Santa Claus is real!

When I explain to people that I believe in Santa Claus, they usually respond in such a way that tells me that they either think I am joking or that I am intentionally misdirecting them while actually referring to something else. But when I tell them that Santa Claus is more real than ‘we are’ and that I can prove it, these same people often think I’m a bit crazy, or at least somewhat unbalanced. It will probably be useful that I now take the time to validate this point.

First, take a moment and explore your life. Take notice of the things that you do from day to day. Look at your job or career. Observe your home life, your daily chores, errands that need to be run, bills that need to be paid, people you need to call, hobbies that require some attention. Look at all of it. When finished, explore how these things make you feel. How deep do the feelings go? Is your mundane life provocative to your feelings and emotions or are they somewhat neutral? Do you go about completing the tasks of daily, ordinary life, with passion or is most of it accomplished on some sort of mental autopilot? If you are like most people, chances are good that these daily events instill little passion in your mind and cause you to feel even less in your heart. If there is an emotional response to some of it, it is probably a diminishing sense of dissatisfaction or contentment, but hardly anything that will excite the feeling center of our being for any meaningful duration.

 Now, take a moment to explore any works of fiction that resonate with you. Perhaps it was a book you read, a movie you saw, or something related to the realm of good story telling. Consider how powerful these emotions and feelings were in relation to your ordinary life. How frequently have you cried or been greatly moved by your ordinary life as opposed to the same frequency of occurrence found in works of fiction?  Again, if you are like most people, the drama of theater, music, literature, or any of the arts will inspire a deeper reaction to such content than to that of the mundane. Have you ever wondered why the drama of a story feels stronger than a similar event in our own “real” lives?

We might see two people kissing on a park bench and become annoyed, thinking to ourselves that their lack of discretion in showing us a vivid public display of affection is quite soppy or mushy at best, or we might think , “get a room!” at worst. Yet, if we go to a movie and watch a passionate love scene between two people who are hopelessly in love with each other in much the same way as our “real-life” counterparts, we may identify with the characters, finding the similar display (which may be quite a bit more sensual and graphic than two lovers on a park bench) beautiful, enriching, or exciting.  Many people love love-stories, yet when the same love-story enters the realm of the mundane, these same people will often look away from it and not want to see it. Ever wonder why?

The causality of this experience is much deeper than it might appear on the surface, yet the answer is painfully simple. We respond to fiction more passionately, more willingly, and more wholesomely, because at our core, we recognize the archetypal language built into the dramatic act on display in works of art. These archetypes feel stronger than ordinary experience because we know, at the most rudimentary level of the universe, that what is being portrayed is spawned from something much larger than our ordinary world. Archetypes are the language of the Divine. They are the actual “Word of God” that brings everything into creation and they are the elemental building blocks of the spiritual world. Quite simply, we feel them more strongly because they are more real (even though it does not appear this way to our brains)  than the illusory facsimiles apparent in our limited mundane range of experience. In a sense, the archetypal language is properly attuned to our souls; not our brains. What we term “ordinary life” has no compatibility with our highest authenticity.

Santa Claus is archetypal. While there may not be a man coming down your chimney each Christmas to bring your children gifts before he takes off into the sky with his flying reindeer to enter some other house, the reality of Santa’s essence lives far and beyond this. Within the cosmic archetypal structure, these events do, in absolute fact, take place. They can be witnessed in art, naturally, but for the mystic, they can be experienced directly. There is a very real world unlike our own world of shadows where heroes like Gandalf conquer evil and lovers like Romeo and Juliet acquire a love eternal. This is a world where what we dream is what is authentic and it can be validated by what we feel and how strongly we feel it.

The Hindu maya is true. Our world is illusory and does not exist in the way we think it does. It is a shadow realm and one that is a poor copy at that. This true creation can be recognized by feeling. The window into this world is art, but in order to pass through the threshold and enter into this world [forever], so as to become a part of it, requires a sacrificial act of total surrender. The shadow will only cease to be cast when the authentic object in question turns away from the reflection and looks into the light.

