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Metaphysical Boundaries

Chapter 4 part 2
Here, There, or No Where

©07 Levite
Metaphysical Thesis
Web Published on The Media Desk

Overview and Index
      [Note: For the purposes of this paper (which is not a Christian Apologetic piece but a non-religious examination of the topic 'metaphysics') the words 'divine' and 'supernatural' and so on will stand in for any and all variations and perambulations possible for any extra-natural, non-human, spiritual, or otherwise intelligence or entity with regards to its role in the mundane world. The author's own definition of God is best defined as 'the uncaused first cause' alluded to in Aristotle's works. Thank you]
      [Further Note: No disrespect or slight of any named Deity is intended. Superior Beings of many faiths are named in this discussion and all are treated as they are presented by their followers at face value. No judgments by the author are made or intended to be inferred from this work.]

As an Academic Work In Progress-
portions of this paper may be revised at any time.
Some sections of this work deal with decidedly adult themes although those sections are intended as academic discussion, they may offend some persons who wish and are looking to be offended. You have been warned.

[warning: this chapter is a twenty three page tangent with a one page conclusion.]

to the Overview and Index
to part two


      Now, where were we?

            oh yes.... God.

      Let's look at some commonalities in the concept of the God we have identified as the 'uncaused first cause' or simply as 'Creator'.
      Almost every religion going back into history has identified their Supreme Being, whatever its name may be, with Light. Either 'it' radiates blinding light, or caused light to come into existence... a la the 'Big Bang' we just mentioned... or both.
      Manifestations of the Biblical, Quranic, and Talmudic God usually include some sort of light. Burning bushes, columns of fire, chariots of fire, blinding light, and etcetera.
      Remember Genesis one? The initial act of creation is the heavens and the earth, but that is done in the far reaches of pre-history, before the First Day. It isn't until God turns on the lights that we have the beginning of Time!

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. His light is as if there were a lustrous niche, wherein is a lamp. The lamp is inside a glass-globe. The globe is, as it were, a glittering star. The lamp is lit from the oil of a blessed tree -an olive - neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil well-nigh would shine forth even though fire touched it not. Light upon light! Allah guides to His light whomsoever He pleases. And Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah knows all things full well.
Holy Quran 24 : 36

      In The Revelation of John. Light, in various manifestations including fire and lightning is present in 'Heaven'.In Daniels visions, of the terrifying man and others, light is associated with heavenly power. Such as here in the description of the Throne of God Almighty:

"As I looked, thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze."
Daniel 7 : 9 NIV

      To look further east, say in India, in the Hindu traditions, some of the gods who had lost one of the numerous heavenly battles that make up their stories....

      Defeated, disillusioned, driven from heaven the Gods, led by Brahma, the great God of Creation, went to seek refuge at the lotus feet of Shiva, the great God of Destruction, and Vishnu, the great God of Preservation. Hearing their tale of Mahisha's uncontrollable greed and abuse of power they became so angry that a brilliant light shot forth from the depths of their hearts through their third eyes. The mystic energy of all the Gods united and a flaming radiance poured forth in every direction, enveloping the three worlds, growing into a blazing mountain that transformed itself into a female form of celestial beauty.
      From Shiva's light came her luminous face, from Vishnu's light her exquisite arms. Her hair had the scintillating dark of Yama, the God of Death. Her breasts resplendent from the light of the Moon. From the light of Brahma came her dancing red feet and the light of the Fire God her three shining eyes. From all of the other gods, the glowing beauty of her golden body, shining with the rays of Surya, the sun.
      Upon perceiving the luminosity of this Goddess, the Gods who had suffered at the hands of Mahisha rejoiced, for they knew that Mahisha, had never even thought for a moment that he could be defeated by a woman.
Adapted from the Hindu twelfth-century text the Devi Mahatmyam
by Sharron Rose

      Moving even further east.
      One of the primary gods of the Shinto faith is Izanagi, who is described as the god of all that is light and heavenly.

      One further note: Buddha was 'enlightened'. Which is an interesting way to look at the word 'enlightened', but we don't need to go into that now.

      So if the Divine is defined in terms of Light throughout history and even pre-history as the sun-god and so on. Then why should we think that that Ultimate Creative Energy would take a liking to us? Mortal scum with bad teeth and the tendency to fight amongst ourselves over the most trivial of things and ideas.
      Ahhh, it's time to state that quote from a very offbeat character which will put us right back on track.

