I was actually going to do a video on this, but the urge to wrte came on me, so here I am.
When I was a Christian, just before I renounced my faith, two things became apparent. Now, with the distance of some years since I renounced it, I can add a little more detail:
1. In order for a place of absolute perfection to exist, such as Heaven, there has to be its opposite, a place of absolute imperfection, AKA hell. Anyone that doesn’t “fit” with Heaven (is of other faiths or no faith) goes there. Heaven is only for the “chosen” – Christians.
2. If Heaven is such an ideal, perfect place – without sin – how did Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels sin and get cast to earth? If there is no sin in Heaven, where did this sin come from?
When the Christian belief system is put under scrutiny, when it is questioned, it falls apart. Yet such is the nature of a belief that most Christians make a part of their identity, they would literally die for what they believe. As it has become a part of their identity, any attack on their faith is, to a Christian, an attack on them, either personally, collectively or both.
I decided two things:
1. I wanted no part of a God who could cast others, who in every other way epitomized Christian values, except they were not a Christian (like Thich Nhat Hanh, who may just be one of our closest living saints) into hell.
2. I wanted no part of en eternity that is dead, stale and stagnant. In perfection there is no room for change, development, discovery, expansion, exploration, new experiences or surprises. It is all perfect sameness, all the time, forever. Sounds fucking boring to me!
So I renounced my faith, going through hell right here in earth trying to get past the fear of burning alive for all eternity, and now having to deal with knowing my parents are unhappy with my decision, worried about me. What a tar pit the Christian religion is! It uses fear to control its people, it disempowers believers by instructing them that they can only have things if it is God’s will, and they pass this disease, this infection, onto their children. Right along with other disempowering and limiting beliefs around money and “the things of this world”, meaning that many Christians will never be abundant,successful or wealthy.
I see it all so clearly now, standing outside here, looking in. But for those inside, this clarity is not accessible. The only way to see the truth is to get outside the bubble, and the only way to get outside the bubble is to stop being part of the collective inside it. In the case of Christianity, you have to renounce your faith. You have to stop being a Christian. Otherwise you will read something like this, and you will not understand it. Or you will get angry and wish to respond with an attack or a defense, both coming from feeling like you have been attacked. But I have not attacked you, and even if I did, it would have no effect on you. You will always be in your bubble, until you choose to leave it. Nobody can make you leave it. Nobody can attack the bubble and destroy it. The bubble remains, forever, until nobody believes in it anymore, and all have exited it. Nothing anyone can do can or ever will threaten it. Also, if anyone goes out to try to attack Christians or Christianity, they will quickly find that all attack only makes those they attack stronger, because in attack there is resistance, and resistance always makes that which is resisted stronger.
No, it is not my desire, prerogative or place to attack Christians or Christianity. I say what I say because of all I went through, both inside the bubble and out. Those experiences I have claimed as part of my identity. I went through a belief systems crash, a couple dark nights of the soul and a bunch of other shit. That’s the only reason I can sit here and type this. But I think about some things that sadden me. Years ago I knew a family of girls. The mother and father separated, the father leaving not long after I left. It was like they were stuck back at the turn of the century. All Christian music, typically children’s. They made their own dresses. The mother enforced those Christian values. They were obviously not well off.
I was really attracted to one of the girls, and sometimes fantasize about going back there, seeing if she is still around and unmarried, and sweeping her away from the situation she is in. Just a pipe dream. I have no idea if they are still there, or if they have moved. I have no idea if she is still alive. and they way her mom and the mother and father of my best friends when I was a Christian were doing things, she probably got dumped into an arranged marriage. Last I heard some loggers had shown interest. But she was originally arranged to be married to the younger of the two boys who were my best friends. Still, I think about this, and it just makes me sad. How many of the young women I had met when I went to CYIA, or a Bill Gothard training, or to church, are married off to someone they did not choose, stuck in a belief system handed down to them like their mother’s wedding dress, and seen as just as important. If I have learned nothing else, I have learned I will encourage free thinking, loosely held beliefs and a questioning attitude in my own children, should I ever be allowed to have any.
As part of the “spiritual, not religious” group (not a bubble, because you an freely come and go) you eventually learn about ACIM. A Course In Miracles. This is a channeled text, and supposedly, it is Jesus who is speaking through the channel. I treasure channeled texts! As a Christian, sure we could read about how the Holy Spirit came on someone and they started writing. No problem! But if anyone in the Christian bubble stated they had channeled Peter, or Paul, or Jesus and write a text, they would probably be murdered and their book would never see the light of day! For a people who are supposed to be loving, Christians are the most fearful and hateful people on the planet, second only maybe to fundamentalist radical Muslims. Catholics used to be the biggest assholes in this regard, but thankfully the burning witches and inquisition period has faded away.