As long as we live life through our shadows, seeing the shadow as the real world, we are pawns and slaves, with ‘meaninglessness’ taking the role of the slave driver. But when the sun shines everywhere, shadows cannot be cast. Nothing is hidden.  So it is with the archetypal stories that make up the entire foundation of our thinking. In order to connect with this reality, we must be prepared to leave our ordinary faculties of perception behind. We must remove ourselves from all bias, all neurological stereotyping and see with perfect clarity that we and the people in our lives are merely crude doppelgangers expressing the archetypal operations of the cosmos.

So what is real?

Real is what affects you. Real is what you feel, not what you do or what is done to you. Real is that core feeling underneath the emotions that emanate from this core.  Get in contact with that center, learn the language of God, and you too will see how Santa Claus is far more real than the chilidog you had for dinner last night or the laundry waiting for you to clean in the hamper…Or the ‘self’ that does all that me, myself, and I talk in your head.

MindBrainBody Project hopes to return! We need your support for this most important work.

Support +Bryan D. Ouellette creating Podcasting

MindBrainBody Project hopes to return! We need your support for this most important work.

Support +Bryan D. Ouellette creating Podcasting

What happens after death? Part 4: The Soteriology of Death

One of the more controversial areas found within the scope of ancient Christianity is the practice of praying for the repose of a soul.  Praying for the salvation of the dead is a fundamental principle within the theological system of the Catholic Mass. A multitude of liturgical prayers are devoted to this purpose. Additionally, it provides the framework for the (somewhat unpopular) Catholic doctrine of Purgatory while also assuming that after death the work of salvation that began in Christ is not yet finished. Vajrayana Buddhism too has rituals that serve a similar function. Entire families and monks will recite texts from the Book of the Dead over the corpse of an individual so as to help guide the soul through the perilous environment of the bardo, etc.

This presents two problems for my study on what happens after we die. The first is that we need to establish what salvation of a soul means in actuality and the second must include an answer as to whether or not the meritorious acts of the living can impact the fate of the dead. Fortunately, my observations have provided much insight into this process and I do feel as though I am close to hitting the mark.

Let us begin with a short discussion about sin, as any authentic soteriology must assume that an individual soul is at risk of perishing in the first place. We have already established in earlier installments of this series that gaining access to an afterlife appears to be elusive and requires work.  It is not an automatic process and this is further complicated by the contention that souls are inherently empty of any permanent condition (as found within the Buddhist doctrine of Anatta). Sin, as Christianity would have it, is given as the reason for death. It is therefore solid Christian theology to understand that in order to defeat death, one must first conquer sin. But what is sin?

Loosely, sin is traditionally thought to be wrong-doing caused by an inherent perennial iniquity. Different Christian theologies debate whether the soul is tarnished by what is called Original Sin (as found within the mythos of the Garden of Eden) or by a fallen, imperfect universe that causes a soul to become tarnished over time. With all honesty, I must conclude that the situation is easier to understand without the theology getting in the way.  Me must first replace the word sin (a provocative word that strikes resistance within most people) and replace it with the word ignorance.  If we take a close, intimate look at the true causation of unrighteous behavior, we will find that the imperfections of life are rooted within humanity’s lack of fundamental understanding concerning nearly everything.

Our species is naturally ignorant of many things.  There are no universally tangible, empirical, definitive, explanations for why we exist. Morality is relative to cultural and religious norms. Our human nature affords us no absolute awareness of things beyond the seemingly pointless stream of mundane life activity. Ignorance of such absolutes, combined with the evolutionary deficits built into the vestigial survival mechanisms of the reptilian brain [at the root of the primate brain], instills within us a selfish, somewhat violent, proclivity to survive at the expense of others.  It is no wonder our archetype of Satan, the source of all “evil” is a horned animal-like beast. He represents our very own animal nature and it is this animal nature, this egocentric neurological survival system, that produces the catalyst for what has been called sin. When somebody says the “devil made me do it” they would be right! So detached are we from this part of our own minds, we have created a mystical relationship with this experience and it has spawned any number of demons and devils forcing us into slavery of the will. Is it also no wonder that Christianity would have such a difficult relationship with sexuality, the very heart of our carnal animal behavior? And what of the work of salvation? If sin is truly the above, why would we be held accountable to death for it?  My observations have illuminated the seed to an answer for these questions.

