(continuing) #3 [9-15]
[[Please don’t allow these sections [this posting] to throw you off track. They are important to understand at this point, and I promise we will come out on the other side. This is not referring to what is often termed “transcendental meditation,” as in the Kantian, Hindu, and many other philosophies, which only attempt to incorporate the powers of the human mind and spirit to reach beyond the physical [carnal] universe. The following is referring to what Jesus called “prayer”: ‘transcending’ the carnal realm through ‘meditation’ and incorporating the supernatural powers of the Holy Spirit of God into our life in conjunction with the natural powers of our human spirit, mind, and body.]]
9- You might ask, “How can a concept about life-after-physical-death be authenticated from the life side of the portal known as ‘death’?” This is like asking, “How can a personal experience of something be achieved by a person before that person has experienced that something?”, “How can a person standing on the shore of a lake they never swam in, already have the experience of having swum in that lake?” In other words, “How can a person experience understanding of a subject while living in the inexperience of that understanding?”
The short, ‘religious’, trite answer to this question, which reveals nothing that helps anyone in their life application of God’s Truth and leaves people adrift in stagnated vision and purpose, is “Be patient, you need only rely on what I perceive that you need to know, and God will satisfy all your curiosities when you get to heaven.”
[Even though they say it is to obtain an adrenaline rush and have fun, I personally believe the present aberrant behavior of self-strangulation is a feeble attempt to answer similar questions generated by an underlying spiritual starvation in those who participate in, and those who encourage, such behavior.]
The more in-depth and useful answer is, authentic, God-revealed Vision. This is that type of ‘non-experiential’ experience [vivid spiritual/mental imagery and emotional interaction with an experience not-as-yet personally experienced (vicarious experience empowered by the spiritual/mental abilities instilled in us by God at the beginning of human existence)]. True ‘Vision’ about spiritual matters, and as those matters pertain to natural life, is much more than a simple imagination about what we read or what a preacher/teacher tells us, or the result of our own hope or wishful conjuring. This is a Vision that involves actual spiritual/mental interactions with the Holy Spirit that provide us with the sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, and/or emotional sensations through which God has empowered us to prepare for the near and/or far future.
10- In its human/world application [absence of personally received input from the Holy Spirit], ‘vision’ is a mentally manifest vivid vicarious-consciousness experience that can take on any form willfully formulated, initiated, and directed by the human mind/spirit [natural, carnal soul]; and it also reveals the source, content, and strength of our true personal spiritual-and-mental-level priorities, beliefs, and purpose. This type vision can also take on any form induced in the human soul through physical malfunction or chemical alteration of the brain. It involves a combination of personal vivid imagery, ‘wisdom’, reasoning, emotion, and/or verbal interaction with a thing, situation, or population. The personally established ‘truth’ content of the human mind/spirit dominates this type vision, because the human mind/spirit has set itself up as its own highest authority for knowledge, purpose, method, and power: “God”. It is thereby limited to its own soul’s environment – which must rely on its own human mind to provide input and interpretation about the ‘reality’ of its human experience, and yield its personal mental and attached spiritual and physical abilities to interact with that ‘reality’.
This type vision involves whatever vicarious interaction with natural/spiritual ‘reality’ our human mind/spirit insists upon, or will allow; and dominates our assumed-concealed-from-the-public purpose, planning, and behavior [character] while we live in this human realm.
11- In its God/human/world application, ‘Vision’ is a mentally manifest vivid vicarious-consciousness experience formulated and initiated from a higher-than-human spiritual source; but still takes on a form that reveals and conforms to the source, content, and strength of our true [hopefully ever maturing] personal spiritual-and-mental-level priorities, purpose, and beliefs. This type Vision, as in the human/world type vision, involves an element of mental vivid imagery, wisdom, reasoning, emotion, and/or physical sensory interaction with a thing, situation, or population. In this type Vision, in its purest form, there is no personal truth that conflicts with God’s Truth; and it is totally dependent upon the power, direction, and information provided to the human spirit by the Holy Spirit. This is the type life-Vision Jesus had. These assets are available to our physical-realm consciousness and reality, through the God’s-Truth content of our personal spiritual and mental faculties [supernatural soul]. This Holy-Spirit/human-spirit interaction is taking place while our human spirit receives information [which is accessible by the Holy Spirit (Prov.20:27)] about our mental/physical experience of earthly life from our human mind. Thereby, our ‘Vision’, our vivid vicarious-consciousness, is not limited to our earth-bound human mind/spirit consciousness – but through our Holy-Spirit/human-spirit/human-mind consciousness we are able to receive authentic input from God, and understand and interact with that input to the extent of our true submission to God’s Truth. The success of Jesus’ life , and to a very limited extent the early Christians, is evidence of the advantage of being able to hear, discern, and behave in accordance with the Word/Will/Covenant of God. The decline of the church’s connection with the Power of God is evidence of its disconnect from the Vision provided in God’s Covenant. Only a pure channel of communication communicates purely; all others are, to some degree, contaminated. Our God-empowered ‘Vision’ involves whatever vivid vicarious interaction with God’s perspective of reality our human spirit/mind insists upon, or will permit; and it will dominate our assumed-concealed-from-the-public, as well as our public [to the extent we allow], purpose, planning, and behavior [character] while we live in this human realm. The personally accepted and established truth content of our human spirit and mind [God-authoritative (or self-authoritative): definite and clear (or confused, relative, and murky)] is the substance through which we filter God’s Truth [identity, image, knowledge, wisdom, power, etc.]: which is provided to us through the written Word of God and the Holy Spirit [the Living Word of God]. God’s ability to clearly and precisely interact with us through this type ‘Vision’ is compromised, or thwarted, to the extent that our personal truth does not match God’s Truth and our attitude toward God’s Truth is not such as will allow God’s Truth free expression in our understanding – and thereby, the free expression [manifestation] of God’s Truth in and through our life is hindered.
