We have together explored some of the reasons why we adhere to traditional religious belief. We have discovered at the heart of it all, is ego, the self-concept, and that without the ego, none of these religious delusions would exist, since religious belief serves no other function than to pacify the ego’s hopes and fears. The ego’s non-acceptance of the fact of its inevitable extinction drives it to create endless projections of itself onto imaginary “beings” and “other dimensions” to comfort itself against what it perceives to be the “cruel, harsh reality” of this unavoidable fact. But as we know from history, believing or wanting the Earth to be flat, never made it flat, any more than wanting or believing our egos will “live forever” makes this a reality. There are many things we wish were so that will never be so. Creating delusions against the complete lack of real evidence for an afterlife does not change the fact our egos are impermanent.
All egos are illusions, including our projections of a “supreme being ego-god,” as we have discovered several times before. It does not matter how many stories of “near-death experiences,” “out-of-body experiences,” or “visions of spirits or apparitions” are told by believers. The Truth that all is One, and all forms are impermanent invalidates any conclusions for the “eternal survival” of any given entity, whether we call it an “angel,” a “spirit,” a “soul,” a “god,” or any other figment of our imagination. It is really that simple, and requires no scientific evidence whatsoever to invalidate these claims. We all know the non-existence of something cannot be proven, just as we cannot disprove leprechauns, angels, or the Tooth Fairy. Just because we cannot disprove something does not make it true by default as some “believers” think. Nevertheless, what we can know, for those who see the Oneness of All, is the Truth All is One. Therefore, since all is One, and the Oneness of All is the only Reality, there can be no “absolute,” “eternal” reality to any “being” or “entity,” no matter what fancy word or mythical status we assign to it.
If there was any literal and figurative “substance” to the notion of a soul, it would have made itself conclusively evident to humanity by now. But it has not, and still remains an abstraction and a concept, not a fact. Let us look at those who suffer from brain damage. We all know that when parts of the brain are damaged, a person can lose certain capacities, memories, etc. If there is a “soul” that supposedly “houses” our memories, our “karma,” our “experiences,” then you would think it would “take over” in the absence of the once working parts of the brain, since supposedly the soul will do this upon our physical death and the permanent disintegration of the brain. Still, we have extraordinary evidence – facts from living people this does not happen. When a part of the brain “dies,” the “soul part” of a person does not “take over” and enable the brain-damaged individual to carry on with full capacity as if nothing happened, as a disk would serve as a “backup” for a disabled computer hard drive. The truth is, there is no “backup” to what is stored in our brains, unlike our computers. If there was such a thing as a “soul,” then nobody would be suffering from brain damage, as the immortal soul would “take over” as a “backup” for the damaged brain. This obviously never happens. Are we to believe the soul, the “backup” doesn’t “work” unless we are one-hundred percent dead, when not just a part of us dies? How can we conclude that when the brain is dissolved permanently, we will have “full capacity” and then some, when we observe time and again that when even a tiny part of the brain is damaged, capacities and memories can be greatly impaired. and certainly never improved?
There is plenty of invalidating evidence for any kind of “soul” or other “entity” which survives physical death. The invalidating evidence is everywhere, from actual real life experiences everyone can observe, such as the example we explored about a brain-damaged person. Even if we were to say there is a “soul” or a “backup,” like a computer disk for a damaged hard drive, that disk would still need to operate on a working computer – a machine which could allow one to perceive what is on the disk. But upon death, that “body,” that machine disintegrates, and there is no “backup” for that machine either. Clever delusions such as believing all bodies will be “raised again on the last day” cannot make the unreal real. Dead bodies do not come back to life. That is an indisputable fact, and to believe otherwise is a delusion. There is no end to the great lengths the ego will travel to delude itself into believing it will survive, when it never will. When it is understood that life is nothing more than consciousness, “form,” and energy, “matter,” which are inseparable aspects of the same One, then the notion of the “soul” is impossible since matter/energy, and consciousness are inseparable. Therefore, there can be no “personal consciousness” which exists apart from the brain and the body since All is One.
