1. Visualising God

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. The Bible: 1 Chronicles 13.12

For in him we live and move and have our being…. We are his offspring. The Bible: Acts 17.2

To God belongs the east and west. Whichever way you turn there is the face of God. He is omnipresent and all-knowing. The Koran: The Cow 115

God is the light of the heavens and the earth. The Koran: Light 35

You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. The Bible: Matthew 15:6

When young, most of us try visualising to form a mental picture of God in our mind. Perhaps of an old man with a white beard somewhere up in the sky looking down on us. He can do things if he wants to, but most of the time, he does not. Even a 10-year-old philosopher can question this picture. Why is he a man? Why is God not a woman or even something in between? Why is he old? Perhaps it is because old age brings wisdom. However, this is not always the case. We may know some wise old people and we also know some that we cannot trust to cross the road. Why is God not a young person or at least middle aged? What is he doing up in the sky? There may be at least one reason why the old man picture continues to hold sway. Jesus himself taught us, that when praying, we should imagine that we are talking to a father in heaven. This helps us focus. This would have been sufficient and effective for the many people leading the simple life of those days as it is for some now. However, the scientifically minded person of today, usually needs something more. Scientists are quite happy coming out with poetic phrases such as, "We are truly stardust" or "We are all children of the Universe". Surely then, the converse should apply. The Universe is our parent and we are back where we started, Our Father.

Having taught physics for seventeen years in a secondary school, the section of the syllabus, which deals with the creation of the Earth and the apparent creation of the Universe, presents a problem. A dilemma from pupils runs something like this, “We go to religious education lessons and are told one thing, then we come here and you tell us something different. They can’t both be right.” It was this simple comment from the mouth of a young female pupil that was to set me off on a path of no return. Then while working on the ideas for this book on my computer, the Discovery channel was on in the background talking about the prelude to the red giant stage of the Sun. Suddenly the phrase “time of great tribulation” shot through my mind. Having equated and locked that in with the events in the Book of Revelation, brain paralysis took over for days as the Book of Revelation unfolded as a series of parallel stories that took on a different meaning.

Scientists and religious people themselves have perpetuated the same problem. Once science had established that all matter was composed of protons, neutrons and electrons, that was the end of it. Most of the information contained in the Bible had to be questioned and confined to the realm of fairy stories. Religious people then rebelled by saying that scientist often do not know what they are talking about.

There are other problems. How was the Earth created in seven days? What is all that rubbish in the book of Revelation? It sounds like someone on a bad trip from an hallucinogenic drug. When there are dangerous situations, why does God not intervene and get things sorted out? Where is this so called heaven? Why cannot we see it if it is there?

It was while pondering these problems one day that the word "Universe" just happened to be substituted for the word "God" in the Bible. The astonishing result was, that the part that was being read at the time, began to have new meaning, a meaning that made far more sense than it did before. It was obvious that a complete re-reading of the Bible was required. Surely there are more useful things to do with the time. That is why you go to church. They read sections of it out there. It is usually easier to accept what other people say about the meaning of the Bible, rather than spend time reading it yourself. Reading the whole of the Bible from cover to cover appeared a rather daunting and time consuming task, and it was. Nevertheless, the result is, that by thinking of God as the Universe in action, rather than as some disembodied spirit outside the Universe, really does make a difference to the way the Bible reads. More importantly, the conflicts between traditional religion and science melt away. Even the book of Revelation can have a complete reinterpretation and take on new meaning when read in this way. However, it would appear that you might need to know some advanced science to make full sense of it in this alternative interpretation. Another feature of reading the Bible in this way is that it helps you distinguish between what may be regarded as the inspired word of God provided as visions to the prophets for example, as opposed to man made statements made to promote their own importance. It also helps in reading the books of others on manuscript construction and sometimes manipulation.

Reading a translation of the Koran is also no easy task, but I eventually got there and there is a similar trend. Perhaps it works for any religious work. It is just having the time to find out that is the problem. For the present, perhaps by sharing this with others, we can move one step closer to understanding our place in time and space. Maybe those who feel there is a conflict between science and religion may have that removed or at least reduced. So, rather than thinking of God as some sort of glorified human disembodied spirit which is somehow detached from the Universe itself, let’s think of God as being the Universe itself in action. In other words, God is the whole thing. God did not create the Universe, because God is the Universe. The Universe is the creative force.

So, where to begin?

God is everything; the Universe is everything.

God is everywhere; the Universe is everywhere.

God created the Earth; the Universe created the Earth.

God knows your every thought; the Universe knows your every thought, since you are part of it and exist within it.

Sometime in the future, God will destroy the Earth and only he will determine the time of this event; Sometime in the future the Universe will destroy the Earth and only the Universe will determine the time of this event.

God is eternal; perhaps we will be able to add, the Universe is eternal, when we have covered later chapters.

