I admire anyone who writes this boldly about believing in God:
You believe in God. You also believe that we have a soul that lives eternally once our earthly bodies fail us. You believe that both of these statements are true. Now that we’ve agreed upon what you believe, let me tell you what I know. (Not what I believe to be true, but what I know to be true.) I know these statements you believe to be true are false. I know they are false because I know they are not true.
That anyone is Jon, a Church of the Churchless visitor who sent me a link to his “This is all there is” blog post. Jon said that I’d helped him realize something that he already knew. Indeed, I mused along the same lines as he did in “What if this is all there is?”
Another reason I admire Jon’s essay is that he starts off with an algebraic bang. You don’t see that often in spiritual writings. He begins with a question and goes from there:
It’s true that you believe your soul (X) is (=) some part (Z) of (x) your earthly being (Y), correct?
Exercise your algebra-deprived brain and make your way through Jon’s interesting argument. Or, take a short cut to his mathematically-supported conclusion.
Come to find out, your “soul” and your earthly being, your heavenly being, and whatever “part” of you it is, is actually all the same thing. It’s all there is. This (right here, right now, at this very moment, is all there is.)
There will be never be anything else because this (This) is all there is and ever will be…There is never anything other than the truth. A lie (or belief) exists only in your imagination…Stop believing in things and start knowing things. The lies have got to stop.
…I know that I am here because I know that I’m not there. I can pretend I’m “there,” but that belief exists only in my imagination. I am always only ever here…“There” does not exist in reality. It’s a belief only in our imagination.
Yes. Reality is a terrible thing to waste (thanks, United Negro College Fund, for being able to adapt your famous phrase). We can spend our lives imagining that we’re experiencing something that we’re not. Or we can live in the truth of what actually is.
Which, if you’re a believer, is God’s creation. So denying reality is denying God. Thus faith and belief are blasphemies.
Yesterday our local newspaper’s religion columnist quoted from a church newsletter. Jim Young, of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, urged people to “discern the movement of the Spirit in our daily lives.”
The first step is to find a quiet place where one can be attentive to the ever-present God.I thought, “good advice.” In fact, that’s as far as we need to go. Any further misses the mark.
Because Young then said to focus on the past and the future:
Reflect on the past year with gratitude…Review the past year like you would replay a movie in your mind…The final step is to reconcile and resolve to move forward.
Well, the first step made sense to me. As, I’m pretty sure, it would to Jon. Reality here and now is real. But the past and future isn’t. Most of us already do our best to flee from the unvarnished truth of the present moment.
Religion’s emphasis on imagination and fantasy just adds to our illusion.