Are all revelations personal?

#1
Hey everyone,

It has been a bit of time since I last got on here - but I've been listening/reading the episodes without fail. I was just sitting here sort of reflecting on the various NDEs and STEs I've read about (or even had myself) and it occured to me that, while there can sometimes be some strong convergences between these disparate experiences in terms of take-away messages, it occurs to me that "God" or "Spirit" or "The Absolute" never really seems to address the bulk of humanity or even a bunch of us all at once. At least not that I have seen. It sort of hit me like a truck. Why had I never noticed this before?

Do you think there is something inherent in the relationship between the absolute and the relative, so to speak, that there can be no collective engagement from the absolute with us en masse? It is interesting that oftentimes such experiences drive home the message that "everything is one" as though we are all connected at some fundamental level, but all the while pressing home a message that - in a way - we are very much alone, or at least singular. Moses gets the message alone. The rest go on, business as usual, and don't get turned by the message because they weren't the ones to personally receive it. It's sort of weird to think that religions try so hard to make spirituality a group sort of thing when it seems that the absolute has an allergy to groups.

Just some fragmented thoughts... but I thought they were worth sharing and seeing if there were any reactions.

Cheers!
Philemon
 
#2
Are all revelations personal?
Some "revelations" are for everyone, some are for groups, and some are for individuals. You have to consider the context and use the same judgment about a "revelation" that you would about information from any other source. But some people get so excited about spiritual knowledge that they sometimes go overboard and take every bit of it as a universal truth. As with any advice, different people have different needs, for example, some people are too selfish and need to think more of others, while other people try too hard to please everyone and need to think more of themselves, so if you learn about spiritual advice for these types of people it can sound like "revelations" are contradictory when they are just personal messages for people with different needs.
 
#3
Do you think there is something inherent in the relationship between the absolute and the relative, so to speak, that there can be no collective engagement from the absolute with us en masse? It is interesting that oftentimes such experiences drive home the message that "everything is one" as though we are all connected at some fundamental level, but all the while pressing home a message that - in a way - we are very much alone, or at least singular. Moses gets the message alone. The rest go on, business as usual, and don't get turned by the message because they weren't the ones to personally receive it. It's sort of weird to think that religions try so hard to make spirituality a group sort of thing when it seems that the absolute has an allergy to groups.
:)
There is a "collective engagement." At the level of "spirit." However the objective "physical world" interaction/interface with that engagement is- by design - individual. There may be similarities between some of the interactions but there are always aspects that are unique. And though the "engagement" is always there, it's up to the physically focused portion to tune in objectively. The TV analogy works well here. NBC is broadcasting but to receive it the set has to be tuned to a specific frequency.
 
#4
I guess I sort of asked the wrong question... I'm thinking what I really meant to ask was, "Can the Divine only engage us individually?" I know of certain situations where numerous individuals seem to be affected by an event - say the shared death experiences that Raymond Moody has popularized in one of his more recent books - but I have heard of no account where very large numbers of people simultaneously have the same encounter in the same way. It seems that many people have yearned for such a collective encounter throughout the years. 2012 comes to mind as a recent manifestation where it seemed a lot of folks were thinking "Ah! Here it comes!" - as though God were about to open the sky, peer down, and address us as a whole group. Except it was supposed to be some sort of New Age version of the rapture for the folks who managed to get their chakras purring at all the right notes. Archetypally, it seems that it's always a selected individual who bears the uniquely received message who must then convey it to all us lesser mortals to be received passively on authority. Why is this? Why do STEs happen individually to folks, by themselves, rather than the long-yearned-for eschaton-style manner? Why is it that "someday never comes"? to quote CCR. Is this because of some inability on the part of the transcendent to engage us in this manner?
 
