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The 500 Leslie Flint Tape-Recordings
500 Testimonies from the Other Side
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Editor’s Prefatory Comments:
This writing featuring the 500 Flint tape-recordings might rank among the most vital-to-know on the Word Gems site. Before analyzing the findings, however, it’s necessary to address the unspoken question of many:
“How do we know that these recordings are authentic and legitimate? What evidence do we have that Leslie Flint was not a fraud? How can we know that all this was not just a grand hoax?”
These are important questions and need to be asked. Happily, we will find that the work of Leslie Flint was thoroughly investigated in his day.
Leslie Flint, circa. 1970
"I think I can safely say that I am the most tested medium this country has ever produced... I have been boxed up, tied up, sealed up, gagged, bound and held, and still the voices have come to speak their message of life eternal."
Leslie Flint was presented to you in Afterlife item #5, Direct-Voice Mediums. You’ll want to read additional information there. But the work of Mr. Flint is so important, his work having been tested and scrutinized so thoroughly, and, therefore, the resultant evidence so supportive of post-mortem survival of consciousness, that it deserves our special attention as a separate listing here on the Afterlife evidence page.
Over several decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s, many hundreds of tape-recordings were made of persons from the other side offering testimony concerning their lives in Summerland, with 500 of these recordings available, free, online, for anyone to study. I personally have reviewed these and will be presenting summary thoughts below.
Also, please consider an article by Michael Tymn concerning the authenticity of Mr. Flint's mediumship: Evidence of the Validity of the Leslie Flint Recordings
how the data from "the 500" is presented
On the “Summerland” and “Summerland 1-Minute Essay” pages you will find a substantial list of the more prominent features of the next world. The reporters of “the 500,” in the main, supply much corroboration in this regard.
However, to avoid duplication, the already-presented characteristics of Summerland are not often discussed in the findings herein. Instead, I have attempted to offer from “the 500” that which might be considered new material.
Is “the 500” a good representation, an accurate survey, of people’s views in Summerland?
Strangely, I feel the answer to be ‘no.’
When I began my study of “the 500,” I took note that many polls today might offer a high degree of accuracy based on a sampling size of only 500 participants. The respected Rasmussen polling service does well predicting outcomes of elections based on numbers of this modest order.
But, if the poll is conducted within a neighborhood in which a high percentage of the citizens subscribe to a particular political viewpoint, then the outcome of the polling data will be skewed in favor of that local mindset. For the data to be relevant, it must be representative of the whole. “The 500” is not representative of the whole of Summerland; not even nearly. Here’s why:
Think of an expanded checkerboard. Let’s allow the many little squares to represent all of the philosophical “neighborhoods” of Summerland. There might be thousands or millions of these over there. The Flint “500” constitutes one little square on the board among a horde of diversity.
For those who do not know what I’m talking about, you’ll want to review the discussion in “The Wedding Song” concerning what Andrew Jackson Davis called “brotherhoods” on the other side. Allow me to quote from that writing:
Andrew Jackson Davis, the great mystic and spiritual teacher of the latter 1800s, speaks of his visions of Summerland. He tells of a wild-west commotion, all shapes and sizes, concerning what he terms “brotherhoods” dominating the lower sectors of Summerland.
Jackson reports of groups representing the Catholics, the Muslims, the Shakers, and indeed every religious sect; some of these groups go back thousands of years to the Gnostics, and to the ancient Egyptian mystery cults, ones who still believe in Ammon Ra; groups devoted to philosophies of ancient Greece, Babylon, and other early civilizations; groups representing primitive peoples, such as the American Indian and the Australian Bushman; there would also be the Flat-Earthers, the New-Agers, the Pythagoreans, the Platonists; groups promoting atheism, polytheism, or animism; groups divided according to country: the Germans, the British, the French, and every nation; groups who live like Gypsies, just wanting to travel all the time without putting down roots. We could list many more; it’s a zoo.
It should be noted, as well, that Emanuel Swedenborg, one of the most accomplished and famous persons of the eighteenth century, also reported of these brotherhoods in his own mystical visions of Summerland.
Let’s put this another way. If alien visitors landed on Earth, hoping to learn about us, and if their flying-saucer dropped anchor in New York’s Times Square, the “little green men” would get one view of what it’s like here, but if they came to rest in the middle of a North Dakota wheat field, they’d come away with a different opinion. (My Dad would put them to work, they'd be sorry they came.)
You see what I mean. And Summerland is far more complex, far more diverse, and far more expansive spatially than our little planet; some reports say that Summerland is millions of miles wide and long.
Further, Leslie Flint was British, and most, not all but most, of those “coming through” to speak via his mediumship were British, and so "the 500" would tend to offer the British outlook.
Also, Leslie Flint seemed to believe in reincarnation, as did the “sitters” in his “circle” who spoke to the visitors from the other side. It is generally known that the belief-system of the medium will affect and shape the outcome of the message; that is, the medium will tend to attract those of like mind from the other side. Not all but the vast majority of those who “came through” via Mr. Flint believed in reincarnation. We will have more to say about this below.
life is like an elephant; or not
My old college buddy, Adrian, recently reminded me of the ancient Sufi parable of the elephant:
There’s a well known Sufi story from the 12th century about a group of blind people trying to figure out what an elephant is. One person would feel the ear and say it’s like a velvet carpet; another would feel the trunk and say no, it’s a hollow pipe; yet another would feel the leg and say it’s a pillar - but no one has the vantage point to see the whole elephant. The totality of experience is never accessible.
“The 500” constitutes a great and unwieldy corpus of information, not easily defined and categorized. Its totality will remain inaccessible; nevertheless, let us begin the review.
the dog that didn’t bark
I will say this, however, right at the start: in my opinion, one of the most salient features of this entire formidable cache of data centers upon what is never mentioned. Like Sherlock’s telling clue, it is the dog that didn’t bark.
picture the setting
On the Earth-side of the communication, there was Mr. Flint along with the “sitters” who would interact with and question the other-world communicators.
Mr. Flint, unlike Anna Wickland or Rick Rickards, was not a trance-medium. He was fully conscious during these communications; in fact, he too was able to converse – though he usually did not -- with those coming through to speak.
The “voices” did not flow through Mr. Flint’s mouth but, instead, issued, as it seemed, from within the room generally. Everyone attending could plainly hear the voices. Some of them were faint and some were booming.
Editor’s note: This reminds me of Emily French (see on the previously-mentioned #5 Direct-Voice Medium page), the aged and frail little old lady through whose mediumship thunderous voices, like a rock concert with the amps turned up too high, sometimes filled the room.
And on the Summerland-side of the communication, there would be the primary communicator, but also – I’m going to use my own terms here – a “sound crew” or a “stage prep team.”
Editor’s note: Let me remind everyone of the need to rid ourselves of the “harp, pink cherub, and floating on clouds” mentality, the traditional Big Religion fairly-tale, fake-news view of “heaven.” Summerland, in the main, is a normal world where people do normal things and live normal lives. And the “laws” of physics – Dr. Sheldrake would say, the universal “habits” of nature – apply to that side just as much as to ours. In briefest outline, regarding technical requirements for communication, here’s how it works. Matter vibrates at a different rate over there. In order for a communication to be possible – at least, via direct-voice mediumship – the “vibrations” have to be made to match. This is why those who have recently passed over, those still “earthbound,” or those living in “neighborhoods” of Summerland vibrationally nearer to the Earth, have an easier time getting in touch with relatives “back home.”
The “sound crew” in Summerland, not so unlike a stage-team setting up equipment, helps the communicator to prepare for the liaison. The communicator will speak into what they say looks like a "box" or a "mask" -- their version of a microphone -- in order for the Flint team to receive a message. Very often the communicators will fret, "Oh, this is so awkward speaking into this thing," and then they will say, like some Verizon commercial, "Can you hear me? I don't know if you can hear me!"
Regarding "matching the vibrations," there are sometimes technical difficulties from other sources, as well; bad weather on Earth, or too much electromagnetic interference from the Sun, producing "static on the line." Also, if the sitters were to be of a hostile or skeptical frame of mind, this too would shut down the "vibrational" lines of contact.
Editor’s note: If technical difficulties could be overcome, it is theoretically possible to create a kind of “phone line” between our world and Summerland. Imagine speaking to Grandma over there as readily as if she were in a Tampa Bay condo. Scientists on this side and that are working on things like this; whimsically, one such project is called the “soul phone.”
We should not easily dismiss this. It wasn’t so long ago in our history that a trip to the Moon was just a fantasy, or a contraption of metal, flying a like a bird, sounded like the height of folly, or even today's instant retrieval of virtually all of humankind's knowledge, with just a click of a finger, seems fantastic, too.
Further, it's not just "phone" but "screen monitor" contact with loved ones in Summerland that might be possible. We've been able to effect visual contact from impossibly far-away places like the Moon or Mars or Saturn, or even from Voyager I, billions of miles away, and so it's "old hat" to us now, we can do this from anywhere - we just need the right Skype hook-up. Tell Grandma it's coming in the 2.0 upgrade version, and that "the graphics are awesome," as the kids say.
most of “the 500” were well spoken, some highly educated, most of average intelligence, but a few were quite low-level and even rude
A small number coming through sounded confused, in a dazed condition, with little concept of what had happened to them. One lady, whom the sitters called “Laughing Molly,” poor dear, seemed so fragile and incoherent. She would laugh too much and at inappropriate times, was nervous and unsure of things. She was quite religious. Undoubtedly, she’d expected to find a world of “harps, pink cherubs, and floating on clouds,” a world of God and Jesus sitting on white marble thrones, the Blessed Virgin at-the-ready to comfort, with a lot of hallelujahs mixed in everywhere; but it didn’t work out that way for Molly, and now she didn’t know what to do.
Editor’s note: Molly's “didn’t know what to do” could have been easily remedied with a little knowledge about the afterlife. If you were anticipating a trip to Paris, wouldn’t it make sense to learn something about the local culture, the major streets and places of interest, how to say a few phrases so you could buy a cup coffee? This is common sense. But, due to the propaganda of Big Religion and the fear of death in general, most people usually say, “I’ll worry about the next life when I get there. Right now I’m too busy living in this world. I’m going to live one life at a time.” The fear of death is dealt with in different ways, and this marginalizing of the Great Adventure is just a smoke-screen for unspoken terrors of what they feel will be judgment to come; which is inaccurate because no one is judged; however, only the rare individual, it seems, will accept new information to address this in an open and honest way.
Concerning the terrorized outlook of "Laughing Molly," very frequently “the 500” speak out against the rigid, anti-intellectual, anti-humanistic, fear-and-guilt ridden religious view as probably the very worst frame of mind one can have upon transitioning. It really messes you up, is something one needs to grow out of in Summerland before any progress can be made, and typically, for the hard-core, requires restorative therapy in a cult-deprogramming hospital for new arrivals. A mental rigidity, pretending that "I already have all the truth, all the one true doctrines, the one true church," leads people to incapacitating, reason-denying, egoically-induced phobias; that is, until one figures out one has been royally had by Big Religion and the Nice Young Man at Church.
the stagecoach robber
Another hapless, but tragically colorful, figure was that of a brigand, a highwayman, of old England. This stagecoach robber had died by hanging, and he spoke condemningly of the judge who sentenced him as “that rascal.” This poor fellow, tormented, no doubt, by scores of years of self-pity and wailing, would lapse into a mumbling fit, singing a mindless little do-dah-do song from childhood. We are reminded of the uncharitable barb of Herman Melville: "You are no doubt destined for high elevation - but only at the gallows." But, there is hope for all.
Editor’s note: I’ve known people who lived a life of nearly-perpetual churlishness, petulance, and victimhood. At the end of their unhappy mortal time, with personality having been all but burned out and hollowed by continual complaining and egocentrism, they will assuredly enter the afterlife, like the highwayman, with diminished abilities of mind. Not infrequently, in my experience, the worst of these inveterate offenders are also religious. Some of the most damaged in this group believe that they can be as nasty and uncharitable as they like with no sow-and-reap consequence. They were taught, a long time ago, because they believed the right doctrines and attended the right church, that you can game the system by getting your “sins forgiven” with a magic wave of the hand by the Nice Young Man at Church. In this cynical view of the universe, God is purchasable, venal, a bribable cosmic bureaucrat, who easily hides his face from justice at the mere mentioning of magic words. Pretty sick stuff, pretty perverse. And little wonder that those of such unrealistic, Machiavellian, and immoral mindset have a great deal of trouble when they crash into how things really work on the other side. Even my Dad, who was basically a good man, but burdened with incompetent and merchandizing religious advisors, communicated with me, "Nothing over here is like I thought it would be!" Dad was in a bad way for some time, but he's doing better now. The good news is that we can all find healing, escape the clutches of Big Religion, begin to live authentically, and finally find our happiness.
Editor’s note: The woeful figure of “Laughing Molly” waiting to be met by Jesus or the Blessed Virgin, like waiting for Godot, is most tragic and pitiable. But she is one of untold millions made a fool of by Big Religion in its power-and-control methodology. I still recall, when I was about ten, Dad giving me a facts-of-life talk about how things really worked in religion; it went like this: “God is too angry and mean, you can’t deal with him, he even killed his son; and Jesus, well, we don’t say too much about him; but The Blessed Virgin, now if you want to get your prayers answered, you have to go to her. She’s the one with the real power up there. God won’t turn her down. She’ll stand up for you to the angry God, she's nice.” Dad's "hitch-hiker’s guide to heaven” is not official RCC doctrine. If pressed, the hierarchy would deny any of this. But Dad wasn’t making this up; unofficially, it’s a common view, closely held in the Church, and millions fervently believe this as gospel. The concept of a "Virgin Mother as Queen of Heaven” is found in many ancient cults. This satirical image of "dear mother as public-relations intermediary to an evil father," a "Carol Burnett skit" interpretation of the moral universe, along with other misanthropic precept, was cut-and-pasted from age-old marketplace superstitions to render the new Christian religion more palatable and saleable, more comforting and familiar, to the fearful masses. It will be asked, however, “Some near-death experiencers report that Mother Mary came to the aid of the discarnate traveler. Does this not prove that she is a goddess of heaven?” My answer is, no, it doesn't, it’s more complicated than that. See the article on “The Near-Death Experience.” During the NDE adventure, people see what they’re programmed to see, what they want to see, and what they need to see; at least for the moment. If it were their time to take up permanent residence in Summerland, they might have to spend a while in a cult-deprogramming hospital, but, if they have to go back, then the exigencies of the moment will be addressed with temporary solution. How do we know this? Read about the case of the two construction workers who “died” together, left their bodies at the same time, and entered a "shared NDE." While absent from the mortal frame, they encountered a radiant being; only one such being came to meet them. Later they compared notes on what they experienced. Each was convinced of seeing a beloved religious icon representing his particular faith: one saw Buddha and the other saw the Blessed Mother, or some such. What does this mean? It means that neither of them interacted with objective reality. It was just an orchestration, some custom-crafted pageantry. The radiant being was either a thought-projection (see below) or a Spirit Guide presenting him or herself in a manner that would not shock the uninitiated percipient. This is an old trick by the Guides; they believe in "baby steps" and do all sorts of things, if possible, to help people adjust to the environs of the other side.
