The danger of challenging people’s beliefs

I have written several times about the dangers of sharing my beliefs.  I have some further thoughts to share on this topic, drawing on reader’s comments and the general feedback I get. I keep making mistakes… and learning.

The last time I wrote about this I focused on my fear that people will judge (and abandon) RPT as an instant healing technique because they disagree with me spiritually.  I feel that I have cleared and let go of that fear.  People will either use RPT or they won’t.  Obviously I hope they’ll give it a shot because they’ll see that it works. But I’m not attaching myself to it in any way.  I do feel more freedom now to express my beliefs.

Challenging people’s beliefs about God

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Deity of the Week: The Flying Spaghetti Monster

Something has really come up for me this week about my freedom of expression.  It is this: people feel very threatened if you question their definition of God.  And they will attack you to defend their notion God.

I think you can see a good example of this in a couple of the reader’s comments to my Divine Intervention article. (I also had plenty of off-line feedback.) You can see some people being fairly inexplicably angry at me and putting words in my mouth.  Two readers went so far as to invent a “hypothetical Simon” as it were – projecting all their disagreements at a “me” which bears no resemblance to me at all!   I didn’t much like how that made me feel.

This isn’t really anything new.  In 2009 I made the mistake of speaking out very loudly against some of the teachings of my former teacher, VS.  I only did this because I genuinely felt that I was protecting people from a real danger (the concept she started calling “Creator” is certainly not the spiritual Creator).  I knew that many people would disagree with me, especially those that had a financial investment in her work. But I was not expecting to be the most-hated person by thousands and thousands of TH practitioners (the ones without much financial investment to lose, especially since I gave away the “fix” for free).

It was my friend Val Moore who explained this hatred to me – “They hate you for undermining their beliefs about God.”   It also reminded me of something the spiritual writer Neale Donald Walsch wrote: “People would rather die than change their beliefs” about God.

I have explored this and I find it to be true.  It is unconscious for most people.  When I say things that undermine people’s spirituality, they often lash out.  Some people (the more conscious ones) talk to me about it – they say “I have a funny  or sickening feeling reading your article” and I can help them explore where they feel threatened. [* More on this point tomorrow - see "Trusting your gut instinct."]

Most people won’t explore it. They lash out. People will do this to defend all beliefs (e.g. political) but nothing seems to inflame people nearly as much as threatening their beliefs about God. When I explained to those people in 2009 that they were connecting with a Creator that was rather un-Godly, they got mad!  They had every right to disagree with me, but merely disagreeing doesn’t make you mad.  People only lash out like that if they feel really threatened or under attack.  And that’s the point – new ideas about God have always made people feel threatened.

Why is it that so many saints get crucified (literally or philosophically)? It’s because their ideas threaten people.  Throughout history people with new ideas about God have either been killed (Jesus), spiritually or physically exiled (Buddha – note the lack of Buddhists in India!) or were extremely good with a sword (Muhammad).

I must admit to being hurt and upset at times by the attacks. But I’ve learned that attacks really mean you are doing good in the world (remember Tim Ferriss’ post last year about the benefits of pissing people off).  I’d rather challenge the status quo then hide under a (burning?) bush for fear of offending people.

So I want to post this question to YOU, dear reader: How attached are you to your beliefs about God? If I could prove your beliefs wrong (which I can’t), would you even listen? Would you give me the time of day? Or would you run like 99% would?

As far as I’m concerned this blog isn’t about people agreeing with me. What would be the point in preaching to the choir?   But this blog is about finding and connecting to that 1% who are interested in engaging in a dialogue about divinity.

My new resolution

I resolve today to speak out fearlessly on this blog about what I believe in.

If I offend or upset you, you have choices in how to react:

  1. stop reading this blog (that would be a real pity);
  2. attack me (that would be too easy);
  3. leave a comment and tell me why you disagree. Explain your thoughts, feelings and instincts.  Set the intention of sharing and maybe teaching me a thing or two. Be open to learning from my reply. In other words create a dialogue.