All religions function around a system of perfecting the imperfections of the human experience. It is by this process that the work of soteriology has become erroneously related to a divine ‘reward and punishment’ system. Afterlife (or acquiring permanence, as I would prefer to refer to it as) is NOT a reward for having lived a good life, behaviorally; rather, it’s a consequence. As we become perfected, shedding our selfish animal (“sinful”) nature, we begin to take on more attributes of the Divine nature. It’s not being a “good” person that makes salvation possible, it’s that being a “good” (or better yet, wholesome) person is an external reaction (and subsequently a genuine indicator) of the transformation occurring within the individual. It is this transformation that makes permanence (“salvation”) possible.  Each time we become more perfected than we were before, we raise our capacity to receive the Divine life. Again, we are not being rewarded for it. We are merely taking on qualities that are, by their very Divine nature, eternal.

This, ironically, validates the centuries old debate as to whether or not Purgatory is a reality, as this process that I have just described indeed creates a “third reaction” by necessity. For example, taking into serious consideration everything we have established in this series so far, the soul is inherently ‘empty’ and its usual, natural condition is to dissolve and become nothing. This is what I contend to be the true nature of hell. Biblically speaking, the fires of Gehenna were not a place to torture people. It was a trash dump outside of the city walls of Jerusalem to burn, and thus destroy waste. Think about it. Bodies rot away after their use is exhausted and souls too have little value after their body is lost. Yet, the cosmos, by its nature, is an eternal process, albeit always in a state of change, but eternal nonetheless. From our human vantage point, this is the Divine nature, this is the realm of the gods, the breath of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. We have been calling this condition “permanence” or “afterlife”, but in order to experience this condition, we need to change ourselves so that our substance is in sympathy with the substance of Divinity (theosis). We must lose all qualities of our nature that perish and are impermanent by virtue of our finite relationship with this cosmos (i.e., the substance of a universe in constant flux).

So then if we have an impermanent nature with a natural inevitability to perish into the nothingness from whence we came, yet the cosmos is in possession of one eternal process of perpetual change, but remains a physical constant, we must then access the one attribute we possess that is in sympathy with this eternal process. That attribute is an ‘understanding awareness’, the direct opposite of ignorance. This is the God that lives within. But not everyone will do the work that is necessary to achieve to this state of gnosis. Those that do nothing, as we have established, die and become nothing. They get exactly out of the universe what they put into it (i.e., they go to hell). Those that do the work and succeed in achieving the culmination of theosis become part of (and perhaps direct) the eternal cycles of the cosmos (i.e, they go to heaven). But what of those that do some of the work, but die before they finish? What if they transformed enough of their own nature to develop the rudimentary seeds of permanence, but are not yet in possession of enough of the Divine attribute so as to be in perfect sympathy with the cosmic cycle?

When the body dies and the soul eventually departs into the shadowy realms of sheol, the soul slowly and methodically dissolves into the nothingness of the surrounding condition, but if it is in possession of enough of the Divine nature, enough of it may just stick around a bit longer. With enough continued understanding awareness, that soul might, just might, make the final transition. We can aid such a soul by our prayers, just as the Church has been saying for all this time. Our prayers can act as a beacon within this darkness, providing the soul with just enough understanding awareness to transition. In a sense, we send a part of our own awareness by proxy and help finish the work that the soul began in life. Now this will not work on a soul that does not possess enough of the Divine substance, but for a soul that made a great deal of progress in life, it could mean the difference between eternity and dissolution.

