Alright, I’ve avoided this long enough, I guess I didn’t want to seem completely stupid in front of you. It’s just that I remember when I was kid and I was in a religious training school, I was always getting in trouble for asking questions that annoyed the teachers. I really had important questions though, and if I was going to believe what they were saying, I just needed a couple of answers. They thought I was being purposely silly, or obtuse, just to get a rise out of the rest of the kids.
Was I what? Oh, trying to make the other kids crack up – yeah, I can admit that I was sometimes, but that wasn’t until it was made clear to me that my questions were not appreciated. In the very beginning though, I was completely serious. They’d tell some bible story that was amazing to me, but I always had a few questions about them. I was too young to realize that not all stories came with background information.
“Hmm, sounded a bit suspicious to you I imagine. Did they give you a reason for not answering your important questions?”
Not exactly, but I do remember one guy who tried to. He was the one who headed up the program; in a regular school he’d have been the Principal. Anyway, I was sent to see him after a particularly annoying question that got the whole class in an uproar. I’m pretty sure that he’d been front-loaded about who I was, or who they thought I was. He was super patronizing to me, and basically just said that I needed to have more faith in the biblical stories. I guessed that ‘more faith’ meant less curiosity in my case.
“That is a terrible way to treat a young and thirsty mind Thomas, did you ever find the answers you sought?”
Nope, I just had to swallow back the things I wanted to know more about, at least until I was at an age where I decided it was mostly bullshit.
“You have certainly piqued my curiosity now. Can you remember one of the questions you were so eager to know the answer to?”
Sure, but I don’t think they really have answers to them. If a story is made up, or more like a legend that was loosely based on a real event, I don’t think there’s supporting evidence for it.
“Perhaps you might just humor me and let me hear one?”
Alright, but don’t laugh at this okay? After hearing the story about Noah’s Ark, I was having a really tough time understanding why everything had to be wiped out in order to cleanse the world of it’s sinning. I mean, people did the sinning right? Not the land animals, or fish, or even the birds. And even if it were just kept to the people, I just couldn’t see how the people on the other side of the world – people who’d never even heard of the bible, or God, why they had to drown too. I quickly figured out that I was the only person in that little classroom who saw that story as something bizarre and horrific.
All of the other kids thought it was just fine for billions of animals and innocent people to get flooded out because the Old Testament God was all pissed off at his creations. In fact, that was one of the times I remember the other kids weren’t laughing along with me, they were laughing at me for being such a dork.
“Ahh, the human phenomenon of group-think in action. Thomas, I can assure you that there were many more kids in that class who would have loved to hear a real answer to your question – as they were feeling very much the same as you were. They saw the first kids laugh at you, and did the same so they would not get laughed at as well. Yet, that does not mean that they were not just as curious as you were.”
“Furthermore, I agree that a story such as the one of Noah’s Ark can not really be supported with factual evidences that might answer your skeptical questions. I find it saddening that they would not have thought to suggest that is was more of a parable. That might have satisfied your curiosity and removed some of the horror of the story.”
Yeah, that at least would have given me something to think about for a while.
“I have a feeling that this was not the entirety of what you came to ask me about though. Please allow yourself now to ask what it is that has been on your mind for so very long.”
Well… wow, this is still hard, even now. Um, okay, when I was told the Creation story – in the Christian theology anyway, it started with ‘In the beginning… and God making light, then the heavens and earth. Well, even as a kid, my mind went instantly to the question ‘what was God doing just before he made light?’ Was he just coasting along in the darkness of some great black void that would soon become the universe? Why in the world would he have done that? Well, like I said a minute ago, I don’t really believe that story anyway, but I do still wonder about the beginning of things. I can safely figure out that just about every religion’s ‘God, or Gods’ are really constructions of the Pure Love – so my question then transfers to it. What is the real creation story? What was the Pure Love doing before he made all of us?
