God Simulation

I was at church. It’s one of those huge Protestant, non-denominational places with electric guitars, smoke machines, throbbing lights, and raised hands. 
At the climax of a powerful song, the lights on stage blasted white. They glared through the room and illuminated a thick floor of foggy smoke which billowed over the worship leaders’ feet and spilled over the stage.  It was like God’s presence decending from Heaven and coming into the room. It was like his presence came. It was a similie. Not enough.

I quickly resolved that experiencing a similie, or a simulation of God coming into the room, is an apalling substitute for the real thing. 

I know many of my experiences of God are based on those worship highs. But those internal experiences are birthed in an exterior simulation of God’s presence – not in his actual exterior appearance. 

I wonder what I would believe about God if I based my conviction on authentic experiences. The Bible says God’s throne is resplendent with light.  My only experiences with God’s light are of the simulated kinds on Sunday morning – but I have never seen God’s light.

I want to start sorting out my knowledge of God’s character by the different input methods I gained them. 

Authentic experience, Biblical facts, and simulated experiences. I need to loom at the original input. 

I want authentic experience of God and not simulations. 

(Originally penned 10/24/15)

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Dr. Courtney Brown Snychronicity

It’s a small, strange world.

I sit here typing this in the public library. I’m quite stunned by the synchronicity which just happened. It has to do with a gentleman named, Dr. Courtney Brown.

A Little Background
I unhappily spent years working as a salesman. My conversations with people were always scripted and aggressive. I also worked by myself in a sales office so when things were slow, it was boring beyond belief. Around November of 2013 I started exploring podcasts to fill the time. I found a podcast put out by Emory University featuring a class entitled, “Science Fiction and Politics,” taught by Dr. Courtney Brown.

The class was inspirational to me. Dr. Brown talked about the need for people to explore ideas. He talked about how mundane life as a salesman or lawyer could be and explained the benefits of an academic life where thinking was the primary work. I took this to heart and thought to myself, “why don’t I live an academic life?” So I made some big changes. I’m currently studying to be a high school English teacher this Fall.

The Synchronous Event
Last night I was applying for teaching jobs. I took a moment to recall what inspired me to pursue this path. I immediately recalled the lectures of Dr. Courtney Brown and his challenge to lead a life in the world of ideas. Unusually for me, I decided to email him a “thank you” note to let him know that his words had made a difference in my life. So I “googled” his name.

Screenshot 2014-07-15 16.57.29

As I typed it, I saw a hit for “Courtney Brown remote viewing” which immediately interested me. Remote viewing is a fringe subject and I thought, “Must be a bummer to be a distinguished professor at Emory University and share a name with an apparently more well-known remote viewer,” and thought nothing more of it. I emailed Dr. Brown through his website and thanked him for being an inspiration. I received a prompt reply from him thanking me for the note. I spent the rest of the evening discussing synchronicity and the voice of God with one of my friends.

This afternoon, I finished my education course early and came to the library to study. I plugged in my headphones to listen to another of my favorite podcasts, “The Paracast.” I was listening to Episode June 1, 2014. The hosts, by coincidence, were discussing a remote viewing of the Hale Bopp Comet. At 1:11:00 the conversation went like this:

Guest: I remember the Hale Bopp thing so well. I was at a UFO conference in Pensacola beach just before that business and uh…you could see Hale Bopp up in the sky, everybody was very excited. And then we had this thing…it was proclaimed as “the Companion to Hale Bopp,” just flying along behind. This is what led to the Heaven’s Gate people.

Host: Right, well that was Courtney Brown, I think actually.

Guest: Well, it was Courtney Brown who viewed it.

My ears immediately perked up. “Damn, that is weird! There it is,” I said to myself. “I just came across this other Courtney Brown guy last night when I googled Professor Brown, and they are talking about him.”

I immediately decided to investigate who the Courtney Brown remote viewer was, so I returned to the same google results but followed the link for remote viewer. I read the Wikipedia article:brown

 

Same person.

