Let’s talk a little bit about the nature of religion, because virtually all religions have to do with the spirit model of the four ways of looking at the structure of the universe.

There’s the spirit model wherein there’s a God or gods. There’s the energy model wherein it’s all energy of some sort (magnetic, gravitational, etc.). There’s the psychology model in which everything is the mind. The mind has created everything. Everything that exists does so because of the power of the mind.

There’s the information model or process model in which there’s information to be relayed. You want to relay it without air so you create a self-replicating device in order to relay the information. It’s a sort of detached way of looking at it. You can think of it as the self-similar pattern model and it works on the principle that everything follows a self-similar pattern.

The pattern model does a lot of things: It allows us to understand compassion. It allows us to understand the universe and its mechanical operations. It allows us to understand the earth and the earth’s systems (nature’s systems: meteorological, geological, ecological, and all the various systems that exist on the earth), and it can help us understand just by looking at the formation of coastlines, for example. There are several people to credit with work in the area, but I think that Dr. Mandelbrot with his equation really goes a long way to explain how the universe is constructed in self-similar patterns. It demonstrates this with an infinite amount of depth and makes it very easy to see how the universe can exist, in a kind of a four-dimensional way and with a level of depth that’s remarkable.

So we can see this patterning in the Mandelbrot equation. We can see it in real life and we can see how there are layers to everything. One interesting thing about molecular science is that the electrons orbit the nucleus in a particular pattern. How ever many there are, however that works, they take up at a particular distance from the nucleus of each atom. Each atom has its own signature because it will have a certain number of electrons orbiting the nucleus at specific distances apart, so scientists are able see how many of the slots are filled.

This is a way of helping to identify things and it’s interesting because it is a universal law. It’s a universal principle of molecular structure that the electrons orbit at a specific distance from the centre, in designated slots named orbitals.

So that’s a principle that we’ve been able to use to further science in a vast number of ways. From cosmology to any other methodical field of analysis, we have been able to use this known, consistent pattern. What we don’t know is about the planets circling the sun. We know that they potentially move closer to the sun at times and further from the sun at times. The orbits are elliptical, they’re not circular, and so there’s a variety of things that we know to be true about this. We know that, for instance, the moon is moving away from the earth. I’m not sure if we know whether or not the planets are moving away from or towards the sun or what happens as the sun expands or at what rate all this takes place.

But at any rate I think what we have in terms of solar life spans the same kind of consistency may not apply as applies in molecular physics, with individual particles and their electrons. They may behave a little differently while they’re similar in that they have designated orbits. The laws that govern them may be quite different. They may follow more rigid, stricter laws, or it could be that these atoms go through a process also, they may age. We don’t really know enough about some things and I don’t know enough about what science knows to be a complete expert but I don’t think I need to be. The principle is the same.

It could be (and this is what I mean by mentioning atoms aging) that the electrons get swapped out from time to time in some cases. We certainly know that some electrons will get swapped out. I don’t know if it’s possible that atoms have life spans. It seems like they don’t but we may be observing that they do. We know that certain particles change places and potentially these particles can come and go. We don’t really have a way to predict all of it. Another thing we know is that there are neutrinos which are able to move through just about anything. I don’t know how fast they’re going, but they’re just blowing right through space and time, right through the earth, right through everything as they move through the universe.

So we know there’s an awful lot of stuff going on but what we don’t necessarily know is what this all really means to us, it’s hard to say. There are a variety of things which may come up when you start to consider this sort of a thing. What does it mean to have a consciousness? What does it mean that these neutrinos are just travelling through everything so readily? Seemingly without obstruction they move through space. What does this mean for us? What part of what’s going on is that? What part of consciousness is that? That part is just everywhere. You know even light gets stopped by certain things but this stuff doesn’t get stopped. So the normal atomic structure doesn’t offer any resistance to this. This is just a more or less free movement throughout space-time, just a huge ripple of them whenever there’s a supernova. Scientists use special neutrino detectors to discover when there’s a supernova.

I’d like to take a look at the spirit model and the nature of nihilism within that, to take a look at the world. Sadly, what I observe is the nihilistic tendency of religion, particularly religions on par with the western theocracies, Christianity and Islam. Here’s the thing, both Jesus and Mohammed are beyond reach. It is not as though a common human could become either of them. Their followers believe that these individuals are exalted; that something divine is present in these individuals alone. No other individuals are comparable, nor could they possibly be. This same implication exists in the polytheistic belief systems also. In these religions, the gods are distinctly non-human but may take human form and they can exist in a variety of ways as gods.