My experience is that most people who get offended go for option 1 (I never hear from them, so they lose the opportunity to make a difference).  A small number go for option 2, but not many. And the best of the best go for option 3.

Please remember that most of my friends disagree with me (atheists on one side and yogis on the other).  But they are my friends because they are in the 3rd category. They TALK about their thoughts and feelings. I enjoy being surrounded by people who challenge my beliefs. You will never offend or upset me by disagreeing with me.

What do you think?

Do you feel attacked when people challenge your ideas about God? Do you feel betrayed if people can’t see your truth?  How do you react when I challenge your ideas?

Looking forward to hearing from you and hoping you are part of the 1% that can handle the conversation.

Tommorow’s blog

Due to the length of today’s article I split it in two. Please read tomorrow’s article on (a) why I blog; (b) whether any of this is truly original; and (c) the potential danger of trusting your gut.

Blessings

Simon

28 Comments
March 29, 2011 in Thoughts For the Day
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28 Responses

  1. Hey Simon,
    As I Said,I willemail you soon;lifes…stuff is happening right now with me so I’m holding off to compose my thoughts & whatnot.
    “How attached are you to your beliefs about God?”Well,lets just say,I’ll eat spaghetti & meatballs with a new found reverence.(Either that or I thought He was a Spanish tortilla)
    No vitriol from me.
    Talk to you soon.

    [Reply]

  2. Hi Simon, The God question is a huge on out in the world but it doesn’t feel too big on the inside. I’ve arrived at some sort of conclusion but no doubt it will continue to evolve. It evolves because I quite like to hear other poeple’s views. Some pass through and make no impression at all, some give food for thought and the very occasional view or phrase or vibration feels like truth to me so in it goes to be absorbed as part of the picture almost without any conscious decision on my part. If it feels right then it probably is, at least for me.
    Hardly anyone troubles to find out and I don’t often voice my views because I don’t feel the need to but when it does come up I really don’t mind what other people think of my views or what they say about them. I’m not there to be convinced or unconvinced by them and I’m happy for them to believe what they like. What I do mind is what people do in the name of their own God or against anyone else’s. However, I do find that I feel less and less anger about that so maybe I’m less attached these days. Still sad, though.
    As I read over that I can see that I probably sound like an uninvolved fence-straddler but I don’t care too much about that, either.
    Please bear in mind that according to the Enneagram I’m a Type 9, otherwise known as the Peacemaker. I do like a spot of peace and harmony. How we feel when our God beliefs are challenged probably depends on all kinds of variables including personality. If our ancestors survived religious persecution, inquisition, exile etc then maybe we have a traumatic response if our beliefs are questioned. If our ancestors were the inquisitors and persecutors then maybe that response will be even stronger.
    I’m really looking forward to reading the comments of others on this topic. Fascinating.
    xx

    [Reply]

  3. Hey Simon,

    I learn about my God(self) daily and I love the continuing relationship I have. My thoughts, ideas, beliefs they are constantly evolving and I really love that. I don’t know much…well the more I discover the less I know and funnily enough the less I have to say about it. I do love to listen to others ideas about divinity. I don’t like being told what I should believe- what fun is that, I would rather find out for myself.
    “people feel very threatened if you question their definition of God. And they will attack you to defend their notion God.”- no shit, there would be no war (or very little) if this were not the case.
    Here is a thought, maybe if people could spend less time preaching and condemning and more time being at one with their own beliefs and their own God, a new sense of freedom, connection and oneness could wrap the world in a blanket of love.
    Peace out hippies. Love and Light.

    [Reply]

  4. Hi SImon

    I think you’re spot on. I discovered this first hand through my reaction to your articles. I consider myself generally accepting of others’ beliefs so I was quite surprised by how agitated I felt when I read your articles. I almost felt compelled to go on the attack and the whole thing wrecked my mood for about a week. However, at the same time I realised my reaction was quite irrational. I began to wonder what was going on here. All you did was express your beliefs but it felt like you were attacking me even though there was no rational reason to feel that way (and thank the flying spaghetti monster that you’re so calm and thoughtful in your responses).

