OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Daily Nugget of Gold 2161

Daily Nugget of Gold 2161

Is Evil Powerful?

We’ve worked with a person of strong religious faith and that was an incredibly good thing for us in that we got to bounce ideas off of her and concepts to see if they weighed or didn’t weigh. One of the things she had believed that was true is that Satan was very, very powerful. We agreed that the power of Satan was not greater than God’s power and that Satan could only exist because God has chosen that possibility. Where we differed was in Satan actually having any real power, or was an entity all of his own. In our belief (not hers, surely) Satan is a metaphorical entity, a useful visual tool of God’s, in order that we might make kind and loving choices in our lives.

In order to choose something, or anything, we must have more than one item to choose from. We brought up the concept of playing a video game in which there are heroes and villains. Both characters are pixels on a screen, both are subject to the “physics of the game”, the computer driven software which tells the hardware how to act. In order for the hero to “do good” the villain must provide the foil, or else there’s no point to the game. We know, some games allow you to choose to be the evil one, but if that’s the case, then the plot is simply reversed.

If we are endowed by our Creator as being in His image and likeness, then it follows that we have the ability to understand more fully the reasons we were created in the first place. We’re very fortunate for that, because by following the clues set out for us, we can better focus on the important (and they must be important!) tasks created for us which purify the soul. Let’s now speak to the “Born Again Christians” among us. Why was it necessary for Jesus to die for our sins? Aside from God’s sacrifice of His only begotten Son, why did that have to happen, from a logical standpoint?

As we ponder the point, we can give thanks, a heart filled with Gratitude brings us ever closer to God. You’ll notice, with great benefit, how we phrased our question just now, for those among us whom are Born Again Christians. We might take some flack for that, but that’s okay. This isn’t so much a series that is religiously based, but rather concerned with success, for however you might define success.

We’re going to talk more on this subject next time, once again, we’re leaving you to ponder the point we made about the necessity of Jesus to die for our sins.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

“Why am I here, what is my purpose in life?”

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Daily Nugget of Gold 2160

Daily Nugget of Gold 2160

Why Does God Allow Evil to Exist?

A better question might be, “Why wouldn’t God allow evil to exist?” Well, what we’d like to ask, “What would the point of per-ordaining only good as being allowed to exist?” If we accept that God is all-powerful (Omnipotent), and all knowing (Omniscience), and everywhere (Omnipresent), then we have to come to some startling conclusions: God must allow evil to exist, that God allows evil within His presence, and that there must be a reason for that. Atheists might argue that this is an excellent fact to counter the existence of God at all, but we’re going to leave that point go for now.

We take it that The Bible is a guidebook for behavior that is both serving God’s purpose and glorifying God’s existence. There are prescriptions there about how to live our lives in ways that please God. Just the same, there are folks who don’t want anything to do with that. We see these people as necessary in order for us to grow. It’s sort of like many of the other challenges we face as we go about our work. For a farmer, there are the challenges of bugs and weeds, of equipment failure and repair, of conditions being right for planting or harvesting- or close enough- and more.

There is the perfection we see in having an imperfect world, for it is perfect for the the task that God has created for us. What is that task? To become loving and caring Spiritual beings. What good is it to design a workshop if there is no work needing to be done? Can you imagine the window salesman who’d like to sell you some windows if everyone already had absolutely perfect windows to begin with?

How about the farmer who just looked at their fields to see they were already cultivated, planted, and the harvest magically appears in the storage bins which never suffer mechanical difficulties and load into trucks without the farmer doing any work? Evil is ever present in our world, and it’s there for a reason, it makes no sense to be in this workshop perfecting whatever our Spiritual inner selves are without a foil. There is no character improvement without evil to overcome. What we’re saying here next may be a very controversial thing, indeed: Evil is an absolute necessity in God’s workshop for us.

So, we imagine that this may be a troubling concept to grasp, but contemplate what we said for a bit. Remember when, in the last couple of segments, we talked about life being sort of like a video game? In order to have such a thing, there needs to be heroes and villains, agree? Ask yourself this, though, are the evil villains actually evil, for real, or are they just playing a necessary part?

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

“How could we purify our hearts if we knew not what impurities were?”

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Daily Nugget of Gold 2159

Daily Nugget of Gold 2159

What Just Happened

As we do fairly frequently, we pushed the point of what we were just talking about into the next issue. This is one of the joys of a short format, like this one. We were talking about your character dying in a video game you were playing with a friend. The character was eaten by a dinosaur, but it really doesn’t matter about how someone meets their demise in a game, does it? It’s “game over”. We also talked about this game being more advanced than most games today are, it’s almost hard to imagine how we became so immersed in games when they were quite simple. In fact, before they were a thing we’d seen in our lives, we had struggled with what it would be like to play a game on a TV. We just didn’t get it.

Now that games are here and have become far more sophisticated, they have gone well beyond the simple ones we enjoyed in our teenage years. Still, if your character dies, no big deal. You can play another game. This is indeed our best tool for describing the physical matter reality we find ourselves in right now. For us, we already know that all physical matter is made up of tiny bits of things. Scientifically, we also know that things like energy and mass are actually simply encoded into objects and waves, not properties they contain.

That matter is more like the pixels and computer programming involved in giving the on-screen characters and objects properties, or as our son would call it, “the physics of a game” isn’t some crazy random happenstance (you Dr. Horrible fans will see what we did there). What it is that we are seeing is the method by which our fundamental Spiritual consciousness or awareness displays our world, our workshop, to us.

