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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


 

Editor's Essay

“Why the world doesn’t need Superman”

Pondering the question of God’s seeming unconcern and uninvolvement regarding the suffering and calamity on planet Earth.

 


 

 

return to "Suffering" main-page

 

 

 

In “Superman Returns” (2006) we find an angry Lois Lane having written an editorial, “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman.”

 

 

 

She’s miffed because the one she loves had left on a 5-year journey but had not even said good-bye before departing.

 

 

He consoles her with “I’m sorry I left you, Lois.” And then takes her high above the city.

 

 

He wants her to know, “You say the world doesn’t need Superman, but, everyday, I hear them calling to me.”

 

 

how this article came to be

Superman Returns is a favorite movie, and as I watched it again I thought about this issue of the world crying for a Superman, someone to swoop in to save us from our troubles.

It’s common for people to lament, “Why is there so much suffering in the world? If there’s a God, why does he allow all this evil? Why doesn't God just stop evil before it happens?”

This question, this accusation, has been with us for a very long time.

 

blaming 'the man upstairs' 

 

Open Range (2006), Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall

“Now if you wanna say a few words to the man upstairs, I’ll just stand here, hat in hand, and listen, but I ain’t talkin’ to that son-of-a-bitch who let befall what happened to a sweet kid like Mose.”

 

Editor’s note: Yes, we understand, it can seem very unfair. However, when things go wrong it’s easy to blame God, but on days when the sun is shining and the stars align the ego tends to take full credit.

 

 

Lois’ editorial started me thinking about this, but it also came to mind as a result of my research for the “Quantum Mechanics” series.

It has to do with entangled particles.

Editor’s note: All analogies imperfectly describe a subject under review. However, I hope that the purported similarities derived from the following will not seem too unlikely.

 

 

If two particles are created together, they might undergo what is called “quantum entanglement.” This means that, even though the particles might be at opposite ends of the universe, they affect each other’s movement, and do so – instantaneously.

Einstein didn’t like this idea at all. If this proposition were true, it would mean that the particles could potentially communicate faster than the speed of light. But, according to Special Relativity, this is not possible in our universe.

Einstein called this instant messaging “spooky action at a distance.” He spent the last decades of his life attempting to overthrow this idea. He failed. Quantum entanglement has now been experimentally verified.

what does this have to do with 'the world doesn’t need Superman'

Not much – except for the structuring of the problem-solution, which is similar. Here’s what I mean.

it’s all just a big misunderstanding

Einstein said that it’s not possible for two separated particles to communicate faster than the speed of light - but here’s the deal. It’s all just a misunderstanding.

The particles aren’t far apart – they’re still connected; rather, they’re really a unitive whole.

And, they aren’t even particles yet – they’re just “probable particles.”

 

 

It’s more like this: the two “probable particles” are still part of a “wave of probability” that might stretch across the universe. They won’t become actual particles until a “measurement” is taken.

and it’s all just a big misunderstanding, too, blaming 'the man upstairs'

This question of “Why does God allow suffering,” of course, is a universal question and has been asked for thousands of years, and we cannot address every nuance of the query here. But what I hope to do is frame the issue in terms of broad existential parameter, and then leave it to you, and your own meditations, to fill in the gaps.

Editor’s note: You will be given this insight as part of the "arrabon of the purified consciousness" - if you allow it, if you don't block it; because, as we’ve seen, God teaches each of us on an individual basis, in a fair and just manner, with no "favorite kids"; and this essential orientation concerning the nature of God, and God’s mode of dealing with humankind is not a side issue but fundamental to our development, and so, assuredly, we will come to see how all this works, if we “open a channel,” quiet the ego, and allow ourselves to be taught.