#5
:)
There is a "collective engagement." At the level of "spirit." However the objective "physical world" interaction/interface with that engagement is- by design - individual. There may be similarities between some of the interactions but there are always aspects that are unique. And though the "engagement" is always there, it's up to the physically focused portion to tune in objectively. The TV analogy works well here. NBC is broadcasting but to receive it the set has to be tuned to a specific frequency.
One thing comes to mind for me as regards your analogy. With spiritual matters, I've noticed that two "TV sets" can be turned into "NBC" but somehow the newscast - though perhaps similar - is never identically transmitted - sometimes deviating in its storyline in very important ways. To use the usual language, can God transmit Himself simultaneously, to many different people, EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, impacting us in a manner that is inescapably understood only in a single way? Could a football field full of yokels have the sky open up above them, God thunder down some sort of communique, and they all get it exactly the same way? - from the 5-year-old kid drinking a milkshake to the 59-year-old lawyer choking down another cigarette? I'm suddenly finding myself wagering (on account of some weird intuitive knowing I got struck with earlier today) that - no - for some unfathomable reason, "God" either cannot or will not EVER do anything like this. But I'm open to revision on this... and I always thought before today that, for some reason, such a thing WOULD eventually happen. Thoughts?
 
#6
I liked your post, Philemon, because it resonates somewhat with things I've been thinking. Whether in the realm of what is viewed as ordinary, or in any putative extraordinary realm, some process seems interposed between perceived phenomena and what is perceiving them.

If one considers reports of someone having been in a state of pure awareness, evidently there is something able to make those reports after the fact (and by inference, present during the perception). This something, whatever it is, seems to be the most fundamental aspect of a sense of individuality, and it forever evades explanation or description: it's axiomatic, the taken-as-given water in which the fish swims, as it were. I wonder whether it is "individual" in the usual sense of the word, though. It may be just the one thing, which is the same for everyone: it may be the awareness of the beingness of the one and only Source Consciousness, which simply is.

Over and above this axiomatic, underlying sense of individuality (personally, I tend to think it's One rather than many), there's the appearance of a realm in which processes can occur. The most basic of these processes would be what is ordinarily thought of as consciousness: without it, nothing could ever be perceived or conceived, and it's this with which we ordinarily identify: it's idiosyncratic, one amongst many. We think of this as individuality, and sure enough, it appears free to place whatever interpretations it likes on processes, including itself. I'm not implying that processes don't actually occur and that each one of us is capable of creating a unique and equally valid reality. Sure, in certain mental states we may experience illusionary processes, but I'm not talking about those. I'm talking about actual processes: we may think of them as arising from "universal laws".

Although they actually occur, however, the experience of them is mediated by idiosyncratic consciousnesses, each of which is free to interpret them according to external or internal conditioning. If for example NDEs are actual processes, it's very evident that how they're perceived and interpreted varies. Some of that may be due to internal conditioning (arising from particular life experiences), and some to external conditioning (societal factors including such things as religion or inculcated scientific world view). The most significant thing about NDE reports isn't the particular descriptive details of what was perceived (one person met Jesus, another God, another angels or relatives, there were tunnels or rooms or stars and galaxies, different modes of transport, or whatever), so much as the emotions experienced. There seems to be more concordance about those: they are sometimes pleasant, and sometimes not, or may be both in the one NDE. In any event, the experience is often life-changing.

I very recently watched a video about an NDE experienced by a formerly lapsed Jew (full version on his site at http://www.alonanava.com/):


His NDE changed his life, all right, and interestingly, it made a very orthodox Jew of him. It was experienced by him in the context of Judaic lore, which latter includes esoteric Cabbalistic elements. He also claims experiencing the life of the girl he was with in the taxi whilst having his NDE. If we are to believe him, and I tend to, he was later able to relate to the girl things about herself that she could verify. Are we to conclude from this verified episode that the rest of the NDE was also literally true? That we should all be strict observing Jews if we are to ensure our place in heaven? That God is the Abrahamic one, who deals in punishment and reward? (To be fair, he does state elsewhere that hell is something we create and come to deserve, but still, God's universe is one in which it is possible to create hell and in which the principle of punishment and reward applies, even if we are the authors of it).

