DOES GOD EXIST

EVIDENCE FOR GOD

ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, SPIRIT,

DEATH, HEAVEN, SOUL & SELF

 THE UNIVERSE & EVOLUTION 

BIBLE, CHRIST, QURAN, ISLAM, BUDDHISM & KARMA

 RELIGION & SCIENCE

 SPIRIT-ENERGY & ATOM-ENERGY

DECODING INTELLIGENT DESIGN

 

The content and subject matter of these two e-books is underpinned by the culmination of twenty+ years of study and research

- at four universities in two countries -

 from objective and rational analysis of information from the disciplines of

RELIGION, SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, HISTORY, PSYCHOLOGY AND THEOLOGY

 

For Inquisitors, Believers, Skeptics, Agnostics and Atheists

Knowledge is Power - Informing Beliefs, Values, Attitudes & Behaviours

 

“Don’t worry about those who concern themselves with predicting the date for the end of the world, but be conscious of and prepared for your own personal imminent physical death and passing from this world”

 

 

·       “How can something, anything, everything, like the big bang, atoms, the universe, and life, etc be created without source from absolute nothing.

 

·       “There is more chance of a Jumbo Jet being built by a tornado crossing a Junk Yard than there is of complex universe and life being created by random chance.

 

·       “Decoding Intelligent Design as being a function of spirit-energy that sparked and initiated evolution of both the atom-energy of matter and the spirit-energy of life, self, spirit, soul and person. 

 

·       “The cruel trick of (atom-energy) physical death as one’s personal individual end-of-time on this earth.  But the continuation of a person and their spirit and soul in relation to their self, consciousness, mind and person (spirit-energy) and eternal existence.

 

·       “The definitions and differences between the atom-energy of matter and the spirit-energy of self, spirit, soul and person are clearly described. The meaning of love, living life to the full, the fear of death, and the meaning of spirit, soul and mind as being essential parts of the essence of self are thoroughly identified and canvassed in these e-books.

 

·       “Describes the world’s religions as being essentially more similar than different in terms of end goals. To achieve heaven and eternal existence as the ultimate purpose. But with differing beliefs, dogmas and mechanisms towards reaching this desired state.

 

·       “Comparative religion research where both the Bible and Koran (Qur’an) articulate contradicting and confusing verses where such verses are historically and potentially presently, misinterpreted and misconstrued adversely.

 

·       “How can and do religions, traditions, rituals and cultures affect peoples’ faith and beliefs and the way they perceive and understand themselves, the world and others. 

 

·       “Evolution is explained as being more a creation and product of intelligent design where evolution is predetermined and pre-programmed by intelligence of a Creator (spirit-energy).  Where the atoms of both the inorganic (non-living matter) like rocks etc, and the organic (living matter) like cells and DNA, have been pre-designed from the very beginning to evolve to slowly but ultimately reach their presupposed destination, function and predetermined purpose.  This is the same for the spirit-energy of the person, self, mind and soul but which has also been designed to be an independent, sovereign and unique thinking being with free-will and choice. 

 

·       This intelligent predetermined design and plan is a model – based on rationale philosophy and science - for the creation and existence of matter, life, spirit and person/self.  As opposed to the universe, life and self, being products created solely from nothing, or the creation and evolution of universe, life and self/person believed to be the derivative outcomes of random and chance processes – from nothing - proposed by anti-creation and anti-intelligent design theorists like names such as Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins.

 

·       These anti-creation and anti-intelligent design theorists have individually and personally abandoned and dismissed the academic ‘scientific’ and ‘philosophical’ thought processes and framed principles of questioning when related to that all time enduring question; Does God Exist?

 

·       Unfortunately, because those controversial – anti-creation, anti-intelligent design – ‘academics’ are often egotistically centrically motivated, they’re often reduced intellectually to making incredulous, frivolous single-minded and one-dimensional assertions about the beginnings of the universe, life and human existence.  These assertions obtain the attention of enquirers under the guise of the respectability methodological and the reputable processes of the academic discipline of science. But such shallow cliché pronunciations show these assertions are no more scientifically or philosophically founded than arbitrary outcomes from a pseudo-science that suggests the creation of the building blocks of universe and life - subatomic particles, quantum/nano physics etc - appeared/happened magically and incredulously, from absolute-nothing. 

 

·       Such attitudes of belief, reduces and denigrates the science process to nothing more than a non cause-and-affect, chaotic, and set of random-chance interactions that cannot claim to be a credible academic discipline with regard to validation of the spirit and atom energy components of this symbiotic and interactive reality etc. 

 

TWO NEW FREE E-BOOKS

 

The question is Does God Exist? The answer lies herein explained as the proof, reasons, evidence and logic from the academic disciplines of RELIGION, SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, HISTORY, PSYCHOLOGY AND THEOLOGY as guiding evidence to believe in the existence of a God and Creator. 

 

Herein these e-books discusses and reflects upon God in relation to the meaning of life, spirit, death, heaven, soul, mind, self and consciousness, including the existence of spirit-energy and atom-energy as a major part in human existence

 

Does God Exist - Proof for God - About Life, Death, Soul & Self

هل الله موجود -- البرهان في سبيل الله -- عن الحياة ، والروح ، والموت والذات

神的存在 - 对上帝的证明 - 关于生命,死亡,灵魂和自我

भगवान के लिए प्रमाण - जीवन, मृत्यु, आत्मा, और सेल्फ के बारे में भगवान का अस्तित्व है

Существует ли Бог - Доказательство для Бога - о жизни, смерти, Душа и Я

 

1. EVIDENCE FOR GOD: AND THE COMPLEXITY OF LIFE, BELIEFS, DEATH AND SELF

 

·       Evidence, Proof and Logic for God from Reason, Science, History, Theology, Spirituality and Philosophy

·       Aquinas’ Five Logic, Proofs for God’s Existence

·       Bible – The Contradicting and Misinterpreted Verses

·       Qur’an – The Contradicting and Misinterpreted Verses

·       Relational Command to Love

·       The Cruel Trick of Physical Death

·       Why Pain, Grief and Suffering

 

2. GOD AND DECODING INTELLIGENT DESIGN: EVOLUTION, SPIRIT, SOUL AND SELF

 

·       Meaning of the words ‘The Word’, ‘Self’, ‘Spirit’ and ‘Soul’

·       Proof of a God/Creator from Subatomic, Quantum & Nano Physics

·       The Atom-Energy of Self

·       The Spirit-Energy of Self

·       Person as Soul, Spirit, Mind and Self

·       Self, Mind, Soul and Spirit as an Outcome and Function of Atom and Spirit-Energy on this Earth

 

READ ABOUT IT

 

The contents of these e-books counter these frivolous unfounded pseudo-science anti-creation and anti-intelligent design claims through the rational philosophical processes juxtaposition with genuine facts and hypothesis underpinned by objective, rational and ‘spirit-reflective’ analysis of information from all theological, philosophical, historical and scientific research/evidence”.

 

The information within these two free e-books provide answers to enduring questions relevant in today’s global, cultural, religious, educational, economic, and personal changing living environments.

 

TWO FREE NEW E-BOOKS

 

1. EVIDENCE FOR GOD: AND THE COMPLEXITY OF LIFE, BELIEFS, DEATH AND SELF

 

 

1. EVIDENCE FOR GOD: AND THE COMPLEXITY OF LIFE, BELIEFS, DEATH AND SELF

 

 

 

 

                        

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The subjects in this e-book (246 pages, PDF) include:

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·       Science and philosophy as proof of the existence of a God/‘Creator’

·       The philosophers’ five logical proofs for the Creator’s existence

·       Humans as sovereign independent beings

·       Contradicting verses in both the Bible and Koran (Quran)

·       How can the Bible and Koran (Quran) promote violence, punishment and hell

·       How do cultures, traditions and faiths affect what and how people believe

·       Different religions more similar than different having the same end goal

·       What is the new idea of relational love

·       What are the dynamics and consequences of believing in karma and

      reincarnation

·       Are hell and satan real or metaphorical leverage

·       How can a ‘good’ ‘Creator’ allow human suffering

·       How can intellect and ‘free will’ manipulate ‘base

      instincts’?

·       Why are verses about violence, punishment and hell in the

      Bible and Quran erroneous?

·       Who is Jesus Christ – God or Fraud - and why different

      from all other spiritual leaders and teachers?

 

 

2. GOD AND DECODING INTELLIGENT DESIGN: EVOLUTION, SPIRIT, SOUL AND SELF

 

 

2. GOD AND DECODING INTELLIGENT DESIGN: EVOLUTION, SPIRIT, SOUL AND SELF

 

 

 

Front Cover Picture and Title of E-Book

 

 

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The subjects in this e-book (243 pages, PDF) include:

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·       The meaning of  life, self, consciousness, personality, spirit and soul

·       The power of human belief systems that affect thought and behaviour

·       Was the creation of the universe through design or chance

·       How can evolution be reconciled with both intelligent design and scripture

·       How could a ‘Creator’ have always existed

·       Why is the world temporary and planet earth can’t exist forever

·       What is the difference between atom energy and spirit and soul energy

·       How are humans composed of these different energies

·       How can the two worlds of the ‘physical’/visible and the spiritual/invisible be explained

·       The Science world of subatomic, quantum and nano physics as evidence of a Creator/God     

·       What is Self, Consciousness, Personality, Spirit and Soul?

·       What problems relate to human faiths and beliefs regarding

        religions, traditions and cultures?

·       What are the human energies of atoms, soul and spirit

·       The human interface of these different energies

 

Back Cover Pictures

 

The Milky Way

 

The Milky Way is only one galaxy of about 100 billion galaxies in the universe.  The Milky Way is the galaxy within which human beings reside.   There are over 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, the Sun being one of those stars.  The Milky Way is so vast that light, traveling at the speed of light, takes not 10 years, not 100 years, not 1,000 years, but 100,000 light years to traverse it!

 

The Star Betlegeux and the Sun

 

This picture demonstrates the enormous and immense size of some of the stars in the Galaxy of the Milky Way and Universe.  This star is a super-giant called “Betlegeux” situated in the Orion Sword.  Betlegeux has a diameter of 220 million miles and its size is seen here in relation to the Sun’s diameter of 1 million miles.  The Sun has a diameter of 1 million miles and the Earth has a diameter of just 8 thousand miles.

 

Planet Earth

 

The American astronaut James Erwin, said after viewing the Earth, the Moon, and the Galaxy simultaneously, as his spacecraft traveled back to Earth between the depths of outer space and the Moon, that he had just seen the world as ‘God’ sees it, and that ‘God’ must love humans very much.

 

Snow Geese

 

Here is an example of one of the Creator’s beautiful living creations.  See how they use the snow as a blanket to keep themselves warm.  The swans (Snow Geese) of Hokkaido in northern Japan, are born in Siberia, but migrate every year to their island sanctuary in Japan, when the Russian winter becomes too severe.

 

The Rainbow

 

The Rainbow is an amazing reality exemplifying the wonderful and complex creations in the universe.  The Rainbow, throughout time, has been regarded as magical and capturing the imagination of all peoples.  We have the saying synonymous with the paradoxical enigma of such existence, “The pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow”.  Perhaps the colours of the rainbow are symbolic and analogous to the beauty, strength and synergy of human diversity, illustrated by the electromagnetic spectrum, which creates light from its many diverse colours.

                                                      

                                     BACK COVER PICTURES

 

Final Back Page 5 images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are pressed for time to fully read musing in total reflection, please browse individual chapters for subject matter that interests you in the moment.  

 

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Stephen Clark

2011

 

Contact for any Questions, Comments sclarkp@bigpond.com

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TWO FREE NEW E-BOOKS

 

Read the Two Full Texts Below and/or Download & Save

 

EVIDENCE

FOR

GOD

AND THE

 COMPLEXITY OF

LIFE, BELIEFS,

DEATH AND SELF

 

 

 

 

     

                       

 

                             

DOWNLOAD  & SAVE FREE E-BOOK

 

 

 

 

OR VIEW AT AMAZON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Clark

 

ISBN 0-473-03715-7

Copyright © Stephen Clark 2009

Across Publishng

Second Revised Edition 2011

Brisbane, Australia

 

Any comments about the contents of this book please direct to:

 

sclarkp@bigpond.com

 

 

CONTENT

 

Prefaces

     

 

The Meaning of Life                                                           

The Insult of Blasphemy                                                         

The Six Dimensions, Steps, and Degrees to Explain

a Creator’s Infinity and Human Immortality                                                               

Passion of the Christ                                                          

Have You Ever Asked These Questions                          

Introduction                                                                        

            

 

CHAPTER                                                                               

 

1       In Search of the Creator                                                                            

We Do Not Believe

         Jesus Calls His Apostle Peter, Satan (Devil)

         Pope John Paul II Apologises to the World

         Separation of Church and State

Many Religions, Churches Faiths and Beliefs

         We Want To Believe

 

2       Evidence of God From                                           

         Human Reason, Science and Philosophy                    

Natural and Super Natural Knowledge

          The World is Not as it Appears

         Proof of a Creator’s Existence through Reason and Science

Philosophers and Theologians

Aristotle, Plato and Socrates

Providence

Thomas Aquinas’ Five Rational Proofs for God’s Existence

         First Proof – Motion

         Second Proof- Cause and Effect

Third Proof – Contingent and Necessary Beings

Fourth Proof – A Finite Subordinate Series

Fifth Proof, Proof from Order, Descartes, Locke

Atom-Energy Different from Spirit-Energy

The Soul and Spirit of Self

 

  3     Human Pain and Suffering from Intellectual and Spiritual Confusion         

         Brief History of Scripture Language

         Misinterpretation of Scripture in the Bible

         Spiritual Abuse

Human Destruction from Base Instincts, Faiths, Beliefs, Cultures, Politics and Religions

 

4          Intellectual and Spiritual Confusion Revisited   

          Principle Factors for Interpretation

 Lucifer and, the King James Version of the Bible

 Other Holy Scriptures and the Quran (Koran)

 More Similarities than Differences between Religions

          More about Comparative Religions

 

5        Truth is Stranger than Fantasy                                                  

         Did the Creator become Human?

         American Astronaut James Erwin

         Was Christ’s Coming Foretold?

         Who Is Jesus of Nazareth?

         Is Jesus Christ Also ‘God’?

         Jesus’ Claims of Being the Son of ‘God’

         Jesus Christ Rising from the Dead

         The Logical, Psychological and Philosophical Strategy

 

6       Why Did The Creator Become Human?                                                                  

         Humans Are Imperfect

         The Incarnation                                               

          The Conscious Voice of Self

         Atheism

         Personal Integrity and Choice

         Christ’s Teachings

         The Original Ten Commandments

         Ten Commandments Relevant but Inadequate

                                                 

7       The New Commandment of Love                        

         The New Law of Relational Love

          Live Life with Relational Love for Self and Others

          Judging and Self-righteousness

          Philosophy of Love

 

8         The Creator’s Infinite Mystical

         Relational Love/ Compassion                                                                                                                                

            The Creator’s Acceptance

         The Affects of Transgressions

         The Creator’s Mystical Relational Love

         The Creator’s Infinite Compassion and the

         Cruel Trick of Death

         Christ’s Compassion and Forgiveness

         The Metaphor of Hell and Satan

           

9         Why Pain and Suffering                                       

            Mystery of Suffering and Pain

         Insight to ‘God’ the Creator

         Design, Order and Plan, Cause and Effect

         Scripture and Suffering

         Puppets on a String

         Meaning from Pain

         Pain and Relationships

 

10     Prayer                                                                    

         Dynamics of Prayer                                                                                      

 

 

 

The Meaning of Life in Short

 

We give meaning to our life because people already exist as we enter the world, and interacting with people and the environment if we can leave this world – when we ‘die’ - a slightly better place than when we entered it, we will have given positive meaning to our life.

Meaning to life - intentionally treating people with goodwill and a generosity of spirit.  Interactions with others as being civil, friendly and compassionate as opposed to being unkind and mean spirited.

Ultimately, the meaning of the meaning of the fullness of life can be as simple as or as complex as we will it to be in relation to what we are capable of.

 

Question:

Is it more meaningful to leave one person happier in the world when we die (pass-over), and no one unhappy, or to leave a hundred people unhappier and a thousand people happier?

 

Reflect on the above:

 

Then consider the following:

 

Ideal behavioural, thoughtful and empathetic intercommunication aspires to intentionally converse and interact with all people we meet in a spirit of good-faith and good-will.  Leaving no one worse-off, but many better-off in their personal sense of well-being.

 

The Universe > From Something or Nothing?

 

Life > From Creation or Chance? 

 

Christ > Is ‘God’ or Prophet?

 

The ‘Creator’ > Is ‘God’?

 

Will We Meet Again

 

 

The Insult of Blasphemy

 

When one person, or a billion people, swear by blaspheming by using the name of 'their' 'God' in private, then that’s their prerogative and their personal 'healthy' relationship with their spiritual 'God'.  And their ‘God’ can no doubt understand all that involves the personal relationship between the two of them, and accordingly, deals, accepts and handles such communication as being part of their private and intimate relationship.

 

But when someone blasphemes in public by using the name of one or a billion peoples’ ‘God’ as a swear word, such as, "Jesus Christ”, “Christ”, “Oh My God” "God", “For God’s Sake”, and indeed the words should they ever be used of “Buddha”, “Yahweh”, “Allah”, “Krishna” including “Muhammad” etc, then the line has been crossed.  Whether we believe, or not, in a ‘God’, blaspheming is offensive in snubbing, with disregard to others’ spiritual beliefs and sensitivities.

 

In this instance, the blasphemer intentionally or unintentionally portrays and executes the attitudes and characteristics of bigotry, ignorance and arrogance relating to others' feelings and as such, be interpreted as contemptuous and disrespectful. 

 

These insults and affronts are ‘discrimination’ on religious, cultural and spiritual grounds, and thus should be decreed as illegal.

 

Please mind your language in front of others.

 

Blaspheming against someone’s ‘God’ in the public arena is evidence of the orators and author’s bigotry, ignorance, arrogance, and illiteracy. 

 

The Six Dimensions, Steps, and Degrees to Explain a Creator’s Infinity and Humans’ Immortality

 

It is important to remember that Spirit Energy exists without the dimensions of Time, Space and Movement.  Because spirit-energy can exist without the dimensions and characteristics of time, space and movement, the question, “How can the Creator have always existed?” is not a relevant question to ask when it is asked within in human context in relation to the world. 

 

This is because the meaning of the word ‘always’, can by definition, only be referred to in the context of Time, Space and Movement, which in turn are only related within the context of a universe. 

 

So the question “How can anything have always existed”, can realistically only be asked in the realms of structured atom-energy of the universe – including Black Matter and Dark Energy - with which the world is made, and within the realms and dimensions of Spirit-Energy where time, space and movement is non-existent.

 

The 6 Steps, Degrees and Dimensions of Life, Existence and Immortality

 

Step 1 - The two dimensions of Length and Width

 

Step 2 - The three dimensions of Length, Width and Breadth

 

Step 3 and 4 - The four dimensions of Time which must include Atom Energy, Space and     Movement.  The phenomena of ‘time’ is essentially a culmination of movement of structures of atom-energies in relation to other structures of atom-energies in the medium of space.

 

Step 5 - The five dimensions of the human senses which include Touch, Smell, Sound, Sight and Taste.

 

Step 6 - The six dimension of Spirit - being Self, Consciousness, Awareness, Thoughts and Feelings.  The spirit is the essence of a person and pivot of consciousness, self-awareness, emotion and thought defined not by atom-energy structures but by the energy of spirit. 

 

The 6th Step and Dimension of Spirit is the only dimension that can stand alone on its own without the necessary input and interactions of the other 5 Steps and Dimensions. 

       

In reality these six dimensions are designed and planned intelligently to interact and interface with one another.  

 

But if we reduce the above equation of the six dimensions by one dimension, that one being the fourth dimension of time we immediately exclude structures of atom energies, movement and space. 

 

If we remove these dimensions that define the essence of time and therefore the world as we know it one dimension is retained and that is the dimension of spirit.

 

And if the dimension of spirit, which by its very essence and characteristics, stands alone and apart from time, space and movement, then we can not ask questions about any Creator or Self that includes within its terms and meaning anything to do with the dimensions and realms of the first 3 dimensions that in part, define structured atom-energies.

 

Taking these factors into account irrelevant questions to ask would include:

 

“How could a Creator have always existed”?  And, “Who made the ‘Creator”?

 

All these questions are asked from the point of reference prefaced on the assumption that ‘time’ is an incumbent necessary part of this world of structured atom-energies, space and movement and not an essential ingredient of spirit-energy. 

The dimension and essence of spirit exits alone in timeless sovereign integrity, and explains and answers the question, “How can humans exist eternally or be immortal”?

 

Without the dimension of ‘time’ involved in the essence of the dimension of ‘spirit’  there can only exit the ‘now’, the ‘presence’, the ‘just being’, and the ‘just is’.

 

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

 

If Christ is ‘God’/ Creator and the Creator exists, then ‘God’ must Will Unconditional Mystical Relational Love towards all Peoples

         Perhaps the most decisive and poignant message derived from the “Passion Of The Christ” is that the Creator potentially wills to unconditionally love all peoples, notwithstanding their personal transgressions, or their political, cultural, ethnic and religious persuasions and affiliations, as explicitly exemplified by Christ’s outcry, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23: 34-35).  This was an outcry by Jesus Christ on His death cross to the Creator, having been shamed, humiliated, and grievously, mortally and fatally assaulted and wounded.  A sublime supplication to the Creator from the Son, after being jeered, insulted, spat upon, punched, beaten, scourged, crowned with thorns, nailed to the cross and speared, such that He was killed by Roman soldiers, Gentiles, Jews, Pagans, Elders, Teachers of the law and the Chief Priest.  The crime of torturous ‘physical’ and psychological brutality leading to a person’s suffering and death, no human being deserves, let alone the innocent Christ.  Yet, regardless of their behaviour, Christ pleads to the Creator to forgive these perpetrators for their actions that precipitated and procured His death.  And if they were not practical partakers in His death, forgiveness for their vicarious and voyeuristic complicity, and their individual and collective transgressions as an outcome of their destructive, obsessive and irrational cultural, political, ethnic and religious beliefs.  No, they did not ask their ‘God’, or anyone else to forgive them for their abominably barbaric intentional murderous behaviour.  And no, they did not believe in the sacred integrity and dignity of humanity.  And no, they did not believe in Christ, either as an innocent human being or as the Son of the Creator.  Yet if Christ is the Creator, then ‘God’ forgave them all, if scripture verse is legitimately accurate.  Yes, it is credible that the Creator forgave all these people.  Killers and accomplices of Christ’s death all forgiven, despite them not believing or seeking forgiveness.  If forgiven, it was through the unconditional mystical relational love of Christ, if Christ was/is in fact ‘God’ and if ‘God’ does in fact, exist. “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”.(Luke 23: 34-35)

 

Have You Ever Asked These Questions           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVIDENCE FOR GOD: AND THE COMPLEXITY OF LIFE, BELIEFS, DEATH AND SELF explores answers to these existential questions.

 

 

.

“Fear neither the uncharted waters of life, nor the uncharted waters of death; so you fear neither life nor death, as you fear neither death nor life”

 

 

“Fear not Self living in this world, and fear not Self’s inevitable anatomical death, for Self is not only of anatomical existence but invisible Spirit that exists on forever.”

