80 Questions on What’s Real and What to Do About It

Most of these 80 Questions on the nature of reality and the spiritual life were composed by Marty Glass; the rest are by Charles Upton. Our plan is to gather Wisdom from any and every source, realizing that spiritual “authorities” are not always what they seem nowadays, and that spiritual knowledge and vision are now widely diffused (though still not terribly thick on the ground for all that) among people who may or may not have reliable ways of relating to each other, or even anybody to talk to about their insights. We’ll post the answers we like best on this website, and once we get enough material we’ll submit it for possible publication in book form to Sophia Perennis Publications.

As for our own perspective, we are more partial to the traditional religions and wisdom traditions than we are to the New Age or Neo-Paganism or this or that non-traditional form of “generic” metaphysics, but we’ll accept answers from anywhere or anyone so long as they resonate with our sense of truth, or express the kind of musings, dilemmas, and conclusions that anyone who is serious about the spiritual life—or serious about life—is likely to express or respond to.

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The 80 Questions:

  1. Is this a Creation or just some kind of place?
  2. Was or is there a Creator? Or a Big Bang? Or, in some way or other, has everything always been here?
  3. Are things getting better or are they getting worse? Both?
  4. Is epidemic depression and bipolar misery caused by chemical imbalance or by residence in some kind of baffling hell?
  5. What do they mean when they say it’s self-evident that “the world begins in Perfection”?
  6. Do we all have an eternal primordial divine Birthright of some kind, or are we nothing more than our ambiguous incoherent contested biographies?
  7. How can I ever hope to cope with the colossal aggravating Problem of Good and Evil?
  8. Is virtue rewarded and vice punished? How can we identify virtue and vice? Do bad people get away with it – as it often seems – and good innocent people get screwed – as it seems even more often?
  9. If there is a God, does He or She really care about us? Even know about us? It really doesn’t seem that way! An “Infinite Benevolence”? Convince me.
  10. Was there really some kind of Fall, some kind of Fall from Grace? When? Why? And if so, can anything be done about it? And does it hit all of us, even the kids?
  11. Did Christ really perform all those miracles?
  12. Is there such a thing as Sin? Am I a sinner? How can you tell?
  13. What do people mean when they say things like “This is all an illusion”?
  14. Archfiend? Adversary? The Devil? Antichrist? Old Nick? What am I supposed to make of that kind of talk? Is the Devil my ego? The ego of society? Or is he “really out there”? Am I supposed to fight him? If so, how?
  15. Is it good or bad to be passionate? I hear conflicting opinions.
  16. Am I nothing but a character in a “cosmic dream”? What am I then? Where am I? Am I anyone at all?
  17. Is it good to suffer? How so? And why do I suffer? I always try to do the right thing! And what exactly am I supposed to learn from suffering? Am I “undergoing purification” or “screwing up” or just hurting for no particular reason? Are the apparently happy people actually enlightened saints? Successful fulfillers of our common human desires? Lucky bastards? Mindless idiots?
  18. Was Christ really God? Did He come back from the dead?
  19. Are there statements that are really true, absolutely indisputably eternally true, or is everything just relative? How can I know the Truth? And then what should I do?
  20. Do I have to be conservative if I’m religious? Can I be a “universalist”? Do I have to be faithful to only one religion? Can I be all three, or any two, at the same time?
  21. Which is smart? Austerity or the pursuit of happiness? Are they ever the same thing?
  22. What am I supposed to renounce, and why? From what should I be detached? And why? Do I get anything in exchange, any compensation? Is it worth it?
  23. Chastity, Poverty and Obedience? (Why not add Suicide?) Is it ever a good idea to deny myself the goods of life? Is it ever a good idea to turn my decision-making power over to somebody else? When do these things work, if they ever do, and what are they supposed to accomplish? When and how do they go wrong?
  24. Do I have an immortal soul? Is there an afterlife? What is Death?
  25. What about this reincarnation business, metempsychosis, transmigration, former lives? Do I actually inherit the consequences of behavior in earlier lifetimes? “My” behavior or somebody else’s?
  26. Is there retribution? A Heaven and a Hell? Post-mortem Judgment?
  27. Is evolution true? Did we evolve from protoplasm through fish and apes to what we are now? Or were we always human? This is a Big One for me!
  28. Is there any point in praying? Are prayers answered?
  29. Is there really some kind of “Art of Dying”?
  30. If I’ve said or done something I know was bad, is there forgiveness? How will I know if I’ve been forgiven? Or do I have to pay off my “karmic debt” all by myself?
  31. Are some people living the right way and some people the wrong way?
  32. How can I know God is real, God exists?
  33. How do we go about “loving God”? Or loving Christ? Or whatever other figure is God for me, or His/Her representative?
  34. If life is a test, how do I pass it? If it’s a lesson, what am I supposed to learn? If it’s an illusion, how do I find reality? In other words, I guess, what is Wisdom?
  35. What is this “inward dragon” I’m supposed to kill? How will I know when it’s dead, or only wounded? Can I tame it instead of killing it? Does it ever become my “servant”? The servant of God?
  36. Why are there different religions? How can they all be true?
  37. Faith in what? That’s what I want to know! Faith in what?
  38. Salvation from what? Redemption from what?
  39. Some people are totally into New Age, others say it’s bullshit. Who’s right? How do you decide? Where is authority on this issue? (The same for Neo-Paganism.)
  40. We’re supposed to be “whole” people, not fragmented. (I hear a lot about “fractured identity.”) What’s that all about? How do I know which I am?
  41. I love being alone out in Nature. Am I running away, evading responsibilities, leaving the important work of saving the world to others?
  42. I have an occasional insistent feeling that there’s something I’m supposed to know that I don’t. An understanding I’m supposed to have, and then I’d finally be happy. Is this true? What am I supposed to know? Something about God?
  43. Sometimes I feel that everything is crazy or empty or false. Am I right? And if so, what am I supposed to do, how am I supposed to live?
  44. God is Love, God is Love. I hear that all the time. Does it mean that “God” is just a name we give to love? Or vice versa? What’s the big deal then?
  45. How the hell am I supposed to love everyone? I know some real sadistic sons of bitches! I’ll never be able to love them! Forgive maybe, but not love. (Or can I? Or should I? Can you love someone by trying?)
  46. God loves us? Sure doesn’t look like it! Indifferent at best. Just what is God’s relationship to us, as individuals and a collective, and to the world, if He exists at all?
  47. Are there “other worlds,” invisible, or maybe just barely visible? If these worlds exist, are they “spiritual” or just different? Who or what, if anything, lives there? And does any of this really matter to how I live my life?
  48. How can I be convinced that religion isn’t just superstition? I guess that’s really the Big Question that haunts me. You know: Science versus Religion. The real bottom line.
  49. Those Chinese hermit monks talk in all their poems about being drunk on wine. Is that good? In vino veritas: is that true? I hope so! The Sufis also talk about being drunk on wine, though their commentators always explain that it’s really mystical ecstasy, “spiritual” wine they mean. What do you think? And what if wine is not your “substance of choice”?
  50. I’ve heard Zen people say we’re supposed to be mindless. Mindless?
  51. Some people say we’re supposed to “see God everywhere”. I’ve tried to give it a shot, but without success. Total failure. Is this really possible? Imagination? Or something that we can’t make happen by ourselves in any case, some unpredictable gift?
  52. Sometimes I say to myself, “I just want to live in peace.” All the religions, from what I understand, talk a great deal about peace. Infinite Peace. I want it! Where do I begin?
  53. What is this ego I’m supposed to lose? Who am I who loses it? What’s left?
  54. Sometimes it all seems to revolve around Ignorance vs. Wisdom. Not exactly a head-scratcher as far as making a choice goes! So where’s Wisdom? Who’s wise?
  55. The Knower is the Known! The One is the Many! Suchness is the Void! “God became Man that Man might become God”! I need help on this stuff. If everything is God and there is still ignorance and suffering — what hope? If God is totally beyond anything I can ever experience — what hope?
  56. I hear a lot of loose talk about “The Eternal Now.” “Live in the present!” I am urged. Others tell me, “Go with the flow!” OK: the question behind all this is obvious. What is Time? Reality? Illusion? Something we mistake for something else?
  57. What is the meaning of “The Absolute”? What does it have to do with me?
  58. I hear about “The Command to Perfection.” I think I have a long way to go, and everyone I know would agree with me on that one. And I know people who will never get there, forget it. What’s this all about?
  59. How can I fear God and love God at the same time?
  60. Can philosophy or theology help me live, or do they tend to get in the way – at least sometimes? Can I first know something “in my head” and later realize it “in my heart” or “in my life”? Or does it have to be the other way around? Or is it really, somehow, simultaneous?
  61. Do I need a “Spiritual Master”? Where will I find one? How can I tell the phony ones, the charlatans, from the genuine ones? And what about these “inner, spiritual guides” people talk about?
  62. I hear about “crossing the flood,” the “inner pilgrimage,” the “spiritual journey.” I suppose this refers to a Path, or an aspect of a Path. Where does a spiritual Path begin, and where, if ever, does it end? Do I work or does God lead, or both? Or is it something else entirely?
  63. Was I created, if I was created, for contemplation or action? If for both, how do they relate?
  64. The religious texts and teachings are called “revelation,” as if they come direct from “God” and have absolute authority, as if they are the Truth. How can this be verified? How do we know they weren’t just written by nameless sages long ago? Can something written by a human being also somehow have come directly from God?
  65. Sometimes I hear about some inner secret true teaching called “esoterism,” usually opposed to some “outer” teaching for the simpleminded masses. Is this an analysis of the way God addresses us? There are advanced and backward people? Who judges, who decides?
  66. What’s the difference between God and something called “the Godhead”? Are there two or one here? Which one do I worship? Is God a Person? A Thing? A Force? A Void? All (or none) of the above?
  67. Is God really doing everything that happens? Or is He or She just sitting back and watching it all? If God is doing everything, do I still have free will? If God is just watching everything, can He or She still create the universe? Or help me?
  68. A lot of people put down “organized religion.” Was “organized religion” once OK and then something went wrong? Or is it still OK? Or do I have to decide on a case by case basis? And if so, according to what standards? How can I judge something that I’m supposed to follow?
  69. A friend of mine once saw a book called The Transcendent Unity of Religions, a book I wish could have been read by the popes who launched the crusades. What is this “transcendent unity”? We clearly have need of its recognition now, in these times. (If you have not heard this term before, or if it baffles you, read on…)
  70. Did everything go the way it had to go, the only way it could go, or did everything happen by accident and chance? Free will or determinism? Does this have something to do with karma? Is there good karma and bad karma determining the way things go? Is there such a thing as “what might have happened?”
  71. Democratic institutions seem to me rather inconsistent with the claims of religion to have an inside track on the truth; seems to be a real contradiction there. I think I’d be happier with due process and habeas corpus than with an Inquisition and “papal infallibility.” How should we think about this conundrum? If imperfect human society were governed according to the standards of Absolute Truth, would life be possible? If imperfect human society were governed with no reference to Absolute Truth at all, would life be possible?
  72. Are there really “god-men”? How can I identify a “cult”? Do the two, god-men and cults, always go together? Are there “hidden” saints or sages? If so, what’s the difference, if any, between them and the Big Names?
  73. Is there some kind of mysterious occasional affinity between European “religious” intellectuals and ultraconservatism, even fascism? I’m thinking of Eliot, Pound, Yeats, Paul Claudel, Mircea Eliade, Paul DeMan. What happens there?
  74. Are people basically good or basically bad? Or better stated: What’s basic, what’s the human essence?
  75. Exactly what is the problem in the world today? Or what are the problems, if there are many? What has gone wrong? And what is it within me that tells me there is something fundamentally wrong, when the whole culture is celebrating itself? Is this a religious question? Furthermore, is the world actually ending? If I knew it was, would that change how I ought to live my life?
  76. What will guide me in the choices I must make, every day, about my own life, the lives of my children?
  77. Some people appear satisfied that there is no God, nothing divine. Others suspect there is something but go no further than that, an uneasy suspicion; others wish there were something beyond what we see with our eyes, and pine for evidence. I’m one of the last group. What do I do?
  78. What is this “perennial philosophy” or “sophia perennis” some people talk about after reading Aldous Huxley or Fithjof Schuon or René Guénon or Huston Smith? A religion?
  79. What are the experiences in this world that will lead me to what is holy and sacred? How can I select experience with this goal in mind? How shall I interpret experience in a religious manner? Jazz, for example, or European classical music. Are they spiritual? What about the other arts?
  80. I long for something I cannot define. Something eternal. Something real. Where can I turn?