So, it does not take too much thought to realise that when we talk about God or the Universe then we may well be talking about one and the same thing. In fact, there is no mention of the word Universe in the King James and earlier versions of the Bible, although it has crept into the modern translations as a modern word. Usually the word "everything" appears instead. The word Universe comes from the Latin word universum, which really meant the whole world especially as regarding human existence or activity. Therefore, when the word was originally conceived it had a slightly different meaning. No one knew about any galaxies of stars, for example and the large-scale structure of the cosmos. It is only of recent times that we have extended the meaning of the word Universe to mean, everything that exists, both in the Earth and to all that lies beyond it.

By adopting this fundamental position, that the Universe and God are one concept and one did not create the other, I hope that we will be able to see more clearly how all the conflict between science, religion and indeed different religions has arisen. We will see that rather than painting a picture of doom and gloom as appears to be the case in many apocalyptic visions, this way of looking at things paints a picture of optimism for the future. We end up with a world that future generations will enjoy. They will be proud to be a part of it.

If anyone is under the impression that looking at God in this way is going to remove the need for a God, this could not be farther from the truth. Looking at God in this way appears to make the notion of God more relevant. To say, "I don’t need God", would be equivalent to saying, "I don’t need the Universe", which is clearly nonsensical.

Now an unscientific notion has to be taken on board. Otherwise, nothing else makes sense. That is, from time to time, people are born who are able to obtain information about how the Universe works seemingly out of thin air. Whether you call it “seeing” or “being in the spirit” or some other phrase, it does not make much difference. We will assume that this process is universal in time and space and is the process that we refer to by the more modern term of clairvoyance. The dictionary defines this as the alleged power of discerning things beyond the normal range of the sense or perception. It is a subdivision of extra sensory perception. Whereas extra sensory perception can involve all the five senses, clairvoyance is confined to the seeing part. That is, of visions in the mind. Some class this as a psychic ability. That is, an ability that exists within the people themselves. Others attach a more spiritual aspect to it and claim that the production of the visions is enabled by none physical entities. Whichever of these aspects is true is not important here. What is more important is that we need a vague acceptance that there is a remote chance that this faculty exists. It is the same faculty in use today, that was used by Moses or Abraham for example and everyone else who has had a vision of any significance. Science of course has always steered away from the subject. No self-respecting scientist generally wants to have his or her name associated with anything so dubious. This of course does not mean that it does not exist. It has just never been scientifically proven. Radio waves still existed even though no one knew anything about them. Cells in the body worked quite well and carried out their business effectively before anyone knew of their existence or had any appreciation of how they worked and their construction. In life there are some things connected with the mind that do not lend themselves well to scientific scrutiny. Can we prove scientifically for example that one person loves or hates someone more than another? Can we prove that one picture or painting is better than another? It may be that we have not yet devised the correct experiments to do the job or it may be that we never will. Nonetheless, many people accept that there is something going on outside the physical realm and that it can impinge on us directly on occasions. So, we are going to assume that from time to time, there will be people born who are able to use this gift to a great extent. There will be others who can train themselves to a competent degree and others who pretend they can do it just to fool people.

A simple analogy is playing the piano. You have your grand masters who were born with a high aptitude and may have been born with the genetic gift of perfect pitch. They then go on to train themselves to perfection. Then there are those in the middle who have trained themselves and worked hard to achieve a competent level and perform and work in bands. Then, you have your play it by ear type. They can knock out a tune in the local bar. They have a reasonable degree of competence and are entertaining. Then of course, you have those who cannot play at all. They stand behind the keyboard in the band with the sequencer connected and pretend to play. The fact is though, that it is all being done by electronics and they are faking it.

We will assume that the top ones who appear in our great works of religion were the best in their time at the process of clairvoyance. Whether you call them a Master, Christ or The Anointed One, a great prophet or an apostle it makes no difference to the process. They were just excellent at it. At the other extreme, there will be those who use magic tricks or psychological deception to achieve a similar result. This of course drags everyone else down with them and spoils it for the genuine case, as it looks like everyone does it like that.

Anyone who has had any dealing with the clairvoyance process will already know that it is not an easy thing to do and there are a number of inherent problems in the process. The first is that we all know that this can be done by magic or deception. If you want to go to all the trouble of finding out as much as possible about an individual and their surroundings, I am sure anyone could impress someone by their so-called psychic ability. The problem with those who do, is that they then try and convince everyone that all clairvoyants do it like that. The only way to find out that this is incorrect is to join a genuine development group for a few weeks or months and prove it to yourself.