Again, I cannot calculate the odds of this thing happening coincidently. The odds defy imagination. I finish this post at the same keyboard, in the same library, only an hour after this discovery. I don’t know what it means, but I know it echoes of God’s voice.

Umm…That was REAL

I would have sworn on my life that I was standing in my living room. Something felt odd, but there was the oversized couch slumping on the East wall just as usual. The same stains dotted its cheap cloth surface. Magazines were carelessly strewn about on the coffee table. I looked toward the window. The blinds were down and slit open just enough to let the last light of the day through. The red seeped through the blinds and expanded through the air, casting an eerie glow on everything.

“This has to be a dream,” I said to myself. Everything appeared perfectly real, but something felt wrong. I looked down at my hands. They were lined and creased in all the right places. I saw the faint color of veins under the surface of my palms. Real…but I could not shake the feeling.

“I need a test,” I decided. “Details. I’ll look for details. If this place is a dream, There’s got to be a limit to how much detail I can explore.” I glanced around the room trying to decide what to investigate. After a moment of contemplation, I decided to examine the rug under my feet. 

It was perfectly normal. The geometric border of green and cream around the edge of the rug was just as it should be. The floral accents in light rose twirled in the corners, “God, why did my mom pick this thing?!” It was ugly. The twirled yarn of the fringe laid like seaweed across the floor. It looked right. I was almost convinced, but I needed a closer look.

I crouched down on my hands and knees. My face went down to examine the geometric patterns in earnest. I looked like an ape searching for bugs on his mate as my fingers rapidly separated the fibers of the rug and my eyes peered for detail. Each fiber of twirled fabric moved as my fingers parted them. I saw their attaching points, where they twisted, and where they ended. I saw the barriers between one area of color and another as my fingers crossed from one geometric pattern to another. I was convinced.

I stood amazed and said to myself, “I was wrong. This IS real.”

Then I woke. 

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This happened to me when I was around 18 years old. I had another dream several nights later where I performed an equally mind-boggling test; I caught my face in a mirror and did another detail check. I got only inches away from the mirror and peered into my reflection. I took careful note of my iris. It was blue and freckled with tinges of hazel near the pupil, just like in real life. The detail was astonishing. What sold me was when I happened to see a Coca-Cola can reflected in the mirror and the logo was correctly inverted in a mirror image. I concluded the dream was real then woke.

This tells me a few things. 

  1. The mind can imagine seemingly impossible detail.
  2. At least two parts of my mind were working independently of eachother; the part that was trying to convince me it was real and supplied the detail (The Convincer), and the part which suspected it was false and scrutinized (The Conscious).
  3. It’s a little disturbing that these two different parts acted like they had diametric agendas.
  4. The Convincer part was aware of what the Conscious was thinking, but the Conscious was clueless about the existence of the Convincer.

I will have to ponder these things some more. This relationship between the Convincer and the Conscious seems like a microcosm of the relationship between God and man; or at least my God and myself.

the daily prompt

An Obscure Synchronicity: Nathan Drake, Terence McKenna, John Dee, and House, M.D.

Nathan Drake, Terence McKenna, John Dee, House M.D.

Nathan Drake                               Terence McKenna                             John Dee                                           House M.D.

I have been keeping an eye on synchronous patterns for some time. I get immense satisfaction from seeing unexpected connections. I am filled with a sense of amusement at the force behind these impossible coincidences. I just experienced one of these strange connections between two obscure terms, “John Dee” and “ergot.” Here is how it came about:

Just the other day I was playing a video game I recently acquired called, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The game stars Nathan Drake, an Indiana-Jones-type adventurer with a knack for obscure history. In the chapter I was playing through, Nathan Drake gave a brief history lesson about a 16th century inventor named John Dee. I had never heard of Dee and passively noted from the dialogue that he was an inventor of sorts who worked with English royalty.