This portrait of the afterlife may seem a bit scary to the ordinary person, but I would hope that it will provide a resourceful individual with tools for hope. Yes, there is more out there after death, but you must DO THE WORK, for ourselves and each other.  This part ends this series (for now at least). I am considering making it the foundation of a new mystical system based upon what I call Mystical Perennialism. I may be creating a new blog that will go hand in hand with the book I will be coauthoring down the road. In fact, the Holy Nicholean Catholic Church may adopt this new theological methodology, offering the tools, strategies and the technology to make this available to you, now, without having to wait a lifetime (or more) to achieve it.

The Impossible Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge

According to his website, since 1964, James Randi has challengedShould I abandon all efforts to return to work at Alpine Access/Sykes in favor of concentrating fully on establishing a metaphysical office/center? anyone with a paranormal ability to prove it and his foundation will award that individual with $1,000,000. The process is quite simple. Merely draft your own test, get it approved by the foundation, and the million is yours. The catch? Nobody has ever passed the preliminary test and I suspect nobody ever will. Here’s why.

James Randi is not interested in the paranormal or proving the paranormal to exist. His goal is to make a spectacle or an example of people’s greed, dangling the million dollar carrot in their faces while making them look like fools in the process. With this in mind, I’ve spent some time reviewing the public documentation Randi’s foundation makes available concerning the people that have applied to win the million dollars and here’s what I found. Each case is detailed in such a way as to explain how or why each applicant failed to sufficiently prove their claim of paranormal ability.  It’s humorous to read because usually these cases end “closed” due to a disagreement about the terms of the test. You see, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) fails to understand the nature of what they consider “paranormal” and instead of genuinely trying to understand it, they prefer to belittle the great majority of humanity for having what they consider to be irrational beliefs.

Some of the work they do is respectable though. They have attacked and exposed flaws with the claims of individuals like medium John Edward and the late psychic Sylvia Browne.  Both have dubious public reputations despite large followings of people seeking comfort due to the death of a loved one. John Edward has been accused of using hot and cold reading techniques combined with selective editing of video footage so as to create the illusion that his abilities are more remarkable than random chance would have it alone. Sylvia Browne was known to have told parents that their missing child was dead, only to quickly dismiss the claim when the child is found alive years later. In one such case a mother died believing her child died a horrible death, when in fact the missing child was found alive after the fact. On other occasions Browne was reported to charge as much as $700 for a private telephone reading delivering useless and unverifiable information to the client such as the names of their guardian angels or what royal personality they were in a past life.

People like Browne and Edward are dangerous, not just because they wield so much power over the emotionally compromised, but more so because they most likely believe their abilities are real. The only thing more dangerous than a charlatan is a charlatan that doesn’t know he is one! James Randi does target such people and for this I am rather grateful. But what disturbs me about him is that he assumes that because nobody has passed his test and won his million dollars, that the “paranormal” (a word I actually don’t care much for) and belief in the paranormal is likely imaginary and irrational. He lumps religion and spiritualty in to this mix as well and has become somewhat of a fanatic in his own right, pushing his own agenda like a religious extremist.

For years, I’ve been seeking a way to beat his test. The most tangible and empirical example I could think of, within my own range of “paranormal ability”, would be testing the I Ching’s aptitude for discerning things like the rising and falling of a certain stock or some other “positive/negative” social condition.  While I have little doubt that I could prove the authenticity of the I Ching to be used  successfully and profitably in such a way, I fear that his hidden agenda would use the same trickery of the charlatans he targets so as to dismiss my evidence.

The truth is, what people consider paranormal is merely the operations of highly sophisticated psychological operations within the archetypal world playing out within the mind of the perceiver. Mystical and spiritual experience is extremely personal and malleable. It often reflects the image of the beholder, thus skeptics will always see what they want to see (i.e., nothing). Only a truly empty mind could experience much of the phenomena Randi would pay a million dollars to see. His rigidity would negate his perception, unfortunately, and everyone’s time would be wasted.

Additionally, it should be noted that Randi’s test would fail with even scientifically acceptable content. Could the efficacious results of one psychotherapy over another be tested accurately? Because of psychotherapy’s personal nature, to speak to the internal heart of the beholder, only the word of such an individual could verify its usefulness. All products of this internal condition, be it psychology, mysticism, spirituality, etc., can only be measured this way and that would never be good enough for Randi’s money. Yet, would Randi doubt the existence of mental illness and the benefit of psychotherapy? Probably not because the paradigm that he subscribes to by and large accepts psychology as a valid branch of modern medicine (and thus science).