 

 

“Self ought try to never behave in this life - that if anatomical death should unexpectedly visit upon Self tomorrow, or next week etcetera – Self would, on post anatomical death-reflection, remorsefully regret”

 

 

“Despite all Self’s human flaws and imperfections, Self ought to completely, totally and deeply accept Self as being OK, but be honestly open to constructive change”

 

 

“Self’s life here on earth will be seen as having been far too short upon Self’s post-earth life reflection, to have lived life selfishly”

 

INTRODUCTION

         If you have an aversion to, and limited time to spend reading introductions, the above Content pages of information, will, per Chapter and per Subsection, provide you with all the subjects in this book that have been extensively researched, discussed and grappled with.      

        

            The title of this book EVIDENCE FOR GOD: AND THE COMPLEXITY OF LIFE, BELIEFS, DEATH AND SELF is but a description of the starting point to all the information this book endeavours to encompass. The information in this book, which Chapters and their subsections are clearly described under the ‘Contents’ hopes to accomplish the furnishing and exploration of evidence-based knowledge, facts, ideas, theories and insights, which cumulatively  provide potential answers to those enduring human existential questions that can dwell, often annoyingly, within Self’s conscious being.  In accomplishing such a goal this book breaks old boundaries and hopes to provide informed information.  If we can believe that the existence of the universe was created with design, order and purpose, which evidence within this book implies, then the universe did not just come into being from nothing and by random chance, but had to come from something.  Therefore, if there is a ‘Creator’ of design, order and purpose then there is also potential immortality.

         This book emphasizes the fact that what seemingly appears to be fact, is a perceived illusion.  However, this perception of illusion is because we are still to change our mindset and shift it to what we now know it to exist of – and that is energy - from scientific research. When we look around us there is predetermined order, design and purpose everywhere.  The Will and Soul of a ‘Creator’ is manifest in subatomic particles, atoms or atom-energy, that not only make up the pages and print of this book but everything in the universe, including inanimate objects (non-life) e.g., stars, galaxies, water, rocks, etcetera, and animate living life, for example, plants, animals, birds, insects and humans etcetera. Only 0.4% of the universe is made of structures with functions made of atom-energy we can observe, with 3.6% made of gases.  The other 96 % of the universe is made from an energy that is atom-less, and perhaps more akin to the spirit-energy of the Creator.  Physicists call this unknown ‘matter’, ‘dark matter and energy’.  The world is not made of what it appears to be made of as it is made of atoms, which are in essence energies without mass.  Atoms are defined as electrical and electromagnetic charges, and are measured as electrical volts (eV).  Atoms have no weight but feel heavy because of the electromagnetic energy between the larger planet earth attracting smaller parcels of electromagnetic energy.

         This tension is what we call gravity, which constructs our perception and experience of weight.  Atoms are in essence invisible, but we see because our eye, brain and interpretation are based on the reflection of light wavelengths into our central nervous system via our eyes.  If we think about how hydrogen and oxygen make up ice, water and steam-gases, we can understand how everything in the universe possesses different structures and functions even when made with the same atoms, but with different atom configurations. 

         As the functions of atoms changes e.g., as in the different structures and functions of ice, water, and steam, although made from the same atoms, are but structured differently, as in tightly packed atoms of ice, as opposed to the less-tightly packed atoms of steam-gases.  Atoms interact with other atoms of the same (elements), and different atoms (compounds), that make up the universe. 

         There are only 118 different atoms that together, or combined, make up all that exists in this world.  The exception is the Self, which by definition is spirit-energy of consciousness, thoughts, emotions, self-awareness, personality and will, etcetera.  References in this book to the word ‘physical’ are defined as atom-energy, referring to all that exists, including the body (anatomy) or the ‘physical’ environment, food and shelter, and all that we observe around us, other than Self and others, which are spirit-energies and include consciousness, thoughts, emotions, self-awareness, personality and will etcetera . 

Volume 2 of this series explores these matters in more depth.           

         This book also explores credible evidence that individual human existence is about living one’s life to its fullest potential whatever that may mean for each individual.  Whilst the death – the change in structure and function of atom-energy we all eventually encounter, but often ignore and deny, should not be feared, but celebrated as the natural progression of Self and Self’s intangible, and therefore, invisible consciousness.  Self’s invisible consciousness being a part of Self’s spirit, and thus, by definition, immortal living eternally forever. 

            The information herein is a product of the knowledge ascertained from the mix of perceptions and facts interwoven and interpreted from dedicated and peripheral components and elements of the academic disciplines of Science, Philosophy, Theology and Psychology. 

The art of Science consists of the study of subatomic particles that make up atoms, and molecules or atom-energy.  This is quantum physics that studies atoms that make up the different structures and functions of the ‘physical’ world, in essence essentially made of atom-energy.  The methodology used for scientific work uses systematic and methodical observation and experiment. 

Philosophy is about asking and answering questions from a rational and logical point of view about anything and everything that may mean something valuable to someone or everyone. 

Theology is the study of different religions, rituals and scripture with their interpretation of ‘God’ and then ‘God’s” relationship with and to Self, others, and the world. 

Psychology is the scientific study of the human brain and human behaviour in relation to different mental states of thought and emotion arising from diverse and individual personal experiences. Psychology may also include the study of human awareness and meta-cognition, where Self thinks about what Self is thinking about. 

Through the objective and rational analysis of peripheral, vicarious and insightful intrinsic information sourced from the academic disciplines of Science, Philosophy, Theology and Psychology come together to explore unsubstantiated and mythical beliefs, such as the literal interpretation of every word in every verse in all scriptures.  This includes the interpretations of ‘Hell’, ‘Satan’, Karma, and Reincarnation, and others, including questionable religious, political and cultural faiths, rules, traditions and practices which are identified, explored and explained as potentially psychologically and spiritually aversive to the human spirit and soul. 

The human embracement of such inaccurate and illogical ideologies and beliefs can be seen to the result, which originates from the complex mix of human characteristics.  These characteristics  have evolved from both human base instincts that influence and vice-versa with the higher quality constructs of consciousness, intellect, cognition, emotion and freewill, which are interactive with the individual’s personal experiences and choices. 

         The innate human need to arbitrary adhere obediently to particular religious, cultural and/ or political ‘beliefs’ and ‘faiths’ in relation to their laws, rules and practices, is seen in part, to be driven by the need for the individual’s sense of personal security, psychological comfort and personal acceptance.  Including the subconscious and conscious crave and desire to manipulate in some way the experienced existence of Self’s anticipated and ‘hoped for’ immortality and therefore the perceived prerequisite and requirement to ‘be right’  and ‘good’ with ‘God’.   The above premise can then be exacerbated by innocent ignorance, the quest for what is true and real, personal fear, and individual arrogance and pride.  These related  thoughts, attitudes, emotions and behaviours can then be subconsciously mixed with the misinterpretation and misapplication of particular secular, cultural and religious policies, laws, rituals and traditions, which are required by Self to be perceived as infallible and ‘true’, and ultimately expressed through thoughts, emotions, values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and contents of speech. 

         The selective human adoption of particular religious, political and cultural beliefs and practices may also manifest because of the synergistic power created by the human psych.  A psych created and operated through the higher constructs of personal spiritual, intellectual, cognitive and emotional forces, both consciously and subconsciously, can be manipulated and influenced by base human instincts of greed, power, survival and aggression.  Self’s higher constructs of spiritual and psychological abilities and needs then interact with self’s innate primate base instinctive desires potentially resulting in personal spiritual and psychological discomfort and vulnerability.  This spiritual and psychological discomfort and vulnerability can lead Self ‘open’ to the possible exposure of irrational and inaccurate beliefs and faiths of particular religious, and political and cultural persuasions with their exclusive rules and practices, procuring an outcome of individual and collective spiritual, psychological, intellectual, emotional and behavioural confusion and abuse.

         As a partial defense against the irrational and inaccurate beliefs and faiths of particular religious, political and/ or cultural laws and practices that can precipitate individual and collective human suffering, destruction, turmoil and indecision, the investigative analyse of spiritual literatures is undertaken.  The identification and interpretation of contradicting verses in religious scriptures are explored, in particular those verses that have the potential ‘power’ to impact destructively upon human cognitions, emotion, values, attitudes and beliefs, and their subsequent expression through mindsets, behaviours and contents of speech. 

         Principles for the reinterpretation of religious scriptures are described, which can be applied to other sacred scriptures.  How could a loving Creator allow such human suffering?  The general theme and message prescribed by the New Testament writings are identified as emphasising the integrity and sacredness of human sovereignty and independence manifest in the invisible and intangible – which therefore can be described as Spirit – constructs of Self.  Self in turn is described and defined in part as containing the attributes of human consciousness, personality, freewill, intellect, cognition and emotion, which can be expressed in particular personal beliefs, values, attitudes, behaviours and contents of speech. 

         The identified general theme and message prescribed by the New Testament scriptures is about practicing the human-to-human expression of compassion and reconciliation.  This is essentially about valuing and accepting Self and others ‘where you and they are at’ at a particular moment in time.  Particularly with respect to personal imperfections, and others with different and diverse beliefs, values and experiences as ones self.  A belief in Christ’s death and resurrection could be potential evidence identified as being credible for the consideration of the reality of human immortality.

         Traditional biblical beliefs about creation and the creation of human beings are reconciled with the scientific evidence of evolution, but evolution as an outcome of pre-programmed DNA as opposed to Darwin’s natural selection and chance.  This is, the Creator’s willed design and order of creation that allows the development of the human brain to interface and infuse with the invisible, intangible and sublime, yet metaphysical and observable, Self.  Self being consciousness, personality, freewill, intellect, cognition and emotion together with personal values, attitudes, and beliefs as an outcome of unique environments and personal experiences, knowledge and choices, which by definition, are not visible, but intangible and invisible, and therefore can only be described and defined as being that of Spirit.

            The rationale and logical proofs of Theist-Philosopher’s in relation to rational and logical ‘cognitive’ evidence for the existence of a ‘God’ are discoursed.  The ‘miracles’ of creation as discovered and identified by technologies of  modern science and articulated as is the wisdom, both spoken and unspoken, emanating from the general theme prescribed and articulated throughout scripture specifically regarding Creator-to-human and human-to-human relational love. 

Combining all the above information together may provide the reader with enough resources to contemplate and consider the possibility of the existence of a Creator.  An explanation regarding the difficult concept of comprehending that a ‘Creator’ must have always existed if a ‘Creator’ does indeed exist, is also offered.  The reality of Parapsychology is exposed by science as being, at best, magical beliefs based on myth, potentially exploiting the spiritually vulnerable and, at worst, encouraging the occurrence of cognitive, emotional and behavioural self-fulfilling prophecies.  Self-fulfilling prophecies can prohibit the necessary intellectual and emotional processes of Self’s decision making, that in part, drive Self’s desire to seek informed knowledge, and ultimately, understanding of Self, and the desire for personal change.  This mindset relating to ‘predestined fate’ inevitably affects Self’s ability for self-acceptance, procurement of informed knowledge, and the ability to personally choose to voluntary change particular aspects that Self believes needs changing. 

The powerful influence generated by personal beliefs and faiths in a particular religion, culture and/ or politics must be considered such that they cannot afford to be beliefs and faiths based on a blind and hysterical mindset and mentality.  But beliefs are required to be predicated on an informed, considered, and educated premise so that choices are underpinned by the interaction between Self’s objective informed knowledge mixing and interacting with the reflective introspection of Self’s innate spiritual intuition. 

         Christ’s examples and teachings relating to living life on earth, His miraculous, resurrection from the dead, together with the miracles of creation, including the intangible components of Self - consciousness, meta-cognition, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs - may be viewed as events that provide a source of hope for the real possibility for the eternal and immortal existence of Self.  So together and addition to the scientific complexity of creation, and the scientific and logical premise that you can’t get ‘something’ (the universe and life) from ‘nothing’, and the existence of the intangible components that make up Self, and the considered belief in Christ’s resurrection, together, have the potential to set the precedence, and be the evidence, for human immortality. 

         The continuation of Self being the eternal continuation of Self’s experiences of consciousness; the eternal continuation of Self’s intimate thoughts, memories and emotions; the eternal continuation of Self’s relational experiences with others, and the eternal continuation of Self’s individual personality.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

IN SEARCH OF THE CREATOR 

 

We Do Not Believe

Jesus Calls His Apostle Peter, Satan (‘the devil’)

Pope John Paul II Apologises to the World

Separation of Church and State

Many Religions, Churches, Faiths and Beliefs

We Want To Believe

 

We Do Not Believe

           

            We are lying in bed, in the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning.  It is pitch black - dead quiet.  We can see the stars twinkling at us between the curtains through the window.  We may not be on our own, yet we are feeling alone and lonely and somewhat anxious.  This is a time when we may feel most vulnerable and fragile, a time when we are most reflective.  During a thunderous and wet and windy night when the stillness of the night is shattered, or in the dead quiet of darkness where nothing moves and when we feel we could easily exist alone, then we might imagine the end of the world is near and our personal existence insignificant.  Or indeed, it may be during the daytime as the Sun shines down upon us and the breeze blows on our face, or the rain drops fall on our head, whichever the environmental situation may be, our cognitions and emotions could engage into overdrive as we start thinking, contemplating and wondering;

 

What are we doing here?

Where have we come from?

Where are we going?

Is there a Supreme Being?

Is there an afterlife?

Is there immortality?                                                                           

        

         It is not the first time we've thought these thoughts and it won't be the last, we know that!  For these questions are very significant to us. Upon reflection, from time to time these thoughts and questions seem to obsess our mind and appear to constitute the inner most essence, core, spirit, and personality of our being.  These irritating thoughts continue to nag at us from within until we learn to either deny or ignore them, or achieve some semblance of cognitive rationality and sense of cognitive equilibrium towards these incessantly hounding questions we might feel need to be answered. 

         We may have heard about other people’s belief and faith in a particular ‘God’, which we may or may not believe in or understand.  We may be atheist or we may be agnostic and we may believe that the person they call Jesus Christ being the Son of the Creator is but a figment of someone else’s overzealous and fanciful imagination.  We might also compromise our existential inquisitiveness by entertaining the idea of there being some sort of ‘power’ out there, or some kind of Super Natural Supreme Being.  Or we may even be enthusiastically spiritual or keenly religious.  But we may still, albeit subconsciously or consciously, continue to question the unknown, the unseen, the invisible, especially when our defense mechanisms (fanaticism or denial) slip and our intellectual and emotional coping mechanisms self-destruct letting our guard down and, the thoughts of the super natural, and spiritual, in.

           

Jesus Calls His Apostle Peter, Satan (‘the devil’)

 

We cannot help question the purpose and meaning of life here on Earth, and the possibility of Self’s personal mortality (eternal death), or Self’s personal immortality (infinite life).  We know others think these same intrusive thoughts.  Our friends and acquaintances seem to be asking these same questions when they can no longer hide their thoughts and feelings about their interest in this “deep and meaningful” subject.  There is no doubt that there are many different people in many different churches, in many different denominations, in many different religions, and in many different cultures and politics doing many good things, but people, by definition, are both imperfect and intellectual, and thus, open to the choice of manipulating human base instincts.  People are the ministers, administrators and actors of their particular churches, religions and cultures/ ideologies. Human indiscretions and infallibility is evident within religions, churches and political ideologies, in the depths and breadths of their bureaucracy, administration and ministry.  An excellent example of human imperfection in relation to the authority, management and administration of organized religions is evident when Christ speaks to His followers and His apostle Simon who He renamed Peter:

 

”And I tell you that you are Peter (Peter meaning rock) and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (or hell) will not overcome it (or not prove stronger than it)”.

(Matthew 16:18)

 

         Perhaps Christ was not promising this ‘church’ would be infallible or perfect, but rather that it would not succumb totally and eternally to absolute evil beliefs and behaviours.  Jesus Christ chose an imperfect human being to be the foundation upon which to build His ‘church’ here on Earth.  Jesus Christ chose, His apostle Peter, to be the rock on which to build His church.  Christ chose His apostle Peter, Peter a person who seriously betrayed Him, and denying any knowledge of Him whilst running for His life. 

 

In the gospels of Mark and Matthew we read:

 “Immediately a rooster crowed.  Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”  And he went outside and wept bitterly.” 

(Mark 13: 35; 14: 30, 68, 72; Matthew 26:34-75)                               

        

         Indeed, Jesus chose the imperfect apostle Peter to be the foundation of his church.  Indeed, Christ chose Peter, a person who Jesus Himself had publicly rebuked and called ‘Satan’.  The word Satan has the meaning today which is akin to the meaning of the words Devil and Prince of Darkness. 

 

As we read in Mark 8:31-33; and Matthew 16:23:

“And when Jesus predicted His death He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again.  He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.  But when Jesus turned and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter.  “Get behind me, Satan!” He said.  “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”.

 

This unique and fascinating story about the apostle Peter (the rock) being called Satan by Jesus is potentially symbolic and analogous to human individual imperfections per se, and institutionalised religions’ and churches’ sometimes questionable maladaptive, incompetent and corrupt practices and administrations betraying, denying and ignoring Christ’s teachings, examples and messages.  Ideas relating to the meaning of the word ‘Satan’ used by Christ toward Peter, and the meaning of the word ‘Hell’, are discussed in a later Chapter. 

Before we continue our discussion and exploration of human and human-to-human imperfections I would like to share with the reader  a true story of an extraordinary example of a heart warming and hope producing act of across cultural and religious altruism within ‘across’ cultural and religious belligerence, indifference and hatred.  In Jenin, on the West Bank, Palestine, the family of a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli troops have donated his organs for transplants in Israel, expressing hope the life-saving gesture would bring peace. Soldiers shot 13-year-old Ahmad al-Khatib in a raid on the West Bank city of Jenin in November 2005. The army claimed troops mistook the boy’s toy gun for a real weapon. He died of his wounds in hospital. After consulting Muslim authorities, his family decided to give Ahmad’s organs to six Israelis awaiting transplants. “We are doing it for humane purposes and for the sake of the world’s children and the children of this country,” said Ahmad’s father, ‘When I donated my son’s organs I did not say for a Jewish child, an Arab child, Muslim or Christian.”  Hospital officials said the Israelis who received Ahmad’s lungs, kidneys and liver included several Jews. A member of Israel’s Bedouin Arab minority, 12-year-old Samach Riad was given the boy’s heart. “They changed her heart and now everything is good,” said Riad’s father, Gabdan. “I hope peace will come, that, thanks to the Palestinian family.”  (Source, Press report)       

 

Pope John Paul II Apologises to the World

 

            This unique and incredible story about the apostle Peter (‘the rock’) being called Satan by Christ may represent the reality of human imperfection in relation to the sometimes, questionable practices of organised religion.  It is credibly symbolic of the recognition of human imperfection that Peter was chosen as leader of Christ’s church, notwithstanding Peter’s personal gross misjudgements and indiscretions of betrayal and denial, and Jesus’ rebuking him for these indiscretions by calling him ‘Satan’.  This story about this particular part of Peter’s relationship with Christ is a good example of the potential abundance of Christ’s infinite compassion and mystical relational love notwithstanding personal human imperfections and transgressions. 

            A poignant example of the culture of inherent human imperfection and subsequent spiritual abuse within churches has been highlighted by Pope John Paul II 1920-2005, who on the 14th of March 2000 courageously honestly apologised to the world for the past ‘sins’ of the 2000 year old Catholic Church.   Pope John Paul II 2005 head of the Catholic Church for 26 years 1978-2005, justly recognised and acknowledged the past wrongs committed by the Catholic Church over the centuries against, Jews, Muslims, Women, Indigenous People and Heretics.  Pope John Paul II in this brave apologetic address to the world, dare it be said should we be struck down by God’s wrath, has in essence admitted to transgressions that in reality equate to cheating, stealing, discrimination, torture and murder, administered and authorised by various imperfect Popes over the centuries.  This candid admittance by Pope John Paul II to these authorised ‘church abuses’ pontificated from the Vatican provide evidence of the potentiality for enormous diabolical behaviours and their subsequent destructive outcomes, initiating and occurring within the kernel of organized religions. 

            These have been reprehensible behaviours with disastrous outcomes propagated by spiritual and psychological abuse directed by certain people in authoritative ‘spiritual’ positions, in often, powerful organised religious institutions as a manifestation of human pride, obsessed self-ego, personal arrogance and spiritual ignorance.  But it should also be noted that the spiritual motto of Pope John Paul II was, “equality of humankind, brothers and sisters in the One God, together redeemed in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ”.  The universal importance of these words spoken by John Paul II begin with, “the equality of humankind as brothers and sisters” which surely no one can deny as being true.  The words “in the One God” may strike a strong cord with most believers.  The words “together redeemed in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ”, are believed by most Christians, and if in fact a reality will undoubtedly apply to all people whether they are believers or not. 

Of course, the best predictor of future human behaviour is relevant past human behaviour, so unfortunately there is no guarantee that spiritual abuses will not reoccur in the future.  But personal and institutional acknowledgement and awareness of such orchestrated damaging behaviour stemming from both religious and spiritual ignorance and arrogance by the spiritually powerful (those in positions of religious authority) towards the spiritually vulnerable (those searching and seeking spiritual guidance and direction).  Is the first step in preventing the repetition of such catastrophic and destructive beliefs, behaviours and contents of speech, that have been given ‘power’, ‘life’ and ‘justification’ in through ‘God’s’ name. 

 

Separation of Church and State

 

            Pope John Paul II, because of the traumatic experiences he suffered as a young man in Nazi occupied Poland during World War II, and his eminent spiritual and administrative position as Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, was a major contributor to initiating and maintaining the destabilisation of Communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1980s.   Pope John Paul II was the catalyst that orchestrated the significant political change from the National policy of authoritative oppression to the policy of political Self Determination.  This major political transition from communism to democracy, was implicitly and explicitly legitimated through his encouragement and support of the Solidarity Movement in Poland.  With its demands for a Government that primarily and predominantly would endorse representatives from cities that would represent the people based on their particular values, this is, democratic voting and democratic politics.  Where democracy implies justice and justice manifests itself from the possession within of a sense of fairness, which in turn invokes human behaviour directed toward the betterment of the community. 

            The impact on people from ideologies that promote the non-separation of religions and faiths and Government and State political agendas impacts destructively on the psych of the  people who are by virtue of ‘corrupt’ and biased enforced laws, required to adhere to religious theologies, beliefs and faiths as important components of political ideologies.  This is because, particular religious beliefs imposed on a people is as personally damaging as particular political ideologies imposed on a people.  The imposition of religions and non-democratic political ideologies on communities, nations and countries through the centuries has often been practiced, and indeed, been the norm rather than the exception.  Without the separation of Church and State (democratic) there is the potential for both religious dogma and practices and non-democratic political regimes, as part of their political or religious agendas, to enforce and impose particular ideologies, philosophies and religious beliefs and practices on their people.  So necessarily, there is an imperative need and requirement for the separation of Religions and Governments.  Governments through their democratic representative administrators and legislators - who must be genuinely representative of the people expressed through the political system of democracy - philosophically, theologically, spiritually and ideologically dignify human existence through the expression of self-determination.  Human beings possess the higher transcendent qualities manifest in the characteristics of personal sovereignty, independence and freewill, and as such, by definition, have the right to self-determination.  

