not talking about the soul as a separate player. Descartes, as far as I know, didn’t believe in reincarnation, though New Agers have jumped all over his body/soul duality to attempt to prove reincarnation is possible, but if the soul is the same as the mind, and the soul is comprised of bunches of minds – then why don’t we remember any of those other minds? They cannot be the same as our own, since every mind is unique and based on genetics, experiences, emotions, memories, perceptions, etc. and no two minds can ever have these be the same. I think Neale saw the weakness in this idea, and so he, or other New Agers, not sure who initiated the trinity instead of the duality, invented a third partition, over the other two, as a way to try and explain how reincarnation might work. However this idea seems to require that the various minds, like the bodies, be left behind as the soul moves on with its own selfish agenda.

            Neale believes in reincarnation, like many New Agers, and this seems to require that the soul be separate from the mind and body. You had the mind of a scullery cook in Jerusalem, the mind of a soldier in ancient Sparta, the mind of a slave in Rome, the mind of a scholar in Italy, the mind of a thief in New York, and your soul supposedly “remembers” all these minds (without benefit of the brains that produced them), but those minds are all dead and gone, never to be resurrected. The soul “used” them for its own purposes, no matter how grand or nefarious those purposes might be. Under this concept, I can’t see how “we” can be anything but slaves to some soul playing us like puppets – just like Yahweh.

            To me, as I stated in my post, this idea of a separate controlling soul is really awful. Take Annie and all the hardships she has shared with us here. Her soul apparently did that to her for its own agenda – whatever that might be. Her soul doesn’t care about the mind of Annie and how it suffers – it only cares about it’s own progression or lack thereof. Annie – the mind, the person we communicate with here, is just cannon fodder for the soul to achieve whatever it’s goal is. I find that to be a rather depressing concept that seems to necessarily flow out of this whole bit about a “soul’s agenda” It strikes me as similar to the master/slave relationship that the Abrahamic religions are all about. It makes me want to yell at the soul – “show and explain yourself, or leave me alone.” But of course the simplest solution is almost always the right one, and the simplest solution is that there are no souls. When we die, we compost and that’s it. What we leave behind is what we accomplished and the memories people have of us…. and that’s OK.

            As for the argument here that you refer to – what argument? GP never debated anything I said, he just continually insulted me. I give what I get and make no apologies for it – though I won’t stoop anywhere as low as he (or she – I’m not sure) does in basing an entire argument on personal insults (also known as ad hominem attacks). I had fun, mostly because it was an excuse to take short breaks from work, but all it really accomplished was for me to give GP a shovel to bury himself, while I entertained myself. So what. If my soul doesn’t like it – tough. “I” had fun, and others may have found it entertaining.

            If Neale is right and the soul is in charge and it’s all about “the soul’s agenda” as he repeats again and again, then tell me why “I” (my mind) should care what this nebulous soul wants, and what’s in it for “me.” When my brain snuffs out, all that’s left is the soul. Why should I care what happens to it? It’s not “me.” Why shouldn’t I be upset at the way it used me for its own agenda? Why shouldn’t Annie be royally ticked off at how her soul is treating her for her soul’s own agenda? I just don’t see any attraction to this soul, just as I see no attraction in Yahweh-Jesus or heaven. I’m not interested in being a slave. I think the chance that this soul exists, is exceptionally low, but if it does exist and if it has an agenda, then “I” don’t care, because it’s not “me.”

          • Jethro

            I personally think we are putting to much thought into the after life and not enough thought into the time we have between birth and death. There might be an explosion of pearls and gold or a few virgins that screwed up somewhere. I giggle when I think of that one. Someone who does it right could be the hell for some virgin sinner somewhere. and why would the spirit need to reproduce anyway? LMAO!! I don’t believe in it but…you know.

          • Jethro

            Looks as though the site is shut down. Neale threatened as much.

          • Patrick Gannon

            Very strange. When/where did Neale threaten to take the site down? I don’t recall that. I checked hi s Facebook page and there’s no mention of the site being down. Could just be maintenance or server failure.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            It was a glitch. It’s fixed.

          • Jethro

            I had made a comment that insulted Neale and in the response had suggested he may shut down the site due to negativity. It was right after the surgery so he may have been having a rough painful day. Apologies were made and life went on. I could not get the site to come up this morning in no way fashion or form, I assumed it was gone.

            I stated this to you in totally different location.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Oh, Patrick,

            And here I thought we were doing so well in understanding each other. *sigh*

            Who you interact with here is my mind, my Soul, and Divine Energy. I’m not “Annie” without all three.

            My mind is a collection of interpretations of what my physical senses encounter, memories about experiences I’ve had, connections between similar experiences it makes, daydreams I’ve had, calculations I’ve made, plans I’ve made, memories of feelings I’ve had and connections it’s made with other memories, and so forth. That makes me unique — it makes each of us unique.