But as I was saying above, some coming through via Mr. Flint were just plain rude, in a childish way. They would start fights, make baseless accusations, and imagine the sitters to be against them. One notable case was a fellow, sporting this bellicose attitude, who had caused Mr. Flint to snicker. The immediately-offended visitor shot back at the medium, "What are you laughing at?!" Catching Mr. Flint off guard, he deflected lamely with, "I'm not laughing!" - said he, laughing. This was funny.
a variation on the “holodeck world”
Several of my writings I consider to be very important, and it’s difficult to say which is primary, but there’s one that’s definitely a top-five favorite: How We'll Find Wholeness in Summerland from the Traumatic Sufferings and Losses of This World.
I affectionately refer to this as my "holodeck-world” writing. Everyone needs to have this information. It is more than wonderful. I cannot explain too much here as much discussion is required; however, just to say, as we advance a little over there, we will have the ability to control our environment in a true “mind over matter” way. As we mature, we will be able to bring into reality, as thought-projections, whole worlds for our particular, personally-defined happiness and pleasure. I suggest you read the article.
However, more than one of “the 500” spoke of a variation on this principle. They report that famous characters, for example, in novels – but it could be other forms of artistic expression – “live” in worlds that one can visit and with whom one might interact. Let’s choose an example: David Copperfield and Agnes. It will be possible to go to a world where you could meet David and Agnes, enter into conversation, go to dinner with them.
See the article featuring the love between
Agnes and David in "The Perfect Mate" book.
How does this work, how is this possible?
The thought-force, the desire and focused attention, of many people who love these characters brings them to a kind of “life” in a special world. But, even though David and Agnes would seem very real to a percipient, as real as any person, they would not be true human beings, they would not have souls. It’s a simulation, a thought-projection, but a very convincing one, and people engage in this kind of interaction for the sport of it. Welcome to Summerland, in this example, the “2.0 upgrade version,” for the advanced student over there.
Bobby Tracey, a five year-old, talks about his life in Summerland: "I'm a very good boy, everyone tells me."
This little fellow informs us that he goes to school, plays games, learns geography and history. Bobby lives with his mom (no longer on the Earth). He says he doesn't know how he died, how he got there, but he has a lot of friends now, and he plays [British] cricket, has a nice garden, and likes to play with his animals, a dog, a cat, and a horse.
"I'm a very good boy," he beams, "everyone tells me." He would have us know that he wears short trousers, swims in a river, and a nice man takes him and other children for rides on a boat. They all go to an island for fun.
And Bobby is learning how to draw. And he knows that his dad, still on Earth, “has another lady” now. His one protest, however, is that "they won't let me have soldier toys."
Bobby says he wants to be a school teacher when he grows up. “Everybody is kind here,” and "you can help people better on this side, and you'll be young over here," too. And, oh, yes, "we have nice chairs and carpets," and "sometimes I eat an apple," he just wanted us know. [smile]
the following may be the most touching and dramatically moving personal narrative among "the 500"
When people cross over to the other side, assuming there is no extreme hard-heartedness or terror of mind (which might send one to a “shadowland” for a while), they will invariably find themselves in a situation custom-crafted to make them feel at ease and at home.
This sense of familiarity and peace may be engendered by dear loved ones personally meeting the just-transitioned; or by waking up in a garden or restful room, some venue of tranquility that the newly-departed from Earth will resonate with.
In certain cases, however, the new arrival might experience much more. One of the most poignant and touching examples of this made-to-order serenity was experienced by George Wilmot. During World War I he’d been a British soldier fighting in France.
Decades later, when George woke up in Summerland, he found himself walking on a very pleasant country lane. It all seemed vaguely familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. Proceeding, he spotted a farmhouse in the distance. Now a sense of déjà-vu descended upon him forcibly. “No,” he thought, “this can’t be right! It can’t be that farmhouse!” But it was.
During his tour of duty as a soldier in France, he'd met and spent time with a farm family. And there was a girl. The family was so nice to him. They were all so wonderful. And he knew that he was falling in love with this French girl. He had to move on, though, but she remained on his mind. He hoped to come back and marry her. Later, to his horror and deep sorrow, he learned that the farmhouse had been bombed and totally destroyed.
But now, in an uncanny replay of history, George, in Summerland, is walking up that same country lane, to that same farmhouse! “They can’t be in that farmhouse!” he cautioned himself. But they were; all of them, including the girl he loved, who was waiting for him; she’d waited for him in Summerland for many decades. And this time he would write a new ending to their love story.
it's been a long, long time
Avengers: Endgame (2019), the final scene: Though he had to wait many decades for her, Steve (Chris Evans) finally gets that dance with Peggy (Hayley Atwell), as they glide and kiss to the 1945 classic, “It’s Been A Long, Long Time.”
This theme of a young soldier in France, with a farm family, and a girl, seems to come up again and again. It’s virtually a Jungian archetype. We encountered this in the story of Della and Gordon; it’s also found in movies and literature.
Editor’s note: Strangely, this even happened to me, though not as a soldier, at least, not the military kind. As a young man, attending bible college in England, I spent a portion of a summer in France as part of a French-immersion language program. The logistics of my stay were arranged by others, meaning, none of that which transpired was my own doing. As with George Wilmot, there was a French farm family; and there was a seventeen year-old girl: intelligent, beautiful, virtuous, capable – a “perfect” girl. I cannot offer great detail here concerning this seminal event in my life, but, simply to say, the whole family – parents, siblings, and the young girl – were so hospitable and warm toward me. It was all so wonderful. And I marveled at this event, but not in the way you might suspect. I noted that I was not falling in love with her, which greatly puzzled me: “How could I not be falling in love with this perfect girl?" I thought, "and, indeed, one from a perfect, loving family?” This would be one of the great lessons of romantic love in my life. I learned that even a “perfect” girl, from a perfect family, is not enough to make a perfect marriage. She did not belong to me, I sensed; there was no perception of “soulmate, myself,” her name was not “written on my heart,” and I soon felt this mystical distance, a vague emptiness, a lack of substantial affinity. Had we come together, over time, we would have been unhappy living with each other as I could not have given her what she needed and deserved. And though I’ve written four books discussing these issues, allow me to say and to emphasize that your Twin Soul, when you’re finally allowed to meet her or be with her, will not necessarily, at least in the beginning, be your “Twin Personality” or your “Twin eHarmony-Match.” There will be things to work out, and, in the early stages, you might clash more than you embrace. It might very well be like two raging rivers meeting in great turbulence. But despite this sometimes-perturbation at the surface of life, at the depths, at the level of deepest person, to your greatest shock, you will recognize her as yourself in another form; which will issue, as the great Spirit Guides say, with a sense of oneness “so magnetic, so overwhelming,” an overpowering feeling of coming home, of utter familiarity, of “you are just like me” – such that you will become lost in an amazement of love, lost in a profound wonderment of all that she is to you. Those two raging rivers eventually meld as a cosmic blissful serenity; the scripture offers imagery in a famous phrase, "peace, like a river."
Michael Tymn and colleague suggest that the Dino and Annie Nanji case may be the most significant for post-mortem survival among thousands reviewed
Michael Tymn conducted an interview with an afterlife researcher. Part of the discussion addressed the question, what is the most evidential information for post-mortem survival?
“Firstly, the Annie Nanji tapes from the Leslie Flint mediumship séances. This incident was never widely publicized, yet it remains hard evidence of survival that anybody can listen to online. In essence, an Indian doctor communicated via direct voice with his deceased wife, Annie, over the course of a decade. They were able to carry on their relationship, discussing tiny details of each other’s lives, which makes the possibility of fraud almost non-existent.”
A Swedish chemist, Dr. Dinshaw R. Nanji, via medium Leslie Flint, was able to communicate with his departed wife, Annie O. Nanji, who “died” of cancer in 1966. This couple conversed with each other, across the dimensional divide, for over ten years, from October 1970 to August 1983.
Michael Tymn's article speaks of the "tiny details" of their lives which made "the possibility of fraud almost non-existent." For example, Annie knew how Dino made up his bed that morning and folded the covers in a certain way. She knew about his diet, what he had for breakfast. She knew about his walk in the park and the little things that took place along the way. She knew all these things, there were few secrets to her, because, as she would frequently attest, she was with him.
a missionary outreach trip to the dark realms: "we're happy with our life here, why do you come to bother us, we're not troubling you, why don't you just leave us alone and go away"
A most instructive testimony was offered by Dr. Stephen Ward on the other side. He and two male colleagues ventured into the Dark Realms in order to persuade those who might be persuaded to enter Summerland to begin a happy life.
This missionary outreach effort was not unlike what we learned from Father Benson. Typically, as Ward describes, the farther one penetrates into “the rat cellar,” the rockier and more desolate becomes the terrain. Eventually, deeper into “no man’s land,” there are no trees or grass at all, just a vast expanse of sterile, inhospitable landscape, of the sort resulting from a “nuclear winter.”
Ward’s team encountered a small village outfitted with the most poverty-stricken huts. The pitiable denizens, the people living there – if they could be called people – seemed more like frightened animals, were dressed in rags or, now having lost a normal sense of presence and propriety, simply walked about unclothed. Ward said he felt like he’d stumbled into some ultra-primitive third-world scene, and it made his skin crawl.
Presently, an alpha-male, a seeming leader of the hapless “Neanderthal” group, met the outreach team. They were invited into the chieftain's private dwelling, quite modest and unremarkable, but “palatial,” Ward said, compared to the extreme destitution of the village rank-and-file. Female servants, presumably, concubines of the head-honcho male, scurried about and were made to fetch refreshments, which appeared to be some sort of nameless fruit. Ward reports that it tasted insipid, virtually flavorless, a sorry excuse for food.
And now, with a modicum of deference having been offered the visitors, the local cult leader begins to chide his unwanted guests:
“Why do you come to us? Can’t you see we’re happy? We’re content here. People like living the way we do. We're doing just fine. We’re not bothering you or causing you any trouble. Why don’t you just leave us alone and go away?”
After a few more pleasantries of this order, the outreach team decided it was time to leave. The alpha-male offered to walk them to the border of his kingdom; a gesture not so much rooted in courtesy but rather his way to make sure of their departure. After a short walk, they came to a bridge, which may have spanned a waterless river. The bridge constituted a kind of back-door to Summerland.
Soon the team would be crossing the bridge into a world of sunshine, singing birds, green grass, and flowers. However, as they all stood peering at the bridge, the conversation went something like this:
“Have you ever been curious to know what’s on the other side of this bridge? Have you ever been there?” questioned Dr. Ward.
“No, I’ve never been there,” countered the tribal leader, “and I don’t want to know what’s there.”
“You should search this out,” said Ward, undeterred. “There’s a better life for you and your people over there. They’re too afraid to cross this bridge and make a change on their own, but if you set the example they would follow you into a new world where everyone could have a good life.”
But the alpha-male was adamant: “Just leave us alone. We’re happy here. We don’t want anything else.” Translated: "I don't want to give up my power over these people."
As the missionary team neared the other side of the bridge, though the tribal leader was somewhat far away now, Dr. Ward commented that he could sense the inner spirit of the man left behind – a feeling of great relief to be rid of the meddling travelers. He felt threatened by the coming of the Summerland trio. It was more difficult, in their presence, for him to hide from himself and to play his power-games.
Editor’s note: There is much to instruct us here, many important principles to edify. There are individual egos, but also collective-ego institutions, and they're both fueled by the same negative energy. We will address some of this in the discussions below.
taking inventory of the 500: where we are, and where we're going
So far, in our travels investigating “the 500,” we’ve encountered several dramatic, immediately-engaging aspects of their testimonies. My notes contain other anecdotes, and therefore more stories could be added.
However, if I proceeded in this fashion, the present missive might take on the character of a travelogue or a novel, a collection of colorful factoids of “what comes next?” If I did this, you might be entertained, possibly, even momentarily inspired, as you read of these accounts. But then, at the end, you would set aside this writing and, in the main, never think of it again.
This would be unfortunate because what I learned from this research ranks among the most important, the most vital, information that can be known about life on the other side.
I haven’t gotten to the really good stuff yet. That part, of highest moment, to be discussed below, will not always read like an entertaining novel, an assortment of human interest stories. Nothing wrong with that kind of literature, but, for the remaining portion of this writing, we will be hunting for bigger game.
In Part II we’ll begin to carefully analyze what some of “the 500” are really saying. It's not always a picture of sanity.
Noted earlier, the scope of the testimonies, broad and wide, is difficult to address as a singularity. For some time I asked myself, “How can I speak to this large body of information? How can I make clear what I’m beginning to see as a major source of trouble for people when they cross over?” I think I know what I want to say now, what the avenue of approach should be.
an ancient sage, a Chinese man, purported to be thousands of years old, a modern day Jeremiah, warns us about unqualified teachers offering a false view of reality
He wouldn’t give his name, didn’t want notoriety, but the sitters believed him to be either Confucius or Lao-Tzu. This could be true. Along with only a few others among “the 500,” he struck me as very wise and insightful.
"they are not content in themselves, they always want more and more..."
The Chinese man speaks out against an entire class of would-be teachers, seeking a following and a name for themselves, who make appearance at the Flint sessions:
“Many people who come to these [Flint] meetings do not have an open mind, though they profess to have it. They are full of their own importance, full of pre-conceived ideas... they are good souls, in intent and purpose, but they are not great souls, not highly advanced souls… they are not great souls in wisdom or spiritual understanding, they are not a great people of realization of truth… [These] so-called spiritually-minded are far from spiritually-minded... they are immersed in their own vanities, immersed in their own ideas… they are not content in themselves, they always want more and more... [they] have a little knowledge, but are vain and say that they have all knowledge... some have a [small amount] of truth but they distort it for their own purposes...”
The ancient Chinese man reminds us of something Chief Seattle once said, to the effect: “We don’t know what the whites want. They’re never satisfied. They just want more and more.”
See this page for the wisdom of Chief Seattle.