It was later the next day that I began listening to a Terence McKenna lecture for the first time entitled, Hermeticism & Alchemy. In this lecture, McKenna describes the Alchemical scene in England during the 16th century. He launched into a detailed account of John Dee’s activity in Alchemy and the occult. As he spoke about Dee, my mind raced to recall where I had heard of this guy and quickly remembered the video game’s account of him from the night before. I was amused at the coincidence of running into John Dee’s biography twice in 24 hours from two very different sources. But it was nothing compared to my surprise at the subsequent synchronicity which immediately followed.

As the lecture continued, McKenna talked about a curious substance called ergot. Ergot, he explained, is a type of fungal infestation which grows on improperly stored grain or corn. It appears as a stinky, black goo which drips down the plant and ruins crops. Ergot, as McKenna recounted, was possibly consumed for its hallucinogenic properties during Dee’s time, but it is also highly toxic. I was very amused by this new information and was shocked when less than 4 hours later, this obscure topic came to me through another bizarre coincidence.

That evening, after listening to the McKenna Lecture, I turned on one of my favorite TV shows, House M.D.  Season 4, Episode 4 entitled “Guardian Angels” featured a young woman suffering from hallucinations. After several failed diagnoses, the light of revelation dawned upon Dr. House and dawned upon myself simultaneously… ergot poisoning! I chuckled under my breath as I listened to Dr. House rattle off a similar rap to that of Terence McKenna about how ergot grows and its effects after consumption.

So there it was in a little over 24 hours… Nathan Drake presented John Dee, Terence McKenna presented John Dee and ergot, Dr. House presented ergot. Strange little sandwich.

What does it mean? Who knows! Ten years ago, my younger, more zealous and insecure self would have prayed fervently, fasted, and searched the Bible trying to get the message God was shouting through the light-years of cotton filling the space between His voice and my ears. But I have settled into a great deal more security in my relationship with Him. I feel I know more of His character now. He’s a bit of a trickster. If anything, I take this incredibly unlikely pair of coincidences as a sign that He’s listening. He is interested in my interests. And He weaves his signature through my life as a reminder of that.

I take it as a sign that God is looking over my shoulder, reading along with me in this book of my life.

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If you are interested in hearing Terence McKenna’s account of John Dee and ergot, I think most of it is in the first two hours of the video below.

Introduction

For quite some time, I’ve been collecting thoughts.

I’m sure it began when I was a child and read Genesis 6:3-5

3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. 5Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

I read that passage and was intrigued that the earliest chapters of Genesis, closest to the creation of man, there was a description of a people who were “heroes of old.” I grasped that something in that passaged pointed to a deeper, more ancient secret that lay covered over. This idea persisted with me for some time, though no one I asked about it had a satisfying answer, until I happened upon a book when I was around 20 years old.

I was randomly exploring categories in my small public library when a book on the shelf caught my eye. It was Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock. I think I was struck by the title, its solid girth upon the shelf, and the striking gold letters on a black spine. I devoured Graham’s account of a historically aberrant map of Antarctica. The Piri Reis Map made, long before the continent’s discovery, allegedly shows the continent in a compelling way. I absolutely devoured the book and found compelling information about Nephilim, early civilization, and alternate theories of history. At that moment, I began to collect ideas.

I began to follow my interests along their own meandering course. For some time it was the interest in ancient megalithic construction and connectedness of early civilizations. I began looking into the paranormal; angels, demons, ghosts, and aliens. Then my interests moved to more concrete things like raising rabbits and collecting coins, followed by a jaunt into the world of literature, counter-culture, consciousness, hallucinogens, etc, etc.

This thought collection expands almost daily. I make unexpected connections between most of these topics and need to chronicle their Genesis. I needed some shelves to put these books on for easy reference.

My blog is an attempt to organize the chaos of this elemental synthesis, so I can crystalize some meaning. My attempts will be rife with exploration and error as stream-of-consciousness usually is. But organization will manifest.