            My Soul (which I love, BTW) has created this unique mind, with which it never loses connection because it is made of and part of the stuff of the Soul, does indeed have an agenda. It’s agenda is that I be the grandest version of the greatest vision ever I hold about who I am. The problem I run across most is that what I hold about who I am changes. Sometimes often. And yet, my Soul has set it up as an agenda at which I cannot fail because it doesn’t ask me to be less than or more than who I believe myself to be at any given moment.

            Divine Energy (which I also love, BTW) has created this unique Soul, with which it never loses connection because it’s made of and part of Divine Energy. Divine Energy also has an agenda, if you’ve been paying attention. Divine Energy’s agenda is to experience about itself what it knows about itself. Again, a no-fail agenda. Anything I experience is unique and therefore a welcome experience.

            So, as for the experiences that I’ve had so far this life, please don’t see them as negative. Don’t get me wrong–I thought they were, at first. And I fully inserted myself into being a victim for a lot of years. But then I reached a point where I could either continue to blame all the ills of my life on what I’d been through, over which I had no control, or I could deal with them, which was taking back my control.

            That happened in stages. At each stage, I was understanding who I am more and more. Or, as it might be put, I was developing grander versions of myself. And it happens for me automatically that when I become a grander versison of who I am, I end up having greater visions of who I could become or what I might accomplish.

            It’s taken a couple of side-steps, like becoming disabled and then later homeless for a period, but the general trend is grander and greater. When I look back at, for example, that 13 year old who was molested by a priest, I am amazed! She didn’t think she’d see 16, much less 57. Since then, I’ve helped people reach their bottom, and I’ve helped others up. I’ve come to understand both are helpful. When I think about all the lives I’ve touched (and “they say” that it’s many more than we ever realize), I’m filled with joy.

            I eventually had to acknowledge that if all those things hadn’t happened to me over the course of my life, I wouldn’t have touched all those other lives. It’s cause-and-effect all the way. So, I’ve learned to be grateful for both the joy and the challenges that led me to it.

            No, it hasn’t been an easy life. It still isn’t. But there are more times of gratitude and joy than of what I consider challenges. And those times of joy and gratitude would have no meaning except by relation to those challenges. So those challenges are the source of my joy and gratitude, not to mention my compassion and unconditional love.

            I feel truly blessed.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            Ah, wonderful! An intelligent response. I don’t buy it, but it’s well presented and logical, and includes no personal insults. A pleasure to speak with a grownup, even if I don’t fully agree!

            I was waiting for this response – that “we” are the combination of all three things – body, mind and soul – but I fail to see how that can be so. We surely agree that the body is not going anywhere. We can debate over whether the mind can survive death, given that it is produced by the body (the brain) which has died. Nobody has a mind without a brain, and there’s absolutely no reason to assume that mind can continue to exist without it. We know that if you destroy the connectome (the network in the brain that appears to be responsible for our self-aware consciousness), you lose that self-aware consciousness. The same happens, as I understand it, if you destroy enough of the memory centers of the brain.

            You can label yourself as “Annie” the product of all three, but which of those survives your death, other than the soul? Neale never speaks of the mind having an agenda – only the soul, and the soul is the thing that survives death according to those who believe in such things. When it comes right down to it, the soul is running the show – Neale is unequivocal in stating this. The soul is the boss, the soul survives, and the soul has an agenda. The mind and body are not spoken of as having agendas, or as surviving death as best I can recall from his books. They serve the soul. They are slaves to the soul, if it exists.

            The word “agenda” has several meanings, but the one that seems most appropriate is: “the underlying intentions or motives of a particular person or group.”

            Somehow, to exist, the soul must have a separate intellect from the mind, in order to have intentions or motives. How something immaterial can contain the sorts of things, like intentions and motivations, that require a brain for the mind to hold them, is a question I’m sure you have no answer to. If such things as intentions and motivations and agendas can be held without a mind – why do we need minds in the first place?

            My “mind” knows nothing of my soul’s motives and intentions, and my mind is going to be left behind, along with my body. So why should I care about the soul’s motives and intentions – particularly when they appear to cause great suffering at times to the mind and body? Our mind is really the only thing we have to define ourselves, given the recalcitrance of the soul to reveal itself.

            I interpret your response as making excuses for the bad behavior of your soul (that’s a little tongue in cheek, but you surely get my point). On the one hand, there is the claim that you are the combination of all three, but the soul is repeatedly referred to as something separate that has its own agenda. It’s agenda, you suggest, is to control your mind to do the greatest/grandest thing, but I don’t see why an external influence is required for that. I mean, really, who cares if “you” (defined as the combination of all three) achieve greatest/grandest, given that two out of three parts of you will be left behind? Only the soul somehow benefits and goes on to inhabit other bodies and minds (if you believe in reincarnation) but none of those bodies and minds will be the same one you have right now. That means to me that your soul is using and then discarding two thirds of you for its own hidden purposes, which seems like rather shabby treatment.