The next problem is that the process for the average person is so dammed difficult. Close your eyes and what do you see? Any colours or shapes? Any faces or people? Clairvoyants train themselves in clear seeing. This is what they are practicing when they are meditating. For the average person it is virtually impossible. I liken it to trying to see the stars in daylight. The stars are still out there during the day, but you cannot see them since their light is totally swamped out by the light from the sun. It is only when the light from the sun is dimmed that the stars start to become visible. The pictures we see in the mind are usually a mixture of what we have just been looking at and our own imaginative thoughts. Clairvoyants try to quieten these in the hope of detecting fainter impressions. The belief is that these have come from “somewhere else” and not from the individual themselves.

The traditional church has tended to stay clear of anything to do with a clairvoyant faculty and its continuance into the present has been largely left to other groups such as the spiritualist movement. For those who may think that the Bible itself would not condone such a thing, then think again. In the first Chapter of the book of Jeremiah, it is clear that after first being told that he existed before he was born in verse 5, he then goes on in verse 11 to have lessons in the technique of clairvoyance and the interpretation of visual impressions. Amos has similar lessons in Chapters 7 and 8, as does Zechariah in Chapters 4 and 5.

This leads us onto another problem for any clairvoyant. This is that any visual impressions gained, have to be interpreted correctly by the individual. In other words, it is a bit like the game of charades. Imagine that there were twenty people who all new each other. Eighteen of them draw some pictures on a sheet of paper, which they consider will identify them. Then one of the remaining two describes these pictures to the other one who has to guess to which member of the group the pictures belong. The one who describes the pictures is acting as a medium and it is no easy task. How would you describe yourself in pictures? Would another person interpret what you had drawn correctly?

Another pitfall that all clairvoyants/mediums dread, is, allowing their own thoughts or imagination to contaminate the information being received. It is a bit like the drawing pictures experiment. Your description of what you think you are seeing is not what the drawer intended. You might get it right or you might not. Your own mind influences the outcome. Then, there are the cultural aspects applying at the time of individual’s lives. They do not apply to all cultures and times. So, if the Universe (God) was communicating with the prophets of those days saying, "This is how I work", then it would be all to easy for an individual to misinterpret information in terms of their own understanding. They may also pass on their own personal views and cultural rules leaving others to believe that this information also came from God. A simple illustration from a couple of somewhat neglected sections of the Bible makes this clear.

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the Churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to enquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." Corinthians 14:34 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favour when there eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart." Ephesians 6:5

Now, the first extract, if implemented today, would certainly make the parochial church council of many churches much smaller. As for bringing back slavery, as the second extract appears to condone, that must be off the agenda of today. You have to decide. Is this the genuine word of God or has the person contaminated this with their thoughts or influenced it by the cultural aspects of the time? Make up your own mind.

Other examples of possible human contamination are, for example, when our greatest teachers appear to suggest that someone should be mutilated or harmed in some way or that we should harm ourselves for salvation to be achieved. You have to ask yourself, "Is that coming directly from God or is the person allowing his or her own thoughts to contaminate the picture?"

For example in Matthew 5:29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away … if you right hand causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away."

Then in the Koran, The Table 38, we have, "As for the man or woman who is guilty of theft, cut off their hands to punish them for their crimes. That is the punishment enjoined by God.” Then in the same breath we have, “But whoever repents after committing evil, and mends his ways shall be pardoned by God. God is forgiving and merciful."

What we need to remember is that however great the prophet and however accurate they intend to be, they are still human or at least partly human. We humans do this all the time. That is, exaggerate the punishment depending on our level of involvement. How many times have we heard someone say, "I’ll kill him or her for doing that?" Although we say it, it does not mean that when we finally see the person, that we will actually carry this out literally, I hope. If some of the great prophets or seers of their time could have really foreseen the future consequences for some unfortunate individuals, due to the odd phrase slipped in rashly in confronting evil, they would probably want to bite out their own tongues, figuratively speaking of course.

Actually, there would appear to be another likely explanation for these seemingly inexplicable statements. While doing the final chapter of this work, I had just had one month of feeling as if my mind was in a vice and being woken up at six o’clock in the morning with different bits of Revelation spinning round in my head. There were plenty of pictures or visions or whatever you want to call them in my mind. Were they my imagination or not? As soon as I found myself predicting the theme of the next bit in parts of the book of Revelation and getting it right, I knew I was on the right lines. It was almost the equivalent to guessing someone’s pin number correctly. One morning I had a mental picture on my left of two elderly men in robes sat at a stone slab. They were both in deep conversation with each other trying to remember what exactly had been said. In the end, they pooled the little that remained of their collective memory. At the same time, I had a picture on my right of men marching through the desert as if to war, chanting and repeating the same thing, except that over time there were a few changes. I went to school that day, with my own little experiment buzzing through my brain. When the work had been done, I gave some senior school pupils the following, written at the top of a sheet of paper, "He is an evil person. If he does wrong tap him on the hand." This was followed by another. "He is an evil person. If he annoys you, stare him in the eye and tell him." They were told to keep the first sentence the same but they could alter two or three words in the second if they wished. They then had to fold it back and pass it on. The next person did the same with what the previous person had just written. I repeated this with a number of classes. The result was an eye opener. More times than not degeneration set in and the punishment increased. Sometimes after just three or four repeats, the victim was being killed or having other grotesque things done to them. It did not usually go the other way or stay the same. It invariably got worse. I realise that this would have to be done thousands of times to be of any scientific value, but it gives us a hint, that whenever the description of a punishment is being passed on from one to another, the evil side of us rises to the challenge. I would like to bet that the same thing has happened in the Bible on more than a couple of occasions. It gives us an indication that problems can arise with intermediaries, recorders of the information and translators.