"I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds."
Quentin Crisp
(a most 'colorful' English writer and artist)

      Whatever Mr. Crisp's other personality quirks, he did have a point with that saying.
      How are we so arrogant, as the gentleman said above, to think that it would matter to GOD of whatever brand (since we are talking of God as the Creator best thought of in the West as the Lord GOD Almighty, YHWH Elohim) care what sort of man-powered transportation Mr. Crisp needed? Why should the Ultimate Source of the Universe even worry about it? Why would IT, the Uncaused First Cause, want or need to interfere in the life of one man? Or one family or race of people? Or one nation? Or even one planet?
"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."
Albert Einstein

      Yet all religions also have that in common. That this Being not only Created Mankind, IT is still interested in our affairs and on occasion intervenes in them.
      That We can in some way influence the Creator to do something, or not do something, or whatever we want, including a bicycle.
      Of course in the Christian realm they pray that whatever the faithful want is also the Divine Will of the Creator.

      And there it is again.
      Why would GOD care?
      Why Should GOD care?

      What is it about humanity that would concern or fascinate a being of immeasurable power and everything else that comes with the general description of God?

      Let's pause for a moment and consider that job description.

As the ALMIGHTY you must possess the following in abundance:
      The Power to Create the entire known and unknown Universe. Nothing else will do. A partially created Universe is useless. A universe without at least six flavors of quarks, anti-matter, the speed of light as a constant, and even toy poodles does nobody any good whatsoever. You have to either create it whole in one shot, or over the course of a week, either will do, or don't do it at all.
      The Responsibility that goes with that. For instance, if the Universe had never been created the various great evils of history, including the Batan Death March and the French Reign of Terror of the 1790's would never have happened. Man may have the free will to do such things, but the proverbial buck ultimately stops on the desk of the Creator doesn't it? Therefore God has to be willing and able to shoulder that blame in the long run. (in the sense that 'if Hitler had never been born...' but that's the next chapter.)
      The Wisdom to set that Universe on its own course and to give its inhabitants their own lives to lead instead of....
There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance

A planet of play things
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
'The stars aren't aligned
Or the gods are malign...'
Blame is better to give than receive

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill
Artist: Rush
Album: Permanent Waves
Lyric by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Released 1980

           .... having them be 'puppets on strings' dancing to a tune sung by others as described in the song. Yes they will screw up and You as Creator know it. You know that Stalin will kill millions and that Barry Bonds will taint the home run record with steroids and all that. And You know that some will honor You as Creator and others will deny your existence or worship that bad guy, yet you create them and turn them loose anyway.
      The Will and Desire to allow the Universe and those in it to exist, both the good and the evil, as the worlds so created progress through their history. Your direct intervention in the world will be limited. Miracles must be rare, and in most cases, those so blessed will not be deserving of such a blessing.
      And ... what's the word here? Love? Concern? Compassion? Something else? ... to desire to bring those so created back to Itself in whatever answers to the general idea of Salvation or Redemption in whichever religion they, as one of those created beings, adheres to. You as Creator have to allow those you made to work out their own relationship with You as they see fit. And You have to accept the fact that a good percentage of those people will NOT see fit to consider You or Eternity at all no matter what happens to them.

"who would even want the job?"

      And there's the final piece to the puzzle that is the logical conclusion to this chapter.

      According to the Bible as translated into English some four hundred years ago, the Salvation offered by the message of Christ Jesus was given because:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (KJV)

      Which gives rise to the idea that faith alone is sufficient for salvation in the Christian world. And that just believing is enough to ensure that you go to heaven when this life is over. This is often expressed as 'Once Saved, Always Saved'.
      Some religions, such as some branches of Islam or the Protestant churches, seem to offer salvation based on faith and works together (keeping the five pillars for instance, or submitting to water baptism, keeping various ordinances, and doing good deeds). Based on the reading of scriptures including:
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.
James 2: 17 - 19 (NIV)

      Still others regard works as the way to heaven. You can Earn your way there by being nice to children and small dogs... well, and maybe old ladies trying to cross the street. That God will Reward you for being a good person with a ticket to Heaven.
      A few profess various forms of predestination or election. This is where that Creator we mentioned before has picked various people to live this life then join others so selected in Heaven. Which means that you are one of those puppets from the song, with no will of your own. Some allow that you are not pre-programmed to the detail that it was already decided if you will have a ham and cheese sandwich or pizza for lunch tomorrow and just say it is your eternal fate that is preordained. Others have it that you are acting out a script written before the foundations of the world were laid down.
      And there are variations on and between all of the above.

