Roy Bourque

Aerospace Education Officer for Cadets, Civil Air Patrol

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Is spirituality real or imagined?

At the age of nine, I had an experience while meditating on God. I was looking for God apart from reality because that was what I was taught. A voice inside of me (it was distinct from my normal thinking voice) led me to seeing God as a cosmic singularity that underlies all of reality. At the time I couldn't talk about it to anyone because I couldn't relate it to anything I already knew. Any attempts at that time were responded with remarks that implied I was having some kind of mental breakdown.

Eleven years later while studying nuclear physics, I learned about the unified field theory of physics. I had no trouble accepting it because I had seen it before (through associations rather than mathematical models). How did I know before I knew? Can anyone answer that question? It has far reaching implications because it brings into question a lot of what religion is teaching. I was a Catholic. I am now a non-denominational Christian because I believe in what Jesus taught. But I know to question anything that doesn't make sense.

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    Mar 6 2012: Spirituality is a very real human experience.
    When humans try to describe it with words is when it starts to fall apart. We use words like God or Gods and teachers like Jesus and Buddha and Mohamed. Then unfortunately we start to use inappropriate words like 'right' and 'wrong' and 'heaven' and 'hell.'
    There is a tale of two brothers in search of God. One traveled to the west to find God outside of himself. The other traveled to the east to find God within himself.
    Where I live there are a people that say that men must pray because they cannot directly communicate with the creator the way that women can.
    There is truth to be found in all of the above including nuclear physics. Questioning is part of the process.
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        Mar 8 2012: If what you want is a house:) I don't need or want bricks. Meaning is more than words.
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    Mar 19 2012: Final thoughts;

    I feel that this conversation has brought many insightful comments. To me, spiritual pertains to the realm of thought. Thoughts are real. But what the thoughts pertain to may not necessarily be real. How we perceive reality is biased by what we were taught and what we believe. Some beliefs are based on reality. Some are based on fantasy. Yet even in this, fantasy is often the beginning of creativity. The Disney world characters are a prime example. Here, fantasy became reality.

    To the religious fanatic, beliefs are not to be questioned. To the freethinker, beliefs must be questioned as to what value they bring to the existing world. If they add to its value, then learn to develop it. If they detract from its value, then learn to bring it unto subjection. To make a better world, we have to learn to know the difference.

    I believe in the split brain. Nicholas questions this. My information came from the book "Psychology: The Frontiers of Behavior" by Ronald, E Smith/Irwin G Sarason/Barbara R. Sarason. According to the book, certain epileptic patients suffering grand mal seizures had the corpus callosum (connecting nerve bundle between the right and left brain hemisphere) cut in attempt to stop the seizures. The procedure succeeded. The patients were then used in experiments, and that is where the data came from to isolate how the two hemispheres think.

    Religion is all built on right brain associations. Although the images are not real (angels and demons), once you know what is being associated, you can begin to figure it all out. I have found it to be a mental exercise that has turned out to be very rewarding. Not only am I coming to understand religion, I am isolating many misconceptions that have emerged from handed down traditions. Religion is evolving, and not always in the right direction. Science gives us tools to help isolate fact from fiction. I feel that I am not alone in this endeavor.
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    Mar 14 2012: Haha...this reminds me of Harry Potter. He gets killed and in his after-life conversation with Dumbledore he asks, "Is this real or has it been happening inside my head?" To which Dumbledore replies, "Of course it's happening inside your head...but that doesn't mean it's not real."
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      Mar 14 2012: Hi dave,

      An interesting comparison. Thanks for sharing.
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    Mar 12 2012: In what you describe at the age of 9 is what many Buddhist monks discuss as Zen practice (a holistic thinking process). Then what happened is you found yourself introduced to theoretical mathematics (an atomistic thinking process).

    Math is only one truth that can be taken out of the universe. Math is apart of the absolute truth the universe can provide. A tool in which we can breakdown reality, nothing more nothing less. Math cannot create a reality in which we today can live by... However it can be used to formulate a simplistic reality we can choice to live by... this is the "free will factor."

    The drive (the meta-longing) - to know vs. being happy - is spirituality... We want to know, to be happy... We want to be happy in order to know... Check out the optimism bias.

    I read your message to Chris' response - Chris is in my frame of thinking as well.

    Let's say God is real, ghost, angels etc. Then they have physical-materialistic properties - just beyond what we currently can study with our tools of investigation (namely science).

    x + x = y does not tell me why I love hotdogs, but it can tell me how to put together a hotdog.