    I wrote to you about this in a private email but my views have slightly changed since I watched the RPT 3.0 videos. This is kind of heavy-duty but, what I think was going on is that all beliefs are built in layers but there’s always a foundational belief upon which the upper layers are stacked (as you and others have taught). So, in this case, my foundational belief is that spirit is primary and our human experience is a secondary effect of that. In other words, we’re primarily spiritual beings having a physical human experience. The reasons for that would fill an entire blog so I’m not going into my entire life journey here suffice to say that that’s the conclusion I’ve come to based on my experiences in life to date. Your foundational belief (now) seems to be that physical matter is primary and that all spiritual or transpersonal experiences are a secondary effect of the physical world. In other words, there is no such thing as a spiritual side of us (in the sense of non-physical energy) and that everything can ultimately be explained by physical science (or, if it can’t currently be explained by science yet, it’s just that science hasn’t discovered the explanation yet – no need to resort to supernatural explanations).

    So, when it comes to questions about spirituality or God, I think you either fall into the spirit is primary camp (SIP), physical is primary (PIP) camp or neither (agnostic). Agnostics have it easy as they’re not invested in the topic one way or the other so I’ll leave them out of this but the SIP and PIP people don’t have it quite so easy. For a person to remain functional, the upper layer beliefs have to be compatible with the foundational belief otherwise internal conflicts and incongruities are created. Because the foundational belief is so deep and part of the person’s identity, I think there’s usually going to be a strong unconscious association between the belief and survival. In this sense I think the SIP people are worse off because a belief that they’re primarily spiritual beings really goes to the core of their essence as a being and to threaten that is to threaten their sense of identity and their very essence. To be honest, if I found out tomorrow beyond the shadow of a doubt (in my mind) that all this spiritually stuff was bullshit and fairy tales, I’d be devastated. My whole sense of identity would be shattered and I’d initially feel sad but then probably move on to feelings of anger and betrayal. The PIP people probably aren’t as touchy because, if they woke up tomorrow to news that science has just proven the existence of the spirit or God, it wouldn’t necessarily destroy their sense of identity. Having said that, a lot of people are heavily invested in “being right” so I think a lot of skeptics would feel foolish and betrayed but they wouldn’t be devastated in the way a SIP person would.

    On top of this, the foundational belief tends to dictate what a person can and can’t initially accept in a debate on the subject. Obviously beliefs can change over time but, when the alternative belief is diametrically opposed, change is either going to be a slow process or it’s going to be due to some sort of life-changing event that shatters the foundational belief. If that happens, there’s going to be an emotional breakdown of some sort because the person’s identity has just been shattered and they either have to build a new one from the ground up or become mentally unstable or die. Those life changing events are pretty rare – it’s usually a slow process. In my experience, I was brought up with Christian beliefs which slowly gave way to agnosticism after I couldn’t reconcile all the inconsistencies but then I slowly moved towards a more new age belief system. It was slow and my beliefs slowly evolved based on new experiences, information and contemplation.

    In the case of a PIP person, it’s going to be virtually impossible for them to accept any supernatural explanation as it would be completely incompatible with their foundational belief. In this sense I think the SIP people are better off as there are many things that can be accepted as explainable purely by science with violating their foundational belief. The degree to which that’s true depends on the exact nature of the foundational belief. I’ve kind of lumped all SIP people into the same category but you can really separate them into subsets – those who believe that a separate deity (a.k.a. God) is primary and those who have a less master/servant and more holistic view of God/source energy/all that is. There are endless variations but I lumped them all into the SIP category just to distinguish them from atheists who believe there’s nothing more than the physical world.