23 Responses to “80 Questions on What’s Real and What to Do About It”

  1. 1. Is this a Creation or just some kind of place?

    Self Creating place.

    2. Was or is there a Creator? Or a Big Bang? Or, in some way or other, has everything always been here?

    Everything that can exist does exist without the constraints of time/space or sequence. The future creates the past, the past creates the future. The experience is always being newly perceived what can be experienced is already infinite and eternal.

    3. Are things getting better or are they getting worse? Both?
    Depends on who you ask.

    4. Is epidemic depression and bipolar misery caused by chemical imbalance or by residence in some kind of baffling hell?
    Some are probably chemical imbalances. Other cases are from people who are sensitive living in a depressing world.

    5. What do they mean when they say it’s self-evident that “the world begins in Perfection”?

    Each moment is complete. It is also always changing. Perfection is lost in mental projections of past or future. But these projections exist now so the world is always beginning and always perfect.

    6. Do we all have an eternal primordial divine Birthright of some kind, or are we nothing more than our ambiguous incoherent contested biographies?

    Depends on who you ask.

    7. How can I ever hope to cope with the colossal aggravating Problem of Good and Evil?

    Define good and evil or this question is meaningless.

    8. Is virtue rewarded and vice punished? How can we identify virtue and vice? Do bad people get away with it – as it often seems – and good innocent people get screwed – as it seems even more often?

    Depends on who you ask. Define rewarded, innocent, virtue and vice and it might be answerable from some perspectives.

    9. If there is a God, does He or She really care about us? Even know about us? It really doesn’t seem that way! An “Infinite Benevolence”? Convince me.
    Need to define God or this is unanswerable.

    10. Was there really some kind of Fall, some kind of Fall from Grace? When? Why? And if so, can anything be done about it? And does it hit all of us, even the kids?

    There seems to be in some sense a feeling of separation that happened. This feeling of separateness is the only thing that allows the experience of personal freedom in existence.

    11. Did Christ really perform all those miracles?

    When you say Christ, I am assuming you mean Jesus. And all anyone can say about Jesus is that some people wrote down that he performed some miracles. Other Shapes Christ has taken have indeed performed miracles.

    12. Is there such a thing as Sin? Am I a sinner? How can you tell?

    Define sin.

    13. What do people mean when they say things like “This is all an illusion”?

    They are saying that there are other perspectives of reality that fundamentally contradict the assumptions we make about reality from this perspective.

    14. Archfiend? Adversary? The Devil? Antichrist? Old Nick? What am I supposed to make of that kind of talk? Is the Devil my ego? The ego of society? Or is he “really out there”? Am I supposed to fight him? If so, how?

    All sports need an opposing team or there is no game.

    15. Is it good or bad to be passionate? I hear conflicting opinions.

    Define good or bad. Does it make you happy or unhappy. Does it make the people around you happy or unhappy. Does their happiness have influence on your happiness?

    16. Am I nothing but a character in a “cosmic dream”? What am I then? Where am I? Am I anyone at all?

    If you are a character in a dream then you must be the dreamer. Now bite your own teeth to wake up.

    17. Is it good to suffer? How so? And why do I suffer? I always try to do the right thing! And what exactly am I supposed to learn from suffering? Am I “undergoing purification” or “screwing up” or just hurting for no particular reason? Are the apparently happy people actually enlightened saints? Successful fulfillers of our common human desires? Lucky bastards? Mindless idiots?

    Do you think its good to suffer? No? Then its not. Change your mind and it changes the answer.

    18. Was Christ really God? Did He come back from the dead?

    This question assumes there is a difference between death and life from the perspective of Christ. I’m not sure that is a valid assumption.

    19. Are there statements that are really true, absolutely indisputably eternally true, or is everything just relative? How can I know the Truth? And then what should I do?

    Reality is formed from the interaction of incomparable paradoxes that we exist in between. So no, nothing that can be thought of, experienced, or spoken of is absolutely true.

    20. Do I have to be conservative if I’m religious? Can I be a “universalist”? Do I have to be faithful to only one religion? Can I be all three, or any two, at the same time?

    You can be what ever you want.

    21. Which is smart? Austerity or the pursuit of happiness? Are they ever the same thing?

    Depends on who you ask, when you ask, and under what circumstances you ask.

    22. What am I supposed to renounce, and why? From what should I be detached? And why? Do I get anything in exchange, any compensation? Is it worth it?

    Renounce things that make you unhappy. Detach from things that cause you to suffer if you want. You get happiness and less suffering as compensation. Totally worth it but not in the way you think it is.

    23. Chastity, Poverty and Obedience? (Why not add Suicide?) Is it ever a good idea to deny myself the goods of life? Is it ever a good idea to turn my decision-making power over to somebody else? When do these things work, if they ever do, and what are they supposed to accomplish? When and how do they go wrong?

    You have to define ‘right’ for yourself before you can say if something went wrong. Actually almost all these questions need a definition of terms or they have an infinite amount of subjective answers. I assume thats what you’re going for maybe?

    24. Do I have an immortal soul? Is there an afterlife? What is Death?

    Show me your soul. Show me the division between life and death then we can determine if its immortal or if there is an afterlife. Some people think death is when your body stops ‘working’

    25. What about this reincarnation business, metempsychosis, transmigration, former lives? Do I actually inherit the consequences of behavior in earlier lifetimes? “My” behavior or somebody else’s?

    All lives exist simultaneously. Very few perspectives of reality have ridged linear time the way we do. So reincarnation really needs to be ‘re’-incarnation. Lives can be seen as notes or tuning forks that will resonate with the vibration of your current life. This creates a sort of music.

    26. Is there retribution? A Heaven and a Hell? Post-mortem Judgment?

    If you think your actions deserve retribution, there will be retribution.

    27. Is evolution true? Did we evolve from protoplasm through fish and apes to what we are now? Or were we always human? This is a Big One for me!

    Yes, all physical life on earth has multiple clear signs and evidence of relatedness and common ancestry. Why life seems to move toward greater complexity is a much more interesting question.

    28. Is there any point in praying? Are prayers answered?

    Do you see a point? If so, then there is one. They are answered if they are answered.

    29. Is there really some kind of “Art of Dying”?

    Everything is Art.

    30. If I’ve said or done something I know was bad, is there forgiveness? How will I know if I’ve been forgiven? Or do I have to pay off my “karmic debt” all by myself?

    Depends on what game you want to play. There’s lots of options. Karma, Savior, self forgiveness or even some mixture of any and all of these.

    31. Are some people living the right way and some people the wrong way?

    Thats what alot of people seem to think.

    32. How can I know God is real, God exists?

    If you experience God, then God is real. If not then who knows?

    33. How do we go about “loving God”? Or loving Christ? Or whatever other figure is God for me, or His/Her representative?

    Asking someone else how to love someone? Weird.

    34. If life is a test, how do I pass it? If it’s a lesson, what am I supposed to learn? If it’s an illusion, how do I find reality? In other words, I guess, what is Wisdom?

    Good question. Good luck.

    35. What is this “inward dragon” I’m supposed to kill? How will I know when it’s dead, or only wounded? Can I tame it instead of killing it? Does it ever become my “servant”? The servant of God?

    This one is going to totally crack you up when you kill it. one of the best Jokes I’ve played so far. So a dragon walks into a bar….

    36. Why are there different religions? How can they all be true?

    What is true?

    37. Faith in what? That’s what I want to know! Faith in what?

    huh?

    38. Salvation from what? Redemption from what?

    What ever you feel you need salvation from and redemption for.

