Continuing from yesterday's entry where I answer ten of the twenty questions posed by the New Agey film "One"...
11) What happens to you after you die?
As I like to say, death is the ultimate "undiscovered country". Everyone has their theories and people of different religious views love to argue about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. One of the things that I had a hard time accepting since childhood was the Christian concept that only those who accept Jesus as a personal saviour will be granted admission to heaven. It didn't make logical sense to me, because what happened to everyone who lived BEFORE Jesus lived? What happened to all those who never heard about Jesus? And the biggest question of all, why would God judge a person based on how they view an unproveable claim (that Jesus died for the sins of all humanity).
Since my teenage years, I've been fascinated by Near Death Experiences and tend to believe them. The ones I've read about presented a view of heaven that I agree with. And it's this...after we die, we are there. There is no pearly gate with St. Peter checking for your name in a book. You are there (or not there, depending on your spiritual state). Soon after reuniting with your loved ones, you get a life review of the good, the bad, and the ugly. And based on what you've done, and what your soul contract says (that you agreed to before you're born), you judge yourself based on how well (or not well) you accomplished the goals as set out in your contract. To use Hitler as an example...it is documented that he wanted to be an artist and/or an architect. But, in life, he was rejected by art institutes and destiny led him in another direction. Now, can you imagine the hell you'd experience if you had a life review in which you feel the pain of every person you hurt, and then you see in your soul contract that you were supposed to be an artist, not a dictator. Well, how could you redeem yourself after that? You fell so far from the mark. I can't imagine a worse hell than that.
But death is not something to fear. It will be the greatest adventure of our lives when we make that journey...
12) Describe heaven and how to get there.
I'm one of those who believe that heaven is within. We carry a piece of it now. We also have the ability to unleash hell, but we can bring about heaven. Heaven is not a physical place to get to, it's transdimensional. We can only get there through spirit. And I believe that heaven is a perfect place full of love and light. I believe the buildings and trees and flowers...everything has a sparkle to them, a translucent quality in which you can see all colours reflected at once. It'll be more beautiful than anything we see on earth. I also believe that we get our own homes, if we so desire. I know what I want waiting for me...an over the water bamboo bungalow in a "South Pacific" type lagoon, with dolphins swimming around and a golden retriever to welcome me back. And inside the bungalow will be nothing but all the books I hope to read. That's my vision of heaven.
13) What is the meaning of life?
I believe that despite all our distractions and excuses and diversions, ultimately we only have one commission for our life...to love one another unconditionally. It is perhaps the hardest request God could ever make of us, but I believe that because love is the only thing that exists in the spiritual realm, that God had to create an imperfect earth so we could learn what it was like to live without love, and how hard it really is to love unconditionally. That's what truly separates us from God. I know for me personally, I have a hard time loving the likes of Dick Cheney. But God loves him without condition. And in the spiritual realm, he is our spiritual brother, and in a sense, we have failed to keep him on the spiritual track. But really, that's the only meaning of life that matters in the end. We are free to add other meanings, but love is the ultimate and absolute truth of the universe.
14) Describe God.
I now think of God as the ultimate artist. The world is His canvas, His work of art, His masterpiece. Thus why it's offensive that the people who claim to believe so absolutely in Him seek to speed up the destruction of this planet. It's extremely rude to destroy another person's work of art. But in the end, these people will feel foolish at the way they wasted life by judging people who don't share their warped theology when they realize that God truly loves all people equally...including the outcasts that are condemned by fundamentalist religions.
15) What is the greatest quality humans possess?
Adaptability. Just learning about evolution from the hunter/gatherer days through all the inventions over time to where we are now, it's truly amazing. Those who can't adapt, die out. It shows how endurable we are.
16) What is it that prevents people from living to their full potential?
I'm still trying to figure that one out, because I'm one of those people who is in a job that is far below what I'm capable of. I never wanted to be in this situation and wonder how I'm going to get myself out of it. I want to do more, to work where I'm most passionate (politics and human rights!)...so, I'll let you know when I find that one out. If anyone has the secret, please let me know! And soon!!
17) Non-verbally, by motion or gesture only, act out what you believe to be the current condition of the world.
Well, this will be a stretch, but you'll just have to picture me sitting there crying my eyes out. I think the world is crying out in pain right now. I wish I could present a happier picture, but that's what it feels like. We're a long way off from December 31, 1999, when I felt all around me that people were genuinely excited, optimistic, and full of good will for the turn of the millennium. It was such a good vibe, everywhere I went that day and I didn't hear any pessimists talk about Y2K. It was just an exciting time. How did we ever get away from that?
18) What is your one wish for the world?
That they'll know true peace and reject any political or religious leader who seeks to divide humanity to maintain their grip on power. When the people of the planet reject these corrupt leaders, we will show our true power. We have the backing of the spiritual realm behind us. Let's do it!
19) What is wisdom, and how do we gain it?
Socrates said that "wisdom begins in wonder". I don't know a better explanation than that.
20) Are we all One?
My favourite hymn happens to be called "We Are One in the Spirit" and I just love it everytime it's sung in church or at reunion or on retreats. It sums up everything I believe in a nutshell. Besides the melody and lyrics, I think what also appeals to me about this hymn is that I haven't discovered it in any other church but ours, so it makes it uniquely RLDS (Community of Christ). And I'm glad that we can have exclusive claim on something so good...but it would also be nice to share it with the rest of the world. In fact, I can almost envision the people of the world singing it by candlelight or on a mountaintop like that old Coca-Cola commercial about teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony (and drink Coca-Cola). We are most definitely one. Don't you ever forget it!