So essentially the monotheistic systems have taken the qualities of the polytheistic gods and attached them to an individual man. The attributes of the many gods of poly religions seem to appear as one man in both cases. Let’s examine how this happens and what the effect of it is.

I just have to say first of all, right upfront, that I’ve read the bible. The annotation and the parts where Jesus’ words are highlighted allowed me to study just what he was teaching. Having read the whole thing, essentially, I’ve gotten a lot out of it, and I’ve gotten a lot out of it that the Christian churches aren’t teaching. I think it’s fascinating. Let’s just say that I’m familiar with the teachings in the bible, and while I’m not as familiar and I can’t say that I have fully read the Koran, I have read a synopsis and I am currently reading it so we’ll see how that pans out. I do understand that basically Mohammed was the special chosen one of Allah, and this is not a state that individuals should bother to strive for as it was specifically given to Mohammed as his mission in life. So he has a unique situation right from the start that others cannot strive to attain.

In both of these religions, there’s an unspoken message that you will never be good enough. You will never be worthy. I have to say that in the polytheistic religions the same thing can happen but I find this implication in western religions particularly bizarre. How do you put your god in an inaccessible location? That’s how the churches are given so much power. The same thing happens in Buddhism in the way it’s taught, mostly, for instance, you have the lineage which says “okay, this is our path to true enlightenment” and then you have the qualified teachers of that path and this post is inherited down through the lineage. It doesn’t necessarily work that way though. These are really just structures. They’re structures that humans designed as a way to sort certain things out, and in this situation, they’re trying to sort out the path to happiness.

So my path of happiness is better than your path to happiness because my path to happiness has cooler people’s names in it or whatever the reasoning could be. People will boast that they studied with Pastor Dan or Pastor Bob or whatever the name may be. You get the idea that your priest, well this guy’s got it right. You just know that whatever the situation is your guru, your guru has it. You know I have to tell you that there are certain things about this that are very important yet are often overlooked and I want to stress those parts that are overlooked. You can’t fault anybody for being part of a power structure, for being the head of a power structure. I’m the head of my own power structure. I mean, such as it is: it’s mine and so you can’t fault me for that. That’s just a part of human nature. People are not necessarily having harmful intent if they leave out helpful aspects of the teachings or if they emphasize aspects of the teaching in a particular way.

We may have grasped the enlightenment, the awakening, that aspect where one recognizes the emptiness of one’s own true nature (where there is just this spaciousness and the forms which are created are equally empty and trailing nothing behind them; other than just the endless consciousness that will always be here no matter what) and yet as a consciousness we’re evolving, changing, and beginning to recognize things about ourselves.

I think as a people, as a race, as a spirit on the planet, as an entity, as a player in the game here, we need to really examine how we want this game to turn out. I think we want this to turn out in a way that is verdant and passionate and adapting, adaptable, and fully populated.

Okay, now on to nihilism and the spirit model. Some of the best things about The Old Testament and, for example, The Mahabharata are that the gods are accessible to devotees. They are talking to the gods, they are accompanied by the gods, they are with the gods, they are among the gods, and the gods are among them. They’re making their own decisions, and they’re doing their own thing but the God is not like it is in Christianity or in Islam. God’s not out there some place. You don’t have to bow down to God over and over again throughout the day. I mean, the spirit model gives certain calls to action and some of the actions are totally legitimate. Who could fault someone for praying five times a day? Good grief, how can that be a bad thing? I don’t think it’s bad at all. The thing is this though when I say “pray” I mean something other than contact a supreme being as though I’m picking up a telephone. I mean become one with the Supreme Being. Become the Supreme Being that you’ve always been. There’s nothing other than the Supreme Being, that’s the whole point about becoming it. You contain everything and everything contains you. I mean there should be no way to be anything other than that Supreme Being.

Okay so understand, just as a cancer may occur in the human body, so there may be potential for a cancer in the human consciousness (in the Gaia if you will), the planetary energy. I think that what we’ve got to do is take a look at what we’re doing here, what we’re creating here, and how we’re figuring out what’s happening. We’re finding a lot of merging of fields like consciousness studies and science. We’re finding that science is merging with awareness studies both in astrophysics and in neuroscience.