How enlightened was Chief Seattle. We gasp in dismay as we contemplate all that we lost when we failed to embrace the wisdom of this man. There is a place for technology, but just as “art is not enough” (see below) neither is scientific so-called progress. We should have been willing to learn from our spiritual elders.
Brother John of Glastonbury: We in the spirit-world are often appalled at how so-called 'servants of God' become proud and puffed up, thinking themselves to be so important and better than others.
Brother John of Glastonbury (1393-1464 CE), one of the "sane 500," a former monk during his Earth-life, in effect, speaks with T.S. Eloit on the problem of "servants" ruining themselves in an orgy of hubristic pride:
Here is a rough transcript of Brother John's teaching, recorded 3.10.1961:
"We in spirit are often appalled by how those with whom we work become proud, and now see themselves as better and above the common man or woman; how they in themselves feel so important. The ego builds a barrier making it difficult for us to work with a 'servant,' and the message is distorted or falls to the ground because of the pride. I want to warn them of the dangers that lie within themselves when other people praise them and say how wonderful they are, and they come to believe it, causing them to become materially-minded and unbalanced. Some mediums, in boastful pride, give the impression that they know all about the world of spirit, that they have all the answers, but this is not true, never true, as there is so much that cannot be revealed during your time on Earth."
Editor’s note: In my youth, as a young man, some of my teachers would say that the way to avoid pride, especially for ones who have been given office and power, is to have suffered. This seemed reasonable at the time, and there is an element of truth to it, but, without something more, it all fails.
The problem is, the ego can become proud of its suffering, can boast about how “I suffered so much, far more than you, and this is why you should elect me, or give me the chief seat, or listen to me," or some other perk that the ego craves to fill the neediness in its shriveled heart.
We learned in the “Prometheus” discussions that suffering per se will not produce a godly character. There’s a missing element. It all needs to be based on a clear perception of both the “true” and the “false” selves. With this in place, no matter how much power or notoriety one might achieve, there will be no delusion of “I am better than you,” no pious chanting of "I thank thee Lord that I am not like other men." Just ask Lateece.
"and there was war in heaven"
A phrase from the book of Revelation.
Well, we’ve been over this and over this, and there is no such being as Satan – he does not exist – and there are no fallen angels as demons; this, too, is fable. But, even so, there is “war in heaven,” with the field of conflict extending to the Earth-world. The battles will rage for the next million years and probably longer. It’s a war fought not with bullets and bombs but with half-baked ideas, propaganda, fear and guilt, and cultish mind-control.
We’ve already seen that there are many thousands of "brotherhoods" competing for the hearts, the mental assent, of humanity.
Editor's note: All of these thousands of dysfunctional “brotherhoods” represent a cultish mindset. But, why should there be a “war” for increased numbers? The answer is, successful proselytizing efforts make the collective-ego institution feel “more” with the added membership; and feeling “more” is what all egos crave.
But, let’s simplify this.
only two camps
Fundamentally, there are only two camps at variance. All of the many thousands of philosophical “brotherhoods” fit into one or the other.
Father Benson challenges the opposing camp, the pseudo-spiritual teachers
Father Benson is one of the great afterlife-reporters. In some respects, he's my favorite. When it's my time, I intend to set up my little Summerland farm in his “neighborhood,” outside the nearby university town. This would be ideal for me.
In his first two books, channeled testimony, Benson tells us of a very subtle form of government in the Astral Realms. While there is no overt government in Summerland "telling us what to do," there is, nevertheless, a "Ruler of the Realm," that is, a superintendent of Summerland, who, as Benson says, does not "rule" so much as "preside." This is what we would expect for non-cultish self-managing creatures such as ourselves who require personal freedom, a minimum of supervision, to enjoy our eternal lives.
But Father Benson also provides a paradigm-shattering report of a supra-overseeing "Ruler of the Realms" -- plural -- a very ancient being, billions of years old, existing before the creation of the Earth, who looks after all of the "Summerlands" of each intelligent-life supporting planet in the universe.
Editor's note: Allow me to remind us of a posting on the "Afterlife" main-page:
The “Hubble Deep Field” photo becomes a peering of 12 billion light-years into the primordial past. Nearly all 3000 objects in this image are galaxies, clusters of billions of stars. These cosmic lighthouses present themselves to the eye as close neighbors, but this seeming proximity, due to enormous viewing-distance, is only apparent, not real, with actual separation, typically, measured in millions of light-years. Dr. Myers informs us that a favorite recreation in Summerland is that of space exploration.
Editor's note: For some time I've been aware of physicists’ estimate of the universe’s 200 billion galaxies, each with an average of 100 billion stars (our own Milky Way has 400 billion stars). This strikes us as overwhelming enough, but recently I’ve learned that, in addition to these full-bodied galaxies, there are “dwarf galaxies” with a hardly-worth mentioning star population of only a few billion. And there are trillions of these “dwarf galaxies”! - trillions! - not just trillions of stars, but trillions of galaxies, each comprised of billions of stars!
Let us consider this: If only one in a million stars is orbited by a planet; and if only one in a million of these planets has given rise to life; and if only one in a million of life-bearing planets is home to intelligent life; then, across the universe, there are millions and millions of planets supporting intelligent life. Odds are, among this exceeding multitude, there are civilizations far older and far more sophisticated than our own.
As Carl Sagan used to say, "Do you wanna take a ride?"
Let's further explore what Benson says about this "Ruler" and what the latter represents in terms of some indication concerning the direction of humanity's evolvement and destiny.
Here are some excerpts from Father Benson's first two books.
"As we progress into those high realms [i.e., where very ancient beings such as the "Ruler" dwell], we shall not lose our individuality in supposed etheric clouds and [we shall not] become lost to everyone except the dwellers therein. We shall ever continue to be ourselves, our True selves; refined, to be sure, more etherialised, but still, YOU will be YOU, and I shall be I, no one else..."
Father Benson makes a specific point about not losing our individuality because he's speaking, not just to you and me but, to an entire class of persons on the other side. There are lots of teachers over there who preach a very different path of evolvement for us. As we shall see, desiring to lose one's individuality is all they do.
"utterly and completely unapproachable" - really? well, we can hardly wait to be with them
"There are mistaken notions [preached by this other philosophical camp] that the beings of the highest realms are so ethereal as to be practically invisible except to others of their kind, and that they are utterly and completely unapproachable; that no mortal of lesser degree could possibly view them and survive. It is commonly held [by this other group] that these beings are so immeasurably higher than the rest of us that it will be countless eons of time before we shall ever be permitted to cast our eyes upon them even from a remote distance. That is sheer nonsense."
Editor's note: "even from a remote distance"! - wow.
[There are those] "who believe that the beings of the highest realms never by any chance leave those realms, because it would be too appallingly distasteful for them to leave the rarefied state in which they live. That is absolutely wrong. Those marvelous beings [represented by the very ancient "Ruler"] can, and do, journey into the different realms. It sometimes transpires that an individual may be speaking to one such personage and be totally unaware of it."
Editor's note: "too appallingly distasteful" - Father Benson is so funny.
[The Ruler of the Realms] "is not [God], though one can understand the inference you might be tempted to draw even from the little we’ve told you. ‘He is known by sight ... to every single soul living in the realms of light. How many thousands there are who name him as their beloved [teacher] … "He unifies the whole of the realms of the spirit world [that is, all of the Summerlands] into one gigantic universe, over which reigns [God]."
Notice that this loving father-figure, “The Ruler of the Realms,” billions of years old, is known by sight to every person in all of the Summerlands across the universe. As Father Benson reports, the Ruler visits from time to time, shakes people’s hands, tells them a joke or two, smiles and speaks knowingly of their personal lives. He is not “high and mighty,” the kind who is “too holy” to get his hands dirty by visiting with us.
just your regular head-honcho of the universe kinda guy, no big deal
Further, the "Ruler" also invites people to take a trip to visit him where he lives. Father Benson received one of these invitations and was given a tour of the "Ruler's" home and gardens. The most noteworthy item of this tour, I think, is the detail that the "Ruler" has a special fondness for white roses and makes a hobby of cultivating them. This is what normal and real people do, and we breathe more easily to see that we are headed for a normal and real life of ordinary good things.
a wonderful display of ordinariness, a comfortable authenticity
In this wonderful display of ordinariness, by a person many billions of years old, in existence before planet Earth came to be, we are given a brief view of what our long-term destiny looks like. It's a very comforting view. There's nothing jarring and marring about it.
We discover that the most highly developed persons in the universe are not strange, self-important, and eccentric beings, not "high and mighty" "holier than thou" gods on Mount Olympus, but simply those who have learned the fine art of enjoying their own lives and beings.
But let me tell you this, there are those in Summerland, posing as "advanced" teachers, who do preach a gospel of this sort of “unapproachable” holiness. They do believe in becoming so “high and mighty,” so lofty and "spiritual," that, under pain of "appalling distastefulness," they could never communicate with us again. But, mercifully, as Father Benson charges, “That is sheer nonsense.”
“The 500,” by and large, as a majority view, promote the things that Father Benson, the ancient Chinese man, and Brother John condemn. There are many points of difference. We will speak of several.
How can this disagreement happen? Do they not all live in the same Summerland, the same universe? How can each camp view reality so differently? What’s going on here?
Somebody has to be wrong.
all of this begs a question
Some will begin to worry that this "war in heaven" might disrupt one's long-term happiness:
“I thought there were no bad influences, no invasions in Summerland. I just want to live a quiet happy life there and be free of any threat of war, battle, or coercion. But now it seems that I have to be on guard against a malevolent force.”
Let us state what we know: There are no invasions in Summerland. No one can disturb you against your will. No one is going to come for you, a knock at the door at midnight. There is no fighting in the streets, no coercion, of any kind in Summerland. No one will move against your peace over there. There are no external threats of any sort; unless you allow them.
How might you "allow them"? Unless one is properly centered philosophically, if we become part of the wrong camp, if we draw our essential energy, so to speak, from the wrong source, eventually, we will end up harming ourselves, burning ourselves out, drifting into mental imbalance and insanity, which will threaten our own survival. We will discuss this "existential crisis."
the two camps defined
As we said, fundamentally, there are only two camps in play here. All of the many thousands of philosophical “brotherhoods” fit into one or the other.
"The 500," as a majority view, constitute a group led by:
(1) the False Self, the Dysfunctional Ego, the Bereft "Little Me," the Incessant Loneliness. Those for whom one's life is founded upon the False Self are led by perceptions of "I do not have enough" because "I am not enough." As such, they are driven to "add" something to themselves, to "complete" themselves, to "enhance" themselves, because, in their "distorted" view of life, as per the Chinese sage, they are not enough, not yet perfect, not yet whole. Further, they see themselves as alone in the universe, a "me against all" siege-mentality; defensiveness, protectiveness, is part of the air they breathe. Living in this nightmare-world of "never enough," of never measuring up, of never being safe enough or good enough, and because "the glass is always half empty," they are driven to become frantic "doers," workaholics, a pathological emphasis on activity, rather than, as enjoyment and sanity require, resting quietly in essential "being." This personal existential vacuum, a feeling of great worthlessness, causes them to believe that much time is required to make themselves a finished product. As such, they look forward to the future as salvation. In the meantime, their inner demons of "I am not enough," a perpetual guilt of not reaching the high bar, lead them into subliminal self-loathing, a frenetic craving to be rid of what Hoffer called, "the spoiled self." This perpetual unease shapes their view of ultimate reality, that toward which, they insist, all humankind is evolving; but only their diseased eyes see this. We now understand why the ancient Chinese man said that they are never "content" but always wanting "more and more."
Editor’s note: Maybe the ancient Chinese man is Buddha, or his student. Well in line with what we say here, Buddha taught that desire, in the sense of craving, a hunger based on inner neediness, is the root of all suffering. We shall not disagree with this proposition.
I need, I need, I need!
But there is another group - the epitome of which is represented by the "Ruler of the Realms" - which views life quite differently. For them, one’s wellspring of existence is centered about:
(2) the True Self, Universal Consciousness, the Inner Guidance, a World of Abundance. Those of this vision perceive themselves living in a universe where there're plenty of good things for all. As such, they are inspired by a personal sense of "I do have enough" because "I am enough." Guidance, for them, is always available from Infinite Intelligence, which is accessed by "going within." The inner sanctum, the "holy of holies," of one's deepest person, is where God is met, and therefore there is never a disquieting sense of "I am alone in the universe." Further, instead of a "spoiled self," there is a perception of having been "made in the image," a perfection at the core of one's sacred person. While there is always much to learn and experience, and we look forward to exploring the universe just for the thrill of it, none of this externality can touch the deeper divine self linked to God, which is in need of nothing. Therefore, there is no pressing demand for "salvation" or rescue, no frenzied desire to complete or enhance oneself, but only an "opening of the eyes" to the "inner riches," a growing consciousness of what God originally gave to us. This self-realization of all that we are, the awesome human potential linked to divinity, issues as a happy quest to discover latent talents and abilities. This is our joy and becomes our purpose in life. It is the joy simply of living, simply of "being," with no breathless, desperate, neurotic requirement to engage in "doing." There will be plenty of "doing," plenty of activity, and often a full schedule for the psychologically healthy person; but, in all of this "full daytimer," an exuberance simply to be alive will pervade one's spirit, and none of it will be tainted by a pathological impetus, an insanity, of "I am not enough," a systemic discontent, an insatiable hunger for "more and more."
Think of that funny scene in
What About Bob?
where Bill Murray chants,
I need, I need, I need!
These two camps are like a bifurcating tree trunk, becoming two antithetical ways of looking at life.
Each of these sections, each major division, derives from the primary trunk, which means that each of the two views has access to the same underlying Universal Consciousness; however, one view builds its life squarely upon it, that is, an awareness of the True Self, while the other is lost in a world of illusion and proceeds from the False Self.
Editor's note: I suspect that this is the true meaning of Jesus' parable about building one's house on a rock as opposed to sand; the latter is destined to be swept away by floods. It's called existential crisis.
The ancient Chinese man says that the False-Self group are “good” people. What does this mean?
It means that they’re convinced that what they do and say is right. They are sincere – but sincerity, without a tempering knowledge, can be an overrated commodity. They are sincere, but sincerely wrong. Enthusiasm without knowledge is just a euphemism for fanaticism.
Many of “the 500” speak of those in their company as “advanced” and, as such, exhibit an aura of light and radiance. We might presume -- doubtless, they do -- that a spirit-being, splendiferous, bathed in the effulgence of light, automatically and necessarily, offers indication of a certain degree of perfection. But this view is incorrect.
Sincerity unwarrantedly issues as efficaciousness. And this spirit of good intention, albeit rooted in naiveté, a confidence of the foolish, all by itself, will create the radiant spirit-body aura – even if the views of the radiant one are in error.
