Apple

Healthy Living in School Curriculum & Modern Society

By Darryl E Berry Jr

December 15, 2021

The topic of healthy living is quite dear to me. I have maintained a diet of little to no red meat and plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, tree nuts, and legumes for many years now. I consume water primarily for liquid intake, with the occasional fruit juices. Instead of milk, I utilize one of the several available organic milk alternatives today. Furthermore, my fast food intake is minimal.

My reluctance to eat red meat began with the mad cow disease dilemma of the 1990s. Soon, I found that eating red meat did not feel good – the meat felt heavy. So, I adjusted to lighter meats, like chicken, seafood, and turkey, and I needed much less meat than I initially considered. I also found that eating more fruits and vegetables felt better as well.

Seeing people cause or exacerbate various medical complications from drinking only soda drinks helped me to drink almost only water. It was difficult detoxing from the sugar addiction of soft drinks and other overly sweet liquid concoctions. Nevertheless, after establishing the water drinking habit, I find water the best tasting drink.

I say the above to say that what I learned in school was not the bulk of my learning about healthy eating, nor the impetus for adjustments in the foods I consume. I remember talking about the four food groups – a little pyramid illustration in grade school. However, the emphasis in school on healthy eating pales in comparison to the encouragement to do otherwise. Learning about the four food groups in grade school helped me be more conscious of the various food categories. However, my eating habits remained essentially unchanged. Furthermore, given the onslaught of advertising promoting unhealthy food options – fast food, soft drinks, etcetera – it seems that there is room in school curriculums for more discussion of the harmful effects of excessive poor eating and the beneficial effects of healthy eating.

Given the blitz of advertising for poor eating choices and the proliferation of fast-food venues, it seems that modern eating is a form of self-destruction. I am often amazed at the list of chemical compounds comprising the ingredient lists of apparently simple food items. I am sure we are all familiar with the maelstrom of preservatives and other chemical compounds and the near-ubiquitous corn syrup utilized in making items that once needed only a handful of ingredients. We have replaced food with various manufactured objects in so-called modern food fare – often laden with salt to mask the chemical taste.

I find that we can overcome a brief spate of fast-food items with consistent healthy eating. First, however, it seems vital that we educate ourselves on the effects of unhealthy eating and take some time to consume better foods to see what results ensue. For instance, it may take a few weeks or even months of not drinking soft drinks to recognize how distorted our tastebuds have become due to continued overages in sugar.  Nevertheless, as we get older and our body cannot as efficiently fight off the adverse effects of unhealthy foods, I believe that each year of healthy eating and drinking will be a gift of better health in later years.

Copyright © 2021 Darryl E Berry Jr

Article entered into the https://szczuplakobieta.com/en/ Healthy Lifestyle Scholarship Program.

The Horrors of Contagion – Unseen Enemy (2017)

A Review by Darryl E Berry Jr | 15 July 2020

Summary

The documentary Unseen Enemy – produced by CNN Films – could be called a horror movie, in my opinion. Similarly, it could be called an antidote to sleep – it’ll keep you up at night. Directed by Janet Tobias, Unseen Enemy delves into several viral outbreaks including SARS, Ebola, MERS, Zika, smallpox, and influenza – the seasonal flu, Bird Flu, and Swine Flu (00:00:20-02:20; 00:34:05-59; 00:44:20-25). Narrated by Jeffrey Wright, we’re given a front row glimpse as scientists, communities, and families deal with the effects of these illnesses.

We’re informed that the globalization of the world – coupled with the growing compactness of human populations – facilitates the global transmission of viruses (00:03:00-30; 00:07:53-08:15). The incubation periods of diseases – times during which a person is infectious but symptom free – contribute to the effectiveness of viral spread especially in a globally connected world (00:36:13-30). Without major solutions being put in place, we’re told, it’s inevitable that a global pandemic will emerge (00:03:50-59). And this does seem to foreshadow the current coronavirus epidemic (Evans). We’re told in Unseen Enemy that the consequences of pandemics go well beyond a flurry of deaths – as horrific as those are – but also extends to intrinsic impact upon society itself (00:05:30-45).

In turn, each of these pandemics are surveyed. We’re shown direct video footage of the sites of these outbreaks, including personal interviews with directly involved medical personnel. And we’re presented with the interesting observation that “nearly all” of these virulent diseases involve transmission from animals (00:15:14-20; 16:54-17:04; 17:47-18:07), with viral propagation sometimes facilitated by insects (00:02:15-20; 19:09-19:18; 20:31-43). These sometimes-tiny creatures – that we sometimes dismiss as inconsequential – in truth have a quite profound impact upon our lives. It was quite interesting to see discussion of humans and humanity losing a “fight against the mosquito” and the need to “mobilize” to “win the fight” (01:09:21-30). Amazing – man versus mosquito, and we’re losing. How humbling these events are?

Analysis

The documentary did a great job of demonstrating how poverty – what seems to me a result of a tribalistic “haves” and “have-nots” mentality rather than a global community mentality – affects virtually everyone on Earth in regard to potential pandemics. I’m sure there are still those secure behind their ivory walls. But most of the human population is apparently just an obscure and remote animal interaction away from experiencing severe illness or death (19:00-19:18). Through the various cases of outbreak, we’re shown several of the characteristics or qualities that have gone into facilitating these outbreaks.

These characteristics include substandard medical infrastructure (00:12:50-13:12), poor hygiene conditions (00:21:18-26), misdiagnoses of the seriousness of the infection (00:29:59-30:12; 01:05:19-35; 1:07:57-10), and apparently even lack of concern prior to one’s “own” population being affected, whether that includes “other” ethnic groups, or simply poor areas around the world (Zika, par. 7; Unseen, 00:41:29-41:46; 52:37-49; 01:05:32-35). Also included as a major contributor of viral cultivation and transmission are unsanitary meat processing practices (00:38:56-39:35).

Evaluation

Professor Peirce sums up my opinion of what is a viable solution given the information shared in this piece, by saying: “We need to act beyond the boundaries of our own countries” (01:33:28-35). The angle of evaluation put forth regarded “comprehensive actions by governments and societies” and “what steps should governments and societies take in order to prepare and combat global pandemics” (Evans). Suggestions include governmental cooperation through “increasing the global authority of United Nations agencies” or conversely having “each nation-state combat pandemics with full authority within their own borders” (Evans). In my opinion these focuses are the incorrect focuses if we want a real solution to these problems.

Unseen Enemy highlighted to me that the problem is that we don’t care. Just like how we don’t care that the Hawaiian people remain occupied by us – and most of us don’t even know about it (Senate), we don’t really care about each other as human beings. The documentary highlights a “repeating pattern” of governments and societies not helping with outbreaks until individuals outside of the community of the outbreak get sick – that is, until people who are part of the tribe started getting sick (00:52:37-49).

There’s so much that can be said about why trust in government has eroded, as journalist Laurie Garrett points out (01:12:55-01:13:05; 01:33:52-59). But it’s easy to forget that “governments” are just psychological constructs and ways of organizing made up by human beings. Human beings who again, by the fact of our lack of involvement until it very clearly directly or indirectly affects us or the limited realm of humans we identify with, don’t really care. The problem is not what “government” should do, or what “the United Nations” should do, or what “society” should do, but our own selfishness and tribalism and lack of caring.

It’s clear that if we don’t want pandemics, we must do better job of controlling outbreaks (01:22:35-40). But as Dr. Brilliant pointed out: “If smallpox can be eradicated, what about [other diseases] at their source, and never become a pandemic?… We have the tools. We know what to do. It’s merely the application of public will” (1:31:12-31:32). And I’ll augment his statement by pointing out that “the public,” just like “the government,” is simply a euphemism for lot of individual people.

If “government” doesn’t act or “the public” doesn’t act, it simply means that you and I and our next-door neighbor and the person down the street doesn’t act. And in my opinion, we don’t act because we don’t care.