            Religious institutions by definition, are religions’ churches, mosques and temples etcetera, being the wooden and concrete structures and frameworks within and from which worshippers learn, practice and apply their beliefs and faiths are organised institutions that promote, teach and administer the doctrines and dogma of particular faiths and beliefs for ‘believing’ individuals and communities.  We can also surmise optimism that a person’s particular ‘spiritual beliefs’ are personally very personal, intimate and private experiences, which are necessarily, ‘spiritual beliefs’ that have been voluntarily adopted, chosen and accepted by a particular individual without undue duress or coercion.  So a person’s belief in a particular religion, can be considered to be necessarily expressed as a personal, private and spiritually intimate relational experience between themselves and their ‘God’.  However, and on the other hand, communities, cities and countries are inhabited with people who are unique, independent, and sovereign human individuals with freewill.  Thus, communities, cities, and countries are inhabited with people who, by their intrinsic right of being human, have diverse spiritual beliefs, faiths and religions.  We can anticipate the problematic implications arising if communities, cities and countries are not democratically governed, but administered by political ideological systems that endorse the imposition of particular religions and ‘spiritual’ beliefs and faiths.  Indeed, the right to express personal and individual sovereignty, independence and freewill in relation to one’s spiritual philosophy and political philosophy would be oppressed from the imposition and enforcement of alternative political and spiritual ideologies and beliefs.  We have all historically, or in real time, experienced or witnessed the negative damaging outcomes, where for example, Communism, Marxism, Socialism, Fascism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism and Islam etcetera, are both the political and religious criteria that become arbitrary and inflexible powerful non-democratic machines used to govern a particular population with coercion

            So something as intimately personal and important to humans as their individual and diverse beliefs and faiths in relation to their spirituality, ideology, religion and politics can never be denied or oppressed if the successful administering and acceptance of policies and legislation to a particular community, city, state, country and nation is to be achieved.  But there will never be a perfect political system where everyone is totally satisfied, obtaining all they want in terms of their personal religious, spiritual and political beliefs because everyone is different.  However, the political system described as Democracy, if administered fairly and justly, will ensure that everyone gets a vote in who governs a country, and in how it is run.  And on planet Earth the political practice of democracy allows all to vote and be represented to some degree.  As the potential representatives who receive the majority of votes represent and administer the ideological, religious, cultural philosophical and political policies of each individual.  But democracy also represents the expression for political responsibility and accountability, which is assessed at the end of a government’s term and which assessment results the outcome of new representative incumbents resulting from the next democratic election.

           

            The other given about the separation of religion and state politics is that governments and their policies do not interfere in the intimate, private and personal spiritual beliefs of individuals.  However, it is possible that the existence, or non-existence of a candidate’s personal spiritual and/ or religious beliefs, and those of other elected politicians may affect their persona, values and attitudes and thus perceived to contribute to legislation, policies and interpersonal diplomacy thus influencing who will vote for them.  This is unless of course the representatives’ personal existence or non-existence of spiritual and/ or religious beliefs and persona, attitudes and values are cast aside to appease any detractors to ensure longevity of their political encumbrance.

 

Many Religions, Churches, Faiths and Beliefs

 

If we explore the question of God’s existence from the perspective of a non-believer’s advocate, then we have no choice other than to reflect on the following.  That those who believe, genuinely proclaim their undying faith and belief in a ‘Saviour’ and a ‘God,’ but when asked for evidence of God’s existence they rattle off Scripture verses that support their particular belief system as their considered but spontaneous response to such questions, as if well trained parrots or computer programs.  We have listened to their personal stories of faith, how they may frequent church once a week, how their prayers were answered, how they were ‘slain’ in the spirit, and how they pay a tithe every week towards the promotion of ‘God’s’ work.  We do understand the spiritual need for humans to understand themselves in relation to the world and creation.  This is a personal need, which may be, alleviated, from the sense of belonging to a particular religious organization.  We understand such a personal need driving personal fervor, and we admire such dedication.  But we have sometimes experienced, and thus perceive, such personal religious activities as involuntary compliances to sometimes misguided authoritative directives that are perhaps genuine, but which can be based on innocent ignorance, or tainted with covert agendas.  Not least, some spiritual activities may be influenced by the need and desire for the commercial and financial development of a ‘corner assembly’ at the expense of the followers’ expected and sincere guidance for spiritual, intellectual and emotional stimulation from the education through informed knowledge encompassed with the embodiment of a sense of unconditional relational charity and compassion. 

No one has ever proposed to ever having seen ‘God’.  And often there has never been offered any tangible proof, evidence or experience of such an existence.  These statements may be over-generalizations reminiscing sentiments of cynicism, but these can be the sensitised thoughts of people brought about by personal feelings derived from their experiences of the past.  This is how we sometimes think and feel about what we have experienced in our search for answers from those who believe and preach to us ‘with faith’, in their ‘God’.  Others who are searching for answers have articulated similar thoughts and share similar feelings because of their ‘spiritual’ experiences. 

         However, we believe thus far that we are reasonably realistic and objective in our observations, especially where the human temporal interacts with transcendence as these observations are based on personal experience and subsequent intra-personal and retrospective reflections.  We have also seen the destruction, the damage, the pain, the carnage and the suffering caused by those who claim ‘God’ and ‘Allah’ etcetera, as their King, who claim Jesus as their Saviour, and who claim Mohammed as their Prophet.

         We have seen the wars, the fights, the greed, the killings, the judgments, the self-righteousness, the abuse, and the hypocrisy perpetrated by those who proclaim a belief, faith and love for ‘their’ ‘God’.  How can we then contradict with such incongruence our rational sensibilities, by believing in the existence of a ‘God’, the existence of a loving ‘God’, when the living proof radiating from many of our believing and preaching fellow humans manifests as contaminating fear, arrogance, violence and hypocrisy.  Why then, should we believe in a ‘God’ that we cannot prove to be real, that we cannot personally see, hear, or physically touch and whose worshipers, through the centuries, have been shown to have contradicting, distorted and corrupt spiritual agendas and motives?  Or the destruction of other human beings has been explained away and excused as necessary for the preservation of the ‘right and true’ Religion, the ‘right and true’ Faith, and the ‘right and true’ ‘God’.  We do not believe in a ‘God’ because we cannot see ‘Him’ or experience any proof of ‘Him’ or the goodness emanating from many of those who believe in ‘Him’. So we ask them, "Where's the proof"?  “Where’s the Evidence”?

         We have been told by ‘zealots’ and fanatics, stories of prophets and ‘holy’ teachers, who purport to hold the answers to our inner most private questions about the meaning and reason for our birth and life here on Earth.  We have read in magazines and newspaper articles.  We have studied literature in the Bible.  We have viewed on television documentaries and the news, we have listened to Mullahs in Mosques, and Rabbis in Synagogues, and Buddhist monks in Temples, and we have heard from preachers in the pulpits and in churches about the many prophets and wise men who founded the many different Religions of the world.  We have heard them postulate their Religion as the one, right, only, and true Religion, Faith and Church that represents the real and true laws and ways of the real and true ‘God’.

         We have also heard from priests and ministers about the historical, crucified, and risen Christ, the Son of God who was born 2,000 years ago.  But we have heard these proclamations from church and religious leaders, the people who hold spiritual authority over the spiritually vulnerable, the people who themselves have been seen in the past to be sometimes blasphemous, abusive and hypocritical.  We do not have a problem with humans being imperfect because imperfection is a part of the human condition.  But what does upset us is the fact that these religious teachers and leaders, with the power of spiritual authority, may tell their ‘flock’ to do one thing while they themselves do another with an air of spiritual superiority.  They preach to their congregation that this is God’s word and subtly signal the message, “woe betide those who stray from God’s word.” 

         Church and religious leaders have told us to have faith, to have faith in God, as God’s words are written in the Bible, or in the Qu’ran, etcetera, for all to see and read.  And God’s words are true.  God’s word is unchanging, and God’s word is timeless and infallible.  But we are intelligent beings and the term ‘faith in God’s word’ in this context represents a blind and hysterical acceptance of something/anything transcendent without being tempered by the measures of rational knowledge, innate spiritual intuition and/or intellectual understanding.   We are a conscious, unique, independent and sovereign people with the ability to learn and reason, think and choose, and this human request to have the utmost faith in “God’s written words”, written and espoused by those who are human and thus imperfect, can be offensive to our sensibilities.   We have seen over the centuries the obsession with human destruction and damage perpetrated by those humans against other humans, and who, either have an unquestioning and emphatic ‘faith’, or who have no faith.  So we want to know the reality of the truth about God’s existence and if God exists, we want to ask, “Who is ‘God’ and what are God’s words for humankind”? 

         People who adhere to different denominations based on the religious faith of Christianity, including Baptists, Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Mormons, Presbyterians, Methodists, Uniting, Episcopalians and Jehovah Witnesses, etcetera, have informed us that God’s word is in the Bible.  They have told us that God’s word is ‘The Bible’, both in the Old and New Testaments.  But these words or scripture of ‘God’ in the bible are often invariably all interpreted differently by them.  People who adhere to the religious faith of Islam, including the Shi’ite and Sunni factions have informed us, that God’s words, are written in the Qu’ran.  People who adhere to the religious faith of Judaism have informed us that God’s word is written in the ‘laws’ of the Hebrew Bible, or the Torah (Pentateuch) being the first five books of the Old Testament.  People of the Buddhist faith inform us that karma is the way and Nirvana is the destination. 

         People of the Hindu faith tell us to follow the cast system and lay our allegiance to the spirits and chief gods of Brahma, Vishnu (Krishna is said to be the incarnation of the god Vishnu), and Siva (Creator, Preserver and Destroyer), and to follow the ancient writings of the Vedas.  Hinduism has no founder originating from the rituals, beliefs, and cultures of the tribal inhabitants of India.  Buddhism has a founder, Guatama Buddha, who lived about 500 BC. 

         There is enough historical and contemporary evidence to believe in the suggestion that all the different Holy Books of Scripture, most likely without a question of doubt, do not contain the absolute words of the divine Creator/God.  Although these scriptures have been eloquently written, they have in reality, been penned by humans.  But many people believe that the words in these ‘holy’ books are the actual and absolute words of God.  But although penned by humans, it is not absolutely inconceivable that some of these words have not been in some way inspired by the transcendent spirit of the Creator. 

We Want to Believe

 

         As we will investigate and discuss in the next chapter, the Bible although expressing literary elegance, has literature often permeated with contradictions, paradoxes, irony, variations and sentiments expressed through stories that are intermingled with the messages of love and forgiveness and the messages of violence and aggression.  In reality, the Bible is not a literary work described as an expression of consistency and uniformity.  The words and literature of the Bible, have been constructed from the real and imaginative stories experienced by many different peoples influenced by their beliefs and faiths from many different cultures over time.  So these authoritative instructions from church leaders to follow God’s word is not good enough for us, it is not good enough for our intellect and our sensibilities.  We need more information, much more.

         These postulated beliefs about the meaning of God’s words are too abstract, too invisible, too open to hearsay, too open to abuse and too open to grandstanding.   This is because the policies, laws and regulations of the institutions of the world, including all religious institutions, are designed, decided, and implemented by humans, who are in essence, inherently imperfect and fallible.  

         But of course, we want to believe in a Supreme Being, in an afterlife, we want to believe in immortality.  Who would not want to believe in their own eternally infinite immortality?  But we want to believe in the truth and not man made writings and interpretations of the truth.  We want to know the truth, we want to know and understand the essence and reason behind any belief in a Supreme Being who supposedly personifies the Truth, Transcendence and Immortality.  We want to see this God!  We want to meet this God!  We want to touch this God!  We may have never personally experienced God’s presence, God’s grace and God’s touch in our lives and until we do experience this we would be naive and foolish to invest and immerse all our vulnerability, all our emotions, all our spirituality, all our consciousness into such an entity.  We want to know God personally.  We want proof and evidence of the Creator’s existence!  We want evidence based information about the Creator, because if the Creator exists then Self and Self’s family, relatives and friends have a potential chance of immortality and thus the potential chance to exist eternally forever. 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

EVIDENCE OF GOD

FROM HUMAN REASON, SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY

 

Natural and Super Natural Knowledge

The World is Not as it Appears

Proof of a Creator’s Existence through Reason and Science

Philosophers and Theologians

Aristotle, Plato and Socrates

Providence

Thomas Aquinas’s Five Rational Proofs for God’s Existence

First Proof – Motion

Second Proof- Cause and Effect

Third Proof – Contingent and Necessary Beings

Fourth Proof – A Finite Subordinate Series

Fifth Proof - Perfection

Proof from Order, Descartes, Locke

Atom-Energy Different from Spirit-Energy

The Soul and Spirit of Self

 

Natural and Super-Natural Knowledge

        

         It’s now appropriate we begin the next chapter by making a distinction between the disciplines of scientific astronomy that describe and give access to the ‘miracles’ of the universe rather than the popular and fashionable cult of the unscientific disciplines of astrology and parapsychology.  We now explore the evidence of the existence of a ‘Creator’ from rational and logical philosophical thought

         The following chapters will explore the misinterpretation of Scripture, the magnitude and intricacies of the universe and creation and the blind beliefs based wholly on faith and myth, but we will first explore what theist philosophers have said, and how they have used intellectual rationale to provide evidence, from creation, that some form of Supernatural Being must most likely exist.

         In this chapter, we will explore the evidence that helps to prove the possibility of God’s existence through the miracles of creation and natural revelation, which relates to, and is provided by humankind’s power and ability to reason by way of their intellectual mind.  The conscious intellect provides humans with the ability to contemplate and reflect upon information received and process this information in a rational and logical manner, potentially manifest in productive insight and understanding.                                                               

         We are all aware of the concept that an infant does not possess the ‘brain-power’ and the maturity of emotion and cognition from experience to discern and put language to much of anything that goes on in their lives, being dependent on the parent(s) teaching and direction to behave and think in adaptive ways.  But as we mature into adolescence and onto adulthood there are two particular ways or processes in which humans can discover and acquire the necessary information regarding existential questions such as the questions this book wishes to explore answers to. To revise, the word ‘existential’ herein means, one’s sense of psychological and spiritual well-being as an outcome of self-reflection and introspection with regard to one’s sense of identity.  Which encompasses consciousness, thoughts, feelings and emotions in relation to Self’s personality, values, beliefs and attitudes including Self’s sense of personal value and esteem as a product of Self’s sense of intrinsic existence and inherent purpose in relation to Self’s existence in this world and potentially beyond. 

         Notwithstanding the presupposition imposed by many, including ministers, pastors, priests, and imams, etcetera, different faiths and beliefs that assume the understanding of such existential mysteries coming as a of prayer and the conscious fostering of the development of a personal faith, it is suggested that the two imperative vehicles required regarding the acquisition of existential knowledge, includes, firstly, natural revelation.  That is, the existential information revealed through the miracles of the Universe and Creation processed by human intellect and reason.  And secondly, the existential information revealed through super natural revelation, that is, the information revealed through careful interpretation of Scripture and the potential reality of the story in Scripture about the examples and teachings of the person Jesus, who said He was the incarnation of ‘God’.

           

            As it has been said through the centuries by politicians, poets and philosophers, “knowledge is power”.  In existential terms, this ‘power’ is acquired from the acquisition of personal knowledge from information, which includes a sophisticated sense of personal understanding through the gift of reason.  This newly found personal understanding and awareness from information gathered can invoke a personal and intimate sense of existential belief experienced as emphatic and irrefutable, and which, could overshadow the concept of an arbitrary belief conceived from that construct, faith. This inner belief and knowledge that can supersede belief from the construct called faith becomes a real personal experience from which emanates an intimate awareness of the power of Self’s Spirit and Soul.  This experience of a personal and intimate spiritual knowledge can ultimately protect and immune one against arbitrary and intended spiritual abuse caused by the belief of the vulnerable relating to myths, fallacies and untruths told by the ‘powerful’.  This inner spiritual awareness from knowledge can also strengthen individuals from the pain of the battle wounds of life, to rise above this pain, allowing the gift of life to be lived more fully.

         We will now discuss information revealed and expressed to us through the minds of wise philosophers. Through the gift of human reason and intellect manifest in the reasoning of these philosophers, we may discover a new perspective for thinking about natural evidence that can rationalise the possibility of a Creator as the source of creation and builder of the universe.       

         In later chapters, we will discuss in detail information that may help to give answers to existential questions based on Super Natural revelation sourced primarily through the contemporary interpretation of ancient Scripture.  But for now, we will concentrate on the answers that the greatest philosophers of ancient time, and some would say all time, have revealed to us. Whilst keeping in mind however, that we will better succeed in the task of answering these existential questions when we are able to, through intellect and innate intuitive and discerning wisdom, combine, assimilate and integrate all of the information revealed in all its different disciplines and forms and from all its diverse sources.

 

The World is Not as it Appears

 

         The world is not made of what it appears to be made of as it is made of atoms, which are in essence energies without mass.  Atoms are defined as electrical and electromagnetic charges, and are measured as electrical volts (eV).  Atoms have no weight but feel heavy because of the electromagnetic energy between the larger planet earth attracting smaller parcels of electromagnetic energy.

         This tension is what we call gravity, which constructs our perception and experience of weight.  Atoms are in essence invisible, but we see because our eye, brain and interpretation are based on the reflection of light wave–lengths into our central nervous system via our eyes.  If we think about how hydrogen and oxygen make up ice, water and steam-gases, we can understand how everything in the universe possesses different structures and functions even when made with the same atoms, but with different atom configurations. 

         As the functions of atoms changes e.g., as in the different structures and functions of ice, water, and steam, although made from the same atoms, are but structured differently, as in tightly packed atoms of ice, as opposed to the less-tightly packed atoms of steam-gases.  Atoms interact with other atoms of the same (elements), and different atoms (compounds), that make up the universe. 

         There are only 118 different atoms that together, or combined, make up all that exists in this world.  The exception is the Self, which by definition is spirit-energy of consciousness, thoughts, emotions, self-awareness, personality and will, etcetera.  References in this book to the word ‘physical’ are defined as atom-energy, referring to all that exists, including the body (anatomy) or the ‘physical’ environment, food and shelter, and all that we observe around us, other than Self and others, which are spirit-energies and include consciousness, thoughts, emotions, self-awareness, personality and will etcetera . 

 

Proof of a Creator’s Existence through Reason and Science

 

In terms of science, science has brought us along way in understanding the world as we observe and know it today.  But science still can't deconstruct, define or describe the unique essence of energy making up 96 per cent of the universe that scientists term as dark energy and black matter.  The other 4 per cent of the world and universe is that part of the universe and world we observe and see and consists of atoms, and wave-lengths of energies categorised by scientists as being within what has been called the electromagnetic spectrum. 

So 4 per cent of the world and universe exits of atoms and electromagnetic wave-lengths emanating into the universe as a result of the complex interactions of atom-energies.  Both atoms and electromagnetic wave-lengths, essentially and in essence, have been scientifically deconstructed to be shown as consisting of different forms of interacting energies.  This energy is different determined by their unique strengths, motions, positive, negative or neutral charges, their ability to interact with other forms of atoms, their structure and functions and their visibility and weight.  Furthermore, it must be emphasised that when scientists talk about atoms being in essence, energy, they are defining and measuring energy in electrical voltage (eV).  Atoms and their energies are electrical charges.    

I believe we have rational thought and we have science to help us understand the world.  Rational thought suggests something cannot come, or be made, or exist from nothing.  Science also suggests something cannot come from nothing.  Something cannot come, or be made, or exist from nothing, no?

Science suggests what we observe in the world, including all that makes up the world such as the environment, buildings and flora and fauna etcetera, is made of atoms, and atoms are made of complex interacting forms of electrical energy.  Science suggests that before the existence of what we term the Big Bang, there was nothing.  But there needed to exist as a requirement of such energy that constitutes the Big Bang not only energy but energy with intelligence that initiated the design, plan and order for energy to pre-determinedly evolve into the world as we understand and experience it today. 

Indeed before the Big Bang there was nothing except and other than cannot be scientifically defined or reconstructed, or even for some, rationally thought.  But there had to exist a mysterious, an other form of unique energy that always was without the need for something to create it and which possesses intelligence. 

Intelligence is required of this unique energy for the existence of the organised universe and world as we know and experience it today.  That without intelligence the universe and world could not mathematically statistically exist.  Indeed, this is the measure of intelligence required over and above that of random chance, to design and plan, as could the capability of a tornado restructuring the material and contents of a junkyard into a high-rise building, or Jumbo jet, not to mention the complex existence of flora and fauna.  

If we rationally follow this line of thought through to its inevitable end then reason and science suggest some other form of energy with intelligence created these first forms of energy that make up the atoms that make up the universe no?  What would you call this unique other form of energy that must have intelligence and must have always existed?

            For further information about subatomic and atom energies, and how the spirit and soul exist in symbiosis, can be read in, GOD AND DECODING INTELLIGENT DESIGN: EVOLUTION, SPIRIT, SOUL AND SELF (Vol. 2).

 

Philosophers and Theologians

 

         The great philosophers Aristotle, Plato and Socrates and the famous theologians Augustine and Anselm employed their acutely developed faculties of reason and logic to try to understand cognitively and intellectually the possibility of the existence of a Creator and Supreme Being from the evidence of natural revelation.  Indeed, a rationale from the evidence of creation created by the mystical relational love of a ‘God’ that human and their hearts, minds and soul so desired to believe, predicated on human innate spirituality.

 

Aristotle, Plato and Socrates

 

            The Greek philosopher Aristotle (300 BC) held God to be the supreme intelligence, supreme mind and subsistent thought who is eternally engaged in the contemplation of His own reality. Aristotle said that the proper object of God’s being is that of truth.  And because God is supreme intelligence, the proper object of His supreme intelligence can only be truth.  Therefore, God is the proper object of his own intellect.    

         Plato (350 BC) thought of God as the supreme good.  He was able to reflect in the terms of; “I see ‘good’ about me”.  He was not speaking of moral good but just good:  Trees for example are good in terms of providing wood for burning and building.  Fruit trees are good for producing food, etcetera..

         The Greek philosopher Socrates (400 BC), reflecting on the visible universe, inferred that God exists as a providence, that is, as a provider, responsible for all those things in the world that cater for human needs.

 

Providence

        

         Now that we have had a little taste of the thoughts of philosophers and before we go further let's listen to the Acts of the Apostles (100 AD) regarding this matter of providence:

 

"Since the God who made the world and everything in it is Himself Lord of Heaven and earth, He does not make His home in shrines made by human hands.  Nor is He dependent on anything that human hands can do for Him. Since He can never be in need of anything, on the contrary, it is He who gives everything, including life and breath to everyone". (Acts of the Apostles 17:24)

        

         Therefore, ‘God’ may be identified and described as a provider.  God may have made everything for human kind! It has been said that God is responsible for all those things in the world that cater for human needs, for example; Oxygen for our lungs - the Earth has four layers of decreasing amounts of air to the height of 500 miles, a digestive tract for our food, a blood circulation system to remove and replenish wastes.  It is conceivable the Universe exists as a means to an end.  The Universe’s creation and existence a means to an end, being that for living life, and for human’s to live.  For instance, had the planet Earth been 1.5 per cent (i.e. approx 130,000 miles or half the distance from the Earth to the Moon) closer to the Sun its atmosphere would have a greenhouse effect with a surface temperature of 400C night and day where absolutely nothing could grow or survive this extreme heat.  On the other hand, had Earth been 1.5 per cent further away from the Sun it would be frozen in a permanent ice age like Mars where again nothing could grow or survive this extreme cold.  A graphic example to illustrate this principle is that of the North and South poles which are essentially uninhabitable because of their intense cold from inadequate exposure to the Sun’s rays. Further, in the distance of a few thousand kilometers, we can experience heat of 45 degrees Celsius in the Australian desert, it being close to the equator the closest point on Earth to the Sun, and minus 30 degrees Celsius in the South Pole, the Earth’s longest distance from the Sun. 