      Again we must state clearly, that IF we are nothing but sentient (more or less) animals with an overblown sense of our own importance and when we do assume room temperature that that is all there is, then this is all irrelevant and we are wasting our time. If the Big Bang is how it happened and there was no Supreme Designer as everything happened on the basis of 'Time plus Chance equals Poodle' then again this is all irrelevant. And lastly, IF there IS a GOD, but HE is absolutely indifferent as to our existence and our fate, then ....
      Enough said that way.

      But the point here is that IF there is a God, and He is in some way involved in our world and has an interest in us, and we have some manner of free will and responsibility for our actions which will dictate our eternal fate, then we need to act according to the dictates of our own conscience. Because in the words of the Rush song we just mentioned....

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

      Rather profound that statement from a Canadian rock band. No?

Back to the point.... (yes we can do that here)

      ... we need to act according to the dictates of our own conscience because IF there is a GOD of some description, no matter which version of the 'Father - Creator' godhead you chose to adopt as your own, HE (for lack of a better pronoun) would expect no less of you.
      If you behave in a way that is intentionally evil for the majority of your life, then you may expect whatever retribution in ultimate judgment your god hands out for such people. Counter wise, if you are quote GOOD unquote then you may expect some reward. And if you believe as some agnostic pagans do, that we are naught but that naked ape we've mentioned repeatedly, then do as you please, but don't be surprised in the end when you find yourself in front of some Judge or other.

[NOTE ON OBSCURE REFERENCE: 'Agnostic Pagan' is a term some individuals use, some more or less cutely or trying to appear sophisticated, where one claims not to believe in many gods. It has been attributed to many originating sources some going back into the sixties. ]

      The choice is ours to make. We can live with something of a moral burden to do the right thing, help others as we can, not make too many intentional mistakes and so on, what would generally be termed 'a good life' or we can life as a total Epicurusist (or if you prefer- hedonist, either will do) and pursue our own self pleasure for the duration, or even worse, be a politician or an outright criminal, or in most cases both, and do what others would consider wrong or evil. In the end the responsibility is ours and any judgment, punishment, reward, or even the decision by a 'god' for us to be reincarnated for a chance to do better next time, will be what we face for our life.
      GOD in whatever form, is not going to want to hear you say "it was society's fault that I messed up." You can believe that if nothing else about any form of afterlife.

      Again we are teetering on the edge of that Universal Sense of Right and Wrong we have beaten to death before. But we cannot get out of it this time.
      We as created beings, or as evolved pond scum, either way, seem as a race to have an innate sense of right and wrong. We've discussed this at length before, and now we are hitting it head on.

      Would that sense of ULTIMATE Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, explain why GOD cares about us? Is that something given to us by our Maker?
      That because HE, again with the male pronoun in reference to the Deity simply because it sounds better, created US with a conscious that HE as the Creator feels obligated to us because of it. Really, what is the evolutionary sense in remorse or compassion?

      Jellyfish don't seem to worry a whole lot about taking care of handicapped jellyfish. Some predatory animals will eat their own if one of the pack is wounded or infirm, hyenas are known to do this, or even just an infant that's left alone, which can be seen among lions in Africa as well as seagulls and others critters. We all know about insects where the larger and stronger female kills and eats the male after mating, to us it doesn't seem fair, to the bug, it's just the way it is.
      Wild dogs and crows will steal food from each other if they think they can get away with it without getting hurt by a larger and stronger animal. There is no guilt involved, no apologies are forthcoming unless the thief is apprehended red-handed, or red muzzled in this case, nobody pays restitution out of a sense of remorse. The quick and strong and cunning eat, the slow or weak or dumb starve.
      Humans, and certain other higher animals, like elephants, whales, and the great apes, seem to have those irrational emotions like compassion and guilt. They react to their own misdeeds and those of others. And they have long memories and pay homage in their own fashion to their dead.
      And they teach these things to their offspring.
      Right and Wrong. Good and Bad.
      It is more than just not cheating at board games, it is actually a character trait.


