Questions Burning!

Admittedly, I’m a seeker. Always have been. Ever since that night so long ago when the heavens seemed to open a vision to me that I’ve never seen again.

So along comes a book that seems to say to my elderly self that it was all in my head. So, okay, I’m only half way through the book, but I can anticipate where this is going. Nevertheless, the author Robert Ornstein, a renown psychologist, brain researcher, and prolific author, obviously knows more than I do, so I will keep on reading.

Ornstein in his final book God 4.0 (He died before publication, so his wife Sally, a psychologist herself, saw it through the publication process.) begins with a section called God 1.0 — Our Inheritance, The Caves and the Shamans. Here he talks about the discovered cave paintings from the Paleolithic period, some so difficult to get to that it’s a mystery as to how these early artists could have accomplished their creations. It is also a mystery just what they represented or how they were used. By about 35,000 years ago, humans had evolved into being more like us, used language, and sought spiritual experiences, especially through shamans who entered a “trance” state of altered consciousness.

The next section God 2.0 — Frome Many Spirits To Many Gods, Gods For Everything is about the Neolithic Era when people gathered together in communities, developed agriculture to support people in cities, and built temples for their many gods.

God 3.0 –Monotheism moves on to the growth of major religions, some of which are with us in the present day: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Out of these came some of te greatest thinkers and philosophers in history who developed sciences such as mathematics, astronomy, and more. The literature and art that arose during this time is astounding not only in its creativity, but in its push to know more and to try new things. Altered consciousness was one of these. People began exploring various meditation techniques and using psychedelic drugs to enter a different way of perceiving life and their own place in the universe, not realizing that this was nothing new.

This is how far I am in the book, and it may seem strange that I review it when I haven’t even finished reading it. However the rest of the book is about the psychological aspects of spirituality and describe s how the brain works in the right half, the left half, the parietal lobes, and the rest. Very technical. I am anticipating that author Ornstein will conclude that everything that we experience is either in our immediate-reality world or in our altered-consciousness world where our mind expands into other perceptions.

So now, at age eighty-six, as I approach the end of my life, I have some questions:

  • Why do some of us experience ghosts and others do not?
  • Is there another reality somewhere that sometimes breaks into what we perceive as our own?
  • Why is it hidden from us what happens when we die?
  • Are we just snuffed out, as some atheists believe?
  • Or, are our “souls” carefully preserved somewhere as if we are too precious to annihilate as many Christians and Muslims believe?
  • What is going to happen to me?

… and what do YOU think about this?

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