    39. Some people are totally into New Age, others say it’s bullshit. Who’s right? How do you decide? Where is authority on this issue? (The same for Neo-Paganism.)

    You are the authority. What do you think.

    40. We’re supposed to be “whole” people, not fragmented. (I hear a lot about “fractured identity.”) What’s that all about? How do I know which I am?

    Are there aspects of yourself you lie about or hide from yourself and other people? If yes, then you are fractured.

    41. I love being alone out in Nature. Am I running away, evading responsibilities, leaving the important work of saving the world to others?

    Is the world saved through work?

    42. I have an occasional insistent feeling that there’s something I’m supposed to know that I don’t. An understanding I’m supposed to have, and then I’d finally be happy. Is this true? What am I supposed to know? Something about God?

    Yes and those sneaky sneaky mystery schools are keeping the answer from you.

    43. Sometimes I feel that everything is crazy or empty or false. Am I right? And if so, what am I supposed to do, how am I supposed to live?

    Then everything is crazy empty and false. I suppose You are supposed to I suppose change everything so that you feel it is what ever it is you want it to feel like.

    44. God is Love, God is Love. I hear that all the time. Does it mean that “God” is just a name we give to love? Or vice versa? What’s the big deal then?

    I dunno. People like to make a big deal out of things. Remember POGs and MC Hammer? Crazy.

    45. How the hell am I supposed to love everyone? I know some real sadistic sons of bitches! I’ll never be able to love them! Forgive maybe, but not love. (Or can I? Or should I? Can you love someone by trying?)

    Instead of working on trying to love the unlovable, work on seeing them for what they actually are. The love will follow that naturally.

    46. God loves us? Sure doesn’t look like it! Indifferent at best. Just what is God’s relationship to us, as individuals and a collective, and to the world, if He exists at all?

    Need to know what you mean by “God”.

    47. Are there “other worlds,” invisible, or maybe just barely visible? If these worlds exist, are they “spiritual” or just different? Who or what, if anything, lives there? And does any of this really matter to how I live my life?

    There are sensory impressions that do indeed lead one to think there are other more subtle worlds from the perspective of this world. Think of your 5 senses as being really really loud and distracting. The other worlds are quiet and dont draw attention to themselves. It matters to some people.

    48. How can I be convinced that religion isn’t just superstition? I guess that’s really the Big Question that haunts me. You know: Science versus Religion. The real bottom line.

    You can be convinced how ever you are convinced. Weird question.

    49. Those Chinese hermit monks talk in all their poems about being drunk on wine. Is that good? In vino veritas: is that true? I hope so! The Sufis also talk about being drunk on wine, though their commentators always explain that it’s really mystical ecstasy, “spiritual” wine they mean. What do you think? And what if wine is not your “substance of choice”?

    Substance of Choice for what? They all alter your perception of reality in a different way. Depends one what the desire is at the time really.

    50. I’ve heard Zen people say we’re supposed to be mindless. Mindless?

    Mu

    51. Some people say we’re supposed to “see God everywhere”. I’ve tried to give it a shot, but without success. Total failure. Is this really possible? Imagination? Or something that we can’t make happen by ourselves in any case, some unpredictable gift?

    Truth is both form and space. Most people only pay attention to Form.

    52. Sometimes I say to myself, “I just want to live in peace.” All the religions, from what I understand, talk a great deal about peace. Infinite Peace. I want it! Where do I begin?

    Then just live in peace. You are the master who makes the grass green. Who makes you peaceful? Who makes you un-peaceful?

    53. What is this ego I’m supposed to lose? Who am I who loses it? What’s left?

    Dont worry about this one unless you are actually suicidal.

    54. Sometimes it all seems to revolve around Ignorance vs. Wisdom. Not exactly a head-scratcher as far as making a choice goes! So where’s Wisdom? Who’s wise?

    Depends on who you see as wise. This will constantly evolve.

    55. The Knower is the Known! The One is the Many! Suchness is the Void! “God became Man that Man might become God”! I need help on this stuff. If everything is God and there is still ignorance and suffering — what hope? If God is totally beyond anything I can ever experience — what hope?

    God is beyond anything ‘you’ can experience. Again, I’d drop this one unless you have a death wish.

    56. I hear a lot of loose talk about “The Eternal Now.” “Live in the present!” I am urged. Others tell me, “Go with the flow!” OK: the question behind all this is obvious. What is Time? Reality? Illusion? Something we mistake for something else?

    Time is a way of looking at something really big. Reality is anything that can be thought of or experienced. And when people say something about illusion its just a fancy way of saying there is another way of seeing things that they prefer over how you are seeing them.

    57. What is the meaning of “The Absolute”? What does it have to do with me?

    Vodka?

    58. I hear about “The Command to Perfection.” I think I have a long way to go, and everyone I know would agree with me on that one. And I know people who will never get there, forget it. What’s this all about?

    Hey you just figured out the secret to how and why there is an ever becoming ‘creation’

    59. How can I fear God and love God at the same time?

    You cant.

    60. Can philosophy or theology help me live, or do they tend to get in the way – at least sometimes? Can I first know something “in my head” and later realize it “in my heart” or “in my life”? Or does it have to be the other way around? Or is it really, somehow, simultaneous?

    Sure.

    61. Do I need a “Spiritual Master”? Where will I find one? How can I tell the phony ones, the charlatans, from the genuine ones? And what about these “inner, spiritual guides” people talk about?

    Everyone loves a cheer leader!

    62. I hear about “crossing the flood,” the “inner pilgrimage,” the “spiritual journey.” I suppose this refers to a Path, or an aspect of a Path. Where does a spiritual Path begin, and where, if ever, does it end? Do I work or does God lead, or both? Or is it something else entirely?

    All paths lead to the same place. Nowhere. the real question is does this path have heart.

    63. Was I created, if I was created, for contemplation or action? If for both, how do they relate?

    What do you seem to be doing? That is probably why you were created or decided to exist.

    64. The religious texts and teachings are called “revelation,” as if they come direct from “God” and have absolute authority, as if they are the Truth. How can this be verified? How do we know they weren’t just written by nameless sages long ago? Can something written by a human being also somehow have come directly from God?

    Are Myths true? Do stories contain Truth? Is Truth found in what is ‘true’? Good questions!

    65. Sometimes I hear about some inner secret true teaching called “esoterism,” usually opposed to some “outer” teaching for the simpleminded masses. Is this an analysis of the way God addresses us? There are advanced and backward people? Who judges, who decides?

    Can God convince himself that he is ignorant and powerless?

    66. What’s the difference between God and something called “the Godhead”? Are there two or one here? Which one do I worship? Is God a Person? A Thing? A Force? A Void? All (or none) of the above?

    If you and what ever Gody void head thing you are interacting with like worship then I say go for it.

    67. Is God really doing everything that happens? Or is He or She just sitting back and watching it all? If God is doing everything, do I still have free will? If God is just watching everything, can He or She still create the universe? Or help me?

    One could say that God is the only Noun. Everything else you could ever think of or do is a verb.

    68. A lot of people put down “organized religion.” Was “organized religion” once OK and then something went wrong? Or is it still OK? Or do I have to decide on a case by case basis? And if so, according to what standards? How can I judge something that I’m supposed to follow?

    Does it make you happy? Does it make those around you happy? Does it give you clarity, insight and understanding to your life? Do you see yourself progressing with more ease as a result of the religion? If yes then, high five.

    69. A friend of mine once saw a book called The Transcendent Unity of Religions, a book I wish could have been read by the popes who launched the crusades. What is this “transcendent unity”? We clearly have need of its recognition now, in these times. (If you have not heard this term before, or if it baffles you, read on…)

    Start seeing everything as a Verb for great victory. -ING is the greatest mantra.

    70. Did everything go the way it had to go, the only way it could go, or did everything happen by accident and chance? Free will or determinism? Does this have something to do with karma? Is there good karma and bad karma determining the way things go? Is there such a thing as “what might have happened?”

    Everything goes every possible way it can go. Pick which one you want to see.

    71. Democratic institutions seem to me rather inconsistent with the claims of religion to have an inside track on the truth; seems to be a real contradiction there. I think I’d be happier with due process and habeas corpus than with an Inquisition and “papal infallibility.” How should we think about this conundrum? If imperfect human society were governed according to the standards of Absolute Truth, would life be possible? If imperfect human society were governed with no reference to Absolute Truth at all, would life be possible?

    Only people who misunderstand believe in anything other than ever fluid, ever changing truth. So of course trying to freeze it at any point is going to cause problems.

    72. Are there really “god-men”? How can I identify a “cult”? Do the two, god-men and cults, always go together? Are there “hidden” saints or sages? If so, what’s the difference, if any, between them and the Big Names?

    There are hidden Guru’s everywhere. One made you lunch last week.

    73. Is there some kind of mysterious occasional affinity between European “religious” intellectuals and ultraconservatism, even fascism? I’m thinking of Eliot, Pound, Yeats, Paul Claudel, Mircea Eliade, Paul DeMan. What happens there?

    Huh?

    74. Are people basically good or basically bad? Or better stated: What’s basic, what’s the human essence?

    Do Good and Bad exist with out you to categorize things?

    75. Exactly what is the problem in the world today? Or what are the problems, if there are many? What has gone wrong? And what is it within me that tells me there is something fundamentally wrong, when the whole culture is celebrating itself? Is this a religious question? Furthermore, is the world actually ending? If I knew it was, would that change how I ought to live my life?

    What do you see as a problem? that is probably the problem in the world. If the world was ending, and it changed how you lived, its a good indication that your path has no heart and is focused on the destination.

    76. What will guide me in the choices I must make, every day, about my own life, the lives of my children?

    What ever you allow to guide you.

    77. Some people appear satisfied that there is no God, nothing divine. Others suspect there is something but go no further than that, an uneasy suspicion; others wish there were something beyond what we see with our eyes, and pine for evidence. I’m one of the last group. What do I do?

    Learn to see with something beyond your eyes and hear with something beyond your ears.