      Yes. Character.

      Our character seems to reflect some aspects of the Godhead. Or the Devil. Or some combination thereof.
      Most people are some shade of 'Good'. Others (politicians and lawyers for the most part) tend toward the other side of the spectrum and are 'bad' or 'evil' but in small ways. A few are Very Good, we'll hold up Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (aka Mother Teresa) as an example here. A very few are Very Bad and we've mentioned several of those over the course of this discussion (Stalin and Caligula come to mind). Then there are a very precious few that are so good they fall into the category of Divine (Christ or Buddha) and an equally tiny number whom can be seriously spoken of as being Evil Incarnate- literally an Anti-Christ (perhaps Charles Manson could be in that category).

      Charles Manson was at one time the most infamous mass murderer in American History. Manson, born in 1934, who had been in prison for most of his adult life for, among other things- auto theft, fraud, and raping younger boys. His early prison record in the Federal Juvenile system described him as extremely anti-social and desperate for attention, he was released the first time in '58 only to land back in and out a few more times during which time he moved to California. Released in '67 after another round inside for fraud again Manson had spent more of his life behind bars than free.
      Most reports say that he did not want to be released as the only skill he had besides crime was music he had learned from another convict during his last stint. He did write and record several songs, among the song titles are "Home is Where You're Happy" and "Mechanical Man" which have been recorded by several different groups. However it is not for his music that he will be remembered forever.
      Manson, although short and of a thin build, possessed a dynamic personality and an at times fierce intellect. He was bright and persuasive. Which, when combined with a voice in his music and a message of absolute venom for authority, found a willing audience in the drop-outs and hippies of the California hills who became his Family. Manson availed himself of the bodies and minds of his followers, taking advantage of them sexually (both male and female by some counts) and in every other way possible.
      He was convinced a race war was about to begin in the United States and he had plans both to start it, and survive it and to come out on the other side as the ruler because the blacks, whom he was sure would win over the lazy and evil whites, were incapable of running the country and would need him to do it for them. Not only did Manson hate the government, he hated just about everybody else too. To him racial minorities were less than human and the white majority were corrupt oppressors, only he, and his Family, were worthwhile, and he wasn't too sure about the Family.
      Manson gathered his followers at a ranch outside of LA, and from there orchestrated the killing spree that shook Beverly Hills to its roots and propelled him into the world wide spotlight he craved. In August of 1969 Manson brought the 'Summer of Love' to a shocking end by having his Family kill actress Sharon Tate and a half dozen others including the wife of a retail magnate who was stabbed forty one times.
      Far from being the catalyst for change the family ended up being the target of a massive manhunt. When the authorities caught up with him, Manson was found hiding under the sink in his bathroom on his ranch near Death Valley.
      Among other things, Manson claimed the Beatles had inspired him with their song "Helter Skelter" and proclaimed the start of the revolution through their White Album. The Beatles denied the charge.
      During the trial Manson and his followers repeatedly disrupted the trial with bizarre behavior including the time Manson attacked the judge with a sharpened pencil and self mutilation by carving an 'X' and later an Swastika in their foreheads. Manson said: "I have X'd myself from your world."
      Manson was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Most of his followers received similar penalties.
      In 1975, follower Lynette Fromme, named 'Squeaky' by Manson for her voice attempted to assassinate US President Gerald Ford. The gun she used was loaded improperly and did not fire. She had made the attempt so that Manson would have to appear at her trial to give him another national platform to speak from. The plan failed at all points.
      In 2000 the website that was run by a Manson follower and which he used to publish his message to the world ceased operation without comment.
      In some circles the name Charles Manson is still synonymous with absolute evil megalomania.
"Look down at me and you see a fool; look up at me and you see a god; look straight at me and you see yourself"
Charles Manson

      Yes Mr. Manson. There may be a bit of ourselves reflected in you. We may hate some aspects of our society. We may desire the limelight and the company of those that adore us and the power to do as we wish regardless of the consequences. But we also know there are limits.
      One of those limits you crossed. Most of us do not have the blood of half a dozen lives taken and even more ruined on our hands.
      We know there is Right and there is Wrong. However we know it, however it comes to us and we decide we believe it and are willing to act in accordance with those beliefs, we do it.
      If somebody wants to set themselves up as a demigod and write their songs and have a colony full of those forgotten by society at their beck and call willing to deliver on their every whim, fine. Pay your taxes and don't get too weird in public and we'll ignore or tolerate you. Or maybe even support you and buy tickets to your art or cultural show. And do so for years.
      An example is Maharishi University of Management.