In a larger sense, this is how we all live on all levels of awareness. All of us possess but a few grains of the truth; all of us, to one degree or another, live in worlds of illusion. We never see the entire "Sufi elephant"; we never shall. There's always more knowledge to come, and so our task is to remain open and teachable. Therefore, if we operate in good faith concerning what we see at the moment, we'll enjoy a measure of psychological health. See the “Morality” article for extensive discussion on the primacy of good intention.
But I will tell you this. A day will come when those of the “advanced” False-Self group begin to realize the precarious nature of their peculiar "goodness," their errant philosophical positions, and when that happens, if they do not change their lives accordingly, those radiant lights they're so proud of will go out pretty fast. As Spirit Guide Abu warns, it's possible -- if we try very hard -- to regress, to lose what we've gained, to turn away from the truth with "eyes wide open"; and, if that were to happen, he says, the backslider would "sink and sink into darkness." Because we are creatures endowed with a freedom to choose, change is a two-way street. Abu knows, too well, how this works because, early on, this "sinking" happened to him. His wisdom was hard won, not unlike that of Lateece who spoke of the "madness maddened."
“The 500” often address the topic of being happy and content. They claim to be feeling fine. But then, so did the tribal leader in the Dark Realms.
In the “Levels of Consciousness” article we discussed that, no matter where one finds oneself on the ladder of development, even on the very lowest rung, one can experience a sense of “I am right in what I’m doing, I am content.” Further, there will be a form of happiness associated with this sense of having arrived, paltry advent though it may be. This is why the tribal leader in the Dark Realms could say, “We’re happy and content here. What me worry.”
But this is not the full-bodied happiness and joy of one living from the True Self. This is an ersatz form of happiness, a sense of childish and cultish security, a faux-wellness, fostered by the False Self experiencing the “inner neediness” as temporarily mollified.
With the tribal leader and his minions, we witness a cultish “dance with the devil”: he needs to be needed to feel good about himself, and his subjects need the security of being looked after, decisions made for them, of feeling accepted. Virtually all dysfunctional hierarchical organizations, including the diseased marriage, operate within these untoward dynamics.
Feelings of being needed and accepted can present themselves as a sense of happiness and contentment; but only for a short time. Soon the apparent pleasantness will become one’s prison.
As we analyze the testimonies of “the 500,” we find that virtually all of it, in one form or another, represents their attempt to rid themselves of “the spoiled self.”
Imagine two particles traveling in outer space. Let's say they proceed very nearly in straight lines with reference to each other, a mere half-a-degree at variance. This small disparity, as they move on, will eventually translate into billions of miles of separation.
This separation, increasingly so, is what's happening to our two philosophical camps. But let's remain with our analogy of the bifurcating tree trunk.
As these two major sections grow and grow, each becomes more and more a separate world. They might as well be separate trees, separate realities, after a while, with the differences becoming more and more stark.
The topmost little branches, in each major section, might symbolize ultimate reality and destiny, where we're all headed in terms of cosmic evolution.
But the two camps, deriving from the True Self and the False Self, see these grand destinations very differently. In the "better neighborhoods," people live life normally, happily, and have rose gardens; "across the tracks," though, it's all very dark and dystopian with the inmates "jumping off cliffs into nameless oblivion." We'll see about this.
the existential crisis
What does this mean, Hoffer’s concept of the “spoiled self”? It means that those who live from the False Self are headed for existential crisis.
What is the nature of this existential crisis? It means that they've "built their house on sand," and a day is coming when everything they thought was real and true will be swept away, leaving them to start all over and rebuild their lives.
The False Self creates a mental construct, a sense of identity, of “I do not have enough” because “I am not enough.” This perception of incompleteness, of not measuring up, of unworthiness, if not defused, will destroy its victim.
But it’s not that simple. We cannot die. There is no death. We cannot escape ourselves; that is, we cannot escape the soul’s mandate to unfold its riches, to become more like God.
To align oneself with God, with Universal Consciousness, is one’s purpose in life. This attunement is our source of peace, joy, love, impetus to serve, and all godly virtue. This sense of at-one-ment with God becomes the answer to the cravings of “I am not enough.” There is no other lasting answer.
However, those who, for whatever reason, attempt to live outside the domain of the True Self and, instead, try to "complete" themselves, try to fill their lives and spirits with more “content” – be it material possession, opportunities for pleasure, thought-forms in the head such as knowledge and experience – will find that the “inner neediness” cannot be assuaged by such materialism; not for long and not hardly.
We are already "enough," with a sense of lack due to spiritual blindness. At the core of being, we are composed of Universal Consciousness. The appetites of the soul relate to elements of consciousness, and this is our source of "enough." Our task is to "open our eyes" to what we've been given, to perceive the "enough." Nothing else, only this self-realization, will satisfy us. Until we develop these "eyes to see," however, as long as our lives are run by desire and craving, led by feelings of "not enough," we will suffer.
It’s called existential crisis: “existential” in the sense that the issue relates to who and what we are. Those of the two major branches of the tree do not agree on who and what we are. One camp says, "I am enough" but the other says, "I am not enough." And in this utterly polar disagreement they build alternate, competing realities; even, ultimate realities.
There is an old joke about the difference between the neurotic and the psychotic: The neurotic builds sand-castles in the air, but the psychotic moves in. Those of the False-Self branch have moved in.
They’ve moved in and set up shop. But it’s not working out so well for them. We’re all looking for a happy life, we were made for this, we can't live unless we're happy. But, for the dysfunctional camp, they can’t quite seem to ever get there. Nothing ever satisfies them. They want more content to fill the "hole in their hearts," “more and more” externality, as the Chinese man said.
They’re never "filled up." Their subliminal inner neediness of “I am not enough” never stops chanting for them. And so, eventually, as they feel more and more burned out, to escape themselves and the terror of their own existence, their immortal selves, in this existential crisis, they will desperately look for ways to do away with themselves. But this is not so easy for an indestructible being, so they've got a problem.
But let us count the ways of this madness.
Allow me to list some of the main “talking points” of “the dysfunctional 500” which, the more they speak, reveal a foundational belief-system.
Editor's note: All belief-systems become an attempt to "complete" oneself, to "enhance" oneself, with just the right "one true doctrines." Virtually all of the thousands of "brotherhoods" in Summerland exist to address this sense of emptiness. People identify with their chosen belief-system, and this, what they hope will be, an "upgraded" identity becomes part of the False Self; temporarily, they feel "more" in the make-over because, they assure themselves, their own particular "brotherhood" offers the last word on "the truth." They all claim this. As Bugs used to say, "monotonous, isn't it."
Editor’s note: “All belief-systems? What about good belief-systems?” Strictly speaking, there is no such thing. See the article on “Believe.” To “believe,” in common usage, essentially means to plant the flag on one philosophical view or another; it purports to “know” when it does not, and cannot, know. "Belief" often serves as synonym for "superstition," an unwarranted mental assent. The enlightened view does not “believe,” as such, but, instead, forms tentative judgments based on current evidence, pending further light. And there is always more light, more information, to come. There’s a whole universe of knowledge out there, and, therefore, the wise and clear-thinking person holds current perceptions of truth loosely in one’s hands, because, as we learned from the Sufi elephant, we can never embrace the totality of reality. The fullness of truth shall remain inaccessible for a very long time; possibly, forever.
Editor’s note: Concerning many of the following items of discussion, I have written entire articles. As such, I will introduce the concept, but then invite you to read a much-expanded treatise elsewhere on the Word Gems site.
#1: Getting rid of the spoiled self: "You must lose yourself in charitable service."
This notion of losing oneself in service, when I first encountered this phrase among “the 500,” I thought, “This is a poetic metaphor highlighting devotion and dedication to good works. I like it.”
But then, as if “the 500” were speaking to each other, seemingly, from a script, I came across “lose yourself” multiple times. And it struck me: “This is no metaphor. They really believe this stuff.” When I say “believe this,” I don’t think they’re entertaining overt suicidal thoughts at the mention of the phrase, but neither do I think that the occurrence is totally accidental. The concept of "losing oneself" really appeals to them. It speaks to their secret delight.
And it speaks to us, too, as we’re offered insight into their group psychology. From one point of view, “losing oneself” in service sounds very religious. I mean, who could criticize you for “losing yourself” in charitable service to the world? "Ah, look how spiritual we are! - even to the point of utter self-renunciation." Even Mother Teresa would have a hard time competing. And this "losing oneself" is part of the allure and the propaganda: like Mattie threatening with lawyer Dagget, the insane-500 “draw it like a gun.”
Editor's note: When Jesus spoke of "denying the self," of taking up one's torture stake as the death of self -- and I hate to be the one to break the news, but -- he wasn't talking about the True Self.
“Losing yourself” in “doing,” especially in good works, is a great place to hide from yourself, one's truest motivations. And hiding, escaping, from the True Self is what the False-Self group is all about. Much could be said here, but I will spare you the redundancy. Read about it the three “Spirituality” and the “Morality” articles.
But, let’s ask the question: Is there anything wrong with “losing oneself” in doing good for others? Isn’t doing good, with utmost dedication, a good thing?
No, not really. Service has its place but it's not our primary purpose in life. And we’re not supposed to “lose ourselves” in anything; rather, we are to become increasingly aware, more conscious and “present” to the inner life, the True Self.
The Gospel of Thomas wonderfully presents Jesus speaking of the soul's need to enter augmented consciousness regarding all that we do. And this is why Big Religion attempted to destroy all of the Gnostic Gospels – too much emphasis on one’s personal link to God and life, and too little on Dear Mother Church and the elitist hierarchy.
But, let’s move on.
#2: Getting rid of the spoiled self: “To advance yourself, to evolve as a person, you must engage in good works.”
This is probably the most popular, the most publicized, error of the False-Self group. It’s not propaganda for them – they really believe it’s true. Funny thing, from one perspective, it is true, but from a deeper level, it’s not true.
Editor’s note: There’s a joke about this, it goes like, “That’s a true principle – but when you say it, it’s wrong."
You’ll want to read about the details in the aforementioned three “Spirituality” and the “Morality” articles.
A slightly modified assertion of Kant helps us to understand:
our spirituality will arise from good works, but is not grounded in good works
What does this mean? It means that good works, properly motivated, will assuredly “raise one’s vibrations” and advance us spiritually. All open-eyed citizens of Summerland are actively engaged in some form of helping and serving. But, without that proper motivation, a necessary foundation and "grounding," there will be no spiritual growth.
Stated another way, you can't go out and "serve" and advance yourself just by that; virtue cannot be “added” to one’s essential self just by effort alone; though, paradoxically, effort will be required to serve others, but it's not the effort as such that wins the day. Spirituality cannot be "added" to you -- it's already within you. It's our natural state. If we begin a charitable mission with "gain" in mind, we're already off-base; we might win the temporary favor of the crowd, but there will be no virtue, no true advancement, in such activity – as Jesus used the phrase, “you've already received your reward.”
We cannot, assuredly, engage in good works for the purpose of “gaining reward,” earning some external benefit (not "grounded in"), and expect the soul to evolve. The truly spiritual person works for the simple joy of helping one’s brothers and sisters, and this, for its own sake - external payment never enters the equation. Helping others will be a natural and normal extension and manifestion ("arises from") of living by the True Self. It's not about effort, not something for which we grit our teeth, huff and puff, as means by which -- like earning a merit badge in Scouts -- to make oneself a spiritual person. But there are lots of people who do think it works just this way.
Editor’s note: This issue of “helping” is very important to understand, as it becomes a point of propaganda by those living from the “false self.” You’ll find more discussion on the “Reincarnation” page, but consider this:
There are two kinds of “helping.”
One of these addresses the periphery of life. At times, at one’s discretion, we might help someone by loaning money; or we might lend a hand in a certain work project; or we might provide aid and comfort in sickness. All of these are examples of humanitarian service, and it’s right and good to do this, as opportunity allows.
However, there is another kind of “helping” which is impossible to give. We cannot “help” another human being to open his or her eyes; we cannot elevate another’s level of consciousness; we cannot make someone else a better person, rather, make them see that they're aready ok.
This latter form of “helping” becomes a de facto “salvation theory.” But no one -- none, other than one’s own self, one’s true self -- can advance or evolve one’s own soul.
step right up, get your mystical experience here, amaze your friends, be a spiritual person today
Let me put this in a different way. Becoming a spiritual person is not like working on a crossword puzzle; it’s not a problem to be solved. You can’t attend a seminar, or read a book, or join the right church to accomplish this. It happens as a burst of clarity. One moment you’re blind but now you see.
it's a perception of the inner life, this is the essence of spirituality
Fundamentally, it's a perception of the life within. The soul has its own timetable for waking up to this awareness of the life within, and, in a sense, there’s nothing we can do to prod it into wakefulness.
What’s needed is a mystical experience to “open the eyes.” Eventually, everyone will receive this gift. It comes to us as gift, and that’s why in this writing I state that “God will teach everyone directly and personally.” Some receive this awakening in this world, and some will wait until the next.
Carl Jung had one of the best explanations of this process (see it on the “Believe” page.) When it happens for you, he said, you’ll no longer need to “believe” because now you’ll “know.” And this mystical knowing, “a direct experience of God,” as he put it, is something you will build your entire spiritual life around, that is, that first moment you came alive and could “see.” And a million years from now, you will still reverence that initial “burst of clarity.” The churches tend to emphasize “faith,” but, as Father Benson asserts, it’s an overrated virtue. Instead, we are to “know.” The churches speak of faith because that's all they have, for, in the main, the church is led by those who do not know.
This mystical experience of enlightenment, of the perfect True Self and God within, might come to the sinner before it comes to the saint. I’ve read some of Mother Teresa’s book, “Come Be My Light.” She was painfully aware that she herself did not have this revelation, though she so yearned for it. Her stellar good works could not produce in her spirit that which she craved. Almost constantly, she speaks of her emptiness and unworthiness, her darkness and the unreality of God. I must say, I felt deeply moved by the words of Mother Teresa, and if there were such a thing as a saint, I would vote for her. She may be the most tender heart I’ve ever come across. It is very clear, however, that she struggled with her own perceptions of the “spoiled self” and "existential guilt," and this, a product of early-childhood abusive teachings of individual worthlessness, offered by a rogue and predator religious institution. I trust that she’s now found peace of mind in a better world.