    78. What is this “perennial philosophy” or “sophia perennis” some people talk about after reading Aldous Huxley or Fithjof Schuon or René Guénon or Huston Smith? A religion?

    I think its a bunch of intellectual masturbation. People that just like to hear themselves talk. Which is fine. We all have hobbies. Better than Porn some might say.

    79. What are the experiences in this world that will lead me to what is holy and sacred? How can I select experience with this goal in mind? How shall I interpret experience in a religious manner? Jazz, for example, or European classical music. Are they spiritual? What about the other arts?

    What do you find to be art? that will probably point to what you find to be spiritual.

    80. I long for something I cannot define. Something eternal. Something real. Where can I turn?

    Focus or move in the direction of the Longing. See what happens. You’ll probably be able to write a book about it. Let me know how it works out.

  2. This is wonderful, playful, real.

  3. <>

    Maybe, but become aware of it and recognise your susceptibility to manipulation at the hand of other ‘cosmic characters’, seen and unseen. Dream lucidly, but cautiously, lest your dream be a nightmare.

    <>

    Yes, I’ll buy your brain for $20.

    “You can take my brain, but you’ll never take my mind!” Why not? Either because you’re mindless, or because your mind is not in your skull.

    Think about it, zen you will understand.

  4. 16. Am I nothing but a character in a “cosmic dream”? What am I then? Where am I? Am I anyone at all?

    Maybe, but that doesn’t make you any less solid, or susceptible to manipulation by other ‘cosmic characters’. So dream lucidly, but cautiously, or else risk encountering adversaries, both visible and unseen.

    50. I’ve heard Zen people say we’re supposed to be mindless. Mindless?

    Yes, I’ll buy your brain for $20.

    “You can take my brain, but you’ll never take my mind!” Why not? Either because you’re mindless, or because your mind is not in your skull.

    Think about it, zen you will understand.

  5. Could not resist it…first 20 answers

    1. Is this a Creation or just some kind of place?
    It’s both and more. As long as it is approached from the point of view of separation; that is there and I am here there will be no sense of what it actually is. At best, it’s here, as am I and you and everything else. Start there. Finish there. Be there.
    2. Was or is there a Creator? Or a Big Bang? Or, in some way or other, has everything always been here?
    Whether or not it has been the only response I can truly give is that it is there. At least I am.
    3. Are things getting better or are they getting worse? Both?
    Things are what they are they haven’t changed.
    4. Is epidemic depression and bipolar misery caused by chemical imbalance or by residence in some kind of baffling hell?
    Yes. And no. If you look at it as, I am depressed, or I am happy, it will be a baffling hell, if you look at it from the point of view of yourself it is a combination of chemical imbalances, past behaviour and beliefs that you are something you are not. Be who you are.
    5. What do they mean when they say it’s self-evident that “the world begins in Perfection”?
    Perfection is reality, it doesn’t change, it is what it is. It is the sense of observation that distorts reality. It is this distortion that confuses reality for a descent from Perfection. It never ceases to be perfect. Ignorance reckons it does.
    6. Do we all have an eternal primordial divine Birthright of some kind, or are we nothing more than our ambiguous incoherent contested biographies?
    I’m certainly not a library, nor am I a creation. I have no need of birthrights or contestation. It’s ignorance that causes this, as if I am separate from what I am.
    7. How can I ever hope to cope with the colossal aggravating Problem of Good and Evil?
    When a mind is mistaking itself for reality it will tend one way then another. When more than one mind does this the problem of evil arises.
    8. Is virtue rewarded and vice punished? How can we identify virtue and vice? Do bad people get away with it – as it often seems – and good innocent people get screwed – as it seems even more often?
    Yes, but not by God. A mind that thinks, acts and desires will ignore everything it isn’t. Namely what it is.
    9. If there is a God, does He or She really care about us? Even know about us? It really doesn’t seem that way! An “Infinite Benevolence”? Convince me.
    There is only reality. The rest is ignorance. Be who you are. Don’t worry about God. God takes care of everything. Why carry your luggage on the train?
    10. Was there really some kind of Fall, some kind of Fall from Grace? When? Why? And if so, can anything be done about it? And does it hit all of us, even the kids?
    This is just an explanation, a door stop. It keeps the door open. The fall from Grace is the acceptance of the illusion for the Reality. It’s a gift. Let’s worry about our Self then about our kids. That’s what can be done about it.
    11. Did Christ really perform all those miracles?
    Yes, is as good an answer as no.
    12. Is there such a thing as Sin? Am I a sinner? How can you tell?
    No there isn’t. How can that be real?
    13. What do people mean when they say things like “This is all an illusion”?
    They mean that it is not Real. But they approach it from the perspective that generates the illusion. Of course it is there. So are they. But what they see isn’t what it is.
    14. Archfiend? Adversary? The Devil? Antichrist? Old Nick? What am I supposed to make of that kind of talk? Is the Devil my ego? The ego of society? Or is he “really out there”? Am I supposed to fight him? If so, how?
    No you are not supposed to fight the devil, any more than you are supposed to worship God. It is about YOU no one else, who are YOU, what are YOU, where are YOU, or should I say who am I?
    15. Is it good or bad to be passionate? I hear conflicting opinions.
    Good and bad are states of mind. Is what you are doing good to you? If not stop it.

    16. Am I nothing but a character in a “cosmic dream”? What am I then? Where am I? Am I anyone at all?
    Good question, keep asking it.
    17. Is it good to suffer? How so? And why do I suffer? I always try to do the right thing! And what exactly am I supposed to learn from suffering? Am I “undergoing purification” or “screwing up” or just hurting for no particular reason? Are the apparently happy people actually enlightened saints? Successful fulfillers of our common human desires? Lucky bastards? Mindless idiots?
    Have a thought that isn’t a question.
    18. Was Christ really God? Did He come back from the dead?
    Yes. Yes. Does it matter? He did leave a teaching. Which is more than my Gran left me (if you discount happy memories and fondness).
    19. Are there statements that are really true, absolutely indisputably eternally true, or is everything just relative? How can I know the Truth? And then what should I do?
    Silence if you can say it
    20. Do I have to be conservative if I’m religious? Can I be a “universalist”? Do I have to be faithful to only one religion? Can I be all three, or any two, at the same time?
    The soul needs a support. It will wander willy-nilly, but it needs a support commensurate to the job. A religion does that especially when the soul no longer supports itself. It’s a tough call nowadays…so I would say Beauty, Truth and Virtue..the soul knows what it needs because it is a reflection, hence illusion of reality. Be true to yourself. Your soul will know.
    Unfortunately, despite the obviousness of the summit, it is important to choose a path, and it is better to choose just one.
    If you can’t, don’t take your eyes of the summit, but stay where you are. The teacher will come to you.

  6. In continuation of question 20…

    I’ve thought some more since I responded to those first 20 questions, and I wanted to add something. In Sufism, the way to illumination, according to Laleh Bakhtiar in her book ‘Sufism – Expressions of the Mystic Quest’ is often “described as consisting of three attainments: The Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty and the Truth of Certainty. The distinction may be understood by taking fire as the symbol of truth. To attain the knowledge of Certainty is to know fire after having heard it described. To attain the Eye of Certainty is to know fire from seeing the light of its flames. The highest attainment the Truth of Certainty, belongs to those who know fire from having been consumed in it.”

    When I re-read my post I felt a debt of gratitude to writers like Frithjof Schuon and S.H Nasr, because I would not have had a clue about Truth if I hadn’t been pointed the way in their books, and I certainly would not have seen the light of its flames. I don’t think what I wrote is good or even accurate but I’m a little astonished that in this day and age I wrote anything at all.

  7. This is an after thought to question 4.

    4.Is epidemic depression and bipolar misery caused by chemical imbalance or by residence in some kind of baffling hell?

    I recentley have had a major change in my life situation and one of the things to crop up was that I am bi-polar. It is not misery and it is not hell. It makes life more challenging because sometimes it is so hard to get going, and at others you can’t stop moving. To give you an idea, last weekend I spent my entire months salary in one night, it was because I was manic, it never entered my head once that I might need this money for the rest of the month. Not once. But when I woke up two days later the depressive side would not stop reminding me. Yet with experience you learn to give things time, I say silly things like the universe told me to do it or it is a sign from the whole chaotic mix of things…but the truth is that ill or not I was aware the entire time, as I am now. So in answer to this question I would say it is the same for everyone. You just have to remember, chin up and walk tall…pretend you know what you are doing and be confident in it. No one knows, that is why we keep on asking, as if someone is going to stand up and say,”Hi, yeah I know what is going on”. I like the Quaranic verse, I don’t remember it outright but the Lord says, “I was a hidden treasure and I wished to know myself so I created the universe”. How wonderful is that, It is like saying , “Know thyself”. So no, depression, bi-polar or whatever is just as it is, some people suffer with it, some people fight it, and others just get on with it. I, just keep playing hide and seek, look and find and pretend I have any idea what is going on. I suppose what I am saying is tonight I’ve watched some good TV, I’ve had a few too many Bourbon and Cokes, I’ve eaten a lovely pizza and yet I’m still bi-polar and I am good with that…..there is nothing hellish, diabolical or anything sinister with it…that reminds me I must water the plants. Life goes on….I personally think there is nothing but God, so it doesn’t really bother me, yet I have a friend who is a classic alien abductee, he’s in his late 50’s and has no idea. He says, without reading stuff what you hear on every website. I tried to tell him to consider the metaphysical aspect but all I got because his memories were so clear and vivd was this was the course he is taking. I mean I have had experience with these things but if I was in the business he would be Gold dust. You see for a lot of people things have to be real. Verifiable. This is such a new phenomena it should be enblazoned accross the Royal Society’s coat of arms. Now I am mainic at the moment and a little drunk but does what I say seem like baffling hell or misery…I don’t think so. That said I told my boss straight up what was going on, it turns out that if you give people an inch they will GIVE a yard. best thoughts and sorry for the rant.

  8. actually on the ufo thing I could really do with some advice….my friend is in trouble…he likens it to a discovery of truth yet all I see is,”who’s that tip-tapping over my footbridge”

    Charles your help is required here.