It is then my opinion that James Randi, in offering his million dollars, has ultimately made the greatest fool of himself over any one he attempts to debunk. He has exposed himself as just one more unbalanced fanatic who fails to understand the human condition with its need to reach beyond itself into the archetypal world (the true world of Spirit), and evolve so as to master its own experience of awareness. Charlatans come in many shapes and sizes, my friends, and to be sure, even fewer know themselves to be one.  Beware of those that just want to take your money, but be even more wary of those who pretend to want to give some of their own.

For more information about the challenge see: http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

What happens after Death? Part 3: Stepping Outside of the Mirror

I am now fully convinced that ancient pagan philosophy contains the best analogies for explaining the authentic process of death and afterlife. One has to read closely, between the lines, to see the message, however, but it is clear that Plato and Plotinus were able to cut to the heart of the subject and go where no one else could go.

Everything and everyone is an emanation of “the One” (we can call the One God if we like). In this system, creation is not a deliberate act of the divine intent, but rather is a consequence of the divine nature. Unlimited power simply produces unlimited potential. Every idea gets reflected into the mirror of nothingness. We are that reflection.

Eternal life (and thus true afterlife), requires God-like virtue. Reflections are inherently empty without a true life of their own, producing an image that appears to be true, but in actuality belongs to a reality outside of the mirror. In order to exist and so enter into this world [outside of the mirror], we would need to [like God] self-emanate. Again, this is why the eastern Orthodox notion of theosis is so fundamentally important. By becoming divine, we can then begin to actualize our own self-emanation, becoming independent of the rest of the reflection. In every sense, the reflection steps outside of the mirror and begins to produce its own reflection. We begin to experience this initial condition when we interact with art, sexuality, ritual, and literature. These four platforms are the building blocks of the archetypal communication [the language God speaks].  It is by these experiences that one becomes inspired to CREATE. This is actual eternal life. This is actual permanence. This is actual reality. This is the process of immortality. This is the door that opens, leading to the world outside of the mirror.

Consequences of Spiritual Development

A professor I had back in undergraduate school once suggested that the APA include a sixth Axis within the DSM so as to acknowledge and assess psycho-spiritual issues in much the same way as the fourth Axis handles psychosocial components. I quickly dismissed the suggestion, believing that the DSM was already a complicated mess that certainly did not need any further intricacy, but as I now currently manage my own neurological issues and subsequent mental health related to it, I cannot help but reflect back upon her suggestion all those years ago.

I have found that in the almost three months that I have been on medical leave, my neurological issues have all but disappeared. The usual anxiety and depression that results from the draining and exhausting internal management of my condition (so as to effectively remain employed) has also subsided to the point that I no longer feel ill. This is remarkable to me for several reasons, but one in particular stands out.

It’s not enough to suggest that my employment is too stressful, too full of negative stimuli, and that I am predisposed to live life at a slower pace than contemporary employment will allow. While this may be true on some level, after careful self-observation, the real reason, I believe, may be found in a spiritual causality. There are serious consequences that come with developing a highly functional spiritual connection to things beyond our ordinary range of awareness. I spent nearly four decades building and developing my perception so as to engage a realm of existence few people could ever hope to imagine or fathom. And while it also seems as though my unique neurology cultivates this natural proclivity to interact with and understand this “spiritual world”, my neurology alone cannot account for the consequences.  

It is clear that once one steps across from this world into more dynamic spiritual realities, one is never fully able to return to this “ordinary” one. A part of that individual forever remains in the next, essentially breaking the connection to ordinary consciousness. Considering that this decision was made in my childhood, I could not hope to have fully realized that this would eventually impair my mundane daily functioning, making me highly sensitive to even the most ordinary of sensations. Having the hypothetical ability to go back and make a different choice would probably be to no avail anyway. I doubt I could sacrifice the highly sophisticated and developed spirituality I now enjoy just so as to live an ordinary life. The so-called ordinary life simply isn’t worth it. But what this has taught me is that one cannot dismiss spiritual causation in any and all disorders, particularly of those that affect the mind. On so many levels, my professor was right.