How does all this relate to getting rid of the spoiled self? It’s like this:
A fish doesn’t know it’s in water, and the truly advanced person doesn’t run around talking about how advanced he or she is, or how much it's coveted, or how near one is to the “next level” - sounds like an MLM "opportunity meeting." The psychologically-healthy person is simply enjoying life, out there taking pleasure in the rose garden, just glad to be alive and doing all sorts of interesting things -- and some notion of “advancement” does not often enter the conversation. Who craves or needs "advancement" when you sense the life within?
However, the False-Self group does little else. It's all they talk about; these "fish know that they're not in water." The subject of so-called “advancement” is everywhere in their discussions. They can’t get away from it. They're obsessed with "getting to the next level."
And here’s why: It’s a ticket, as they subliminally see it, to leave the sense of emptiness, the "I am not enough," the spoiled self, far behind, and that’s what’s most important to them and what's really going on in all this empty godtalk about "spiritual advancement."
#3: Getting rid of the spoiled self: “When you advance yourself, you get to live in a better world, with more vibrant colors, prettier flowers, and greener grass.”
This proposition is really an extension of #2, but, as it’s so very frequently discussed by the False-Self group, it’s best to mention it as a separate entry.
This off-base assertion, a song of discontent, has been somewhat thoroughly discussed on the “Ultimate Reality” page, the “Verse Three” page of “The Wedding Song,” and the "Terror of Eternal Life" page.
Here is the essence of the problem. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the added “technicolor” of other worlds. Most of us would like to travel the universe in the future, and I’m sure we’re going to find a lot of marvel and wonder out there. But when the False-Self group speaks of this desire, it becomes a function of their neediness; of requiring “more and more” content; of never feeling it’s enough. They’re always seeking after better real estate with greater curb appeal, just as materialists in our world can never be satisfied with what they have.
My friend Adrian really nailed the heart of this whole problem: Ultimate Reality is not some upscale real estate somewhere in the universe. It's a state of mind, a level of consciousness. Ultimate Reality, the highest states of pleasure and well-being, will be found within one's deepest person, the domain of the soul’s Joy. It’s not "out there somewhere" but within each of us.
And "ultimate reality" doesn’t get any better than that, anywhere in the universe. Because you can be on a beautiful white-sand tropical beach, here or on some "higher" world, and still be miserable if the "I am not enough" chanting in the head won't shut down. Stated differently, to reference an old song by Linda Ronstadt, we might gain that big mansion but with a “tear in every room.”
#4: Getting rid of the spoiled self: “After eons and eons of time, after we’ve advanced ourselves beyond all recognition of our former estate, when we’ve reached such lofty level that we no long have anything to do with those on lower planes, then we will lose our sense of individuality and personhood, step into the abyss of pure Consciousness, and merge ourselves totally with God.”
Editor’s note: “The 500” come very close to asserting the above. Others of their brotherhood, however, those speaking through other mediums, do say exactly this, and so I include it here.
This death-wish of jumping off the existential cliff into Nirvana nothingness needs little interpretation. Here it is, in the raw, their long sought-for unvarnished ideal of ridding themselves of Self.
Does this ring true to you? Does it make sense that God/the Universe/Life would go to so much trouble to individuate us - to say nothing of our own trouble and suffering - only to flush us all away at the end into some nameless, identity-less ocean of being?
I think not. Father Benson and the "Ruler" guffaw at this, as well.
But those who are driven to rid themselves of Self just love this stuff. And look – it’s the perfect cover, too. It’s even better camouflage than “losing oneself in good works.” It’s “merging totally with God,” and who could argue against this kind of supreme godtalk?
"well, ain't dat sweet, kinda gets ya right here"
There is, however, the small detail that we -- our individualized selves and personalities -- would be destroyed in this process. But who accounts for such trifles when a great spirituality is to be won such as being rid of ourselves.
Michael Tymn comments on this dismal and dreary target of self-annihilation:
(excerpts from one of his articles)
“….you will never lose your identity,” said the spirit claiming to be Emanuel Swedenborg, the eighteenth-century scientist and mystic who communicated through the mediumship of Dr. George Dexter (as recorded by John Edmonds, of the New York State Supreme court during the early 1850s). “If God designed to absorb all souls into himself, there would have been no necessity at first to give off from himself distinct identical germs, possessing all the characteristics of independence. Therefore, as every spirit is independent in his mind and its exercise, how could God contravene his own institutes? That is impossible, and from this I reason.”
Silver Birch, the name taken by the apparent group soul communicating through the mediumship of British journalist Maurice Barbanell, put it this way: “The ultimate is not attainment of Nirvana. All spiritual progress is toward increasing individuality. You do not become less of an individual, you become more of an individual. You develop latent gifts, you acquire greater knowledge, your character becomes stronger, more of the divine is exhibited through you. The Great Spirit is infinite and so there is an infinite development to be achieved. Perfection is never attained, there is a constant striving towards it. You do not ever lose yourself. What you succeed in doing is finding yourself.”
Silver Birch went on to say that such conditions are beyond human language and that we cannot understand it until we attain it. “You do not lose your individuality in a sea of greater consciousness, but that depth of the ocean becomes included in your individuality,” Silver Birch added.
In their 1920 classic, Our Unseen Guest, authors Darby and Joan, received communication from a Stephen L., a casualty of the Great War, who seemed to be an advanced spirit. When Darby asked Stephen if Nirvana is the goal, Stephen replied that the Western World misunderstands the concept of Nirvana, believing it to be a doctrine of oblivion. “True Nirvana [so-called],” he said, “is consciousness at its height.”
#5: Getting rid of the spoiled self: Reincarnation, the weapon of choice
Virtually all, I would say all, of “the 500” as members of the False-Self group, believe in reincarnation (“R”) and past-lives. It’s so popular with them because “R” is such a handy way to rid oneself of Self: you lose your memories, you recast yourself in a new identity, you send yourself into the existential hopper and hopefully come out better at the end this time. But it doesn’t work that way.
Some who believe in “R” do so reluctantly. A slanted and filtered view is presented making "R" seem inevitable, it sounds right, "so what can you do if that’s the way the universe is run, you have to believe it." I was in that group early on. I didn’t like it at all, but it appeared to be correct. But then I came across better, more honest, teachers, especially James Webster, with more complete information, who helped me see that “R” is a great con-job, just fake-news, a giant propaganda effort by those who are rabid to be rid of themselves.
My “Reincarnation” writing here on Word Gems is more like a book, a very lengthy one. It’s comprised of 45 sub-articles, analyzing every major facet of this bogus argument, presented to the public as the height of spirituality.
You’ll find the famous premises of “R” to be errant; such as, more experience makes us evolve, the need to unwind karmic debt, past lives as proof of reincarnation, the Earth is the only classroom, and other illusory tenets.
This is a subject you’ll want to study in detail as there is so much disinformation in the marketplace. But, if you just want the "Cliff's Notes," all you really need to know is that “R” is not true. Go and live your life now and be happy in your rose garden.
#6: Getting rid of the spoiled self: "The really spiritual ones not only lose themselves in service but reincarnate to help others."
You might see this one as combination of #1 and #5, but it comes up so often in the discussions of “the 500” that I felt I should address it as a separate item.
The argument of serving and helping is meant to be another one of those untouchable propositions: “Who would dare criticize a plan to help someone else?" But I will endeavor to explain that there’s less here than meets the eye.
The essential issue is this: There is a time to lend a helping hand, but there’s also a time to allow the butterfly to emerge, alone, from the cocoon - and maybe we've heard that "helping" a butterfly emerge will destroy it.
This is a very large subject, easily mishandled, and I hesitate to address it here as brevity is mandated; however, since the False-Self group attempts to make so much hay out of this, I feel compelled to say a few words.
Allow me to begin by quoting the apostle Paul. In my Galatians commentary, in chapter six, I point out a principle that’s hidden in the original Greek. Let me post the relevant section from the writing, then I will offer statement. Please take special note of verses 2 and 5, the two different Greek words for "burden":
6. 1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
ye which are spiritual. Paul speaks to those who live and walk in the Spirit (5. 25).
meekness. This is the same word used in 5. 23, one of the fruits of the Spirit, a characteristic of true spirituality, as defined here by Paul.
overtaken in a fault. Paul’s reference to one overburdened by “a fault” probably points to more than ordinary human weakness in the church. He has, in the previous verse (5. 26), spoken out against rivalries and disharmony, all stemming from, Paul claims, not only the works of the flesh, but its rancorous doctrinal expression of the Judaizers. Therefore, the phrase under review in all likelihood is a reference to individuals of the Galatian congregation who have fallen prey to legalism. Paul here instructs the spiritually minded on how to deal with their works-oriented friends.
restore. A "spiritual" one should engage in confrontation, not to extract an apology, but only to seek the righting of his wayward, legalistic brother.
6. 2. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Instead of “provoking of one another” (5. 26), thereby adding to the group disharmony, Paul advises a policy of supporting the weak. All of this is further practical outworking of his teaching on living and walking in the Spirit (5. 25).
the law of Christ. With this simple phrase Paul, in effect, summarizes his grace-oriented position. The law of Moses has been superseded by the law of Christ; it is a law of love directed toward neighbor (5. 14).
6. 3. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
think himself to be something. Paul seems to be saying that an unwillingness to “restore” (6. 1) an offending brother is rooted in a kind of self-delusion; pride may whisper the seductive message, “I would not have done what he did.” This is all wrong-headedness, Paul chides, an exercise in fooling oneself.
6. 4-5. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.
let every man prove his own work. Instead of entertaining unrealistic opinions of oneself, Paul prods, a spiritual person will be humbly proving or testing his own standing in the game of life.
every man shall bear his own burden. An apparent contradiction of a just-mentioned rubric, this phrase delivers more than meets the eye. “The Greek word for burden is different, baros (verse 2) meaning ‘a weight or heavy load’ and phortion (verse 5) being a common term for a man's ‘pack’” (Stott 159). Personal sin weighs one down (verse 2), Paul, the pastor, explains, and we can help one so burdened if we have a mind to. However, there is another kind of burden, one relatively light and common to all mankind, which must be borne by each individual alone.
A summary of verses 1-5: When we are injured by someone, one “overtaken in a fault,” it is very difficult to remain emotionally detached, difficult not to focus on our own pain. If we agree with ourselves to speak to the offending person at all, our natural inclination is to do so only to squeeze an apology, or more, out of him. In any case, we want to focus on him, what he has done. Curiously, however, in these five verses we find the Apostle of Grace admonishing us several times, in several different ways, to think about our reaction to “another,” even though that other is introduced to us as one "overtaken in a fault." In other words, we might ask, "He is the problem, right? So why are we talking about me? Let's talk about him!" Unfortunately for us, we meet little comfort here from Paul. We find him telling us to approach our brother not only "in the spirit of meekness" but also "considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." We are told to help shoulder the heavy "burden" of the brother at fault, the refusal of which implies a harboring of unrealistic evaluations about ourselves, a self-deception.
We might feel, after all this, that finally enough has been said about our part -- but Paul is not ready to relent. He goes on to explain the philosophical underpinnings of our duty. There is a saying, "You cannot become a saint by reciting the sins of others." Humanly, however, we think that we can find vindication in this process, and it is this notion that Paul is addressing here. Without excusing the sins of the offending brother, Paul in effect says to us, “You may feel great pain due to what someone did to you. But if you focus on that pain, it will dominate you and define your life.”
“Let every man prove his own work” means that even while you evaluate, even condemn, what your brother did to you, you must never lose sight of the fact that you, too, share the same human condition; you, too, but for the grace of God, could do the same or worse under sufficient provocation.
"Prove your own work,” teaches that, as you correct your brother, you must be "putting your own deeds to the test," judging your own self a frail human being as well. We have a natural tendency to think that "life will be good if only we could get rid of this situation or that person;" however, this is all illusion, Paul intones. Our future "rejoicing" will result from accepting responsibility for our own lives, from our own reaction to the trouble that befalls everyone of us.
Life is inherently unfair, more or less a disaster for all participants; but, as the saying goes, though we have no control over the direction of the wind, we do have power to adjust our sails. This is why a man will "have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another." We will find our victory in life from what we ourselves do -- not from extracting satisfaction from those who have hurt us. This primal responsibility over one's own person and attitude cannot be delegated away, the one "backpack" which every person must carry through life - alone.
Paul wrote his words 2000 years ago, and I wrote mine 20 years ago, but it’s all still true, and it will continue to be true any number of years from now.
Some burdens in life we bring on ourselves, and when we see a “brother” or sister in need, we should lend a hand if we can. People mess up, we all do, but it’s no big deal, it’s just part of growing up. There are always good people around, somewhere, to help us; not always, and not every time, but we’ve all been helped now and again by others during our journey in this world.
And because there are always good people around, to one degree or another, it would be very foolish to actually reincarnate, to enter a mother’s womb all over again, to begin first grade with the A-B-Cs, just to offer this kind of transitory aid. There’s no need to play “savior,” to think that one’s “help” is so crucial to another. Those who do think this way need to get over themselves and let the natural process work.
All this acknowledged, there is another kind of burden that has nothing to do with messing up. It is the burden of becoming a sentient being. On the Word Gems homepage I quote Dr. Ernest Becker who puts it so well:
Victory "over human limitation is not something that can be programmed by science … It comes from the vital energies of masses of men sweating within the nightmare of creation … The most that any one of us can do is to fashion something - an object or ourselves - and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak, to the life force."
Yes – “the masses of men sweating within the nightmare of creation.” The suffering inherent within this God-ordained process of becoming fully human, the “long dark night of the soul,” I would contend, is far worse than the batterings issuing from our messing up. It is the butterfly that must struggle from the cocoon - alone.
Respected Spirit-Guide Abu, on the other side for 3500 years, informs us that, not many, but a few, persons on the other side do volunteer to come back to this Earth, to reincarnate, for special missions of service. I do not wish to be disrespectful to any charitable effort, but my sense of these things leads me to suggest that no one should come back. There's no need. There are always good and wise people, "suffering servants," right here, on hand, who can render aid, if such aid is deemed to be appropriately rendered.
One of the great revelations for me in the last year came from a favorite teacher of mine, Pastor Dr. Leslie Weatherhead. His careful analysis of the New Testament reveals, strongly suggests, that Jesus himself changed his mind about the efficacy of his own mission. It seems that Jesus came to see that his decision to come to this world was a wasted effort and, indeed, made things worse. I believe that Weatherhead’s analysis of the New Testament documents is correct.
But here is the biggest reason why no one should take it upon themselves to come back to “help.” The apostle John had it right: You don’t need any man to teach you.” See the discussion here.
This is what John is saying: God will teach each of us personally. Not facts of the world, not temporal things, but we’re talking about anything really important, the big lessons of life, mainly, the mystery of what and who we are, especially, to God. No other person can help us here. This will require a shift in consciousness; not more “content” on the brain - though facts can help, but facts of the world will not take us to where we want to go.
