Terrified Woman from Another Universe
Written by: Various
What would you do if you found yourself in a strange bed, your workplace had changed, and you discovered your lover no longer existed? A woman named Lerina García claims this is exactly what’s happened to her.
There may be inifinite Earths being infinitely created
As the level of strangeness escalated, she dealt with her hesitancy and surprise by telling co-workers she wasn’t feeling well. She shares her first day on an alien Earth:
“Four months ago I awoke on a normal morning. I was in my rented home where I’d been living for seven years. Everything was the same, except that my bed linen was different, and I paid no attention at the time.
“So I went to work in my car, which was parked where I’d always parked, and it was the same office I’d worked in for the last 20 years. But when I got to my department, it wasn’t my department. It has names on the door and mine wasn’t on it. I thought I was on the wrong floor, but no, it was my own floor. I went over to the office’s wireless section and looked myself up. I still worked there, but in another department, reporting to a superior I didn’t even know.
“So I went to the department indicated in the directory, said I was feeling ill, and left. All the contents of my handbag were the same: my credit cards, my ID, everything, but I didn’t recall having changed departments at any time.
“I went to the doctor and underwent drug and alcohol testing…all clean.
“I returned to work the next day and was able to make my way by asking questions and saying that I wasn’t feeling well.”
As she later wrote on the Internet seeking someone to offer an explanation for her nightmarish dilemma and maybe offering help: “One day I woke up and found that everything was different—nothing spectacular or having to do with time travel and such things. I simply woke up in the same year and day on which I went to bed, but many things were different. They were small things, but sufficiently important to know that there was a point at which everything was different.”
This sounds like somebody’s very good idea for a TV series…but it certainly tickles the imagination of those who have heard physicists (on PBS) trying to explain string theory and M theory. I THINK I’ve heard them tell us that the relationship of the “verses” is so close as to be separated only by a “membrane” (so describied) and we pass back and forth all the time from one to the other. I THINK that’s what they said…
I went to the “BLEEPER”vconference a few years ago in Santa Monica where we were lectured by real, live physicists who were essentially compassionate, though seemingly a little impatient, with the uneducated fascination of the lay person. Count me as fascinated! I want to know about these things! ANybody on this list a physicist? Like, what’s the latest from CERN? I wanna know!
Ellen, there are some good books explaining quantum mechanics, and even when sticking to the basic outlines of the theory it is amazing enough. It appears that observation creates back history, maybe even of the universe. Observation- that’s us conscious persons. ‘Quantum Enigma’ is a good summary of all this. It gives the sense that our consciousness is the basic reality, perhaps the only reality or real thing. Consciousness is at the root of all other dependent reality.
Did you ever wonder about the blind person? What does he encounter when he runs into a…wall, let’s say. Obviously, something, because look at that bump on his head! He didn’t observe it, after all.
Maybe…condensed energy? I’ve heard in the lectures that on the quantum level, we are literally 99.999% empty space. So, why is there ‘wreakage’ when two people run into each other?
The other mystery that keeps bringing me back is the so-called shape of the universe. Whaaaat?
Einstein in his reply to Bohrs said (summarizing the discoveries of quantum mechanics that he felt uncomfortable with), “I refuse to believe that the moon is not there when I am not looking at it”. Einstein was subsequently proven wrong and Bohrs proven right.
Its all real enough for all intents and purposes. But if we conscious creatures were not here….
I think the valuable thing to take away is the primacy of conscious experience.
The more I learn the more I realize how inadequate our descriptions or knowledge of God are! I got a feeling that’s going to be always true no matter how much we learn. But the search is half the fun!
The Genesis story expresses some powerful themes that the ancients put forth to explain many things. That we have failed miserably, that we are responsible for the mess that appears to be on earth, that we deserve punishment for being bad, that life was once better and now is in decline toward something worse, that we are now corrupted, defiled creatures, that women are to blame, and so on. It is very similar to much other ancient mythology, notably Zoroaster’s separation between good and evil, and the decline of life toward disaster. Other ancient themes held that early people were composed partly of demonic and divine substances and were responsible for the fall and decline of life toward something worse. Others – that the gods were angry and retributive toward people and their failings.