What happens after Death? Part 2: The Blood of the Gods

In the first part of this series, we discussed the nature of the afterlife based upon my own research and observations relating to death and the process of death. A particular feature of my work was the disturbing trend that predisposes most souls to eventual nothingness, by virtue of the soul not possessing an intrinsic immortality. This is supported in a multitude of theologies but is found most abundantly in Buddhism and its notions of the impermanence of all things. This did not suggest, however, that impermanence necessitates a lack of immortality present in some form within the cosmos. Energy appears to be eternal along with its general properties, yet energy maintains its immortality through a specific process of transformation. Energy may be incapable of being destroyed but it is always in flux and thus always in a state of constant change. The very nature of the universe operates in this fashion and can be best experienced through any serious study of Taoism and/or I Ching.

In western mythology we discovered that Hades (the pagan abode of the dead) could be circumvented by the achievement of certain “super works”. We found that the gods, by their very nature, were immortal and that the half-blood children of gods could enter a paradise like state after death, thus avoiding the unpleasant notions of Hades. This paradise that for all  intents and purposes was the origin of the Christian heaven required that those that entered possess divine blood. It had nothing at all to do with one’s virtue, although on occasion an ordinary human may gain enough favor with a god that they could be brought to Elysium (the pagan heaven).

In the personhood of Jesus, we have a Jewish man who is the “Son of God” and thus distributes the secrets and qualities of immortality to his apostles (and quite probably his disciples as well), most notably by instructing them to consume his very body and blood.  Keep in mind the Greek words used here are not symbolic, but rather graphically and quite literally mean “gnaw on my flesh”, as a dog may gnaw on a bone. Additionally, the consumption of any blood was in direct opposition to Jewish law and would have been a repulsive notion to them. We even see this struggle in the Gospels when Jesus makes this declaration in relation to how one achieves eternal life.

Is it so difficult, then, to understand why the Eucharist is so important? Through the ancient rites of the Church, humanity gains access to the consumption of divine blood, having it merge with their own, so as to become eligible to enter paradise and not dissipate into the nothingness of Hades (or hell). In part this is why I strongly encourage every baptized individual to receive this Sacrament when I offer a Mass.

There is a false doctrine spawned by Protestantism that would argue that accepting Jesus as one’s savior is all that is required in order to achieve this immortality. They would likely suggest that because Jesus did all of the work of salvation in his death, humanity need only have faith and be received into God’s Kingdom, but this would be in serious error. While it is true that Jesus Christ, a representative of the ancient archetype of resurrection (far older than the New Testament), has in fact opened the doors of immortality for anyone who is desirous of it, the deification process of mankind is still a necessary step required to achieve it.  In the west, the most accessible process is the Baptism/Eucharist formula, but there are other traditions with methods (albeit less accessible to us here) that will provide the same Grace.

The most important message in all of this work is to expose the simple fact that the spiritual life takes work, skill, careful application, and mastery. It isn’t an automatic process and does not depend exclusively on an omnipotent God that loves you so much he’ll take care of everything for you even when you fail to apply yourself. I fear the art of immortality is a dying practice and the immortals, wherever they may be today, may be the last of their kind in a few short centuries.

What happens after death?

As many of my readers and friends are aware, I have been conducting an intensive study on death, specifically what happens to us when we die. For the past several months, I have employed a series of specific techniques to gather all of the data points I am looking for, ranging from EVP and “Spirit Box” communication to Tibetan “death practice”. I have also used a few more controversial (and subsequently more risky) esoteric methodologies that I will omit here in the interest of brevity. I would say that this combination of tools has successfully exposed some elements of the mystery surrounding death and at this time, I believe I can now formulate a working preliminary conclusion that accurately describes the process of death and “afterlife”.