    I think this is why the topic of religion and spirituality is so emotive. A foundational belief is so heavily integrated into the person’s sense of identity that an attack on that belief will be perceived (unconsciously) as an attack on their very being. From an emotional point of view, such an attack is a fight for survival as collapse of the foundational belief would be tantamount to death (at least from an emotional perspective). I also think that, the more radical or fundamentalist the belief is, the more anger it’s going to generate. Everyone thinks their beliefs are logical or correct (in their own mind) but it has to be said that, the more radical or fundamentalist the belief, the less logical it is and the less it can be supported by evidence. I think people know this unconsciously so a person with radical or fundamentalist beliefs is on shakier ground in justifying their beliefs. Any attack on their beliefs gets closer to the foundational belief (and therefore threatening their identity) whereas a person with more thoughtful and rational beliefs (rational in the sense that their experiences support their beliefs as opposed to they just read it in a book or were brought up in that environment) has a greater layer of protection around their foundational belief so any attacks aren’t as threatening.

    After I had these insights, I thought I’d better do something about it so I RPT’d it to clear my association between my beliefs and survival and found that there was quite a strong association. There’s still an element of linking my beliefs to my identity but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as charged now. I still feel able to express my beliefs and justify them if necessary but I don’t feel like I really need to anymore. Because of my duel interest in science and spirituality I’m constantly questioning my beliefs but I think the frustrating aspect of that is that I’ve been searching for an ultimate truth. I’ve now come to the conclusion that searching for the ultimate truth is a folly as there’s probably no such thing or, even if there is, there’ll be no way to prove in this life other than subjectively. So I’d rather look at my beliefs as my personal truth. I’m still open to new things and I have to accept evidence that’s presented if it’s compelling enough but I think my ultimate criteria now is whether my beliefs serve me rather than what’s “ultimately true”. Now I think all beliefs are good so long as they empower the person and do no harm. If I begin to feel agitated again, I know of a handy tool to clear it :)

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    hi Shane, it’s great to have an intellectual of your caliber visiting our blog. I’m still digesting the emails you sent me.

    I have a small clarification to offer, a Third Way as it were, or middle ground.

    I am clearly a Physical is Primary (PIP) on your criteria and yet I believe in lots of that invisible stuff you said was inconsistent with PIP. So where do I fit on your model? I don’t.

    Let me share a small insight into the new theory about God I’ve been promising on this blog. I believe in the supremacy of biology but that spirituality (i.e. God) is a very real experience that pure atheists are missing.

    What distinguishes me (Physical is Primary) from a New Ager or indeed most religious folk (Spiritual is Primary) is that even if we had identical spiritual beliefs, I believe that spirituality comes from our DNA, whereas the religious believe that the DNA was created by spirituality (God). Supremacy of Biology means that DNA came first. I believe in God, but I believe that before there was DNA there was no God. Radical? I think so, and yet it is merely the merging of many ancient wisdoms like Tao with modern evolutionary biology.

    In other words the Big Bang is the Creator of All That Is; DNA is a mechanism for creation, human consciousness is the pinnacle of 10 billion years’ work, and God is the sum-product of our consciousness.

    Lucky for me I’m no longer afraid of sharing my spiritual views. Great healing I had today (thanks to my new friend Dalben).

    I think your matrix needs more acronyms – GAC and GAPC (God as Creator versus God as end Product of Creation). So I am PIP-GAP, and you might be SIP-GAP (I don’t really think you are SIP-GAC as that is the standard New Age point).

    OMG I’m drowning in alphabet soup. It’s way past midnight, we’ll finish this tomorrow!

    Simon

    [Reply]

    Sue Healy Reply:

    And before the Big Bang?
    Yours, Sue the GAWKWBPAOUAIDFATCOTS”F”INHNTA (God as who knows what but probably all of us and I don’t fully accept the concept of time so “first” is neither here not there anyway)

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    It’s a concept very hard for humans to get their head around but before the big bang there was NO TIME. It’s meaningless to say “the universe existed before the big bang” because in fact “before” implies time, and time did not exist.

    This is a hard concept to get your head around because we are so stuck in linear time.