            Moreover, if the original explosion of the universe had not occurred with exactly the right balance of expansive force and gravitation, but instead had been weaker, the expanding universe would have fallen back on itself almost immediately, before the miracle of predetermined evolution could weave its web of magic.  Had this initial expansion force been a fraction stronger, cosmic atom-energy would have blown apart so rapidly that galaxies could not have formed.  So, there had to be Some Substance, or Something, or Someone, or Some-Super Natural Being which could provide such substance to exist with such preciseness to enable creation to form, develop and evolve as it has.  And that Substance, Something, Someone, Super Natural Being, we may decide to call the Creator, or ‘God’, or ‘that which nothing greater can be thought’, for what else, for who else could create something from nothing, or create something from its Self.

Astrophysicists have now ascertained, by calculating the velocity of radio waves and colour of the light spectrum i.e., red = moving away and blue = moving towards (called the Doppler affect) transmitted from the furthest galaxies and received by satellite dishes that the ‘big bang’ occurred about 13.7 billion years ago.  Further, they are also able to determine that the galaxies and universe continue to expand at an accelerating rate. By calculating the measurement of gravity required for this accelerating expansion there does not seem to exist enough atom-energy, such as the atoms of gases, dust, planets and stars, etcetera. Only 4% of the universe is made from atom-energy that we observe. From the measurements of gravitational forces there must also exist energy, which scientists cannot detect and has been called ‘dark matter’ spread between atom-energy like stars and ‘dark energy’, which consists of 23% of the universe.  The other 73% of the universe that exists between that which we observe as atom-energy and drives the accelerating expansion of the universe, is explained by the existence of what has been called ‘dark energy’. This is the existence of massive amounts of energy created at the time of the ‘big bang’ and which might better be described as the Creator’s spirit-energy of the ‘Word’.

 

Thomas Aquinas’s Five Rational Proofs for God’s Existence

        

         Thomas Aquinas (13th century AD) described in his own words proof of the existence of God’s existence in terms of; Motion; Cause and Effect; ‘Contingent’ and ‘Necessary’ Beings; Finite Subordinate Series and Perfection.  Which alone, have the potential to prove the existence of God from human reason.  Let us now have a look in more detail at these proofs.

 

First Proof - Motion

 

         We are certain, because it is evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion.  It is equally clear to us that whatever is in motion was moved by something else.  If a thing is at rest, it will never move until something else moves it.  When a thing is at rest, it is only potentially in motion.  Motion occurs when something potentially in motion is moved and is then actually in motion; motion is the transformation of potentiality into actuality.  Imagine a series of dominoes standing next to each other.  When they are set up in a row, it can be said they are all potentially in motion, though actually at rest.  Consider a particular domino.  Its potentiality is that it will not move until it is knocked over by the one next to it.  It will move only if it is moved by something actually moving. 

         From this fact, Aquinas drew the general conclusion that nothing can be transformed from a state of potentiality by something that is also in a mere state of potentiality.  A domino can not be knocked over by another domino that is standing still.  Potentiality means the absence of something and is therefore nothing; for this reason, potential motion in the neighbouring domino cannot move the next one because it is nothing, and you cannot derive motion from non-motion. 

         As Aquinas says, "nothing can be transformed from potentiality to actuality, except by something in the state of actuality."  What is actually at rest cannot be simultaneously in motion.  This means that the particular domino cannot be simultaneously the thing that is moved and also the mover. Something potentially in motion cannot move itself.  Whatever is moved must be moved by another.  Each domino could become a mover, only after it had been moved by the one prior to it.                                                                                          

         Here we come to Aquinas' decisive point: if we are to account for motion, we cannot do so by going back in an infinite regress.  If we must say about each mover in this series, that it in turn was moved by a prior mover, we would never discover the source of motion.  Even if such a series went back infinitely, each one would still be only potential, and from that, no actual motion could ever emerge.  The fact is, however, that there is motion.  There must be a Mover, which is able to move things but which does not itself have to be moved, and this, says Aquinas, "everyone understands to be God".

 

Second Proof – Cause and Effect

 

         We experience various kinds of effects, and in every case we assign a cause to each effect.  The cause of the statue is the work of the sculptor.  If we took away the activity of the sculptor, we should not have the effect, the statue.  But there is an order of causes; the parents of the sculptor are his cause.  Workers in the quarry are the cause of this particular piece of marble’s availability to the sculptor.  There is, in short, an intricate order of causes traceable in a series.  Such a series of causes is demanded because no event can be its own cause; the sculptor does not cause himself, and the statue does not cause itself.  A cause is prior to an effect.  Nothing, then, can be prior to itself; hence, events demand a prior cause.  Each prior cause must itself have its own cause, as parents must have their own parents.  But it is impossible to go backward to infinity, because all the causes in the series depend upon a first cause that has made all the other causes to be actual causes.  There must then be a first cause "to which everyone gives the name of God".

 

Third Proof - Contingent and Necessary Beings

 

         The material universe he says is made up of contingent beings.  All the trees, birds, water in the sea, clouds scudding across the sky and humans, are all contingent beings.  That means they could exist, or could not exist.  The trees out there need not have grown until someone planted them.  They did not appear of their own volition.  If our Mother and Father had not met, we would not be.  Once upon a time, we were not. 

         We did not will Self to be.  The whole material universe is contingent.  They exist now but their non-existence is a possibility.  Say you have a litter of newly born kittens.  There was once upon a time when they were not, then they were; and one day they will not be and they will not exist.  If all that exists is contingent, then in fact nothing can now exist because there is a principle that states; anything that can not be, must necessarily once not have been and must necessarily cease to be, unless there is something out there that keeps them going.  A 'contingent being' in existence is contingent upon certain things, happenings, for its existence, so that being need not have been there.

              But if there was a time when nothing existed then nothing could start to be and even now, there would be nothing in existence, "because that which does not exist begins to exist only through something already existing".  But since our experience clearly shows that things do exist, this must mean that not all beings are contingent.  So we have to get out of the visible system, to come to a being, which is necessary as opposed to contingent, a necessary being who supports the contingent beings, and maintains them in existence.  If every single unit, every speck of sand and dust is contingent, and they didn't just appear of their own volition, by their own native power, then nowhere in this visible universe is there an adequate explanation of this activity, which we call existing.  So we have to come ultimately to a necessary being that requires no other being to account for His existence.  A power that possesses existence of its very own Self, a supreme being we may call God! 

         The Philosopher, Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), held a similar argument to Augustine, when he said, "Everything that exists, exists either through something or through nothing.  Obviously, it cannot come out of nothing.  You can't get something from nothing.  To say that it is caused by something else could mean that things cause each other, which is also absurd.  There must therefore be one thing that alone is from itself and that causes all other things to be, and this is God."

 

Fourth Proof – A Finite "Subordinate Series"

 

         Reason tells us that it must be impossible to have an infinite 'subordinate series' of units.  For example, a parrot on a hat, the hat on someone's head, the head on a person, the person on a deck, the deck on a boat which is on the sea, which is on the planet Earth, which is in the solar system, which is in the Milky Way, which is moving in space among other galaxies etcetera.  Each unit is immediately dependent on the unit before it.  Take the hat away and the parrot falls.  The parrot is there because of the hat.  Take the boat away and the man sinks, take the galaxy away and the solar system is disordered.  But as long as all is maintained, we have a series called subordinate. 

         A unit depends on the thing before it, before it, and before it, etcetera.  Knock out any one of these and everything after it fails, falls, shifts or changes.  It is impossible to have an infinite 'subordinate series' because the whole series is dependent on the unit before it.  Take the whole series; imagine if you can, that it is infinitive.  This whole series is made up of units, which are dependent upon the unit before it, which means that the whole series is dependent.  Because the whole series is dependent, there has to be some being somewhere who itself is independent and maintains the whole series.  That being we call God.

 

Fifth Proof - Perfection

 

            Thomas Aquinas saw that the visible universe was composed of beings that are limited in perfection.  There are more and less beautiful roses; more and less good fast drivers; more and less, good pole-vaulters, etcetera.  These are certain degrees, more and less of perfection.  If there is limited perfection anywhere, it has to be ascribed to something that has perfection in an unlimited way.  And that perfection we may call God.      

Proof from ‘Order’

 

         Let's now look at the proof of 'order' first developed by the Greek philosopher, Anaxagoras (5th Century BC).  So God created order.  All natural beings whether living or non-living have to be ordered and programmed.  They have the characteristic of an ordered means to a certain determined end.  They have to depend on an intelligent cause for their program.  If we plant a bean it will grow into a beanstalk.  A quail with chicks runs away from a hunter. It doesn't intelligently assess a hunter and say this is a hunter with good aim with a loaded gun whose bullets will kill quails.  No.  The quail reacts exactly as if it's been programmed. It does an intelligent thing.  It eludes the hunter.  It has not got intelligence, so somewhere there is an intelligence that programmed the quail.  Likewise, our lungs don't say “let's breathe,” or our ears “let's hear”.  The human eye and all that is behind it, all the way to the brain, is made up of various components, all of which are organized to this end; that the possessor see.  They are not inserted in the skull as a counter-weight for the back of the head or to make the face agreeable.  They are there to make the face and the person who owns it, see.  All these things; these innumerable parts and elements that go to make the eye and all that is associated with it, like the optic nerve etcetera, and that part of the brain that is involved in the activity; all of these diverse elements come together to one end: to permit the seer to see. This indicates that somewhere around there is an intelligence that organized all these diverse elements to this one end - to make the sense of sight possible.

          Here is another example of order: There is so much information in the DNA within one living cell, if you wrote it all out, it would fill 1,700 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica or fill 10,000 miles of computer printout.  What's more, the nucleus of every cell in a person’s body contains the same unique DNA for that individual being, that is, the same information.  Yet the cell knows somehow that it has to reproduce a cell that will become part of an eye or a toe, a gut or a muscle, etcetera.  How does it know which page to read out of all the information?  It has been ordered, and programmed by some intelligence.

          This ordering of means to an end is characteristic of all natural bodies whether living or non-living.  Those trees out there, they suck up water from the ground, they take various nutrients from the ground and turn it all into a tree.  Here we have a program so organized to produce a certain end that in another few hundred years there will be a completely different generation of trees doing exactly the same thing.  This reveals intelligence.  Intelligence isn't in the tree so it's got to be in someone who is organizing the means to the end.  The existence of order around us and in us requires an intelligent cause to account for it because it is still striving towards its goal, its end!  All of this indicates that we are not alone in the universe.  Our intelligence is not the only intelligence around nor is our intelligence of a particularly high order in comparison, that is, with the intelligence we see organized things around us.  We are the subject of organization to and for a particular end.  In our case, the supreme end is eternal life with that intelligence, that is, eternal life with the Creator.

 

The ancient prophet Isaiah in 750 BC (Isaiah 45:18) said:

"Yes, thus say Yahweh,

Creator of the heavens,

Who is God,

Who formed the earth and made it,

Who set it firm,

Created in it no chaos,

But a place to be lived in."                                                               

 

Descartes

 

         Descartes (17th Century AD) says, "Our reason tells us that something cannot be derived from nothing and also that   the more perfect cannot be a consequence of the less perfect.  Our ideas possess different degrees of reality.  It is manifest by natural light that there must be at least as much reality in the cause as in the effect.  By the name God, I understand a substance which is infinite, independent, all-knowing, all-powerful and by which I myself and everything else have been created.  How can I, a finite substance, produce the idea of an infinite substance?  Indeed how could I know that I am finite unless I could compare myself with the idea of a perfect being." For these reasons Descartes concludes that, since ideas have causes, and since the cause must have at least as much reality as the effect and since he is finite and imperfect, it must be that the cause of his idea of a perfect and infinite being comes from outside himself from a perfect being who exists, and that is God!

 

Locke

 

         Locke (17th Century). His proof begins with an intuition of one's own existence. Since ‘nothing’ cannot produce something, and since man is aware that he had a beginning, he must have been produced by something else.  If there is not some external being, the problem simply regresses indefinitely.  Therefore, something external must exist, and this is God.  Furthermore, not only does God produce that which has a beginning, but He also produces it as the kind of being that it is.  Again, there are created beings that have intelligence and the capacity to love. 

         Hence, God must be intelligent and loving and, therefore a personal being.  So through the events of Providence, Motion, Cause and Effect, Contingent and Necessary Beings, Subordinate Series, Perfection, Order and Something from Nothing, we may have formulated from this evidence through personal reason and logic a strengthened consideration to there possibly being in existence some Super Natural Being for creation to exist itself.

 

Atom-Energy Different from Spirit-Energy

 

The Soul and Spirit of Self

 

A Caterpillar Transforms into a Butterfly – But with a Different Brain and Same Memory.  New research has identified that the caterpillar’s brain dissolves when it transforms into a butterfly, but the transformed butterfly retains the laboratory-conditioned behaviours of the caterpillar in terms of being aversive to the memory of a particular scent.

When humans create or build non-living atom-energy structures such as artefacts, artwork, or a culinary dish etcetera, we use not only the non-living structures of atom-energies in the form of building materials, paint brushes, paint, and cooking utensils, harvest food and cutlery etcetera, but also living structures of atom-energies in the form of  human hands, body/anatomy and brain etcetera.  When humans create, we also use the non-atom spirit-energies of thought, will, belief, ideas, images and design, order, plan and then the execution of these as the goals.  These processes are encapsulated within Self and expressed as a manifestation of Self’s soul and spirit. 

Self, being the creator of these creations must by definition then leave part of their Self, being the will, design and creation of the artefact etcetera, and thus Self as and in part of the creation, but with an independent and sovereign standing.  Thus the Self’s creation is a part of the likeness and image of Self’, as a function of Self’s soul and spirit.  The soul and spirit now residing within the creation is a part of Self and retained as soul and spirit-energy, being the blue-prints and ‘finger-prints’ of the designer, planner and doer of the artefact and creation. 

This multi-dimensional process of creation is perhaps a simple analogy of that described as ‘being made in the likeness and image of the Creator’.  The artist’s creations of structures of atom-energy (paintings, houses, etcetera) did not come into being by themselves.  But required essentially as a major contribution for production, both the structural atom-energy of body, hands and brain etcetera, but also the spirit-energy of the characteristics of Self in thought, will, design, plan and execution, which must be the spirit and soul energy of Self. 

Now if someone else recreates what we have created, then that person too, will use both the atom-energy of their body and the spirit-energy of themselves.  But in recreating what has already been created there will need to used similar structures of atom-energy as in body parts, and use of spirit-energy as in the unique thought, design, order, plan and will to execute that which has been previously created and brought forth from consciousness. 

Self’s creations of artefacts from soul and spirit energy, and thus in a sense being part of Self, can perhaps be a reverse analogy of the existence of atom-energy structures created from the existence of subatomic particles brought forth by a Creator’s thought, design and will, manifesting in the Big Bang, including the existence of other forms of energies. 

These energies include the energies of atom-energy, electromagnetic energy, dark-energy, dark-matter and spirit-energy, all designed and planned with thought, design and will of a Creator and thus have within them a part of their Creator as does Self’s creation has a part of Self, but with an independent and sovereign standing. 

As the chemical formations and interactions that initiated the beginnings of life through complex interactions of particular atom-energy structures developed over time, so the evolved atom-energies of life increased from one cell to trillions of cells and with them, so the spirit and soul as a manifestation of the signature of the designer.     

The human brain has developed larger and more complex in humans than in any other species.  This development of the human brain gives humans the ability to think, plan and do all the intellectual, emotional and behavioural things humans can do. 

Thinking and emotions are part of the spirit-energy of consciousness being part-and-parcel of Self.  Spirit-energy cannot be objectively measured, and captured as atom-energy can.  We may consider the essence and existence of Self to be a divinely inspired outcome from predetermined design and order of the Spirit/Word. 

So we may be able to say, that through the energy of ‘The Word’, was brought forth and embedded the Soul and Spirit in the different energies within the universe including the soul and spirit of life and Self.

Humans’ Spirit and Soul may be inherited and passed on from species to species, from generation to generation, through the soul and spirit-energies dwelling particularly within all living existence, as the defining divine signature of the ‘word’ of creation. 

The energies of Soul and Spirit may also exist within, yet on a unique dimension or plane, or exist parallel to, or in symbiosis to the atom-energy structure of DNA.  Atom-energy makes up the structure and function of the brain, which is the vehicle for the interactions and existence of the spirit-energies of Self.       

 

 

CHAPTER 3

 

        HUMAN PAIN AND SUFFERING FROM INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL CONFUSION

        

Brief History of Scripture’s Language

Misinterpretation of Scripture in the Bible

Spiritual Abuse

Human Destruction from Base Instincts, Faiths, Beliefs, Cultures, Politics and Religions

 

Brief History of Scripture’s Language

 

            Now that we have read from some of the greatest philosophers and theologians of all time we will now look at the importance of language and the spoken word and how it affects our understanding of the world we live in and accordingly our beliefs.

Language is a human verbal tool developed and evolved over many centuries for the use of human communication. For over three millennia, Hebrew has been both the literary religious and secular language of the Jewish people.  Hebrew is a Semitic tongue, and was spoken during the period of the migration of the Patriarchs into Palestine remaining the language of the Jews throughout most of the Old Testament period.  In the period post Old Testament the Hebrew language gradually gave way to Aramaic as the spoken language for day-to-day communication, but Hebrew continued throughout the centuries to serve as the language of ritual and prayer. 

            Most of the Old Testament texts were originally, written in Hebrew, and were derived from oral traditions as far back as 1000 BC.  But the younger books of Ezra and Daniel were written in 165 BC in Aramaic.  The language of the people of Palestine shifted from Hebrew to Aramaic sometime around 500 B.C. Therefore, Christ probably spoke in Aramaic as did his disciples and contemporaries. 

            Over the centuries, the perceived messages of Christ spread throughout Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia in this Semitic Aramaic tongue.   However, between the 4th century BC and 4th century AD, Hellenistic Greek, also known as Koine Greek, was the most widely spread language of the times due to the empire of Alexander the Great.  It eventually absorbed all local dialects and became the standard language of the times. The New Testament (the 4 Gospels, the Letters of St. Paul and St. Peter, and the Apocalypse of St. John) then was collated and written in this Koine Greek, but was later translated into Latin around 380 AD.

 

Misinterpretation of Scripture in the Bible

 

         As we continue the search for life’s meaning, and evidence of a Creator’s existence, we may understand that whether we like it or not, rightly and wrongly, warts and all, the values, beliefs, perceptions, perspectives, laws and policies, to some extent, adopted by Western Civilisation have been framed, shaped and driven by Christian philosophy.   A Christian philosophy being the thoughts, ideas and beliefs evolved over the last 2000 years and based primarily on the New Testament of the Bible.  Christian influence in the world started with the measure of universal Time reinvented, with the splitting of Time into two, becoming “Before Christ” BC and “After Christ” AD.  Furthermore, Western Civilisation has over the last 2000 years, been on a roller coaster of both constructive development and destruction.  It is therefore important that we deconstruct and reinvestigate the misinterpretation of scripture in relation to its construction and interpretation.  The Bible being the primary premise of Christian thought, beliefs and philosophy.  We discover that the many different meanings given to Biblical scripture can be, attributed to the many biblical verses, which are differently interpreted by both religious institutions and individuals.  So a more conservative and ‘safer’ way to read any Holy Scripture is to read it with an informed spirit and rational and open mind and heart.

         We will discuss the meaning and interpretation of controversial verses in the Bible, and learn what biblical scholars and academics say about how we can, as individuals and organisations, alternatively read and interpret such complex ambiguous writings in ‘Sacred Scripture’.  Information on biblical construction and interpretation is important because the Bible is said to be the most wonderful and genius of all literatures.  The most widely read book in the world, handed down from ancient history through the millenniums potentially wielding an aura of psycho-spiritual information to the reader.  Without a doubt, if read in context, the New and Old Testaments of the Bible furnish one with the acquisition of a rich source of historical, cultural and spiritual information.

            Those Biblical scholars who have studied the construction of Sacred Scripture say that its contents need to be interpreted carefully.  Even though the Bible is said to be inspired by God, that is, by spiritual inspiration and quality breathed into humans to give a proper understanding of God’s intent and purpose (Job 32:8), it’s obvious to all that the Bible did not fall to Earth directly from heaven from ‘God’.  But, rather, is made up of human words and writings representing the perceived ‘words’ and ‘meanings’ of ‘God’ by humans who believe they know what truths come from ‘God’.  Although some writings are surely, inspired by the spirit of ‘God’, we begin to realize that we must not confuse the two different origins of the two different ‘words’ in the Bible.  That is, the ‘words’ originating from the personal agendas and perceptions of humans mixed with the ‘words’ originating from the inspiration of ‘God’.  The Bible may indeed be considered to originate from the confusing combination and mix of the above two origins.  Nor must we be tempted to just arbitrarily separate out these words, but instead seek and identify those words and verses that are definitely gross contradictions, in turn discovering the central theme written within scripture and ultimately the purpose and meaning of the Creator’s message.  Perhaps then can we define the divine message from the Creator’s ‘inspired’ words, appreciating the mystical message and its meaning when interpreted within the appropriate literary genre and within its particular cultural and religious contexts. 

God’s actual words spoken through Christ, are perhaps hidden and camouflaged through inspired human words that attempt to describe the true story of the Creator’s mystical relational love.  If Jesus Christ was the Son of the Creator, then the Creator has spoken words of great wisdom on this planet.  Although Christ did not write any words His time on earth was communicated through speech to others before being written and immortalised by His followers.  If Christ is ‘God’ then the Creator has lived and spoken great wisdom on planet Earth.  Christ’s words being initially transmitted and communicated orally to others, because His disciples and followers did not follow Him around with a pen and note pad jotting down His every move and articulation. 

Instead Christ’s articulated wisdom was recorded, sometimes years and decades after His resurrection and ascension, and therefore unlikely to have been written verbatim.  However, many recordings written about Christ’s thoughts and actions can be, considered to convey reasonably accurate messages and teachings intended for humankind if they are interpreted with care. There have been many erroneous and potentially damaging attempts at interpreting ‘sacred scripture’ when taken out of context visa verse for verse rather than thought as a general theme and message.

            During Christ’s time on earth He wrote nothing down with pen on paper or chisel on rock.  There is good reason why Christ did not immortalise His miracles, examples and teachings by writing down his thoughts and instructions on some permanent material and manner. 

This intentional omission was for good reason, and that was His determined intention and strategy to emphasise the fact humans are imperfect but sovereign and independent beings that we are.  Indeed to emphasise that we are beings imperfect, who make mistakes and because of such human characteristics that which they hear, interpret and write down must be assessed carefully, but all the same, is open to flaws and fallibility.  For this reason alone that which has been written about the Christ requires to be attended to with the main focus on the grand general theme and message of the written discourse of His Story.         

Furthermore and in addition to the above explanations, Christ respected the sovereignty, independence, individuality and free choice as human gifts.  In essence giving them the freedom to interpret His life on earth, expressing it their unique way and in turn giving credibility to the special-ness gifted to humankind notwithstanding that such interpretation of His life and word would be less than perfect verbatim, but perfectly imperfect if understood within his point of reference.          

For instance, Grant Jeffrey tries to prove the legitimacy of every word the Bible as being that written and inspired by God, in his book The Signature of God.  He attempts to do this by purporting to having identified a Bible code that reveals future historical events, by finding words such as ‘Hitler’ and the ‘September 11th World Trade Tower Attack’ in the letters of a particular sequence of words in the Bible.  The scientific academic discipline of Statistics would propose that if one has enough words (as there are in the Bible) to work with, one can generate through a computer program any number of preconceived words from a particular letter from a sequence of words.  The more words one has to work with as a resource, the greater the chance and probability of creating a particular word or phrase, and in this instance, the suggestion that God has inscribed in the Bible a covert and subliminal secret code.  This suggestion is akin to suggesting that God validates the predisposition of predestination in the course of every human action and event.  Of course, this is an absurd depiction of ‘God’, because if every human action was predestined then the gift of freewill and choice may as well be redundant. 