Much of the research we’ve conducted on our own has been about the hints almost all of us get over our lifetimes that the physical matter reality we find ourselves in isn’t nearly all there is to this. Those hints come in such a way that they are difficult to deny, they go beyond coincidence and many times we see, hear, smell, touch, or taste the deeper reality with another person present when it happens.

That physical matter reality doesn’t come into definite form without consciousness playing a role has been shown repeatedly by more than one type of scientific experiment. The good news about when that happened is that scientists set out to disprove those startling results because they thought it couldn’t possibly be true. No matter how they modified such experiments, they continue to show the same thing, that the fundamental level of the universe, of all things, is consciousness. All things includes the physical vessel you find your Spirituality occupying right now. Think about the implications of that for a bit.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

“If information is simply encoded in physical things, what does that say about what my body is?”

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Daily Nugget of Gold 2158

Daily Nugget of Gold 2158

Death in a Video Game

So you and a friend are playing a video game together for a few hours. That’s not an awfully long time, is it? We want this scenario to be as realistic as possible. Suppose you are wearing the newest and greatest virtual reality gear, maybe testing it out for a gaming company. Not only are you wearing a helmet with 3 dimensional light and sound added, but this new system added smells to make it seem even more real. Your hands, arms, and legs are in sleeves that provide sensations as well, when you step into the sunlight in the game, you feel the warmth on the exposed skin that you have. You are literally immersed in this game, okay?

So you’re playing the game and a dinosaur comes up and eats your character. Suddenly, everything goes black in your headset, sound ceases and the sensations you felt in your arms and legs were painful for a second, then nothing. Your character has died. Your playing partner is still in the game, still playing. They managed to get to a cave but you’re nowhere to be seen, you’re gone. You died.

So, is that the end? Are you actually dead from the experience? Well, if you suffered a massive heart attack during all of this, maybe, but otherwise, you take off the headset, remove the sleeves from your arms and legs and walk away unscathed. You may or may not stick around and play another game, but you’re fine. You’ve had an experience, you’ve learned some things. The game gave you a platform to play in and participate in and with, but other than that, it wasn’t really real. You, of course, know that.

When you began playing the game, you’d suspended the reality that you were in and adopted the reality you took on. You were fully immersed in the game as if you were really there. In a sense, you were. In another completely different sense, you were not. Your body in the game never actually was something in existence, save for a creation within a game. The game is a bunch of resisters, transistors, diodes, and circuits which created the image and likeness of the character you played, but your physical body never actually touched any of those, your Spirit didn’t actually course through the circuitry and blend with the electricity that creates the experience, did it?

You knew it was “just a game” despite how real it seemed, didn’t you? Oh, you were “into it” while playing it, that became your reality for a little bit, right? Often when we write these Nuggets, we come to a conclusion at the end, don’t we? Join us next time to see where we’re going with all of this.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

“Why am I here, what is my purpose in life?”

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

My beautiful picture

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment

Daily Nugget of Gold 2157

Daily Nugget of Gold 2157

The Selfish Act of Forgiveness

What? What did he say? If our title here today doesn’t compute, you really want to join us and explore this topic. We were talking about the relationship acceptance has with forgiveness and we were making the point that it’s really a prerequisite that we do that properly, the acceptance part, before we can move on to true and complete forgiveness. Every time we talk about forgiveness, we bring up the point that it doesn’t have anything to do with letting the offending party, if there is one, off the hook. That is, we think, the biggest obstacle there is on forgiveness and it’s very unfortunate that people think some acts are “unforgivable”.

Does it make sense to you now why we stressed acceptance and the realization that we aren’t the ruler of the universe? If we can accept that heinous and unspeakable atrocities do get committed, and we realize there is an extremely limited possibility we can stop them from happening altogether, and we accept that we cannot decree evil out of existence, then we are ready to understand the awesome Spiritual power of forgiveness.

That these things exist is inarguable, that we can’t control them is a relatively easy concept to get. Now let’s separate the act from the actor, if you will. The act is evil, at least the one we described was, clearly. Forgiveness is an act of disownment, too. We decide that we do not wish to have the evil reside in our heart. Yes, we can know it exists, we have accepted that fact. We can realize that it happened without our input. We are not culpable in any way. We do not wish the negative emotional state we would otherwise find ourselves in to influence anything we wish to do from a loving standpoint, therefore we truly and completely let it go. It’s as if we had a hold of a rope tied around whatever it was and we just drop the rope, simple as that. Do we remember that the nasty thing was tied to the rope? Yup. But without that attachment, the nasty thing stays out of our heart.

Now, this doesn’t stop evil doers from going to jail, paying a fine, or just being known by many to be bad people. We’re allowed to avoid the evil doer should that be our choice. There is no obligation of association for us. We can leave them be. We’re almost all the way there, folks. Doctor Joseph Murphy provided one more test for us, if something nice happened to the offending party, would we be happy for them?

Yeah, that’s not an easy test, but if we can go all the way to true forgiveness, we will sing like we’ve never sung before, with a heart unclouded by the evils of others. The heart filled with pure and lovely joy is the result, for it does not contain those nasty impurities of evil. Sure, it’s selfish to forgive, but oh, so worth it!

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

“What would it be like to be happy all of the time?”

Posted in Daily Nugget of Gold | Leave a comment