Sunday, October 05, 2008

Religion and Faith: Introducing Lucidment

I mentioned before that my faith had become untethered. I had read an article in the July Scientific American and it shook my faith badly enough to set it adrift.

I had been thinking, "What if Life is the worst it gets?" What if this life that we are living right now is as bad as it is going to get and that Heaven is going to be better. I already said that I don't believe in Hell so that made sense, but I never looked at it that way. If it were true then all the pain and injustice in life is just because this is our lesser existence. It isn't a trial, it just is bad. Some times life isn't too bad, but if it is then don't worry because Heaven is better.

That doesn't address the fundamental problems I was having with my faith, mainly that there is no way that God can be both omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent; and revealed. Science is revealing a universe too complex and random from a participants view to be knowable in the whole.

I had been thinking that God was like a clockmaker and that he had set the rules of the universe and let it run itself. This may have been the reason that increased knowledge in the physical laws made the existence of God less tenable. What if that isn't the nature of God, but then what would account for all that science tells us and still leave room for God?

I recently listened to most of a podcast by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). In podcast 8, the speaker was Tim Freke. He said something that really rang true to me. It also addressed the problem I was having. He said that life as we know it is a dream. Everything and everyone in the dream is really us. This is very similar to the Buddhist view and I had heard it before, but I never looked at it this way.

He said basically that enlightenment is like having a lucid dream. If you are enlightened, you are like a dreamer that knows he's dreaming. When we are not enlightened you are like a dreamer who doesn't know he is dreaming and you think your life is real.

I am going to call this state of knowing that you are "dreaming" as "Lucidment." This will help me understand enlightenment better and help me think of it in terms of "the dream."

This world view means several things to me right off:

1. God is not separate from us.

2. Life can be good or bad but it doesn't REALLY affect us.

3. There are no alternatives (Hell vs. Heaven) to waking.

4. Life can be beautiful. We can enjoy it and we can make it more beautiful.

5. The universe is the dream and it obeys different "dream" logic and rules. All our scientific knowledge is based on "dream" logic and laws. This means that everything science is telling us is about the "Dream" and has nothing to do with God or the "Waking State."

6. "God" doesn't have to be omniscient or omnipotent. We don't know everything in our dreams, but the dreams are us, everything in the dream is us really, although it seems like different people and things happening to us, they are really things we are thinking about and "doing" to ourselves.

This also immediately begs many questions to me, but the questions don't diminish my hope for a renewed faith:

1. Who is the dreamer?

2. What is the nature of the dreamer?

3. If the dreamer is me then am I everyone or am I only me and everyone else is no one?

4. Do we lose ourselves when we wake?

5. What is the goal of life?

6. Do we want to be a remembered dream?

7. Is life outside the dream good or bad?

8. Is the dreamer good or bad or something else?

9. Is there good and evil?

10. Can you make moral decisions (for instance, in dreams you can commit crimes, but you can't be prosecuted for them)?

I will want to address these questions in later posts. Also, because church is a perfect time to reflect on faith, I think that Sunday would be a perfect time to record here my thoughts on religion and faith.

Other issues I thought of today that I want to cover eventually:
- What is religion?
- What is prayer, what is it good for, what is it not?
- Why should you attend church?
- What do you do with Bible readings?
- What about preset prayers, the Creed and the Our Father?
- Why are we not in communion with God?
- If there are no miracles then there can be no transubstantiation, what does this mean?

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