Though the Zika virus affected the population of Africa since 1947 (Zika, par. 6), it wasn’t until after it had spread beyond Africa that it was considered a concern: “Zika has ‘never been thought of as a severe infectious disease until now’,” according to Infectious Diseases Society of America spokesman Amesh Adalja, MD (Zika, par. 7; Unseen, 00:41:29-41:46). If it’s ‘those people over there’ who are poor, or who look differently, then apparently, it’s not a concern. But when people become sick from the tribe we identify with; it becomes a major concern (00:52:00-53:11). In my opinion all the governmental aid that comes out at that point – as needed as it still may be – is still but so much political fanfare and posturing.

But people like Dr. Moses seem to be sincere and present – and not only because they were there at ground zero. It seems clear that those who are personally infected are shown to think of a broader view of solutions (01:29:53-30:05). But in my opinion, as Dr. Moses points out, until we all “learn when it comes to health emergencies, until the entire world is safe, nowhere is safe” (01:32:23-33), it won’t do any good to rely on “government” or “society” or “the public” or any other collective identity concept. These people have shown that they don’t care unless it affects their tribe – and that’s because we don’t. “Governments” are mostly just privileged groups of people, but people just the same. Representative of the larger groups of people that let them be in power. Until we’re all willing to “Be a Global Citizen” (01:36:12) it won’t matter who or what organization we task to solve it. In my opinion, until we develop a general caring for everyone on Earth as our dearest family the problem won’t be solved – regardless of what infrastructure we imagine to be able to do so.

Works Cited

“Zika Virus: What You Should Know”. WebMD Medical Reference, Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD, on 23 October 2018. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/zika-virus-symptoms-prevention.

Evans, Samuel. “Writing Assignment (Global Pandemics)”. Intranet post, 13 July 2020.

United States Senate. “S.J.Res.19 – A joint resolution to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.” 103rd Congress, 23 November 1993, https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/senate-joint-resolution/19/text.

Unseen Enemy. Directed by Janet Tobias, CNN Films, 2017.

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr, Founder of DEBJ-NDC.

www.darryleberryjr.com | www.nextdensity.org

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at debj@darryleberryjr.com.

Buddha Enlightenment

Experiments in Personal Identity

Personal Identity, Ecsomatics, A Course in Miracles, Buddhism, Science, Philosophy

By Darryl E Berry Jr

Published: 6/13/20 | Updated: 7/14/20

As a kid I began having out-of-body experiences – what were once predominately called “astral travels” or “astral projections”, and what are becoming in fashion to call “ecsomatic experiences”. Most of my experiences early on were spontaneous. And a common occurrence was floating towards the ceiling, and hovering there, my nose inches from the plaster as my physical body slept on the bed below. I was apparently in an amazing nonphysical form that can move through walls and ceilings with an inherent glow that lights my surroundings. It could move about the physical world invisibly – as well as visit various otherworldly or nonphysical dimensions. I could perceive and interact with other people also out of their bodies, as well as various nonhuman entities and otherworldly beings. Amongst my early experiences:

Multiple Bodied We. One brief but enormous experience was to become conscious hovering in the out-of-body state near the ceiling on the opposite side of my bedroom as a point or field of consciousness. I (as point of consciousness) could see over my bed a nonphysical body floating near the ceiling. On the bed I could see my physical body. I concluded that we travel in (at least) three different forms: 1) integrated into the physical body, 2) as a nonphysical body, and 3) as a point or field of consciousness apart from both the physical and nonphysical bodies. It seems that the consciousness-nonphysical body combo can leave the physical body, and the point or field of consciousness can leave both the physical and nonphysical bodies” (Berry, Travel, 31).

Premise, Question: My experience is that I… “I”… am the point or field of awareness that was hovering in the corner, watching my nonphysical body hovering, and also watching my physical body slumbering, like watching my car in the parking lot, or my bicycle in the living room. So that is my position. Based upon this experience – and others since – I posit that the “I”, the animating, incarnating “I”, is a point or field of consciousness. And here comes the question – in academia is this position considered a philosophical claim or a scientific observation if not hypothesis? When I think if philosophy, or the “love of wisdom” (Hoofard, Intro, 03:00-04:10), I think of pure idea engagement. One might have a philosophy of this or that, and even live by it. But it’s not based upon evidence or experimentation. It may be based upon logic and reason. But what makes a claim philosophical rather than scientific; for instance, Buddha’s claims and position based upon experiences and perceptions through higher states of consciousness (Haecker, 16)?? What I conclude thus far is that the position of the originator is scientific if not simply experiential, e.g., the Buddha’s claims based upon direct experience, and my position based upon direct experience. But generation after generation others add, subtract, embellish, codify, and out comes a philosophy or religion (or both). Or something else??

Another of my experiences:

The Desert World. I was around 7 years old when I spent a week in The Desert World. I became aware in a world totally unlike the world we physically live in. The entire world was apparently a desert, with sand dunes visible beyond the meagre nearby manmade structures. I worked selling wares and pottery items on an outside table covered by canopy. When not working I lived in a small sand-colored dome and had my own room to one side of the dome, though I don’t remember any adults or parental figures. Initially I was surprised and taken aback at this place. It seemed like a dream I couldn’t awaken from. But after a few days there I thought that this waking physical world was the dream. My waking physical life seemed like some crazy dream so ludicrous to have believed. Things we take for granted, including much of the technology we have, seemed so farfetched and fanciful from my newly acquired perspective of the desert world… After about the seventh night of sleep in the desert world I woke up there, and then I woke up again here. I thought several days had gone by here as well and was frantic to find my parents and let them know I was OK. When I found them, they seemed like nothing happened. School was in an hour. This all happened in one night! But it took several days of living here in this physical waking world to see the desert world as the ‘dream,’ and this world as ‘real'” (Berry, Travel, 27-28).

For instance, I went to school the next morning (in this world), and I knew where I regularly sat, and I remembered everyone’s names and our relationships. I remembered the subjects we covered. All these things came back or were there when I thought of them. But it was like remembering someone else’s life and living it temporarily – like remembering the life of a television character. This world felt strange and remote – like a dream that I couldn’t wake from – for a few days. I can see that when I could no longer remember this reality while living the desert world perspective, I was no longer this person in a very substantial way. This world was a forgotten dream, and that world was reality. I could also say that I was still the same person in another sense, e.g., my attitudes and dispositions and such. Just in a different world, with a different past (both the world and I), and a different lifestyle. But I can/could still recognize the same sense of “I”.

Considering John Locke’s notion that identity is tied with memory (Hoofard, Buddhism (B), 4:30-4:51; 26:00-28:28), from this experience I can see some veracity in that position. Yes, a person born in America would be a different person than if that same person were born in Syria, or Africa, or Spain, or Morocco. Their language would be different, and likely even their likes and dislikes to an exceptionally large extent – informed as we are by those around us. Foods that taste good to us might taste strange to them, with taste buds and eating habits trained to different spices and dishes. Who they think of as family, and country, would be different. Likely also, values and notions of right and wrong, normal and odd, would be quite different. Their religion – something people seem to cherish greatly – would likely be different.

But from the same experience I can see or recognize that there is something endemic to both experiences – both the desert world memory perspective and this world memory perspective. Even having completely forgotten this world, and having identified completely with the desert world, but looking more closely at the state of self I experienced in both, I can still recognize an essence of “I” that was there before the desert world, existed in the desert world, and remains afterwards.

This experience – and others of mine – at the least suggests that there’s some facet or core of identity that remains despite a complete or partial, intentional or accidental, shift or transplant of memory identification or disidentification (CrashCourse, 5:04-8:26), apparently able to access at least some degree of identity or memory even across lifetimes. Could this be the consciousness that I referred to in my first experience, and is it the infamous “soul” or “atman” of various Eastern and Western religions and philosophies (Haecker, 4)? My hypothesis, if I can call it that, is yes. And again, I ask: From the perspective of a professional philosopher, is this a scientific hypothesis or a philosophical claim??

