This article is in response to the challenge posed by Ron, and others who may share his opinion, to my article.
Before I offer more lengthy comments on the points you raised I have one question: How do you know? By that I mean by what objective means, do you know that what you witnessed was some form of divine intercession as opposed to any other explanation?
It’s a great leap to attribute miracles, let alone anything else, to an external “divinity” whose existence is only a matter of…belief. By definition a belief is something that has not been shown to be true, a fact is something that has been shown to be true; quite a difference. An obvious example of the difference is that gravity is not a belief but a proven reality. It isn’t necessary to believe in gravity*, universally in evidence as a big downer, operating equally on any and all things, people, etc., dead or alive, unalterable through prayer, belief, denial, etc.
Let’s remember that all religions, which are the main source of belief in a divinity, i.e. a “God”, themselves rest solely on the completely inadmissible premise that, “What’s in this book is true…because this book says it’s true.” And there’s certainly no shortage of so-called, often quite contradictory holy books, each and every one of which was written by human beings.
We can’t bring this kind of “evidence” into a kindergarten schoolroom, let alone a courtroom. So it’s a great “leap of faith” to attribute subjectively interpreted events to an entity that itself has no verifiable, factual, objective existence. Add to that problem all of the different versions of this entity, not only in the myriad religions, sects, cults, etc. – but also in the minds of millions, if not billions, of individuals based on whatever particular story, i.e. religion, they subscribe to…or simply had pounded into their heads at an early age, when they were most defenseless against illogic and unreason.
This elephant-in-the-room sized problem, which reveals the absurdity of the real situation, i.e. huge numbers of people, all with their own internalized version of something that has no verifiable existence who nonetheless think that they are in agreement about it, is rarely considered.
Who Is the Authority?
Nor is it ever considered that with all of the (“one true”) religions and all of the (“one true”) gods, that not only do they then attribute so-called “miracles” to the god of their choice, the choice itself means that it is the individual who is the authority – not the religion or the god! Why? Because, well, each person says so; by choosing one religion/god over another they also automatically make any and all others null and void. This means that all “true believers” must consequently be viewed as wrong and misguided by those who have chosen a different religion and supreme being. And while we often hear magnanimous, all embracing words about how wonderful it is that everyone can “find God through their own religion”, logic begs too many questions about the reason and sincerity of such ecumenical pronouncements in light of the history and ongoing presence of religiously based violence, terrorism, etc., based on such supposedly common purpose.
And if you want to see living examples of the rejection of self-responsibility, false humility, etc., just tell religious people that they are the authority who has chosen a god, not the other way around. (Stand back a safe distance if you do choose to light these fireworks yourself.) One can frequently see evidence of this strange psychological phenomenon when various sports stars, entertainers, etc., rush to blurt out the now almost obligatory, “I want to thank God for this…”
By this logic, no rehearsals, no hard work and preparation for any accomplishment is necessary; just make sure to mumble the magic words often enough and, voila, you’ll be right there ready to thank the Sky Daddy for doing it all for you. Er, what about the other participants whose prayers weren’t answered? Well, God works in mysterious ways, doncha know?
Another bizarre element to this kind of delusion and phony self-abnegation is the undeserved self-praise in the “We’re number one!” finger waving phenomenon of the fans of sports teams, etc., who live their lives vicariously through those who want to give an imaginary being credit for their successes – hey, why don’t they ever blame God for their losses? And of course there is the epidemic of fame-seeking by those who want their 15 minutes for accomplishing…absolutely nothing.
All of this is a far cry from the development of the foundational self-responsibility necessary in every aspect of human life, as expressed by the prophet Jmmanuel, in Jmmanuel’s Farewell, verse 17 of the Talmud Jmmanuel:
“Humans should develop within themselves the power to judge over good and evil and to correctly perceive all things, so that they may be wise and fair and follow the laws.”
That certainly includes the law of cause and effect.
The Gods of the Earth Were Human
The Meier material and spiritual teaching deal with the term “God” very specifically. It’s not a matter of mere semantics either, as the distinction is made by explaining that the term always referred to advanced, extraterrestrial human beings who were here long ago “lording it” over the relatively primitive human beings of Earth. There’s quite a lot of specific information about that…and about the toxicity of consciousness that resulted, and still exists, on almost every level of human existence. The most obvious, insidious and long-lasting effects are indeed found in religions, sects and cults, which are, big surprise, a major causative force in most of the world conflicts, terrorism, etc.
In fact, one would be hard pressed to find any real evidence of benevolence to humankind by the infamous god of the Old Testament comparable to the terrorism, genocide, infanticide, murder, etc. specifically commanded by him…and which was willingly carried out by the Israelites/Hebrews of the time. And when this is pointed out to the most orthodox true believers, there is no shortage of interesting justifications for the horrendous, brutal killings commanded by the supposed author of…thou shalt not kill.
The point being that there has been a rather interesting makeover sold to the people by the various religious hierarchies, clergy, etc. that refer to the “God of love and mercy”…despite such an absence of evidence for this benevolent being in the “holy books” so as to make one think that it must be the actual origin of the story about the emperor having no clothes.
The Human Spirit
The spiritual teaching acknowledges what is referred to as the Creation, the living consciousness of, and which is, this universe itself. This is said to be a non-personal energy that is the source of all life in this universe, etc. that exists inside everything, and everything exists within it. Uniquely, inside every human being is the human spirit, the immortal part of each human being that reincarnates countless millions of times in the course of evolution. The human spirit is the “bearer of the creative realm” within each human that is destined to eventually remerge with the Creation itself. It also must be said that this is not to be believed…and there are no horrible fear and guilt-laden consequences for not believing, nor for actually thinking it through for oneself.
