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Worldviews that dominate our present reality

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: who knows?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jun 10, 2015 at 03:41

Hi, Waz. I think we're in pretty close agreement on these things. I started writing a response; but was zapped by plugin pop-ups; so I'll just let the matter go. I'll only comment on the last exchange:

"I imagine the "Big Bang" going backwards in time (quite possible, in the realm of "consciousness", as Campbell puts it, or "God" as I prefer),"

'Time' is contained in that shrinking ball as well - and you're watching it from a realm outside 'time'.

Cute. The fate of our universe, going forward in time, is considered by most to be dissipation and heat death. This has a metaphorical connection with the Biblical concept of "outer darkness". In this universe, time can only go in a forward direction. Outside of this universe, though, time is not so constrained. That is where the abode of God is, where He rules from His throne; and according to the Book of Revelation, that is also the destined realm of those who embrace and fear that God.

The abode of God is an interesting place, which I can only describe in non-scientific (non-"physical:) terms because it exists beyond the physical realm. Ezekiel, of course, had a glimpse of it in the distance, above the chruvim (cherubim). John saw a similar vision of God and the chruvim. There are some added details, though, that lead me to believe that this eternal realm, which Christians and others hope for as "the hereafter", is connected in an unusual way with our presen-day existence:

Rev 22:
[1] And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
[2] In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

John was describing the "New Jerusalem", which came out of the new heaven onto the new earth; yet he speaks of a tree (species) there whose leaves are for the "healing of the goiim". What goiim? I thought there would be only one "nation" or "goy" in the New Jerusalem; and that those who live there would all be considered one people. Furthermore, what would these goiim need healing for? Will there be diseases in the New Jerusalem?

The understanding I've come up with, is that the "Tree of Life", which exists as a "physical" (in the sense of "perceived as real") tree (actually a whole bunch of trees; so it must mean "type of tree") in the New Jerusalem, is perceived in our time and universe as a metaphor. Metaphors, after all, are "words", just as matter and energy are also merely "words": What manifests as "matter" and "energy" to our senses in this dying universe we inhabit; is like a metaphor in heaven; and visa versa. What ties the two together is perhaps "consciousness".

Materialists tend to dismiss consciousness as something fleeting; but in the greater scheme of things, it is our material universe that is fleeting; but our consciousness, even when hooked up to our limited physical perceptions, can live "outside the box" of this present so-called "reality". And according to the Christian Bible, our conscious self-awareness continues forever.

The Christian Bible thus presents not a list of "Dos" and "Don'ts", as some may imagine, but a complete world-view that contains the above concepts. The Qur'an of Islam presents a different world-view; and Materialists have yet another worldview. Philosophically, all three of these worldviews insist that there is only one valid reality, which I will call "The Truth"; but because all three differ from each other, two of them must be false.

Which one is the Truth? When our consciousness departs from our body, will we disintegrate into "nothingness", as the Materialists seem to believe? Will we enter a personal harim of 72 houris, as devout Muslims believe? Or will we stand before Messiah in judgment, and spend eternity either in his Father's presence or in the Lake of Fire? If our "life" is our "consciousness", we are betting our lives on which view is correct.

It's interesting, that you and I have grown up in cultures that treat these matters of faith as somewhat ephemeral; yet when we read the news every day, we see that the world is dominated by the result of inspired men and women acting out their faith -- from the parent who raises up his/ her child to pursue Godliness, to the parents who inspire their children to want to grow up to be suicide bombers. These do not produce ephemeral events; they dominate our present reality.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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