12- The level and quality of the true Faith we have in the Written [Bible] and Living [Holy Spirit] Word of God determines our increasing, or decreasing, ability to accept as Truth, and receive the benefits of, the things continually communicated to us through those Word. The closer our vivid vicarious experience with the Truth of God’s Word comes to matching every aspect of what is involved in a specific earth-life situation, the more substantially we will be able to actually experience [in advance] the as-yet not experienced manifestation of God’s promises as they pertain to that specific situation. This personal connection with God’s Word yields God-authentic ‘Vision’, and releases God’s power to manifest his promises in our life. The extent of our acceptance of, personal identification with, and true submission to God’s Truth and Vision, identifies and quantifies the substance, extent, and strength of our true Faith.
13- As this precept pertains to conscious understanding of the transition known as physical death and our experiences after that transition, we have been given the testimony of the Christian Bible and the witness of the internal Holy Spirit to solidify our Vision. These two witnesses together tell us all we now need to know about the subject to enable a successful ‘Vision’ and transition. Through correctly understanding the knowledge provided by these witnesses, we can ‘experience’ the currently not experienced, and successfully transition to and through the actual experience of the fulfillment of God’s promises. However, there is one catch; we must enter into personal relationship/fellowship with the Bible and the Holy Spirit, in order to properly and accurately understand what they are communicating. Other witnesses, such as family, preachers, friends, etc. can lead us to the verge of an ‘experience’, as they understand it; but only our personal interaction with these two God-provided witnesses can lead us into the transition of personal experience and the fulfillment of God’s promises in our life. This is also true in the transition from sickness to health, or adversely applied, health to sickness; ignorance to wisdom, wisdom to ignorance; bondage to freedom, freedom to bondage; etc.
14- To enable a vivid vicarious experience, our current physical-presence reality must be voluntarily set aside. No one can force us into this type experience. Unless the ‘reality’ within the ‘vision’ simulates an acceptable [desirable or not] reality within our imagination, the transition from [fearful – joyous –—] imagination to vivid vicarious experience cannot take place. Unless the Vision is ‘experienced’, authentic Faith is not possible.
A natural-world visionary [remote/vicarious] ‘experience’ can take the form of seeing ourselves gaining the ability to play perfectly a particular sport, handle a situation in which we have little or no training, or having the ability to enter into or maintain a perfect relationship of some sort with people – among a multitude of other applications. This same type application, with the Bible and Holy Spirit as our authority and guide, and in conjunction with our degree of cooperation with them, is what guides the direction and extent of our true Vision of the spirit realm and how it interacts with the natural realm, and the fulfillment of God’s promises in our life.
15- Vivid vicarious experience [although corrupted] is also the enabling factor for all the phobias people have. I see the extensive list of phobias as including “athiestaphobia”: the fear of being seen as believing against _____; “agnostiphobia”: the fear of being seen as skeptical of _____; and “naïvaphobia”: the fear of being seen as ignorantly persuadable into accepting/rejecting _____, some belief expected by a culture. These phobias are entered into through a person not being willing to make a decision, or take a stand, independent of their dominant mental/physical-realm fears, circumstances, and/or culture. These phobias are prevalent in religious circles because of self-consciousness [a form of pride], and through a belief of not having the ability, or God’s or society’s permission, to investigate, verify/disqualify, and establish a firm personal belief in God’s Truth for ourselves. These concepts, which can develop into phobia, are an extension of an even more profound fear: “Truthaphobia”: the fear of the existence of, or our right to believe in, Absolute Truth. This fear causes many people to jump at any culturally acceptable ‘belief’, and be trapped in an outwardly questionless state of ‘acceptance’ [‘relativism’, ‘inclusivism’] in spite of an internal condition of confusion and insecurity in that ‘acceptance’.
(to be continued)