    I find this physics answer more satisfying than the spiritual conundrum of what did Creator do before Creation? (sat around twiddling his pasta noodly appendages?)

    SR

    Shane Marsh Reply:

    > I have a small clarification to offer, a Third Way as it were, or middle ground.

    There’s always room to consider a middle ground although I’m not sure a middle is applicable to the fundamental origins of consciousness – it’s either a feature of biological evolution or it isn’t. The middle ground is probably more applicable to explaining the features of the world than the origins of it.

    >I am clearly a Physical is Primary (PIP) on your criteria and yet I believe in lots of that >invisible stuff you said was inconsistent with PIP. So where do I fit on your model? I don’t.

    It depends on your definition of “invisible”. Gravity is technically an invisible force but it’s entirely explainable by general relativity. An electromagnetic field is technically invisible but it’s considered to be a physical phenomenon and not really “invisible” in the sense of non-physical. Whenever you see pictures of a magnetic field, it’s just a visual representation based on measurements of the field but nobody can actually “see” an electromagnetic field. Similarly, if you believe things like telepathy, remote healing etc. are explainable by the laws of physics (albeit not yet discovered or understood) then you’re approaching it from a PIP perspective. A SIP perspective would explain it in terms of phenomenon that transcends the physical.

    BTW, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the PIP approach. It’s just a different way of approaching it. It’s not intended to pigeonhole people but merely to make the point that someone coming from a PIP perspective will invariably seek a PIP explanation and have enormous difficulty even considering a SIP explanation simply because, to do so, would violate their foundational belief. In fact this is a fundamental feature of the scientific method ie. if it can’t be measured or at least rationally inferred by way of physical explanation then it’s not science and therefore doesn’t exist. The principle of parsimony (as it’s used by most scientists) dictates that any supernatural explanation should be discounted from the outset so most research into the paranormal is often considered pseudoscience simply on the basis that it’s exploring phenomenon that can’t be explained by the laws of physics.

    The PIP or SIP thing isn’t so much about whether there are or aren’t laws of physics but more about what lies at the bottom of it all.

    > Supremacy of Biology means that DNA came first. I believe in God, but I believe that before >there was DNA there was no God. Radical? I think so, and yet it is merely the merging of >many ancient wisdoms like Tao with modern evolutionary biology.

    It is radical and I’m very interested in hearing about your views on that. I know of some others’ attempts to “PIPify” invisible stuff such as Rupert Sheldrake’s work on morphogenetic fields and morphic resonance but it sounds like you’re taking it a step beyond that.

    >I think your matrix needs more acronyms – GAC and GAPC (God as Creator versus God as >end Product of Creation). So I am PIP-GAP, and you might be SIP-GAP (I don’t really think >you are SIP-GAC as that is the standard New Age point).

    >OMG I’m drowning in alphabet soup. It’s way past midnight, we’ll finish this tomorrow!

    LOL ILAGA (I love a good acronym).

    Actually I probably sway towards SIP-GAP but not in the sense of God as an external deity. I don’t think of “God” as an entity or a “thing” but agree with your view that “God” is the sum product of all consciousness. However, it’s really a chicken and egg thing ie. were there a bunch of individual consciousnesses that amalgamated to create the sum product or did the sum product exist first which then divided to become the individual consciousnesses. Ahhh, the omelette of life :)

    There seems to be bit of a chicken and egg theme going on on your blog at the moment :) Maybe this is why your chickens are refusing to lay eggs – they’re trying to send you a message about the supremacy of the chook :)

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    brilliant! but the chook represents PIP not SIP right!?

    Dmitry Yeschenko Reply:

    What distinguishes me (Physical is Primary) from a New Ager or indeed most religious folk (Spiritual is Primary) is that even if we had identical spiritual beliefs, I believe that spirituality comes from our DNA, whereas the religious believe that the DNA was created by spirituality (God). Supremacy of Biology means that DNA came first. I believe in God, but I believe that before there was DNA there was no God. Radical? I think so, and yet it is merely the merging of many ancient wisdoms like Tao with modern evolutionary biology.

