Life out of balance

child_addicted_to_video_gamesBack in 2008, when I changed my beliefs radically, I started learning about a whole different kind of spirituality that was nothing like what you hear about in church. This wasn’t a spirituality that you could digest in one sitting. It look years of working out, years of seeing through false assumptions that I had been unconsciously making all my life, years of gradually increasing clarity. During this learning phase, all the toxic influences on my life seemed to fall away, because I was so excited to invest my time in learning and contemplation, as well as experimenting with parapsychology, and I experienced a lot of happiness.

But in the past couple of years, my life has fallen massively out of balance. The learning feels like it’s mostly complete, which creates extra time. And all I’ve done with that time is to fill it with videogames and TV and other forms of emotional stimulation (ahem!). As a result, I feel sedated and depressed.

This evening I went for a long walk in the dark, and it was exactly what the doctor ordered, because it gave me the mental space I needed to figure out the root of the problem. It’s time to start cutting back drastically on all the noise that I fill my head with, and start regularly communing with the Infinite, like I used to.

What do I mean “communing with the Infinite”? Like talking to God? Not exactly. The Ground of Being is not a cosmic personality. But it is possible to sit alone and feel that the world of your senses is a veneer over a more fundamental reality, to allow that reality to remain an unfathomable mystery, and to understand that you are one with it. Why did I stop regularly doing that? It enriched my consciousness so much. Nowadays, my head is full of garbage and all I can think about is what I’m going to consume next. Time to fix this.

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Can you handle reality?

I came across a photograph of an emaciated, defenceless infant being cruelly stood upon by a man. One foot was planted on the child’s neck and the other on his pelvis. The boy appeared to be alive, judging by the expression of agony on his face. I don’t want to share the photo because I think some will find it unbearable. So I will settle for putting an image in your mind with words.

But I must ask myself (and so should you), what does this picture tell me about REALITY? It says that the world is a wild animal park, that there is no one “above” looking out for us, that a successful life involves some degree of pure luck, no matter how much effort we put into it.

I could tell myself that there’s a God who cares for me, but I know I’d be lying. If God values my life and happiness, why does he not value this child’s? I could tell myself that it’s not God’s fault; the evil was done by the man crushing the boy. But I’m deliberately forgetting that God is all-powerful, because I love him and want to let him off the hook. Who am I kidding?

The next time you thank God for his blessings upon you, spare a thought for this child, and askĀ  yourself why you don’t hate God. I don’t hate him, because I know he is an invention. I choose not to believe in a divine parent, because reality teaches his absense. This is only unclear if we bury our heads in the sand. I prefer a life without comforting illusions, because those illusions only work until they are tested by reality. Sometimes reality is comfortable and sometimes it is horrific. To believe that God orchestrates it all is to make God a monster.

No. The world is a wild animal park; it’s that simple. Any genuine and lasting spirituality must be grounded in reality, not in wishful thinking. Initially, it may feel like staring into an abyss, but if you look hard enough, you’ll eventually find treasure. I wish I could explain it all with a handy anecdote, but real spiritual insight is a lot harder than “Believe in me”. Reality invites you to gaze upon her without averting your eyes. That’s as good as starting point as any, but can you handle it?

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Matter vs. mind: which came first?

A theoretical solution to the “hard problem”, by modelling consciousness as a dimension alongside space and time.

Time travel using a webcam

Am I a voice from the present talking to the future, or am I a voice from the past talking to the present? A thought experiment to trigger a transformation in your understanding of time.

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Losing my way

And finding it again.

Why having no afterlife doesn’t suck

Confronting our natural intuitions about the nature of the “self” and “time”. There is every reason to be happy about mortality.

God is a monster (and atheism is not the answer)

It’s not a dilemma with only two options. Learn an important metaphysical lesson from the goldfish.

Clip of Stephen Fry interviewed on The Meaning of Life:

“I curse you, Sloan!”

I’ve been cursed by an overzealous Christian. Ho-hum.

Does the Illuminati exist?

The Illuminati: capstone of the pyramid of world power, a secret cabal that has been running all visible governments of all counties for possibly thousands of years, its plan to bring about a New World Order wherein the entire human race will be enslaved. Is it real?

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