I wouldn't be surprised if one could find examples of NDEers in other faiths, e.g. Christianity, who have become equally convinced in the literal veracity of aspects of their faith, and who equally might have had verifiable experiences; it wouldn't be unnatural for them to think that the whole NDE was literally veridical. But as an onlooker, I make the simple observation that this Jew and perhaps someone else who was Christian couldn't both be right unless each one of us is capable of creating our own reality, both before and after death. I find myself having to conclude that NDEs contain both experiences that can later be verified, and those that can't, and that the latter are much more about the influence of conditioned, idiosyncratic consciousness in interpreting processes occurring during NDEs. To me, that's more parsimonious than positing each of us creates and lives in an idiosyncratic universe.

If NDEs are experiences of genuine processes, albeit at least in part interpreted, and people genuinely are for a time dead, is it possible that when irrecoverably dead, the element of interpretation continues? And if so, does it ever end, notwithstanding the possibility of reincarnation? If it does end, what happens then? What would we be then? What would we experience then? If we experience anything at all, doesn't that imply continued identification with a personal sense of consciousness? Is this what we call the soul?

They do say that the soul is eternal. If so, it's an eternal manifestation of the Source of all. A source that is claimed to be infinite and unlimited. And if so, there is no "end". There's no limit to how far its manifestations can evolve. But all its manifestations are capable in one way or another of intercommunicating. They are capable of experiencing the same actual processes, and capable of reaching various degrees of concordance about what those are, ranging from complete disagreement to almost, though theoretically never, complete agreement. As long as we continue existence as souls and there remains identification with a self (ranging from ego to higher essences), then there would be no end to the discoveries/inventions we could make.

We'd never become Source, but through us, Source, that ever present unity/individuality, would continue finding ways to realise its potential to manifest. If so, I have no idea why it should be that way. One could venture that's just the way that the water inevitably behaves. Linking in with Bernardo Kastrup's metaphor, the stream forms whirlpools because that's what a stream does.
 
#7
Perhaps this excerpt from Howard Storm's book "My Descent Into Death" can provide an answer:

Howard: “Why doesn’t God do something to get people’s attention? Why doesn’t God turn the sky red-orange and write in the clouds, ‘LOVE GOD’? Why doesn’t God do something so spectacular that we would know what we are supposed to do?”

Being of Light: “God will not demand your love. That defeats the very nature of love. Love must be a choice. You cannot scare people into loving. That is not love, it is submission. God doesn’t want slaves. God wants people to freely choose love. You know very well that you have been free to choose to receive or reject God’s love. Every person ever born has had the same opportunity. Every person has struggled with the same choice.”

Storm, Howard (2005-02-15). My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life (p. 79). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
 
#8
It is not just a question of what is possible but what is most efficient. For mass communication I think THEY use phenomena like the Spiritualist movement, the UFO phenomena, reports by NDErs, and the John Edward TV show, etc. They pick individuals to communicate to the rest of us rather than communicating simultaneously to many people. In the physical realm, physical means are more practical.

Possible examples of mass communication might be the miracle of the sun at Fatima, and trance, materialization and direct voice mediumship.

I think THEY could communicate mentally to many ordinary people at the same time, but it would take a lot more effort. At mediumship demonstrations it is common for mediums in the audience to perceive the same communication that the medium giving the demonstration perceives. But most ordinary people are not that sensitive. Many people if communicated with via mental means would discount the communication as a dream, some might be frightened others might go to a psychiatrist etc.

Maybe if circumstances warranted it THEY would communicate mentally to many people at once. But most types of spiritual communications are given in a way that is deniable by those inclined to reject the message. So there are reasons they choose what and how to communicate that have to do with the purposes of humanity's existence on earth, and the purposes and abilities of the entities delegated to guide humanity, and I think that might have something to do with how THEY communicate also. For God to exert his will over creation would defeat the purpose of creation, except in very unusual circumstances.
 