It’s all just a big misunderstanding, because God:

has not gone away somewhere

is not aloof, uncaring, and detached

closely superintends our growth and development but with laissez-faire management

does not allow “evil” - because what we call “evil” does not exist, as such, but represents humankind's feckless, ego-centered quest for happiness, thereby becoming a vital part of the “classroom lesson plan,” lesson-plans we ourselves write, all of which is a primary reason why we came to this world

allows, and requires, us to experience the consequences of our own actions, for, suffering endured, with equanimous and undespairing mind, summons to itself an endowment of what will yet become, not only our sanctified wisdom but, an astonishing heightened capacity to experience joy, wonder and bliss

is preparing us, maturing us, psycholgically, spiritually, for what comes next; and it's not a small thing

 

rendered them more sensitive to never-ending happiness

The following was given by Margaret Fuller (Countess Ossoli), December 5, 1852, via the mediumship of Mrs. Elizabeth Sweet, reported in The Future Life.

Editor’s note: Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) died, with her husband and little boy, in a shipwreck. One of the Transcendentalist intellectuals of her day (with Emerson), she advocated human rights and enlightened feminism. The first American female war correspondent, Fuller wrote for Horace Greeley's New-York Tribune. Two years in Summerland, she offered this comment:

“The winds of adversity which passed over their souls while on earth, but purified and chastened them, and rendered them more sensitive to the enjoyment of never-ending happiness.”

Editor's note: see more of Margaret Fuller's testimony on the "Summerland: 1-Minute" page.

 

 

'the last freedom'

The great souls of the past teach us that, even in times of extremity and privation, when all seems lost, even a doubtful tomorrow, a human being retains one inalienable freedom, a claim to veritable godhood: the ability to choose, in the midst of crisis and chaos, one’s attitude toward suffering - "the last freedom," as Dr. Frankl called it. Fortitude as this invites a hidden and unexpected benefit, of eternal significance.

Volumes could be written here concerning the nature of suffering, but they’ve already been written – by many writers of history, and, for no extra charge, even by myself.

I must direct you to “the 500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” article. Therein, you’ll find lengthy discussion on “the meaning of helping someone.”

Editor's note: It's not so easy, and almost impossible, to "help" without harming creatures laden with "free will." So often, the "help" promotes a co-dependency and servileness, a victimhood and welfare-mentality, utterly counterproductive to the maturation-individuation process. Many times, the best we might offer is the encouragement, "you can do this," "I believe in you" - to rise above and work things out with one's own divine "made in the image" potential.

 

think of the butterfly escaping the cocoon,
it must do this alone, without "help"
- or it will be destroyed by the "help"

 

Counter-productive "help" is the central precept of the question before us.

If God, in fact, did “help” us by swooping in, like Superman, to save us from what we call evil or calamity, how would this affect our development as sentient, self-regulating, meant-to-be autonomous individuals?

Would we even like being supervised, nannied, every moment of our lives? - slapped on the fingers everytime we even thought about doing something less than perfect?

How would we overcome our systemic selfishness if we couldn't do anything on our own? What would become of free will, autonomy, and personal responsibility?

How would we learn of the nature of evil if its consequences were immediately removed?

What kind of shallow, spoiled-brat creatures would we turn into if the results of our own actions did not dissuade, and teach, us?

the padded playpen

How would we shed our naiveté and childishness, our foolishness, if God had us grow up in a “padded playpen” with no possibility of injury, loss, or misstep?

Without certain difficult experiences, how would we gain insight and understanding of the nature of things, of natural law and reality, of God’s mind?

And without this wisdom, and resultant maturity, if the dysfunctional ego ruined us this way with "me-sim," how would we “survive the terror of living forever”?

Editor’s note: We’re playing ‘for keeps’ here. Think of this: someday, when you’ve lived as an ‘immortal’ for a million or billion years, then, you will still have, stretching before you, an infinity of time! Further, this will always be true! - no matter how long you've lived - the unsettling prospect of not being able to escape one's immature self, the inability to die, would become the greatest curse! – because, even if we’ve lived 10 billion, or a 100 billion years, an infinity of time would still loom menacingly ahead of us!

