Last time, during our exploration on death, we discovered there is no such thing as a “self essence” or an indivdual “eternal soul” that lives on forevermore after physical death since essence is of the One, not the many. For since there is truly only One God, One Reality, one essence, than it is the only which endures, which is never born and never dies. This led me to contemplate the larger question of the notion of a “spiritual realm” altogether, because I must confess a persistent belief within me of this concept until now.
Is there such a thing as a “spiritual realm?” When speaking of this, what we are really asking is if there is “another realm of existence” in which there is no pain, nothing of our short, often miserable and frustrating earthly existence. It is the belief in a “better world,” whatever we define that as. Certainly things could be better than the corrupt, horrifying, and often tragic way things play out in the human drama on the stage of planet Earth. This is a huge need of the ego – to believe things will be “made better” in the “next life,” and that all perceived “injustice” will be “made right” somehow by a “just” god, and that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away,” as said in Revelation 21:4.
While these are valid desires of the ego, it does not make these notions correct any more than believing the world was flat ever made it flat. The hard fact is we don’t always have an explanation for perceived “injustice” and the reasons some appear to suffer more than others. To our limited vision, things often do not appear fair to us. Even so, all actions bring their exact consequences, in perfect measure, and we have no control over the choices others make which may negatively affect us. The enormous “chain” of actions and consequences is so complex, we can never find just “one cause” or “one person or experience” to blame for any given negative thing in our lives, and these things almost certainly have many reasons for their existence. Finding no explanation, and demanding an answer, we create the concept of “justice” in which everyone “gets what they deserve,” which is a huge motivation of the ego to invent the “afterlife.” It is the only “answer” for the rational mind which cannot perceive any “justice” within this world, this life on Earth. The mind must therefore make up the notion of an “afterlife” in which this perceived “injustice” is finally exacted. The Biblical book of Revelation with all of its promises to “wipe the tears” from the eyes of many, as well as to send sinners to the “Lake of Fire,” was written largely for this purpose. In Biblical times, when life was brutal and short, belief in this notion of “justice” was very important to those who lived under such oppression. Still, while this ego need is understandable, it does not make the ego’s inventions any more correct than believing the Earth is flat.
The larger question beyond why we suffer is the question of why we have to always rationalize it and “explain it.” Harold Kushner tried to rationalize his “truth” about why we suffer in his famous book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” Kushner simply created one more escape, one more mythical rationalization of why people suffer. Truth is absolute, and is not relative. Relativism is simply one’s opinion of Truth, not Truth itself. What is this need to rationalize and explain things? It is just another demand of the ego, yes? And if you examine this entire movement from start to finish, it is clear this is just another game played by the ego with no satisfactory “answer” ever. Even though we try to “answer” these hard questions with our inventions of different concepts of “god,” the “afterlife” or “other spiritual realms” in which all is “made right,” it is interesting these beliefs never seem to satisfy us. We drink from the well of the lie, but it only makes us more thirsty because we drink not from the only waters in which we will never thirst – the Life-giving waters of Truth. We continue to be depressed, continue to mourn, and continue to grieve. It seems to me if our belief in these concepts was so “strong,” we would not be so grieved and upset. The simple reason these things never satisfy us is because belief is never an answer for anything since belief is not Truth. It is only pain relief, a Band-Aid, alcohol or drugs, just something to cover our pain. Karl Marx called religion the “opiate of the people.” In many ways he was correct.
So if religion, alcohol, drugs, and Band-Aids are not the answer, then what is? The ego, perceiving only the part, and not the whole, is naturally afraid of life, as well as death, and therefore creates beliefs and “explanations,” rationalizations for everything it cannot understand within life instead of looking at these things for what they actually are. When looked at for what they are, belief and afterlife notions are merely escapes from reality, nothing more. Instead of facing reality and crises head on, in which there would be no fear, we perpetuate fear by continuing to keep ourselves separate from these things, running away from them in religion, alcohol, or some other escape. A “religious person” may seem “serious” about “god,” but what they really are is terrified of Life, running away from it in rationalizations instead of facing it head on.
The fear of facing things only perpetuates fear, but the ego never sees this fact. It creates more saviors, more gods, more theories of “justice” to deal with the very fear it refuses to face. The reason the ego will never face itself is because if it ever did, it would come to an understanding of its own delusion and be exposed for the non-reality it is. Sounds like the Biblical description of Satan, doesn’t it? That is because Satan is the ego, nothing more, nothing less. The ego is delusion, and seeks to only perpetuate its delusion. The ego’s sole purpose is to keep itself alive, delusions and all. It is the animal chasing its own tail, running on a wheel with no escape, creating more lies to keep the lie of itself alive. The only escape is self-awareness. That which is Truth, Love, God within can alone see the ego for what it is. When it does, all of these justification games come to an end, as beautifully reflected in Mary 9:27-29, “What binds me has been slain, and what surrounds me has been destroyed, and my desire has been brought to an end, and my ignorance has died. In a world, I was set loose from a world and in a type, from a type which is above, and from the chain of forgetfulness that exists in time. From now on, for the rest of the course of the due measure of the time of the age, I will rest in silence.”
The problem with the notions of “other realms of existence,” “eternal souls,” and other ideas like this is they are just more materialistic projections of what we already have on Earth without the things we dislike about them, nothing more. This obviously makes them the ego’s inventions of our “idealized version” of what we have on Earth, without all the sorrow and pain of life as we know it. We say in “Heaven,” our bodies will have all the “characteristics” of what we have on Earth, but will be “better versions” than we have now, which will not die, and will not be subject to sickness, pain, or death. For this to happen, all of the laws of nature which have operated for eternity would have to be completely changed. It is a delusion to believe this will happen. All of these notions are obvious rationalizations and nothing more – inventions of the ego to make itself feel better. Lies, like pain pills, may make one feel better, but lies are never the answer for our pain. Truth, God, Love is the only physician and remedy for our pain, not further delusion and fear.
Whenever we separate ourselves from something, we are afraid – always. Separation itself is fear, nothing else. The “spiritual realms” so often spoken of in Bibical scripture and of mystics is an internal, timeless state, an awarenes of Truth, not a “place” or a “thing” as we understand things in our relative world. If it were, than it would be a contradiction of terms, would it not? If it is “spiritual,” than it transcends all, and is not subject to any limitations of the physical world – cannot be a “separate thing” by virtue of the fact it is “spiritual.” Therefore, there cannot be a “separate realm,” for God is ALL. It is amazing how tenacious and crafty the ego is, without end to its inventiveness in deluding itself. The fact we seek these delusions reveal we are not truly interested in being free of our prejudices and delusions, but only in seeking assurances our particular versions of “reality,” our delusions, are “right.” As long as one depends on a belief being “right,” one is a slave. Freedom is Truth, and exists nowhere else. As found in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
While our pain and suffering are very real, we must face what is if we are to be truly free of our fears. Running away in further delusion is no answer, with inventions of “other realms,” “justice,” and other rationalizations. These things, like belief, only separate us fom God, Truth, Love, and perpetuate fear. Separation of any kind is fear. Every escape is of the ego. Facing ourselves and who we are is the way… the Truth… and the Life…