It’s just an amazing thing to think that our perspective, awakening through our minds’ own insight, has validity in today’s science. It’s not really surprising. It actually makes perfect sense. You know historically when religion has been out of step with science. It has eventually yielded because it simply always had to.

Human consciousness evolves, and if certain individuals or certain philosophical ideals don’t evolve with it, typically they’ll wither, since they won’t be supported. We should probably be very careful about supporting certain philosophical standpoints too readily. Consider climate change deniers and evolutionary deniers. It’s preposterous to deny evolution when you have superbugs forming in the hospitals, right? It’s preposterous to declare “Oh no, no… there’s no way that things could evolve or humans would be changing into monkeys.”  The theory of evolution states that yes, over thousands of years, the bodies will develop different capabilities, and it’s possible that a couple of different branches of things will break off and that one group will become more suited towards life on the beach and the other towards life in the forest. Their bodies will change and adapt to make that happen, yet they both had the same distant ancestor. I don’t see why that should be hard to grasp, and it certainly doesn’t mean that humans would be changing into monkeys today right? It’s not a real argument.

Christianity has in many cases become a type of extremism, at least in the United States. We’ve got factions of Christianity that are substantially widespread and yet have very bizarre beliefs and anti-scientific ones at that. There are actually sects of Christianity that are so anti-scientific that they pooh-pooh intelligence as though it’s quite unacceptable to their God. Their God wants them young and dumb and making babies is my guess.

I don’t know what exactly they’re thinking humans are supposed to do, but I don’t see them shunning all the benefits of modern science and industry, only the convenient ones. They’re certainly not Quakers yet they claim to be anti-science and so that kind of makes you wonder.

Why don’t you give up your car or your imported clothing? The same science that accepted evolution, scientific theory, astrophysics, carbon dating, and all the other stuff that you don’t want to believe in is the same science that invented, created, and keeps upgrading your tires, your roads, your traffic system, your government, your currency, your weapons, and ships your confederate flags from China. It’s the same exact science that supports climate change, genetic research, and whatever else. It’s the same science that knows that by giving cows antibiotics repeatedly, we’re developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria through evolution. These bacteria are evolving through the evolutionary process due to the way we’re treating them and so are our weeds. We develop this kind of substance to kill them and then it simply quits working after a while so we develop something else and it doesn’t work as good as it used to either. Now, we get millions of gallons of this round up stuff and just pour it all over the country and suddenly it’s not working either. So our options are even more toxic, deadly chemicals that we’re going to just deposit right in our garden, right in our city, right where we live, millions of these small doses of hugely toxic, deadly chemicals.

I don’t know, but for my money, I believe that we need to go back to natural harmony. We know so many solutions that are entirely organic, sustainable, planet-friendly, and good for us. We know ways of handling all these things, ways of handling everything from insects to diseases and weed control. We know how to do it without toxic chemicals. We know how to use naturally occurring substances in our solutions. We know how to manufacture pesticides so that they’re not so toxic to us and the environment, and yet some of the ways that we concentrate certain things (like the way we concentrate nicotine for certain functions) are causing a massive problem.

The problem that we’re having here is that rather than having every other square mile covered with a plant that we’re trying to save, we’re trying to save every single square foot of 20 or 50 or 100 square miles or something like this. We know where we want to grow corn or soy beans or whatever it may be, on every single acre, every single year and so we’re working on all these ways to do it. This has never been a good idea and it’s not really any better of an idea now. What happens is that we wind up with insects that are going to be there eating something. We could chase them off and send them to the fallow fields if we had enough fallow fields. We’d be able to use deterrents and have pretty good success rates and over time, better success rates. We could even plant bug-friendly plants and then attract them over there, deter them from the crops that we want them to stay away from and give them a home, give them a way to live, give them some harmony, and  make it possible for the butterflies to come back.

The problem with the spirit model, the way it’s practiced here in the US, is that there’s not a whole lot of incentive to save the planet. God’s going to come and destroy it any way. We clearly have no idea what God’s intentions are except that we know he’s going to destroy our planet and he’s not going to do it by flooding.  What is the point really? The two basic tenets of Christianity are “love the lord God with all your heart” and “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  It’s an interesting way to look at things, and if you take the spaciousness portion of God and you take the pattern portion of God, what the rule here is actually is to love the spaciousness completely and totally be one with the spaciousness, be one with the God, and be one with that awareness. The second part of it is the patterns within patterns. You should participate in the patterns to benefit everyone in the pattern. See that that’s what the key to the whole process is. It’s not to try and figure out whether or not your God existed.