            You mention the way you have dealt with your difficulties, but where I think you err is in giving credit for some nebulous soul thing, when it is YOU, your mind, your self-aware consciousness, your memories, experiences, perceptions, beliefs, self-determination, strength, fortitude, etc. that came together to let YOU deal with life’s difficulties. Why can’t you take credit for that? The soul didn’t do anything except dump those things on you, if it exists at all. Your mind will only benefit temporarily before it is discarded. Without a mind, how can the soul have memories, experiences, perceptions, beliefs, given that these things are necessarily products of the brain – as they cannot manifest without it?

            To me, it’s like Mewabe giving ESP credit for his own empathy, awareness, precognition, ability to predict based on available information, etc. rather than giving credit to the thing that does these things – his mind which may be better or differently configured in his brain. Why can’t we take credit for our own accomplishments? Why must we give the credit to a soul for which we have no evidence?

            The soul, as presented here, seems to be very much like Yahweh-Jesus who gets all the credit when things go right, and none of the blame when things go wrong. Indeed, I think it’s the same concept. I think Neale and other New Agers had to separate mind from soul in order to support the idea of reincarnation; otherwise the same mind would go from life to life and the mind would remember the past experiences, emotions, memories, etc. In order to make reincarnation “work” you have to separate the soul from the mind – but as mentioned, that creates other problems.

            I fully agree with you that life has more value when you confront challenges and overcome them – I just think that YOU, your mind, is what does that. I don’t understand why there’s a need to give credit to the part of the trinity that is going to walk away and leave you rotting in the ground, to get on with its own agenda, whatever that might be; and I don’t understand why we should care, since our minds – the thing that makes us who we are – are not going along for the trip.

            Sorry to hear about the bronchitis. I hope you enjoy Carroll’s book. Thank you again for the intelligent response. Please attempt to pick holes in my reasoning. This is a new idea that occurred to me recently. I think it’s strictly a New Age thing because the legacy Abrahamic religions don’t support reincarnation – thus they have no need to break the mind and soul into separate components – Descartes duality works for them. They still can’t explain how the mind/soul thing can survive death without a brain, so in the end the discussion ends up in the same place. We must have patience and wait to see what happens. The popular alternative of course is that we must have faith – we must pretend to know things we don’t know – and in so doing, lie to our minds, something that we know actually exists.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Ummm, Patrick,

            I didn’t use body, mind and Soul. I used mind, Soul and Divine Energy.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            I guess I took “divine energy” to be a metaphorical way of speaking of the body, since you frequently refer to the relationship between energy and mass. Surely you agree that your “divine energy” (if in fact you mean your body), is not going with your soul when you die?

          • Spiritual_Annie

            You’re right. I don’t believe the body survives physical death. But, no, I meant Divine Energy as the energy from which everything emerges — matter, body, mind, Soul… The all of everything. In other’s words, God, just not a religious one.

          • Patrick Gannon

            OK, but I’m not sure that’s pertinent. We could say body, mind, soul comes from god or divine energy or turtles all the way down, if you’re familiar with that expression. We still end up with body, mind and soul, and two of the three appear to be left behind by the soul – or at least that’s how I understand Neale. You may have a different personal interpretation that does not agree with Neale, or you may say I’ve got what he’s saying wrong; I’m not quite sure where you’re standing on this. I’ve directed my comments largely to you since you are probably one of the best experts on his books here, and I know if I misrepresent his views in error, you will let me know.

            Let me try to flesh this out. Body mind and soul emerge from divine energy. That’s fine. I wouldn’t use the word “divine” but two out of the three (body and mind) definitely emerge from energy, but, according to what Neale says repeatedly, only one of those three components has an agenda. One of those components somehow stays intact after death and has motives and intentions; but two of the components – the ones that we use in our natural world, turn back into energy when we die, and are no longer part of the soul – they return to the cosmos, in due course, as energy.

            Assuming there is some way for an immaterial soul to hold motives and intentions, why should we care? Whether what makes us who we are is our mind alone (my view), or the combination of all three, the fact is that we are changed after death. Who we are no longer exists because two of the three components no longer exist. The “trinity” is broken, and only the soul remains intact.

            I don’t see how the mind can go with the soul if one accepts reincarnation because that means the soul is endowed with all sorts of minds, all those memories, etc. and we should have those memories if the mind is something that came with, and is tied to the soul – which, if I understand Neale, is not the case. Again, feel free to disagree with Neale and help me understand your point of view, or help me understand why I have Neale wrong.