    • sometimes, asking another a question helps you to answer it yourself, and no reply is always a reply!

  9. 1. Is this a Creation or just some kind of place?

    Creation is the depths and origins of place.

    2. Was or is there a Creator? Or a Big Bang? Or, in some way or other, has everything always been here?

    Creation is always going on, it is what underlies and sustains the physical processes of coming to be and passing away. When we are creative we link in with this and come to understand it better.

    3. Are things getting better or are they getting worse? Both? Can’t tell without seeing the future!

    We’re just in a time of change. We need prophetic wisdom – and prophets, according to Aquinas, are not people who see the future, but who see the depths of the present.

    4. Is epidemic depression and bipolar misery caused by chemical imbalance or by residence in some kind of baffling hell?

    I suspect it’s always been there. But we are at a shift in history – like the end of the Roman Empire or the Renaissance – and at times of shift things hidden are revealed – “shouted from the rooftops”, to use the words of Jesus. This isn’t a bad thing – it’s an opportunity for healing.

    6 & 7. How can I ever hope to cope with the colossal aggravating Problem of Good and Evil?
    Is virtue rewarded and vice punished? How can we identify virtue and vice? Do bad people get away with it – as it often seems – and good innocent people get screwed – as it seems even more often?

    To ask those questions is to be invited to journey. When Sergii Bulgakov’ s young son died, and he was at his funeral in the beautiful liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church,, Bulgakov received a deep sense that his son lived and would rise again. Soon after he became a priest.

    8. If there is a God, does He or She really care about us? Even know about us? It really doesn’t seem that way! An “Infinite Benevolence”? Convince me.

    Try some movement/dance (yes you can, and you don’t need to know steps) – it will heighten your sensitivity to what is. Then pray.

    Thanks for these great questions. Will come back soon and try answering some more.

  10. The maths boggles my mind…80 questions…yet so far no answer has been the same…wonderful…no wonder they say no 2 snowflakes are alike.

    And as for q80. I refer you to the conference of the birds….

    …sometimes a good answer is better than the right one.

  11. If I could teach one thing, it would be to always give. Give and give and give. Nothing hippy about it but it keeps you so busy :-)

  12. …and give from where you are! Even if it is a lie, if it is given in the right spirit it will become truth quicker than you can imagine. And if it isn’t and you have the sense of responsibility of your actions you will make it a reality.

  13. 14.Archfiend? Adversary? The Devil? Antichrist? Old Nick? What am I supposed to make of that kind of talk? Is the Devil my ego? The ego of society? Or is he “really out there”? Am I supposed to fight him? If so, how?

    I believe the devil is out there AND within us, working usually at the level of our unconscious. In owning our unconscious we can allow our shadow side to become enlightened and integrated. For me this happens through Christ, who is the Divine All-Light, and as man is the exemplar of the perfectly integrated human being. The very real existence of black magic and a few cases of possession suggest to me that the devil is a real external force.

    15.Is it good or bad to be passionate? I hear conflicting opinions.
    It’s great to be passionate. Let the passion be integrated with our reasoning/wisdom and passion will help us put that wisdom into action. Like a focussed flame. Unintegrated passion is as spectacular and potentially destructive as a bushfire.

    16.Am I nothing but a character in a “cosmic dream”? What am I then? Where am I? Am I anyone at all?

    Hey come on. You’re yourself AND you’re part of the cosmos. Let the light shine in the darkness of your confusion, and you’re getting empowered to be an agent for cosmic good.

    17.Is it good to suffer? How so? And why do I suffer? I always try to do the right thing! And what exactly am I supposed to learn from suffering? Am I “undergoing purification” or “screwing up” or just hurting for no particular reason? Are the apparently happy people actually enlightened saints? Successful fulfillers of our common human desires? Lucky bastards? Mindless idiots?

    I don’t know any truly happy people who don’t have some suffering in their lives. I really recommend Miriam Greenspan’s book “Healing Through the Dark Emotions: the Wisdom of Grief, Fear and Despair” (Shambhala, 2003).

  14. 44.God is Love, God is Love. I hear that all the time. Does it mean that “God” is just a name we give to love? Or vice versa? What’s the big deal then?
    45.How the hell am I supposed to love everyone? I know some real sadistic sons of bitches! I’ll never be able to love them! Forgive maybe, but not love. (Or can I? Or should I? Can you love someone by trying?)
    46.God loves us? Sure doesn’t look like it! Indifferent at best. Just what is God’s relationship to us, as individuals and a collective, and to the world, if He exists at all?

    Can it take 44-46 together? In the end love is doing the impossible. Sure, being in love, natural kindness, solidarity, all helps. But in the end it’s an act of will. Ich muss, darauf ich kann, said Kant. If we must, we ask for help. This is where the love of God is given, in my experience. God is a surpriser, a beggar in the mystical tradition, who begs us to let ourselves be loved. He comes in the most unlikely people. To ask to see God in the other is to begin to see people how they are, loveable even in their quirkiness. Then we becomes icons, radiating the divine light of love. Yours for the asking.

    47.Are there “other worlds,” invisible, or maybe just barely visible? If these worlds exist, are they “spiritual” or just different? Who or what, if anything, lives there? And does any of this really matter to how I live my life?

    In my experience, we become aware of them when we learn to be present. Seven Heavens, according to early Christianity – see Irenaeus, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 9. Seven layers of reality. Dance is a great school of becoming aware of these levels, which are in everything – spirit in matter.

  15. [Question 9: If there is a God, does He or She really care about us? Even know about us? It really doesn’t seem that way! An “Infinite Benevolence”? Convince me.]

    The kingdom of God is within and in our caring, sharing, and a certain kind of knowing, we find that this kingdom is our own. The kingdom provides no power, no money, no pleasure. But it contains a treasury of caring and benevolence. If we share the wealth of this treasury, it is always replenished. If we don’t share it, it dries up, the kingdom goes into recession, and we are again in the universe without a caring or benevolent God.

  16. Response to Question 3: Are things getting better or are they getting worse? Both?

    I imagine a traditional religious society – it could be anywhere East or West and at any time during the last few thousand years. I imagine a typical person in such a society on a typical day, at a time when the day’s work is done. I imagine this person going to a sacred place, perhaps a temple. He (for simplicity I’ll say he, though it could as easily be she) offers a prayer, a long heartfelt prayer at this temple. In the course of this prayer, he opens his soul to the divine (in the form of a god or goddess, avatar or saint) and expresses his desires and fears, hopes and thankfulness. Through the course of this prayer and under the aspect of the divine, the person assesses and reassesses the motives of his soul. By prayers end, he has regained orientation and commitment to his highest motives and deepest aspirations. His desires and fears have been explored and resolved; he has found the deity alive and present; for a timeless moment he has found the world to be very good. He walks home with a light step.

    I imagine a similar person in the modern consumer society. He too is motivated by desires and fears, hopes and thankfulness. It is the weekend. With these motives stirring about in his soul, he opts to go shopping – for certainly there is a purchase that can satisfy his desires, ease his fears, give substance to his hopes. He goes, shops, buys, walks back out through the long parking lot, stows the purchases, and drives home. How good it is to have a job and a credit card! How thankful to be close to a mall!

    Okay, these contrasting vignettes are but cartoons, hardly something one could draw conclusions from about whether things are getting better or worse. I have purposely presented the traditional religious society in a favorable light and our modern consumer society in a dim one. Yet, I think the vignette of the traditional religious society represents a typical, if not commonly realized, ideal of the traditional society. And I think the vignette of the consumer society is certainly not atypical (I play that role myself often enough). Further, if I have presented the traditional religious society in a particularly favorable light, it is partly to counter the fact that so many secularists present those societies only in their worst light – focusing on witch hunts, pogroms, jihads and such. (While these negatives have certainly been a part of some traditional religious societies, the vast majority of people who lived in those societies never witnessed such activities.)

    My point here is to suggest that, whatever goods the modern world provides, it also represents a loss. To live in the presence of the divine, to experience the soul under the aspect of its light, is a deep and glorious value. And it is a value potentially open to every individual in such a society – even today it is a value available to slum dwellers living on trash heaps amidst the wealth of an emerging market economy.

    To the secularist who would insist that this “experience of the divine” is only an illusion and thus not really of much worth, I can only insist that the experience is genuine, even if the mythic structures which help give such experiences form are ultimately fictions. Yes, the typical person in the traditional society seldom or never got the genuine experience, never got beyond adherence to the mythic forms. It is also the case that most people never penetrate a great work of art, never get beyond the mechanical usage of mathematics, never get beyond ideology to genuine philosophy. To penetrate to the heart of great art, mathematics, and philosophy takes both facility and effort. To penetrate to the heart of spirituality also takes facility and effort. The difference though, is that a discipline intellect is required for the first three, whereas an opened heart and disciplined will is a far greater requisite for spirituality.

    If the typical religious adherent gets stuck on the mythic forms and fails to move beyond them to a communion with that great mystery of being (to which we give such names as God, the Absolute, and Tao), the critics of religion fail even worse in this regard. With no sense of the beauty and depth of such a communion, they attack the myths as if the truth or falsity of the myths were the actual issue of a religion, as oblivious to the value that lies beneath their surface as the iconoclast is oblivious to the possibilities of beauty in the art work that he is busy smashing to pieces.

    Given a choice between the well mapped path of consumption and un-mapped path to communion, most people of any place and time will choose the well mapped way. It is ever so human to choose the easy and the obvious over the difficult and obscure. This is why we have “progressed” to the consumer society. The value of consumables is easily determined; they have a price tag. There is no such price tag for communion. The person imagined above walking home from the temple is in possession of something that cannot be purchased by the richest person in the largest mall of the most power consumer society on earth. But it is still available to each of us.

    And this final fact is why relative to the individual, any time is as good as any other. So my answer is ultimately neither.

  17. concerning question 34: if life is a test, how do i pass? if it is a lesson what am i suppose to learn? If it is an illusion, how do i find reality. What is wisdom?

