By Wendell Krossa and Bob Brinsmead Sun 28/04/2013
Here is a little thought exercise, a thing I am still playing with in regard to unconditional and that it is infinitely better than the best we can even begin to imagine. This is about incomprehensible and about liberating human consciousness to an infinite extent…from anything that is less than unconditional love that may be hanging around in the background of our subconscious.
I sent a post last week about the Jesus Seminar book The Five Gospels and one of its interpretive principles- consistency. Inconsistency, or contradiction. We reject statements attributed to Jesus that contradict other statements of his. For instance, the stuff in Matt.11 where he condemns Capernaum and other cities for not receiving some supposed message, cannot be truly his. As he said elsewhere, love your enemies. So he would not then turn around and damn his enemies. So we reject that “word of God” about Jesus as not true or not a real element in his message.
We apply this all over- God is unconditional love and so a lot of stuff people conclude about such reality is false, because it falls short of authentic unconditional love. If we can imagine something better about such a reality- unconditional love- then it is true and is infinitely better even than the best that we can imagine. And we can safely conclude that anything less or that contradicts such unconditional love, is false (no matter who advocates it or where it comes from).
Just to illustrate this, in NDE accounts you come across some real corny stuff here and there (and I do not doubt it was real to the person telling and experiencing it). Much has been written elsewhere in NDE research about how to explain these less than unconditional love reports (the ones on hell and what not). I would add to this that love respects freedom and does not overwhelm anyone. People are allowed to progress at their own speed of comprehension and learning. Also, the mind is a powerful creative force and as one person said, some ‘light being’ told them that what they were seeing was created for them specifically to meet them where they were in their thinking, and what they saw did not jive fully with unconditional love. Yet it was about God (being of Light) or what God supposedly told them.
So even if someone says that they have seen God and God told them this or that, we still evaluate to see if it is really true in terms of unconditional love, the touchstone or baseline reality by which to understand all. Authentic unconditional love is always something infinitely better than the best that we can imagine and anything less can be safely concluded as being less than true or real. I use the NDE just to illustrate this.
The point here is not theology in particular or NDEs, but more about how to evaluate anything in life or reality. What sort of touchstone or baseline is useful to developing a genuinely human view on something? Something may even mean challenging God…a God that is presented as anything less than incomprehensibly unconditional love. It is finally about pressing toward that truly human or humane future, that is something better, something more human than what is now… It is about liberating consciousness from all darkness and limits, and anything less than truly unconditional…
This is a weak effort to get at something that overwhelmed me one day long ago as I walked up Thornhill for my daily exercise… Something that was liberating in regard to the blowback you often get from your own old beliefs or ideas…What about this? Or that? Things often less than the best….
Bob Brinsmead April 28, 2013
Seems to me that the more the government acts like God the better – you know, leave us with the freedom to work it out ourselves. The god that poor old Richard Dawkins spends all his energy lampooning and refuting was dead a long time before Dawkins showed up to bury him – that is, what my friend Michael Morwood calls “the elsewhere God” who is always supposed to be controlling and intervening in human affairs. Imagine this intervening, interfering and controlling God imparting some special information to Abraham. What did he tell Abraham that could have benefitted the human race. He could have revealed some of the secrets about the germ theory of disease or insights into those things which have improved human communication and thereby accelerated human progress. That alone could have saved countless millions of lives as people continued to think that disease was caused by demon possession, the finger of God, punishment for sin and ah, well…God’s will. Well what did this god tell Abraham? To cut a bit of skin off his private equipment and that of all his descendants. That would do the trick, eh. But think history over and what do we see? Mankind left to work it out in freedom and non-intervention; just the impulse and suasion of God’s Spirit/ the human spirit. We take it that Jesus’ concern for people’s health and well-being was a reflection of God’s thought …. But it took nearly 2000 years more before the human discovery of germ theory, the discovery of vitamins, minerals, omega 3 oils, anti-oxidants, DNA and genes and auto-immune disease, superior knowledge of agricultural science and lots more human advancement which succeeded in doubling the human life span and giving us far more time for intellectual and cultural development. There are lessons in all of this history for governments all too prone to control, manipulate and interfere with human freedom. Let the government do all it can to facilitate the free exchange of human ideas, goods and services – and stop doing things that distort, interfere and try to control the process. The government must not make the same mistake as the church, which did not trust humans to be free. The church was desperately afraid of human freedom. It was not satisfied until it set up a totalitarian system that controlled both human behaviour and thought. As the church has receded in public life, the state must resist the temptation of what Will Herberg calls, becoming the father (or nanny state) of the people.
Our previous Right of centre government paid off all the debt of the previous Labour government and left the nation with a very healthy nest-egg surplus. After the Left of centre government got elected, it confronted the GFC – and panicked….or was this an excuse to do what all Leftist governments do? It rushed in with a great program of government spending to stave off recession – it shovelled money out the door by the billions of $ – the waste of it all and the folly of it all was horrendous. It would not have been so bad if the money was spent in improving our infrastructure… not so…just massive social fiddling.