Experience:

“Perhaps the most profound metaphysical experience thus far was experiencing the entire universe disappearing. That’s right. I was applying [A Course in Miracles’] thought system to a cherished idol of mine, and when I really established the unreality of the idol, I must have starkly destabilized an underpinning of my identity. The world disappeared and for a “time” there was only being, and then a discernable “I” re-arose. “I” was able to perceive from afar the individual self that I apparently am now, and I and all the activity around it (the world, the universe) seemed as meaningless activity. And according to [A Course in Miracles] the entire universe is an illusion, projected by one universal mind that in the end doesn’t exist either. The stark fear at realizing that this individual self that seems so real and so “me” is in truth ‘meaningless activity’ along with all the world – along with a quiet recognition that the mind perceiving it all is meaningless too – condensed me back into an experience of being an individualized “me,” in a body, within a seemingly boundless external universe” (Berry, Classes, Introduction).

So, what is to be made of this experience? It seems quite like experiences had by great sages such as Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha (Hoofard, Buddhism (A), 25:15-27:23) – apparently except that instead of maintaining some manner of identification with this universal perspective, whatever level of “I” tucked tail and ran back to individual “I” perspective (and sometimes with greater fervor than before “I” focusedly decided to undo my individual self). So, when Professor Haecker points out that “when, in a deep state of consciousness, Buddha ‘looked’ at himself, he did not see Atman. Instead he saw what he came to call ANATMAN, literally ‘Not-Atman’” (Haecker, 16-17), I can relate. From the perspective of the universal mind that is dreaming the universe, the individual consciousness that seems so real when we’re identified with it is instead recognized as an illusory projection. The atman is not real; the “I” is not real. The incarnating, animating field of consciousness is not real. And so is everything else in and of the universe not real, whatever the frequency or dimension. To me the realization is quite frightening – clearly, I have some growing to do. But this claim doesn’t to me seem to be a philosophical claim, but simply an observable fact – if one can manage to observe from the perspective of universal mind. But again, as a professional philosopher, I ask you: Is that seen as a philosophical claim? Or being that it’s a position based upon direct experience, does it then become a scientific observation if not a scientific hypothesis? My interest is in bringing these things more into a scientific light. Or being that these are all “subjective” observations do they fall outside of the standard scientific definition of an observation – even despite at least some corroboration?

Works Cited

“Arguments Against Personal Identity: Crash Course Philosophy #20”. YouTube upload, CrashCourse, 11 Apr. 2016, https://youtu.be/17WiQ_tNld4

Berry Jr., Darryl E. Classes on A Course in Miracles: Contemporary Pure Non-Dualism, 1st ed., (Version 3 2019), Darryl E Berry Jr / Next Density Center, 2016, p. 27-28, 31.

Berry Jr., Darryl E. Travel Far: A Beginner’s Guide to the Out-of-Body Experience, Including First-Hand Accounts and Comprehensive Theory and Methods, 1st ed., (V4 2020), Darryl E Berry Jr / Next Density, 2015, p. 27-28, 31.

Haecker, Dorothy A. Adventures in Philosophy: A Study of Ideas That Change the World, edited by Peter Van Dusen, 4th ed., Dorothy A. Haecker, 2020, pp. 4, 16, 17.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Buddhism & Personal Identity (A))”. YouTube upload, 10 Jun. 2000, https://youtu.be/hYD4ZHnf2rA.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Buddhism & Personal Identity (B))”. Loom upload, 6 Jun. 2000, https://www.loom.com/share/fd93c79dc0324dc985b670909120261a.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Intro (A)”. YouTube upload, 2 Apr. 2000, https://youtu.be/-FHfayETo2c.

Schucman, Dr. Helen. A Course in Miracles (ACIM), 3rd ed., Foundation for Inner Peace, 2007, Text Chapter 6. Section I. Paragraphs 11 & 13; Text Chapter 21. Introduction. Paragraph 1; Text Chapter 27. Section VIII. Paragraph 9.

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr | www.darryleberryjr.com

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at debj@darryleberryjr.com.

The Thirsting Child and the Water Cache

Karma & Suffering

By Darryl E Berry Jr

Published: 6/10/2020 | Updated: 7/14/20

A scenario was presented at the end of the recorded lecture “Karma & Suffering (B)” in which a child, who is dying of thirst, happens upon the meager water cache of a small family that happens to be away at the time (Hoofard, 45:30-47:20). The question is – given that according to Hinduism, karma will punish the child for stealing the water and causing harm to the family – if it’s too difficult for the child to make the honest choice is it then unjust for karma to punish him further, i.e., with an even worse and more difficult next lifetime (Hoofard, 49:25-33)?

“If anyone ever got to that point where we could not reasonably expect them to choose the right thing because they’re in such a devastating circumstance… that means the next time they are probably going to come back in an even worse situation. And if this situation was too much to ask and expect them to do the right thing the next situation is going to be even worse. We can’t expect them do the right one there. It’s like you’re circling the drain getting lower and lower and lower. How can you ever pull out of it” (Hoofard, 48:10-37)?

Hoofard goes on to mention a charge I’ve seen levied against Christians in relation to Christianity many a times – that this hypothetical thirsting Sudanese boy might never have even heard of karma and doing good in this lifetime to ensure better karma next lifetime (Hoofard, 49:00-18). Just as someone from any culture prior to about two millennia ago might not have heard about the man we often refer to as Jesus Christ. How can they even consider getting “saved,” right?

Philosophically speaking – regarding the idea of subsequent lives being harder and thus even more difficult regarding the karmically established trials one must face – I suggest that over time the being and will gets stronger. The first analogy that comes to mind is weightlifting. The first day a bodybuilder trains they might not be able to lift 300 pounds of weight. But starting where they are, they build up and get stronger. But alas, they still can start somewhere – with a lighter weight. The child could either steal water or not, whether some or all of it. And the scenario presented is, it’s too hard for him not to steal water. Even if he steals a lighter amount of water there’s still more karmic debt, and a slightly worse life (unless balanced out by other deeds in that life, perhaps; an alternative I’ll discuss).

Perhaps we can refer instead to something more relevant, like pullups. I remember times when I’ve tried to do a pullup but couldn’t. But I kept trying and after so many days I could, and then could do multiple. And the same thing with people doing pushups. I propose that, given the above scenario, philosophically speaking, the atman would become ‘stronger’ in a sense in future lives, and thus more able to choose a more karmically sound response. This (or something just as practical) would have to be the case; otherwise, only those who ever had only good karma – or at least above a certain amount of bad karma – would ever be able to achieve moksha. And conversely, everyone with bad karma of a certain degree, and thus experiencing an exceedingly difficult lifetime, would inevitably have worse and worse karma and thus worse and worse lives. I present an argument to illustrate:

  1. If making karmically sound choices leads to good karma and better life conditions,
  2. And if not making karmically sound choices leads to bad karma and worse life conditions,
  3. And if good karma leads one to exit samsara via moksha,
  4. And if bad karma leads one to even more difficult life experiences,
  5. If life experiences of a certain difficulty make it impossible to make karmically sound choices,
  6. _________________________________________________________________
  7. Then those with a certain difficulty of life experiences will inevitably remain stuck in samsara.

But to the contrary, it seems that Hinduism philosophy entails that everyone can and eventually will reach Brahman: “From BRAHMAN our soul has come and to BRAHMAN it will ultimately return, in a reunion called MOKSHA” (Haecker, 10). Therefore, it must be possible for everyone to respond karmically soundly to their life situations. That means however difficult those live situations are, and if not this lifetime then next lifetime. It must ultimately be possible for everyone, regardless of how bad karma gets, and thus how difficult life circumstances get, to make karmically sound choices and thus generate good karma, and eventually achieve moksha or liberation from samsara.

