For fifty + years I separated my spiritual beliefs from my science based understanding of how the world worked. The miracles presented in the Bible were not consistent with what I experienced in my everyday life but I had learned to accept this dichotomy by believing Biblical times were somehow different. Until 2003 my life followed a fairly traditional path – obtaining an education, getting married, starting a family and managing a career. I didn’t need to wrestle with my childhood faith while pursuing stability in more tangible aspects of life.
I recall an old television program I watched on youtube called Art Linkletter and The Kids. Art interviewed children often coaxing them to say the ‘darndest things’ much to the delight of the studio audience. In one interview one young boy was remembering what he had learned in Sunday school about Moses leading his people out of captivity in Egypt. The boy explained that the Jewish people were being chased by Egyptian soldiers as they tried to flee captivity when they came to a big body of water. Art asked the boy what happened to Moses and his people at the edge of the water. The boy hesitated a moment then said superman flew down and saved them. This drew some laughter from the audience because the biblical story says Moses caused the waters to divide providing a means of escape. Art asked the boy if the superman rescue was what they really taught him in class. The boy leaned forward and softly replied ‘Well, that isn’t what they taught but if I told you what they really said, you wouldn’t believe it.’
A series of challenges in my work life arose between 2000 and 2003 which caused a great deal of emotional stress. Seeking some respite from this stress, I decided to join a men’s Bible study group. I reasoned that perhaps by dedicating more of my personal life to Biblical studies, I might find some comfort to counter the stress. This study group was open to reading books from a broad spectrum of authors. Books by Bishop John Shelby Spong, Elaine Pagels, Bart Erhman and forced me to confront the fact that my Christian faith was still based on childhood understandings. (If you are interested in the content of those books, I suggest checking out their publications and reviews on Amazon.) When I shared this with a minister friend, he commented that just because the Bible isn’t literally true doesn’t mean there isn’t spiritual truth to be found.
In the intervening years since then I’ve read research, met many people who have had remarkable personal experiences and sought my own, first person experiences. These have become the basis for an expanded view of reality and a new understanding our spiritual nature.
Consciousness Café at Sonder was created to share this information allowing people to form their own opinions about who we are and how we might fit into a broader reality. This reality encompasses not only this physical realm but a non-physical realm that appears to exist. This may sound far-fetched but try to withhold judging this notion until you’ve had a chance to digest my subsequent blogs. Ideally, you should consider attending some Consciousness Café meetings to hear what others have to say. My next sequence of blogs will focus on near death experiences (NDEs).
One of my favorite poems was written by Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.