      Transcendental Meditation guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi started a University in 1971 in, of all places, Fairfield, Iowa. A small town in the middle of massive cornfields in the southeastern corner of the state. At first it was almost a joke, but he, and they, were serious. Now twenty five years later the school boasts a total enrollment of about 700 students.
      There students practice TM in the Vedic tradition and study the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Teaching, and even Masters of Business Management in fully accredited programs. There is even a sports program featuring the university soccer team which has won their league championship three times!

      While TM is considered a cult by mainstream denominations, it has a good track record of stability and followers who are fairly even-keeled. Manson's family, which formed in the same era as when the Maharishi was becoming popular in the USA is the polar opposite. The (one hates to use the word, but here it is anyway) 'religion' practiced at the University is designed to change the inner person, they seek a calming enlightenment, their growth is personal, the results have more to do with the way they perceive the world and react to it than anything they do outside of themselves. Manson's cult was one of personality which was in the process of transforming, maybe even transmuting, itself into a religion. It had nothing to do with his followers and everything to do with him. There was no enlightenment sought, no journey of self discovery, they were about hating the outside world and striving to do as much harm to it as possible according to the megalomaniacal vision of Mr. Manson.

HISTORICAL TANGENT: We have twice used the term Megalomania in relation to Charles Manson.
      And now the question. Was he a true megalomaniac? And if he was, was... say... Caligula?
      The working definition is something along the lines of "unwarranted delusion of importance or grandeur". OK, let's compare the two.
      Manson was a mediocre musician who was ex-con high school dropout, he had no power or office from which to act, yet he assumed an attitude of power over his followers to the point of having them kill for him. Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus (Caligula) succeeded Tiberius as Roman Emperor giving him all the status he needed to do whatever he wanted. Some argument could be made that Caligula stepped into Megalomania when he declared himself a god, however, the emperor was already considered a demi-god of sorts so he may have just been playing the role to the logical extreme.
      In either case, when Caligula had somebody killed, it was within the power of the office to do so, even if the charge was a total fabrication- it stood as an order and it was carried out. Manson was just a bitter outcast who was mad at the world, when he had people killed, it was murder.
      Manson had no grounds to even pursue the idea that he was anything more than a guitar player who couldn't get a contract for another album. Yet he used his persuasive skills to talk a group of young people into both his bed and into accepting his vision of the future to their own bad end.
      But to his... ?credit? ... some of his quotes are every bit as chilling as the Emperor's, maybe even more so since he is a bit closer to home.

      "I haven't been punished all my life since I was 10 years old! I've been in every reform school you've got across the country."
      "I never thought I was normal, never tried to be normal."
      "I'm probably one of the most dangerous men in the world if I want to be. But I never wanted to be anything but me."
Quotes attributed to Charles Manson

"Let them hate us so long as they fear us."
"I wish the Roman people had only one neck!"
"A great book is like great evil"
Quotes attributed to Caligula

      Charles Manson did succeed in one point.
      He wanted to be remembered as unique. He has done so... Now he can be discussed as one of the greatest figures of unmitigated evil in the history of the world on the same level with Josef Stalin and Caligula with the only difference being the body count.

End Tangent

      At Maharishi U.... nobody gets killed, nobody carves words into the body of their victim, nobody plots for a nationwide race war, and nobody writes slogans in blood on the walls before a soccer game. And nobody ends up doing life in prison either. Something that cannot be said for Manson's family.
      There are several ways to change the world, or at least your part of it. One way most people would classify as good, or if not Good then at least Not Bad. The other way, as in our current example, falls somewhere under bad on the way to totally evil.