I must state that my perspective is no doubt influenced by my adherence to (to the extent I can) and my experiences through (a few of which being quite profound) the teachings of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), which state that:

“You are not persecuted, nor was I. You are not asked to repeat my experiences because the Holy Spirit, Whom we share, makes this unnecessary. To use my experiences constructively, however, you must still follow my example in how to perceive them. My brothers and yours are constantly engaged in justifying the unjustifiable. My one lesson, which I must teach as I learned it, is that no perception that is out of accord with the judgment of the Holy Spirit can be justified. I undertook to show this was true in an extreme case, merely because it would serve as a good teaching aid to those whose temptation to give in to anger and assault would not be so extreme. I will with God that none of His Sons should suffer… The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are.” (ACIM, T-6. I. 11, 13).

Regarding the proposed situation, it would mean that someone fully embodying these principles, even in the face of physical death, would respond with love. This section of the course specifically mentions anger, but the principle applies equally to fear, and greed, and scarcity.

A Course in Miracles doesn’t address what actions to take in the world, but simply informs us that no scenario would or even could ever cause us to respond fearfully. The world from the course’s perspective is our own illusory projection (ACIM T-21.in.1, T-18.I.4). And thus, being our effect, the world has no influence upon us regardless of how well we make it seem to be the contrary.

“In gentle laughter does the Holy Spirit perceive the cause, and looks not to effects. How else could He correct your error, who have overlooked the cause entirely? He bids you bring each terrible effect to Him that you may look together on its foolish cause and laugh with Him a while. You judge effects, but He has judged their cause. And by His judgment are effects removed. Perhaps you come in tears. But hear Him say, “My brother, holy Son of God, behold your idle dream, in which this could occur.” And you will leave the holy instant with your laughter and your brother’s joined with His.” (ACIM, T-27.VIII.9)

This of course seems a tall order from our everyday perspective – that is, looking past the apparent experience of being moments from dying of thirst. But given that the phenomenal world is an illusory effect, then recognizing its lack of affect upon our inner peace simply becomes a matter of choice. And having made that choice, neither fear nor pain of death would remain to drive any action or inaction. The inner choice for peace doesn’t address whether the child would or wouldn’t steal the water. It’s simply that having made that choice, only inner peace would remain, and thus whatever choice is made wouldn’t be a fear-based decision. Karma doesn’t exist as such from the course’s perspective, as the focus is on our thinking rather than our actions. The course recognizes that different and even apparently disparate actions can equally be expressions of peace and love given the scenario.

What someone totally in peace and love would do in that scenario I can’t exactly say. For one – while I do have my moments – I’m not perfectly in peace and love. And two, I’ve never been in that situation. And again, the course doesn’t specify actions. Perhaps the person would die. Perhaps steal the water. Perhaps wait until the family returns, and – if still alive when they do – ask to share the water and work together to find more. Or ask to work to replace whatever he had already drank to stay alive. But whatever decision is made would still be from a place of inner peace and fearlessness and love.

That would be a ‘perception that is in accord with the judgment of the Holy Spirit,’ to paraphrase a verse from the first quoted ACIM section. Such a perception is an interpretation or choice made from a place of inner peace and love. Such a choice, using Hinduism terminology, would be a karma free or karma alleviating or good karma yielding choice; and that again is however it looks or plays out in the world. The point is that, however bad the scenario, from the course’s perspective at least, it’s never so bad that it’s ultimately impossible for what could be in Hinduism termed a karmically good choice to be made. And as quoted from Haecker, it seems the precepts of Hinduism would agree (10).

And to the point I touched upon briefly: Surely, that incident in the life of the child, however few years he may have lived, isn’t the only incident he’s lived, nor the only choice he’s had to make. Who’s to say how many karmically good choices he made until that point? It seems entirely possible that that choice – if he fearfully or greedily stole the water – could have been the only karmically bad choice he made that entire lifetime. It’s entirely possible, as I understand the Hinduism karma concept, that he could still be balanced more towards good karma overall that lifetime, and end up with a better life scenario next lifetime – even if he steals the water with the worst of intentions. The thought then comes, can people then just do some good stuff to balance out the bad stuff they’re planning to do? In my understanding thus far, it seems that having such a karmically bad intention for karmically good actions negates the good karma of those actions. But I’m no expert on Hinduism.

Works Cited

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Karma & Suffering (B)”. YouTube upload, 2 Jun. 2000, https://youtu.be/6OGjsiajW7E.

Haecker, Dorothy A. Adventures in Philosophy: A Study of Ideas That Change the World, edited by Peter Van Dusen, 4th ed., Dorothy A. Haecker, 2020, p. 10.

Schucman, Dr. Helen. A Course in Miracles (ACIM), 3rd ed., Foundation for Inner Peace, 2007, Text Chapter 6. Section I. Paragraphs 11 & 13; Text Chapter 21. Introduction. Paragraph 1; Text Chapter 27. Section VIII. Paragraph 9.

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr | www.darryleberryjr.com

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at debj@darryleberryjr.com.

Economy & Equality: Marxism Vs Berryism

Marx | Modern Communistic Society | Government | Money | Berryism

By Darryl E Berry Jr

July 4, 2020 Updated

I remember a time when I was in great uproar about society, and government, and police, and so forth.

The exploitation, and murder, and infringement of liberty, and slavery by other names. Finally, I realized that it’s apparently just one percent of “them” and ninety-nine percent of “us” – or so the narrative goes.

Perhaps the disparity is even greater nowadays. Perhaps a bit in the other direction counting their henchmen. But it became clear to me that we can simply stop participating. We can make a world free of government and free of money, as I worded it. And we can do this any time we’re ready to – all of us, including “them”.

The people who would frequent my social media page, joining in complaining about government and police and “the elite” and so forth, I began to ask them: ‘Are you ready to unite and make a world free of government, and free of money?’ Surprisingly, some said we need government. It just needs to be tweaked some. Others said they’re not ready, or they don’t want to, and that’s that. Some said “the people” aren’t ready. They have growing to do, awareness to gather. Surely. Others simply didn’t respond. And then I saw the problem of an unjust, tyrant-ruled, population-exploiting society for what it really is. The problem is not the one percent. The problem is the ninety-nine percent.

Professor Hoofard touched upon it in passing, during a hypothetical via a recounting of the Marxist position of revolt: “The 1% can’t hold off the whole 99% all by themselves” (Hoofard, A, 65:25). So, it’s clear then why that hasn’t happened yet. Because the ninety-nine percent don’t want it to. The ‘slaves by other names’ as I call us, we want to be slaves, for whatever reason. Fear. Laziness. I remember years before this, talking to someone about money and such. This person wanted the monetary system to remain in place because they hoped to one day be on the top. They’re at the bottom now, a peon now, ‘but one day.’ They don’t mind the slavery because they hope to be a slave master. I’ve been there before. Insanity.

I’m reminded of what Raghunath Cappo said:

“[I thought] I’m not greedy, I’m not angry. I’m in a band. I have no money. If you’ve ever been in a band it costs money to buy a guitar. Got a guitar, cost money to buy strings. Got strings, cost money to buy an amp. So, it’s just a money pit to be in a band. And you get paid 50 bucks or whatever. So, I’m thinking, not me. But as my band got more successful, I realized man, there is money out there that I want. And I remember I got offered money for the first time being a band. Wow! I can get money. ‘I should get you know; I wrote these songs I should get more of that money.’ You get in a fight with the drummer. ‘No, I should get that money.’ ‘We should split it four ways.’ ‘No way I did so much more I booked everything.’ And I realized wow, I wasn’t not greedy, I just had no money. I’m covered with greed. People hate the greedy, hate the rich, hate the 1%, you got to see what would happen if you were in that position” (Cappo, 37:36-38:28).

Karl Marx makes some good points with what he had. He didn’t have the benefit of thinkers like Jacque Fresco and Larken Rose and Malcolm X or Bashar the Extraterrestrial and Sasha the Pleiadian or works such as A Course in Miracles. I’ll focus on just a few Marxist points herein.