The idea that human belief, behaviour and speech are predestined is an aberration to the invisible constructs of human intellect, freewill and choice.  The acts of human freewill and choice are transcendent characteristics that allow humans voluntarily to choose their actions, behaviours, and speech, congruent with their experiences and personality.  Self’s personality predicated, in part, on particularly chosen beliefs, values, attitudes, ideals and experiences.  If everything people did was predestined then people could chose destructive behaviours without conscience, because they could justify these behaviours by saying, “Well if I do such and such a ‘thing’ it is okay because God already knew I was going to do it because it is predestined and so therefore out of my control”.  This mindset can only be considered to be extremely dangerous and damaging to the dignity of human personal determination, and an aberration to the Creator’s purpose for the uniqueness of Self’s personality manifest through the independence and sovereignty of Self’s dignity, autonomy and freewill, and as such, Self’s Spirit. 

            Moreover, it is conceivable that in a complex divine and mysterious way, the Creator chooses not to know.  If we had died at a very early age but God were to know what we would have done with our free will had we lived, then He would be justified in allowing us the experience of the process of purification for any transgressions that we may have committed had we lived.  If this is the case then we would perhaps have to reflect on and experience the pain we would have inflicted on and caused others despite being materially innocent.  If God chose to know everything that we humans will do with their lives then freewill, by definition, cannot be free.  Human consciousness, thought and emotion, freewill, intellect and discernment, etcetera, provide categorical evidence that the Creator has created humans as beings with the integrity for personal independence and individual sovereignty.  The creator then can not be perceived to have created humans as beings who live lives that have been preplanned, preprogrammed, pre-mapped or predestined.  If the Creator chose to know each person’s future activities, including Self’s thoughts, emotions and behaviours etcetera, then this knowledge, by definition, would amount to human beings being in essence, pre-preprogrammed and predestined freaks of creation.  The Creator perhaps chooses not to know how a person lives their everyday life and chooses not to intervene in the day-to-day activities of a person’s life, unless of course that person wishes to specifically relate to and communicate with their Creator.

              To understand the writings of the Bible more fully we need and want to know when, how, why, to whom, and by whom the different books and gospels of the Bible were written.  Through our exhaustive research, we find that there are many contradictions, variations and inconsistencies between and within the different forms and styles of literature, and in particular, messages from verses written in the Bible.  For instance, there are two entirely and possibly three, different stories about how humankind and the universe were created. 

              The first story of creation described in Genesis 1:1-31 and Genesis 2:1-4, and the second story of creation described in Genesis 2:5-23.  These creation stories were, first shared verbally, between individuals and communities, who brought them down through the ages in both written and verbal forms.  These creation stories were, expressed orally through story telling by the people of the time, to help explain their creation, life experiences, and personal existence on Earth.  The Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) in the Bible were eventually documented in writing by the ‘first authors’ so they could be remembered and communicated to others.

              The first story of creation in Genesis (Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-4) explains how humans, both male and female, were made in God’s image and likeness on the sixth day, being after the Universe, Sun, Moon (lights), and trees and animals were created in the first five days.  This version describes how these creations and creatures were, brought into existence within a timeframe of six days, and God saw that it was good.  And on the seventh day, ‘God’ rested. 

              The second version and different story of creation in Genesis (Genesis 2:5-23) explains how Adam, which translated to its original Hebrew means man, was created first and placed in paradise of The Garden of Eden.  This story tells how Adam was, created first, before the trees, water and animals, and then placed in ‘The Garden of Eden’.  It then describes how Eve, a generic name for life itself, and the personification of motherhood, was created from a rib of Adam.  This version of creation has humans created before all the other creations of water, trees and animals, etcetera, of the Earth, which is in direct contradiction and opposition to the first story of creation in Genesis. 

              Also this second story of creation does not describe a timeframe of six days for the Creator’s creation of creation.  It also describes how Eve ate from the tree of life and knowledge of good and evil, in the centre of the garden - and not from an apple from an apple tree - and how from that moment onwards humankind suffered from the consequences brought about by the choice made by Eve.  A third, but brief version of creation, also described in Genesis reads:

 

“When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female and blessed them.  And when they were created, he called them man.  When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.  After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.  Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died”.

(Genesis 5:1-5)                                                                                  

        

              The evidence provided and described in the book of Genesis by these three different versions about how ‘God’ created the universe and life suggest a single author with differing views or several authors and as such the identification of serious contradictions about the concepts and stories regarding creation and indeed the authorship and written construction of the Bible.  Instead of being read as the absolute words of ‘God’ these stories need to be read as the different ideas and interpretations of different people (writers) written at different times as representing how they think ‘God’ could have created humans, the world, and universe.  So these particular stories about creation must not and cannot be read literally as literal texts and words coming directly from ‘God’ if the integrity of the meaning of the words and verses in the Bible are to be maintained.  Although the words used by authors to describe the creation of the universe and life in the book of Genesis may have been originally written for literal interpretation they are more likely to be words to be interpreted in the metaphor genre.  A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest some form, or type of semblance.  To interpret these words as actually written in the metaphor genre makes for a more sensible and realistic read as explained by New Testament scripture itself.

 

In 2 Peter we read:

“One thing you must never forget my friends is that with the Lord, a day can mean a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.” 

(2 Peter 3:8)

 

         The fact that ancient Scripture uses a word in Genesis that translates to the English word ‘day’ to describe and explain the time frame it took ‘God’ to create the universe is interesting in its self.  The writers of Genesis have used a human word describing human experience, and as such, words used in the metaphor genre to describe the creation of creation.  The human (English) word ‘day’ describes the behaviour of the Earth in relation to the Sun where it takes 24 hours (humans’ measure for time) for the earth to revolve once on its axis, giving us a period of darkness and a period of light, which we term ‘one full day’.  The word ‘day’ then, describes a particular phenomena related to time, movement, objects and space in the universe and essentially only exists within this context.  Prior to the creation of the universe the reality of a ‘day’ including time and space did not need to exist.  Therefore, the Creator who created the reality of what we describe as a ‘day’, and who created time, movement, objects and space, did not need to require or possess as a prerequisite, time, movement, objects and space, as humans know and experience these realities today. These are realities which, in part, give us light and dark, and which we term night and day.  The word ‘day’ is a human word humans use to explain and describe a particular phenomenon of creation itself.                                                                                  

         So we cannot necessarily reduce and deconstruct the Creator’s work as depicted in Genesis, to a specific ‘time frame’ of days, or capture and interpret the reality of God’s creation upon the literal reading of a passage or verse in the Bible. There are many varied forms and styles of literature in the different books of the Bible.  For instance, in the Old Testament there are the stories of the histories of the chosen people, a story about the beginning of God’s personal relationship with those made in His likeness and image – human beings - and the story of His love and intended purpose for them to live life fully in a just and sustainable society.           

         The Bible consists of interpretations of the people’s sacrifice to God and their rules and laws to live by, their plights, their kings, their wisdom writings, their stories about suffering and their exaltations to God.  We read about these in the stories of the Old Testament and in the Psalms and we read about their prophecies for the future in Daniel, Isaiah, and the Prophets. 

         As we move our investigative attention to the New Testament, we notice a dramatic and significant change of theological and psychological pace and direction.  We read stories in the New Testament about the good news for humankind and about God’s unconditional mystical relational love for humankind.  We read about the teachings and commandments of Christ and about ‘God’s’ new laws of relational love, charity, hope and compassion.  We read about the ‘acts’ of the apostles and the letters they wrote and carried to their communities.  We also read verses that contradict and are incongruent to this new message of relational love, providing further evidence for the need for cautious interpretation as being the words articulated by human experience and thus human interpretation to a significant event. 

 

Spiritual Abuse

 

         From researched information into the interpretation of biblical Scripture, we find that we need to be careful in how we read and interpret both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  Many Biblical writings are in a style that they require to reading with an open mind, spirit and heart.  Much of Sacred Scripture needs to be interpreted from a metaphorical and allegorical literary perspective than from a literal literary perspective if we are to derive from this work its full sense of meaning and purpose.  Indeed, people’s past and current inaccurate interpretations of Scripture have caused much physical and psychological harm in and throughout the world in relation to people’s individual and collective lives.  There has been much spiritual and psychological damage caused as an outcome of the misinterpretation of Scripture and the resulting instructions, rules and laws espoused and interpreted by the vices of arrogance and ignorance of the ‘spiritually and religiously powerful’ directed towards and demanded from the spiritually vulnerable. 

         All humans are spiritually vulnerable or conscious because human spirituality is an essential component of humans being human beings.  All humans are spiritually, and psychologically vulnerable because, firstly, humans have been created, by a Creator, a Spiritual Supreme Being, and thus are created and infused with an independent and sovereign spirit by virtue of their creation.  Secondly, humans have been endowed with the possession of the invisible spirit of consciousness, self-awareness, discernment, intellect, cognition and emotion, etcetera, and thus can reflect on their own inevitable physical death, and therefore on their own mortality.  Humans can also reflect on the possibility of the death and cessation of Self and Self’s consciousness and personality.  But in contrast to this, humans also have the capability to contemplate concepts such as the eternal, infinite and immortal existence of Self ,and all that entails the invisible Self, as opposed to the physical body within which the invisible/spiritual Self resides.  Because of this intimate reflective ability of humans to contemplate Self’s potential immortality, people are spiritually vulnerable, and as such, open to possible spiritual abuse by those in positions of ‘spiritual power’.  Spiritual power defined in terms of perceived and expressed religious knowledge and authority. 

         Over many centuries, many different churches, from many different denominations, have interpreted verses of Scripture in many different ways, and mean many different things.  These many interpretations by many churches create many laws and rules designed for compliance by believers.  Directing believers in what to believe in, what to do, and what not to believe and what not do.  Particularly in terms of what is ‘spiritually’ ‘right’ and ‘good’ and what is ‘spiritually’ ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ in relation to one’s thoughts, feelings, values, attitudes and subsequent behaviours and content of speech.  This in turn potentially underpins the measure of the perceived quality of one’s ‘spiritual’ standing with ‘God’, and thus one’s perceived spiritual state in relation to one’s potential transition from the physical death of Self to Self’s transcendence to personal immortality.                                                                                    

         Because of the psychological power, that can be wielded over people because of their given and innate spiritual needs, and therefore, their spiritual vulnerability, religions and churches and their administrators need to read and interpret Scripture prudently, within the literal genre and cultural context it was written, and in light of when and why it was written.  For example, the 38 parables about Christ as described in the New Testament were stories told by Him or about Him at an appropriate and particular time and context for an immediate purpose (Collins, 1984).  But, which can have profound messages for people today because they can be applied for the benefit of all people in every age.  So it would not be prudent and accurate if these biblical stories were interpreted literally on a word for word basis as they perhaps were originally written in the metaphor genre tens of hundreds of years ago.  But these verses can be, if interpreted carefully and therefore fully understood in relation to their original context, applied as a message for today’s circumstances, purposes and important issues.  Many people recognise that various parables in the bible have been written in the metaphor genre as an intended way to explain a particular teaching.

 

For instance in Thessalonians we read:

“For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night”. (Thessalonians 5:2)

 

Some will understand that the following phrase; “The day of the Lord will come,” as a metaphor.  That time being one’s own personal physical death and subsequent spiritual ascension.  Others may understand it to mean the actual second coming of Christ to Earth, and others may understand the it to be synonymous with Christ plucking one from Earth and into Heaven, whilst still physically alive.  And the phrase, “just like a thief at night” may be reasonably understood to mean that one’s physical death will more than likely come unexpectedly;

The following verses written in the New Testament are harsh and ambiguous with an apparent emphasis for the motivation of obedience through the incitation of fear by way of the threat of eternal damnation in hell. These particular verses may have been written originally for literal interpretation.  However they may also have been written at a time and in a culture where they were intended to be interpreted within a genre that expresses messages through deeper metaphorical and allegorical (figurative and symbolic) meanings.  However, this latter possibility is perhaps being too kind, but we could suggest the jury is still out on these theoretical possibilities.  Although, the use of the principles for scripture interpretation will provide a clearer idea of the complexity involved for such interpretations, and in turn, a picture that is clearer and closer to the reality.

 

For example, we read in the Gospel of Mark:

“If your hand causes you to sin cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.”

(Mark 9:43)

 

Again, in Mark’s gospel, we read:

“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell”.

(Mark 9:47)

 

In the Old Testament of Hebrew scriptures, some writings were written to explain human experiences such as in the story of creation in Genesis and the story about the incongruence of sin and pain and suffering in relation to Job’s reality of leading a ‘good’ life.  But perhaps other scripture verses were intended to be, and still are, interpreted literally;

 

As in Exodus, we read:

“And if any mischief follow, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

(Exodus 21: 23-25)

 

Leviticus says:

“Breath for breath, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.” 

(Leviticus 24:20)

Deuteronomy states:

“And your eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth and hand for hand, foot for foot.” 

(Deuteronomy 19:2)     

 

But in stark contradiction to these messages inciting fear, pain and suffering through the infliction of physical maiming and the command for revenge and equitable retribution, we read in the gospel of Matthew Jesus’ definitive redefining of past religious rules and laws espoused throughout the writings of the Old Testament;

 

We read in the Gospel of Matthew:

“You have heard what has been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you, that you resist not evil, but who so ever shall smite thee on the right cheek turn to him the other also.” 

(Matthew 5:38)

 

We also read in Matthew:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy’ (Leviticus 19:18).  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

(Matthew 5:43-44)

 

These New Testament messages provide evidence that many ancient religious scripture instructions and commandments are based on the barbaric laws, rules and behaviours of a particular culture, of a particular people, at a particular time in history.  We can appreciate that these ancient rules and laws are clearly not humane, compassionate, or sensible practices in today’s society, or in the context of Jesus’ new law of mystical relational love.  Many of these scripture verses at the time of their writing were probably written with the intention for literal interpretation, but through Christ’s reinterpretation carry within them evidence of antiquated scripture construction.  Many of these verses need to be completely overhauled or reinterpreted as Jesus explained, imploring the need for urgent change of the interpretation to the ancient laws and rituals of scripture that fall short of the new message of mystical relational love and compassion.  To arbitrarily interpret the meaning of these verses in a literal context is negligent and erroneous amounting to the reception of potentially dangerous, abject and destructive information for Self and others.  Furthermore, in Biblical scripture there are sadly 15 references to hell and 59 references to punishment.

 

But, as the apostle John states:

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love”.

(1John 4:18) 

 

As discussed later, it is incomprehensible and inconceivable that in the divine Will, Desire and Mind of the Creator, there exists concepts, realities and entities that relate to the spiritual, physical and psychological pain and suffering of people through the generation of fear expressed by the threat of the potential reality of infinite punishment and damnation.  And, the eternity of flames from the fires of hell.

 

Human Destruction from Base Instincts, ‘Faiths’, ‘Beliefs’, Cultures, Politics and Religions

 

            It would be helpful to define the meaning of the above words.  Base Instincts are all those ‘primitive’ behaviours performed by animals and primates, and humans.  Base instincts, come from the origins of human evolution and were originally designed for survival, and include, aggression, fear (fight and flight), territory dominance, control and power.  We observe the behavioural dynamics of ‘the pecking order’ in many species- sex drive and the survival needs of food, water and shelter.  For instance power, dominance and control over territory and subjects is prevalent in the animal kingdom where even in a chicken pen chooks will gang up together and peck the weakest chicken to death.  The emotions of anger and fear are related to the fight or flee response and originate from the primitive part of the brain called the amygdale.  Therefore these base behaviours have been adopted by humans as a result of predetermined and preprogrammed evolution passed down through the genetics of DNA, but prevail to impact negatively on humanity through their continued expression and therefore conditioning, within parent-child relationships and, in turn, whole communities.  But these primal base instincts also include the seemingly counterintuitive need for many species of animals, including humans, to be social, to live and belong in colonies and/or groups.  This need for some species, including humans, to be social, living together in close proximity and the need to belong to the same species group can facilitate and exacerbate the expression of the negative characteristics of base instincts.  Base instincts less dormant in humans manifesting negatively as destructive manipulations of power, control, aggression, fear and sex drive. The idea of the predetermination of the creation of human evolution is fully discussed in another. 

The meaning of the word culture can be defined as particular personal experiences brought about by people adhering to a particular set of beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviours which are possessed, promulgated, nurtured and grown within and by a group of people living, working, playing and/or worshiping together.  The dynamics of Culture are everywhere, including within a communities of people in any family, office, company, church, organisation, and/or political party with confined or unconfined boundaries and may extend nationally and internationally.  The meaning of the word Faith on the other hand, can be complex, but put simply, can be defined as a deep-seated personal belief that may or may not conceptually represent a blind acceptance of the transcendent without a rational foundation of knowledge and intellectual understanding of the subject matter.  And which can be driven by a personal innate spiritual need to transcendently belong.  Faith can be an unquestioning, substantiated or unsubstantiated belief in anything of perceived importance to do with someone or something.  Faith can be an inner ‘spiritual’ belief initiated and maintained by informed or misinformed innate spiritual intuition.  The construct of human faith can often be initiated and maintained through informed and/ or misinformed tradition’s, practice’s, law’s and rule’s of particular cultures and religions. 

         Sadly, we experience elements of systematic barbarism in particular cultures, political regimes, ideologies, traditions and religions operating to this day.  These often uncompromising individual and group acts of aggression and violence towards other humans can be understood as being driven by what may be termed as inherent and intrinsic human psycho-spiritual dynamics and principles.  Therefore, in essence the blame for these contemporary human acts of abuse and violence cannot be seated solely at the foot of the ignorant and erroneous misinterpretation of particular ‘Holy Scriptures’.  This abuse is part and parcel of an insidious and pervasive human mentality that is a result and outcome of human beings’ innate need to adhere to particular ‘faiths’, ‘beliefs’, cultures, personal attitudes and/ or politics, which will potentially provide a perceived sense of personal well-being and security.  The need to adhere to a particular faith and belief is also predicated on human beings’ innate ‘spiritual’ desire and quest to aspire to and achieve that which is true and right driven by the Self’s need for potential immortality. 

         This is in essence an innate human need to psychologically aspire to the achievement of that which is perceived and believed to be ‘absolutely right’ and that which is perceived and believed to be ‘absolutely true’.   These aspirations and desires to achieve and embrace that which is ‘true’ and ‘right’ are often driven by and expressed through ancient or neo religious practices and beliefs, cultural and/ or political teachings and traditional rituals and practices.  The practices, beliefs and faiths one may be drawn towards, may in essence, be primarily irrational and founded on ignorance, with the power and control dynamics of a system that has originated from the depths and mix of complex human experiences.

         The innate human need to adhere obediently to arbitrary, religious, cultural and political ‘beliefs’ and ‘faiths’, is in part, driven by the need for a sense of psychological security.  This is exacerbated by innocent ignorance, a sincere quest for truth, personal fear, and the misinterpretation, and then application, of particular secular and religious policies, laws, rituals, traditions and scriptures, which are by definition, fallible, but which may be perceived as, but are definitely not, perfect or infallible.  The personal selective conscious, subconscious and/ or arbitrary adoption of spiritual, political and/or cultural beliefs and practices may manifest through the synergy of a powerful psychological dynamic created by the mix and interaction of spiritual, intellectual and emotional desires manipulated by needs produced from base physical and psychological instincts.  These particular mixes, interactions and manipulations result in a potential powder keg of personal vulnerability leading Self to the possible exposure of irrational beliefs and faiths that result in spiritual, intellectual, emotional and behavioural confusion, and the possibility of interpersonal abuse.  Moreover, these beliefs and faiths can be adopted and widely disseminated without questioning the origins, reasons and affects of such beliefs, and their corresponding outcomes on Self and others. 

         We have seen examples of systematic and nonsystematic physical, psychological and spiritual abuse in many cultures and societies as an outcome of perpetrators ignorance, arrogance, fear, paranoia and hatred exacerbating the hysterically blind following of misinformation and propaganda that affirms one’s beliefs, thoughts and feelings manifest from the mix of one’s intellect, cognitions and emotions interacting with one’s base desires.  The interaction of base desires and instincts in association with one’s personal choices, environment and/or experiences can produce thoughts, feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs that facilitate particular behaviours and content of speech that manifest in a actions such as, violence, discrimination, hatred and barbarism within and between individuals and groups.  Furthermore, human-to-human atrocities can stem from the addition of the aforementioned added to a plural basis of personal ignorance, arrogance, pride, fear, vengeance, paranoia, and anger as a manifestation of the interaction between base instincts and the advanced intellectual and emotional capabilities to manipulate these base instincts.  Such an interactive recipe can result in the choice of a particular course of action with diabolical repercussions. 

         Past and present cultural, political, and religious beliefs, faiths and experiences may also contribute to an individual’s or group’s chosen course of behaviour and mode of operation.  Some examples of human-to-human psychological and physical violence through ignorant and arbitrary cultural, political, and religious beliefs, practices and behaviours humans have cruelly perpetrated on one another include:

 

·   The ‘Christian’ Crusades

·   Radical Muslim Jihad and it’s coercive indoctrination of Islam

·   The ‘Catholic’ Spanish Inquisition

·   18th, 19th 20th and 21st Century Colonialism and Neo

   Colonialism

·   The fervor of Nationalism as an ideology

·   Communism as a political ideology

·   The political ideology of Fascism

·   Human Right’s Violations across many countries

·   Availability of Female and Male Circumcision

·   ‘Honour’ Killings for cultural and religious reasons

·   Bride Burnings for cultural and religious reasons

·   Suicide Bombings for political, cultural and religious reasons

·   Voodoo and Witch Craft Practices

·   Universal Racism

·   Universal Discrimination

·   Terrorism for political, cultural and religious reasons

·   Ethnic Cleansing to justify wars in many countries

·   Religious sectarian violence, e.g., between Christian

   Catholics and Protestants, and Muslim Shi’ites and Sunnis

·   South Africa’s past Apartheid laws and practices between

   ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’.

        

         Human beings, by nature, are creatures who have the potential to be misinformed, and ‘pumped’ with their own importance, consequently displaying destructive attitudes of pride, ignorance and arrogance, which often overlay and/or are overlaid with negative feelings and thoughts, such as fear, paranoia and revenge.  These less than constructive human characteristics weaken an individual’s ability to make informed, independent, and constructive choices, allowing for the impression and persuasion by people and events that promise a sense of perceived personal gain, at others’ expense, because of individual selfishness and greed, and political, cultural and religious ideologies, beliefs and practices.  But there are more complex and sinister interplays affecting destructive human psycho-spiritual behaviour. 

         It may be that destructive human behaviour and contents of speech are a result of the culmination of the intertwining of inflexible distorted and irrational cultural, political and religious traditions, beliefs, ideologies and practices mixed together with primal base instincts.  These ‘true’ beliefs are generated by questionable beliefs, attitudes, and faiths as an outcome of past and present experiences and the quest to achieve psycho-personal gratuitous benefits and gains.  These personal human dynamics may in turn be exacerbated and fermented by perceived and/or real ‘wounded’ sentiments and egos, and the distorted and perverted quest for personal benefits and security, juxtaposition with the desire for retribution and/or to be ‘right’ with ‘God’ and/or ‘powerful others’. 