Last edited:
#9
Jim, you may be right, although personally, I have a hard time with the idea that God or Source is in any sense supervising everything. I suspect Source is evolving through the medium of Its manifestations; ceaselessly discovering more and more of Its possibly infinite potential through them.

Maybe there are single, or groups of, manifestations at a higher level than us, or in subtler realms, who assume the role of actively engaging with and trying to influence humanity, but if so, it's possible that they, like us, have their limitations. It may be that they don't communicate with everyone at once because it's beyond their power to do so, and because not all of us can easily attune to them, at least in ordinary circumstances. Maybe they have to keep chipping away at it.

The language of love that Howard storm used in TWF's post could be interpreted as a manner of speaking. It probably has merit: but it seems to me to apply the idea of an actively involved Source that exists independently of its manifestations, and on that account is somewhat dualistic. It's a language that I myself have employed at times, but maybe it's just another example of a way of interpreting something that is real, albeit rendered in terms we can relate to.

Are we free to choose because Source (as, in a sense, a separate and all-powerful entity), wants us to do so willingly, or is Source Itself, being free, simply manifesting its freedom? Is it in fact impossible for it to manifest in ways that lack freedom? Similarly, is it impossible for it to manifest itself in any other ways than ones that evolve through what is experienced as time?

I don't know, of course, and I'm not trying to argue against you, Howard Storm, or anyone else: I'm just trying to communicate the kinds of thoughts I've been having recently. They're terribly hard to put across, even to oneself, because certain ways of expressing things are embedded in ordinary language.

We often ascribe to Source things like love, which implies a relationship between separate entities, even when in the next breath we may assert that all manifestations are essentially one with Source. That oneness would just be, but language is predicated on ontological multiplicity of separate things that may possess something like free will, as if it's possible for them not to have free will. Whilst I would say there is multiplicity, it's maybe of the ways the one thing can manifest itself in harmony with its intrinsic nature.
 
#10
Part of the problem with the Howard Storm quote is that it comes loaded with Christian apologetics regarding God and his motivations. I'm not sure that I believe God is hiding himself from people because he's playing some strange game of "Hide and Seek" with us. That seems very childish and unworthy of a well adjusted adult human, let alone a deity. I'm not assuming that God even cares whether or not we love Him, let alone notice Him. What I'm interested in is purely whether or not God has the capacity to address a large group of people in an identical fashion all at the same time - sort of like if I were to take a bullhorn and address a large crowd all at once. Christian theology seems to assume that this will finally happen at a "last judgment" or at least in some fashion in heaven, when all who are there would have access to the vision of God and all be receiving it, identically, at the same time. We do not hear accounts where the Divine interacts with humanity in this way. I can't even think of a single instance in the bible where God is purported to act this way and I cannot think of any examples from other religions or paranormal accounts that attribute such an act to God. That is interesting to me. In the case of Storm's statement, I don't really see how God acting publicly would somehow strongarm anyone into loving Him - I would think it would just lead to a widespread knowledge of the presence of something transcendent at play in things. People would still be left with the need to wrangle with what that means to them in terms of how they would repsond to it. I need to stress here that when I am using the word 'God' I am not really refering to any particular religious creed or theological idea - I'm sort of reappropriating the term to stand in for all these divine encounters and spiritually transformative experiences that people have.
 
#11
Yes, I understand you; however, Storm's testimony is Christian apologetics lite at best. What very likely offended hardcore Christians were several statements Jesus/BoL made to Storm, particularly that the best religion was varied for each person, that the Bible- though true according to Jesus- did have contradictions and was not to be read literally but spiritually, and that God didn't need us to build more churches and shrines because those were really for us and not God.