Several core points he gets wrong because of incorrect fundamental premises. If Karl Marx’s position is that “economy determines humanity” (Haecker, 69), then who or what pray tell makes economies? Human beings make economies. But it’s easy to see how he can have this so backwards. He’s a staunch materialist (Haecker, 66-67). So, it stands to reason that he’d put the cart before the horse in other areas as well.

Social systems don’t make people be the way they are. People, due to the way they are, make and abide and tolerate social systems. Otherwise, what social system created or made humanity in the first place? I’ve yet to see any evolutionist show an illustration of first a dollar bill or a coin, and then a monkey, and then a humanoid, and then a human being, in the progression of evolution. And this ‘cart before the horse’ materialist position helps to cement what he thinks the solution must be.

He apparently has this grand image of the people needing to revolt against their rulers and overthrow them (Haecker, 71). But it’s just one percent of the population. There’s virtually no one to overthrow. If we simply stopped participating in government, and stopped participating in money; if we were sane enough to simply stop funneling our efforts and resources into a self-sabotaging system, to instead work together with openness and honesty and respect for liberty and freedom, then the system of exploitation would be over.

Professor Hoofard presents an interesting portrait. There are two people with collective ownership of one hundred thousand dollars, each having their own view of its use, and being unable to use any of it without permission from the other (Hoofard, B, 1:05:35). And in another version, both have divided the money evenly among themselves, but one builds their wealth and the other squanders what they had (Hoofard, B, 1:09:35). In the former scenario they are equal but not free to utilize the money as they wish, and in the latter, they are free but end up unequal – and the supposed difficulty is apparently amplified with more people involved (Hoofard, B, 1:05:44).

In both scenarios both are insane. Like how Marx must view humanity, albeit apparently unconsciously. A monumental fight is imagined between ninety-nine percent of the population and one percent of the population. For some magical reason, in order to be free, the people making all the goods, producing all the products, providing all the services, are imagined to somehow need to overthrow or overcome or convince one percent of the population who are contributing nothing of value to society. It’s so laughable to me. Those producing could simply produce for each other freely, and the one percent can then either join in peace and freedom and liberty and equality or starve.

Given the previous scenarios amplified to a sane society of people, everyone would simply recognize that “money” is just wasted resources – wasted trees/paper and metals, or waster computer space or memory and wasted electricity – and simply discontinue utilizing money altogether and work together to make abundance for everyone. The Berryist recognizes that there’s more wealth than money as it is. Quite literally. We have so much more wealth than money that we must make up money within made-up money so there could even seem to be enough money to buy all the things we have available. Without credit people simply wouldn’t be able to buy things. There’s literally more goods and services than money in existence – and with production and quality increasing exponentially, perhaps even possible to be put into existence.

Credit is not money. It’s just imagined money. Numbers on the screen that we treat as if it’s money. And money isn’t even truly valuable anyway. What’s the difference between a hundred-dollar bill and a one-dollar bill? We decide that one can buy one hundred of those things, but the other can buy only one. It’s completely arbitrary. But in our insanity people believe that money makes the world go around. If you were to airbrush out money and everyone kept doing what they were doing the world goes on fine.

Marx apparently said, “Money plays the largest part in determining the course of history.” That may in fact be how it looks, how it plays out in the world, i.e. how we make it look or play out. But again, who makes the money? Who decides to give it any value or credence whatsoever? We do. And thus, by our belief and psychological investment, who chooses to give value to the tool of exploitation and destruction that the makers of the tool (the 1%) simply make up out of thin air anyway? We do.

The Berryist can see that since we in fact have much more stuff than our money can even keep up with, that we can easily do away with money and have more than enough goods and labor and services and work for everyone. Perhaps everyone will be working only 2 hours a week, or 4 hours a week, if that – in the sense of mundane, upkeep tasks. With full utilization of machinery, we could probably eliminate manual labor entirely. Jacque Fresco saw that. Leaving us with ample time available to learn, and grow, and produce art, and science, and discover, and play. But that’s for people sane enough to see it and make it a reality. Let’s go back to our 40-hour plus work weeks for scraps.

I’ve spoken with people who have lived off the trash thrown away by grocery stores. And that’s not counting all that’s bought, as well as what’s still on the shelves, and in transit. All the food thrown away after big banquets and events. It’s clear that there’s enough wealth for everyone – wealth in the form of resources enough for everyone to have whatever they wanted without money being involved at all if we cooperated and utilized it all wisely.

Mark Blaug shares in his article on economics an image illustrating the flow of goods/services and labor and money in a capitalist economy (Blaug). Productive services are going into businesses, so providers can be paid money by business, just so the services and products can be bought back from businesses, with the money being given back to businesses. It’s hilarious. The entire right side of the equation – the business side and all money – could simply be eliminated, and people could just work together as human beings.

Contrary to Marx (Marx & Equality (B), 44:00-51:00), the worker bee ninety-nine percent can’t be exploited by the one percept but that we choose to be. The so-called one percent are just the insane few of the insane whole who made it to a certain position in society. Be we can look next door, or in our families, or to our schoolmates growing up, or our parents or other family members, and find the same exploiters. They simply aren’t in a position that people think they are “the one percent” and thus funnel almost all their labor to them.

Contrary to Marxism (Marx & Equality (A), 1:05:00-40), neither force nor overthrow is necessary to end the system of exploitation. Simply a cessation of participation and a choice to work together otherwise. But we don’t want to. We’re not sane enough yet; again, we’re just the exploiters who happened to not end up in the big exploiter’s seat. If you must force someone to be free, they’re not sane (Marx & Equality (A), 1:06:00-59). Thus, the majority are greedy slaves for the greedy and immature and selfish few of us who happened into a position to capitalize off the greed and selfishness and immaturity of everyone else. Everyone, enjoy.

Works Cited

Blaug, Mark, “Economics”. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 3 Feb 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/economics.

Cappo, Raghunath. “Joe Rogan Experience #1430 – Raghunath Cappo”. YouTube upload, 21 Feb 2020, https://youtu.be/UAx1Sq6usRg.

Haecker, Dorothy A. Adventures in Philosophy: A Study of Ideas That Change the World, edited by Peter Van Dusen, 4th ed., Dorothy A. Haecker, 2020.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Marx & Equality (A)”. YouTube upload, 1 Jul 2020, https://youtu.be/QKlkHMq0dps.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Marx & Equality (B)”. YouTube upload, 1 Jul 2020, https://youtu.be/v-Mh6C4z2DQ.

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr, Founder of DEBJ-NDC.

www.darryleberryjr.com | www.nextdensity.org

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at debj@darryleberryjr.com.

The Nonphysical Component

Mind-Brain Problem | Out-of-Body Experience

By Darryl E Berry Jr | 7/2/20 Updated

The topic is whether a human being is only “stuff” or if there is something beyond the physical components of a human being (Hoofard, 5:40-6:10). The question is: “Do you think that humans have minds/souls distinct from their bodies? Thoroughly explain why or why not” (Hoofard, 1:09:00-1:09:45).

Given my previous writings you may already know where I’m going with this. The question is easily solved for me. I’ve had experiences of being separate from my physical body, as a nonphysical entity that in my experience enters or enmeshes with the physical body during our waking physical states. It/we survive death, and live multiple lifetimes. To me it is an observable and experienceable fact that we have minds or souls or consciousness or what have you, that are vital to yet distinct from our physical bodies.

**

First, I’ll share an experience of mine. This is an account of my first out-of-body experience:

My First Exit. My introduction to the out-of-body experience occurred quite spontaneously. I hadn’t read anything on the subject, nor seen or heard anything about it. I simply experienced getting up from bed but leaving my physical body behind! One night, when I was 4 or 5 years old, I suddenly felt very heavy and lethargic, and went to lie down in bed. It was earlier than my bedtime, yet later than afternoon – around dusk. I was so lethargic by the time I got to my bed that I had to just plop myself down and pull the covers over me. After some time, I started feeling better, and got up to tell my mother. But I found that my hand went through the doorknob as I tried to open my bedroom door. I looked back to see a lump on the bed under the sheets that I concluded was my physical body. I walked through the door and through the intervening walls into the kitchen, to contact my mother. I tried to yell for help, but no sound came from my mouth. I was able to observe her actions in the kitchen and confirmed her actions later. A few years ago, wanting to confirm my memory of this incident, I asked my mother if she recalled this. She confirmed me as a kid running up to her, telling her of having been “out of my body” (Berry, 19).