Can we see? What we’re doing here right now on little planet Earth is just ‘splashing in a kiddie pool’ compared to what’s ahead. We have to do this right. We have to be ready for what's coming. Our petty little sufferings, even if they result in the demise of the mortal frame, are as nothing, and less than nothing, compared to the trouble we will cause ourselves, future misery to many powers of ten, if we do not ready ourselves for what’s next. Because, if we fail to ‘learn our classroom lessons’ now, then we will join the ranks of the “insane 500” and enter “the existential terror of living forever”.

 

Superman delayed - which might save the hapless from forty worse calamities

An excerpt from Andrew Jackson Davis’ “Death And The Afterlife: Eight Lectures On The Summer-Land”:

"Many a man has been saved from committing suicide by his [Spirit] guardians... Why are not all men saved from their temptations and indiscretions? Because they can be neither directly nor intermediately reached [as their cultish fears block contact with the Spirit world]. Of necessity, all such must walk through great agony to a higher intellectual and moral condition. It is the [required] impulse of their inward being [for they will learn by no other means than by suffering]. Guardian angels see that it is better for some children to fall down a whole flight of stairs than to be rescued; for the one sad accident or stumble may save them from the misfortune of forty other worse falls and blunders in the course of their lives.”

 

I will refrain from saying more about this – because mere words cannot truly convince us. We must “open a channel” and allow ourselves to be taught directly by God. No external source can give us this insight. We must do this for ourselves, teach ourselves, in union with “the God-life deep inside.”

paradox

Some might charge, if we learn and grow by enduring the consequences of our own actions, doesn't this mean that we mature through experience? But in the “reincarnation” writing it’s often stated that experience per se does not further our advancement. So, which one is it?

It’s some of both, but not via the “hundred thousand lives” of reincarnation.

We come to this world not to achieve perfection and full maturity but, as phase one, to become individuals, persons in our own right. For most, perfection will come later, much later, even in worlds beyond Summerland.

The real spiritual progress occurs outside of time and experience, in one moment of cosmic clarity, as we are taught directly by God. But in order to come into this “total field” awareness, a certain minimum requisite experience is needed; stated otherwise, in order to become a spiritual person, we must first become a person. The Earth-trip is good for this latter. The jarring experiences of our world lead us into sentience. Experience has its place; if it had no use, we might as well have stayed in Summerland and just read a travel book about the Earth.

Our final maturity, to borrow a phrase from Kant, arises from experience – but is not grounded in experience.

 

The truth, far removed from the propaganda of clamoring egos that God is unconcerned or allows evil, is that we have lessons to learn right now, and God offers each of us a "private tutoring," a custom-crafted teaching, just for us, each one of us.

 

'we are the world, we are society'

Very often, Krishnamurti would caution his audiences against blaming others, seeing ourselves as "above." It's not easy to stand down as there’s much aspersion to cast. Right now, we witness the world marching toward totalitarianism, to a degree not seen since the days prior to World War II. Many of us are angry, and we want to believe that if we could just get rid of “the bad guys,” the ones causing all the trouble, then life would be good for all of us “good guys.” But this is illusion.

The seeds of evil, not always unsprouted, reside within each of us. If sufficiently provoked, if blinded to the light within, each person is capable of any atrocity, any brutality, and more, that we’ve seen in history.

the seeds of evil

Star Trek: Next Generation, episode "Violations"

"No one can deny that the seeds of violence remain within each of us. We must recognize that - because that violence is capable of consuming each of us."

In other words, “We are the world. We are society.” We are not exempt, as we too reflect the human condition, and we take the vectors of perdition with us wherever we go. And until we learn to “go within” to access the inner light, there will be no peace and happiness; not on an individual basis nor for the world.

See the Krishnamurti page and especially his "summary" discourse.

 

 

What we endure in this very temporary “training field” of planet Earth is, by God’s design, the very least amount of suffering that’s required to prepare us for the infinity of time and experience only one missed heartbeat away.

 

Is there any evidence that the suffering we endure here is the very least amount required to accomplish its task?

I would suggest there is good evidence for this proposition.

In science and philosophy there is the “principle of parsimony,” of elegance of simplicity, of Occam’s Razor. This is an extremely important concept and much could be written about it.