    To compare the smallest piece of matter with singularity will make anyone think nature has to be measured and weighed, THAT IS NOT FALSE, but to think we know those things, today in history, is completely fictitious. Knowing what we do not know is the first step to knowing...

    Indeed we need "non-physical" explanations in order to investigate the universe which is "physical" - That is fine, we have to use language as prima to formulating... this is why mathematics is so interesting to me, that they are making up new languages to break down the basic building blocks of reality. To explain those things practically to an ever day Joe like myself, will take philosophy of science/mathematics.

    I think language is a giant barrier here... we do not have a good vocabulary for process philosophizing...
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      Mar 13 2012: I agree with your analogy in mathematics. It may have a great deal with how I came to this experience. However, it was clearly beyond what I was learning in school or at home. It was as if I had a radio in my brain and some instructor was leading me through this experience.

      In the study of split brain psychology, I came to realize that religion is all right brain associations. The mythology, symbolism, sculpture, artistic expressions of ancient religions are all right brain associations. The right brain sees the forces of creation as a creator. The ancient cultures personified the ineffable mystery. It isn't the personification that is real, it is what is being personified.

      Today we understand the forces of creation in mathematical models. This comes to the unified field theory of physics. In my mind, the unified field theory of physics, and God, are two different expressions of the same thing, seen from two different hemispheres of the brain.
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        Mar 13 2012: This is something I recently posted in another conversation:

        *Consider that religions, belief systems, schools of philosophy and overall anything that establishes your state of mind (in Belief systems) is/are a primary factor in perceptual cognition and *mental filtration.
        *Continue to consider that - science, math, dance, poetry, art, physics, etc. (subjects of study) are tools to build on the primary - these are secondary factors.

        "Today we understand the forces of creation in mathematical models. This comes to the unified field theory of physics. In my mind, the unified field theory of physics, and God, are two different expressions of the same thing, seen from two different hemispheres of the brain."

        You should reject the split brain theory, it does not work like that. Yes, we have hemispheres we abide to them naturally that seems to store what we assume are "these" actions of thought. Not completely false, but that is not how the brain processing consciousness for you, works. Every millisecond a root-like system of neurons activates (fires) in the brain, in order to tell your entire physiological state what to do in this moment. While still giving you a consciousness.

        The words we use are just as symbolic as any art. It is an art to communicate in a broad sense of combining letters and thoughts into sentences.

        God is the part of the brain that has a "meta-physical longing to know vs. be happy" (Check out my bio, I wrote a short piece on information processing.)

        Kabbalah suggest God is in the mind, and it is true - or at the least the capacity to be with, speak or know God. A pure euphoric moment achieved is a moment of God feeling or "knowing." In the majority, we want to achieve those euphoric moments all the time. Addiction to "knowing" seems parallel in satisfying the drive to "be happy." To know is to be happy, it seems is the reality of our unreflected decision making...

        Knowing and being happy shouldn't be the goal, but the path.
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          Mar 13 2012: Knowing and being happy shouldn't be the goal, but the path. that is what religion started out as. Somehow, all of that got lost.

          The modern definition of Faith is; unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence (taken from the Webster's New World Dictionary, original copyright 1953). Just over 100 years ago, you wouldn't know it was the same word. The old definition of Faith is; the ascent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character, and doctrines of Christ founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith (taken from the Noah Webster's Dictionary 1904 edition).

          Eastern philosophy was all about the path. Eastern philosophy is all through the Christian bible if you know what you are looking for, but none of it is explained. It's a problem that needs to be fixed. I don't know how to fix it, but I wrote a book about the subject. You can find it on my profile.

          Thanks for taking the time to comment.
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    Mar 9 2012: Ones doing defines ones being. Spirituality is about oneness and ones very being. Science and spirituality are two different dimensions of existence... Science is the path of dissection and spirituality is the path of completeness... both are equally important for ones development...

