TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Chapter 1 Why I Wrote This Book
- Chapter 2 Awakening
- Chapter 3 Strange Deaths
- Chapter 4 The Shroud of Turin
- Chapter 5 Resurrection, Apparitions, and Ascension
- Chapter 6 Jesus:Selflessness Personified
- Chapter 7 Nothing is the New Real
- Chapter 8 Karma and Reincarnation
- Chapter 9 Support for Reincarnation
- Chapter 10 The Afterlife
….You know the story. It happened over two thousand years ago and involved a young man named Jesus of Nazareth. He was the most selfless person to ever live, the full embodiment of love, empathy, and compassion. On a Friday in the Spring of the year, He was executed for inciting insurrection against the Roman Empire, a military machine that was occupying His homeland. His corpse was wrapped in a burial cloth and placed in a tomb. Two days later, the following Sunday, the body, all flesh and bone of it, had mysteriously vanished. A flash of light and a rumbling of the earth had been reported as if a low-grade explosion had taken place in the tomb. Early-morning visitors to the tomb found the stone which blocked the entrance had been removed. Was it blown away by the force of the blast? Some of His followers said He appeared to them in bodily form although their accounts are so varied and inconsistent they are difficult to harmonize.
What? A human corpse completely vanished into emptiness? Surely not. Yet all four gospels report it. Multiple attestations are a strong indicator of historicity. That which was real on Friday turned out to be not-real on Sunday. Anything that appears real yet is not-real is, by definition, an illusion. Could the human body be nothing but an illusion?….
….Now, if atoms are 99.999 percent empty space, then why can’t one poke a finger right through a wall or a human body? Truth is, according to science, one can. The odds are astronomically against it—but they are not zero. Atoms (modified empty space) are like people. They generally attract one another until they get too close together. Then they repel. (When you think about it there is a world of truth in that statement as it relates to some human behavior.) It is like mating the respective north poles of two magnets. The closer they get the greater the repelling force. When attempting to poke a finger through a wall the atoms that make up the wall push back against the atoms that make up the fingertip. This push-back effect is sensed by the body’s nervous system creating the felt experience of touch. You may think your posterior is comfortably nestled in the chair in which you are sitting. Actually, your body is not touching the seat of the chair. There is a small, atomic sized gap between you and the seat cushion.
The felt experience of “pushing” and “sitting” and all other sensory-based experiences are perceptions created by the mind working off of sensory input and brain-processing activities. Conceptually, there is an agency, purely mental, called self, which adds the feeling that comes from pushing against the wall or sitting in a chair and all other sensory experiences. In this context, self seems real enough even though over the ages scientists and medical professionals have been unable to locate it. Self can be a good thing. It is needed in order to navigate the body through the material world by giving feedback. It keeps us from bumping into things, particularly things that might be hungry. Self can be a negative thing too, for its propensity to seek attention, glory, pleasure, comfort, and security beyond survival needs can derail one’s spiritual development efforts….
CHAPTER THREE-STRANGE DEATHS
….At 2:00 p.m. on August 29, 1998, the simple Buddhist Monk Khenpo A-Chos passed away at his hermitage in Xinlong County, China, in far Eastern Tibet. Eighty years old, he wasn’t sick. Lying on his side while reciting a popular Buddhist mantra, he just elected to leave.
Observing traditional Buddhist burial practices, his attendants wrapped his body in a thin yellow cloth. As they did they noticed his wrinkled skin had transformed—head to toe—into the fresh and tender condition of a child. The flesh had turned pinkish and begun to shine. His waist had also shrunk. By the next day, the body had become noticeably smaller and continued to shrink day by day, as if returning to the child he once was. On the seventh day, it was questionable as to whether a body remained at all. On the morning of the eighth day, the monk’s flesh and bones, hair and fingernails, had completely disappeared. Flesh returned to the Word from whence it came. Many in the vicinity reported seeing a light spectacle during the seven-day period. Some observed rainbow-like light emitting from the sides of his cabin. People as far as sixty miles away reported seeing the colorful display of light….
CHAPTER SIX-JESUS: SELFLESSNESS PERSONIFIED
….And so, amid a mostly rejected teaching of detachment, solitude, and selflessness Jesus made His way to Jerusalem and the Passover Feast. It was to be a one-way trip that culminated in the most selfless act in human history; the orchestration of one’s own death in order to drive home the truth of one’s teaching about the illusion of death. When Jesus decided to do what He had to do, disciple Thomas told the others, “Let us also go to die with Him.” There is one thing that has always bothered me about the Passion story: the word “betrayed.” The word implies an element of surprise. One cannot be betrayed if one knows in advance that one is going to be betrayed. Knowing in advance provides the opportunity for avoidance, something Jesus chose not to do. The gospel accounts of how Jesus was betrayed cause me to reflect on what He must have been thinking during the last week of His life. He had ample opportunity to leave Jerusalem and avoid arrest, but chose not….
CHAPTER EIGHT-KARMA AND REINCARNATION
….Karma is an action word and the effects of action taken are applied by natural law. No central divine figure is required to mete them out. The effects of karma follow a person around like a shadow, even into the afterlife. It is like gravity: invisible, real, and ever present; a rebound of action taken. Reincarnation is a little more difficult to explain. In scholarly terms, it is the evolutionary process of divination of that part of man that is preexisting and survives death only to acquire another earthly body under karmic influence. It can also be looked upon as consciousness assembling itself into human form. The formation process uses a template formed from a person’s past life mistakes, likes, dislikes, biases, habits, skill-set, even skeletal features, all mixed with genetic considerations. The combination of all these traits is then placed in circumstances that hold the greatest likelihood for discharging the rebound of accumulated karmic effects.
Reincarnation is important to the objectives of this book. It not only provides insight into the nature of the hereafter, equally important it is yet another indicator of the awesome power of human intent. As we have seen, human intent created something (an elemental particle) out of nothing (empty space) in Thomas Young’s laboratory. It, specifically the lack thereof, created nothing (empty space) out of something (a human body) in the many rainbow body experiences including Jesus’s strange death. Reincarnation further attests to the power of human intent to create something out of nothing; a new body to replace a worn-out one that was left behind in stink and decay….
CHAPTER TEN-THE AFTERLIFE
….What is the soul, the agency that separates from the body at death and experiences the afterlife? Its mention takes us back to the discussion that began in Chapter 7. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the soul provides the person the capability to, “think, feel and will and by which our bodies are animated.” It is an incorporeal dimension of our being, indestructible even in death. In this definition, soul seems quite similar to the mind (i.e., the you) but there are at least three key differences. One is the creative element; the mind creates, the soul doesn’t. The soul doesn’t create because there is no need for the soul to create. The afterlife realms are there waiting for it. If soul were mind, it would create its own afterlife circumstance, just as it does in NDE and just as it does in reincarnation when it creates and or sustains elemental particles. Second, in judgment, soul has to be reminded of its misdeeds by a third party. Mind is perfectly capable of judging itself. Lastly, at death, soul eventually finds itself permanently confined to a specific, pre-constructed location, either heaven or hell. That doesn’t sound like mind to me either. Many modern philosophers and theologians have questioned the existence of a soul. There is, however, a condition in which mind and soul are one and the same. That would be when mind trains itself in this life to be a soul in the next. That idea has some interesting implications but, first, we have a little more ground to cover….