Many of the great scientists of history stated that their research was guided by a precept of “elements must not be unnecessarily multiplied’; that, the truth, when we find it, will be “beautiful in its simplicity”; that, nature eschews “the pomp of superfluous causes”.

See a long list of quotations from notable scientists and philosophers concerning the essential beauty and simplicity of nature.

What might all this suggest? My sense is this. Part of the “programming” of morphic fields, serving as invisible blueprints of the universe and reality, organizes energy in a manner that is efficient, energy-saving, of elegant-simplicity output. Evidence from science indicates that this is how the universe works. It’s an underlying principle of order and self-regulation.

And since the “hidden blueprints,” the morphic fields, represent the mind of God, we are justified to extrapolate this “principle of parsimony” to the domain of human growth and development.

This means that whatever suffering is “allowed” here on planet Earth, it is the least amount required to produce a desired effect when dealing with educational programs for creatures with free will.

 

 

Is this world the best of all possible worlds?

There’s a cosmogonical view, one that I count as error, that the world was created by an imperfect being with limited abilities. Supporting this assessment is the pain and suffering we see everywhere on planet Earth. Surely, they say, we are looking at a flawed plan, one which could have been made much better if the supervising deity in charge of this universe had been more competent.

However, the question must be asked of these wiser ones, what would you have done differently? How would you make life in this world better? Would you stop crime as it’s happening? How could this be done without a ubiquitous thought-police invading the privacy of our minds at every moment? Would you stop crime before it’s happened? There are several movies which explore this preemptive strike, but, in each case, it called totalitarianism.

The larger question becomes, what is the best way of developing, bringing to maturity, creatures such as ourselves with godlike creative capacities? – all of which requires a freedom to choose; and this means, in the short term, a freedom to choose evil.

As I look at the evidence and weigh the possible ways of governing our world, I’m forced to conclude that our world is the best of all possible worlds, given the parameters which must address sentient beings endowed with a gift of volition. We could have a neat-and-tidy world, inhabited by pre-programmed automatons, every step of each day laid out for us - but who would want that kind of dystopia?

 

 

A long time ago, Art Mokarow instructed us ministerial students that “It’s possible to change without suffering. It’s just that, for almost everyone, suffering is the only way people learn; we don’t change until the pain of remaining where you are exceeds that of altering a bad path in your life.” When Superman said, “I’m sorry I left you, Lois,” his suffering was only beginning. He had no idea yet. He went away for a long time but then, when finally realizing, discovered that things had changed, and he couldn’t “get back to zero” anymore. He will suffer the absence of the one he "loved all along" for the rest of his life. And that protracted period of time-without-end will become his classroom and lesson-plan, ones of his own devising, a perfect fit for him, teaching him, too well, what is most important after all.

 

Mysterio fakes a crisis, employs the media and grand illusion, to grab worldwide power-and-control

I’m probably one of the few who still remembers Mysterio as a comic-book baddie of the 1960s. But in a recent Spiderman movie, Far From Home, we find Mysterio concocting a grand charade of crisis, allowing him to burst on the scene as the caped invincible one and savior.  But, it’s just a gimmick to justify his plans to be accepted as world potentate.

This is an old strategy by totalitarians, often in use in modern history, but going back anciently to the likes of Naram Sin and others of the BC world. Whenever there is a national calamity, such as a school shooting, the immediate response by totalitarians is "take away people's liberties." And they're not interested in other solutions.

The playbook reads thus, “Create a crisis, take advantage of a real one, or exacerbate some small issue, fake it if you have to, make much of it, beat the drums, do a rain-dance, say the sky is falling, then bite your lower lip with fake compassion, posture and position yourself as the glorious hero, the pious one, God’s agent of righteousness in the world.”

Marvel movies are stealth freedom-fighters. Read between the lines, see what’s happening. Virtually every plot has to do with some egomaniac trying to take over the world. Art mimics reality.