Early conscious people were trying to make sense of life around them and offered such explanations. There was disaster everywhere and they believed gods/spirits/forces were behind all elements of life, so obviously the gods must be angry and punitive.
I like to think that they missed something very important because they were new at all this and still learning. After all, life developed/evolved into a very animal existence and among natural forces that were not always pleasant. As early conscious persons responding to all this, they came up with some very dark explanations. But over time with their consciousness, they started to see something else – it is there in the early Sumerian belief systems – comments on the need to forgive enemies, not to retaliate. In Egypt the comments that there was kindness and mercy in the Pharaoh/gods. The Hebrews also spoke of a new more humane reality in their comments on God seeking mercy, not sacrifice, or God as liberating the oppressed and delivering them from misery and slavery and promising something new and better.
In this view, consciousness is seen as emerging into a dark reality and gradually bringing light and love into that darkness and bringing humanity out of slavery and into a promised land and a better future. This is a long, gradual trajectory of rise toward something better .
A few more thoughts on this fascinating thing Ellen raised. Some stories are summaries of previous mythological themes and become iconic in history and hold immense sway over public consciousness, like this Hebrew story of origins and fall. Unfortunately, for following generations, early people focused on the theme of separation in this myth. That God was angry and had rejected humanity and punished people. And worse was yet to come. This spawned all sorts of things such as salvation or restoration myths. The ongoing endeavour to heal the separation or rupture and to appease the angry, punitive deity with blood sacrifice of innocent victims. Christianity developed a particularly gory version with violence and blood all over the place as necessary to placate offended deity. And what about the fear, shame, and even despair associated with all this? What an impact on human consciousness, a darkening, defiling impact. What does all this do to human confidence, self-image, and valuation of one another? Carrol (Constantine’s Sword) for one has traced the sad history of violence and antagonism associated with this mythology.
On the other hand, take the other grand narrative now becoming more clear. That there never has been a separation of God from humanity. Never. Not one drop of evidence for such a thing. God has never been angry with imperfect humanity. Rather, the emergence of consciousness we can associate with God incarnating in all humanity. A God of love bringing uniquely human features into or with this consciousness- generosity, love, peace, and whatever we consider genuinely human. This incarnation resulted in the grand venture of humanity to leave our animal background and to find a more human existence. This has been the natural impulse of people all through history.
This is the story of liberation, exodus, and the entry into a promised land of a better future. This is about humanity humanizing life. Overcoming the animal to live as human. This is about hope, optimism, and other liberating emotions. This is a story replicated endlessly in each human life in all sorts of diverse human experiences. And each person trying to be something better is taking a unique part in the overall grand narrative of exodus and liberation and discovery of a better future.
Wendell, I agree with you that God, (whatever comprises the grand mystery we have learned to call GOD) was never angry, never rejected us, and certainly never demanded a blood sacrifice. I was just pointing out that the Genesis story could be read with Darwinian glasses…and with ‘Cosomology’ glasses. I was wondering whether the author of Genesis was an early genius who had similar insights but published his science poetically or prosaically.
Bill, just look where your terrified woman has taken us!
I remember Evangelicals tried to find common ground with an evolutionary process in arguing the 6 days of Genesis could be viewed as 6 eons or ages of evolution. But at Wheaton they saw where this “slippery sliding slope” was going and pulled their skirts up and skittered right back into the safety of Evangelical dogma after sashaying out to see if there could be some meeting of the minds. If Adam was not literal (and involved in a literal fall) then the second Adam wasn’t either (Rom. 5) and his salvation was not to be taken literally. I don’t know what happened after that at Wheaton. A good scare will have the draw bridge kept up for a long time.
Imagine that God says, “Okay, I’ll give you an answer for all time, since you’re so bloodthirsty.” And, God gives us Jesus, not because God needed blood, but because we needed to be nudged past the compulsion to sacrifice for ‘sins’, whether using animal or human sacrifice. I don’t think Jesus was God’s necessity; Jesus was OUR necessity. Remember Paul and the unknown God? (It’s the God of Israel that you ignorantly serve…) Same tactic with different focus!