    I am reminded of a line from a poem i wrote in my teens:
    ” If life is a joke, then the worlds unhappiness is the punchline.”

    “Life as a test” sounds like another concept to me
    Live in the present moment….. and you pass!
    The same with life being a lesson and the same with life being an illusion.
    Life, not even the one here down below, is an illusion; your thinking…concepts, make it so.
    Life can only be lived in the resent moment anyway! ; All else, past and future, exist only in the mind…concepts and memory….noise…

    As over simplification was necessary for modern science to be technologically viable, sometimes it might be necessary to simplify things for the spiritual aspirant to make things functional for him.
    This to say that the techniques needed for learning to live in the present moment might need be simplified, somewhat in the way a a Buddhist monk tells the aspirant to go sweep the temple and not ask questions….maybe never.

  18. concerning question 74
    So much could be said here that it is best to just make a few brief comments:
    Man is neither born basically good or bad, The saint can understand evil and the liar knows the truth.(usually, if not subconsciously, which is just saying that he doesn’t have the strength or courage to admit what he knows to be the truth)
    We must speak of what lies dormant, what can be activated and what the innate potential is.
    And there are the basic three variables to a persons essence: the stars the street and the blood…i.e. “God” society and parents.
    The fact that we can even ask these kind of questions seems to prove that man is not basically good or bad. Isn’t it something like a road? we can travel this way or that way, at this speed or that speed, in this mood or that mood, angry at other drivers or courteous and so on, but we can not get off the road; the road is our nature, the rest is partially up to us…

    there is also the issue of man degenerating with each passing generation, but is this in the genes or in the stars…

  19. concerning question #22 (should be answered together with #17)

    the short answer:

    One must renounce and detach from ones own self concept…it is not about letting go of things or people or situations: detachment and renunciation is about our ideas about our self..and our memory of our ideas about ourself… and this is all that blocks us, and this is the cause of all our suffering…

  20. 11. Did Christ really perform all those miracles?
    So much Christian doctrine, study, and preaching seems to focus on Jesus’ miracles. There is certainly a component of good storytelling within the many gospels that doesn’t necessitate congruence to actual events. When Thomas Jefferson customized the gospels to create a new kind of bible, he chose to focus on Jesus’ teachings and actions as a moralist promoting a better way of life. Jefferson very consciously omitted the stories of supernatural events. Similarly, the Thomas gospel is a documentation of Jesus’ sayings, not of his miraculous powers. I mostly consider the miracles as something I shouldn’t rule out, but which also should not be the focus of Jesus’ importance. If a person preaches loving your neighbor as yourself, actually means it and proves it by his/her actions, to me that is a greater miracle than turning water into wine or walking on water.

  21. The 80 Questions:
    1. Is this a Creation or just some kind of place?

    Wow, what a question, the answer can only really be experienced, and that’s far too subjective to be of any use in a written answer, so I’ll be straight up. I can’t answer this question until we know there is a who to be in a creation or kind of place. Let’s not worry about language and logic the question here has an assumption that is hidden and needs addressing. Who is answering this question, when is he answering it and where is he doing it. I’m going to hedge my bets and just go with the assumption. Because this question is a little like the one that asks if you have stopped hitting your wife. It has a koan like quality, and the answer it gives is. Ask the right question. Who am I? What am I? Where am I? So no, I’ve had to fall from a Creation to some kind of place. Right now, in terms of this question, the best answer I can give, because I am essentially lazy and know the answer, is that this at best is some kind of place.

    2. Was or is there a Creator? Or a Big Bang? Or, in some way or other, has everything always been here?

    Until we know who we are this question remains unanswerable in a fallen state. The truth is I do not know.

    3. Are things getting better or are they getting worse? Both?
    It is a covenent, so worse. And it will get worse still yet. Just look at the news, yesterday I had seen over 3000 deaths by lunchtime. Witnessed their actual passing. Thank you Yesterday, war docs and good ‘ol News 24.

    4. Is epidemic depression and bipolar misery caused by chemical imbalance or by residence in some kind of baffling hell?

    It is caused when Reality clashes with reality, when the make believe claims the phenomenon, when we humans make up stuff instead of dealing in Truth and knowledge. This is Earth, Heaven is someplace else, so is Hell try not to make the mistake of thinking they are just metaphors….you may end up there by mistake. So yes.

    5. What do they mean when they say it’s self-evident that “the world begins in Perfection”?

    I don’t know because it isn’t self-evident to me and I don’t know who they are. However my experience has provided an answer to this, I tend towards Perfection, towards improvement, and betterment. But to go from that to talk of the origin of worlds is quite a leap, but on inspection this world just gives and gives. So I don’t think they know what they mean when they say it is self-evident, but they do mean that it is self-evident, like a speck in the eye, or a slap in the face. It is mildly mocking really, so I think they mean to wake people up or at least see if they are awake enough.

    6. Do we all have an eternal primordial divine Birthright of some kind, or are we nothing more than our ambiguous incoherent contested biographies?

    I cannot be kind here. We are talking materialist worldview v covenent. You create the world you live in, so choose wisely. I choose a Divine Birthright. You can have the monkey one.

    7. How can I ever hope to cope with the colossal aggravating Problem of Good and Evil?

    By remembering the names of God, by committing fully to your view of the world and acting accordingly and you won’t have a problem with Good and Evil. Any more than normal. ‘God is light in Him there is no darkness’ so don’t go making up more evil.

    8. Is virtue rewarded and vice punished? How can we identify virtue and vice? Do bad people get away with it – as it often seems – and good innocent people get screwed – as it seems even more often?

    Fake stuff sells because of the real thing, on the surface it would look like effort equals reward but the Reality is what it is. What do the sufis say, try not to mistake the map for the territory! I personally do try to reward virtue and punish vice

    9. If there is a God, does He or She really care about us? Even know about us? It really doesn’t seem that way! An “Infinite Benevolence”? Convince me.

    I cannot answer this question because I believe from my experience there is a God, that he cares and knows about us. That He Loves us. Our Father, our Father mine and yours…makes us Brothers! Convince yourself! I cannot convince you, I can show you who helped me and what I did, but you have to do it. If I was a teacher, you could just ask.

    10. Was there really some kind of Fall, some kind of Fall from Grace? When? Why? And if so, can anything be done about it? And does it hit all of us, even the kids?

    Yes. Accept it, make peace then move on. Yes it is being worked on, in ways that would make Hollywood’s imagination machine blush in embarrassment , more than Horatio’s philosophy!

    11. Did Christ really perform all those miracles?

    I believe he did. And that he did more that were not written down. The one that impresses me, is he can still talk to me using the Bible, while He does his thing and I’m not wasting His ‘time’. Trying to ride donkeys through my Teachers’ doors!

    12. Is there such a thing as Sin? Am I a sinner? How can you tell?

    Yes, sin is a word that used to mean missing the mark, as in Archery but since the 70’s the Catholic church has had so much trouble, particularly with the passions, it confused sin in the mind of its parishoners, so error became the domain of the Pope, not the man and the priestly function left the domain of the lay man. In short we forgot the meaning of a word, because the guardians did not protect it. As a result we got confused, we had no self-authority and with a corrupt clergy even sin became sin.
    I miss the mark, all the time, but I keep shooting those arrows, sin, repent, repeat…that’s how I can tell. His Mercy will take care of the rest.

    13. What do people mean when they say things like “This is all an illusion”?

    They think that we are hallucinating our sense of self consciousness, creating a man because the void is so terryifying, when if we could see things as they are, we too could see the stones rolling down hills, randomly becoming garden partys, tea-sets and the desire to propose and have kids.

    14. Archfiend? Adversary? The Devil? Antichrist? Old Nick? What am I supposed to make of that kind of talk? Is the Devil my ego? The ego of society? Or is he “really out there”? Am I supposed to fight him? If so, how?

    Leave this one well alone. The Devil is a real being, I only know what I have read about him and what he has told me, he is NOT your ego, he is not some jungian archetype, he is in fact the most Beloved of the Angels, and has carte blanche here. HE decieves ALL, never underestimate him. And he hates us. He has his reasons. I already lost that dance, I’m to keep out of his way. He really does have this one covered. Yes you are supposed to fight him, which really needs changing, as you can’t win that fight. It’s the how do you fight. From my Christian point of view, it is done through patient perserverence, prayer and more perserverence, I would imagine Prayer is the answer par excellence. Leave the fight to Christ or God, so we can get back to the divinely appointed task we have of being Human. Or more accurately Being a Lover…..

    15. Is it good or bad to be passionate? I hear conflicting opinions.

    The old good vs bad, it is what it is. Love. Love. Love.
    That is all you need!

    16. Am I nothing but a character in a “cosmic dream”? What am I then? Where am I? Am I anyone at all?

    Easy now! take a deep breath, that’s it, in…out…in…..out, do the okey cokey and turn around, cause its gonna be alright. Yes you Are. Start there, stay there, love one another.

    17. Is it good to suffer? How so? And why do I suffer? I always try to do the right thing! And what exactly am I supposed to learn from suffering? Am I “undergoing purification” or “screwing up” or just hurting for no particular reason? Are the apparently happy people actually enlightened saints? Successful fulfillers of our common human desires? Lucky bastards?
    Mindless idiots?

    No it isn’t good to suffer. In fact my whole reason for being now relies on this principal. Yes, some of the happy people are saints, because to be enlightened AND happy would take a saint. Again Reality does not care the way we say so. Reality does it, then we go wtf! Fortunately reality isn’t a personality, it just is, the ones that know it either control the sleepers for spare bits and work, and the others just do ease-suffering all day. Some have to pray, some have to be the answers to prayer. Believe me, the Truth and truths are shockingly upside down in relation to reality. The secret loves you.

    18. Was Christ really God? Did He come back from the dead?

    Yes, this is very hard metaphysics but consistent logically. It requires the effort of the path and is revealed in due time. I will explain this as I am a catechumen in Orthodoxy, and I love this. Warning this is true metaphysic in action, so don’t worry if you don’t understand it.