The soul has its own timetable of awakening, of “struggling out of the cocoon,” and no one can “help” and speed up that process. This is the burden, as the apostle Paul had it, each person must carry alone.
And now you might ask, how is this a principle part of “getting rid of oneself”? It works like this: the False-Self group, because it’s not plugged into the True Self, has an unrealistic view of how life works, of how people grow and evolve. It’s unrealistic because they themselves have not yet authentically gone through the process. They’re still hiding from themselves, trying to "lose themselves" in service. As such, they don’t understand what it takes to become a sane and mature person because they’ve cut class on this subject. And so they believe that you can “help” people change themselves. They’re always interested in the subject of changing the self, but not in a normal, healthy way. For them, “helping” someone means helping them to be rid of their spoiled selves; and, as they "help," they earn more merit badges toward superseding and losing themselves. And this is the real draw for the False-Self group. It's pretty perverse once you see what's really happening with them.
“God will teach us personally.” When it’s one's time to “open the eyes,” insights will start popping like popcorn. You won’t be able to shut it down - nobody can help you or can stop it. And then, when "God teaches you," as he poet expresses, “every blade of grass,” every twinkling star above, will preach to us, will now begin a process of giving us everything we need to know about the big questions of life. And for those who think they need to come back to save the world, to open eyes, to help elevate human spirits - I'm searching for a polite way to say, just get over yourself.
#7: Getting rid of the spoiled self: "The essence of life is constant change and new events, constant movement; we must always be 'doing,' always urging ourselves forward toward some new work or vision. If we don't, we can't survive."
This was another one of these seemingly scripted aphorisms that kept on coming up, and coming up, so very often, in the discussions by the “dysfunctional 500.” Further, it would be asserted with an attitude of, “This is the way it is. I’m over here, and I really know about these things.”
There is one problem, however -- the proposition is wrong. Well, once again, this is one of those yes-no answers: it’s true on a certain shallow level, but, when we go deeper, we find it to be altogether wrong.
What is the exact problem here?
Think of the ocean’s surface during a storm. It’s constant change and motion with the waves and the wind. But, if you go down a few hundred feet, it’s all quiet, dead-silent, the picture of repose.
At the surface of human existence, there’s constant change with all manner of activity. It will always be that way, even in Summerland. But none of this is our “life.” All of that change, of which they speak, occurs within the domain of life-situation, one's life-circumstance. But unadulterated "life" is something far different.
"life" and "life situation" are two different things
Our life is found deep inside, within the soul, our link to God. God is Life and therefore a conscious union with the divine also becomes a perception of life within. This is the essence of our spirituality. At that deeper level, we find peace, joy, love, and all of the godly virtues transmitted to us via Universal Consciousness. It is an utterly unchanging world of peace and joy “down there.” It's always available to us, and it never changes.
The “insane 500” know nothing of this inner serenity. They confuse life-situation with life itself. Two different things entirely. And because they’re still living from the False Self, they believe that life is the storm at the surface of the ocean. That’s all they know right now.
All of this is linked to “getting rid of the spoiled self.” The False Self needs constant busy-ness, motion, and change because, in this dizzying schedule, more “content” to "complete" the needy “Little Me” will be found.
However, the self-imposed frantic pace of life-situation, all the clamoring and pot-banging noise, also brings an ever-increasing degree of toxicity to their persons. It’s all unsustainable. Eventually, and it doesn’t take long, they begin to burn out, and seek for ways to escape the self-imposed noise and do away with themselves. It sounds like an addict out of control; it is.
a tragically humorous little item
Concerning this “never slow down for a moment, always be in motion” philosophy, I must share with you an incident from “the 500.”
A husband on the other side, speaking to his wife via Mr. Flint (not the Nanji couple), soared with high flight as he subtly boasted how advanced he was becoming. In essence, he reported that, with all of his incessant “doing,” always serving, never a thought for himself, never resting for a moment, always living a life of constant movement, he was climbing the ladder of progression over there pretty fast. Ain't it great.
Well, his wife, back here on Earth with Mr. Flint, was politely listening to all this, not saying too much, but then, unable to remain silent, finally blurted, and I paraphrase: “But dear, I don’t want to be busy all the time. It makes me exhausted just thinking about all that non-stop activity. Can’t I just enjoy life sometimes?”
And now, hubby, with the vacuity of his position having been exposed, begins to stammer. He suddenly realizes that his pontifications sound less than reasonable to any person who might want to have a rose garden, or a real life. To him, however, so desperate to be rid of a spoiled self, a German-farmer level of "doing” seemed normal.
Also, as an aside, my sense is that he really didn’t love her. I detected from him no "darling dear" utmost yearning to be with her. Her function was to help him “hold court.” She was like Alice, just an audience to the mad-hatter proceedings.
mad as a box of frogs
Mad Hatter: What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it.
Mad Hatter: You used to be ..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.
Mad Hatter: No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.
Mad Hatter: What is the hatter with me?
Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?
Alice: Well, I haven't had any yet, so I can't very well take more.
March Hare: Ah, you mean you can't very well take less.
Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing.
March Hare: Then you should say what you mean.
Alice: I do, at least I mean what I say, that's the same thing, you know.
Mad Hatter: Not the same thing a bit! You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!
Oh, what is the hatter with you?
#8: Getting rid of the spoiled self: "Eons and eons from now, the truly spiritual will lose gender identity, male and female will no longer exist but will blend, one into the other, creating an advanced androgynous uni-person."
Have you noticed? Whenever they have no evidence of something occurring, they immediately hide behind, "it'll happen in a bazillion years, just you wait and see."
Of all the distasteful doctrines of the False-Self group, this one needs to win a prize for “most disgusting.” Several of “the 500" reference to this, and when they do it’s offered with a certain smugness and elitist disdain, a haughty air of “only the highly advanced could ever understand this.” Now, they've never actually seen this happen, they have no proof, but it's what they want to believe; and they are so uppity-sure of themselves.
This unbecoming precept of "the insane 500" directly and forcibly contradicts the teachings of many of the ancient Spirit Guides who proclaim that sacred romance, the joy of the true marriage, will last forever.
The Troubadour Spirit Guides, especially, (see “The Wedding Song”) are adamant that not only does authentic romance help us to become more like God, but that, without its attendant pleasure and joy, there will be no true eternal happiness for any of us. But, the False-Self group wasn't really planning on staying around that long anyway, so we presume they don't really care.
Someone, one of these camps, is seriously wrong. But our own internal guidance-system attests and knows which view is correct. In truth, stripped of the empty god-talk, this pernicious and bankrupt idea is but one more attempt by the False-Self group to do away with their “spoiled selves.”
the dog that did not bark
On the Word Gems homepage, I reference the poet who speaks of romantic love as that which “we stay alive for”; or, as Elizabeth confessed to Robert, “I am living for you now.” This is right, normal, and natural.
And, again, the ancient Spirit Guides do not disagree but, indeed, offer substantial concurrence. (See a listing on this page of many testimonies from the other side honoring the eternal spiritual marriage.) Spirit-Guide Margaret particularly is so bursting with joyous fervor to speak of the happiness of true love. (See her lengthy testimony on this page.)
None of this really surprises us because our own hearts and souls cry out to love and to be loved. We know, without a doubt, that we were made for this.
And so, when we review the reports of the dysfunctional 500 and discover that they never ever mention the happiness derived from true love, this absence of discussion itself becomes quite telling in terms of revealing their insanity: but then, who ever heard of a "spoiled self" truly in love? It is Sherlock’s dog that didn’t bark.
how can it make me happy, such a thing as my life, it never made me happy, without you
Elizabeth’s love letter to Robert, May 20, 1846: "... while the heart beats, which beats for you… my life, it is yours, as this year has been yours. But how can it make me happy, such a thing as my life? There, I wonder still. It never made me happy, without you.”
As stated on the homepage, during the last 20 years, the construction of Word Gems, I have reviewed the literary work of scores or hundreds of the great female thinkers of history. Among this pantheon, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Heloise of Argenteuil, and Abigail Adams I count as most wise and, indeed, most felicitously and passionately articulate.
But, within the realm of authentic romance, though we mourn with Heloise and her "how much I have lost, beloved, in losing you," we must offer some small measure of deference, I think, to Elizabeth, the great artist and sage, the great wordsmith and evangelist of life and love.
Elizabeth and her beloved Robert were among “the Flint 500” reporters. Still as wise and gracious, she expressed herself without the neurotic overtones of those “wanting more and more.”
And I thought of Elizabeth’s 1846 love letter to Robert, her assertion, “how can it make me happy, such a thing as my life, it never made me happy, without you.” Which raises the question, can a mentally balanced and enlightened person make such a statement? Shouldn’t “the sane,” those accessing a higher level of consciousness, find within themselves the ability to be happy even without a romantic mate?
I’m reminded of something Eckhart Tolle said in one of his early writings, to the effect:
“No matter how enlightened one becomes, there will be no escaping the female-male polarity-attraction. Like opposite ends of a magnet, each is constructed to require the other; this is the way it is on the surface-level of form. However, on a deeper level of being we were made whole and complete."
The natural desire of male and female wanting each other, to complete each other, to experience a divine "oneness" - the "image of God" - is a sacred desire and will not be set aside anytime soon.
It is possible for the enlightened single person - and allow me to also include the clear-eyed "miserably married" - to know the joy of the deeper “true self.” But, even in this mystical felicity, there will be no happiness – which is dependent upon “happenings,” a fortuitous gift of unpredictable external circumstances; that is, unpredictable in the short term, as it is our destiny to find true love: "stored up for us like an inheritance," said Rilke.
Until one is blessed with the arrival of “the Beloved,” there will, at times, be joy, but, as Elizabeth rightly and perspicaciously asserted, there will be no happiness – until he comes into her life; yes, that so-called "life" which never made her happy, until Robert came.
The "insane 500" know nothing of this delightful mystery - though they claim to; as such, their insanity only deepens.
I don't have plans and schemes
I don't have hopes and dreams
I don't have anything
Since I don't have you
I don't have fond desires
I don't have happy hours
I don't have anything
Since I don't have you...
Psychologically-healthy people who have lost someone would do anything to have the beloved back in their lives; as the poet instructs, it is “what we stay alive for.” But those of "the dysfunctioal 500" never ever speak of simply wanting, above all else, second chances and recapturing love lost. We are left to severely doubt that they would be caught planting helium heart-balloons at intersections.
Do you know what this means, Marty? - an alternate reality has been created!
“Obviously, the time-continuum has been disrupted, creating this new temporal-event sequence resulting in this alternate reality.”
“Here - here - here… [moving to the blackboard] … Let me illustrate… Imagine that this line represents time to the present, 1985 … [here’s] the future… [here’s] the past… Prior to this point in time, somewhere in the past, the timeline skewed into this tangent, creating an alternate 1985 - alternate to you, me, and Einstein, but reality for everyone else.”
you, me, and Einstein understand that the various forms of “losing yourself” do not and cannot happen, but, on that other branch of the tree, that skewed alternate reality, it’s all very real to them
How does the normal flow of events - “normal” in the sense of being the will of God, who seeks only good things for us - spiral away as an alternate-reality tangent?
It happens - both in our world and the next – any time people live from the False Self. It’s just that, when the insanity occurs over there, where people have expanded mental abilities, supercharging the principle of “thoughts are things,” whole worlds can be created as a reflection of one’s distorted vision. In that case, you could end up with "Biff's Pleasure Palace" in the sky.
That's heavy, Doc.
We’ve spoken of fictional characters inhabiting special worlds, just for them, created by the power of thought. But the “dysfunctional 500” have done something similar.
Consider the irony. The “dysfunctional 500” themselves become fictional characters, of sorts, in a made-up world; “fictional” in the sense that there is no actual place to jump off a cliff into total oneness with God; there is no super-melded androgynous uni-person; there is no universal, pandemic reincarnation; there is no ultimate reality as greener grass and prettier flowers – we could go on.
|David and Agnes will soon be complaining about the new, insane people moving in: "There goes the neighborhood," she sighs.
The unapproachable, disdainful haughty, high on Mount Olympus, the "proud and puffed up," as per Brother John, would dispute the contention that none of this is real because some of their brotherhood do visit such places; but, it exists only for them, to those of a consensus-reality, those who’ve agreed, those who desire, to “move into” this kind of “sand-castle in the sky” -- but it’s all quite fictional to us.
The Ruler of the Realms does not, we presume, actively preside over this rogue fiefdom within his kingdom. This makes sense because, on the False-Self branch of the “tree of life,” the Ruler doesn’t exist. They’ve never heard of him there, except possibly as a fictional character.
Editor’s note: And speaking of people who don’t exist, this happens a lot for the False-Self group. I stated that there are 45 sub-articles in my “R” writing. Virtually any one of these writings would severely set back and knock in the head the whole idea of “R,” but this information is totally ignored by the dysfunctional 500. Here’s just one example. The 40-year research of Dr. Carl Wickland is classic to this case. He provided hundreds and hundreds of examples of confused spirits trying to reincarnate, but they could not. However, on that “other branch of the tree,” they act as if Dr. Wickland never existed. It’s sort of like Doc Brown and Marty realizing that, in their new skewed timeline, some people don’t exist there. I’ve wondered about this: "How can ‘the 500’ blithely blather on about past lives and ‘R’ when this has already been thoroughly refuted, and from dozens of angles?” The answer seems to be, this evidence, researchers like Carl Wickland, doesn’t even exist on that “side of the tree,” that alternate reality.
and here’s the poster-boy example, right from the ranks of “the 500,” on why you can’t “help” others
Many of “the 500” were just ordinary people, but some of them were famous in their day. One of these, when I saw his name come up, caused a little excitement for me: “Ahh, at last," I thought, "here will be a sane and wise person.”
As a mortal on Earth, this person had received information from the other side, from wise Spirit Guides. This advice I count as among the best available. The ancient Spirit Guides spoke of the error of reincarnation; they understood the essence of true spirituality; they knew about the importance of “going within,” finding God within one’s deepest self; and they offered a vision of how a mature and well-adjusted person will conduct him or herself.
And so, with eagerness, I reviewed the testimony of their former student, now a resident on the other side. I expected to receive further insights based on the private mentoring, and, what I assumed were, the many years of living according to the best wisdom. But what a shock for me. This former student of the great Spirit Guides now, afflicted with Patty-Hearst Syndrome, spoke as any misguided one among the dysfunctional 500!
This person hadn’t learned a thing from all that private tutoring – and not just from any teacher, but some of the best on the other side!