         This ultimately achieves a perceived sense of maintaining or creating Self’s ego in terms of pride, power and control.  These distorted human mindsets can result in feelings, thoughts and attitudes that manifest in anger, fear, paranoia, revenge and oppression towards others with outcomes of obsessive violence, racism, discrimination, oppression and abuse, to achieve personally perceived individual and collective ‘important’ goals manifest in personally perceived individual and collective personal satisfaction. 

         These are outcomes that we have seen in humankinds’ sometimes, diabolical thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs and attitudes resulting in coward and abusive behaviours and contents of speech towards others by both individuals and communities.  These behaviours of abuse may be explained by the act of being driven by political, cultural and/or multi mass-slaughters, genocide, and psychological and spiritual abuse, oppressing and destroying the fragile, the vulnerable, and the innocent religious ignorance, arrogance and bias, often manifesting in widespread.

            Such examples of hysterical, cowardly, senseless and mindless motivated acts of violence, genocide and oppression in the world, have perpetrated over hundreds and hundreds of centuries.  As the tribes and armies of particular countries have attacked the tribes and armies of other countries to take over executive control, and become the power.  Moreover, people of different religions have formed armies to attack and kill people of other religious persuasions. 

The philosophical and political ideology, culture and behaviour of many European countries, in the early and late centuries, was driven by their desire for power, greed and security, believed achievable through the growth of their Empires through indiscriminate acts of annexation and colonisation.  World War I (1914-1918), in part, began with the large number of people living in Bosnia-Herzegovina unhappy with Austrian rule, and favouring union with Serbia, whilst achieving independence from Austro-Hungary.  At the beginning of the 20th Century, Germany was one of the most powerful countries in the World, economically, industrially and militarily.  The German government announces its full support for Austro-Hungary if it decides to take reprisals against Serbia. 

Russia promises that it will help Serbia if attacked by Austro-Hungary.  Austro-Hungary declares war on Serbia.  Russia mobilizes its armed forces in support of Serbia. This includes the sending of troops to its borders with Germany and Austro-Hungary.  Germany declares war on Russia.  Germany declares war on France. And Germany invades neutral Belgium. Great Britain then declares war on Germany.  But senior political and military people before, during and after wars are renowned for making senseless, unintelligent and irrational decisions, including the ability to implement benign bilateral interpersonal relations in regard to human-to-human diplomacy, mediation and negotiation at individual, national and international levels.

For instance, to pick one event during World War I, New Zealand’s defense chief Air Marshall Bruce Ferguson, on the 90th anniversary of ANZAC, alludes to Winston Churchill and his Senior military Officers, both English and Australian, demonstrating gross incompetence and ignorance in their misguided and ill-informed decision to invade Turkey at Gallipoli.  Indiscriminately sending brave and courageous young soldiers to their death, as if lambs to their slaughter.  Brave and courageous young men, trained to kill and trained to be killed, as in the ‘Battle of the Neck’, where wave after wave of (150) men without ammunition and armed only with bayonets, were ordered to charge the Turks.  Only to be cut-down and shredded by machine gun fire just a few yards from their trench to die a meaningless and hopeless sacrificial death.

         And in World War II (1939-1945), where the people of Germany and its ‘professional dignitaries’, yes professionals, including both men and women who were supposedly highly educated with attributes of knowledge, honesty and ethics, such as, Scientists, Politicians, Journalists, Medical Doctors, Nurses, Lawyers, Judges, Psychologists, Teachers, Ministers, Priests and Psychiatrists, etcetera, supported Hitler’s Nazi Party.  These ‘professionals’ supported the Fascist ideologically driven extermination of six million Jews in death camps, Auschwitz, etcetera, and millions of the mentally ill, disabled and homosexuals, through either their implicit silence, or explicit contribution to Hitler’s regime.  A regime that desired to ultimately implement, firstly, a universal ‘purity of race’ defined by the personally perceived meaning of the indefinable abstract adjective words ‘beauty’ and ‘perfection’, and secondly, territorial dominance of the world. 

In may 2005, at an opening speech in Moscow, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat, the president of the United States of America, George Bush, admitted that allowing the soviet domination of eastern Europe was ‘one of the greatest wrongs of history’.  This ‘mistake’ was ratified by the 1945 Yalta Agreement, and signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin.  This agreement followed in the ‘unjust tradition’ of war pacts that carved up continents, leaving millions oppressed.  The Yalta accord gave Stalin control of Eastern Europe delivering millions of people into communist domination. The philosophical ideology behind Britain and Americas’ support for Russian domination of Eastern Europe – the soviet annexation and harsh occupation of the Baltic countries after the war continued for almost 50 years, until the downfall of communism - after World War II, appeased and excused tyranny, and sacrificed freedom, in pursuit of stability and security for particular countries.  President Bush said, “We have learned our lesson: no one’s liberty is expendable. In the long run, our security and true stability depend on the freedom of others”, and “Once again when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations became expendable”, and “The interests of all nations can only be served by the growth of freedom that leads to prosperity and peace”. 

The Yalta agreement is another sad and unfortunate example of the damaging effects that authoritative and non-democratic policies, imposed by the politically powerful, can have on the lives of ordinary human beings.  These are authoritative and non-democratic policies, that are driven and underpinned by ‘secular’ ideologies that embrace activities that quench their need for ‘power’ and security.  At the expense of other nations’ ‘power’ and security, as opposed to the embracement of genuine democratic policies underpinned by a universal concern for all humans.  A universal concern for all humans as unique and valuable beings, who, intrinsically deserve by right of their humanity the dignity of independence/ autonomy and sovereign integrity that should embody and encompass personal political and spiritual self determination.  The psychotic aberrations and abominations of depraved human-to-human oppression also include:

 

 

Meanwhile, and in addition, the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian War between 1991 and 1995 represented religious, cultural and ‘nationalistic’ oppression by Serbia towards other states after the dissolution of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Serbia attempted to increase borders for a new federal state for Serbs, by incorporating territory taken from two of the other states, Bosnia and Croatia.  This aggressive annexation was, countered by Bosnia and Croatia, from which Serbia sought to ‘steal’ territory, both of which, along with two other states, Slovenia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, attempted to protect their territorial integrity, and establish their independence.  Croatia, with their territory under Serb control, attempted to seize territory from Bosnia in the course of the conflict. 

This aggressive terrorism was the central theme of the conflict, which had war theatres in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia. The conflict to establish new borders lasted ten days in Slovenia, but Croatia and Bosnia were subject to a protracted Serbian attack, administered and controlled by the communist Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic. This entailed the killing, terrorisation, and expulsion of non-Serbs in order to create new Serbian territories.  More than 200,000 innocent people were, slaughtered in this gratuitous genocide.  One of the most repugnant and abhorrent acts of terrorism and ‘ethnic cleansing’ in the four years of conflict occurred towards the end of the war near Srebrenica.  In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army, dominated by the Christian Orthodox Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, and General Ratko Mladić overcame the Srebrenica “safe area” guarded by the united Nations peace keeping forces, expelling over 40,000 Muslims, whilst at the same time cold bloodedly murdering 8 thousand Muslim men of military age.

         Human-to-human violence and oppression also includes individual as well as collective person-to-person manipulation and exploitation, such as domestic violence; physical, sexual, spiritual and emotional abuse; workplace and school bullying; police, civil, political, private and corporate corruption and fraud; organized crime (e.g. the mafia) and outlaw gangs.  These types of aberrant human-to-human behaviours can include despicable activities where corrupt members of Governments can and do, in some countries, siphon off public wealth and aid into personal and private bank accounts.  Where police corruption manifests itself when police officers commissioned as ‘upstanding’ members of the community choose to abuse the extensive powers bestowed upon them by the public’s representative (Government) to endorse and enforce legislated law.  Where, in police corruption, the end seems to justify the means.  The ‘means’ defined firstly, as personal voyeurism, illegal activity, complicity, duplicity, obtaining information, and the general abuse of their use of power. 

         The ‘end’ defined as the number of ‘successful’ prosecutions, or personal financial gain, or drug use or individual addiction to power broking.  Such a distorted philosophical mindset necessarily drives behaviour that entails police interacting with the public and ‘alleged criminals’ at the expense of judicial, transparent and natural justice – through the unethical and illegal process of ‘wheeling and dealing’. For example, police corruption manifests itself when particular police officers choose to use ‘drug addicts’ as ‘unofficial’ police informers, or choose to use ‘working girls’ as ‘unofficial’ police informers.  This procures an outcome that indirectly and implicitly, but ‘officially’, encourages that individual addicted to drugs to use drugs, or indirectly and implicitly ‘officially’ encourages that individual working in the sex industry to continue to ‘work’, or indirectly and implicitly ‘officially’ encourages whoever else to continue doing whatever else. 

         Police officers have been found guilty and been convicted of planting ‘evidence’, drug pushing, sexual assault, physical assault and murder.   Of course, many police officers in many countries around the world are honourable individuals imbibed and imbued with integrity.  But there are more than a few who undoubtedly become obsessed with the abundant powers bestowed upon them, believing and acting as though they are above the law and as a consequence, have no qualms about breaking the law that they have been specifically inaugurated and commissioned to uphold.  This results in the destruction of lives. 

            Furthermore, individual corruption can also be defined in terms of ‘professionals’ living distorted and twisted lives, because their behaviour is ‘dollar’ driven and driven by all that the ‘dollar’ promises. For example, tobacco companies continue to manufacture, promote and sell cigarettes to fellow humans despite their intrinsic knowledge relating to the danger and harm to human health caused by nicotine etcetera.  Where ‘professionals’, those people in the community who are supposedly highly educated, with the assumed attributes of honesty, common sense, and ethics, such as, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Lawyers have been known to write dubious and questionable reports and assessments about a particular individual geared toward the specific agenda of their fee paying client.  These ‘professionals’ interact with and assess a particular client in a way that is inherently influenced and biased toward the particular agenda of those individuals or organisations that have commissioned such ‘professional’ interaction, and who will remunerate them for this ‘professional’ interpersonal assessment and communication.  Professional medical doctors and nurses have been found guilty and convicted of murdering their patients. 

         Also corrupt outlaw gangs may encourage ‘prospects’ (potential gang members) to commit horrific crimes against individuals, such as bashing and rape, as the process for their initiation and ‘right of passage’ to gang membership and the ownership of club ‘colours’ and ‘patches’.    

         These examples of human-to-human cruelty and aggression include regular people hurting their families and others, together demonstrating how easily it is for human beings, both male and female, to continue with depraved and barbaric practices towards one another.  And which behaviours are explained or justified by an individual’s particular adversarial upbringing or particular attitudes based on their unquestioning faith and belief to particular cultures, politics, traditions and/ or religions.  These are personal choices made albeit choices often based on ignorance and misinformation, or choices deliberately made without mitigating factors. 

         These are evil and corrupt acts predicated on personal and communal arrogance, pride, power and greed.  These acts are often ‘rationally justified’ and implemented through ideologies that are psuedo-sanitised and psychologically camouflaged through a personal need to belong and commit – albeit irrational and distorted - loyally to individual or tribal, or national subjective beliefs to particular cultures, politics, traditions, rituals and/ or religions.  These irrational and distorted mindsets manifest in destructive behaviours and contents of speech without the intellectual foundation of logic, reason, thought, and emotion, to the injustice, pain and injury inevitably suffered by others.   This is in spite of the destructiveness and amount of pain and suffering these acts of physical and psychological violence bear upon fellow human beings. 

         Such practices seem predicated on personally destructive experiences and/ or compliance to authoritative religious texts and literature, and/ or compliance to traditions and rituals, or compliance to powerful political figures from which personal loyalties and beliefs towards such cultures and bureaucracies ferment a deep-seated attitude of arrogant exclusiveness, and perhaps, the fear of abandonment for noncompliance.  Compliances of this nature result in base ‘tribal’ and ‘gang like’ mentalities because of the unquestioning and irrational adherence to particular faiths and beliefs that consequently result in destructive behaviours and contents of speech through individual and/or collective human-to-human policies of human psychological and physical oppression and violence. 

         Inhumane political ideologies and nationalistic loyalties and practices, are underscored by ‘distorted’ and ‘irrational’ attitudes, values and beliefs formulated as a result of acute knee-jerk, and/ or extreme and chronic psychological reactions driven by base instincts and selfish ego driven desires as a way of manipulating and controlling particular civilian climes and situations for gratuitous personal benefit.  Of course, these destructive practices are a consequence of coming from the self-absorbed perspective of a secular and sectarian ego, rather than from a starting point and reference of relational love, charity, reconciliation and compassion, being the driving force and rationale of this book’s discourse.  Nonetheless, the human-to-human experience of inter-relational hate and destruction, resulting from individual and collective traits of fear, arrogance, pride, power and greed, is an indefensible excuse. 

         But without going over board and throwing the baby out with the bath water, ‘appropriate’ political, cultural and religious beliefs can sometimes be the building blocks of society’s healthy psyche, and positives may flow from history including, constructive ancient traditions, and rituals.  But valuable lessons can also be learnt from the many past and current disastrous mistakes made by humans from destructive behaviours and speech driven by the base instincts of ignorance, arrogance, self-obsession, self-absorption and the personal possession of irrational and destructive ideologies, beliefs and faiths.  Indiscriminate beliefs in questionable ideologies of particular cultures, politics, traditions and religions can impose psychological influence over subjects through the ingestion, imposition and/ or embracement of regulations, rituals, values, attitudes and faiths regardless of their intrinsic integrity, commonsense and rationale. 

        

         These beliefs, in turn, through their specific criteria for personal admission, can often promote within the psyche the need for regimental and arbitrary psychological oppression and aggression because of their insanely orientated attitudes and behaviours inevitably experienced as destructive to societies, groups and individuals.  These beliefs and behaviours can often be a result of conscious and/ or subconscious brainwashing influenced by those who advertently or inadvertently promote, propagate and teach these cultural, political and religious traditions, beliefs and practices that can either be transmitted from one generation to the next or evolve ‘in situ’.  And which, are adopted through personal fear and/or arrogance because of the need for a personal sense of security and power and/or a personal faith and belief that gives meaning to one’s life.  These diverse cultural, political and religious faiths and traditions are exacerbated and perpetuated by the followers’ and members’ psychological, communal and spiritual need and desire to dutifully adhere to the code of their specific cultural, political and/ or religious practice as an expression of implicit and explicit spiritual, political and cultural commitment, zeal and dedication. 

         These ‘dutiful’ behaviours and beliefs can be emotionally, and cognitively justified, through the psychological need for a fanatical belief in one’s faith, politics and culture.  This is, the psychological need of being faithful to one’s faith, politics and culture and the unwavering and intrinsic desire of a fervent and uncompromising belief in one’s faith, politics and culture as the prerequisite for being a dutiful and ‘good’ follower, and thus as such, an admired person.  That is, a personal belief and faith in a particular politics, religion and/ or culture, which is considered to be the only ‘true’ and ‘right’ one, and as such, is deeply ingrained in the spiritual and intellectual psyche compatible with being a ‘belonged and needed loyal member and person.’ 

         Some thoughts and feelings going through an individuals mind with such subjective belief’s relating to these personal self-needs, may include, ideas and words that represent sentiments, like: “If I am faithful to the laws and rules - regardless of any negative impact on others - of my culture, politics and/or religion.  And am dedicated to ‘believing’ in ‘this’ culture, politics and/or religion, which I ‘know’ and ‘believe’ to be both ‘true’ and ‘right’, and a means to my end.  “Then I will be filled with pride and admired and accepted by the authorities, peers and/or ‘God’, as a loyal and dedicated subject.  Therefore, I will be an ‘important’, ‘powerful’ and ‘good’ person, giving me a sense of personal fulfillment and meaning to my life.  I will also continue to be a valued member of my particular ‘faith believing’ community in relation to this particular culture, politics and/or religion, and therefore, a faithful, valued and important individual belonging to such an ‘important’ and ‘powerful’ entity.”

         It is because of the potential damage engendered by the psyche generated from an unquestioning faith and belief in the rules, rituals and laws of cultures, politics and religions, that it becomes understandably imperative that we consider believing in ideas and values underpinned by unbiased and soundly informed logical and rational foundations of knowledge and information.  This is, informed knowledge about an important subject, which has been, or will be, intellectually synthesised and integrated with an informed, reflective, introspective, intuitive and discerning intellect and spirit of goodwill.  A particular mindset based on a sound, logical and rational foundation integrated with a reflective, discerning and intuitive spirit will result in constructive thoughts, feelings and behaviours towards Self and others.  These expressed articulations are not about excluding every facet from all ‘faiths,’ ‘politics’, religions and ‘cultures’ from the complex mix that manufacture human attitudes, values and beliefs and subsequent behaviours and speech content.  But are intended to highlight the potential dangers of human base instincts and selfish needs manifest in attitudes of exclusiveness, ignorance, arrogance and pride, at the expense of personal commonsense and humility, at the cost of human suffering and pain. 

         Psychological and physical pain and suffering will occur because other very important components and information are not included in the mix that precede an individuals propensity for potentially treacherously disastrous thoughts, feelings, values, attitudes and beliefs and subsequent behaviours and content of speech.  As an outcome of constructive, rational, unbiased and evidence based information, interactively mixed with a reflective, introspective discerning and intuitive spirit, human beliefs, behaviours and speech, will potentially impact in a positive way through constructive personal thoughts, feelings, attitudes and values that are characterised as selfless as opposed to selfish. 

        

         As discussed, a spiritual, intellectual, logical, rational and appropriate foundation and measure for one’s thoughts, feelings, values, attitudes, beliefs and actions can arguably be based on the principles derived from informed knowledge, spiritual intuitive discernment and freewill, manifest as personal integrity, reason, honesty, relational love, compassion and charity.  Rather than being based on that which has the destructive and debilitating, polarising and dichotomizing affects and outcomes from thoughts, feelings, values, attitudes, behaviours and speech that are based on base instincts and the personal selfish needs and requirements to be right and proud and not ‘wrong’ or ‘insignificant’ and therefore possession of a perceived sense of security. 

         If we are ‘right’, then we are ‘good’, with a potential sense of smugness and personal power, but everyone else must therefore be potentially wrong and therefore potentially bad.  If everyone else is wrong and bad then this will inevitably lead to personal feelings, thoughts, behaviours and speech that reflect the attitudes, values and beliefs reminiscent of self-righteousness, judgment, pride and hypocrisy and ultimately, discrimination and hatred towards those who are perceived to be different and therefore ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’.  Perhaps we may possess the mindset that if we are not ‘right’ and therefore ‘good’, then we must be wrong and the meaning of wrong within this context may be identified and defined as being ‘bad’, this is, the opposite to the meaning of ‘good’, thus potentially leading to personal feelings of perceived inadequacy, inferiority and low sense of self-worth. 

         But hey, in reality all humans are imperfect and so fall short of the ideal of perfection.  But through the personal act of riding the ‘high moral ground’ or thinking that one is ‘holier than thou’, such conscious intellectual and emotional attitudes and beliefs and subsequent behaviours and speech exemplify confirmation of human personal imperfection.  So as we may understand, we are talking about personal and conscious attitudes, behaviours and speech, which are determined by individual and/or collective beliefs, values, and faiths, determined by personal needs and which are either fundamentally and radically rational and constructive, or which are fundamentally and radically irrational and destructive to Self and others.                        

 

CHAPTER 4

 

INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL CONFUSION REVISITED

 

Principle Factors for Interpretation

Lucifer and the King James Version of the Bible

Other Holy Scriptures and the Qu’ran (Koran)

More Similarities than Differences between Religions

More about Comparative Religious Beliefs

 

 

 

Principle Factors for Interpretation

 

         So then, when reading literature from within the Bible, it would be helpful to be familiar and aware of five principle factors pertaining to the interpretation of scripture.  Without such informed knowledge regarding the construction, origins and editing of ancient scripture we could adversely interpret Scripture, and thus, the cognitive and affective influence it may hold.  We could unknowingly distort, through misinterpretation, the meanings of the words in the text of the verses, and consequently, the interpretation and understanding of the semantics of scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments. 

         To add to the mix of confusion relating to scripture interpretation, keep in mind that today there are at least thirteen different versions of the Bible.  These different versions of the Bible have their own individual literary nuances, which are evident in every Chapter.  These different Bibles include, for example, the American Standard Version, New American Standard, New Living Translation, Contemporary English Version, King James Version, New King James Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard, The Darby Translation, Hebrew Names Version and The Latin Vulgate. 

         Unfortunately the misguided and inaccurate interpretation and misinterpretation of such powerfully influential writings as the various Holy Scriptures, such as the Bible and Qu’ran etcetera, will inevitably - specifically for many individuals, and generally for many communities, both nationally and internationally - determine the way Self thinks and feels about Self.  And the way Self thinks and feels about others, and in turn, the content of Self’s values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours ultimately resulting in the manner in which Self treats Self and Self treats others, and thus the manner in which others treat Self.

 

The five principle factors for interpretation of scripture include:

 

(1) The attempt and need to grasp with present day experiences taking into consideration unique cultural contexts, the original meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words in verses written many hundreds and thousands of years ago.  And a decision made whether to extrapolate and apply these meanings or not to present day problems, contexts and issues.

 

(2) The ability to decipher and identify the accuracy of the corresponding meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words when they have been translated into ‘equivalent’ English words, or the words of another language, is critical in the understanding of Scripture.  For example, today we have a natural tendency to read the word “church” as if it referred to the reality we know by that word today.  That is, as the prayerful community in a highly structured, organized and institutionalised Religion of a particular belief and faith.  Yet, the reality in Peter and Paul’s time, when Paul speaks about the word “church,” was rather different from its meaning today.  In Peter and Paul’s era there was the ritualistic and formal Holy Temple of Jerusalem and the followers of the Jewish splinter group ‘The Jesus Movement’.  This movement identified with the behaviour of people gathering informally to dialogue and discuss their everyday experiences and spiritual beliefs, achievements, future plans and goals, in order to disseminate the phenomenal message of the Messiah.

         The list of these ‘theological’ words interpreted differently today is long and some translators try to avoid the difficulty by using other synonyms.  For example, the word “community” would, be used, instead of the word “church”.  The word “church,” in Paul’s time was not a Christian invention, but a common word used in the Greek world at that time with a specific secular meaning.  Those people who first heard Paul’s letters, read to them, would have been aware that a common secular word was being used with new connotations.  Yet today when we hear the word “church”, we hear it in its pure contemporary meaning and are probably unaware of its original secular connections.

 

(3) The need to be aware of the degree of accuracy that the original authors, editors and redactors of Christ’s life had in remembering Christ’s living reality, and the degree of accuracy in their interpretation of what Jesus really said and did.  Furthermore, we need to be aware of the possible inaccuracies subsequent editors may have incurred whilst interpreting original written sources.

 

(4) The need to be mindful of asking Self the question; is the text which was originally written in the metaphor genre being read by Self as intended, that is, metaphorically rather than literally?  And is text that was originally written in the literal genre being read in today’s context rather than the context in which it was originally written?

 

(5) What was deemed, as ‘the law’ and ‘good and right’ more than 2,000 years ago in terms of the Old Testament and in some verses of the New Testament, may not be necessarily right or good, appropriate, humane and practical today.  Because of the scientific, cultural, ethical and technological changes within society, and the continual development and refinement of beliefs, values and morals through the progression of intellectual, emotional and social evolution, the process of hermeneutics in relation to the interpretation of Scripture is about reinterpreting ancient Scripture within a contemplative, spiritual and contemporary context.  This is, reinterpreting literal or metaphorical messages from antiquity into messages that are relevant for today.  Christ Himself totally overhauled and redefined many of the ancient scriptures and replaced them with messages that relate to the invocation of unconditional relational love, compassion and reconciliation to be practiced between all peoples.  This imperative message from Christ of unconditional relational love, compassion and reconciliation, is by definition, a message that is universal and timeless and can be expressed and performed by individuals regardless of cultural and religious contexts and which interpretation is immune from the ages and generations including today’s ‘modernity’ and ‘contemporary’ society.