            So far I see no reason to have the slightest concern over what happens to my soul if it exists, or why I should care about its agenda. Whether what makes me, me is my mind, or the combination of all three is me – nevertheless, only the soul moves on – so why should I (my mind) care?

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I know it’s confusing, so maybe think in terms of the saying, “the alpha and the omega” while I try to truncate it as best I can.

            Everything is, at its most essential, energy, which I call Divine Energy, kinda based on the idea that there was only one thing in the beginning that some call God.

            Divine Energy does have an agenda, which is to experience itself (see next installment). It created, of itself, Souls. These Souls are both individual Souls and Divine Energy, always united.

            Souls have agendas, too, which are to experience the grandest version of the greatest vision we hold about who we are. Souls have created, of themselves, minds. These minds are both individual minds and Souls, always united.

            As “Annie” is all three, all are united in me, uniquely. We are all unique combos. As a combo, all agendas are in alignment for me. It doesn’t matter (pun intended) where the credit or blame lies. All of me inputs, all of me reaps.

            And, from macrocosm to microcosm, I’m Divine Energy. And that means all of me always exists. My physicality and locality change, but I still exist in one form or another.

          • Patrick Gannon

            OK, I’m with you up to “Souls have agendas, too” and willing to postulate the existence of souls in order to continue the discussion. You say souls have created minds. I’m going to have trouble envisioning a mind without a brain – but again for purpose of discussion, I’ll go along with the idea that an immaterial soul can somehow harbor a mind without any neurons, synapses, connectome, etc. to support it.

            OK, so “”Annie” is all three…” or “we are all unique combos.” Now I start to have a problem because you say all agendas are in alignment for you, which if valid is great, but for most of us, I think Neale would argue that our mind’s agenda, is definitely not in alignment with the agendas of our souls. That’s our whole problem, he tells us repeatedly. It seems pretty clear that there’s a difference, and that the soul’s agenda is separate from the mind’s agenda. So you may be parting with his theology (for lack of a better word), which is OK – I just want to be clear.

            You go on to say that all of you (body/mind/soul) has input, and all components reap the results good or bad. Great; but when you leave, your mind and body are not taking the trip. Your soul’s mind cannot be your mind, especially if one believes in reincarnation where “all are united in me, uniquely.” A reincarnated soul that formerly “inhabited” Annie will have a completely different “united in me, uniquely” entity when paired with other minds and bodies, right? It has to be. Those other minds can’t possibly be your mind, since every mind is unique due to genetics, upbringing, memories, experiences, emotions, etc. This leads us back to the point where your soul, having discarded your mind (which at least to most of us, is who we believe we are), sets about it’s agenda, having used and abused 2/3 of you (body/mind) to do so (again tongue in cheek words there).

            You summarize by saying that you “still exist in one form or another,” but as best I can tell, the only part of you that continues to exist in a meaningful way (as opposed to simple material transformed to energy and returned to the cosmos through composting) is your soul – and while it may contain bits and pieces of what was formerly you (again conceding some incredible ability to hold memories, emotions, etc. without benefit of neurons and synapses), it won’t be the unique
            ‘you” that exists now. That unique you will be gone forever, won’t it? Two thirds of it is gone. If so, why should you care what happens to that soul? It won’t be “Annie” any longer. If one accepts reincarnation, It will be a soul with a string of minds and bodies that it has coopted for its own agenda, and “Annie” will not be a part of that, given that 2/3 of the unique thing that was you has turned to dust and free energy.

            This is the discussion I was looking for. Thank you for participating in it with me. While I’m interested in how “Annie” feels about this issue, I’m also interested in how you think it relates to Neale’s theology, in the event that you part with him in any meaningful way.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Patrick,

            I appreciate your willingness to postulate a Soul for the sake of continuing the conversation. In the same vein, I’ll postulate that the mind is purely a physical thing, setting aside that I believe my subjective experiences prove to me that it’s more.

            I agree that for some, the Soul’s agenda is not connected with the mind/brain/body, or I’ll just simplify it to physicality. I don’t think that’s because of some difference in agendas (I oversimplified, maybe). It might be more appropriate to say our physicalities are not consciously aware of our Soul’s agenda. I wasn’t aware of my Soul’s agenda until I had one of those darn unique and subjective Spiritual experiences. 😉

            That doesn’t mean that anything was out of alignment with my Soul’s or Divine Energy’s agendas while I was unaware. My Soul’s agenda was and is to be the grandest version of the greatest vision I held of myself, and I was still meeting it. I thought I was scum. Irredeemably evil. Inherently flawed. That was my greatest vision I held of myself, and I was grand at it, walking around the world as if it were true. My Soul’s agenda was still being met, as was Divine Energy’s. Maybe Neale would disagree, but as he talks about the importance of remembering, I’m not so sure.