From what I have experienced, much of the ancient mythology surrounding death is right on target with reality, but before we go much further within this line of thought, I would like to clear out a few preconceptions that you may have as a product of western philosophical conditioning. It should then be noted here that the Christian conceptualization of heaven and hell is NOT a Christian concept whatsoever. Christianity derived its origins from Jewish theology, but was very quickly Hellenized as it moved further north and became influenced by pagan and gnostic biases. If Christianity had remained pure, it would have most definitely retained a concept of Sheol, that is the Hebrew abode of the dead. This original pre-second temple Jewish concept of afterlife was a rather gloomy state of being. Sheol can best be understood as a condition of virtual unconsciousness, where the spirits of the dead remain forever in a state of inactive half-slumber. Both the righteous and the unrighteous ended up here at death, regardless of how moral or ethical their conduct was in life. In this state it could be said that there is barely enough consciousness to know that one is dead. There is hardly enough personality to even care if it was known. This was the pervasive notion of afterlife that dominated all throughout the Old Testament.

The Greeks had a similar understanding to the Jews, but expanded it a bit. Their dominated afterlife was called Hades, which incidentally was ruled by the god of the same name. This too was a condition very much identical to the Hebrew Sheol, but philosophers from both the Greek and Roman worlds eventually speculated that a paradise (Elysium fields) could become a possible alternative, first for demi-gods (humans with half the blood of the gods) or great heros, to eventually anyone the gods may have favored.

It is also interesting to note that Japanese Shinto, with its “afterlife” called Yomi, parallels everything we have already seen from both the Pagan and Hebrew worlds. Yomi may be slightly worse, however, in the sense that the dead in Yomi continue to “decompose” throughout all of eternity. This is an important distinction to make and it is a concept we shall return to in a moment.

When reading New Testament theology closely, we find that Jesus (a god with the singular purpose to close the doors to Sheol forever and make resurrection possible by the power of his own death), promises not an eternity in a spiritual afterlife (or heaven), but rather, a resurrection to a new Earth that is restored from its previously fallen condition. The resurrected body is quite physical, as is the afterlife in which it resurrects to. Nowhere in the New Testament is it understood that the souls of the righteous will remain with the true God in heaven forever! The only reason we have this expectation in Christianity today was because Christianity was hijacked by pagan thought (i.e., that bad people end up in hell (Hades) and good people, if favored by the gods, will be brought to Elysium).

Piecing this all together, along with my own research, I have concluded the following.  It is my hope that my contention here clarifies much of the confusion noted above and provides an accurate assessment of what to expect when we prepare to venture across the river of life to death. Be prepared, however, that many may wish to stop reading at this point so as to avoid the anxieties that my research may invoke within them. Some will, no doubt, become very disturbed by my findings and may find it easier and more comfortable to ignore the rest of this article. Again, I warn the reader. The following content may greatly disturb you, especially those who have adopted contemporary sensibilities, preferring to either ignore formal religion altogether, or have chosen an informal spiritual approach that is based upon “feel-good” hocus pocus.

First, I have found that the overwhelming majority of “souls” or “spirits” do indeed slowly deteriorate (decompose, if you will) after death as was speculated in Shinto with its doctrine of Yomi, albeit at a slower rate than it takes for the body. In fact, it would appear that most people will not know that they have died for quite some time after death and will remain attached to the physical body, consequently being subjected to the intense traumas of embalming, autopsy, and cremation (Tibetans generally recommend a corpse be left alone for at least three days to three weeks in order to allow the spirit of awareness time to degrade so as to avoid this trauma.). Essentially (and this might be a bit of a morbid thought to many of you), the unprepared soul will eventually dissipate over time, decomposing just as the body does, but, as previously mentioned, at a slower rate. At this point, once the spiritual cohesion that made up the awareness of the individual has fully degraded, the essence (what some Buddhists refer to as the “alya” [there are different spellings]) is recycled into the cosmos. Being that the laws of physics require that energy cannot be destroyed, this recycled essence becomes the building blocks for a new “soul” and eventual body. The east considers this reincarnation, but it isn’t exactly what the western New Age community would consider to be so. There is no choosing of one’s parents or the passing on of the Self to a new body. This is merely recycled energy released from the original decomposing spirit. There is nothing of that Self that remains. There may be some memories and recorded traumas that remain, however, and thus can often affect the life of the new individual. This new person may often believe they have a past life memory, when, in fact, they are remembering an event from a totally different person’s life. The memory is caused by the recycled energy that they now possess in a similar way to an organ transplant.

