I have been having an ongoing discussion with a young explorer this last week. I thought I would share his questions along with my thoughts on them. He reminds me of a time in my life when I was looking for three-dimensional answers to questions that exceed the boundaries of the finite illusion we live in. I think you might enjoy our deep and penetrating discussion (by the way our young searcher is a member of the LDS church but has been in his own search for spiritual insight and truth):
Searcher: So I read your bio on Amazon, and from what I can glean from what little I’ve seen on your blog, and the bio and the description of the book etc… is that you are speaking of spiritual sensitivity…
But before I get into that, may I say that I certainly have empathy for your past experiences involving mental illness. I was diagnosed with OCD six years ago after having a near mental breakdown (on my mission no less).
That said, I can emphasize that struggling against this chemical imbalance in my mind, and being raised by faithful believing parents, my mind was quick and arduous and thorough in exploring many avenues of thought and searching deep channels of spirituality.
I think you have tapped (and I would guess that you can relate) into something that was once far more common for mankind to search out. Today in our world of science and physical evidence people quickly discard or ignore searching the soul and our obvious connection with the eternal.
I surmise that this is what you have implied by saying that Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith were tapping into what you have inferred is a very similar vein, not to mention many other spiritual greats throughout the ages.
I also recognize the thrill that considering the divine and embracing our deep nature gives of which you have referred to…
It is really interesting to ponder all of it really, because men throughout the ages and even in the world today (especially in the less “scientifically advanced” nations) still dig deep into these spiritual realms, and often sink tap roots deep into their eternal roots looking for peace and strength.
I myself have felt the impression that I am an eternal being in a temporal existence. It is that feeling simply of knowing that one exists and has always existed.
These things to me, remind me of the heady excitement that one can have considering the possibilities of eternity, and (for latter-day saints) thinking, I’m a child of the God of the universe, and coming to an epiphany of realizing you are far more than your mortal mind recognizes or can remember.
It is similar to the thrill I get even contemplating the vast expanse of the physical universe that is observable and the myriad worlds and countless wonders that surely would defy our previous imaginations.
It strikes me that your description of coming to a realization of letting things in the past go and living in the now really seems to resemble embracing the attitude of faith and self forgiveness and hope…hope to move on and build up and to rise from the ashes of the past, good bad or indifferent.
My question to you is, do you deny the physical world as an “illusion” or simply treat it as another layer of reality?
My Response: You are very articulate and if you haven’t already considered it you may want to look into writing. I sense you are a “deep” individual which makes the connection, for me, to you, very easy. I enjoy reading your words very much.
I explain here to our young searcher how having come to my own awakening I wrote a book and I explain the similarities I discovered to other modern and ancient spiritual icons…
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the book is the “knowing” (as I call it) that came to me that is so consistent with so much of almost all “mystical” philosophies the world over. All of them look at the inner divinity and timelessness of our existence. Even Joseph Smith (Mormon Prophet) spoke of man as “becoming gods.” In any case the stark awakening I underwent continues to be revealing to me in the sense that I had never read or researched any of these other belief systems and all of a sudden I am getting downloaded with essentially everything that has been understood by a few over thousands of years of human history.
I continue to be amazed at the similarities between what I wrote as brand new material and what has been known by great spiritual icons throughout time. The book also directly answers the question you asked to much greater detail than I will share here.
Now for the answer to your question:
“My question to you is, do you deny the physical world as an “illusion” or simply treat it as another layer of reality?”
One of the main themes in my book is that “we live in an illusion.” The illusion is the result of conditioning we undergo from the very beginning of our lives. We are literally taught what to be aware of by family, schools, churches, realities, etc., and in so doing we lose what we came to earth with, which is the awareness of gods. We are infinite beings (infinite in some form or another) and this earth life is a very finite reality. What has happened is that in our finite “human-ness” we try to put boundaries around our infinite selves. We have to stop doing that in order to begin to see how incredible we are in an “infinite sense.” Very, very hard to do because of the conditioning we undergo from birth.
In essence we if we could see the world through unconditioned eyes (eyes that say this is what you should see) it would blow your mind and in such a moment you would comprehend the world in ways indescribable using our limited languages. I can’t describe to you what it is but I can assure you, you can have this kind of awakening in your life. You’ll know it when you see it.
Our view of the world is an interpretation of the events, activities and circumstances of our experience. That interpretation is the sum of all of our conditioning since birth and is only a small fraction of what is going on in our reality.
We can change the interpretation by altering our conditioning.
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