We might have a long way to go to have debt of the same proportion as the US and Europe, but from a big surplus left to us in 2007 we have racked up debt faster than anybody. Labour says its massive spending or stimulus saved Australian from recession…other economists say that the unabated mining boom, fuelled by China, kept the country out of recession. Anyhow, it could be that we now face a real recession and the government has no money left for more stimulus.
We will have a new government more to the Right soon, and true to form, it will start the process of paying off the massive debt. After they have done that, the people will of course go back to a government that puts it back into debt. Debt comes by way of an interfering and more controlling government – that is a government that can’t tell the difference between playing god and playing God. Money will make money only if it is invested.
The government could spend a lot more on public infrastructure that facilitates greater productivity, and hence wealth. Most government spending aids consumption and does not create wealth, which just eats into capital rather than investing the capital in more wealth creation. If the government steals savings (capital) to pass around to be consumed, then everybody is going to suffer from lack of investment.
The greatest satisfaction of the best business entrepreneurs comes from the benefits it can provide others – It is not inhuman to love oneself, but it becomes inhuman if one does not care about benefitting others as much as one cares about benefitting oneself. Business operates by providing some goods or services that others want. There is an economic principle in the saying of Jesus, “The greatest among you will be the one who serves.” The best servants to the needs of others become the best businesses. You help yourself best by helping others. Honest trade is a reciprocal thing and it is about human freedom. Just raw selfishness for its own sake only creates a den a thieves. It is inclined to enslave others rather than emancipate them. That’s what we have governments for. If government sees that a business is really hurting other people, it will act as to enforce fair trade. In this it becomes the public protector against raw selfishness.
Wendell Krossa 29/4/2013
Church and state are populated with elites who don’t trust average ordinary people, especially, when average citizens are viewed as ‘sinful’ or corrupt destroyers. The elites then feel obligated to control and hedge in that sinfulness, and to restrict freedom. If people are viewed in the way the historical Jesus viewed them- (as gods), then you get the same response, “Your faith (your own power and ability) has healed you so go…”. You did it yourself, so go be free and independent, you can do it.
The atheist Julian Simon got this wonder of being human and argued to grant ordinary people freedom. He understood they were creators not destroyers and would produce the best outcomes for life if given freedom of personal choice. A look at history has proven him right.
In defense of the NDE,-it does brilliantly what the historical Jesus tried to do, and that is to counter the most damaging perception ever concocted by the ancients; that there was some threatening and dangerous entity behind life and reality, that was going to punish us for our imperfection. The damage from this false perception has been immense over human history… contributing to fear, anxiety, despair and depression. The perception of some malevolent thing behind life spawned apocalyptic mythology and intensified the fear of death with myths of worse to come, and torment after death. This perception of angry, punitive spirits/gods is the worst monster ever created for humanity to confront and overcome.
NDEs reveal (just as the historical Jesus did) that unconditional Love exists to an incomprehensible extent, which is entirely opposite to the perceptions of the ancients. This answers the deepest of human concerns and fears, and responds with ultimate emphasis to the human impulse for meaning and purpose; it is the real TOE, and it touches the core of what all human persons are in their true selves- love. The authentic human spirit is lifted to the heights of humanity that it should be aiming for. It is liberation and enlightenment that will change humanity and history profoundly as it leavens through public consciousness over time. Nothing could be more basic than this, in terms of human thought, and the impact on human behavior and society. NDE’s have emerged in contemporary society as a great affirmation of the liberation movement and what the historical Jesus was on about. They will enhance this liberation of humanity from an animal past into a more human future, and will help enable the humanization of all life.
I would go so far as to suggest that the impact on commerce will be equally profound. The battle to liberate consciousness from the primitive myth of some angry force behind life, has fueled wasteful and obstructionist Salvationism across history. Even in secular societies, violence has been validated and slowed economic development and human progress in general. If humans ruined paradise and are destroyers they deserve punishment and a culling of the human population. This is played out in German apocalypticism of the 1930s and 1940s- Herman, Idea of Decline). Today Salvationism is viewed in terms of angry GAIA and angry planet. At its deepest core, this perception is all through ancient mythology. Unconditional slays this monster and liberates consciousness and the human spirit to engage life fully, feeling safe and enabling humanity to humanize life more fully. The Shaman do not fear the universe.
When I was attempting to treat sick tribal people, it struck me that we could spend forever taking a few people out on logging trucks to lowland hospitals and not achieve much in treating the overall health situation, or we could start changing the way people viewed disease. This involved bringing in nurses and doctors to inoculate the upcoming generation against basic diseases like Measles, and starting barrio health worker programs to train in nutrition, basic emergency care, and rehydration therapy to help deal with basic health issues and spread this across the population. I was recently told that a young Manobo lady has just graduated from medical school as a doctor and will return to work with her tribal people. What a change over time.