In regards to your concern that God was portrayed as playing hide and seek with humanity, I feel that's exactly what God is doing, not out of immaturity but for the sake of our own development. It's like when I first played Pokemon Black, I'd been playing Pokemon since generation I, so I was very familiar with the framework for the game. I decided then in the first five minutes of Black to borrow my cousin's GameShark. Suddenly, I had 600 shiny Pokemon under my belt... and completely lost interest in the game. Haven't played it or the following generations since. I just wasnt ready for so much at one time when I was barely starting, it just killed my interest in going forward. Perhaps that is what God is waiting behind the veil for, for enough of us to have these individual STEs that the whole of humanity could handle a public appearance of the divine, otherwise our growth could be stunted.

Or you know, whatever. I've been looking for an effective way to connect with the divine for the past six months, so I have no authority on this subject.
 
#12
In regards to your concern that God was portrayed as playing hide and seek with humanity, I feel that's exactly what God is doing, not out of immaturity but for the sake of our own development. It's like when I first played Pokemon Black, I'd been playing Pokemon since generation I, so I was very familiar with the framework for the game. I decided then in the first five minutes of Black to borrow my cousin's GameShark. Suddenly, I had 600 shiny Pokemon under my belt... and completely lost interest in the game. Haven't played it or the following generations since. I just wasnt ready for so much at one time when I was barely starting, it just killed my interest in going forward. Perhaps that is what God is waiting behind the veil for, for enough of us to have these individual STEs that the whole of humanity could handle a public appearance of the divine, otherwise our growth could be stunted.
Genius.
Or you know, whatever. I've been looking for an effective way to connect with the divine for the past six months, so I have no authority on this subject.
Why? What a waste of time. It's like a fish searching for water. You have just as much authority as anyone else.
 
#13
In regards to your concern that God was portrayed as playing hide and seek with humanity, I feel that's exactly what God is doing, not out of immaturity but for the sake of our own development.
One could look at this idea from another perspective. We, human beings are the ones playing hide and seek, and have chosen to do so. Whether it's for our own development or not I'll leave aside for now. It's just from my view, that rather than consider that God is being difficult or awkward, it may not be the case, God may be helping us as much as possible, but doesn't interfere with our free will in our choosing to play the game our own way. I should add a clarification, in using the word 'game' I don't mean to undervalue the suffering and tragedy which occurs in this world, I'm not intending to trivialise matters.
 
#14
What a waste of time. It's like a fish searching for water. You have just as much authority as anyone else.
Yes, well, I was attempting to take a humorous approach to admit that I was saying something which, while it made sense to me on face value, was not a statement which even I fully supported because I have not had a personal spiritual experience, though I have been seeking one for many months.

Howard Storm's book was the first I ever read on any paranormal area. It's sentimental to me for that reason, and also that, naturally, what was written in it stood out to me. I liked what he was saying that Jesus had said, and I even began to incorporate some of the messages into my own life. However, I think we can all agree that there is a wide gap between the effect on someone when exposed to a third-hand account of the spiritual, and a firsthand, direct, and personal STE, as even Michael Shermer must now concede.
 
#15
One could look at this idea from another perspective. We, human beings are the ones playing hide and seek, and have chosen to do so. Whether it's for our own development or not I'll leave aside for now. It's just from my view, that rather than consider that God is being difficult or awkward, it may not be the case, God may be helping us as much as possible, but doesn't interfere with our free will in our choosing to play the game our own way. I should add a clarification, in using the word 'game' I don't mean to undervalue the suffering and tragedy which occurs in this world, I'm not intending to trivialise matters.
Yes, absolutely, I totally understand what you're saying! That being said, I have expressed to God many times in different ways that I would be freely willing to have God directly interfere in my adventure, and yet so far it is without any apparent change from my view. I must be doing something wrong, but this game could really use a 24-hour tech support line.
 