This experience, among others, showed me that we exist separate from our physical bodies.

It is of note that I wasn’t introduced to this topic intellectually. It was totally new to me. And no one around me – at least to my awareness – had any awareness of or interest in the topic or experience. This to me supported my experience as being valid and real, rather than something I’d dreamt up because of something told to me, or something I’d read or seen.

**

To me the experience would be enough. But I understand further reasons may be warranted. And perhaps I should be much more demanding of myself and have a host of reasons for my position. Some might point out that there’s a discernable difference between the physical body/brain and the consciousness/mind, in that I can conceive of the mind/consciousness surviving without the body, but not the brain surviving without the body (Hoofard, Discussions). Simply that it’s conceivable for the one (mind), but not the other (brain), demonstrates some difference between the two (Hoofard, Discussions). Or some might argue that there is some aspect of experiential learning, or qualia, that is different than what can be learned by data acquisition alone (Hoofard, Discussions). Thus, there is some quality or state that is beyond purely physical material; something uniquely a part of awareness or experience itself (Hoofard, Discussions). Yet the philosophical argument that I am most partial to is the idea that consciousness hasn’t been demonstrated to be caused by the physical brain or by physical matter.

My understanding is that the physical brain is not fully understood. So yes, it can be said that some consciousness-making dynamic in the brain is yet to be discovered. And that is the point! It’s yet to be discovered. Thus, it’s also conceivable that gross physical matter simply cannot and does not make or produce consciousness, and that there is some nonphysical aspect to the human being that is consciousness. This notion is supported by my experiences. Unless someone can definitively show that matter can and does produce consciousness, and/or that the physical brain can and does produce consciousness, then it seems unreasonable to discount the notion that consciousness could be something beyond the physical brain or physical body.

**

A rebuttal to experiences like mine that seems common among academics is that the experiences are brain generated illusions – or other type of hallucination – and that there is no indication that the experiences are anything other than that.

I believe that people have these memories of these [out-of-body experiences when near death]. It’s just about the interpretation… All we have is a story constructed after the fact… any weird kind of experience you could imagine, if you accept this level of evidence then you have to believe every paranormal claim out there. Because we have that level of evidence for thousands of stories that are conflicting and mutually exclusive, often culturally dependent. It’s simply not acceptable. And we know, we know for a fact that the brain could absolutely manufacture those memories and come to absolutely believe a story like that that’s definitely not true (Debates, Novella, 1:03:32-1:04:21).

This is a good point. How can we know if the experience is real at all? Or whether the experience is some brain generated hallucination?

**

Even earlier on I approached these experiences more from a scientist’s perspective – insomuch as I could. I understood to some extent the ideas of falsifiability, and experimentation, and evidence. And it seemed reasonable and logical that:

  1. If the out-of-body experience is a real experience of leaving the physical body in a nonphysical state,
  2. And if others can generate this state as well,

—————————————————————

  1. Then two people who are in this state should be able to meet and interact and validate the interaction later.

And this is exactly what I endeavored to do. I enacted a blind experiment with my friend Louis:

I’d decided to visit him and to make it so I could validate the experience. I didn’t tell him I was planning to meet him. And before going OBE I imagined myself in a long white robe, with a golden band around the chest/ torso area of the robe. I went OBE and had a groggy experience of meeting and communicating with him in the nonphysical. The next day we talked on the phone as usual, and I didn’t mention the experience at all. Louis volunteered that he saw me in the OBE state, that I was wearing a big white shirt with a gold ring around it, and that when we talked, I seemed drunk (Berry, 33).

I want to stress that in this experiment I did not inform my friend that I was going to visit him in the out-of-body state. I just knew he frequently traveled out-of-body, so I’d likely be able to find him. Not only did I not tell him that I would visit him to test the experience, but I also didn’t tell him that I’d alter my appearance in a strange way, with the big white shirt with a gold band around its center.

So, unless scientists can explain or demonstrate how his brain could somehow hallucinate exactly what I intended to do in the out-of-body state; correlating exactly with the hallucination my brain had of the interaction; and with his brain having no foreknowledge of it at all, then this seems to be evidence that the experience is real.

As quoted earlier, Dr Novella has said: “I believe that people have these memories of these experiences.” So, given that my account is not a fabrication but a valid memory, then how is this explained as a brain generated hallucination? Or if my friend’s account is a fabrication, how did he manage to fabricate the experience exactly when he had no foreknowledge of what I intended to do – including the aspects of my appearance and state of awareness? And when I have my own valid memory of the interaction; with both our accounts matching exactly?

I’ve learned that I still have much more work to do – as far as developing and exploring the out-of-body state; and as far as establishing veridical evidence for the out-of-body experience. And I’m actively engaged in doing so! For example, I’ve founded a research organization named Darryl E Berry Jr’s Next Density Center (DEBJ-NDC) where I’m currently training people to out-of-body travel. I’m organizing a team of conscious out-of-body explorers. And we’ll complete the aforementioned – among other things! But this experience with my friend is certainly a great start towards adding evidence to the validity of the out-of-body state and to the reality of the independence of mind or consciousness.

Works Cited

IntelligenceSquared Debates. “Death Is Not Final”. Steven Novella quote, YouTube upload, 21 June 2020, https://youtu.be/h0YtL5eiBYw.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. Personal discussions, 1 July 2020.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “The Mind Brain Problem”. YouTube upload, 21 June 2020, https://youtu.be/IU8KlcTWrVQ.

Berry Jr., Darryl E. Travel Far: A Beginner’s Guide to the Out-of-Body Experience, Including First-Hand Accounts and Comprehensive Theory and Methods, 1st ed., (V4 2020), Darryl E Berry Jr / Next Density, 2015 (https://www.nextdensity.org/books/travel-far/).

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr, Founder of DEBJ-NDC.

www.nextdensity.org

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at debj@darryleberryjr.com.

Determinism, Illusion, Reality, and the Mind

By Darryl E Berry Jr

July 1, 2020 Updated

Determinism | Mind | ACIM Cosmology

In my paper titled “The (Non-Existent) Problem of Evil” (I’ll post that as an article soon) I stated in part:

“Whatever is not love, whatever is in absence of love, every single expression, whatever form that takes, is murder. This is because the world is entirely illusory (Miracles, P-xi). Two illusory things are equally illusory. So, from the perspective of its source in our mind – the murderousness or lack of love behind it – calling someone an unflattering name, or trying to undermine someone, or carting them off to the gas chambers, are all the same thing.”

The key to this passage, which I might not have made clear before, is the thought behind the illusion. When I say, “from the perspective of its source in our mind.” That’s the key phrase and must be included in any linear or logical telling of the argument in order to be complete. And perhaps I didn’t explain that point strongly enough.

Yes, the entire world is illusory. And yes, at the world’s level, both an apparently kind act and an apparently unkind act are equally illusory. That’s at the world’s level. Then there’s the mind level. This is what I referred to in this quote as “the perspective of its source in our mind”. Though illusory as well, the mind level is the level that projects this level. There is where the thoughts of fear/murder and love are shown to have you can say qualitatively different beginnings and endings because of the nature of those thoughts at that level.

“Illusion makes illusion. Except one. Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest. Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. All illusions save this one must multiply a thousandfold. But this is where illusions end. Forgiveness is the end of dreams, because it is a dream of waking. It is not itself the truth. Yet does it point to where the truth must be, and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself. It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are One.” (Miracles, From Workbook Lesson 198).