            I can see where part of our disconnect comes from. For me, the triune of “Annie” is physicality/Soul/Divine Energy. For you, it’s body/mind/Soul (if you believed in one). For me, at the time we call death my physicality “leaves” two parts of “Annie”, transforming into the alpha and omega of Divine Energy, which is still part of who I am. As all three parts experienced being “Annie,” those experiences aren’t lost.

            Will the “next” me be “Annie”? Not in my view. But there’s no need for another “Annie” because that unique combo has already existed. As Divine Energy’s agenda is to experience itself as every possible unique combo, it wouldn’t serve a purpose. If I choose to become another unique combo, another physicality will be created by my other two parts.

            It will be another unique combo which may or may not remember my Soul’s agenda. Maybe it even remembers all of “Annie” initially, but my next parents or society makes me forget. Having been an aunt many times over, and the “go to” babysitter, I’ve watched young children often. I was also a stepmom to two boys, one from birth to age five. Young children seem to speak gibberish, but maybe it’s information from other incarnations. Maybe that’s the source of the “imaginary friends” some kids have. I sure don’t claim to have all the answers.

            I think Neale and I are pretty close, certainly in the larger view if not in the precise details.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            Hmm. If I had to summarize your viewpoint, I’d say that you – Annie, the mind/physicality, care about your soul’s agenda, while I see no reason to care, given that my physicality or mind, or whatever we want to call my self-aware consciousness, will not be leaving this plane of existence to go along with the soul on it’s journey back to divine energy or god, or whatever you want to call it.

            I guess your soul is lucky to have you, given I don’t care what happens to my soul (assuming it exists) after “I” am gone. I would say to it – “Thanks for not treating me like Annie’s soul treated her. Have a good trip. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. I’m going to enjoy my endless nap.” Nevertheless, you would presumably say that despite my insistence that I don’t care about my hypothetical soul, that soul is still leading me do whatever it’s agenda calls for. Given that my soul has not treated me to the same level of difficulty that yours has invoked for you, I guess you might consider that I am lucky to have a soul that didn’t see the need to treat me so poorly for its own purposes, so that it could evolve or grow or remember to meet its own agenda. The more I think about this concept, the more it seems like if these souls exist, then “we” our minds, our physicality, etc. are being used and abused by souls, or gods or divine energy or whatever. Question: What is Donald Trump’s soul’s agenda!? To destroy all of us, perhaps?

            How would we explain why your soul treated you to a larger load of crap, than mine did? How do we explain a soul that teams up with a physicality that becomes a child who will die in horrible anguish, of hunger and disease? If you ask me, an agenda that imposes such misery on a mere human being (just like Yahweh-Jesus does) is not what I would define as “good.” So much pain and anguish to support the agenda of some nebulous soul… ummmm, just rubs me the wrong way.

            I still think you are undermining your own accomplishments in dealing with your life problems, by attributing those accomplishments to some nebulous soul that may not (I would say, probably does not) exist. Don’t take this wrong, but it seems to me that you are still in that Catholic slave mode -a state of insecurity that says “I’m not worthy. I’m not a good person. I’m not good enough to take credit for anything good that happens to me.” Those f’ing priests are very good at making people feel like they are undeserving, unworthy losers. They even influenced your mom to do that to you! How evil is that? Was that your mom’s soul’s agenda? Are all these evil people, acting in accordance with their soul’s agenda?

            This what Christianity is all about. Christians are in servitude to Yahweh-Jesus, while this New Age soul concept seem to similarly put one in servitude to a nebulous soul, one who will not let us take credit for our own accomplishments because anything good that happens, can’t be to our credit. It must come from Jeebus, or your soul or divine energy or something – anything except the you – the person – the mind – the physicality, who actually accomplished something good.

            I’m more than willing to take full credit or blame, for whatever I’ve managed to accomplish or screw up, in the face of life’s’ challenges. If my soul wants credit, just like Yahweh-Jesus, it can bloody well show itself in an unequivocal, empirical, objective, and compelling way, and claim the recognition and admiration, it seems to require (just like Yahweh-Jesus).

            It looks to me like Neale just substituted Yahweh-Jesus for the soul. When you get right down to it, when you dig through all the nice and pretty aspects of his more feminine god, we’re still unworthy servants of something outside of ourselves.

            This serf is throwing off his chains!

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Patrick,

            Sorry about the late response, but life interrupted for a bit.

            It does sound glum the way you put it. But, again, I think it’s about perspective.