All around you are patterns. What you’re being taught through your spirit model is to love through the patterns. Both of these western view systems contain this idea of destroying that which is abhorrent to God. God has these rules and he says: “Here are your rules, anything acting outside these rules is abhorrent and we don’t want it, in fact: we want to kill it, we want to destroy it.”

Now there’s something there for us, because every good gardener knows that you can plant your plants, water your garden, tend everything, and watch them grow, but if you don’t pull out weeds, you’re not going to get much of a harvest. Once you’ve got your plants planted, it’s just a matter of pulling out the weeds. It’s really just a weeding problem at that point, making sure you don’t spend your time and resources on that which does not benefit you.

So I want to caution against creating a belief in a God that is inaccessible, because it numbs people to their own God-consciousness. This kind of belief prevents the passing of wisdom and it only promotes the passing of dogma. When the Christians here began to talk about the 6000-year-old earth and then 6000 years since Adam because they can’t figure out what they want to say, I knew there was something wrong.

Reality keeps nudging them in a different direction and so they keep trying to cling to the idea that their God is the one true God. It’s the most bizarre thing. So Jesus used to walk around, right?  I don’t know whether there is a Jesus or was a Jesus, so let’s just assume that there is a Jesus. We’re just going to assume that there’s a Jesus for the purpose of this instruction only. So Jesus is walking around, imagine this, and Jesus is like “wow, you know what? There are a lot of guys like me out here.  There are a lot of guys claiming to be the true prophet. Now I’m going to have to set myself apart somehow…Here, I’ll do this miracle. I’ll give you all some extra bread and some fish. I’ll go to a party. You’ll get drunk off the water because I’ll turn it into wine.” There’s a lot of ways any of that stuff can happen but nevertheless do you think that was what it was? Do you think he said “Look man, I’m a jealous God…it says so in the first book there.” I doubt it.

When Jesus is saying things to them like “whosoever believeth in me shall not perish but shall have everlasting life,” what’s he saying? He’s saying “Look man, there’s a way to have everlasting life…”  Now he knows this, he’s walking around, he’s talking to people, and he knows that more exists than what most people are aware of or that things exist in a different way from what people are aware of.

He’s walking around trying to convince people to take him seriously and saying “you just have to believe in what’s happening, believe in me, in God.”

I mean imagine now:  you’re the son of God. You’re considered to be a miracle at birth and you’re raised to believe that your very existence is a miracle from God and that someday, somehow you’re going to prove to be the blessed one. That was the way Buddha was also raised. Not only was he a prince but he was exalted right from the very beginning, even in the way he was born. Of course, that story’s just metaphor, you don’t think any of this religious stuff’s metaphor, do you?

So Jesus is walking around and he’s saying “look man, there is something to this pure existent state, this state of me, of I.”  He’s limited in his ability to express himself because of the language; but this audience has been using a theocratic language for a long time and so he makes use of that.

Jesus’ time was after Buddha’s.  Buddha lived about 450 years earlier, more in line with the times of Plato. Now, for the Western world and the Eastern world, there was a similar sort of awakening, pretty much during the same time period.  What happened with Jesus didn’t codify in the way that what happened with Buddha did; however, Jesus was pretty thoroughly documented. Although it was similar to the way Buddha was documented, it was all documented posthumously, so there’s something to think about there.

I think Jesus was trying to say that there’s a state of pure consciousness right here. This is where we are. We exist in this state of pure consciousness. There’s all these things going on around us, but your father’s house has many rooms. He was trying to describe to these people who don’t really have much of a point of reference. They were similar to the people that Buddha taught. Most of them were peasants; we’re not talking about the elite. He’s not going and hanging out with the king over a couple drinks.

Now Buddha did have benefactors, whereas Jesus apparently never did. Jesus’ whole reign of teaching was only about 3 years or so, even at best.

I don’t want to bring up the contrasts between Christianity and Islam but let me say this: the Christians criticize the Koran for many of its descriptions of Christianity and Jesus as well as the circumstances around some of those things. More often than not, the Koran has more detail, but the council of churches actually put together the documents that form the bible. These stories were already out there and many were purposefully not included.

