Dec 9, 2018
My Search for Truth
By Bill McKeen, Wethersfield, Ct.
Confinement, Pain and Suffering
I look ahead, I look behind, I look to the left, and I look to the right and what do I see. A lot of pain and suffering. In their faces and demeanor. I see struggle, fear and anxiety. I see tension. I see those who are suffering from mental illness and addictions. I see all those people who must endure physical pain. I see the poor and neglected, the deaf, the blind and the crippled. I see suffering in old age with all it’s infirmities, And for what reason must all this be? I ask God for the answer and none is yet to be found. The cause, as the expert surmise, is for two reasons, one the free will of man, be it for good or evil and the other from the constant laws of nature, as in in birth, growth and decay with time and chance at play. I don’t question the the system and I how it works and I understand it completely. The larger question for me is what purpose does it serve? In the aeon of time this echo has never been tendered. C.S. Lewis summed nicely when he said “God speaks to our conscience, whispers in our pleasure and shouts in our pain.”.
It is subjected to the laws of cause and effect. The parameters of Free Will are established early in life through our culture, upbringing and environment. Dysfunctional childhood leads to bad choices. Trauma and bipolar disorders produces bad choices. Deficits in education and training contributes to bad choices. How can we assign Free Will with the responsibility for our actions if they are greatly influenced by by past events?
The thoughts of mind are partial to the wishes and whims of the ego which is bound to the body and the will. Gratification or fulfillment of desire is the big player. Without it life would dull and mundane. Everyone needs that next big thing to keep them going. The ego may be the devil in man but it is also responsible for the protection of the species.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1668–1772):
The great Swedish theologian had an interesting take on the afterlife. (Heaven and Hell). He believed, in so many words, that when we die, we each take with us, our preferences and disposition. We get to meet many other departed spirits, including our loved ones, family and friends. When we do meet with other spirits, we communicate not in words but in thoughts. None are hidden, all are revealed. Mutual compatibility will determine the length our our stay. Depending on our preferences and disposition, we may move on and gravitate toward other spiritual beings. So, in Swedenborg’s view of the afterlife, the swine will be among the swine, friends among friends, and angels among angels
Near Death Experiences (NDE):
On or about twenty percent of the people who have been declared clinically dead for any length of time have reported a NDE experience. No one has yet been able to prove or disprove the validity of this experience. It makes for an interesting study and It does makes you wonder. For more information google the IANDS web site. In summary it seems to support what Apostle Paul had to say about the afterlife.”The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Apostle Paul had several close encounters with death and may have experience his own NDE.
He had a lot of great wow” moments when developing the Macintosh, iPhone and the iPad but perhaps none greater than the last one. As reported by biological sister Author Mona Simpson before he died. His last words were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
Days before he died he woke up from a nap and gazed upward and said “It is very beautiful over there!” As reported by his attending physician.
A lot of naysayers claim that a Near Death Experience (NDE) is nothing more than a cascade of neurotransmitters firing off in a dying brain. I’m not so sure. A near death experience is a lot like a visit to a playhouse that has a permanent stage setting with different rooms off a great hallway. Each door or room has its own identity and purpose. Some people are ableto return to tell us a tale of all the rooms visited. Their stories, first hand accounts, unique in its own way but sequentially and contextually very much the same. Therein lies the great mystery of NDE.
As a Butterfly:
With reverence to nature and the ancient quote of “As above, so below. As below so above” Are we in a state of a metamorphosis liken to that of a caterpillar? Which over time proceeds to a process of shedding one layer of skin after another until it reaches to its own realm of freedom, peace and tranquillity
It might be noted at this point that Zen Buddhism has had a long practice in the use of a koan in its attempt to achieve Nirvana or total enlightenment. It involves intense focus and total concentration on a meaningless statement such as “ the sound of one hand clapping.” It is an attempt to close down the mind just enough to allow both the spirit and the soul to come together.
Spirit of Light:
The Sun has all the attributes of the Creator and provides the living spark for all organisms. In ancient times it was thought of in the terms of a deity and worshipped accordingly. It was to them, as Thomas Paine once said, “The great visible agent for the great invisible God.”
