Why should I believe you? can I believe you? and why do I want to believe you?
On April 3rd 2008, Jaan Esken from Finland wrote:
A chain of thought lead me to a rather disturbing realization today. The questions I asked myself were something on the line of "Why do I want to believe you? Even if I want to believe you, can I believe you? Hasn't my ability to doubt the given truth been the one thing I have relied upon in my own search?"
How could I recognize the truth once I found it? I can not. I mean, I always understood that what I'm looking for might not even exist, or just beyond my understanding but I never realized how irrational that is.
Furthermore, if all I rely upon is doubt then I can never accept anything as "truth" can I? And finally, if the only purpose I give my life is searching for truth and I found it, then what? I would have to strive towards something else, something unfamiliar, something unknown to me at this point. Perhaps I don't want to find truth then? But then I why do I search?
Alright. Thats enough ranting for today. Was it anything like this in your younger years, I wonder?
Lots of luck, anyway.
Apologies for the delay and thanks for your patience. This is a reply to the very significant question you posed in your April 3rd email, concerning why these sorts of ideas should be believed?, why people would want to believe? and can these things be believed?
Over the years I've already spent some time, on and off, thinking about the above from a different angle. Instead because I already believe/know in these things and my purpose in life is to get other people to believe in them also, I have sometimes thought about what reasons I can give people, to help and encourage them to consider the sort of ideas found on the website and for them to ultimately accept them. Here are some of those reasons:
Firstly the World view or Cosmic View, I'm presenting is actually more logically consistent and parsimonious than opposing ones, i.e. Atheistic Scientific Materialism or the various popular formulations presented by the major religions. Logical consistency is an indicator of Truth and conversely paradox and logical contradiction is the sign of falsehood. The dominant secular world view is shot through with paradox and inconsistency. As for some of the commonly accepted cosmologies and perspectives on the nature of existence presented by the Major Religions, they're not much more than fairy tales.
Secondly the ideas I champion are all unifying. They form the key central truths, but not widely accepted, at the heart of all of World Religion and provide a means by which in the future all the World's Religions may be reconciled with one another. Furthurmore the idea that a person's real identity is God, the idea of the mathematical physical Universe and the the Ontological position of Idealism, provides the framework for the Unication of Science and Philosophy together with Religion/Spirituality. Unification is interesting from a purely intellectual viewpoint but more importantly, idealogical unification is also vital for the aims of World peace and greatly facilitates harmonious relations between people.
Thirdly if you respect the past, then the ideas we're talking about can be compellng because they're not new ideas, but really the re-wording and re-telling of extremely ancient and indeed timeless notions. Sometimes the idea of the God within etc. is referred to as the perennial philosophy, because it is recurrent and constant. The view of things I espouse have a lineage and continuation that stretches right back to the beginning of time. The truth of God, that we are, the one undivided and indivisible self, primary condition and ultimate conclusion; really transcends space/time and physical creation. Through out human history the truth has entered into the realm of the mundane, through the Shaman, Saint, Mystic, Philosopher, Prophet and Avatar and always will, and everywhere else in the Universe. So there is a rich background and permanence associated with this Eternal Truth, whereas the current popular secular and religious views of reality, though dominant, from the wider perspective are not much more than passing fashions.
Fourthly from a personal angle, the knowledge of ones true nature can actually make for a happier and better life. It has been said that 'The truth shall set you free.', it is also true that the truth can also be tremendously motivating, empowering and inspiring in the true sense of the expression i.e. to receive the spirit. It was the philosopher Satre who said that in everybody there exists a 'God shaped hole', that reflects a human need for a sense of the transcendent and a higher meaning to life. This yearning isn't satisfied by worldly achievements and the Nihilistic Materialist Postmodern World view. Mainstream religion and cults for all their faults do seem to give people some connection with the sacred, as long as you don't ask too many questions that is. What I'm proposing is a religious and spirituality outlook that invites people to question, and one that survives serious critical analysis. Study after study has shown how religion can really have a positive effect on a person's sense of well being. Also psychiatrists have discovered that being involved in a religion is the best predictor for a good recovery from clinical depression as well as a powerful factor that stops people from getting clinically depressed in the first place. The celebrated psycho-analyst Carl Jung said that at the root of the psychological problems of many of his patients was a lack of a religious outlook. So a spiritual outlook for the 21st century, that is compatible with science and reason, can improve the lives of many people I believe.
Related to the fourth point above, one of the concerns that people have is the fear of death and this is one of the reasons that people get involved in religion. If there was no afterlife and we are just our material bodies then our personal oblivion at the point death is just something we have to accept together with any associated anxieties that we might have. But because this is not the case, then I think people worry unecessarily or else fall prey to Religions offering them a Heaven up in the clouds, or some paradise after death if they obey all the various commandments, rules and regulations of their respective faiths. The idea that everyone is God and one undivided, indivisible self, goes hand in hand with the idea of reincarnation. Which is why I make the case on the website and in my talks, that the belief in reincarnation is actually found at the esoteric heart of all World Religion. Giving people a compelling and true vision of eternal life will definitely make the World a happier and less angst ridden place.
Fifthly the promotion of the idea that Everyone is God is important because it can be a necessary condition for that people becoming God or awakening to his or her true. One of the main spiritual problems of today is not that people don't know the way to God, but really that people don't even know that the journey even exists. So first, tell people their true nature and the ultimate purpose in life. And then encourage certain people to work towards Enlightenment. I say certain people because I don't think the full blown hardcore mystical journey is necessarily the right thing for everybody. I don't subscribe to the idea that the pleasures and trials of the physical World are things to deny oneself or escape from. The physical Universe is not some accident or malign creation for the entrapment of souls but really the expression of the divine, the dwelling of the One Soul, i.e. God, the expression of eternity and the trail of the journey of endless transmigration. So living, surviving, having kids and having normal ambitions, on one level, is a valid purpose for life. On another level, for some people, trying to obtain union with God and awakening is the ultimate purpose of life.
Sixthly and lastly, this concerns the other side to my 'message' i.e. that the prophecies contained in the World's religions are happening in present times and the particular interpretation given to them. I believe in the necessity and importance of giving people a vision of hope for the future and also a perspective on what's happening in this World that may inspire people to act and do what it takes to help save the planet, fight global tyranny and restore Spiritual life which itself is the key to creating a fairer more just World. By giving a people an interpretation of the prophecies where they become the agents of the process by which a satisfactory outcome, for the unfolding of what's happening around us today, is realized; then this can be instrumental in bringing about the prophecies, i.e. a happy ending. The World is in trouble and as the years get by things will get increasingly depressing and seemingly hopeless, that is why it is so important to give people a vision of hope, which the prophecies provides, because without hope it is much harder for people to act meaningfully. Also in the future as things get more desparate, more and more people will escape into fantastic interpretations of the prophecies provided by the religious fundamentalists and new age thinkers, i.e. Jesus appearing the sky, the UFOs coming to save us or being miraculously shifted to another dimension etc. This gives people false hope and encourages people to be a furthur part of the problem instead contributing to the solution.
So how will you know the truth when you've found it? You won't, you can only trust your intuition and reason. And when you find the truth then what? Well, after you've found the truth then perhaps live the truth, realize the truth and allow the truth to fully manifest in your life. I believe this may involve, for some people, embarking on the spiritual journey of awaken. In the present age I believe that the spiritual quest cannot be considered separately from what's happening on this planet. So the adventure of self realization goes hand in hand with the task of saving the planet, protecting life and creating a better World.
Yes from my recollection and your emails, it seems I was quite similar to you in my younger years.
Best wishes Wai