            I don’t see myself as only my physicality. If I did, then I can understand feeling like a slave to one’s Soul. But I am a triune being. I am as much my Soul and Divine Energy as I am my physicality. All three parts of me are interdependent. This physicality is a gift so that all three parts can benefit.

            My physicality benefits on its level by conquering the challenges of my life, coming out stronger, more compassionate and more loving. I could easily have gone a different direction, dying from drugs or alcohol or suicide, or ending up in jail. On that level, I take credit for and celebrate how far I’ve come and those I’ve been blessed to touch along the way. I will live on in their memories when this physicality ends. My connections with my Soul and Divine Energy add depth to this physical life. My Soul inspires, spurs things forward when it feels like there’s no way out, provides insights, re-energizes plans and goals, adds a larger perspective, opens me up…

            Divine Energy is so difficult to contain with words, but it’s like being the conductor of a full orchestra while also being the musical piece conducted and also being all the musicians and the instruments played, all of which are connected by, consist of and make up the particles and waves that create the sounds of the notes. (That is the best I can do with a description, and it’s sorely lacking, I know.) Being connected with every other being and through every other being and all the beings those other beings touch in any way, not to mention all of existence… It’s part of my sacredness and the sacredness of everyone and the sacredness of everything in our physical universe and the sacredness of every Soul and the sacredness of existence itself.

            I can’t say for certain what Donald Trump’s Soul’s agenda is. I believe part of it is the same as all of us — to be the grandest version of the greatest vision he holds about who he is. Being a narcissist, and my being intimately familiar with narcissists, I’d say his physicality is hollow in its core. It’s a challenge that not many overcome, especially those born into privilege. Narcissist’s lives are spent running around trying to fill an empty void while appearing overconfident and in charge. Their lives are a house of cards that they desperately defend, with lies and by attacking others, despite any evidence that they’re obviously lying, and denying any personal responsibility for their actions by blaming others. In his position of power, he’s dangerous to the rest of us. But whether he destroys us or serves as a catalyst for positive change, I can’t say. That’s also up to us.

            How do I understand why my life has had so many challenges? My Soul and Divine Energy gave me unique opportunities to decide who I am in relation to those challenges. The bigger the challenge, the greater the opportunity for transformation, wisdom, growth, peace and joy. Think about that. I was trusted with all these moments in this life to choose who I am in relation to it. I’ve chosen to move through the challenges much more often than I’ve given up. All three parts of me, as well as the lives of those I’ve touched, are affected by my choices. If anything, that puts my physicality in charge in this life. The same is true for everyone, but the challenges are different and unique for all of us.

            For those whose lives are filled with nothing but pain and an early passing over, their Souls may have chosen an agenda that has more to do with the lives they touch than their own, by their own choice. It’s not a sacrifice, but rather more like a precious gift one can give to one’s beloved. They may be the catalyst for change, if that’s what those around them choose. Each situation is unique because each individual and each Soul is unique.

            I do understand your position. However, your view (in my terms) comes from your physicality where mine comes from my triune being. I don’t feel like a slave to anyone or anything. The opposite is true — I feel free from being a victim, free from trying to fit society’s norms, free to express myself in whatever way comes naturally to me.

            That’s something I wish everyone could experience, and the intense joy that comes with it.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            That’s a good response, Annie. I see it as you (physicality) deciding to abet your (hypothetical) soul’s agenda, while I can come up with no good reason for doing so. Your physicality sees some benefit, I suppose, in doing so, though if that soul doesn’t exist (as I anticipate), then it really is you, your mind, your self-aware consciousness that is responsible, and not some nebulous soul thing we have no useful evidence for.

            I might be persuaded to reconsider if I knew this soul thing was real and it could explain to me why I should care, but given that the soul is unwilling to “show” itself, I have no option but to assume and act as if it doesn’t exist, if I am to be true to the one thing that does seem to exist – my mind, my self-aware consciousness; and I’m pretty confident that part of me is not going anywhere after this plane of existence. If my hypothetical soul is going to move on with its own path, enslaving or abrogating mind after mind for its own agenda, it can do it without my mind’s conscious help. It plays no role in my decisions and choices, such as they are.

            For my mind to attempt to benefit or assist something my mind has no reason to believe exists, strikes me as self-deception, which strikes me as cognitively unhealthy. I get the same thing you do: “I feel free from being a victim, free from trying to fit society’s norms, free to express myself in whatever way comes naturally to me.” I was a psychological “victim” of the Church – something I’m free of today (well, they use the term “recovering Catholic” because those neural pathways are burned in when the brain is empty; before it can think critically and relegate the stupidity to the fiction section). I don’t fit into all of society’s norms, that’s for sure! And as noted on these and other pages, I feel free to express myself in the ways that come most naturally to me. So I get the same result, without having to abrogate my mind to some soul thing.