This brings us to one of the clear differences between deistic religions and the spiritual teaching, i.e. that the Creation absolutely doesn’t intercede in the lives of any of its creations. Why should it? Despite having created a universe the vastness, complexity and perfection of which is still barely perceptible to us, and that operates according to absolutely immutable laws, are we to presume that it made a “mistake”, that it failed to make our lives “right”, failed to provide everything we needed and that it whimsically dispenses “miracles” here and there, now and then to…“special” people, to people who say the right magic words, who pray often enough, mechanically, over and over?
Why would the presumed Creator (and Sustainer) of the Universe not only need to be reminded of anything but have to be reminded repetitively? And why is this institutionalized, mindless repetition considered some kind of virtue instead of a perfect example of the often quoted, “Doing the same thing over and getting the same results is the definition of insanity”?
Is this “God” so picky, capricious and unpredictable that it’s some kind of a crapshoot to get your prayers answered and miracles to occur? Based on an honest assessment of the zillions of prayers muttered throughout history, versus the number of those that could objectively be proved to be firm evidence that an outside force answered them, such abysmal performances by all of the entreated gods combined would assure that none of them got their contracts renewed in any non-mystical, down to earth field of endeavor.
So, not only are individuals the ultimate authorities for which deity is the real deal, they also fail to notice that, by praying, by all the futile badgering to get him to fix things, they’re nakedly admitting the actual non-omnipotence, and actual incompetence, of their god of choice. Now, when you know better than the presumed Creator, well…what do you need him for anyway?
If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It
If all these prayerful human beings took a moment they might notice that everything else in the entire universe “works” just fine, from the sub-atomic all the way up, etc. It would be not too great a leap in logic then to consider that it’s not because of the failure of the universe itself that we perceive the need – let alone the occurrence – of supposed miracles. Heck, I would think that self-responsibility seems like a far more certain, controllable way to live one’s life. And yes of course, we don’t and can’t control everything in life, especially with some eight billion plus other human beings on the planet, a good number of whom can be counted on to throw some wrenches into the works, as can nature itself, additionally because of the collective wrenches humans have also thrown at it.
Since we are, and have, all that we need within us to create our lives through self-responsibility, learning through trial and error, how and why would the Creation play favorites, bestow special opportunities – or punishments – on its creations? What about all the billions of equally “deserving” people who never experience so-called miracles or intercession; clearly there have been countless numbers of people throughout history who could have used a miracle and didn’t get one. Why?
And let’s ask why we think, why we…believe that the only answer to a seemingly negative situation is intercession from some outside force, when in reality we all need to learn how to deal with challenges, negative circumstances, misfortune, etc. and to learn how to extract knowledge, understanding, wisdom and benefit from them, which of course requires that we truly learn how to think properly using neutral-positive thinking.
By any definition the spiritual teaching isn’t determinism, since it is taught that the origin, the cause for what creates our lives comes from within us. And so-called miracles, intercession and transformations are similarly primarily the effect of certain causes. Some of these causes can be explained precisely by what Ron said, “…magical transformations that occur so often in the lives of the faithful and steadfast believers in such intervention.” The difference is that these people don’t recognize and understand that it was created by their own thoughts and had nothing to do with any outside force “blessing” them in any way.
In other words, rather than taking responsibility for their own creational part in the so-called miracles in their lives, they attribute it to some outside force. Kind of like the celebrities on bended knee who can’t quite accept their own successes being a result of their own efforts.
There can be positives and negatives to these kinds of things. It’s no secret that the spiritual teaching is heavy in directing people away from gods, god-delusion and god-delusion insanity. Even as the poem Ron posted clearly illustrates, it is what we sow that yields what we reap – that’s about as simple and clear a description of cause and effect as we can get.
Think of all the wars, crimes, genocides, earthquakes, tsunamis, natural disasters of every kind, hundreds and thousands of millions of people throughout history who…didn’t get a break. No miracle or intercession. Do we still choose to see “divine intervention”, do we still choose to believe despite the fact that all logic, reason and common sense tell us we are mistaken – badly mistaken – to do so? What kind of convoluted rationale and embarrassingly lame excuses will we constantly have to make for this inattentive, unresponsive “God”?
It surely proves the old saying that man has made God in his own image and underscores that the train carrying us away from the Age of Beliefs to the Age of Truth and Knowledge is long overdue to leave the station.
So instead of worshipping the birth of some non-existent external “savior”, let this Christmas be the day you give yourself the ultimate gift of discovering the truth and power inside you, as well as embarking on a study of the spiritual teaching…including the laws of cause and effect.
Without dispute there’s known to be
only one force called gravity
for Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew
believing otherwise won’t do
Yet of Creation’s pure intent
our minds are locked in deep dissent
as endless disagreements reign
we choose to cause each other pain
Still forgoing contemplation
we opt instead for separation
and fearfully regard all life
through old beliefs that thrive on strife
Then in the name of each one’s god
attack and beat with fist and rod
and scream, ‚”You must believe like me!”
while life says, ‚”Foolish man be free!”
So seek the source with open eyes
and it’s perfection realize
in atom, molecule and cell
to every form where life may dwell
Come set aside your love of pain
of suffering and gainless gain
surrender separation’s wage
and step upon the cosmic stage
For truth is greater than belief
and logic will forestall such grief
when recognition of one source
is at the heart of our discourse