           

Here are two more interesting and ambiguous verses that require our special attention to decipher their deeper and metaphorical or literal meaning:

 

In the gospel of Matthew we read:

“If the miracles performed on you had been performed on Sodom it would be in existence today.  On the judgment day God will show more mercy to Sodom than to you,”

(Matthew 11:22-24)

 

Again in Matthew we read:

“It is harder for a rich man to go to heaven than a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, impossible for man but for God everything is possible.” 

(Matthew 19:24-26)

 

            At a deeper underlying and metaphorical level of meaning, perhaps the author of these two verses is emphasising the power of the Creator’s ability to mystically relate with all peoples through divine unconditional love, no matter whatever their past, present or future personal experiences.  Whatever their past, present or future personal situations and circumstances may be.

 

Lucifer and the King James Version of the Bible

 

The ease with which Biblical Scripture can be misinterpreted, is exemplified by the historical evolution of biblical literature in relation to the literal mistranslation and transmutation of the word “Lucifer”.  Most of us would acknowledge that the meaning of the word “Lucifer” relates to and is just another word used for the words Satan, Devil and Prince of Darkness and the meaning these words represent, which themselves, are words, that have also been misrepresented and misinterpreted.  However, the word “Lucifer” makes its appearance only in the King James Version of the Old Testament of the Bible, in the book of Isaiah Chapter 14 Verse 12.  If you search the web site, www.biblegateway.com you will find that all the other Bible versions of Isaiah 14:12 use the words, King of Babylonia, or Morning Star, Shining Star, or Day Star, instead of the word “Lucifer”.

 

The King James Version of Isaiah 14:12, reads:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations"!

(Isaiah 14:12)

 

A scholar at the library of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati says that in the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth Chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel by name or by reference, who fell to become the ruler of hell, but is about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel.  Isaiah then, in the original Hebrew language, is using a word that means a bright light, and metaphorically represents and illustrates the apparent power of the Babylonian king, but a power, which then faded.  In the Hebrew text (language), the expression used to describe the Babylonian king before his death is Helal, son of Shahar, which translates to "Day star son of the Dawn."  

The word “Lucifer” is a Latin name, which in Roman astronomy was the name given to the morning star that we now call Venus, also from Latin.  This ‘morning star’ appears in the heavens just before dawn, heralding the rising sun. The name “Lucifer” derives from the Latin term ‘lucem ferre’, bringer or bearer of light.

The scholars who were authorised by King James I to translate the Bible into current English, did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated from Hebrew into Latin by St. Jerome and called the Latin Vulgate Bible (4th Century).  Jerome had translated correctly the Hebrew word for, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," because in Latin at that time, "Lucifer" was the word used for what we now call the planet Venus, which was/is observed, as a morning star.  The word “Lucifer”, was not equated with the word Satan until after Jerome’s translation, which was then misinterpreted.  So, Jerome wasn't in error, but later Christian (and Mormon) translations were in equating "Lucifer" with "Satan".  So over the centuries a metamorphosis (transformation or transmutation) has taken place and the word “Lucifer”, the ‘morning star’, has now become synonymous for a ‘disobedient angel’ that has been cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell.

Theologians, writers, and poets have taken this misinterpretation of the word “Lucifer” and transformed it into the mythical story and erroneous ‘doctrine’ of ‘The Fall’.  So now, the word “Lucifer”, means the same as the misinterpreted meanings of the words Satan, Devil, and Prince of Darkness.    Subsequent christian scholars and scribes, writing in the Latin, which was used at that time by the Church, have intentionally, or unintentionally decided for themselves that this story is about a fallen angel.  But this creature the “Fallen Angel” is not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, but nonetheless has ‘conveniently’ been given the name "Lucifer".  However, only the King James Version now still uses the word “Lucifer” in the text of Isaiah 14:12.

   

Other Holy Scriptures and the Qu’ran (Koran)

             

              Importantly, some of these same guiding principles that would allow us to read and interpret the verses of Scripture in the Bible with increased accuracy and clarity would also apply to the readings and interpretation of the writings of other ancient ‘Holy Scriptures’ in existence today.  These ‘Holy Scriptures’ have been written with their contextual stories, laws and rules that provide the foundational impetus for the intellectual, behavioural and emotional climate of a believing people that can fertilise the seeds of innate spiritual desires and needs, and the attitudinal climate that incubates and nurtures the ongoing culture, theology and philosophy of a people.  These beliefs and behaviors, in turn, continue to drive many of the diverse religions and faiths existing in the world experienced and lived by humans today.  And so similar to the influence Christianity has had on the western world so Islam has impacted on Eastern Civilisation over the last 1300 years in relation to the values, beliefs, perceptions, perspectives, laws and policies that have been framed, shaped and driven by Islamic philosophy based on Muhammad and the Koran.        

              The Qu’ran (Koran) is the holy book of Islam, which was/ is said to been revealed to Mohammed in 616 AD through an angel called Jibra’el (Gabriel). Mohammed was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and revered as a Middle Eastern Arabic prophet.    Muhammad traveled extensively and, is very likely to have been familiar with the city of Jerusalem, as well as both the Old and New Testament writings of the Bible.  Indeed, the Aramaic language was widely used between Jerusalem and Saudi Arabia in those times, just as the three wise men (or kings, or magi as they were also known) spoke the same language as Jesus, but came from Babylon (now known as Iraqi) in the East.    To put the writing date of the Qu’ran into perspective, the Qu’ran was penned about 400 years after the collation of the writings of the New Testament Gospels and Letters, and many more centuries after the writing of the Old Testament. 

              The contents of the Qu’ran are said to been given to Muhammad through the revelation of an angel called Jibra’el.  The Qu’ran consists of 114 Chapters or Suras, and has striking literary similarities and semantic resemblances to both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, although the Qu’ran is a smaller book.  In light of this knowledge, it is perhaps not surprising that Abraham of the Old Testament is the focus of attention in Sura 14 of the Qu’ran.  Also, Jesus’ mother, Mary (Miriam) of the New Testament is addressed 33 times in the Qu’ran.  The Qu’ran also is remarkably comparable to the Bible in that it relies heavily on an emphasis and preoccupation of violence, punishment and hell as a threatening lever for the driving motivational force to instill a particular belief and subsequent reform, conformation and obedience.  The Qu’ran comprises of 114 chapters, which within are 97 verses dedicated to the threat of hell and 171 verses dedicated to the potential experience and threat of punishment. 

        

         For example in Chapter (Sura) 2 Verse 206, we read:

         “And when it is said to him, guard against the punishment of Allah; pride carries him off to sin, therefore hell is sufficient for him; and certainly it is an evil resting place.” 

             

         In Sura 3 Verse 12 we read:

         “Say to those who disbelieve: You shall be vanquished, and driven together to hell; and evil is the resting-place.” 

 

Sura 3 Verse 77:

“(As for) those who take a small price for the covenant of Allah and their own oaths-- surely they shall have no portion in the hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them, nor will He look upon them on the day of resurrection nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful chastisement”.

 

Sura 3 Verse 86:

“How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and (after) they had borne witness that the Apostle was true and clear arguments had come to them; and Allah does not guide…the…unjust…people”.

Sura 3 Verse 90:

“Surely, those who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in unbelief, their repentance shall not be accepted, and these are they that…go…astray”.

Sura 3 Verse 91:

“Surely, those who disbelieve and die while they are unbelievers, the earth full of gold shall not be accepted from one of them, though he should offer to ransom himself with it, these it is who shall have a painful chastisement, and they shall have no helpers”.

 

Sura 3 Verse 162:

“Is then he who follows the pleasure of Allah like him who has made himself deserving of displeasure from Allah, and his abode is hell; and it is an evil destination”.

 

Sura 3 Verses 196-197 we read:

“(As for) those who disbelieve, surely neither their wealth nor their children shall avail them in the least against Allah; and these are the inmates of the fire; therein they shall abide.  A little enjoyment and they shall have a punishment.” 

 

In Sura 4 Verse 93, we read:

“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah

will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement.” 

        

In Sura 4 Verse 121, we read:

“These are they whose abode is hell, and they shall not find any refuge from it.” 

        

In Sura 4 Verse 169:

“Except the path of hell, to abide in it for ever, and this is easy to Allah.” 

        

In Sura 7 Verse 4, we read:

“And how many a town that we destroyed so our punishment came to it by night, or while they

slept at midday.” 

        

Sura 7 Verse 41 reads:

“They shall have a bed of hell-fire and from above them coverings of it; and thus do we reward

the unjust.” 

        

Sura 8 Verse 50:

“And had you seen when the angels will cause to die those who disbelieve, smiting their faces and

their backs, and saying: Taste the punishment of burning.”               

 

Sura 9 Verse 6 reads:

“Allah has promised the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women and the unbelievers the fire

of hell to abide therein; it is enough for them; and Allah has cursed them and they shall have

lasting punishment.” 

        

In Sura 3 Verse 67 we read:

“Ibrahim (Abraham) was not a Jew, nor a Christian, but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists”

 

Sura 3 Verse 85 reads:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost all spiritual good”.

 

Sura 5 Verse 51:

“O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people”.

 

Sura 5 Verse 72:

“They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord". Whoever joins other gods with Allah - Allah will forbid him the GARDEN, and the Fire will be his abode”.

 

Sura 9 Verse 30:

“And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away”!

                                                                                                       

         To the ‘faith’ believing reader, these ‘holy’ scripture verses contain literature that appear to consist of a complement of specific words and statements dictating harsh and vitriolic sentiments that threaten ‘physical’ violence, including the ultimate punishment, eternal hell.  The collation and collaboration of these frightening verses, are obviously calculated to inflict the inducement of maximum fear on the believer, enforcing strict adherence and obedience to the rules and laws of these particular religious faiths.  These intimidating verses of laws and rules are used to induce the manipulation of specific behaviours by using the leverage of personal fear from the threats of ‘physical’ violence and spiritual damnation. 

              Indeed, the threat of calculated punishment and hell towards those followers, believers and nonbelievers who do not comply with or are not obedient to the structured framework of ‘spiritual’ regulations required by the particular faiths of these religions.  Of course this intimidating and threatening ‘physical’ and spiritual modus of operandi to achieve specific and particular behaviours in relation to the compliance and obedience to the dogma and creeds of religions and their ‘spiritual’ leaders occurs in many other beliefs, faiths and religions.  But in contradistinction to the above verses, the following writing illustrates a more benign and constructive message. 

        

        

            But again, in stark contrast to the above potentially belligerent, judgemental and counter constructive religious scripture messages, we have a more user-friendly verse that attempts to describe a ‘God’ that ‘is loving’ towards believers of different faiths and religions:

        

         Sura 3 Verse 89:

Except those who repent after that and amend, then surely Allah is…Forgiving…Merciful”.

Sura 3 Verse 129:

“And whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's; He forgives whom He pleases and chastises whom He pleases; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”.

 

         Sura 3 Verse 134 reads:                                                           

         “Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straitness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others)”                    

        

         Sura 2 Verse 62, which reads:

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve”.

        

In the next example we have several verses alluding to Mary as being the virgin mother of the Messiah (the anointed one):

 

Sura 3 Verses 42-47:

“And when the angels said: O Marium! surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the world.  When the angels said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are  made near (to Allah).  She said: My Lord! When shall there be a son (born) to I me, and man has not touched me? He said: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is”.

The following verses, with similarity to the Old Testament of the Bible, describe the time it took Allah (God, Creator) to create the Universe:

 

Sura 7 Verse 54:

“Surely your guardian-Lord is Allah. Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods of time”.

 

Sura 10 Verse 3:

“Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six periods”.

 

Sura 11 Verse 7:

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods”.

           

These verses are, in general, further evidence of the spiritual literary contradictions of holy scriptures and the need to interpret positively scripture as a whole. 

Misinterpretation of such verses can easily turn to weapons creating potential damage by eliciting negative misinformation from the literal interpretation of ‘holy’ and ‘sacred’ writings.  These verses clearly indicate an illustration of the incongruent and contradictory nature of the messages conveyed in such scripture and allude to the possession of similarities in relation to other scriptures, including those of the Bible.  

            We will explore how this seemingly gratuitous extravagant emphasis on violence, punishment and hell in both the Bible and the Qu’ran, and also implicitly advocated through the notions and concepts of ‘Karma’ and ‘Reincarnation’, can never ever be attributed to being the messages and words that come from the mind and will of a Creator.  From a creator who is mystical, creative, intelligent, unconditionally loving, compassionate and merciful. 

Moreover, to attribute the threat of such potential realities as ‘physical’ and psychological violence, and such spiritual images as eternal punishment and damnation in Hell with Satan, to ‘God’, to the Creator, will, by association, unjustly and unfairly portray ‘God’ the Creator as a vindictive, angry, belligerent and violent Super Natural Being.  This would reduce the Super Natural Being to a Creator and ‘God’ who’s quality of mystical relational love with the created is solely defined in essence by a value that is predicated on the quantity and quality of human ‘goodness’ and/ or ‘badness’.  That is in turn, judged and measured by the notion and concept of being ‘right’ and/ or ‘wrong’.  Such portrayal of the Creator can only produce in humans a mindset and mentality that incites human-to-human ‘physical’, psychological and spiritual violence and abuse that ultimately manifests in the real expression of personal prejudice, judgment, fear, disharmony, arrogance, pride and violence.                   

              Nevertheless, the interpretation of Scripture verses, will never be entirely satisfactorily completed.  New experiences and challenges at every stage of our generational and human lifecycle of experience will inevitably bring to light new insights and meanings about the value, need and reason for Sacred Scripture in the world.  Thus, there will be new and evolving interpretations and meanings in Scripture to grapple with, to internalize and appropriately apply to our experiences as we continue to evolve and grow individually as human beings and collectively as a community, nation and international world.

 

More Similarities than Differences between Religions

 

We have discussed many contradictions with religions and differences between religions.  There are many more core and intrinsic similarities between all the religions, than there are inherent differences.  Personally, I think it is helpful to acknowledge and celebrate the similarities between and within religions because this builds the sense and experience of cohesiveness, which brings humans closer together rather than alienating them and making enemies of them.  This religious ‘sameness’ and inclusiveness will demonstrate our ‘brotherhood’ and ‘sisterhood’ for each other as human beings who carry the need for personal goals such as  the requirement for self-improvement and immortality of the Self – that is to eternally exist after one’s anatomical death.   So lets discuss the similarities and differences between religions.

Firstly, in Christian religion, its founder, Jesus Christ, was the only ‘person’ who claimed to be the Son of God observed and described to have performed many miracles, including raising the anatomical dead back to life again.  The 2000 year old ‘Catholic Church’ is said to have been the first ‘Christian’ church with its succeeding denominations of Christian churches splitting from Catholic genesis.  The Christian churches or Christian denominations that split from the first church were initiated, administered and ministered by imperfect humans.  But all these imperfect humans with negative innate traits to transgress, be selfish, greedy and exploit others may still provide to all humanity, believers or not, Christian or not, contributions to peoples of the world. 

The universal contributions to the world, by these groups of ‘religious’ people, may be described in the following way.  Over the months, decades, centuries, and millenniums of time and space, the imperfect - Christian religion - has connected with the perfect – Christ.  Christian religions with their association to Christ, have over the past 2000 years, connected the imperfect with perfect.  So the Universal Christian Churches have connected in an imperfect way the person they are founded upon and revere - Jesus Christ the Son of God.  The Christian churches contribute to communities and society, because although being imperfect, their continued presence and existence in the world connect the experience of all past, present and future humans with the memory of The Christ.  But sadly, for many, the memory of Christ and Christ’s teachings have been misinterpreted and distorted causing disharmony and bloodshed throughout the ages.  But overlaying disharmony and bloodshed, Christian churches have, over the past 2000 years connected in a spiritually memorial and practical fashion, Christ, with people living in the past, present and future, whether conscious or a unaware of this connection.  On top of these connections, it must be remembered that Christ was born, died, rose and ascended, for all peoples of the world, past, present and future.

So, through Christ, the ‘conscious spiritual infinite’ has celestially and transcendently been connected with the ‘physical’ finite.  Christians will proclaim that the eternal, infinite, immortal, unique, independent and sovereign Creator who always was and who always will be, has now been consciously and transcendently connected in a ‘spiritual-relational way’ with the infinite, immortal, unique, independent and sovereign created entity of the human being.  So Christ’s historically earthly, and present heavenly presence, now in a spiritually-material fashion, disseminates his perfect and intrinsic essence of compassion, mercy, justice and forgiveness towards the potentiality of compassion, mercy, justice and forgiveness that human beings will follow and so act towards one another.         

Now we must be mindful, without prejudice or favour, without arrogance or pride, the Christian church must take its place alongside and with all religions of the world.  Religions, that by definition and practice, all deliver their own brand of particular rituals, beliefs and traditions but which have very similar goals.  These are the human goals that anticipate and hope to achieve, as a destination, the personal experience of self-improvement, peace, happiness and immortality.  These are goals that unquestionably humans admit and confess to desiring as an innate and intrinsic personal happening.  Indeed, these are the experiences that all humans anticipate and desire to occur at anatomical death.  That is, that their consciousness, self and personhood, with all that these comprise, will live immortally and infinitely even though their physical body dies.  These desires would be generic for most if not all humans no matter race, creed or colour.

Moreover, within the barrow of diverse religions there include multiple denominations of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims, all with varying forms, degrees and extremities of beliefs etc.  These diverse religions, through their own unique experiences, traditions, rituals, faiths and beliefs are commutatively, ultimately directed towards understanding more deeply the idea and reality about the existence and nature of a Supreme Being juxtaposed with living life, and life after death.  This is, after anatomical death, when the structure and functions of the atom-energy of the body dies (changes in form, structure and function), the person continues onwards with their consciousness, memory, experiences and awareness, in another place, and in another dimension to the universe as we now know it.

Of course, the various religions of the world use different rituals, traditions, beliefs and ideas to encapsulate the transcendent concept universally imbibed by humans to understand themselves, life, the universe, and life after death.  This process of transcendent understanding undertaken is often kick started and propelled along by the ingestion of the material content from the different religions which people fervently belong to.  As described, most religions ascribe to similar goals.  These are personal universal goals that relate to understanding the complexities and unknown’s of immortality and the continued consciousness of Self, including achieving personal improvements in all the aspects that make up the Self.  An example of such personal improvements would include the expression of platonic love, reconciliation and compassion in day–to-day interpersonal communications and interactions with each another. 

Most religions have a ‘spiritual’ modus operandi of personally working through one’s challenges in this world and improving Self through discovering and then acknowledging personal strengths and weaknesses and benignly adjusting and changing as required for self-improvement.  Most religions adhere to the belief that in the next world we will experience a personal sense of infinite and perfect wellbeing, happiness and satisfaction after reflecting on our actions, thoughts and feelings that we have expressed negatively towards others in life on earth.  Reflecting on our responses and actions towards other human’s perse, and their feelings and thoughts will define our past interactions with others, and any pain we have caused we will experience allowing us to acknowledge and lament on our behaviour and its consequences.  We thus become more aware and conscious of ourselves as unique individual sovereign beings, who have the ability to improve ourselves.  And this is a form of spiritual personal purging and ‘purification’.

So there are many similarities between the different religions and their ultimate goals.  However there are many differences in the ritualistic, ideological, philosophical, and theological aspects and elements that make up the ‘machinery’ of the different religions. 

Although there are the commonalities between religions that describe the definition of most religions perse, this does not mean that religions have not become tainted, or contaminated or institutionalised over time.  Just as there are theological and practical distortions and contaminations etc., and extremes, cults and spin offs in the broader ‘Christian’ church, there are also ‘extremist’, ‘cult’ and ‘spin offs’ in other religions that distort their intrinsic and unique ability to find and experience the essence of truth they so desire.  Of course there is absolute Truth and personal ‘Truth’, both are elusive entities,  but personal Truth may be described as being the personal consciousness and awareness that ultimately leads to ones personal understanding of Self, perse, both independently and dependently in relation to the Supreme Being. 

Moreover, not only are there many similarities between religions, there are also many diverse and different ways that religious institutions go about achieving their universal goals of self improvement and understanding and achieving immortality.  For example, many non-Christian religions believe in the process called reincarnation - in all of its different forms – said to achieve personal purification and enlightenment through ‘good works’ and meditation.  Followers of different forms of reincarnation believe that purification of the Self is achieved either here on earth, or in the ‘other world’.  Reincarnation is believed by some to be a ‘spiritual’ vehicle, that allows a person who anatomically dies, to come back to earth as some kind of plant, animal, or human situated in a ‘better’ or ‘worse’ status, dependant on the quality of their past life in terms of being and doing ‘good’ or ‘bad’. 

Most religions that adhere to reincarnation as a form of purification use the concept of ‘karma’ as being the punishment or reward for the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ behaviours, thus being a natural ‘cause and effect’ way or transcendent spiritual machinery being the motivation for improving Self. This is, experiencing a higher or lower level of consciousness.  So if one has lead a ‘bad’ previous or present life a person will be punished, and on the other hand, one will be rewarded for living a ‘good’ life.  One of the downsides of the belief in karma is that it is open to abuse.  That is, it is ok to abuse those who are poor, disabled, or disadvantaged because their punishment is ‘deserved’ and because they have lived a ‘bad’ life in the past or present life.  On the other hand, these believers ‘look up’ to those who are healthy, rich and successful as being their rewards for living a ‘good’ life in the previous and present one.  We do not have to be rocket scientists to realise that these associations made between a person’s existing status in life and their ‘good’ or ‘bad’ behaviour in the past or present life are not necessarily absolutely connected. 

It is ignorant to believe that everything ‘bad’ that happens to a person, can with certainty, be relegated to the ‘bin of punishment’, for a particular ‘set’ or singular ‘bad’ acts.  For example, you surely cannot arbitrarily and judgementally relegate to the ‘bin of punishment’ the person who gets terminally ill, or who dies from cancer, or who killed by a drunk driver, or whose business collapses, or who loses their job, or the child who dies from drowning, or run over, or the child who was harmed by their parents.   These tragic acts, by themselves, and independently, by their very nature, explain and describe how such tragic events cannot be blamed to have been caused by an individuals ‘bad’ behaviour.  Sadly, this is the concept, ideology and philosophy that defines the meaning of karma.

Within this belief system of reincarnation, destructive judgements of others are often made justifiable because of the belief in reincarnation that karma drives and dictates to whom or what one comes back to earth as.  And one comes back to earth to experience a higher or lower status and consciousness depending on their past or present behaviour being, ‘good’ or bad’.  Karma is the concept within the system of reincarnation that evaluates and dictates when and how you will die, and to what you will return to earth as.  If you have transgressed in your past life, it is believed that you will come back to earth with a lower status and consciousness, and if having attained certain level of enlightenment one will return to earth with higher level of status and consciousness.  The ‘entity of karma’ determines whether you will return to earth ‘punished’, or ‘rewarded’.  The idea of ‘punishment’ in Karma is about ‘the purification’ of the person who has lived a previous ‘bad life’, and through the ‘cleansing’ of punishment, becomes a better person. 