            If I thought this soul thing existed, I’d be pretty ticked off at it when things don’t go well, or for the positions it puts me into, for its own benefit. It would provide a place to scapegoat an immaterial something for my own failures or excuses, so I’m not sure that would be useful. (Hmm – need to think about this some more. Is this idea of a soul’s agenda, actually a bad idea for this reason? If one accepts that they have a soul and the soul has an agenda, and the mind isn’t a long term part of that – well, why wouldn’t we just start blaming the soul for everything? That might not be helpful to the real “me,” the real mind, that needs to deal with what sits in front of it. I’m wondering what else comes of this concept once the idea is really considered on a deeper level… I intend to think about it some more).

            It’s funny that in all these years, I never had this thought about the soul and why Neale split us into a trinity, foregoing the duality that the legacy religions rely on. The only thing that’s really different is the idea of reincarnation, and duality doesn’t work well in that scenario, hence he or New Age or whoever came up with this trinity concept, formulated a solution to make it work. As we’ve seen in our discussion, it raises some interesting ideas and at least in my mind – problems with the whole concept – particularly why we should care about the soul’s agenda. You care because you’re a good person. Great. That’s not enough for me. I have a hard enough time being empathetic to fellow humans, never mind some nebulous soul which, according to Neale, is in the driver’s seat. I wonder how many people would have the same reaction that I do. As Neale posts additional articles, I’ll look for ways to raise this in order to discuss it further, and maybe get his input.

            How about that! We held what I would consider to be a productive, interesting, provocative and completely civil conversation.

            How is “The Big Picture” coming along?

          • Spiritual_Annie

            It’s slow going at the moment. I still have bronchitis, I think because of chilly, foggy mornings turning into warm, windy days that then drop again into chilly nights. I have to recline or lay down for my back and because the bronchitis has me worn down, I’m dozing off a lot. But I’ll get through it. At least he has a pleasant voice.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            I forgot to tell you… I thought about you recently. I had to call the doc, who’s seen me all of twice now, about my bronchitis. OTC expectorant wasn’t being very helpful. It usually isn’t, but it’s been a while so I thought I’d give it a try. When I was explaining what has worked for me time and again, he balked and said if I needed something that strong, I should go to the ER because I probably should be admitted. I told him that with the prescription and lots of fluids I’d be over it in three days. When the discussion became about which was more relevant in making that determination, my 57 years of experience in this body or his medical education, I suddenly thought, “Patrick!” 😀

          • Patrick Gannon

            Ah, but in this case, it’s not subjective evidence. You took the medicine in the past, you saw the results, you know what it can or can’t do for you – nothing subjective about that. I have found myself in similar discussions with doctors. I know what I need when I get gout, for example, because I have objective evidence for what works and what doesn’t, for me, while some new doctor may have other ideas. I’m on your side on this one!

            However I appreciate the sentiment!

        • Patrick Gannon

          Hi Annie. I’m busy so I’ll just respond to a couple points:

          “Science doesn’t yet explain spirituality or the paranormal, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.”

          The reason science doesn’t explain the paranormal (spirituality is a subjective experience), is because it has found no compelling evidence that the paranormal exists. If it could prove it exists, it would probably be able to explain it. I have to go back to what I’ve said before – there are no actions possible by particles that we have not explained. No additional paranormal forces exhibit any effect on our natural world, and no such effects are required to explain all the things we know about our physical matter reality. Something has to affect the particles in your brain, in your neurons in order to put thoughts in your head, and we know of no unnatural forces that can do this. Things we think are supernatural are almost certainly just coincidences or people with higher awareness who are able to look ahead and draw reasonable conclusions with little data – a valuable skill, to be sure, but not necessarily paranormal.

          I think the bigger issue for scientists today is dark matter, rather than dark energy. I’ve been reading articles suggesting that there may be other explanations for the observed expansion of the universe, that may not require dark matter after all.

          How would this dark energy or dark matter affect us? We can’t even isolate it. If it’s so weak that we can’t even prove it exists yet, how can it affect our particles? You realize billions of neutrinos are streaming through our bodies all the time, and they have absolutely no impact on us – they go right through. This would be the case for something so weak we can’t identify it. Other forces and particles that we can identify, can be shown to affect or not affect particles as the case may be. I read an article recently that puts a new spin on gravity, perhaps removing the need to postulate dark energy or dark matter. We have to wait and see. In any case, these things produce effects, at cosmic scales, not at our particle level.

          It would be insanely interesting if we could come up with compelling objective evidence for the paranormal. It would have a profound effect on our laws of physics, perhaps entirely overturning them. I have been following the paranormal since the mid-70’s. Forty years later, our understanding of our natural world has expanded exponentially. Our understanding of the paranormal hasn’t moved an inch. If there were things that affected our natural world, we would have some idea about it – but we don’t.