Some of the totalitarian-supporting media scoff with, “Today you can’t have a successful movie unless there’s a superhero in it”; meaning, the dull-witted masses require exciting fantasy.

But let me explain this: Marvel movies are popular not just because they feature heroes with exploits, but, primarily because, in each movie, totalitarian forces, deception and propaganda, high-handed rule-by-whim, are routed. And I guarantee you this, if the plots were to glorify a Dear-Leader socialism, a diminishing of personal freedoms, those movies with good-guys-in-capes would very quickly bleed red ink and suffer washout.

In this article, I include a short discussion on Mysterio because he symbolically represents the cause of much suffering in the world - whether on the macro stage of totalitarians attempting world-wide power-and-control, or on the individual level of people hurting each other to gain some perceived advantage, it's all the same spirit.

 

 

'out of the frying pan into the fire'

This is an old proverb from Roman writers 2000 years ago. It means “going from bad to worse.”

As we explore the topic of “why does God allow suffering,” this ancient saying reminds me of what I did to myself as a young person.

Elsewhere, I’ve recounted early experiences with the religion of parental family. Learning a few things about the dark history and legalistic ways of the church, at age 17 I decided that I was finished with it.

returning to the scene of the crime

However, in my leaping from “the frying pan into the fire,” as a freshman at university, I immediately allied myself with another church – which, as I would discover, was just as dictatorial, just as oppressive and draconian in its ways and view of God; and probably more so.

I would be caught in this religious totalitarianism for the next 25 years, all the way to age 44. Only then, finally, did I muster the intellectual savvy, the clearer frame of mind, indeed, the self-respect and maturity, to extricate myself from ecclesiastical dystopianism.

compelled to fail

And so I might ask myself: Why did I jump from the “frying pan into the fire,” why did I go from bad to maybe even worse? What was wrong with me to have allowed that?

Further, having confirmed and repeated my mistake, why did it take me so long to once again make the break? I well perceived the glaring dysfunction of the church: the money-raking, the sexual improprieties of the leadership, the high-handed pomposity, the self-serving interpretations of scripture, the fake altruism and compassion, the power-and-control mongering, the anti-humanistic embedded view. Even so, for a long time, I couldn’t bring myself to leave the cult; both cults.

obedient drones of the hive

In our discussion here of “why does God allow suffering?” the additional question might be asked, why didn’t God, like Superman, rescue me from all the empty god-talk lies and propaganda? Why did I have to waste 44 years of my life as a “true believer” in a religious collective? We might become angry, as did the cowboy in “Open Range,” railing against “the man upstairs” for having “done this,” for allowing this kind of travesty.

However, as we survey the mayhem of the world, we find all sorts of leaping “from the frying pan into the fire.” Here’s one that bothered me a lot.

In my “travels” through life over the years, I’ve met many women trapped in not just loveless but abusive relationships or marriages. At times, as appropriate, I might have offered a word of advice to some of these low-esteemed, with conversation to the effect:

“He’s abusing you, he’s taking advantage of you, you know this as well as I do, why don’t you leave, just start a new life, take charge of yourself, walk a new path.”

the prison door is open, but we won't walk through

The strange thing is, they pretty much always agreed, they knew what’s going on, they knew it’s all bad, they knew that if they stayed they’d never have a chance for real happiness and real love in this life – and yet – in most cases, they did nothing to help themselves. They remained.

driven: the zombie-like negotiation

But what’s even more strange is that many of these women had moved from relationship to relationship, from “frying pan to the fire,” a number of times. They had continued to choose abusive partners.

Why do they do this and why do they stay? – but then, why did I do the same and why did I stay for 44 years?

We could list many examples of those entrapped within various oppressive situations. In some or many cases they could leave if they chose to, but they do nothing.

All of these suffering ones might be included in our larger question, “Why does God allow this kind of suffering and oppression? God could stop it today, but he does not. Why does God allow evil in the world?”

Every situation is different, and yet, in essence, they are all the same. Here’s what I learned.

When I finally came to the point of understanding why I, myself, had entered, and remained, in dystopian arrangements, then, in general principle, it became clear concerning the malady afflicting others.