The ALL is the essence in all. A thing in itself is nothing. Only in relation to something else does it become. In its becoming it is either positive or negative. The interaction or encounter between what comes in, what goes out, what is given, what is received, determines what is this, what is that. That which is the strongest or most dominant will prevail. As the Sun is to Mother Earth. Male to female. Yang and Yin and spirit to matter. -To multiply itself it must first divide itself and it cannot divide itself unless it meets a force of resistance. To aid that process there are within our universe these two great forces, the positive and negative aspect of nature. The interaction of two becoming the one. You can see it every day, right outside your door in both the animal kingdom and in plant life.
The Way gave birth to the One; The One gave birth to the Two; The Two gave birth to the Three; And the Three gave birth to the ten thousand things.
Without God, Satan would not be known.
Without Satan, God would not be known.
With two together there is something.
With one alone there would be nothing. —
Knowing that I was not a church member, a person once asked me “Do you think you will go to heaven?” I explained that I believed in the spirit of the Word more than the letter of the Word and referred to the two great commandments of Jesus and I replied I love God and I love people.” He said nothing more and walked away. God reaches out to different people in different ways. With Christians; it is in Jesus and the New Testament. The Jews; Moses, Abraham and the Torah. With Muslims; Allah, Muhammad and the Qur’an. And Native Americans; the Great Spirit speaking through dreams, omens and signs. Without proselytizing, I like to think, regardless of the road traveled, if you do good in your life, you shall be rewarded. And I would love to believe that this is what Jesus implied when he said: “In my Fathers house there are many mansions.”
The Road to Damascus:
Many biblical scholars believe the Pauline Epistles predated the four Gospels. Why did the Apostle. Paul, the nearest contemporary of Jesus, always speak to the spirit of the word and not sometimes to the letter of the word? The Epistles and early letters makes no mention of extraordinary events in the life of Jesus, nor is there any reference to his words, prayers and parable. Apostle Paul said in the Epistles that he met the brother of Jesus and spent several days with the Apostle Peter.
In the letter of the Word I stumble. In the spirit of the Word I glide.
In The Circle:
As the building monitor, I had just completed my rounds locking down the Church for the night. The main event for that evenings was a contemporary service biased towards the younger crowd. Doors locked, lights out, I entered the parking lot and saw a group of young college students in a circle with heads bowed and arms around each other. Obviously in prayer. This
sight made a indelible impression on me.
The Gift of Faith:
Born again Christian. Simple, narrow minded and free. “My yoke is easy, my burden is light”.
Things of the “Here and Now” can not be changed. God and his laws of nature are at work; but for things far and away the Holy Spirit will work its magic. Make your petition and plant your seed. Set your sail in the direction you want and wait. More times than not, God’s grace will come unto thee.
Without confinement, pain, or suffering how can we grow spiritually? This is the price we pay. Some more, some less. As in nature we have no control over our destiny. Our seed is planted where it is planted. Along with all living species we are here primarily for the purpose of procreation and the life of the soul. In regards to the afterlife and the soul, we have little to go on except for the testimonials appearing on the “IANDS” web site of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. They describe first-hand accounts of people who have had a near death experience. (NDE). Do not dismiss this information source lightly. I believe that all of our sins will be acknowledged and with very few exceptions, eventually forgiven. The greatest of all sins lies in the hurt we have caused to others and how it is we made them feel.
1) In reference to the entry “Koan”, it was not given to me in the sense of a Zen master imparting it to one of his student but due to happenstance. At a young age I was studying the electrical theory of Ohms Law, one morning and most of the afternoon. Despite the all day focus, intensity and effort I just could not get or understand it! It was totally frustrating!Then suddenly, without warning I was hit with total enlightenment. Creating the awareness of the the two great forces of nature. (Resulting in entry “Mystical Experience”) And without logic, rhyme or reason it also gave to me the absolute sense knowing” that “THERE REALLY IS A GOD”
2) In regards to my many references or entries on the subject “Near Death Experiences:” I have always retained a high interest on this subject. My first wife passed at a young age. She endured much in the way of suffering. Both mentally and physically (cardiomyopathy). A few weeks before the end came she had a full blown NDE. From that point on she seemed to be much more at ease until the day she died.
3) If any of the written material above looks familiar then it is coincidental. (“except where noted”) I believe that there is nothing in this world that has not been said before in one way or another. Still, I like to think that everyone has a different stroke when it comes to using the same paint bru