          • Spiritual_Annie

            Patrick,

            Just a quick note. I have downloaded Sean Caroll’s book on Audible, but I have appointments filling the rest of my week as well as company tomorrow. I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to start digesting it.

            Love and Blessings Always,
            ~Annie

          • Patrick Gannon

            Fantastic. I hope you enjoy the book. Most of it just brings us up to date on the current consensus in various fields of science; but Carroll attempts to pull it all together and show the relevance to the “Big Picture” which of course means our daily lives. I’ve listened to it three times, and after a few months, I’ll review a few of the chapters again.

  • Jethro

    On this day of your life

    Neale Donald Walsch

    I believe God wants you to know…
    That the possibility of making an error should never,
    ever stop you from doing anything.

    Don’t ever be afraid of “not getting it right.” In truth,
    there is no “right” way of doing anything…there is only
    the way you are doing it. So go ahead. Do it.

    Nothing wonderful has ever been accomplished by
    anyone who was worried sick about it not being
    wonderful.

    • Patrick Gannon

      Well, just to play a little ‘tongue in cheek’ devil’s advocate, Jethro…. Suppose you are getting ready to throw someone off a very high bridge in anger, and you are worried that this might not be so wonderful. Do you just “do it?” Suppose you are concerned that you might be making an error. Should that stop you from your action? Are you getting it right?

      In this case the “possibility of making an error” should indeed be evaluated, and actions likely modified as a result. To “go ahead,” and “do it” would not be wonderful at all. (Well, on the other hand, I can think of a list of people to throw off that bridge, that might actually make this wonderful!)

      I used to subscribe to these cute “I believe God wants you to know” sayings, and some of them are inspirational, but a lot of them, like this one, are rather shallow when examined more closely, and attempt to simplify things that aren’t at all simple.

      It’s not always an easy decision, deciding to do what you want to do, in spite of the impact that might have on others – like feeding your family. “Hey honey! Neale tells me not to be afraid to just do it, so I’m leaving to take up a career as an underwater basket weaver. Say bye to the kids for me.”

      Yeah, I’m belaboring a point – but the whole idea is to suggest that we attempt to make rational decisions, and that means sometimes you can’t just “do it,” indeed it would be wrong to do so, and particularly if you have obligations and responsibilities for other people.

      • Jethro

        Patrick my friend, that’s an interesting view on an inspirational note. We both know what it actually meant though. Depends on what’s going on in a persons life at any given moment that gives these little messages perfect meaning. Like a digital fortune cookie. Could actually happen that an assassin read this the morning he was getting ready to get rid of somebody and it helped him decide to throw a person off of a bridge. The assassin is just doing perfectly what assassins do. You know exactly why you got this message today!

        Under water basket weaver… I like it!

        • Patrick Gannon

          I never was very good at coloring inside the lines!

          • Jethro

            The only thing that matters it that you put your color in it.

  • Stephen mills

    Why would such an important understanding, which has been spoken and written about for Millenia ….as you say in the many different forms of spiritual understanding not be in the main stream.Could it be that the powers that be wanted to maintain control of the masses thinking that the people where not ready to here such a unifying truth ?

    These same power holders would have been made irrelevant !! Does it take a civilization Ten thousand years to wake up ? Perhaps this is normal in evolving civilisations here in our galaxy. Prefer to be on the fast track myself .

    • Spiritual_Annie

      Sometimes I fantasize about the majority of people returning to bartering, trading, co-ops, communes and neighborhoods or villages where there’s caring and sharing. Making money much less relevant would bring down those who control through the hoarding of it. Ahh, it’s just a passing thing when I’m in a mood. 😉

      Love and Blessings Always,
      ~Annie

      • Jethro

        Me too Annie! Me too.
        While I agree there are times we hear about things in a distance that calls for our assistance in our voice or even presence, keeping our concerns local is the right thing to do. Spending our money in local businesses with local owners keeps our communities thriving. I avoid Walmart, Autozone, Homedepot, and the like. Its almost impossible to do entirely, but I check the small businesses first. We have been tricked into believing The local places are too expensive and that’s false. I do have one local business that I avoid, I will mail order snow from the arctic before receiving an ice cube from that place. Anyway, I promote trading objects for services rendered when possible and adjust prices for those who aren’t just to lazy to do for themselves which is very common these days. I’ve even given wages to elderly customers for helping me work on their own stuff. Given the physical ability, my elderly customers would do for themselves and do it right! they tell me how they would do it quite often. If we can let go of greed and take only what we need, we thrive. I worked for a plumbing company for 8 years and moved about in the mind of helping others and made more money annually than the employees who I knew were cheating customers. Love and caring are very profitable.