You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.
Charles Manson

      And MOST Of Us..... as we have been saying here... tend toward the Good side of the equation than the other.
      We have compassion. We hold the door for the little old lady, and we do so whether or not she appreciates it. We give to help those stricken by disasters. When we screw up we feel guilt, when we really screw up we feel remorse and vow to do better next time. And most of the time, we do better. We are capable of... in terms to describe the vision of future Gene Roddenberry had in Star Trek... "creeping do-gooder-ism".
      Do we need (insert Bad Guy mentioned above of your choice here) once in awhile to remind us just how bad Bad can be? Maybe.
      Most people hate their jobs, until they run into a really bad job with a archetypical Bad Boss, then they feel pretty good about it for a time, and then full back into their old rut somewhere down the line.
      A cable network has a moderately successful series about how lousy some jobs are. The star takes a day or two and plays the guy in the old joke.... "I used to have to clean out the stalls in the dairy barn, then they got a machine to do it... now I have to clean the machine." He does the 'dirty jobs' that nobody wants to do but somebody has to. Vicariously the audience gets to see that maybe their job isn't so bad after all.
      Maybe we need to be reminded how bad things can be.
      And, conversely, we need to be reminded how good things can be too. That would explain the "win fame and fortune" 'reality' TV shows although that fame is almost as short lived as the Warhol quote about their "fifteen minutes".
      And it would explain why Mother Teresa stands head and shoulders above everybody else as an example of how GOOD good can be. In spite of the fact that physically she was under five feet tall by most accounts, it was her spirit of absolute charity and her total devotion to her calling that made her a giant.
      Mother Teresa, now the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata), shares one quality with Mr. Manson and certain other ones that have come up in this discussion. The world was unable to ignore them. They were noticed, for totally opposite reasons to be sure, but 'we' noticed 'them'. With the little nun from India, we noticed with a well deserved Nobel Peace Prize (1979) among other honors and recognitions from organizations both religious and secular. With Manson, we noticed with a life sentence in prison.

      So where does that leave our definition of God and the Universe? Or as we've stated before- the CREATOR and the Created.
      Mother Teresa obviously believed God was the Force for Good in the World. She saw her life as nothing more than an instrument of His will to help those whom she could some way.
      Given our somewhat limited ability to appreciate the concept of the Creator, we only have to look at the Creation to realize that anybody and anything with aspirations to the general title of 'GOD' would have to be several orders of magnitude greater than the greatest of humans.
      Then too, we have difficulty managing the concept of the Created Universe as well. One can scarcely watch a couple of hours of nature shows on cable TV without hearing the remark that some funny looking little bug or fuzzy jungle critter or deep sea beastie is a new species that had never been seen before. We do not know everything there is to know about our own planet.

For instance: How do ecosystems in deep caves operate without ever having never seen the sun? How did a recent earthquake raise a South Pacific island two meters in a matter of seconds? The magnetic poles moving and weakening and it has happened before, but what triggers it? Even the history of our own species is a mystery as there were several very advanced ancient civilizations... what happened to them?

      Ahhh yes. We most certainly like to say we KNOW this and that. And some things we do know. And then again, a lot of our knowledge is simply conceit and arrogance and we are simply imagining that we are wise.
      If you look at the track record of 'accepted facts' going back into history the record can be considered somewhat dismal. How long did it take for 'Common Wisdom' to accept that the Earth was neither flat nor the center of the Universe?
      Serious minded scientists and school teachers taught for years that 'rogue waves' in the deep ocean were the stuff of science fiction and popular disaster movies... well... as it turns out, fifty meter open ocean waves are not only real, they can play sheer havoc with things such as oil rigs and cruise ships, just like in the movies.
      What's next? Real unicorns? You never know.

      In Gene Roddenberry's "Star Trek", as mentioned above, an alien culture expresses it's understanding of the Universe and, although they never say in so many words it is implied, the Creator of said universe, with the abbreviation IDIC: "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations".

      Let's get down to it then wrap it up.

      The whole idea we have been going after is this.

      YOU are YOU. Whatever you define as the element of your existence that makes you a unique individual.... Remember the statement we had about five tangents ago? That the only thing you have really created is your personality?
      How's this... in four points for clarity.
      One. YOU are, and you have right to claim ownership to, Your Personality (memories, ideas, and so on)... Everything Else is outside of your personal control and authority and is therefore The Universe.
      Two. The Universe, everything (all Time and Space and their contents) outside the boundaries of your skull for lack of a better definition, includes GOD.....
      Three. ...and Vise Versa.
      Four. The Two are from the perspective of Humanity- Indistinguishable.

      There, we've said it.