    LOL.
    It looks to me like a discussion who was the first – A chicken or an egg?
    As for me there are really no difference and both positions are the same at one moment. I.e. “spirituality comes from our DNA” and “the DNA was created by spirituality” are both true at the same time :)
    I couldn’t find any real contradiction with your beliefs except they are a bit dualistic.

    LOL twice. I wrote the message till this place and then looking for some additional thoughts read last comment of Shane where she wrote about “chicken and egg” :)

    So Simon, tell me please what was the first – DNA or your Beingness, and how do they interconnect in your mind?

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    I disagree with your comment that it is chicken and the egg. I also don’t like the statement that it’s a bit dualistic. Dualistic is like saying something is good or bad. I am not doing that. I just want to trace the origins of things, because really RPT as a healing therapy works by addressing the true origins of problems (not just layers of symptoms like some other therapies).

    So Simon, tell me please what was the first – DNA or your Beingness, and how do they interconnect in your mind?

    Basically from an evolutionary standpoint, the definition of life is essentially “an auto-catalytic self-replicating reaction” and the origin of life on this planet was the first such reaction. [This is liberally adapting from Richard Dawkins’ work in, I think, The Greatest Show on Earth.
    Putting that into plain English: DNA came first.

    Before there was anything more than mere molecules (maybe some amino acids), there was no Beingness because who or what was there to Be? Then, from the primordial soup, life (some auto-catalytic self-replicating reaction) emerged. I make that sound easy but it took a good 2 billion years.

    Who knows at what point in the last billion years of increasingly complex self-replicating reactions Consciousness emerged? I do not know the answer and I don’t think we ever can know. Suffice to say that as consciousness evolved, a presence or Beingness emerged. People began to search for deeper spiritual truths to scientific questions like where does the sun go at night – and viola – God appeared.

    It seems reasonable that God, in some recognizable form, is at least hundreds of thousands of years old. What’s important is that we evolved both TO believe in God and WITH that belief (for the last 100,000 years). That means that God and DNA go hand in hand. It is not possible, today, to distinguish God from DNA. They have co-evolved, like separating a lichen into a fungus and algae when they have evolved in harmony.

    So you see, this story has a beginning and a middle (though no end in sight). It is not chicken and egg and it is not duality. It is logic, science and the spirit of discovery.

    cool huh?

    Simon

  5. love your final paragraph.

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    which one? alphabet soup?

    [Reply]

  6. I think the observations of reactions fairly well covered and reasons explored. I would like to add that for many people their belief is not a carefully chosen one and that begs the question -what are they really reacting to/for ?

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Simon,

    There was a time back in my 20′s when I felt threatened when someone challenged my beliefs in God. After all, how could my family and preacher be wrong? However, over the years, my views have changed drastically. I started asking myself who’s voice was I hearing? Certainly not mine! And started to realize that I was following someone elses opinion of my salvation and what was right than what rang true in myself – someone capable of being independent of others. I still believe in a higher source energy but no longer feel threatened by other people challenging my thoughts. In fact, I love the stimulation of other people’s points of view. If, at the end of my life I discover that my beliefs are “wrong” and that the whole “God” topic was a scam, or a ruse, then I imagine myself laughing at my gullibility. After all, a good sense of humor makes life, death and beliefs more interesting.

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    oh Wendy, if only more people had a sense of humor like yours. The world would be a much happier (and more peaceful) place!

    It’s helpful what you said about feeling threatened in your 20s. In your a key foundation to your identity was that the preacher was right. If someone could establish the pastor was wrong, your identity would be threatened.

    I think you’ve really helped me to find a missing piece here – the reason that the god debate makes people so nasty is because it threatens there very sense of identity. This is probably why you don’t find atheists killing people and committing terrorism in the name of atheism – if they are wrong, it does not threaten their sense of identity in any way.