    One string plucked once in the middle sings all its songs. There is only God. God IS reality. Who sings the song? Is it Solomon, or David, or you. From my perspective on that string the answer is Yes yes yes yes, so come and have a look from where I am, see what you think then answer.

    Yes Christ came back from the dead, I am literally obliged to believe this even if I don’t, this one gets under your skin. Because metaphysically, in terms of the absolute, his death and reincarnation are strict necessities for the event to be a Real event. God alone, hidden, creates man as an image of himself, uncreated man, his motivation for which is yet to be revealed. He then creates the universe. I think the rest is history.

    19. Are there statements that are really true, absolutely indisputably eternally true, or is everything just relative? How can I know the Truth? And then what should I do?

    No, relativity does not allow for it. Unless the word is the thing in and of itself, it will be a symbol of that word. Anything descriptive added would then relativise and make false, statements that metaphysically are known to be true. For instance God the all-possible includes the possibility of not-God. But the words I use here bear no relation to the reality of the truth. The king is dead, long live the king!

    20. Do I have to be conservative if I’m religious? Can I be a “universalist”? Do I have to be faithful to only one religion? Can I be all three, or any two, at the same time?

    Be who you are. All it takes is honesty, love, time, luck, grace, basically it is a gift….ACCEPT IT

    21. Which is smart? Austerity or the pursuit of happiness? Are they ever the same thing?

    They aren’t mutually exclusive, again these are donkeys to get you you to the door, you dismount them to come inside the house. Trouble is, without a guide, they are as good as useless.

    22. What am I supposed to renounce, and why? From what should I be detached? And why? Do I get anything in exchange, any compensation? Is it worth it?

    Bring Caulifowers. I did not get this memo. Unfortunately we all do this to some degree. Seek safety on the shore. No it is not worth it for me, I cannot vouch for another though. I would err with caution and just do what the teacher asks, *(they never ask for anything). Wow look at that list of automatic unexamined assumptions….marvelous lets examine them :)

    23. Chastity, Poverty and Obedience? (Why not add Suicide?) Is it ever a good idea to deny myself the goods of life? Is it ever a good idea to turn my decision-making power over to somebody else? When do these things work, if they ever do, and what are they supposed to accomplish? When and how do they go wrong?

    If you seek safety, seek it on the shore; again any form of ascetism, especially these days, is effectively dangerous and almost certainly useless without a guide.

    24. Do I have an immortal soul? Is there an afterlife? What is Death?
    Yes, no just Life and I have no idea, it’s a meta-mystery :). He (Death) scares me like those Harry Potter monsters…he has a vibe if you get what I mean which makes his company a bit uncomfortable.

    25. What about this reincarnation business, metempsychosis, transmigration, former lives? Do I actually inherit the consequences of behavior in earlier lifetimes? “My” behavior or somebody else’s?

    You live in the Universe you create, my inclination would be to make another one. This one seems a bit too ‘rum’.

    26. Is there retribution? A Heaven and a Hell? Post-mortem Judgment?

    Yes but it’s best to leave redemption to those who can redeem, and they are found on Earth. Go to Greece, climb mount Athos and ask a father!!!Be the arc of ascent, do it for Her.

    27. Is evolution true? Did we evolve from protoplasm through fish and apes to what we are now? Or were we always human? This is a Big One for me!

    It has got to the point now, where I am so amoured by the Divine and ashamed of this fallacy I just have no fight for this one anymore. They will find the right way of explaining it so it fits eventually. Unfortunately Materialism is not going away.

    28. Is there any point in praying? Are prayers answered?
    Yes, and yes. You have to do it. There is no room for theory in Reality.

    29. Is there really some kind of “Art of Dying”?
    It can be done with a certain panache and grace. It depends which death.

    30. If I’ve said or done something I know was bad, is there forgiveness? How will I know if I’ve been forgiven? Or do I have to pay off my “karmic debt” all by myself?
    It really is up to you. This isn’t a part of my world. I accept what God wills as best I can.

    31. Are some people living the right way and some people the wrong way?
    Of course, this place has become a dive, a den of boot-strappers, Oh Nietsche, what have you done you naughty boy :)

    32. How can I know God is real, God exists?

    Believe me.

    33. How do we go about “loving God”? Or loving Christ? Or whatever other figure is God for me, or His/Her representative?
    In the same way you treat your loves, give unto Caeser what is his, just be you. Do what thou wilt, and change till it does work. KEEP COMING BACK.

    34. If life is a test, how do I pass it? If it’s a lesson, what am I supposed to learn? If it’s an illusion, how do I find reality? In other words, I guess, what is Wisdom?

    Life is so easy, even the birds can do it and they don’t have hands or monkey brains. Start where you are. Remember it is Real.

    35. What is this “inward dragon” I’m supposed to kill? How will I know when it’s dead, or only wounded? Can I tame it instead of killing it? Does it ever become my “servant”? The servant of God?

    There be dragons, here are a few, we are so evolved, consciousness is an illusion, free will is a myth. Moist robot. On a serious note, Reality is what it is, it has to be tasted. You can slay the dragon but who has that skill nowadays, you can wait for it to fall asleep then try to sneak past it, or as is the fashion nowadays call it something else, and hope we evolve past it. Dragons can speak though so learning dragon can help. As for a personal relationship with a dragon. You are only limited by your imagination! I have a dragon and until this question – it was forgotten for a long time.

    36. Why are there different religions? How can they all be true?
    There is one God. There ARE lot’s of humans. Can we all see him from the same viewpoint? We can’t even agree on grapes!

    37. Faith in what? That’s what I want to know! Faith in what?
    Faith in your Lord as Saviour and Redeemer. Dance there wherever you may be I am the Lord of the Dance said he, and if you dance in me I’ll dance in you because I am the Lord of the dance said he.

    38. Salvation from what? Redemption from what?
    Salvation from the Evil One, redemtion from sin.

    39. Some people are totally into New Age, others say it’s bullshit. Who’s right? How do you decide? Where is authority on this issue? (The same for Neo-Paganism.)

    After trying both New Age is bullshit. I am the authority. The Real rewards with gifts, the other gifts with rewards.

    40. We’re supposed to be “whole” people, not fragmented. (I hear a lot about “fractured identity.”) What’s that all about? How do I know which I am?

    When you do you do, worrying should be left for knots, shoelace problems and science.

    41. I love being alone out in Nature. Am I running away, evading responsibilities, leaving the important work of saving the world to others?

    Probably but you love nature, nature isn’t you…keep it up. Love the Lovers.

    42. I have an occasional insistent feeling that there’s something I’m supposed to know that I don’t. An understanding I’m supposed to have, and then I’d finally be happy. Is this true? What am I supposed to know? Something about God?

    Yes, it is exactly about God, he’s calling and you are not answering…have people suddenly started punching you. Have you accidentally seriously prayed? This is a classic, they forget there prayer…what was I asking God for again, a ferrari!

    43. Sometimes I feel that everything is crazy or empty or false. Am I right? And if so, what am I supposed to do, how am I supposed to live?

    You are half way there, now listen to the answer of your own question, your voice is the one that sounds like you!!!

    44. God is Love, God is Love. I hear that all the time. Does it mean that “God” is just a name we give to love? Or vice versa? What’s the big deal then?

    Love is one of the names of God, but all of Love is God, experience Love you experience God, so are you sure you don’t know?

    45. How the hell am I supposed to love everyone? I know some real sadistic sons of bitches! I’ll never be able to love them! Forgive maybe, but not love. (Or can I? Or should I? Can you love someone by trying?)

    Love is really real. We were made to Love God thats how much love we have, if it isn’t overflowing it ain’t love!

    46. God loves us? Sure doesn’t look like it! Indifferent at best. Just what is God’s relationship to us, as individuals and a collective, and to the world, if He exists at all?

    I sometimes think this question really is just asking Does God love me. The answer is yes he does, so much more than you can imagine.

    47. Are there “other worlds,” invisible, or maybe just barely visible? If these worlds exist, are they “spiritual” or just different? Who or what, if anything, lives there? And does any of this really matter to how I live my life?

    Yes, it is what it is even if you can’t see it. Remain where you are, heart fixated on God and do it as best you can. It matters more than you want to know. This is the day you find out your guardians are really your jailors.

    48. How can I be convinced that religion isn’t just superstition? I guess that’s really the Big Question that haunts me. You know: Science versus Religion. The real bottom line.

    Be Real. Love. Love. Love. As best as you can. Really, sometimes you have to be like Indiana Jones and take that leap. Try not to let your imagination get ahead of you. Whatever answer you get your still dying.

    49. Those Chinese hermit monks talk in all their poems about being drunk on wine. Is that good? In vino veritas: is that true? I hope so! The Sufis also talk about being drunk on wine, though their commentators always explain that it’s really mystical ecstasy, “spiritual” wine they mean. What do you think? And what if wine is not your “substance of choice”?

    When God kisses you, you will look drunk and crazy to anyone else, what distinguishes it from madness is the tangiable outpouring of joy. It is unmistakable.

    50. I’ve heard Zen people say we’re supposed to be mindless. Mindless?

    Yes, that’s mindless. When being mindless be mindless. An empty mind is never more full.

    51. Some people say we’re supposed to “see God everywhere”. I’ve tried to give it a shot, but without success. Total failure. Is this really possible? Imagination? Or something that we can’t make happen by ourselves in any case, some unpredictable gift?

    Do you know what God looks like?

    52. Sometimes I say to myself, “I just want to live in peace.” All the religions, from what I understand, talk a great deal about peace. Infinite Peace. I want it! Where do I begin?

    By not beginning, peace is really just the presence of the Lord, enjoy the noise and longing for Peace for it is Really the absence of your Lord which stresses you. Remembrence through Prayer and Ritual is customary.

    53. What is this ego I’m supposed to lose? Who am I who loses it? What’s left?

    Nothing is left, you have to die to the ego and the only thing the ego loves is the world, take the world away, you take the ego then maybe one day you too will accept a gift.

    54. Sometimes it all seems to revolve around Ignorance vs. Wisdom. Not exactly a head-scratcher as far as making a choice goes! So where’s Wisdom? Who’s wise?