    Life is all about action so when we say GOD its a bit strange why this kind of a word was devised, i would rather have it spelled as godliness, which is the path of spirituality. When we use the word GOD , it becomes a separate entity from oneself.. this separation can never be equated to completeness or oneness and hence existence of the word GOD can never be related to spirituality, where as godliness is something that can relate to ones being and in-turn ones doing, and this truly is ones spirituality.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts!
    Subhash Vasist
  • Mar 7 2012: Hello Roy,

    The truth of spirituality is real enough. True science will eventually come to the truth of the reality of the spirit. It may take another hundred years or more, who knows. But the science of the spirit will come. And if the search is honest and true to the nature of science, it will have to come to this conclusion. Although science has burdened itself with its own self imposed limiting factor of finding it's answers to the worlds mysteries strictly in the material world, this will have to change. What is being researched in the field of NDE's may just hold the key to this paradigme change that is awaiting mankind. Although the religious followers have been telling us this all along, mankind of the modern age demand ... and should demand a clear unquestionable proof of this reality of the spirit. It is no longer in our nature to be subjected to a blind faith or the church telling us how to act, what and how to think, etc.
    What you experienced as a child of nine may have been an "out of body experience" This is in fact very common and one does not have to have a NDE to have one. Children are by nature less bound to the physical body and can more easily "slip out" of it. ... and even though we as adults "slip out" of our body every night when we sleep, we seldom manage to recall anything more than vague dream pictures that have little connection with that which we call reality.
    Listen carefully to Dennis Hong "My seven species of robots" lecture on TED and he tells the story of how he experiences in the moments before sleeping the "ideas" that he collects on the paper by his bedside. This is also common with artist as well, who tell of how their work is inspired and given form.
    The trick here is to hold yourself "awake" as you slip into the spirit world. No easy task for most of us. But you Roy may just have a gift. You might try to develop it!
    Greetings from Daniel
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    Mar 6 2012: Hello Linda,

    I don't hear science talking about spirituality, I only hear the church talking about it. Only I don't hear them talking about it much. What does spirituality mean to you?

    The person who finds God within, finds himself(herself) and his(her) place in the cosmos. The person who finds God without, finds who everyone else thinks they ought to be and what everyone else thinks they ought to be doing. I'll stick to finding God within. It tells me who I am, not whom everyone else thinks I should be.

    As to the Kingdom of God, I see it as the universe and all that is connected with it. I don't believe that science sees the whole picture.
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      Mar 6 2012: I agree with you 100% about science. It is only one small piece of truth. I just happen to really like it and play in that sandbox a lot.

      Spirituality is another piece of truth. Spirituality to me is a type of connection. One you already identified as the cosmos. But also to other humans, animals, rocks, plants and even the earth. See how science is really not that far from spirituality? Maybe, just maybe they are different pieces of the same Whole. Geepers what I understand has taken me years to really understand and it is difficult to explain. Remember I said when we start using words it gets messed up.

      Church discusses God because in the Western world when the three original professions started there was Church, Medicine, and Law. Church covered mans relationship to God, Medicine man's relationship to science, and Law man's relationship to each other. That's how it was splintered.

      I think the best way to frame it is I do not seek God. I seek truth. OK maybe Truth for all the philosophers out there. Science, spirituality, God, all are pieces of Truth. But the ONLY way to find truth is through question. We understand this in science because it's not about the answer, it's about the question.
      • Mar 6 2012: I have to disagree with you on the last part here, Linda.
        You don't always have to ask questions to learn more, simple observing and perceiving your surrounding will be able to tell you much about the truth that you seek. Questions are indeed powerful, but they are not the only way to knowledge. "I want to know how /.../ works" as example is just as valid as "How does /.../ work?"

        And if you aren't considerate with how you ask a question, then the answer may as well turn out to be... 42
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          Mar 7 2012: Love it Daniel!

          Oh no! You mean the answer is NOT 42? I am going to have to recalculate the universe:)
          ~Deep Thought
      • Mar 7 2012: It is 42. The answer is right under your nose, look: http://youtu.be/aboZctrHfK8?t=1m8s
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          Mar 7 2012: Whew. It took a long time so I'm glad it's still correct.
          So long and thanks for all the fish.
          (I really like that book:)
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        Mar 7 2012: Hi Linda,

        Your definition of spirituality is right up my alley. The reason I discuss God is that I connected in an experience. My concept of God is more in tune with what Einstein felt; a cosmic religious feeling. He spoke a lot about God, but differentiated his view with that of organized religion. I think that organized religion has a long way to go to get back on track.

        I understand your not being able to put it into words. That is why organized religion is way off base. They inherited the writings but don't know what they pertain to because the leaders of religion haven't had spiritual experience to be able to relate. So they cram the words down our throats without knowing what they truly mean.

        I want to explore the bible in the spiritual sense. I believe it has a lot to offer once you can get past the words. However, I won't leave science out of the picture. We did evolve and science has cleared up a lot of problems that religion created. But we're comparing apples to oranges, and we must see the difference.
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          Mar 7 2012: I think exploring the Bible is a great idea. It would be great to study some other holy texts also. I see you have a good beginning understanding of eastern philosophy and I really enjoyed looking for compare and contrast. Many many truths from many generations are included. But again just pieces.