You know some of these stories are just stories that were being told. They were written down and they were voted on at the Council of Nicaea where Constantine paid the bishops to agree on a desired canon. It was put together and turned into what has become Christianity, and then multiple versions of that canon were written and, of course, various translated editions circulated. These things are all organic. Certain things were put in and certain things were left out.

Discrepancies with unused texts don’t seem significant in any way to me, other than perhaps that they show Mary to be in a position other than virginal. Remember that a lot gets lost in translation. But that’s not to say that it wasn’t a miraculous birth, I have no idea what the situation was but I can’t argue it. It seems unlikely that a white chromosome would be spontaneously generated from a female egg, but I don’t know what all the circumstances were. I don’t know what could be and what could not be. I have to just pass on that. It’s the story and not the only story of a virgin birth. There are other stories of miracles taking place, but lets just say that Christ is exalted and he comes back from the dead.

I think he’s misunderstood. I believe that his teachings are misunderstood. He says this himself but by saying this he is saying more than words could possibly say.

Let me just go over that for a minute. What he says is basically “there will be others claiming to know me but they don’t, so don’t believe everyone that says they represent me.”  I think he even states that this is the case with most teachers. “There will be many who say that they know me but they do not know me.” So let me tell you something, having heard that, I am not going to jump on the bandwagon with a bunch of Christian churches. It seems like I’d have to deny the teachings of Christ in order to join the church and that makes no sense at all to me. I don’t believe all the teachings are bad, and I believe the teachings are widely misunderstood. I think there’s some misogyny in there but only in a very peripheral way. The early civilizations were all misogynistic, to generalize, but typically the Western civilizations were and to a large extent the eastern ones also.

So all these influences exist and everybody in the theism is concerned about the purity of their own theism. Many of them are overly concerned with the impurity of others’ beliefs. There will be many theists who speak about the purity of my thought. I’ve got to tell you that they haven’t been where I’ve been. They don’t know what I know. Most of the time, I know where they’ve been. I have had my share of profound, religious experiences. I have a realization of my existence beyond my meager flesh and bones, beyond the life that I normally would think of myself as living.

Most people have this experience. I think one of the most profound ways is through religion, and then they believe that religion is the reason for the experience. Others have it through music, and others have it through lovemaking. I’m afraid some never get it and some just live this way all the time. They are just constantly aware, not only of what’s going on around them but of the vast spaciousness, the emptiness that lies within. They see it, they feel it, they touch it constantly, and nevertheless they live in a world where they are focused for a good number of hours during the day on the world around them. These are the individuals that live in mastery. It is possible that theists can live in mastery also. It is possible to live in that vast, spacious oneness of beginningless time and believe that it’s the God.

I want to say something about this because it’s important to recognize that the belief in God, a God, any God, all Gods, is a belief in limitation. The Christian God is limited in that he has his opposition, his Satan. That’s just inherent with the God situation. Where there’s a God, there’s also the Non-god, the No-god.

It’s the silliest belief that I am aware of in the theocratic field. Is God? Can God be God? I mean that’s really the question. Once you’ve labeled something a God, you’ve taken away its ability to be anything other than God, and if it can’t be anything other than God, it can’t be God because if it was God it would be able to be everything, right?  If it was God, it would be everything and not everything is actually God, apparently. I don’t know of a God that is absolutely everything. You certainly can’t argue that the Christian God is everything or that any other God is everything. You just can’t make that argument. It doesn’t make any sense. Because of the way that he isn’t certain things, like ignorance, or Satan.

Alright, everything’s easier for us to grasp when it comes with limitations, it’s true. But we need to acknowledge that we create these limitations for our own purposes. We need to understand that our beliefs are built to serve us and nothing more. We are the masters of these beliefs. This is where it is so dangerous to live in the spirit world, to believe in a deity.

If you believe in the infallibility of the deity, then you’re open for persuasion. People can manipulate you because they can communicate with the deity better than you.  If they communicate with the deity better than you, if they understand the book better than you, if they are in touch with God better than you, you can be convinced of anything. If anyone, including your messiah is in touch with God better than you, then you are at a distinct disadvantage. Your perspective is limited.  I get my enlightenment where I can get it, and if that means I talk to some homeless guy and he gives me the word of wisdom on that particular day, then that’s where I get it. I’m not going to shut it out because of what I think the source is. I know that there have been times when it is exactly because of the source that I have shut out certain information, so that is part of me, part of what limits me. It’s also part of what makes me myself and it is part of what makes me so lovable.