Anyhow, it seems as if may of the writers I read and study, who are leading abundant, successful lives, have read ACIM. It somehow contributed to their finding abundance and success. And as I enjoy The Book of Emmanuel, the writings of Abraham, the writings and Seth and Ramtha, of course I had to read this. It is a VERY difficult text, let me warn you now! Really dense, even more so than Seth, and hard to understand. If you are anything like me things occasionally just slip away and can’t be grasped very well. But I have persisted, reading a section every day since last year. Unfortunately, I am finding myself more and more ready to put it down and never open it again. Because I have found another definition of Heaven I can’t stomach.
In ACIM Heaven is, essentially, God. God is everything, there is nothing else. Just that light, love and isness that is God. So there is no choice, no groups, no other place to go to. You have no choice but to, I guess the best way to put it is, merge with God upon physical death. Because that is your natural state. The issue I am having is that the text is now calling everything on earth “little”, and any desire for anything on earth “littleness.” Really? These trees I like to look at, meaningless? The stars, of no value? What about the astral planes and places like the Akashic records? As far as I can tell there is nothing in Heaven/God. It is just a changeless, timeless void. By void I mean empty, because Heaven/God is all that exists in that space, just as a vacuum is all that exists in a void, there is nothing else. Why in the hell would I want that?
Also, like the Christian’s Heaven, a few cracks have appeared:
1. If God is all there is and all I really want, as ACIM says, then why did I come to earth in the first place? If I had no choice but to be there, how did I get here?
2. If all we want is to be floating around in a changeless void of light and love for all eternity, how come physical existence exists? Why would we create anything else if we had all we wanted?
3. If the ACIM God is perfect, all there is, then why couldn’t He have created a better system of being on the earth, outside of the ego, which seems to be the system whereby we can be on the earth and have a physical experience? It is obvious that a better system than the ego is needed, so why doesn’t it exist? Couldn’t we have created a way to enjoy a physical experience and yet still retain our awareness of who we really are?
At least the ACIM model includes everyone! It’s like an endless Borg Cube, swallowing us all up in one giant collective for all eternity! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? If you happen to have studied ACIM, maybe you can comment below and shed some light on this. Maybe I am not understanding things very well. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am missing things – as I said ACIM is very hard to read and grasp at times.
Do you know what I want for my afterlife? Simple. If you haven’t already, go and read the books by Robert Monroe – Journeys Out of Body and the others. He just details, as scientifically as possible, the things he experienced while out of his body. The things he speaks of, what he claims to have seen in the astral planes – that intrigues me. My ideal eternity is to explore it all. All the astral planes, all the physical realm without the need for a physical body. To visit places like the Akashic Records. And I would like to take my physical body with me when it is time for me to go. Just pack it up and bring it along – ascend. That way I can unpack it whenever I want. Apparently Ramtha has done this, and some Ascended Masters. Has any guru in India managed that I wonder? If you discard your flesh when you leave, as I understand it, you have to wait in line to come into physical existence and get another body. So it is best to take your flesh with you. In any case, that is what I want.
I like how Abraham says we came here for “joyous expansion.” In the Abraham teachings, we come into physical existence for certain desired experiences, and we put all the pieces into place before we come into this world. I like that. That makes sense. And Eckhart Tolle tells us to stay in the present moment. I know that when I was in my highest vibration (which, coincidentally, is when I write the most poetry) it was while reading his books and practicing that. So that makes sense too. That pretty much covers the physical aspect of life. But the after is still a big question mark.
I guess all I can do is continue to hold any beliefs I retain loosely, and to, as much as possible, not identify with them. Just not make them a part of my identity, the story of my life, who I am. Then move towards those concepts and ideas that empower me and make me feel good. Leave behind anything that disempowers me or makes me feel bad. Run fast and far away from anything that uses fear, but stand firm and face any fears I have to deal with. Allow myself to feel all I am feeling, and to release any feelings I am ready to let go. Seek those things that being me joy, follow the natural flow of my life and aim for abundance of all good things. Enjoy this world, see it as the gift I am sure it is. Enjoy every moment, while staying in it, and stop focusing in the past, which is dead and gone, living only in my memory, or the future, which is only exists in my imagination. Focus on what I want to have, look to the future only for that. Maybe this is not the best way to be. Maybe changes will need to be made. But I am willing to adapt, change, develop and grow, so I will. I love having new experiences, and I will just count any lessons I have to learn as a new experience, and remain enamored with the learning process.
I just wish that there was some way to know the real truth about what is waiting in the after. My current belief is that it will be whatever you believe it to be. So if that is true, for me it will be a place of absolute adventure and freedom. I can’t imagine anything better than that! What is the after for you?