          Just remember that the problems with religion were caused not by the religions themselves but by lack of knowledge that science has helped us with. Science does not explain it all and therefore there is still religion to help us. Remember before the professions were split, there was only one ruling priesthood that was responsible for all three. That kind of integration has been lost through the centuries. I do not know enough to say if it was a good thing or a bad thing it just is. Maybe part of this is our need to mend the splintered knowledge???
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          Mar 7 2012: Roy,
          I just react to confirm your understanding and encourage you to visualize and connect to that point of singularity that you've mentioned.
          I've discovered it to be the source of the all knowing inspirator.
  • Mar 6 2012: "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need" Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ

    For thousands of years mankind has had a spiritual need and yearning. Man has lived with his trials and burdens, his doubts and questions, including th enigma of death.

    Spiritual/religious feelings have been expressed in many different ways as people turned to God or their gods, seeking blessings and solace.

    Spirituality tries to address the great questions: Why are we here? How should I live? What does the future hold for mankind?

    Spirituality is very real. But not all are conscious of their "own" spirituality. We have that freedom of choice.

    Good question.......keep on questioning..........it is how we grow.
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    Mar 12 2012: Imo,
    Spirituality is part of our experience (or at least to most of us).
    As such, you can have spiritual experiences, and accord meaning to it.

    However, if you want to know if the ideas and images refer to an external reality (i.e. "is the angel I saw in my mental image real?", or "is the command to build a church coming from an external source?"), then you better check if it fits with the (scientifcly, probabilistic) established world view...

    The answer to this is: most probably, the experience happens in your mind, and does not bear any truth-value (other than pure coincidental). It does not prove a god, an angel, the one-ness with all the people or the world, nor a demon, spirit or soul.

    None of the insights due to spiritual (or chemical induced states for that matter) experiences are true because the person 'just' feels it does. As such, you can consider it an illusion.
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      Mar 12 2012: Hi Christophe,

      I understand what you are saying about spiritual imagery and scientifically proved facts. But I have a problem with both.

      First, I saw the principles of quantum mechanics eleven years before I received any formal instruction on the subject. I didn't imagine a being, I heard a voice that led me into an altered state of mind. It was in that altered state that I became aware of a cosmic singularity that underlies all that exists. I had no way of identifying what that was at the time, only that it was the answer to "who or what is God?" What I came to understand was confirmed in a nuclear physics class. That is the type of spirituality that I speak of.

      As far as science goes, we know what quantum fields are capable of by studying the details of the universe in which we live. We know that science is the result of identifying repeatable patterns that we can trust. But given that we only know of quantum fields by the effects that they produce, how can we say for certain what they are not capable of?

      We are learning about dark matter and string theory. These seem to fall outside the boundaries of the known physical universe. Are they capable of interceding in everyday affairs, and how would we know if they were?

      There are no shortage of paranormal claims, but you can't prove them because they are not repeatable, nor can you conjure them up at will. I enjoy science, but I do not discredit the notion that a power greater than us is watching in the shadows. I see it as the brave warrior indian who sets out to prove his manhood. His father is watching in the shadows, and will not interfere unless there is need.
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        Mar 12 2012: (I hope this does not offend you, that is not my intention)
        1) I have had a lot of thoughts that were right in hindsight (as a kid, as a youngster, as an adult)... But we humans have confirmation bias (and pattern bias), which leads us to only look at the things that seem right, and not the wrong ones (these need to be compared in order to see whether we "guess" above randomness.
        2) There is a difference between a singularity in physics and a metaphysical one. The are completely different and should not be confused.
        3) Be careful when claiming QF/QM as if you understand it. I don't , and what I know about has nothing to do with anything spiritual or intelligence-infused. (I see it as a bunch of probability distributions).
        4) I don't do certainty, I only assume the most plausible interpretation until data (and fitting theory) tells me otherwise. Due to Occam's Razor, I see no need to assume redundant statements...
        We can tell what is not the case with certainty, and as the amount of complexity is bounded by Planck's constant, we cannot speak of intelligence on very small scales.
        5) No paranormal claims have been proven... and as proving the in-existence of 'something can only be probabilistic, one can never be sure that there is no unicorn on Titan, or divine/spiritual revelation. According to my knowledge I see no real (hard) data, and that means that I don't need to consider the endless possibilities of what might be. I would be surprised if it did though (but less surprised than finding life on other planets)
        6) There are a myriad of ways to test for the paranormal. Rough example If one can ask 1000 people about a spiritual insight they once got (about the future or about un-rejected hypothesis), and then verify whether this is above chance (if put in a yes/no claim, one would expect 500/500 correct/false, and 600/400 would prove paranormal already)...
        7) If a father is watching, then he is a cruel person, given all the senseless violence, disease and suffering.
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          Mar 13 2012: Christophe,

          I have in no way been offended. I appreciate your comments as food for thought.