So, for instance, I can shake someone’s hand, and with a smile on my face. But in my mind – even consciously – I can utterly hate this person. And maybe I’m just trying to save face or manipulate this person into getting into the car with me so I can rob him or murder him, or what have you. I had someone try to do something like that to me in New Orleans (instead of a car it would have been a ferry boat). Another time I mistook someone for someone I knew. The resemblance was remarkable. At first, he was open about not knowing me. Then suddenly this smile came on his face. ‘Oh yeah. I know you! How are you? Where do you live??’ But I could still see the deception behind his fake smile, just enough. I just walked off. But on the surface, maybe someone looking from further way, would have thought he was being friendly with me. This is a worldly level appearance of love, but with the mind level actuality of fear/murderousness.

On other hand, I could punch someone in the face, who’s trying to rob me for instance. Not out of hate or malice. But to stop myself from getting robbed – and to stop that person from robbing me. This might be considered setting “limits on your ability to miscreate” (Miracles, T-2.III.3). How many times have we done something wrong, or said something wrong, and regretted it later? That’s the result of murderousness. Guilt. Because “your hate is really self-hatred” (Renard, 176). And that’s why “every criminal secretly hopes to get caught and to be punished” (Renard, 176). So, stopping someone from doing a horrendous act – even if it takes apparent violence to do so – can be an act of love. And what if you started singing kumbaya instead and the would-be robber ended up killing you, and then had to deal with the guilt of apparently wanting to rob, and then robbing and murdering. They might have an easier time just forgiving the attempted robbery. So, we’re dealing with two levels.

So yes, the world is 100% illusory, and the mind dreaming it is 100% illusory. This is speaking at the ultimate level. What we could call the Level One perspective. What’s real is 100% eternal, changeless, whole, and one. It has nothing to do with this universe at all, nor the mind dreaming the universe. In a sense it’s the Reality we awaken to when we’re done with the dream world. And what is not real is 100% illusory. And when I say “illusory” I mean doesn’t really exist at all on any level in any way, shape, form, field, dimension, frequency, or what have you. I know of course it doesn’t seem that way. I don’t expect this to be intellectually satisfying; but it’s what A Course in Miracles teaches, and what I perceived/experienced briefly as universal mind.

And from our perspective supposedly here the world seems quite real. This is Level Two perspective. The perspective from which we seem to be here in the world. And there are two ways of looking at the illusion from this level. There’s a way of looking at the illusion that can reinforce the belief and experience of illusion, AND there’s another way of looking at the illusion that can gradually break us from the investment in illusion and allow us to awaken to Reality. Both are perspectives in an illusory mind, dreaming itself to be in an illusory world. But as quoted earlier, the perspective or interpretation of love or forgiveness is an illusion that dispels our believe in illusion.

You’d be right to say that acts of love (by this I mean expressions in the world representative of caring, concern, friendliness, etc.) and murder (by this I mean expressions in the world indicative of hatred, spite, violence even to the point of actual murder) are equal in the sense of being that both are equally illusory. But it doesn’t stop there. The vital component at this level (Level Two) is which thought is activating the action from the level of the mind (also Level Two and illusory). Love or murder. In this sense “love” can be interpreted as the investment in the perspective of oneness. In this sense “murder” can be interpreted as the investment in the illusion of separation.

If someone broke into your home at night to rob and kill you, and in self-defense you killed them. That killing could still be an act of love – love for oneself, and the last resort to not get murdered. And it can be carried out without hate and malice toward the would-be robber/murderer. And it would even be not considered a crime in our court system. At the same time, a person could very angrily in self-defense kill the would-be robber/murdered, and still not have committed a worldly crime, but still later feel guilty because of it. Because of the thought that they chose in the carrying out of the act. The fact that we have an internal experience that is quite different depending upon which thought we choose (love or fear/murder) illustrates their qualitative differences.

If the action or inaction is activated based upon the fear/murderousness in the mind – regardless the form that act/inaction takes the world, because the world is 100% illusory, and thus all worldly forms are equal – then it will inevitably reinforce guilt, and the belief in separation, and perpetuate illusion. Even an apparently “kind” or “generous” act. We’ve been there. Done some apparently “kind” thing for selfish reasons and felt guilty because of it; or even some overtly unkind thing out of spite or revenge – and felt bad or guilty later, even though it seemed so justified at the time. But conversely, worldly actions/inactions activated by the love in the mind – again, regardless of the form it takes – will inevitably, because of the thought activating the act, bring inner peace. And the choice for that thought will also forward the full recognition of the illusion and the awakening from the dream. Regardless of the form that thought takes in the world as far as its expression.

The ‘investment in the perspective of oneness’ can take the form of a smile, a handshake, a punch, a kick, or a lawsuit, etcetera. The investment in the illusion of separation can take the form of a smile, a handshake, a punch, a kick, or a lawsuit, etcetera. But the internal results will always be diametrically different. One results in inner peace and the recognition of wholeness/oneness (love) – and ultimately the awakening from the dream of separation. And the other results in fear, pain (physical and/or psychological), guilt, anger, malice, etc. – as well as continued belief in and immersion in the world of illusion.

Now let’s talk about determinism, and how “others” factor in, in a world of complete illusion. The “dreamer of the dream” (Miracles, Chapter 27, Section VII) aspect of the Level Two perspective represents the dreaming mind that is projecting the universe. The level of mind I briefly got in touch with. The dreaming mind is projecting or “dreaming” this level. And thus, this level reflects the dreamer. This is mirrored at the individual level, in that the dreams we have at night reflect the characteristics of the dreamer (us). Psychologists – in my current, limited understanding of psychology – don’t dismiss nocturnal dreams as just illusions and figments of the imagination and then ignore them. No. Though they are fragments of the imagination, the mind is dreaming them for a reason. They bear the characteristics of the dreamer. And they can be examined to learn about turmoil and hang-ups that the conscious mind is going through – and may not even be aware of.

So back to “dreamer of the dream” level that we are reflections of: Just like at this individual level our nocturnal dreams are reflections of us, we are all projections of and thus reflections of the dreamer of the universal dream. Thus, when I see fear and hatred in my mind, that’s a reflection of what’s in the mind of the dreamer. When I see fear and hatred in your mind, being that you’re equally being dreamt by the dreamer, that’s a reflection of what’s in the dreamer’s mind too. But when I see a being of perfect peace and love – Y’shua, or Mother Teresa, for example – then guess what? That must mean that love and peace are somewhere within the mind of the dreamer, too. They are equally projections of the dreaming mind. And that also means that love and peace must be present in MY mind, too. I’m also a projection of the same dreamer.

Thus, A Course in Miracles while recognizing the world as illusory, is hardly dismissive of the world. In fact, we pay quite close attention to the world as course students. To see how I’m judging and condemning the world – recognizing that the hatred I’m projecting onto you is really my own self-hatred. I’m not saying I or anyone else does this perfectly all the time. But this is part of the practice. And by forgiving you I’m really forgiving myself. They’re a projection of the dreamer of the dream (ultimately you), just as I am. So by forgiving us both (the “I” and the “other” at this level), I really forgive the dreamer (ultimately you). And when you learn that you ‘the dreamer’ is in fact innocent of separation, you’re free to awaken (rather than running back to the illusion, tail tucked, out of guilt and fear of having supposedly sinned against Oneness by supposedly separating). And that’s anything that’s not love is murder. The choice for separation reflects or represents that initial moment when we supposedly separated from Oneness, supposedly fracturing it into non-existence (oneness and separation/duality can’t co-exist).

Because the world is the effect – it’s being dreamt by a universal dreaming mind – everything is in fact already written. Every single action and inaction are already written. But there’s not just one experience chain:

“The whole business is just a recording playing itself out… even though it’s a closed system, there are different scenarios open to you in each lifetime. Making a different choice that doesn’t involve the Holy Spirit [choice for love] within the dream won’t undo your unconscious guilt and get you out of the system, but it can result in a temporarily different experience. It’s like a multiple choice script.” (Renard, 186)

Imagine one of those novels where at the end of a chapter it’s like, ‘If the hero saves the day now go to page 133, but if the hero fails right now go to page 152.’ Both of those paths are already written, but we do have some say so in WHICH path we’ll end up in. But it’s all already written, already laid out the moment the dreaming mind projected the universe in one instant. It’s all happened all at once, and we’re just going through the motions like watching a movie for the second time and hoping for a different result.