So, that’s how I keep Jesus in the picture…Jesus saved (saves) us from ourselves.
I mostly appreciate the Jesus who created the parables that James Breech explicates: the Kingdom is here and now and within you. And who taught us that the slave is our brother. He was also the brilliant lateral thinker who so deftly evaded the trap of the Pharisees — “Is it lawful to pay the tribute?” With the God identity out of the way, the man comes through more clearly.
Recently my UU congregation was visited by an impressive young Unitarian minister from Transylvania. This group has lasted over 400 years, identifying itself as Christian but with no notion of Jesus as an incarnation of God. They revere him as an Hasidic group might revere their founding rabbi; liberal Protestants avant la lettre.
The myths of a people embody how they think and they reinforce those thought patterns. This is the argument of Schwartz in ‘You Are Not Your Brain’. The old brain keeps sending us false messages. If we accept them then they lead to reinforced patterns of perception (wired in the brain) and this reinforces old habits and behaviour, and a brain wired to support all this. So if we accept the separation myth, then that leads to all sorts of separation response and behaviour.
Now on the other side, if we take a new myth or story that will lead to new responses and habits and a new brain re-wired to support this – this is Schwartz’s thesis.
For example, I have just read Philip Berman’s ‘The Journey Home’. He is a Jewish theologian and interested in this NDE phenomenon and its impact on life. Repeatedly through his book he emphasizes the oneness of all, the oneness of humanity, and all life. He sees this in the NDEs and taking it into his new worldview he then emphasizes it in life.
The separatists took their beliefs into their lives and lived separation and so the ‘onenessers’ are taking their beliefs into their lives and living oneness.
What we perceive and believe we then live.
Taking a new myth or story that will lead to new responses and habits isn’t actually Schwartz’s thesis but more my paraphrase of his approach. He would speak more of listening to your Wise Advocate or as Nolan says, your true self. They are all pointing in the same direction, though. There is this old inheritance that lives in our brains and fills us with thoughts, impulses, desires that are not in our or other’s best interests. How to refuse/conquer/eliminate these and let our true human selves come through is the battle of life.
All religious traditions have offered approaches to resolving this age old struggle. Schwartz is in line with the Buddha that fighting the old inheritance is not helpful but rather learning to focus on better things (more ignore and let it die away as you fill your mind with better things, but also learning how to correctly label the output of that old brain and put it in its proper place).
This is where I would offer the critical importance of new myths or stories, more humane stories or perspectives as important to helping rewire the brain to serve a new more human existence. Years ago I did some poking around in evolutionary biology and the nature of the brain – called a tri-partite brain by evolutionary biologists . They all made reference to the reptilian core brain, the limbic system and amygdala and so on. The later evolutionary addition of the cortex and especially frontal cortex allowed us to combat the base impulses of the old reptilian brain. The cortex has to do with reasoning power and forethought and planning, not just instinctual reaction.
Where I part ways with the evolutionary biologists, is in their argument that varied sections of the brain are responsible for these varied functions- e.g. reasoning. Better, the mind uses the brain in its accomplishment of such functions as reasoning; the mind being separate from the brain and essentially outside the brain – dualist interactionism as from John Eccles.
Some stories are summaries of previous mythological themes and become iconic in history and hold immense sway over public consciousness, like the Hebrew story of origins and fall. Unfortunately, for following generations, early people focused on the theme of separation in this myth; that God was angry and had rejected humanity and punished people. And worse was yet to come. This spawned all sorts of things such as salvation or restoration myths. The ongoing endeavour to heal the separation or rupture and to appease the angry, punitive deity with blood sacrifice of innocent victims. Christianity developed a particularly gory version with violence and blood all over the place as necessary to placate the offended deity. And what about the fear, shame, and even despair associated with all this? What an impact on human consciousness, a darkening, defiling impact. What does all this do to human confidence, self-image, and valuation of one another? Carrol (Constantine’s Sword) for one has traced the sad history of violence and antagonism associated with this mythology.