“Before I begin to answer the questions put before me, allow me to preface a bit. First I must let you know that I do not know the entire answer to all of what you are asking me, but I do have some of it. I will answer you as completely as I can, but please keep in mind that I am not the Pure Love, who would know more. Second, and a more difficult notion, your use of the term ‘beginning’ is going to cause us some issues.”
Issues? Why’s that? I never thought of it as a tough concept before; things begin and things end.
“Thomas, you are thinking in linear time, the only way that time usually makes sense to the earthbound. Linear time, or a timeline if you prefer, presumes that one event precedes another, then another, and so on. Time always marches forward by your understandings, and that is a natural understanding having the type of lives you live. All humans are born, they age and they eventually die – beginnings and endings, very tidy. Yet, that is not how things are everywhere Thomas, and it would take a tremendous amount of time to explain why that is.”
You mean, like where you’re at, beyond our life here, time isn’t a constant?
“Time exists in a somewhat different way here Thomas. Your time is based on the observable universe that you live in, that many other life forms live in as well. Planetary movements around stars, galaxies moving in the universal space, and even the biological progressions are evidence of time as you know it. It might take a bit of imagination, but consider the idea that not everything has beginnings and endings as you know them, and that in some places time is not a straight line moving in one single direction.”
You’re right about it taking some imagination, it almost makes my brain hurt to try to think of time that way. But, even if time isn’t linear to you, there’s still a ‘present’ isn’t there? Such as ‘right now’ – us having this talk is the present, right?
“There is now, the place the consciousness is focused upon. If you can picture time being like a vinyl record, such as one in your collection; the present is the needle that sits in the groove of the recording. You can choose to set the needle down in any part of the recording and you will instantly hear what is in that spot. The ‘now’ becomes wherever the needle is at the moment of contact with the vinyl record, yet all of the other passages remain as well. It is not a perfect analogy, but perhaps it begins to illustrate the concept for you.”
So you can skip around through time? Just go visit any time that you want to and then head back to the present?
“In a manner of speaking, yes; and as a non-earthbound soul, you are free to do the same. Though it may be an interesting method to review one of your own past lives, most souls do not do this as often as you might be thinking they do.”
Have I done that?
“You and I have indeed reviewed one of your past earthbound lives. What is unexpected by many souls who have done so is the emotional upheaval that is often caused by this type of review.”
Wait, so you all have emotions there, just like we do here?
“Yes Thomas, but it may be more fairly said that humans have a similar emotional capacity to those of us in the afterlife – not the other way around. But, to answer you more fully, we are filled with emotions from the Pure Love. You still may retain a sense of that from your near-death experiences as an infant. A feeling of love and acceptance surrounds each time you come back to this place.”
You feel emotional all the time there? What’s that like?
“Can you recall witnessing a scene, either in person or a recorded event that overwhelmed you with positive emotions? I know that your entertainments are replete with such scenes, although you do have to be open to the experience. But, when you have seen and experienced such a scene, one is filled with an upheaval of loving emotions, and most often tears are brought up as well. That is somewhat akin to what a soul feels here, and yes, all of the time.”
Wow, that’s crazy, how can you stand feeling like that all of the time?
“Are you saying that the times you had experienced emotions such as those, that you did not like it?”
No, I don’t mean it like that, but it’s a lot to handle. Sometimes it’s embarrassing too, if other people see you all teary-eyed and sniffling. Like you said, it’s overwhelming; and it’s kind of uncomfortable when it happens.
“What you are describing is discomfort then, not dislike. Insecurity in displaying your true emotions in the presence of others is a common human trait. Generally the older one gets, the more life experience one has, the easier it becomes to allow others to see the true you. When one gets to such a place they feel those emotions even more deeply, because they are not distracted from them by self-consciousness. As a soul in the afterlife, there is no self-consciousness to contend with and we are free to feel the depth and width of our emotions.”
That sounds pretty great, a little scary, but great. I also know you’re right about the age thing, I was way more self-conscious when I was younger. I feel like I grew into my emotional side when I got to be around forty years old. Now days a sad commercial on the TV can make me tear up. It’s sort of silly, but I still think it’s a good emotional place to be.