What does this mean? It means that the person wasn’t ready to learn; the person's soul was not yet open to change. And it didn’t matter how much “help” was given. Is this not utterly amazing?
Also, this person never even mentions the famous tutors, the famous Spirit Guides who came to teach. They don't seem to exist in this person's world anymore. Is this not very strange? Wouldn't you at least mention this famous interaction of the past?
Editor’s note: A sane person among “the 500” addressed this issue of "helping" very insightfully: He said that trying to reach, to help, some people is "like expecting a child to read an essay that was written by a professor." Yes, exactly, absolutely. Some do not and cannot “get it.” They’re not ready. They’re too immature, too plugged into the False Self.
Also, another of the "sane 500" said this, to the effect: "They presume to have helped many in their purported past lives, but they cannot even help themselves, as they are caught in delusion." Amen.
but wait, here's the granddaddy of all "helping" examples
Before I speak of the ultimate example, allow me to share a personal story. Many years ago now, I found myself working with a certain individual. Over the course of some years, most days, as we went about our duties, we would discuss the ideas on the Word Gems site. The interaction was pleasant, as not often do I encounter what seemed to be another mind willing to learn. When our work together was finished, we went our separate ways. However, to my surprise and dismay, this person, in my absence, not unlike the one mentored by ancient Spirit Guides over a long time, went right back to espousing the tired half-truths of “R” and related error. It's as if our years of fact-based discussion meant for nothing.
We can’t really help people, not in any meaningful sense. We can do things for them, or assist them in their doing, or we can loan them money, but, oftentimes, this "help" leads to their ruin or co-dependency. No one can hoist another into a higher level of consciousness, and that’s what we really need. Only God can accomplish this -- but this, only with a truly willing student -- and this is why John said that “No man can teach you," and "God will personally instruct you.”
But, concerning the granddaddy of all “helping” examples, that would be Jesus personally teaching twelve men for three years. At the end, the night before he died, Jesus himself realized it was all a washout. I’ve offered discussion elsewhere concerning the following treatise of John 16, but, in essence, his students exulted, “Oh, we’re so excited, we finally get it, now we know what you’re talking about.” To which exuberance Jesus, sighing, and with half-sardonicism, intoned, “Really? You think you get it? Well, let me tell you. Even after all of my teaching, being with you every day for three years, you guys are still so far out in left field that tonight every last one of you will betray me. You haven't learned a **** thing.”
So, what do you say after that? However, some will claim, “Yes, but they all understood on the day of Pentecost when they received the Holy Spirit.” Actually, no. They never got it while in this world; they died not getting it. Paul was the only one who began to see clearly; possibly, John, maybe, but in his old age. Read my detailed commentary on Galatians, a 15-year project, and you will discover that the “Jerusalem apostles” fought Paul all the way as they attempted to maintain the Jewish rituals with the new Christianity as mere add-on feature.
And regarding the writings of John, these are dated near 100 AD, or even later. This means, very likely, that the gospel and letters bearing John’s name were not actually written by the close friend of Jesus. The author of “John,” most probably, never personally heard Jesus speak but based his writings on hand-me-down anecdotal testimony. This is why there are some things purportedly said by Jesus on that last night that the real Jesus would never would have said; such as, “I will send you the Comforter (i.e. the “strengthener”). There is no sending. You cannot send the “holy spirit,” that is, the “purified consciousness” to another, like a UPS package. (Well, it was probably sent by US mail, so no wonder they never got it.)
On that last night, we see Jesus facing the music, throwing in the towel, on his grand effort to “help” these men become spiritually mature. This phraseology of "sending” the spirit, a victim of hand-me-down distortion, more likely went something like this: “None of you get it. You’re all still very materialistic in your thinking. You still believe in a worldly kingdom with four borders and the Romans driven out. Look, I know you want me to stay, but my staying actually makes you worse. You’re too dependent. You rely on me too much. You need to grow up and think for yourselves. No man, including myself, can help you – only the ‘purified consciousness,' a shift in awareness, will take you to where you need to go.”
But what about this very writing? the one you’re reading now. Is this not an effort to “help”? Are not some people helped by the advice of teachers?
Yes, they are – but not fundamentally.
The fact that you’re reading this, moreover, if you’re feeling a sense of resonance with it, would indicate that it may very well be your time to “open the eyes.” If it is, this writing can take no credit. Your own soul is now prompting you to find out about things. If it hadn’t been this source of information, it would have been another; there’re plenty out there for those who want to learn. And, as we say, “God will teach you directly”; if human didacticism fails, then, or in any case, every blade of grass and every twinkling star will now shout at you the divine message.
If you give to charity, you will harm your spirits
Notice that in the earliest "biblical" texts, the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus is reported to have said, "If you give to charity, you will harm your spirits." And now we can understand what this means: You cannot help people to grow spiritually; not really. It doesn't work that way.
But those who would promote a Jesus as accomplice to self-loathing, a ridding of oneself of Self, would never quote the Jesus in Thomas.
the “boomer generation” is offered an unexpected compliment by Brother John of Glastonbury
On the Summerland page, and elsewhere, I quote Brother John of Glastonbury of “the sane 500.” He often had something good to say.
He is no longer of the Church; none of the “sane” over there claim membership anymore.
On September 12, 1968 he offered comment, via Leslie Flint, on the troubled situation in the world. And how well I remember that tumultuous time. Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King had very recently been killed. Cities were burning. I would soon graduate from high school and was anxiously waiting to leave the farm for university.
The great turmoil in the world, Brother John suggested, was tempered by what he saw as encouraging signs by the younger generation. They were far more likely than their elders, he thought, to “seek for enlightenment,” to “desire for knowledge.” They were currently “rebelling against much that had been [unwarrantedly] accepted, and were not as easily taken in as were past generations.” They “wanted to analyze, wanted change, wanted to know truths, and were protesting against evil,” as they saw it, and were not afraid to do so. They had “lost faith in the Church,” and all of this thinking and questioning, he said, was “the beginning of the end for the Church,” though its departure, a long good-bye, would linger for some time.
He then offered a panoramic perspective as only one, many hundreds of years old, might do. He said that the “young,” the boomer-generation, with all of their critical thinking and questioning, created more hope for the world “than at any time in history.” Wow. That’s quite a statement.
Elizabeth Fry: “The first thing a person must learn here, if they are to progress, is to lose this idea of self-importance. Those who are really progressed never, never, give that impression, because it is not even in their nature to appear, or want to appear, important… Above all things, if you want to discover truth, avoid men of power and position.”
Elizabeth, from the afterlife, via Mr. Flint, frames her message around, is a virtual statement against, those who desire to give an "impression" of being "really progressed." It's all they do in their preening and puffing.
Very often I have quoted Elizabeth Fry in the Word Gems articles. I find her entire approach as mesmerizingly wise. Without doubt, she is the grand lady of “the 500.”
And though I’ve noted her testimony many times, as I produce it here just now for your review, I perceive something new. It occurs to me that there’s a reason why she goes out of her way to offer her advice in polemical form, the references to “men of power and position” and “those who attempt to appear important” on her side of life. She is speaking directly, we need not doubt, to all False-Self promoters.
"There is, in a sense, organization here [on the other side] -- there is a feeling that everything is in its place, but there is no conscious organization here… there is always the realization of greater possibilities… because nothing is static here, everything has the opportunity for change; and when a person begins to seek, begins to change in themselves, begins to desire things of a better order, so, automatically, gradually, they will find those things – it’s all a state of being, a state of mind. Every existence in which one might find himself is a state of mind, a state of awareness, a consciousness…
"There are no actual leaders [here] as such – we have an organization which is so subtle and yet so natural – because, a person here, for instance, does not, in a sense, ‘give orders’; we have groups of souls who do special work – but we all realize, automatically, within ourselves, what our part is, what work we have to do; and we realize that we are all interwoven, one with another – I think it is [that] we are all very conscious of this oneness of spirit. Here, no one glories in being a leader – whereas in your world [in various organizations] you do get this sort of glorification of the individual [leader]; the first thing a person must learn here, if they are to progress, is to lose this idea of self-importance.
Editor's note: Glorying in being a great leader is all they do. And notice, in the next paragraph, the phrase, "those who are really progressed." She did not craft her words in this way without cause. Elizabeth is addressing a certain group who just love to tell you all about how progressed they are; it's all they do. She will go on to warn, "avoid" them and their "material perception of things."
"Those who are really progressed on this side never, never, give that impression -- because it is not even in their nature to appear, or want to appear, important. Everything that we talk about, everything that we do, is done in a complete love, in a complete harmony, one with another. No one wants to override another person; all of our influences for good are [done] in love; and therefore we don’t have, on this side, organization, as such. We don’t recognize leaders, in the sense that you do…
"Christ himself had no intention, no desire, to found any religious organization. This is completely, absolutely, a man-made thing - which over the centuries has misled mankind; and, indeed, I think it is pretty obvious, that if you analyze the whole of Christ’s teaching, you will find that he was the most humble of souls; that he had no desire to form any kind of an organization; he chose his disciples among the most ordinary of men; he did not try to dictate; he did not suggest, in the sense that some people assume that he dictated that they should do this or do that – he gave them, completely and absolutely, free will -- free will to choose the path that they should follow.
"I think that people will only recognize … what Christ really was, when they begin to discount a lot of untoward creeds and dogmas, tacked on over the centuries by men who desired power and position – I would say to you, above all things, if you want to discover truth, avoid men of power and position, because … [they desire] power and position because of their material perception of things - you cannot, surely, build a truly spiritual realization of God on something which is of a material conception – God is not found, in a sense, in buildings or places … God is found within one’s soul, within one’s inner consciousness.”
Winston Churchill, among "the 500," delivered a message of sanity and warning.
I need to mention one more “talking point” of the dysfunctional 500. This came up many dozens of times. In their fixation on “helping,” and because they believe they are so very spiritual to be able to help anyone, they often speak of world peace just around the corner.
It’s all very unrealistic, of course, just as their entire world-paradigm, and their efforts within it, is unrealistic. I call it the “kumbaya effect.” You know, “let’s all sit around the campfire, join hands, sing a song, offer our good intentions, and thereby make the world a better place.” More specifically, their philosophy goes something like this: “If we can all just help a little more, if we can just get our message out more effectively, if we can get more people to work with us, if we can reach more people with better information, then, because the world will have more knowledge of spiritual things, they’ll follow us into a Golden Age, and the Earth and Summerland will be one in heart and mind.”
The “insane 500” believe this because they themselves have not yet gone through the enlightenment process. They think it’s a matter of more and better content of the mind that's holding us back, better education, getting the message out. And so, by extension, they believe that the world can be made to be “good,” just as they are “good,” because they see themselves as so knowledgeable.
But, Sir Winston, the “Old Lion,” was not deceived by any of this saccharine flim-flam. He was so forceful, as in the days prior to 1939. I think he was speaking directly to the “insane 500.”
Far from “kumbaya,” he charged all of us that the world is getting worse, with blood in the streets more likely, that it's in grave danger of being destroyed by our own evil ways. As in times past, he was addressing the naïve Chamberlains out there.
Editor’s note: The world cannot be “saved” en masse, but only one at a time – one burst of clarity at a time. However, even this is not true. The world is not meant to be "saved" - don't "save" the butterfly from the cocoon.
As Spirit-Guide Abu instructs, “the Earth is the world of individualization.” We come here for the express purpose of experiencing, like a splash of ice-cold water down one’s back, all of the bone-rattling polar opposites:
the up and the down, the good and the evil, the hot and cold, the light and the dark, on and on. It’s designed to “wake us up,” to make us persons in our own right; becoming “good persons” is stage two and, for most, will not even occur in this world.
The ego is not a real entity but a perception of one’s growing autonomy. My best understanding is that we come to this world of polar-opposites to experience, like an awakening splash of ice-water, all that is “not us.” It is very jarring.
It seems that, in the ego’s immature state, it will seek for, or create, “others” and “enemies” as foils against which to differentiate itself, which is to say, become an autonomous person. Becoming a good person is down the road. For these reasons, as Adrian has pointed out concerning Gnostic doctrine, this world is unredeemable.
If there really were such a thing as saving the world, making it heaven on earth, “kumbaya all around,” there’d be no reason to even come to this sorrowful planet. We might as well have stayed in Summerland. "Saving the world" is like saying, "Let's save the prospective Navy SEALS from their grueling training; let's save the PhD student from the great work of writing a thesis paper." But this "help" would defeat the whole purpose of what they need to do and become. (This topic is discussed in several other articles.)
JFK once said that some problems have no solutions; this is so because they're not problems to be solved, as such, but simply the nature of things or elements of reality to be accepted. And this is why, again, the ancient Gnostics, the people who wrote The Gospel Of Thomas, taught that the world is unredeemable. It cannot and wasn't meant to be “saved” or “helped” but only overcome and transcended. In this understanding, we find the purpose of the world and our place in it.
- Adrian Smith: "This world cannot be fixed. It can only be forsaken."
By the way, the word "gnostic" is related to our modern word "know." The Gnostics, understanding the importance of "going within," claimed to "know" as opposed to "believe" or "have faith." And this is part of the reason why the Legalistic Worldly Church hated them so: Who needs "infallible" gurus when God teaches us directly?
Editor’s note: For further discussion on the elusiveness of world peace, see the article “Celine and Elvis: why, oh why, can't my dream come true?"
characteristics of the maturing person
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
Dr. Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) and Dr. Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley)
Kairissi. With all of this seemingly pejorative talk about “advancement” and “wanting more,” some might be left with the idea that we should not wish to attain to goals or develop ourselves.
Elenchus. But this conclusion leads us very wide of the mark of what it means to be a truly maturing person. It’s not the wish to be “more” that’s the problem, but, in so many cases, it's the “neediness” behind the progressiveness that causes the smell.
K. Well, the author has asked us to dilate on this issue for the benefit of our readers who might not immediately grasp the nuance. The “500 writing” could be accused of an anti-developmental position.
E. In principle, this confusion beset the apostle Paul. He spoke so much of “grace” but only because his detractors spoke too much of “law.” Paul was no libertine; hardly. It’s just that he clearly saw the limitations of “law” and knew that it could not take us to where we needed to go.
K. Let’s direct our readers to the Galatians commentary for more on this. But, concerning the question of proper emphasis on “advancement” and “wanting more,” how should we approach this?
E. There could be many ways, but I might suggest a metaphor of the action movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
K. Do you like this movie?
E. The plot is a little well-worn: a world calamity is thwarted by a team of skilled defenders. But I’ll tell you what I did like about it. To my way of thinking, Jack Ryan, and Cathy, too, exhibit heroic qualities of selflessness that anyone would do well to emulate.