          I don't look for endless possibilities, I only strive to understand what I myself have experienced. That there may be endless possibilities is beyond the scope of my understanding and I don't try to comprehend it. I once had a tenant who used to work at a mental hospital. He warned me never to try to comprehend such things. But when something happens in your life that transcends what you understand to be true, you can either ignore it as unprovable, or consider what the implications might be.

          Much of the senseless violence, disease, and suffering is self generated. We know that smoking is a leading cause of heart and lung disease. We know that it is an expensive and addictive habit. Despite those facts, it doesn't deter many from smoking. We know that the body shares a mutual relationship with the plant kingdom. Yet we stuff it with unnatural foods all the time, and then complain that we don't feel well. We drive under the influence, text while driving, and perform a host of other accident prone behaviors. I see people ignoring rules, testing limits, sabotaging each other's efforts all the time. These people tell me that sinners have more fun, that they don't care if they go to hell because all their friends will be there, and life is dog-eat-dog whether you like it or not. God doesn't play babysitter and doesn't alter the rules of nature just so we won't get hurt. God offers guidance if we seek that guidance. But God will also let us rip our head off if we decide that we don't want God in our life.

          I have read some of your comments on other's threads. You seem to care a great deal about life and you cherish knowing the truth. You seek to know and follow the rules of nature as you understand them. I admire that in a person. I just see life slightly different than you.
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    Mar 9 2012: Hi Austin,

    Thank you for sharing. Epiphanies and transcendent experiences are what take us beyond belief.

    According to the unified field theory of physics, every electron in the universe is exactly the same. This is true for all the other sub-atomic particles. The consistency in nature requires it to be so. How such a thing is possible is beyond the human mind to comprehend. We even put ourselves at risk if we attempt to figure it out. That is the scientific bridge to the ineffable mystery.

    This being said, every atom in our bodies contains the universal code. That is the reason for the Large Hadron collider being built in Europe, to discover the common denominator. I believe that our meditation leads to intuition and inspiration based on that code. We can do nothing that that code does not allow. What it does allow, is everything we see in the universe. And those who see it best are the inventors and theorists that open new horizons. We all have our separate journey. But we are all guided by the same fundamental laws.
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    Mar 9 2012: Hi Subhash,

    I like your use of the word Godliness. It means we are striving to ascend to a higher purpose, not satisfying ourselves with mere belief. Eastern philosophy regards belief as the start of the journey, but to complete the journey, one must search out meaning in what we believe. Until we understand, our belief is a mere collection of ideas that are untested.
  • Mar 9 2012: Perception is reality. If we suppose it exists, and if we give it credit to spirituality for epiphanies, transcendent experiences, and prayer... it literally exists because we have created it even it if we did originally "imagine" it. Whatever you believe, there is true power in spirituality simply because most of us believe there is. Whether or not it is absolutely "real" is another matter.
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      Mar 12 2012: Perception does not equal reality, it is only apart of reality - the reality we consciously can perceive.

      Groupthinking is all the evidence I need to know we do have intrinsic spirituality drives. Humanism, naturalism and pantheism cycle in and out of historic cultures CONSTANTLY - these broad belief systems are the basis of today's as well. Spirituality is very real, but as far as measuring it empirically, it may as well be gravity.
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    Mar 9 2012: Hi Yuri,

    I agree with you. Science is one way of seeing the world. God is another way of seeing it. I was brought up when schools were telling us we had to choose between God and evolution. God showed me that both views are equally valid. What I later discovered is that religion is a right-brain subject. The right brain sees the forces of creation as a creator, whereas the left brain sees the forces of creation as mathematical models. both views are correct, but they are talking two different languages.
  • Mar 8 2012: Hi ,

    "God as a cosmic singularity that underlies all of reality.......... How did I know before I knew? .."

    maybe it's not about to know God, it's about God can't be forgotten. :``
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    Mar 8 2012: Hello Daniel,

    I have often considered the possibility of an out of body experience. I was clearly in tune with something that would later prove to be true.