Why did I enter and remain? I couldn’t have answered this as a younger person. The answer – which, in general principle, is the answer for all of us – is discussed in ten thousand pages on Word Gems.

If the “false self” is running one’s life, then we look at the world through a filter of “I don’t have enough” because “I am not enough.” To remedy this, the false self seeks to align itself with a “strong father” figure, to live in a surrogate way, under the mantle of the protective power of some Dear Leader.

when the facts don't matter

This is the essence of cultism and speaks to the psychological profile of a little child, one who judges him- or herself unable to face the frightening aspects of a hostile and uncertain world. Burdened with this puerile frame of mind, a mind of fear and guilt, no logical argument will dissuade; because rationality cannot dislodge systemic fear.

Understanding all this, we can now begin to answer the question, “Why does God allow suffering?” - why does God not swoop in like Superman to save us from these structures of oppression in our world?

The answer is, it would do us no good – because we’d quickly find a new oppressive church to join, or a new dysfunctional relationship to enter, or whatever form of safety and security happens to be our perceived salvation at the moment.

rescue attempt cancelled due to lack of interest

There’s no point in rescuing a young man from one more dreary iteration of cult religion until he, himself, has found “the life within,” his inner link to God. When he does, he will never, ever again seek for external supports to fortify a sense of self. And now, for him, the world doesn’t need Superman.

a personal invitation, but heaven can wait

Editor’s final note: In my own case, age 44 was an important year. So, too, was age 45, a time of pivotal mystical revelation. Even so, despite this unscheduled “glimpse of higher reality,” I spent, to various degrees, the next 20 years, like Lana, trying to pretend it never happened. This reminds me of Jesus' parables of invitations to a wedding, but no one wanted to goIt can take a long time to grow up; at least, it did for me. I count age 65 as the beginning of a certain degree of steadfast maturity. No more running away after that. However, we might say, at 65 the game is pretty well over, and all that “might have been” in this life is now conceded as “never to happen” or decidedly lost. Or not. I no longer think in terms of “this life” and “next life” but, as it is in reality, one seamless life. The game is just starting, and hardly begun.

 

 

William Buhlman: "Imagine yourself in an ideal world where everyone is free to explore and develop their creative pursuits and experience their unlimited potential. Does this sound like heaven? Just think what an immature or undisciplined being could and would do in this ideal thought-responsive world. Picture the chaos and destruction that a single primitive mind could create ...Now for a moment imagine what kind of educational environment would be the perfect training ground for this undisciplined mind...Welcome to the dense training ground of matter, where focused thoughts are required in order to create and prosper. Welcome to the ideal environment where the young and undisciplined mind can learn by trial and error without contaminating the pure realm of spirit. Welcome to your life."

 

postscript:

why we remain: going deeper

There are many reasons why people stay in the cults; however, there’s only one core reason: fear.

Some of this fear might express itself as low self-esteem, a diminished self-respect, a feeling of unworthiness, a floating sense of existential guilt, issuing as a perception of deserving to be abused or punished. This low opinion of self enslaves many.

And there’s a second category of reason why people stay. It’s also a form of fear, but it doesn’t seem like it at the time. This fear is often cloaked in some form of apparent high-minded idealism, of “this is what I’m required to do though it cost me much suffering.”

As I look at my own case more closely, as I perform the autopsy, I know very well why I didn’t leave. It was a version of the second reason. I knew about the improprieties of the church, but, for a long time, I felt that it was God’s will that I remain where I was; meaning, I felt I had no right to leave.

obey, pray, pay - and stay

Cultish religious organizations preach a lot about “top down” authority; that, God works through the chosen and sanctified hierarchy, even if it is reprehensible and boorish. “God will deal with us if we sin,” goes the logic from the pulpit, “but your job is to obey, pray, and pay.” We should also include, “stay” – you’re not allowed to leave, without calling down the displeasure of God. Cults have you lassoed and hog-tied with that kind of dark teaching. It gives the hierarchy a blank check to do whatever they like, treat you however they like, and you just have to take it, because it’s God’s will, you see.