So, in that sense its ultimate determinism. It’s all already written. But on another level, it’s not ‘other’ determinism, because we are the dreamer who wrote the dream. We wrote it in such a way to act out separation and perpetuate fear/murderousness and the guilt it reinforces, and the separation that that reinforces. This protects us from recognizing the reality of oneness, by making the world very real to us. Thus we protect our illusory existence. But the pain of that become unbearable. And then making a choice for love/forgiveness becomes more sought after. And this is a choice that heals the mind of guilt and pain and dis-ease. With such a choice we can potentially experience an alternate ending (already written but newly chosen) with less pain. OR, we might have the same ending or “worse” from the level of the world – remember, Y’shua was crucified – but our inner peace won’t be affected. Because again, every outcome at the world’s level is equal, all being equally 100% illusory. But by choosing love/peace at the level of the mind, we’ll feel peace and wholeness and innocence regardless of how it plays out at the world’s (illusory) level.

Works Cited

A Course in Miracles (ACIM), 3rd ed., Foundation for Inner Peace, 2007.

Renard, Gary R. The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness, Hay House, Inc., 2003.

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr, Founder of DEBJ-NDC.

www.nextdensity.org

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at debj@darryleberryjr.com.

The Right Mind

By Darryl E Berry Jr | 6/22/20

Objective Moral Law | Divine Command Theory | God | A Course in Miracles | Mind

There’s a question in religious and philosophical circles that goes as follows: “Do you think that there could be objective moral law, that is to say moral law independent of human opinion, if there is no God? And the answer is yes, – on both accounts. There can be and is objective moral law independent of human opinion. And God doesn’t exist – at least not in whatever ilk of religious sense of God.

**

I’m a student of a teaching called A Course in Miracles (sometimes called simply “the course” throughout). And through this teaching I’ve learned a great deal. And when I say “learned a great deal” I don’t just mean intellectual learning from reading. I mean learning in the sense of the experiences I’ve gained and perspectives I’ve partaken in through its application. As brief and fleeting as some of my spiritual experiences have been, the validity of the experience remains inviolate.

One of the things I’ve learned through the course is that we ultimately have two parts to our mind (A Course in Miracles, Ch. 12). We have what’s called the wrong mind, or the ego, which is the part of our mind based upon and predicated on fear. Identifying with this part of the mind has us hate, and scorn, and believe in and experience scarcity and lack, and see and perceive separation and competition and division. The other part of our mind is called the right mind, or the “Holy Spirit,” which is the part of our mind based upon and predicated on love. Identifying with this part of the mind has us forgive, and extend compassion, and believe in and experience wholeness and abundance, and see and perceive oneness and shared interests and sameness.

What is called enlightenment or total spiritual awakening can be described as completely relinquishing the ego perspective and wholly identifying with the right-minded perspective. And this right mind is completely beyond the perspective of the individual. One identified with the right mind is not a human being, not a man nor a woman, but a pure manifestation of love and inner peace. Both this aspect of our mind, and the one totally identified with this aspect of mind, are totally beyond human opinion and frailty and distortion.

Another experience I have had through applying A Course in Miracles, via tapping into the perspective of the right mind, is briefly experiencing the perspective of the universal mind that is dreaming the universe. It’s clear that there is no universal God that created us all and will welcome us into Heaven. No God of any religion exists. There is simply an insane mind dreaming a meaningless dream, and upon its awakening this entire universe or multi-verse or what have you “will disappear into the nothingness out of which [it] was made” (A Course in Miracles).

This means that any moral law or choice not made from the perspective of the right mind is human opinion. And any moral law or choice that is made from the right mind is objective, i.e., completely free of and beyond human opinion. Therefore, Jesus was such a great man. He wasn’t some special son of some all-powerful being running about the universe. He’d simply achieved what all of us can and ultimately will achieve: enlightenment. And thus, he was the embodiment of the right mind. “His Love, like God’s, was total, impersonal, non-selective and all-embracing. He treated everyone equally, from rabbi to prostitute. He was not a body. He was no longer a human being” (Renard, 41). And God – an in-universe God – being nonexistent, is never involved in any of this. And to explain these last statements, the course does mention the word “God” quite frequently. But it’s a word used symbolically to refer to “Reality” – what is beyond all form, and perception, and change. It alone is what’s real and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the illusory universe of duality and form. As the course refers to God, It’s not a being that created the universe, but an unblemished and perfect and ultimately indescribable Reality having nothing whatsoever to do with the illusory universe. In a sense it’s what we finally recognize after we’ve woken from the dream of nothingness; like waking from a dream a night.

**

I imagine some non-religious folk might object quite like I might object to religious folks’ positions. I might challenge the religious to provide proof of God before trying to engage me in some banter about a non-existent God being involved in some moral dilemma. Non-religious skeptics might challenge me to provide proof of the Holy Spirit, or of the right mind. Both the religious and non-religious might challenge me to prove that – whether or not it really exists – this “right mind” is or can be really some higher or separate part of mind, i.e., distinct enough from the individual personality to be distinct from personal opinion.

**

I really don’t know if it’s possible to prove to someone the existence of the right mind. I don’t know if it’s measurable, even by the most advanced technology possible in the universe. But I know it’s possible to prove it to oneself. And I am certain that we have all experienced it at one point or other in our lives. My learning informs me that that everyone’s mind is composed of the right and wrong mind, and however identified someone is with the wrong mind still the right mind is there and informs them at least a bit at some point in their life (Renard, 399). And I’ve learned from experience that if one finds a pure spiritual path like A Course in Miracles and applies it, to the extent that one applies it the awareness of and gradual identification with the right mind is accentuated.

And similarly, I don’t think I can prove to anyone else that this or that person is really listening to the right mind, or is an embodiment of the right mind, and not just deluding themselves or fooling others. And apparently, it’s easy enough to delude ourselves that we are more advanced in that regard than we are. I’ve been through my periods of ‘spiritual specialness’. And I’ve spoken to several people over the years who had convinced themselves they were embodying or ‘speaking for the Holy Spirit,’ when it was clear they were mired in fear in whatever form it entailed at the time. And sometimes it’s been recognized by that one directly.

The good thing is, we don’t have to find someone who is or believe that anyone is enlightened. We can simply work on becoming enlightened ourselves. And by and by we’ll become more and more able to ‘hear’ and embody that voice for ourselves. And until then, it’s clear that the world has been slowly but surely moving towards higher standards of morality through the everyday maneuverings of progress. We can use reason and logic and everyday experience to better purify our moral landscape. For instance there’s apparently less slavery in the world – at least overt slavery – than there was in decades prior. At least in theory (or propaganda) our societies are moving towards greater and greater respect for freedom and liberty and life. The good news is that nothing in or of the world can affect the mind, which is ultimately outside of the world and in fact dreaming the world. Thus, we’re always empowered to get in touch with the level of mind and choose the right mind and experience its truth for ourselves.

Works Cited

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Judaism & Divine Command Theory”. YouTube upload, 14 June 2000, https://youtu.be/fUSIpDTPRBI.

A Course in Miracles (ACIM), 3rd ed., Foundation for Inner Peace, 2007, Excerpted from Text Chapter 10, Section IV, Paragraph 1; Text Chapter 12, Section I, Paragraph 9-10.

Renard, Gary R. The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness, Quoting ascended masters Arten and Pursah, Hay House, Inc., 2003, pp. 5-6, 41.

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr, Founder of DEBJ-NDC.

www.nextdensity.org

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at debj@darryleberryjr.com.