K. Say more about this, Babe.
E. There’re a few lines that really capture, I think, “the right stuff” of any spiritually maturing and psychologically balanced person. In the final moments of the movie, Jack and his commanding officer are about to walk into the President’s office:
Commander Harper: (small smile) Any way you can get that boy-scout-on-a-field-trip look off your face?
Jack Ryan: (smiling) Not a chance.
Commander Harper: That's what I like about you.
K. Tell me what this means to you, Babe.
E. There’s no “neediness” in Jack. He does what he does just for the honor of it, as an expression of his inner life-force, just for the joy of it. Harper playfully calls this ex-Marine a “boy scout,” and I like that. But Jack is not neurotically compelled to earn merit badges. He’s already “enough.”
K. I understand what you’re saying, Dear, but we should point out that, in fact, he does like to “earn merit badges.” He’s earned a doctorate in economics plus other notable achievements. He's no armchair slouch.
E. Yes, absolutely, very good. And here’s the big difference between Jack and the “insane 500.” He, and Cathy, too, are propelled to do what they do for the joy and for the honor it. They don’t work for little gold stars on their papers or alphabet-soup after their names in order to feel better about themselves. But the “insane 500” do.
K. (sighing) There’s a certain forthcomingness, an openness and guilessness, about Jack that makes him very attractive. His pure-of-heart spirit, even a boy-scout innocence, I feel, represents what a spiritually maturing person looks like.
E. We’re reminded of Brother Joshua’s descriptor, “wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.” In modern parlance, Joshua might have said, “it’s the joy, stupid.”
K. (small smile) Yes, that sounds like Joshua, for sure.
K. But Darling Dear, I think all of this helps us envision our coming life in Summerland. They don’t earn doctorates over there, and they don't give out little gold stars, but there’s plenty to achieve, wouldn’t you say? And people do differentiate and distinguish themselves from the crowd by hard work and a desire to evolve, correct?
E. Very much so. There are no doctorates, no gold medals, but this does not mean that one’s hard work to develop oneself will be hidden in a dark corner. Professor Myers, from the afterlife, said it best as he describes the glowing bodily aura, a radiance, an "energy and force," of the accomplished and evolving person over there:
“We are undisguised, for on our foreheads is the insignia of whatever we have gained in culture, love for humanity, charity, selflessness, energy and force, ambitions for the sake of others…”
K. The word "ambition" is usually tainted with overtones of ego or even megalomania.
E. But it doesn't have to be that way. What if the spiritually maturing person were led by a sacred idealism with "ambitions for sake of others"?
K. Wow, Dearest... "ambitions for the sake of others" - how I want that to be part of our family motto! ... (sighing) Oh, Elenchus, I can hardly wait for us to start our new adventurous life in Summerland.
Summerland is a “one-room schoolhouse” with people on various levels of awareness. What will it be like for us to live over there?
The answer to this question is multi-faceted, but there’s one aspect we can address.
One of “the 500” is a neighbor of Father Benson. I won’t mention his name because we're all friends here, but this person, a famous artist while on Earth, is often a house-guest of Benson. We know this because the person is referred to in Father Benson’s channeled books (which are excellent and very informative concerning life in Summerland.)
The point is this: Benson’s friend, though a jovial person – a “good” person, as the Chinese man said – believes in various aspects of the errant teachings such as "R" discussed above.
When you live in Summerland, you will have the blessing of enjoying close company with many people who see life just as you do. These will be your confidantes, your intimate dear ones. But there will be many others around the neighborhood who, while very friendly, will believe many things that you do not.
As I leave this section, just to mention, as I listened to the taped testimony of Benson's friend, I could tell that the work of this person, the art, meant too much. We’ve spoken of how people hide from life, and from themselves, in many different things, all of the distractions of living.
This happens in Summerland, too. And while this person was one of the world’s great artists, the artistry had become a shelter against the “still small voice,” the whisperings of the True Self. As the poet Marsha Lee Anderson expressed it, "We make inward bedlam and will not come out." Historian Paul Johnson speaks to this, as well: "Hemingway's awareness of his inability to recapture his genius, let alone develop it, accelerated the spinning circle of depression and drink. He was a man killed by his art, and his life holds a lesson all intellectuals need to learn: that art is not enough."
What will become of all these off-kilter, mad-hatter people who live from the False Self and speak nonsense?
Many times, in the thousands of reports from the next world, it is said that, eventually, probably a very long time, everyone will come to the truth, will align oneself with God, and will live from the True Self. This is not a precept that can be proven, especially since human beings have free-will, but it is the best sense, the best judgment, of the ancient Spirit Guides. I personally agree with this assessment.
It is common knowledge, to those who study this subject, that the lower Dark Realms is home to untold millions of miserable ones who will not yet come to the Light. But, it should also become clear that there is another multitude of unhappy persons trapped on so-called "perfect, higher levels" of existence, where the grass is greener and the flowers more colorful. Is this not very strange?
the final chapter of "more and more"
There are two ways to make the dysfunctional ego unhappy: not getting what it wants, and getting what it wants. (See the article on “Desire.”)
And here is the likely “end of the road” for the False-Self group:
At some distant time in the future, having simulated all of their fantasies about being rid of the “spoiled self,” they will find no relief in this. The inner disquietude will remain. Moreover, their very “success” in having attained what they thought they always wanted will become a doorway to a new level of disillusionment and existential crisis.
In this better knowledge of realization that their philosophies suffer bankruptcy, if they do not change their ways, then, in this recalcitrance, as Spirit Guide Abu warned, they will lose their vaunted radiance and begin to "sink and sink into darkness." And now the misery of the Dark Realms, where there is no greener grass and prettier flowers, will become their new teacher.
Kairissi. I feel so overwhelmed by all this information.
Elenchus. Dear - what would you say is the main idea you’re left with in all this?
K. You mean, can I summarize the “Sufi elephant”? (sighing) Well, let’s see… I think what I'm feeling is that there's a great unity in everything that happens, in every world and dimension, among all peoples, high and low, in God's domain.
E. Say more about this.
K. I mean, it’s all natural law. No one is forced to do anything. Everybody’s pursuing their own definition of happiness.
E. Even the tribal cult-leader – he said he was happy.
K. That’s right. Everybody’s just sort of flowing in the energy of life, or lack thereof. Most people are deluded – or, I guess, we’re all deluded in that none of us sees the totality of the “Sufi elephant.”
E. But some of us at least know we’re deluded.
K. And that’s the big difference. But, everyone, no matter which little twig we’re clinging to, on either side of that “tree of life,” sees only so much. I’m not making myself clear. Let me try again.
E. (small smile) I thought I understood until you started talking.
K. Uh-huh - I think you've lost your "muchiness." But what I’m trying to say is that, there's no police force to make people do the right thing.
E. Do we even know what the “right thing” is?
K. Well, that’s another problem. Everybody’s out there doing their own thing, most of it's wrong, but, even so, as the wisest Spirit Guides say, one day we’ll all make it to a mature level as a son or daughter of God.
E. But how can this happen if it’s like herding kittens?
K. The “herding” is very subtle. People are allowed to go their own way, on either “side of the tree,” and if they build their lives on “craving,” they will assuredly suffer. And that suffering will bring on disillusionment.
E. Disillusionment – when we don’t get what we want, or when we do.
K. And that’s what I mean when I say that everything is managed by natural law. There’s no need to be policed. There's a built-in fail-safe. No one gets away with anything, not even the smallest penny; not after a while.
E. Yes, of course. This disillusionment will eventually bring down the house for the False-Self group.
K. But, though to a lesser extent, it also serves as a guidance-system to those of us who live on the True-Self side of the tree – because we sometimes slip into egocentric thinking, too.
E. And when we do, we suffer, and the suffering becomes our impetus for course correction.
K. We "go within" and get a "clearer reading" of what we're to do, and then we're fine again. It’s all a very natural and light-handed way of managing the universe. Nobody needs to chase anyone down for punishment.
E. The suffering eventually makes people change. Those in the Dark Realms, if they fight themselves, their higher natures, will “sink and sink” into greater darkness and greater suffering.
K. They’ll keep on falling until they reach an unbearable level of pain, which will cause them to seek for a way out. It’s all a natural process. And though it may take a very long time, this is how God will bring everyone to a good level of maturity.
E. We're all "dragged into the kingdom of God kicking and screaming."
K. Pretty much. Funny thing – the suffering is optional. It’s not necessary. If people would begin to open their spirits, we could learn without suffering.
E. Does God bring together destined lovers in this way, too?
K. (softly) Yes… I think so. It's hard for those two raging rivers to meld. Sometimes, even when they know who their true mate is, they can be angry and resist being with "the one." But, once they know, and if they fight the truth of who they are to each other, they will “sink and sink” into darkness and pain… until they repent of their "sins against sacred romance."
E. Does this mean you'll eventually come to me?
pleonexia – the craving for 'more and more'
The ancient Greeks had a word for the malady of which the Chinese man warned: “pleonexia,” the craving for “more,” an endless and futile attempt to fill the spiritual emptiness inside with non-spiritual content.
About 25 years ago, when I first began my afterlife studies, I came to this subject with an automatic deference for those on the other side and whatever they said. Later, with the help of better teachers, I began to realize that mere years in Summerland is no guarantee of wisdom.
Each of us has the same human spirit, the same “made in the image” riches within, as anyone, no matter the dimensional level on which an individual might currently reside. And if you learn to “open a channel,” God will teach you – here, right now, wherever you are – and you don’t have to wait until you enter a better world. The better world will be wonderful, but without an accessing of the “true self,” five-star accommodation will not help us that much.
The Word Gems site offers good instruction on how to apprehend the “true self” and to escape the bondage of the “false self.” We all need this information. It’s best to start our “lessons” before we enter the Astral Realms – because, many of “the 500” have become examples of attempting to live life from the basis of “the ego.” They’ve become living illustrations of what not to do.
the banality of Evil
The problem with Eichmann is that he appeared to be as congenial as your favorite uncle. A disarming affability; and, in a sense, a sincere display, very much of the order we've known from respected ones in our lives.
How could this be? – Eichmann, one of the great mass murderers of the Nazi regime, so unmonsterlike, resembling a kindly neighbor across the backyard fence. Hannah Arendt famously called this “the banality of Evil.”
Hannah Arendt, to Gershom Scholem regarding the Eichmann trial: "It is indeed my opinion now that evil is never ‘radical’ ... that it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension. It can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like a fungus on the surface… the banality of evil."
“Spreads like a fungus” - slowly, imperceptibly, by unmeasured increments – and then to “lay waste the whole world.”
death by a thousand cuts
This unheralded “death by a thousand cuts,” or maybe like the proverbial frog unprotestingly boiling in a saucepan, afflicts even those on the other side who are not in touch with their “authentic selves.”
sometimes Evil is radical
I must disagree with Hannah on one point. Sometimes Evil is not “banal” but “radical.” We talked about this on the “levels of consciousness” page. I used “the Joker” as an image of the lowest level of consciousness development, the level of “the shameless,” those of outrageous conduct, lost to common decency and propriety. These are ones who have so corrupted themselves, are so far gone, as now devoid of even a particle of good sense to know when or how to be ashamed. They will say anything, destroy anyone, commit any atrocity – if they feel they can get away with it, or even if they can’t - to get what they want. Think of those who run Supreme Court Nomination or Impeachment hearings, and you’ll be on the right track.
but most of us are like the kindly uncle, such a hapless guy
Most of us do not entertain this kind of “radical” Evil. The average person stumbles over and into “the banality of Evil.” We don’t set out to do wrong. But then we find ourselves led by base passions, we surrender to them, we compromise, we accept the poisoned candy, we allow the “Needy Little Me” to have its say. And the next thing you know, Evil, like a stealth cancer, invades our lives.
Evil is seductive. It often comes dressed up in a nice suit and with a big smile.
- Shakespeare: "One may smile, and smile, and be a villain! ... The devil is a gentleman."
Sometimes that smile, a big sloppy grin, is on the shameless face of a hardened, malicious criminal-politician, whose life is a con-job on every level.
swept into atrocity by inches
But too often it’s the smile of Eichmann, the kindly uncle who was shifted into atrocity by inches. He didn’t start out to become, he never saw himself as, a mass murderer. But when the stars aligned, a confluence of circumstance, offering opportunity of seeming advancement by way of oppressing others, he just sort of fell into it. The “Needy Little Me” convinced him that it was his right; and then a little more, and then a little more.
In my writings, I often state that any unenlightened person, under sufficient provocation, given the right circumstances, is potentially guilty of any crime that's ever been committed in history. And "the banality of Evil" makes it happen.
Judgement At Nuremberg:
Ernst Janning: "Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. You must believe it, you must believe it!”
Judge Dan Haywood: "Herr Janning, it 'came to that' the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent."
This stepping over the line into Evil by "baby steps" afflicts even those on the other side. The malady will grow and grow until it consumes remaining sanity.
READ MORE on the “nature of evil” page.
Editor's last word:
In discussing this article with Adrian, he said that he “took note of those who seek to ‘lose themselves’ in service to others. I have to think that's what we were doing in the Church [that he and I attended in younger years], losing ourselves in devotion to someone else's dream rather than finding our own. Every distasteful task was ‘an opportunity to serve’.”
I responded with, “Most of the world lives under a ‘churchified’ view of life and the future, but virtually none of it is true. How strange to consider the possibility that Jesus made a mistake by coming here, and yet if we allow his words to convey plain meaning, that's exactly what he seems to be saying. And this idea of ‘service’ being such a sacred cow, as you say, ‘every distasteful task was an opportunity to serve,’ is quite errant. The notion that a life-purpose of living happily and peacefully is too jejune, not a proper goal, is very off-base; the fact is, it's not so easy to enjoy one's own existence, the inner demons do not quiet themselves so readily - just ask Alexander who conquered the world at a young age and then promptly drank himself to death because all the world wasn't enough; that's the problem with that path, nothing is ever enough. Learning the fine art of simply enjoying one's life is really hard; as is deleting from oneself all of the cravings that drive one to incessant 'doing' … also - how strange, too - our ‘missionary work,’ when we get to Summerland, in large measure, will be that of simply modeling living life in a normal, non-neurotic way, just ‘enjoying one's rose garden,’ as the ‘Ruler’ does. Is this the highest calling and the greatest service?”
Final note: There’s something Pascal said that, with beautiful simplicity, encapsulates the dysfunction of the “insane 500,” those who preach incessant "doing": “All of humanity’s problems stem from an inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
In my opinion, the most detailed and comprehensive advice on how to access the True Self will be found in these books.