    Ramen! [the official blessing of the Flying Spaghetti Monster]

    Simon

    [Reply]

    WendyB Reply:

    Ramen… Love it!! :-)

    [Reply]

  8. probably a pretty tender topic for many this one.. may have some conections with thousends of years worth of fear based religions harrasing our ancestors genes? like a long term exosure danger of religion? the Im right, your wrong mentality is strong among the living.
    got fixing tips on these issues?
    “If there is no god, there will still be eternity” sang a norwegian rock band.
    I love this blog!
    Kent

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    Yes, excellent point and analogy about religion and radiation. Religion is capable of so much good in the world but in history it has caused so much harm and been associated with so much control and abuse.

    > got fixing tips on these issues?

    RPT Level 1 :-)
    It’s a pretty straight application of the triune method – head (story), heart (feeling), gut (what instinct is holding this story in place?).

    Interestingly in the “Fountain of Youth” process we play with when there’s time on Level 1 (it’s not in the manual yet), we get back to the original trauma that causes premature aging. Most people seem to find that it goes back to the religious abuse you refer to. So it really is like radiation damage, causing premature aging (DNA destruction).

    cheers
    Simon

    [Reply]

  9. Hi Simon,
    Had a really good time reading the article and the discussions.
    And I would like to share something what I have found about myself feeling toward the subject.
    If we look at the concept of God , no matter which religion we are refering to – there is a concept of external power.
    And once this concept is challenged and said God- is YOU it brings about the possibility of creating whatever you want together with the responsibility for your own actions, thoughts, subconcsious mind operations- from this place you can choose to change it and heal.
    And it is challenging to own.
    In RPT terms I see there is a huge secondary gain in holding on to the belief of external power- you cannot do anything, everything is in God’s hands, so I better will not bother.
    And the other aspect -it is extremely comforting to know that there somethig out there you can rely on in times when you are in need but once you substitute it with Self it becomes a different story…

    I see there is a fear to embrace our own greatness and become fully conscious and thus responsible for what we do and choose to change what doesn’t work.

    I guess there are benefits of being a victim is a reason why people may feel once the definition/concept of God is challenged in that way.

    And to answer your question how do I react when you challenge my ideas-
    with time I developed a strategy which helps me to accomodate the new concepts- it is to allow the paradoxes to co-exist and use the word AND as oppose to BUT.
    Letting it be, explore the reason of my reaction if any of that happens and give permission to myself that any time I can choose to agree or disagree- takes the negative charge off the subject and the information becomes neutral piece of knowledge which gets incorporated into the whole picture or doesn’t.

    And honestly- everything what you said before does make sense to me- I find it extremely interesting and it is my great pleasure to have such a source of thoughts provoking information.
    Thank you.

    Warmly,
    Lena

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    hi Lena! Great to hear from you.

    I acknowledge your brilliance! I really never used secondary gain as a model to explain people’s fear around new concepts of god. I think you are exactly right about the fear of responsibility.

    Great to have you on the blog.

    Simon

    [Reply]

    Dmitry Yeschenko Reply:

    Lena, it was really a good point.
    As my own religion is Buddhism and thus I always should use my own responcibility not relying on any God – so it always was a bit strange to me how people fight for their gods.
    Really they have huge secondary gain based on their irresponcibility.

    Thank you very much for this brilliant understanding.

    [Reply]

  10. There is no need to attack anybody. If your belief is something cerebral you might end by doing so. If you live from that relationship God – human being you’ll just stay quiet until you are able to express something of that sharing with the source of LOVE-BEING

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    Jacques, I couldn’t agree with you more. There is never a need to attack anybody. However the reality is that when people feel threatened it’s an instinct to attack. There is an evolutionary need to defend our safety and our children/territory. All animals have that. Unfortunately humans have a lot of trouble distinguishing physical territory from spiritual/philosophical territory, and hence they are very unclear when a threat is real or just intellectual.

    (Wish I’d put that in the original article!)