On the other hand, take the other grand narrative now becoming more clear. That there never has been a separation of God from humanity not one drop of evidence for such a thing. God has never been angry with imperfect humanity. Rather, with the emergence of consciousness, we can associate with God incarnating in all humanity. A God of love bringing uniquely human features into or with this consciousness- generosity, love, peace, and whatever we consider genuinely human. This incarnation resulted in the grand venture of humanity to leave our animal background and to find a more human existence. This has been the natural impulse of people all through history.
This is the story of liberation, exodus, and the entry into a promised land of a better future. This is about humanity humanizing life – overcoming the animal to live as human. This is about hope, optimism, and other liberating emotions. This is a story replicated endlessly in each human life in all sorts of diverse human experiences. Each person trying to be something better is taking a unique part in the overall grand narrative of exodus and liberation and discovery of a better future.
This is not about separation which was so central to the old dark mythological explanations but about God incarnated in early humanity at the very beginning and involved intimately in the rise of humanity toward something better. Separation was a mistaken interpretation of early people based on their myths of seeing divine anger in the natural disasters of life.
Others, like Jesus, saw a different reality behind nature- love and generosity. He did not see disasters as evidence of divine anger- the tower falling and killing people, the son born blind. Rather, he looked at things like sun and rain given generously to all, at flowers clothed beautifully, and so on . All evidence of love and goodness behind all. This was a new breakthrough way of seeing the world and interpreting it. It was about optimism not despair – love not anger. So he lifted consciousness to an entirely new perspective, and we have never been the same since.
In the world of the NT the difference between superstition and religion was that the former was private and the second something publicly established. So it may bde appropriate to ask individualists, “What is your superstition?” You go to a hospital or fill in a Census and there’s that awkward question, What is your religion? or just a box where you nominate your religion. If you say None, it seems like you are declaring yourself an atheist.
Bob- It was a car trip with Morwood around 2003/4 just after his book “Praying a New Story” was published that he was speaking about the book and its concepts. I was asking a few questions when it surprised me that he said, “God is not person.” What on earth does that mean? Morwood went on to say that it meant God was not local as a person is localized, he does not answer, direct, respond to requests, punish, etc. Morwood sees God as coming to personhood in humanity i’e “Each gives God unique and personal expression.” Praying a new story page 21. “God comes to visible expression in each of us.” ….”earthen vessels carrying a treasure, God expressed in human form.” I personally find it hard not to imagine God as person probably due to prior programming. I see that some define the essence of personhood as the ability to relate. There is also the problem of how a word has evolved its present meaning. One of the stories that I treasure as a concept for forming a concept of who God is, is the story you told, Bob, of how Jesus gained his concept of Abba Father.
How can we rewrite creation stories without this question first being addressed? Is it but another universe story? The universe is a pretty cold, dark, explosive, unpredictable place without some warm, loving presence planning and sustaining. Is consciousness defining of personhood or only self-consciousness? Is it true, for one to be self -conscious one must also be conscious of the other? I know psychologists have said that a baby until a certain age between 1-2 years isn’t self conscious because they sense themselves as one with the mother. Gradually self consciousness dawns as an awareness of separation occurs. An awareness of self and ‘other’ occurs and hence the first early memories. If God were self-conscious then it would follow would it not, that God is first person in his own right? Personal-hood is also defined as a continuous self-conscious awareness or memory. What a question and how much it changes one’s spiritual imagination? If for God to be described as Abba, personhood has to be ascribed, then Jesus must have thought in the Jewish way of God as person.
In the sacred scriptures of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, God is conceived and described as being a personal creator, speaking in the first person and showing emotion such as anger and pride, and sometimes appearing in anthropomorphic shape. In the Pentateuch, for example, God talks and instructs his prophets and is conceived as possessing volition, emotions (such as anger, grief and jealousy), intention, and other attributes characteristic of a human person.