At this point, the afterlife may seem quite nihilistic and we may start to conclude that the atheists have it right, that there truly is nothing after death, but not so fast! There is still the notion of the dying and resurrecting god (most commonly known in Jesus, but pervasive throughout the Roman, Greek, and Egyptian world-views).  To speak in purely Christian terms (because it is easier for western culture to understand, NOT because the Christian methodology is the only one that works), the formula for Eternal Life that is alluded to in Christian Sacraments like Eucharist does appear to, in fact, avoid spiritual degradation and produce a cohesive permanence for those who apply the Sacrament correctly. Buddhism also contains this notion, somewhat, in the form of the bodhisattva as well as the rites of the Bardo Thodol. Hellenized Christianity (as well as the rest of the Pagan world) used/uses occult rites that prepare the individual for the attainment of eternal life, which from what I could gather in my direct research, is far more similar to the Elysium Fields than to modern understandings of heaven.

What this ultimately means is that dying in an unprepared state, one in which the individual has made no progress in developing the skills necessary to “survive death” is bound to the likes of Yomi, Sheol, and Hades. They become what the Hebrews referred to as “Shades”, existing as only an echo of a consciousness long since eroded and eventually forgotten (what I have gathered is the true source of EVP and Spirit Box communication). Those, however, that prepare themselves using the ancient rites of eternal life (regardless of tradition), are able to make the leap across Sheol and arrive at a condition of permanence that many western minds would recognize to be heaven. In my mind, then, it is essential that anyone that wishes to live beyond death in the general personhood that they now understand to be their own ”Self” must undertake the arduous task of afterlife preparation NOW, long before death comes knocking at the door. The Catholic Mass and Orthodox Divine Liturgy is perhaps the best method for those inclined toward Christianity. Its formula is essentially a reworking of the Egyptian temple rites that preceded Christianity by several thousand years.  That being said, however, the Egyptian Book of the Dead would be a good starting point for those with a Pagan inclination. The Bardo Thodol, as well as a few of the Taoist immortality rites would be the best starting point for those with an eastern proclivity. And for the great majority, the rest of humanity, who have abandoned religious thinking in an effort to let science become the only authority (or worse, are too lazy, intolerant, or indifferent to engage the spiritual life) those that do nothing, become nothing in the end.

More information later…

I despise “feminism” and here’s why

I’m about to get myself into trouble here and oh well, but it needs to be said…I despise “feminism” and here’s why:

If feminism practiced the art of validating the essential importance of the role women play in our society, I would be the first one to stand behind it and support it. But, instead, its current implementation is largely a hypocritical front, to give women access to traditionally assigned “male roles”, to make women more  men-like, thus validating the erroneous assumption that being male is better. All this is done at the complete and total expense of what it has historically meant to be a woman.

Honestly, we have seen what kind of world a patriarchal society has generated for us. A world of greed, of senseless competition, of aggression, of war, of violence, etc. Do we really need a world where women take on these traditionally assigned male roles just so as to feel equal to a gender that is often detached from what it means to actually feel? Why would anyone want this in the first place (men included!)? Is having a successful (stressful) career, being the primary breadwinner at the expense of being a mother, taking care of the home, or children really a better situation?

True equality comes from recognizing ones intrinsic value, thus a true feminist is one who recognizes the value of what it means and has meant to be a woman, and helps to validate these attributes, understanding them to be equally as important to those of men. The metamorphosis of women into men is a psychological crime and one that, unfortunately as I see it, has once again reduced women down to a continuous cycle of inferiority, this time of their own doing.