One way of possibly getting back to the original “Word” may be to cut out all references to harming the body of oneself or others.

Another example is the way the word "fear" has been introduced as in "Fear the Lord!” The correct word in the literal translation appears to be “revere”. This has a slightly different feel about it altogether. Synonyms for “fear” are terror, dread, horror, fright, panic, alarm, trepidation and apprehension. Synonyms for “revere” are admire, respect, look up to, hold in the highest regard, be in awe of, worship, and venerate. For two words that are supposed to be saying the same thing, we have completely different meanings.

Then of course there is our own interpretation or misinterpretation of what is said. One good example is in Matthew Chapter 19:24. Here Jesus says that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God…. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Our first impression is that it must therefore be impossible, because it is ludicrous to even think of a camel passing through the eye of a needle. It may take most of us all our time trying to get a thread through the eye of a needle. Why pick on a camel and a needle to make the point? There may be other explanations. It is alleged that the "Eye of the Needle" was a gap or gateway into Jerusalem and that it was quite difficult, but not impossible, for camels to get through it without bending and it is this to which Jesus was referring. Others may disagree. For further information, try entering "eye of the needle" and " Jerusalem" into your search engine. The clue is given by the word "hard". It is hard for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God, but not impossible. This is similar to the common misconception that money is the root of all evil. Money itself cannot be evil, because we all need it to trade with each other. It is the way we do jobs for each other. We have to use something. It actually turns out that that is not exactly what the Bible says. It is the love of money which is the root of all evil not money itself.

I have already said that for most genuine clairvoyants the visions tend to be faint. Clairaudient people can also hear faint sounds. One of the criticisms often levelled at them is that they often get an initial or part of a name. Why do they not just come out with full names and addresses if they are genuine? Again, this is due to the process. The person is allowing a different energy source to use their own brain and have a bit of it stimulated. This then triggers an impression. Now, we do this all the time in everyday life, but we do not make much of a fuss about it. This often happens when we are trying to recall a persons name with whom we have not come into contact for some time. We have a general feeling of what the name sounds like but we just cannot get it. We may have an idea of whether it is a long name or a short name or an impression of how many syllables it contains. We may have an idea that it begins with a particular letter. Then we start going through the alphabet to try to get the next bit. Eventually, it pops into our head when we are not thinking about it and our attention is distracted. Now, this is us trying to retrieve information from our own brains, information which is supposed to be in there in the first place, let alone trying to get an impression of information, which does not form part of our own physical brain memory.

While some clairvoyant’s visions may be faint, most of them take place in the head. Some clairvoyants may be able to externalise the impressions onto the outside world and for some the impressions may be much stronger. The externalisation of an impression onto the outside world, may explain ghost type visions by people who may have some natural clairvoyant ability. John's visions in the book of Revelation are certainly very detailed and apparently very vivid.

In Russia and America there has been a new wave of study into the clairvoyant faculty. By a subtle change of name to Remote Viewing, it has been provided with an almost new air of respectability.

It has been discovered by scientists, that a certain section of the brain can be stimulated by electromagnetic energy to produce apparent mystical experiences or religious type visions. Researcher Michael Persinger, a neuropsychologist at Canada's Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, has been stimulating specific areas in the right hemisphere of the brain and is able to induce mystical states of consciousness, giving some subjects the feeling of encountering God.

The first thought is that naturally occurring electromagnetic fluctuations could be responsible for paranormal experiences like ghosts, UFOs and mystical apparitions and that this must be an explanation for the visions. The visions are therefore not real and due to other factors. Therefore, there never was a God or anything communicating in the first place. A little further thought gives us a different explanation. If God or other agencies can communicate with varying degrees of success, then evolution would have had to provide us with the tools for it to happen. Those tools being that very part of the brain that is affected. So it would be this part of the brain which is stimulated to produce the desired effect. In other words, the fact that a similar reaction can be done artificially does not preclude the genuine case of external stimulation from God or other spiritual agencies.

For further information try entering the following words in your search engine in different combinations: Psychic Visions, Clairvoyance, Religious Experience, Brain Stimulation.

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