Wikipedia defines a delusion as “a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.” By this definition, belief in an afterlife is clearly a delusion. When one begins to really examine these questions, the truth of the matter becomes obvious – there is no such thing as an “immortal soul,” an “eternal individual ego.” There is absolutely no evidence of it, physical or non-physical, and it also contradicts the Truth of the Oneness of All. Fact as well as Truth invalidates any notion of an “immortal, eternal, individual soul.” Absolutely nothing is permanent – no entity, person, place, or thing. The manifested creation is one-hundred percent illusion, nothing more. The description of manifested creation as an illusion is quite appropriate since it truly is nothing more than a mirror – the mirror in which God, the Oneness of All, looks at itself. We all know the reflection in a mirror is not the thing being reflected, so too, manifested creation is not, in and of itself, the One. It is the mirror and the reflection only, but almost nobody is conscious of this Truth. We believe the manifested creation, with all of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and projections are Reality, when they never are. They are illusions, and are therefore no more reality than our dreams we have while sleeping, because they are temporary manifested reflections of the One. That is all the manifested creation is.
This news can either crush us, or enliven us to live every single moment of our precious lives with purpose, with meaning, with love, and with compassion. We are all in this life together, and one day we will all lose every single thing we know within our physical, Earthly existence. All beings are dying, every day, every moment. If that does not infuse our hearts with compassion and Love for humanity and for every living being on Earth, I am not sure what will. Endless justifications of the illusory ego will never make us a truly compassionate people. We cannot be compassionate while attached to our egos because under such a scenario, we are always looking to defend our ideas, beliefs, and everything else the ego constructs to separate us from everyone and everything else. If we want to live lives of real compassion, then we have no choice but to let go of our egos. Christianity teaches its believers the exact opposite, to hold on to our egos, and justify them by accepting Jesus Christ as “Lord and Savior.” This is why Christianity, like Islam, produces so much war, conflict, and suffering. Whenever the illusion of the self is perpetuated, there is always inevitable conflict and misery. Christianity teaches there is “hope” for our “souls” if we “believe Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world,” enabling us to spend Eternity with him in Heaven. This is a complete delusion since there is no such thing as the permanent reality of the self. The truth of the matter is, there is never any hope for the ego. There is never any hope for any manifested form, as all are impermanent and illusory. What the ego wants to believe is that its form will “live forever,” when it never will. The only which is forever is the Oneness of ALL. Hope is the desire for egotistical survival. Hope is therefore fear. Fear is ego. While it is perfectly natural and understandable for the ego to desire permanance, it is an illusion with no Reality, just as the Earth was never flat, even though we once believed it to be so.
In light of all this, it is quite obvious the entire Christian belief of “saving souls” is one-hundred percent delusional and ridiculous. It is ridiculous because it is simply an invention of the ego to believe in the illusion of its permanance. The ego wants to believe what cannot be true, and does everything it possibly can to convince itself the illusion it creates is real, when it never is. The only answer, the only way to be truly free, is to see the ego for exactly what it is – an illusion. We are only free when we no longer need to hang on to the childhood fantasy of immortality, and can accept the limits of our lives wtih grace, dignity, and an immensity of respect and humility only the permanence of mortality can bring. As reflected in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…” Further inventions of gods, other dimensions, the afterlife, and other fantasies have nothing whatsoever to do with knowing the Truth. They are only pain relief for a wounded ego, and nothing more than delusional escapes from Reality, perpetuating misery. There are no answers within the dualistic limits of the ego, no matter how many gods and imaginary notions we create to comfort the hurt of identifying with our egos. When this is finally seen, then all attachment to the ego is ended, resulting in true “deliverence from evil”… enabling the dawn of “enlightenment”… awareness of the Oneness of All… True… Eternal Life…