#16
Yes, absolutely, I totally understand what you're saying! That being said, I have expressed to God many times in different ways that I would be freely willing to have God directly interfere in my adventure, and yet so far it is without any apparent change from my view. I must be doing something wrong, but this game could really use a 24-hour tech support line.
We're all different, and each travelling a different path, so anything I say is in danger of being completely irrelevant. So I'll only add a little from my own experience, which may not be applicable to anyone else. Here I'm trying not to be overly detailed as it could fill several pages if I went that way, but the conclusion I've reached nowadays is that if we don't see any direct interference from God it's because we are broadly speaking getting along ok. For me, intervention came only after I'd decided, in no uncertain terms, that things were definitely not ok, and that if God was to ever intervene, then NOW was the time, there was no other way forward. It was at such a crunch-point in my life that I cried out in desperation, and received a powerful response which went on for weeks. The details I can't share, it was a very painful and personal series of events. But since that time I've been able to trust that even though not fully visible, if I do call out to God, I'm confident that someone is listening and responding. It's a pretty strange thing to try to describe, as I don't belong to any religion, and don't particularly like any formal belief system. Because of that, I don't have a ready-made structure onto which to fit my own experiences. But I kind of like it that way.
 
#17
We're all different, and each travelling a different path, so anything I say is in danger of being completely irrelevant. So I'll only add a little from my own experience, which may not be applicable to anyone else. Here I'm trying not to be overly detailed as it could fill several pages if I went that way, but the conclusion I've reached nowadays is that if we don't see any direct interference from God it's because we are broadly speaking getting along ok. For me, intervention came only after I'd decided, in no uncertain terms, that things were definitely not ok, and that if God was to ever intervene, then NOW was the time, there was no other way forward. It was at such a crunch-point in my life that I cried out in desperation, and received a powerful response which went on for weeks. The details I can't share, it was a very painful and personal series of events. But since that time I've been able to trust that even though not fully visible, if I do call out to God, I'm confident that someone is listening and responding. It's a pretty strange thing to try to describe, as I don't belong to any religion, and don't particularly like any formal belief system. Because of that, I don't have a ready-made structure onto which to fit my own experiences. But I kind of like it that way.
I've also felt from time to time that genuinely asking for help, quietly whilst alone (a bit like letting go and trusting, or surrendering to someone), has made me feel that some sort of aid has been provided. It's tended to feel like you can't ever get aid, only surrender to aid, and it seems to me that the surrender goes together with genuinely strong feelings.
 
#18
Yes, well, I was attempting to take a humorous approach to admit that I was saying something which, while it made sense to me on face value, was not a statement which even I fully supported because I have not had a personal spiritual experience, though I have been seeking one for many months.
Just inhale whippets and vomit 'til you've had enough. Maybe that'll induce something.
 
#19
We're all different, and each travelling a different path, so anything I say is in danger of being completely irrelevant. So I'll only add a little from my own experience, which may not be applicable to anyone else. Here I'm trying not to be overly detailed as it could fill several pages if I went that way, but the conclusion I've reached nowadays is that if we don't see any direct interference from God it's because we are broadly speaking getting along ok. For me, intervention came only after I'd decided, in no uncertain terms, that things were definitely not ok, and that if God was to ever intervene, then NOW was the time, there was no other way forward. It was at such a crunch-point in my life that I cried out in desperation, and received a powerful response which went on for weeks. The details I can't share, it was a very painful and personal series of events. But since that time I've been able to trust that even though not fully visible, if I do call out to God, I'm confident that someone is listening and responding. It's a pretty strange thing to try to describe, as I don't belong to any religion, and don't particularly like any formal belief system. Because of that, I don't have a ready-made structure onto which to fit my own experiences. But I kind of like it that way.
Why don't you share the specifics of whatever the hell it is that you're talking about? I'm all curious now. What was your issue, what did you ask for and what was the response? Who gives a shit if it's personal. Are you trying to maintain a certain reputation on this forum? Are you trying to make the name Typoz good for somethin'? Fuck that. Just share your story. Don't be such a sissy. I wanna hear it!
 
Top