Concepts of God (The nature of a \'Creator\')

by dhw, Sunday, April 17, 2016, 12:48 (673 days ago) @ BBella

BBELLA: Aside from solipsism or any other mental experience, given the fact that there are so many differing accounts of these experiences (though many are uncannily similar) - if you were to go out on a limb for a moment and accept these differing experiences as reality, what do you think would be a good explanation that would fit all of these folks experiences? You do not have to use any known ideas in your answer - you can make up one like I did.

This has proved extremely difficult! I have to assume that blissful meetings with God or Jesus Christ are real, and so are terrifying experiences of isolation or a literal hell. Loved ones are there, angels and demons are there, friendly and hostile strangers are there, and here on Earth (I am not thinking only of NDEs now) there are ghosts and there are strange echoes of previous lives. The temptation to dismiss them all as hallucinations is very strong, because as an explanation that would cover everything. But firstly that is against the rules of the game, and secondly, and far more importantly - as I mentioned earlier - there are far too many incidents that I can't dismiss.

My “theory” would have two starting-points: 1) energy, and 2) the subjectivity of reality. In the brief guide, I have pointed out that a telescope on a planet X billion miles away would enable the observer to watch the crucifixion. Images don't die, and images are light waves of energy. We might extend the idea to consciousness and identity as individualized forms of energy that survive the death of the body which has enclosed them. Particularly sensitive living beings might sense the presence of these after-life forms even here on Earth. (That would explain ghosts and mediums who have contact with the “spirit” world.)

The individualized form of energy (identity) that we have on Earth is not consistent; it develops and changes in accordance with nature, nurture and experience; its perceptions and memories are often suspect; its interpretations of “reality” are subjective; its subconscious activities may create images, ideas, emotions which themselves are independent of its conscious control. When we tell our personal stories, listeners will not be able to distinguish between fact and fiction, and sometimes we may not be able to do so ourselves. And yet what we recount is real to us.

If all the psychic and after-life experiences are real, then, the immaterial self survives the death of the material self as an individualized unit of energy. It takes with it all the subjective realities, both conscious and unconscious, that it accumulated on Earth. And among these are such concepts as God and Jesus and angels and demons and bliss and torment. And just as our dreams and our memories (whether accurate or not) are “real” to us, the scenes that greet us when we die are also real to us. They can also be shared intersubjectively, like our present experiences and memories, because there is no reason why identities should not go on communicating with and influencing one another. That need not mean that when we die we get what we expect. Our dreams do not always conform to our expectations - on the contrary, they are often a source of surprise (sometimes very unpleasant) - and so the afterlife may well confront us with realities we only knew of subconsciously. Why would an atheist be confronted by God, or a theist find himself in a barren void? To answer that, you would need to know what goes on in their subconscious minds, and that is unexplored territory, probably even for them.

Finally, what happens long-term to this individualized energy once it is freed from the body? I like your own suggestion: it chooses the reality it wishes to be in. It can return to Earth in human or any other form (memories of past lives are real); it can let itself merge with the reality of its god or gods; it can go on forming real relationships and doing many of the real things it did on Earth, since clearly our NDE patients have no trouble seeing, hearing, feeling etc. And perhaps it can also opt to end itself.

My made-up explanation, then, is that ultimately all is energy, and reality is whatever the individual thinks it is. But of course this particular individual at this particular time doesn't even know what he thinks reality is!

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