Other religions have other concepts believed transcendently designed to achieve the human goals of self-purification and immortality.  Christians – rightly or wrongly – believe in the transcendent entities of hell and purgatory that allow Self, the person, to reflect on both their individual level of virtuous contributions whilst living in the world, as well as their degree of indiscretions, and by doing so, more fully attaining awareness of their potential as sovereign, independent and unique beings.  Of course, those who believe in a ‘hell’ would say that you are there to suffer in pain forever.  On the other hand some followers of Christianity would describe purgatory as being the spiritual process that invokes the purification and purging of transgressions through personal Self reflection, increased awareness, and as a result of this, Self improvement.  And who wouldn’t want to be a better person in the presence of the Supreme Being and all our friends, and relatives etc., who have also passed to the ‘other side’.  For many religions this ability to purify self occurs after anatomical death, as Self remains on the ‘other side’ rather than travelling back and forth to and from earth as in reincarnation.  So the goals of personal purification in terms of becoming a ‘better person’, and achieving personal immortality of consciousness, etc., are indeed the central goals that most religions have in common.   

Similarities in religions also, sadly, include an appalling record in human rights, ethics and moral violations.  It is an abomination to the word of God and Allah, and to sovereign spiritual human beings, that there exits forms of human violations in the name of religion, Allah, and God.  These horrific human violations in the name of religious and cultural rituals, include the depraved acts of female circumcision and bashings that exist in many parts of Africa (Somalia), India and Pakistan, etc and often practised in the name of Hinduism and Islam.  Human aberrations in the name of religion and culture also include the diabolical acts of ‘honour killings’ which occurs when females are mercilessly killed by their families for perceived acts of ‘dishonouring their families’ through ‘infidelity’, and dowry issues.  ‘Honour killings’ and circumcision are acts driven by religious and cultural rituals normally enforced by male dominance and which also manifest in the general oppression of women throughout the world.  Christianity has not been immune from such abominations either. 

Abominable acts carried out under the name of religion also include the murderous suicide bombings that we often see used as the weapons of choice in Islam’s Jihad.  ‘Jihad’ is the name Muslims use for the potential and real wars Islam wages against any culture and religion in the world that is not Islam.  Different religions, cultures and ideologies throughout the world can be viewed as a threat to Islam disseminating their beliefs and practices worldwide.  All these religious abominations, are, sadly, current today, but it is hoped that spiritual commonsense and awareness, guided by a conscious spiritual truth from meditation and informed knowledge will prevail throughout the globe, blowing away hate and disharmony and imbibing a new tide of peace, inclusiveness and harmony across humanity. 

These flawed distortions and aberrations within religions are often not the original ‘criteria’ and ‘rules’ of a belief system or religion that you have decided to belong to.  This is, a belief system that has undoubtedly evolved through time and so may have originated with ‘contaminations’ or evolved with distortions – as does a Chinese whisper.   So you experience the current beliefs and ideologies but you may also have the luxury of learning about the legitimate history of the Faith to that to which you have decided to belong to, thus giving you more informed knowledge and understanding of the origins and evolutions of the religion and belief system you have chosen to belong.  But distortions and contaminations of any original ‘truths’ may have evolved slowly within the different cultures and traditions that encompass a religion.  Sometimes the original rules, principles, and criteria forming the basis and framework of a religion or belief system may be the result of the activities of a ‘prophet’, or charismatic person which activities may include personal pride, opportunism and the need for personal power.  They may have also, in part, have been plagiarised from other ancient religions and belief systems.        

Because of the inadequacies and imperfections of belief systems – because, by definition, humans are imperfect at remembering and interpreting - ones belief in a particular faith and religion should not be an absolute belief in all that is written and spoken about that particular religion.  And definitely, ones beliefs should not hang on the personal feeling that one’s belief  is perfectly ‘right’ or ‘good’.  Or a belief that is about being personally proud, arrogant or having a sense of exclusiveness about their religion with regard to other religions.  Because having an attitude that ones religion is the perfect and ‘right’ religion automatically puts other religions in the position of being ‘wrong’, evil, and or ‘bad’.  So ones beliefs should also include celebrating one’s awareness that all religions are vehicles for worshipping and understanding Self and Self in relation to the universe and Creator, including understanding more the invisible spiritual intricacies and dynamics of Self and Self’s consciousness and awareness.  Including acknowledging self’s strengths and inevitably any weaknesses that need adjusting, changing and working on in relation to Self towards Self and others in the world.

 

More about Comparative Religious Beliefs

 

The word Karma is an ancient word meaning ‘for the fruits of.action’.  In Hinduism, Karma is often about retribution, vengeance, punishment or reward.  The pure meaning of Karma simply deals with what is.  Karma is an extension of natural universal acts.  The effects of karma potentially experienced are also believed to be mitigated by actions, and are not necessarily fateful.  This means that a particular action now, does not bind you to some particular, pre-determined future experiences or reactions; it is not a simple, one-to-one correspondence of reward/ punishment or an ‘eye for an eye.  Because Hinduism originated from the culture and tribes of ancient Indian peoples, the meaning of words such as karma have been given interpretations with more menacing and self-serving meanings. 

In general, religious and cultural terms the effects of deeds, actively create past, present and future experiences.  This makes one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain and joy it may bring to others.  Of course, this is a limited simplistic concept of life lived because life is lived in very complex ways, often dictated by the environment, family, community and government interventions that may dramatically stifle one’s choices.

However, in the religion of Buddhism there is no outside intervention from God as there is with Hinduism.  In Buddhism most types of karmas, with good or bad results, will keep one within the wheel of ‘sansara’- the cycle of reincarnation – other actions conceived will produce ‘seeds’ that sprout into the appropriate result that liberates one to nirvana.  The idea of karma is related to the personal motivation behind an action.  When full enlightenment is achieved, or when one becomes a ‘Buddha’ one is not influenced or controlled by the notion of reincarnation, but achieves nirvana or a state of perfect wellbeing where reincarnation ceases to be.

Nirvana is a mode of being free from what are called personal defilements of lust, anger, ill will, aversion, greed, jealousy, conceit, hatred, fear, sensual desire, obsession, passion, irritation, distraction, vengeance, depression, anxiety, worry, doubt, restlessness and clinging to the body etc. of which there are different levels and degrees.  But meditation through the process of jhana is about auditing such personal defilements through internal investigation, analysing, and experiencing and understanding the true nature of each defilement through applied and directed thought, sustained thought, neutral feeling and one-pointedness achieved through instigating the fixation of the mind on the meditation object to eliminate and reduce the defilements.  Higher attainments in the scale of concentration and consciousness include the dimension of the infinity of space, infinity of consciousness, dimension of nothingness and the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.  

Over time these meditations eventuate in a state of great inner peace and contentment, and one which is of “the highest happiness”, Enlightenment and Nirvana.  That is, not a sense-based happiness but an enduring transcendental happiness of the highest spiritual attainment.  It is one of ‘deathlessness’ and calmness attained through Enlightenment.  Nirvana is the domain of the True Self.  This is, a state constituting the attainment of what is “Eternal, the Self, Bliss, and the Pure”. 

Enlightenment dissolves the causes that keep beings forever wandering through realms of desire and form. This concept in terms of Christian beliefs would compare with an individual moving through, after anatomical death, to the cleansing place they call purgatory and in heaven with spiritual bliss.  Described simply, depending on one’s degree of virtuous living on earth will determine the level of ‘pain’ experienced through one’s self-reflection when one ‘passes over’.  If one has lived a virtuous life this is akin to becoming pure and thus a ‘Buddha’, and so, closer to the experience of enlightenment and the Creator. 

But Buddhists believe in the ‘purity’ and contentment of self as the ultimate goal and immortality as being not to far removed from Christian belief.  The author believes these entities and elements are inherently interwoven.  So as with most religions, different terms describe different paths to self improvement and immortality, but which paths ultimately all lead to the same destination.  Indeed in Hindu passage – Rig Veda 1. 164. 46c, it states, “The truth is one the wise call it by many names”.  On the other hand, the Hindu sect of Vaishnava believes that spiritual liberation can only be obtained through submission to God in the form of Vishnu. 

Moreover, Buddhism understands karma as an inherent principle of cause and effect manifest from the actions of the individual without the intervention of a Supernatural Being.  Most Christian and Western religions understand God dispensing the deserved reward or punishment when Self passes to the “other side”.  This reward and punishment concept from God, is, however, becoming obsolete in terms of the new generation of thought where one’s Self reflects on one’s life both in ‘this’ world and after anatomical death resulting in one experiencing the happiness or pain one has produced for others on earth. 

This reflective experience then is either more or less congruent or incongruent with the knowledge of Truth of ‘God’s’ unconditional love, and determines one’s required degree and need for self-improvement.. Other Christians believe in the earthly cause and effect response – ‘what you sow you shall reap’ – but which is qualified by the commandments of the behaviours of ‘compassion and forgiveness’.  This is in addition, as discussed above, to Self reflecting on one’s life regarding both transgressive and virtuous behaviours, and learning from any pain and suffering caused or pleasure and respect given to others.

In Christian, Western and Eastern religions the religious and spiritual purpose, destination, and goals are similar where the ultimate desire and goals are to reach a state of perfection and spiritual deathlessness.  Immortality and eternity means that after death the individual does not age, does not die, and does not perish.  So religions ultimately carry the same goals with different paths and this is no less truer for those belief systems that contain elements of extremism, which by definition, means their path is corrupt and distorted and open to abuse. 

But belief in a religion or no religion does not exclude one from the fruits of desire and goals of self-improvement, happiness and immortality. But one gains internal conscious and unconscious knowledge from the information disseminated through people and the media regarding the beliefs, structures and frameworks of different religions.   

Indeed, many Hindus venerate scriptures of other religions because it is believed that the ‘One Divinity’ can reveal itself in infinite ways.  Of Hinduism the experience of divinity is the only thing that can give self true peace, happiness and salvation from suffering and ignorance.  Many have heard of the pop culture ‘Yoga’, but Yoga in Hinduism describes Yoga as the different methods to achieve the spiritual goal of life.

For example:

 

 

The religion of Hindu believes reincarnation continues between a pleasant and unpleasant rebirth until over the cause of time a person sufficiently purifies the mind and intellect to attain the goal of life which is to experience the highest truth about God.  Reincarnation is called Samsara according to the Vedic texts.  This is, being bound to the cycle of repeated birth and death through numerous lifetimes.  The soul is immortal, while the body is subject to birth and death.  A person desires to be reborn because he/she wants to enjoy worldly pleasures. 

Hinduism teaches that worldly pleasures can never bring deep, lasting happiness or peace.  Once a person realises their own divine nature, realises that the true self is the immortal soul rather than the body or the ego, all desires for the pleasures of the world vanish.  This breaks the cycle of reincarnation and thus one attains the state of Nirvana.  Hindu practice seeks to increase a person’s awareness of the divinity that is present everywhere and in everything.  The more a devotee can think holy thoughts, the sooner he/she can purify his or her mind.  Seeing the Supreme Being in firstly in one thing and then another.

 

CHAPTER 5

 

TRUTH IS STRANGER

THAN FANTASY

        

Did the Creator become Human?

American Astronaut James Erwin

Was Christ’s Coming Foretold?

Who Is Jesus of Nazareth?

Is Jesus Christ Also ‘God’?

Jesus’ Claims of Being the Son of ‘God’

Jesus Christ Rising from the Dead

The Logical, Psychological and Philosophical Strategy

 

 

Did the Creator become Human?

        

         We have in part so far discussed information revealed to us by way of Natural Revelation.  This is information from human reason and intellect in relation to the deduction of knowledge from the scientific knowledge regarding the entities of the universe.  From logical and rational deduction from this information, we may now be increasing further the contemplation of the incredible and amazing features of creation.  For those of us that have been cautiously skeptical we may possibly be starting to consider in believing that a Creator may need to exist for life its self to exist.  But has this Creator personally revealed Himself to human kind here on this planet through supernatural revelation?  Amazingly, the evidence suggests that the answer to this question maybe yes.  The Creator has possibly revealed Himself through the incarnation, by becoming a human, by becoming a man, a man called Jesus Christ.  Christ is the Greek word for “the anointed one” and Messiah is the Hebrew word for “the anointed one”.  Based on historical evidence, the person called Jesus of Nazareth really did exist about 2000 years ago.  If we can believe that a Creator created the universe then we could believe that this Creator could also come to Earth in the form of a human or any other form for that matter.  If we can cognitively and emotionally accept the historical facts about the possibility of the person Jesus Christ, truly existing.  And if we can cognitively and emotionally relate to the notion that a Creator of the universe would find nothing IT willed impossible. Then it would be true to say, that any perceived discrepancy, and the only potential ambiguity and question remaining today, regarding the person Jesus Christ, would be about whether He really was/ is the Son of ‘God’, that is, the Son of the Creator.  So the defining question is whether or not Jesus Christ really is ‘God’ incarnate”.  Instead of questioning whether the person Jesus Christ actually did or did not exist.                         

         It is said that Jesus Christ was and still is both fully and completely human, and fully and completely Divine.  It is said that the Creator came into this world as a human being, one of us, for humans to see Him experience first hand, human consciousness of emotions, thoughts and relationships.  The Creator came into this world to demonstrate solidarity with the reality and sacredness of human dignity and sovereignty and the human experiences of sadness, happiness, fear, joy, grief and death.  The Creator came into this world to show us the power of interpersonal relational love, compassion and reconciliation.  He came into 'our' human world to show and inform us of whom He, the Creator, really is, and to make aware and inform us of the potentially destructive nature of human base instincts associated with gratuitous damaging choices made by humans as a result their freewill.  He came into this world to declare His desire for an interpersonal relationship.  He came into this world to pay the dues for all humans, to pay debts incurred through the human imperfect condition, to fully, and perfectly, justify all peoples in the Divine eyes, heart and soul of the Creator.  For all have transgressed and fallen short of the glory of ‘God’ thereby the necessity of opening up the Creator’s kingdom to all the peoples of the world.  The Creator came to planet Earth so that humans could experience the resurrection and thus confidence in their personal eternity and immortality.

         Secular scholars and historians agree unequivocally on the existence of Jesus Christ of Nazareth nearly 2,000 years ago as an historical figure, a historical fact of those early times.  It is contemporary knowledge that Jesus Christ existed as a historical figure, equally as much as it is known other famous historical and ancient figures existed, including Buddha, Socrates, Plato, Pontius Pilot, Constantine, Augustine and Mohammed, to mention only a few famous and colourful figures from the past.  Famous people from the past, whose contributions and influences to the world have been carried down to us through the ages, through history and through the centuries of time.

         Secular historical evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ includes; Cornelius Tacitus the Roman Historian who was Governor of Asia Minor in 112AD described the Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians in Rome, “Christus, from whom they got their name had been executed by sentence of the prosecutor Pontius Pilate when Tiberius was Emperor”.  Dr. Steve Kumar looks at the historical figure of Jesus from another perspective in his book, Answering the Counterfeit (1992).  The fact is, how could Jesus have even been a great moral teacher or prophet let alone the Son of God if he was lying about the nature of his true being?  If the man they called Jesus of Nazareth was wrong on the most pivotal and crucial area of his life he could hardly have been a great moral teacher and prophet and all the writings of the Gospels would be pointless.  Indeed, if Jesus Christ wasn’t in fact the Son of God as purported by his disciples that he claimed to be, he must have been either a liar or intellectually and/or psychologically ‘challenged’.  Thus, the entire writings of the New Testament would be fanciful and based on fiction.    Furthermore, if the disciples, writers, and authors, of the New Testament had lied, or been misquoted, or mistaken, about what Jesus had said and taught with regard to being the Son of God, then the entire New Testament and the two thousand year old Christian movement, with its billion followers, would be based on nothing but error and folly.

         These statements and concepts provide us with a significant and profound intellectual quandary. Is it not true that we must either believe that Jesus of Nazareth had to be a liar or intellectually or psychologically disabled or he was misquoted or his disciples lied about what he said or we must believe that Jesus must have been the Son of God.  That is, Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, and was and is God, and God was and is Jesus Christ?

 

The American Astronaut James Erwin

        

The American astronaut James Erwin, who was one of the first humans to travel deep into outer space, and set foot on the moon said, on his return to Earth, and after seeing creation from a new perspective.  "The greatest event in history was not when man was able to travel deep into outer space and walk on the moon, but when God Himself walked on this Earth."  This is a profound statement from one with the opportunity to view the earth and universe objectively from the depths of outer space.  We may discover that we too could find that statement difficult to disagree with as we continue to explore the reality of God becoming man through the historical figure Jesus Christ – God incarnate. 

         Jesus Christ is the name of a man who most people on Earth have heard of.   We may have all heard about Jesus Christ even if only through the cursing of His name from someone’s mouth and lips, or we have heard of Him through the media, or from friends and relations about the festive celebration of Christmas and Easter.

 

Was Christ’s Coming Foretold?

 

            Interestingly enough it appears that some of the ‘prophets’ and writers of the Old Testament may have foretold, through the gifts of spiritual insight, the coming of God, the coming of the Messiah in future times through and as a human being, centuries before the actual event of the birth of Jesus Christ.

 

Verses in the Old Testament that foretold Christ’s coming, include Isaiah 53: 1-12:

 

“Like a sapling he grew up in front of us,

 Like a root in arid ground.

Without beauty, without majesty (we saw him),

No looks to attract our eyes;

A thing despised and rejected by men,

A man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,

A man to make people screen their faces;

He was despised and we took no account of him.

And yet ours were the sufferings he bore,

Ours the sorrows he carried.

But we, we thought of him as someone punished,

Struck by God, and brought low.

Yet he was pierced through for our faults,

Crushed for our sins,

On him lies a punishment that brings us peace,

And through his wounds, we are healed.

We had gone astray like sheep,

Each taking his own way,

And Yahweh burdened him,

With the sin of all of us,

Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly,

He never opened his mouth,

Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house,

Like a sheep that is dumb before its Shearer

Never opening its mouth,

By force and by law he was taken,

Would anyone plead his cause?

Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living,

For our faults struck down in death.

They gave him a grave with the wicked,

A tomb with the rich,

 

Though he had done no wrong

And there had been no perjury in his mouth.

Yahweh has been pleased to crush him with suffering.

If he offers his life in atonement,

He shall see his heirs,

He shall have a long life,

And through Him what Yahweh wishes will be done.

His soul’s anguish over

He shall see the light and be content.

By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,

Taking their faults on himself,

Hence, I will grant whole hordes for his tribute,

He shall divide the spoil with the mighty,

For surrendering himself to death,

And letting himself be taken for a sinner,

While he was bearing the faults of many,

And praying all the time for sinners.”

  

 

 

And Isaiah 7: 4 reads:

“The Lord Himself, therefore,

Will give you a sign,

It is this: the maiden is with child,

And will soon give birth to a son whom she will call, Immanuel."

 

Isaiah 9: 5-6 says:

“For there is a child born for us,

A son given to us,

And dominion is laid on His shoulders,

And this is the name they give Him,

Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,

Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace,

Wide is His dominion,

In a peace that has no end."

    

Isaiah 42: 1-4 states:

"Here is my servant whom I have chosen my beloved,

The favourite of my soul, I will endow Him with my spirit,

And He will proclaim the true faith to the nations,

He will not brawl or shout,

Nor will anyone hear His voice in the street,

He will not break the crushed seed,

Nor put out the smoldering wick

Till He has led the truth to victory,

In His name the nations will put their hope."

 

Also including:

Malachi 3; Isaiah 62:11

Zechariah 9:9; Psalms 110:1

Zechariah 11: 12-17; Psalms 2:1-12

Micah 5:2-5; Daniel 9:25

Daniel 7:13; 14: 27

 

Who Is Jesus of Nazareth?

 

            Who was Jesus Christ?  Who is the historical Jesus of Nazareth?  Who is the Jesus as the written facts of ancient history would allow us to understand.  In a third rate and subjected nation to the Roman Empire, Jesus of Nazareth, later known as Jesus Christ, was born a Judean or Jew of a Jewish virgin peasant woman called Mary. However, over the centuries Jews have acquired a new identity as Jewish people.  It is written that Jesus was born in Bethlehem - where King David was born 1000 years earlier - in a stable of hay surrounded by animals, in the territory of Judea, which was then occupied by the Romans.  Although some biblical scholars say Jesus was more likely born in Nazareth rather than Bethlehem, which was a creation to fulfill the legacy and lineage of King David.  His father was also a Judean and a carpenter called Joseph, who was embarrassed by Mary’s pre-marriage illegitimate pregnancy, often called the ‘The Immaculate Conception’.  Hey, if a supreme intelligent being can create the universe and infuse humans with consciousness, cognition and emotion, and Jesus raised the dead to life, then ‘God the Creator/Father’ could equally as easily and believably infuse Mary’s womb with the ‘Son Of God’ – No?  But Joseph stood by Mary and rather than comply with the law and have her stoned to death, he married her.  Jesus’ family questioned the legitimacy of His work being that of a Messiah, as He did not outwardly portray the behaviour and characteristics of a King, a messiah who could save the world, and as the oldest son He was not readily available to help support the family which was the custom at that time. 

At twelve years of age Jesus preached in the Jewish Temple, which was the focal point for economics, trade, politics and religion.  He chastised them for abusing His Father’s house.  Jesus never had any money or owned any property and He was without formal education never holding any office or position of influence.  He never wrote a book and never traveled further than a long walk from his place of birth.  He trained as a carpenter and was seen to be a student of Hebrew Scriptures, but also wandered around Jerusalem and Galilee teaching Judean priests and the people about the new laws of God.  To disseminate His messages He told intriguing and sophisticated parables and performed miracles, raising dead people to life.  He loved the company of others, but also enjoyed the moments when he preferred to be alone.  He enjoyed eating food and drinking, and the fellowship of others, and he wanted other people to enjoy these things to.   

         He was a friend and advocate of the poor and hungry (Luke 14:12), of the unemployed (Matt 20:9), of the widow and the orphan (Matt 23:4).  He knew the cure for human misery, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt 11:28).  And he knew too that the folk most likely to come to Him and hear His message and find their fullness and satisfaction were those who had nowhere to go and no one to love or care for them, those with an open heart and mind and those without debilitating arrogance and pride. “Blessed are the poor, ye that hunger now, ye that weep now” (Luke 6:20-21).  They were ‘blessed’ because their human condition raised no obstacles between themselves and the kingdom of ‘God’ and the message of Jesus.  But He was ‘there’ for all peoples both sinner and saint alike.

            He performed many miracles of which 37 were recorded in the Bible, from the changing of water into wine at Cana, walking on water, feeding of the 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes, to the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:14-43).  Christ was made known to not only the general population, but also to the authorities, through the witnessing and reporting of the miracles performed by him.  These miracles included the miracle of the raising of Lazarus back to life and the blatant turning over of the ‘money changers’ tables in the Temple (people had to pay for ‘holy tokens’ to enter and pray in the Temple).  These activities, along with Jesus’ claim of being ‘King of the Jews’ exposed Him as a significant risk and threat to the status and authority of the Temple’s Chief (High) Priest.

 

“Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied”.

(Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:5)

        

         At the young age of 33, Jesus was condemned to death by the High Priest Caphias and the Roman prosecutor Pontius Pilate.  He was killed because He was seen as a threat to the traditions and way of life of the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law (Mark 8:31-33).  He was murdered because He was seen as a threat to their culture, their beliefs, and their values.  He was killed as if a lamb to the slaughter because He chose to be.  He was annihilated because He was  believed a threat to the political and religious agenda’s, power and practices, and the privileged, comfortable and secure status.  He was exterminated because He talked of being a new King, but a king of the Kingdom heaven, and not a king  of this world.  He was kicked and punched He was scourged and whipped.  He was ‘crowned’ with large thorns.  He was verbally insulted and spat upon.