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Posted by Paul R. Martin on May 21, 2004 16:35:53 UTC

Hi Kurt,

In your web site, you wrote,

"Belief in a deity, who keeps causing catastrophes, punishes people, and created the universe out of nothingness as if by magic was brought about by hysteria and superstitions. This thought process needs to be reassessed and brought up to date. Open-minded people must use common sense to determine whether this so-called deity was incorrectly perceived, misinterpreted and misunderstood by the masses of a bygone era.".

I think this is pretty accurate. I think the "hysteria and superstitions" are explainable by the notion that the deity, when acting as and through a human being, is not perfect or omniscient. I think these brains we have are much too limited to allow us to comprehend the whole truth about reality. I think that in experiences of the type you relate we can get glimpses of that truth, but when we "come to" again, and try to retain that knowledge in our brain, it simply doesn't fit. We are left only with vague and distorted notions. And, these vague and distorted notions have been set down as "scriptures", which in turn get further distorted as the centuries roll on. I think you are absolutely right that we should reevaluate those ancient sources and the beliefs they have fostered. I think we should also humbly acknowledge our vast limitations as humans in trying to capture truth in language. Accounts such as yours, in spite of the possibility that they truly refer to access to ultimate truth, are of necessity incorrectly articulated and almost certain to be misinterpreted and misunderstood by anyone who hears them.

In my view, the best way to approach fixing the age-old problem of man justifying inhumanity to other men on the basis of religious beliefs is to get rid of religious organizations that require a declaration of an official creed in order to be accepted into the organization. Religion should be a personal matter, not a matter for power-hungry organizations.

" My concept is that God is a spiritual unity, a oneness, a structured government-like "Spiritual Collective"; the "Progressive and Accumulative Spiritual Intelligence" of the universe existing in the spiritual fourth dimension; a collective of the righteous souls who have passed into the spiritual realm; a spiritual continuity."

If I were to articulate my concept of God, realizing that both of us are subject to the pitfalls I mentioned above, it would be very close to what you wrote. Where you say "structured government-like", I typically simply say "hierarchical". Where you say "Progressive and Accumulative Spiritual Intelligence", I typically say something like "developing, growing, learning and evolving". Where you refer to "the spiritual fourth dimension", I typically suggest more than four. (My guess is that there are between 10 and 25 dimensions, but quibbling about the number would be like quibbling over the number of angels dancing on pinheads.) You refer to "a collective of the righteous souls". Since the term 'soul' is not clearly defined, and different people hold vastly different notions of what the term means, I typically try not to use the term. I suspect that in reality, the relationship between human consciousness and God is much more complex than any notion of 'soul' can convey. But I would agree that "spiritual continuity" and "oneness" aptly describe what is fundamentally going on.

Warm regards,

Paul

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