    Science helps us to understand what quantum fields can do through observation. They have the bad habit of trying to tell us what they cannot do, even though they know nothing about them other than in the effects that they produce. Now they are telling us about dark matter and string theory, which they have just as hard a time to prove as religion has in proving God. It works on paper, but it has no other proof.

    Those who have had a spiritual experience know that our body is a vessel that we inhabit. Science claims that matter and energy are conserved. I believe that according to the akashic records (the realm that Edgar Cayce visited in his trances) that consciousness is also conserved. As it is written in the scriptures, at death, the body returns to the ground and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7). The silver cord is the astral cord.
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    Mar 8 2012: Thank you Adriaan for your input. When I have some free time, I will look into these.

    I understand that we are made of quantum fields, and that these fields are not physical in themselves. It is only the collective integration of these fields that the physical universe becomes manifest. Our spirit is what connects us to those quantum fields (which are universally the same throughout the cosmos) and allows us to engage in creation. That is how we are made in the image of the creator (through our creative ability). It has nothing to do with appearances.

    I have a website www.scienceandreligionconverging.com that covers a book that I wrote; "The Merging of Two Worlds". The website provides a lot of basic information that could be useful for discussion.
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    Mar 7 2012: Chuck missler,i looked around and listened to a few and found his histories more informative than the rest,Though i don't believe in his political views or his denomination allegiences,some consider him a crackpot and yeah some are potty but i like how he always reverts back to the book.

    The book states that the Core essence of the prime intellect does not reside in this reality and time continuum.As far as i know only one human has transported there and was brought forward in time and that was john when he was incarcerated on the island of patmos,for the rest of the believers it's the vehicle of spirituality that transends the physical barriers and connects you to the source of all things and with the coming of christ it strengthens that bridge.If one knows the book which i still haven't finished. One should know this very early on.I try not to write on this subject as i don't like the feeling i get at the back of my head that asks me "Your not preaching are you"
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    Mar 7 2012: Hi Sunny,

    I don't see religion and spirituality in the same light. Spirituality is experience. Religion is an attempt to pass on the insights of spirituality to others. The bible is full of the teachings of Eastern philosophy, but none of it is explained. The goal of Eastern philosophy is to lead the initiate to spiritual experience by first rising above the carnal nature (the beast within stemming from the animal from which we evolved). Once that path is chosen, there is a process that the initiate had to follow to ascend the spiritual centers of the mind, the highest one being called "Christ". At that level, one was in tune with the creator. "I and the Father are one" is how Jesus put it.

    The Old Testament was about following rules. We live in a cosmos that is built on natural laws. Learn what those laws are, and blessings will abound. But everyday, there are tragedies befalling those who felt that rules were made to be broken. This goes beyond what religion teaches. But that is what the spiritual journey is all about, learning to understand the rules of the cosmos, not of organized religion.
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    Mar 6 2012: I think religion/spirituality was created to "discipline" the people of that era who were indulged in chaos, immorality, obscenity etc. At the same time it is important to note here that things like, morality, ethical behavior, norms of the society all were a result of information provided in the religious books hundreds of years back. And what science proved today was somehow magically present then without all the new age gizmo stuff? These are the things that force us to think about religion/spirituality.

    I would like to share a link:
    People during the deadly tornado at kentucky, began praying, Why was praying the first thing that came to her mind? link attached below is quite evident of a spiritual connection that each one of us has during fear, we connect with god:

    http://youtu.be/2Po7Xyn-Amg
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      Mar 6 2012: I agree with you Sunny about religion. Pretty much all of them were prescriptive about social behavior. They tried to apply morays and acceptable behaviors for a people not able to without some type of punishment. And pretty much all of them do that.
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    Mar 6 2012: Hello Linda,

    Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within you, and the church says; no, no, he was referring to himself as God among the people. Paul says Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells within you. I like the tale of two brothers. You have to find it from within. The church is not the answer, only a vehicle to help you make the journey.

    I believe that what I have experienced is a realm that has its own reality.
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      Mar 6 2012: What you need to eventually understand is that both brothers were right.

      (And by the way, that whole kingdom of God stuff has to do with the council of Jerusalem after the death of Christ and they were trying to decide if Gentiles needed to be circumcised in order to enter the kingdom of God. See that whole circumcision thing was hurting early church recruitment. I don't understand why but it seems it did;)