    The three r’s are wonderful thinking tools but the best thinking tool is is the mouth. Your wiser than me for instance because you are asking about what you don’t know, and In who known am trying to answer. You can’t write silence.

    55. The Knower is the Known! The One is the Many! Suchness is the Void! “God became Man that Man might become God”! I need help on this stuff. If everything is God and there is still ignorance and suffering — what hope? If God is totally beyond anything I can ever experience — what hope?

    It is what it Is. Tough. Sorry. Can you run a sub 10 100m dash? Play 10 simultaneous chess, Notice the unseen mover, who plies us with tens! What hope there is. Is. It will be what it is. The plants don’t mind their nicknames any less than their latin ones. When does a chicken stop being a chicken.

    56. I hear a lot of loose talk about “The Eternal Now.” “Live in the present!” I am urged. Others tell me, “Go with the flow!” OK: the question behind all this is obvious. What is Time? Reality? Illusion? Something we mistake for something else?

    I have to quote the Meister, ‘time is a moving image of eternity’. Good old Ekhart. I think time is what this man says. <<<<

    57. What is the meaning of “The Absolute”? What does it have to do with me?

    Can the mirr'd reflection snare, or catch the shards
    from Dionysus' stare, the Face of God laid bare.
    The mirror crack'd each world became, split
    asunder by the Goddess game Atma forgets ATMAs name
    Leaving you and me to play the game,
    when she just ups and walks away
    The Lovers contended
    smile and say,
    Simon, Simon, Simon
    Can you do this every day! Or will you change and follow us on the way.

    58. I hear about “The Command to Perfection.” I think I have a long way to go, and everyone I know would agree with me on that one. And I know people who will never get there, forget it. What’s this all about?

    It's Real, that is all. Nothing changes as you strive blindly to perfection other than the awareness that God is doing all the work on my behalf until I can do it myself. And I can never do it myself. Get better at skateboarding, windsurfing, parasailing until you can fly under the power of your own wings. I s easier than striving to perfection intentionally. Perfection is closely related to effort and will. Don't be too downtrodden though, it's an impossible goal. BUT a goal is better than no goal at all. Try it it looks achievable doesnt it. Is sleep perfect, death? How are you at holding hot coals?

    59. How can I fear God and love God at the same time?

    Appreciate his Mercy. Wonder at her Beauty. Try not to lose your temper at everyone else. Or just Love. You know like your other loves.

    60. Can philosophy or theology help me live, or do they tend to get in the way – at least sometimes? Can I first know something “in my head” and later realize it “in my heart” or “in my life”? Or does it have to be the other way around? Or is it really, somehow, simultaneous?

    They may help you and do help others, my job is trying to answer you without slapping you round the head. Take a deep breath…relax…you need to know how to know.

    61. Do I need a “Spiritual Master”? Where will I find one? How can I tell the phony ones, the charlatans, from the genu ine ones? And what about these “inner, spiritual guides” people talk about?

    Unfortunately, Yes you do. And they need to know too. Make peace with this one and move on quick, I couldn't, never had a teacher, which is why I absolutely insist on a Guide. This a deal breaker for me.

    62. I hear about “crossing the flood,” the “inner pilgrimage,” the “spiritual journey.” I suppose this refers to a Path, or an aspect of a Path. Where does a spiritual Path begin, and where, if ever, does it end? Do I work or does God lead, or both? Or is it something else entirely?

    The world of correspondences, as my favourite author Katherine Neville says Adventures in Research.
    ADVENTURES. And with dragons and all! You need to learn how to learn.

    63. Was I created, if I was created, for contemplation or action? If for both, how do they relate?

    Yes, did you create you if no, again make peace and move on with this one. Read Dennett's response to Nagel to remind you of your need to get away from these sleople.

    64. The religious texts and teachings are called “revelation,” as if they come direct from “God” and have absolute authority, as if they are the Truth. How can this be verified? How do we know they weren’t just written by nameless sages long ago? Can something written by a human being also somehow have come directly from God?

    Yes, it is great isn't it, this world of mystery and wonder. Mine was rent asunder by a private apocolypse where truth became Truth, act Action And Me just Simon….likes attracts opposites alike

    65. Sometimes I hear about some inner secret true teaching called “esoterism,” usually opposed to some “outer” teaching for the simpleminded masses. Is this an analysis of the way God addresses us? There are advanced and backward people? Who judges, who decides?

    No it is living a life of constant prayer, it is a Gift. The more prodigal you are the better. Is there a needle in your arm, have you prayed recently and meant it. At least acknowledge your hunger or desire for God. Be the noumenal in the phenomenal, we are consumed by fire and drunk on Wine, why do the hungry go to drinkers to dine, when they should just drink the wine.

    66. What’s the difference between God and something called “the Godhead”? Are there two or one here? Which one do I worship? Is God a Person? A Thing? A Force? A Void? All (or none) of the above?

    Nothing. Which is why Christ is God. You are in someone elses house, come up to their speed don't drag them down to yours.

    67. Is God really doing everything that happens? Or iess He or She just sitting back and watching it all? If God is doing everything, do I still have free will? If God is just watching everything, can He or She still create the universe? Or help me?

    What do they say, do as I say not as I do. Let God, let us go. What part of you are you not sure is you.

    68. A lot of people put down “organized religion.” Was “organized religion” once OK and then something went wrong? Or is it still OK? Or do I have to decide on a case by case basis? And if so, according to what standards? How can I judge something that I’m supposed to follow?

    Monitor the language you use, essentially you are only opening your eyes. They are just stuck very wide shut. Because when you See what you were looking at it is like those glasses in They live.

    69. A friend of mine once saw a book called The Transcendent Unity of Religions, a book I wish could have been read by the popes who launched the crusades. What is this “transcendent unity”? We clearly have need of its recognition now, in these times. (If you have not heard this term before, or if it baffles you, read on…)

    The mountain has a summit, how many paths can it have to the top. Just one? Rather than trying to find the hidden sometimes its nice to potter about in the light. Read a bible, a koran like a book. Simple. One page after another. No one is being forgotten, you can take that as read if you are here.

    70. Did everything go the way it had to go, the only way it could go, or did everything happen by accident and chance? Free will or determinism? Does this have something to do with karma? Is there good karma and bad karma determining the way things go? Is there such a thing as “what might have happened?”

    Ahh, wanting to change the past, an elemental is near! Maybe just a demon of doubt. You have moved from God. Go back. Love. Sin. Repeat.

    71. Democratic institutions seem to me rather inconsistent with the claims of religion to have an inside track on the truth; seems to be a real contradiction there. I think I’d be happier with due process and habeas corpus than with an Inquisition and “papal infallibility.” How should we think about this conundrum? If imperfect human society were governed according to the standards of Absolute Truth, would life be possible? If imperfect human society were governed with no reference to Absolute Truth at all, would life be possible?

    Welcome to the war. Look at what the lover's do. Look at what you do. Remember you are still asking so you are not there. Keep trying, always come back and don't make the mistake of putting words into Gods mouth. Welcome to the Counter Initiation. Shame on you. ;-}

    72. Are there really “god-men”? How can I identify a “cult”? Do the two, god-men and cults, always go together? Are there “hidden” saints or sages? If so, what’s the difference, if any, between them and the Big Names?

    These are things you will find out in due time.

    73. Is there some kind of mysterious occasional affinity between European “religious” intellectuals and ultraconservatism, even fascism? I’m thinking of Eliot, Pound, Yeats, Paul Claudel, Mircea Eliade, Paul DeMan. What happens there?

    Why do they love so much the dinner party game, or is it just subliminal awareness they are playing the dancers' game.

    74. Are people basically good or basically bad? Or better stated: What’s basic, what’s the human essence?

    Not intrinsically, it is why we are so bad at it. There are a lot of 'people' in this Universe, we look like each other so we know who to avoid. So as an example, The Ely group could be considered too proud to realise they can't beat the lizards at their own game and as much fun the mason's game is, it is based on a lie. We DO HAVE A CENTER, so we can operate across levels without the 'pop-ping' they try to effect. A beep gives a nice process like feel. Process equals progress.

    75. Exactly what is the problem in the world today? Or what are the problems, if there are many? What has gone wrong? And what is it within me that tells me there is something fundamentally wrong, when the whole culture is celebrating itself? Is this a religious question? Furthermore, is the world actually ending? If I knew it was, would that change how I ought to live my life?

    Mankind is purposefully and with outside knowledge, actively and happily, inverting every aspect of their life that will save them. It is being done overtly. Light from Light. Remember God is Light in Him there is NO darkness (read Evil as there nis night). So if you see some it's make believe.

    76. What will guide me in the choices I must make, every day, about my own life, the lives of my children?

    You. What you know, what you don't, how and can you use it. It is between you, God and your conscience. The fourth is the guide. Get one. I'm retired early, a la advice of the computer in wargames. The best choice is not to play.

    77. Some people appear satisfied that there is no God, nothing divine. Others suspect there is something but go no further than that, an uneasy suspicion; others wish there were something beyond what we see with our eyes, and pine for evidence. I’m one of the last group. What do I do?
    You would do well to be sure of the contents of your own mind before concerning yourself with the minds of others. Charity does begin at home.

    78. What is this “perennial philosophy” or “sophia perennis” some people talk about after reading Aldous Huxley or Fithjof Schuon or René Guénon or Huston Smith? A religion?

    It is the timeless expression of the love of life and wisdom by the Lover and Oracle :)Through the Divinised man. He's a gift. So is She.

    79. What are the experiences in this world that will lead me to what is holy and sacred? How can I select experience with this goal in mind? How shall I interpret experience in a religious manner? Jazz, for example, or European classical music. Are they spiritual? What about the other arts?
    Just go and shine shine shine you crazy diamonds go and be with Him.

    80. I long for something I cannot define. Something eternal. Something real. Where can I turn?
    You can turn to me.

  22. Questions 1-80: God. If I have given an answer that didn’t point, or have the potential to point you towards God is in error and I apologise. Unfortunately it’s the answer no-one wants for the skill no-one has!

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