This is one way they keep you on the plantation. However, another way is through their “infallible holy” doctrines. You’re obliged, under pain of being eternally cut off, a one way ticket to the Lake of Fire, if you step outside the regimen of the annual holy days, weekly gatherings, rituals, etc., etc. In my particular case, the hallowed day of the week set apart for worship, deemed to be ultra “holy”, was a major sticking point for me. I could see strong Old Testament support for the rubric, and no way around it. This held me, bound and tethered, for many years.

not to study that hard

Now, I might ask myself, with all of the study of scripture I did for decades, why didn’t I see things more clearly earlier on? Bible study, along with prayer (and occasional fasting), was mandated by the church, something we were supposed to do every day. However, they didn’t want you to study that hard, to the point of undermining church policies. Nevertheless, over time, as I learned more and more, not just from a personal study of scripture but from the scholarship of many others, I finally understood that God, if fact, did not support the church’s narrow view of how things work.

In receipt of this liberating knowledge, having finally answered questions that had kept me intellectually chained for many years, I immediately, not waiting even a day, left the church, zooming like the proverial "bat out of hell," and have never regretted the decision for a moment. See my Galatians commentary as a path to a better view.

However, in this postscript, I would like to address the justifying reasons of “why people stay” in a more general way. The experience of each particular person suffering in the cults will be different, and yet, for many of them, if falling under the heading my “second reason,” people often remain due to some sense of responsibility to “do the right thing” before God. This is a noble mindset and not to be minimized.

What I would like to share, however, is a line of reasoning that never occurred to me during those “44 years”, except right at the very end. If I had entertained certain viewpoints earlier on, I might not have needed to wait for the scriptural justification (which, later, I perceived was never necessary at all).

What I missed was this: What are the implications of a church doctrine in terms of defining the nature or character of God?

what does this say about God

Think about this with me. On the “Jesus” homepage, I offer a long self-discussion concerning what kind of person God would have to be for the salvation doctrine via Jesus to be correct and true. I will suggest that you read that discourse there as it’s too lengthy to reproduce here. However, essentially, as is the case with many of the well known doctrines of Christianity, God is made out to be some kind of maniac, perverted person, or sociopath if he, in truth, thought and acted as the churches teach.

You must do your own meditation on this. But, if you begin to see what I’m talking about, it will become clear that a God of love, rationality, justice, fair-mindedness and natural law – we could add many other traits – would never subscribe to the so-called “holy infallible doctrines.”

The line of reasoning I’m suggesting here would also apply to many women trapped in loveless and/or abusive marriages. I say this because many of these women are very good women and they want to do the right thing, they want to honor God in their lives – and so, believing that “God hates divorce” and that “the husband has the final rule” over her, she stays. But none of this reasoning holds any water upon closer scrutiny - not in a biblical sense, and especially not in a “divinely humanistic” sense, in terms of the kind of person God would have to be to keep suffering women in a mismatched dysfunctional relationship, just "running the clock out" as the main goal of their lives. This subject will require your own meditation to see clearly the truth of this common problem.

jail break: we're bustin' outta here tonight

I began this postscript by speaking of a lack of self-respect. This is needed, for many reasons but, it’s required here in order to give yourself permission to follow the dictates of your own sanctified mind -- once you begin to see that you have a right “leave the plantation” and that God won’t be mad at you.

it seems to take a long time to accept that God is not the problem in any of this and would never be mad at us

See Father Benson's comments on this from the afterlife.

Your own soul will lead you to the revelation that God would never be mad at you even if you did something really wrong. But, certainly not to help yourself escape mind-numbing suffering. However, as stated, even if you begin to see and understand this “ticket to liberty,” you have to trust yourself, love and respect yourself, enough to make it happen, to follow the inner whispering-guidance of your own person.

That’s probably the hardest part of the prison break.