[Note: All capitalization in the below section is intentional and done with meaning. ]

      The Universe in its ultimate sense is GOD, and GOD (when defined under the terms of our general working definition: "the Uncaused First Cause") is the Universe.
      You cannot separate the CREATOR from the Creation. Just as we cannot separate You from your Brain and Mind. The two are one in the same, if you suffered a cataclysmic head injury that damaged how your physical brain worked the chances are fairly good that You would experience significant personality changes. But one needn't go that far to prove it, remember the mug of tequila?

      The UNIVERSE demands certain things from its inhabitants. Mostly, that they do Good. It's that common thread we've discussed through Mother Teresa and Congress and a few other examples of the Bad side of things. Now why one did a great deal of good and the other ate peanuts and chewed tobacco, and worse, is a matter of personal choice, and they are the ones that must answer for it to that CREATOR in the ultimate sense of the word. And it would seem that the UNIVERSE reacts against those that intentionally do Evil.
      Whether the resident inhabitants act as a true Individual with their eyes on the Greater Good or flock like those lemmings we mentioned toward the latest fad, or go out and do the terrible things we have also mentioned is also up to them. Some people are capable of greatness in art and literature (the Hamlet soliloquy) or science or even those good works we've mentioned, others may not be, but each and every one is answerable, at least those of a reasonable quality of mental ability, for what they chose to do or not do.
      Some of the more glassy-eyed of our species may run around saying they 'love' everybody (usually best seen during TV awards shows), but that is far from reality in every way it can be. Yes GOD may Love Everybody, but that is HIS job. We are better off avoiding blanket statements of emotion and focusing on motivation. Yes 'I love you' in a broad way in the terms better ascribed to God 'Agape', but, 'I' still might not like you very much. And in terms of the Universal Good... let's leave the 'Agape' Loving to God. (go back to Chapter 3 of this study for that discussion).
      The religious teachings we discussed label each individual as a precious soul working toward an end above and beyond this world. Which is the Universe and by our definition, GOD. How those individuals work toward that goal is something best answered by themselves as dictated by their own conscious which is another aspect of their only possession- their personality.
      The World is far more than a sideshow to existence, yet a large number of those in the world treat existence as a side show. And that is Their Choice, and under Western Civilization, their right. If you believe that Life has a Purpose and You are HERE for a Reason, then you will act accordingly. If not, or if perhaps you have not considered it, then you may not.
      Will every person come to that infamous Day of Reckoning where they do deep soul searching and come to realize the Ultimate Purpose of Life? No. That's a ridiculous question.
      If you have read this far in this thing you know yourself that some people, this author included, can go through life completely clueless as to anything beyond tomorrow's lunch and be quite happy and content with their lot in life. And for the majority of the population throughout humanity's history- Existence was defined as Subsistence and the Higher and Finer things were left to others to handle.
      Metaphysics was seen as the pursuit of those with too much time on their hands. Mapping the Consciousness of God was heresy at worse and at best something so esoteric the local dairy farmer simply couldn't handle it. Well, saints and seers aside, some dairy farmers may have been closer to the Mind of God than the clergy.

Sometimes I think, when it gets too quiet up there, You say to Yourself, "What kind of mischief can I play on My friend Tevye?"
Tevye to God
Fiddler on the Roof
Broadway Production, 1964. Script by Joseph Stein, et al.
Original story by Sholom Aleichem, 1894

      Does it sound trite to say 'GOD is as you find Him?' (Quote attributed to several sources in various forms).
      Or perhaps you are where God finds You?

      Either will do.

      The fact is that the UNIVERSE does seem to take note of the existence of humans and that our existence matters to it in some way. And the opposite is true as well although the argument about whether we would be discussing it if the universe didn't exist seems rather pointless.
      Let's bottom line this one and move on to Duck Souls.

      We, as individuals, do have life and intelligence and, perchance, a purpose in the Universe.
      We, as individuals, may only be important to the Universe because we think we are. BUT, from our point of view anyway, we do seem to be important to it. We may argue about how important we are at our leisure.
      The Universe, as the sum total of all that IS and is, for all practical purposes as far as we can know, indistinguishable from its CREATOR in whatever form you wish to imagine Him.

In other words... "all there is to the Universe is Myself and my GOD, and that's all that matters to me."

we shall have to look at duck souls next time.....

Overview and Index

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