    Here’s an ironic thought – when radical Christians attack Darwinists for their ideas, they are in fact PROVING evolution. Spend 10 seconds looking at chimps killing each other for territory and you can see the evolutionary basis for Christians attacking Dawinists over their intellectual territory.

    thanks for visiting our blog
    Simon

    [Reply]

  11. I couldn’t agree with you.
    Look – when you speak about Beingness – you speak about all Universe as one, even suggesting that your Beingness is bigger than Universe – you even say “holding universe in your hands”. But DNA – is never “experience of all Universe ”.
    As for me unity and codependence of all Universe should be from it’s first atom, not from first DNA otherwise it’s nonsense. Thus Beingness should exist at least before first DNA with the first atom (if not before this Universe).
    Also you should know even from your experience that even stone has its own consciousness. Why you look only on bio-consciousness? Consciousness was from the very beginning. Not from the moment when higher nervous activity arouse.
    Also if you turn to modern physics then you’ll find that there are no matter as something “rigid” as there are only curved space-time. Any elementary particle is not a “particle” but a curved space which percepts as a particle. Thus we easily could speak about Beingness even before this Universe. For matter which already has consciousness emerges from nothing and is empty inside.

    In my perception Beingness is not the “who” – it’s everything and everybody. It’s not “personality” for if you differentiate “your” Beingness from “my” (as you can differentiate our DNA) then you couldn’t speak about interconnection on this level and thus RPT (i.e. Beingness technique) shouldn’t work at all. When you say that Beingness is “who” you fall into dualism as thus you automatically point that there should be somebody other (i.e. outside of your Beingness).

    You cannot say what your Beingness is NOT, because Beingness just IS. Beingness Is. (Yes, that’s a complete sentence.)

    The same: “You cannot say who your Beingness is NOT…”

    And please don’t mix God with Beingness. When we say God – we by default mean something separated, something aside from us. Simply there are a lots of communication techniques which based on that “you couldn’t be the one you speak to at the same moment”. This technique is very powerful in removing wrong identities.
    Beingness and God a bit different words (as for me). For very few people speaking of God mean Beingness. And they prefer to follow the 3rd Commandment “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God”. So let’s don’t mix these words.
    God is a try to put responsibility to someone else. Beingness – is acceptance of your own responsibility.
    DNA exist in any biological form of life, even in amoebas. But idea of God emerged only with appearing of humans and higher nervous activity. So if the question is what appears first DNA or “God” – then my answer is DNA.
    But I’ve asked you about Beingness. So I am waiting for your answer.

    [Reply]

    Simon Rose Reply:

    Dmitry
    I think I was sloppy in the distinction between “God,” “Beingness” and “consciousness.”

    The personal belief I was expressing was that DNA comes before God, not after it as is usually taught. I have not gone into all the detail, research and reasoning because it deserves articles, not a short comment. Also it obviously depends on how you define God.

    You are using consciousness in a different way to me – you are talking about the consciousness of a rock. I know what you mean, though I was talking of biological consciousness.

    So rather than disagreeing and then spending a month working out definitions, I propose that we agree on the God part, and then figure out the rest later.

    Can’t wait to see you in Russia and Ukraine next month. We will have lots of great ideas to play with.

    Simon

    [Reply]

  12. A clever, funny and precise quote from Philip Larkin:
    “If I were called in
    To create a religion
    I should make use of water.”

    It cracks me up; he sounds so bureaucratic, like calling in the auditors or the receivers, as well as pretty profound.

    I should make use of water, too. Pretty necessary and beautiful stuff.

    I see nothing wrong in creating our own religion as long as it’s as fluid as water and as long as we allow others to create their own bendy religion, too. One or two small gods sprinkled about for good measure wouldn’t go amiss.

    I know I sound flippant but my belief, if I have one, is that in the end we can’t really know so we may as well do/trust/believe in what feels right and true. Live and let live. Do unto others…..

    There was a point when I started but it’s become so watery I can’t see it anymore. Ah well – I’m happy to share a favourite quote.

    Sue x

    [Reply]

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