By the way, in Galatians Paul uses three analogies to describe all religions (as opposed to "life in the spirit"), and one of the comparisons is a prison.

 

you are as little children, and your instructors are preparing you for what is to come

An afterlife spirit-person offered commentary on the issues discussed above. He said that the task before us, that of preparing our hearts and minds to live in eternity, is no small venture and requires a great deal of guidance and education. But, see this in his own words:

Channeled information via medium Mrs. Elizabeth Sweet, The Future Life: an address to the Circle of Hope, by Apollos Munn, who had lately passed to the other life - October, 1852.

I perceive that I am at this time an unexpected visitor to you, and to the medium also. But for some time past I have been waiting for an opportunity to make myself known, that I might be enabled at times to converse with my friends on earth in whom I am so much interested. My feelings have lately been attracted toward the happy little circle in which you weekly assemble, and where you attract around you a class of spirits whose influences encircle you as with a wall of fire, the light of which shall repel all inharmonious spirits that do not love the light, because of their affinity for darkness.

I see that this fire, kindled by love and harmony, which constitutes brotherly love, will closely bind you as with a chain whose links shall become more immovable, as the desires of each shall fervently ascend to Heaven for strength to progress into the heaven on earth which you are all expecting to realize. And to attain this end, let each and all of you measure your own heaven by your own experience, extending your mind to no greater than that which you are able to grasp.

Be content with the unfolding of the germ which in due time will become a bud, and which, when the bud is sufficiently matured, will burst into a flower. But were the flower to unfold before it was sufficiently strengthened to receive the rays of light, it would shrink back within itself, and be withered by the effulgence which it could not bear.

My wish is, that every soul may see its own heaven. Oh, do not measure your own experience by one another's, but look within your own hearts, and receive the draught of happiness in whatever measure it may be meted out to you, and be assured that you receive as much as you are able to bear, though it may seem to come slowly.

The spirits, whose loving forms surround your dear circle, would fain [be obliged or gladly] fill you with their own gladness to a greater extent than they have been able to do; but the power, the will, and the wisdom that direct for your ultimate good, will it to be as it is. My dear friends, none should have any cause for complaint while enjoying the privileges of spiritual intercourse; but you should receive all messages from the spirits gladly, and with a pure desire for knowledge and wisdom and truth.

little children do not ask the propriety of lessons required of them, even if seemingly unpleasant

And if you cannot behold the fruits of your labors now, you should remember that you have been advised to be as little children, and being as little children, you will not ask the propriety of the lessons which you receive, when you feel that your instructors are doing all in their power to prepare you for the state in which to perform your works of duty, in the several paths in which you will be called upon to tread. A great work, to be greatly advanced, must be carried along slowly, continually, and steadily, yet with an unwavering faith.

The workmen must first lay a sure foundation, which must first commence in their own minds; and when the foundation is sure, solid, and unshrinking, then it is time to proceed swiftly with the rearing of the structure, the greatness of which will require many and all manner of laborers before it shall attain its perfection. And patience, hope, trusting, and long-suffering, will be requisite for each and all, while this mighty work proceeds.

Will any murmur, if even a lifetime should be spent in endeavoring to cast a ray of light on the path of their fellow-travelers, that they may also know and experience the beauties of the light which has been shed upon your way? And is not the enjoyment of this light richly worth seeking for? Does it not cast a gleam of joy upon your souls when they are heavy-laden? and does it not come to you as a ray of sunshine when all looks dark in your material state?

As ye seek so shall ye also find, and when the desires of your heart shall knock at the door of the inner world, it shall be opened to fill you with the joy for which you are seeking … And they tell me that I am yet a very child in the enjoyment of the rest which is prepared for those who love truth…

Be ye dwellers in the green and shady valley, and listen to the quiet murmur of the stream whose waters are as a deep flow of joy. Seek not to climb the mountain while you are yet feeble, but enjoy the beauties within your reach, and let the mountain come to you. When you have become sufficiently strong, you will not be overcome by the brightness of the light.

My desire is, that your circle may be one of love, harmony, and usefulness.