At the meeting last night, our table had a great discussion about people trying to convert us to their religion.
I believe those folks who appear at my door and on the street with their message, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are well-intentioned and want to improve other people’s lives by convincing them that their path is the right one. When I encounter them I only ask for objective easily replicated proofs that their path is the right one. If it is such an easily understood concept, it should be easily proven. But, here I am at age 75, and have yet to find any of those people I have encountered even close to providing my hoped for proofs.
The idea that came out of our table’s conversation, for me at least, was that possibly the world view of these purveyors-of-truth works for making their lives better. However, to prove that to my satisfaction would require a double-blind test on at least a thousand people, (unknown to each other) where half of them were randomly given the chosen path and the other half were not given the special information. My expectation would be that there would be very little difference in the results between these two groups, not accounted for by the pleasure of their having joined an organization with an idealistic activity. My request might seem unreasonably stringent, but then their claims are outrageous and will need serious documented evidence before we should consider following their suggest path toward self improvement.
However, I would like to be surprised and discover something like – all of the religious group had great spiritual transformations and their lives were better is many ways and their problems had withered away. They slept better, their food tasted better and their friends were even better companions than they had ever been before, after this special information came to them. These are observable and testable things that could happen to the converts. If only half of the converts had these experiences that would really stimulate my interest, because then it would be possible to try to find out what it was about that half of the sample that did something different which led to their improved quality of life.
Unfortunately, these things are only reported to have happened by the purveyors of this God-given opportunity to enter into Heaven, and as far as my personal experience is concerned it is always doubtful second-hand information. Their proofs are no better than self generated rumors. Reading something in a book isn’t proof, if the things purported to be true can not be verified. If we accept the statements in a book, without some verification it is simply a belief without any foundation, and it doesn’t even rise to the level of speculation or theory. It is far worse than a theory, because no one is expected to believe a theory in an absolute sense. A theory is only expected to organize observed phenomenon into a comprehensible pattern. A belief is just the locking down the reasonable thinking on some doubtful ideas.
If we are willing to accept those kinds of things we might as well go all the way and simply postulate and state as clearly as possible the ideas that the most fantastically beautiful things imaginable are reality. They are real because I said they are real, end of story. For example: “After we die physically we are going to go visit a perfect world where everything is absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way.” Why not believe that, if it makes you feel better. But believing things which have no substation in reality has the problem of interfering with your daily life, and these beliefs soon make you miserable because everything around you isn’t living up to this postulated perfect world.
Once we accept ourselves and the world we live within, and live within the constraints placed upon us by our own bodies and the constraints placed upon us by world we inhabit, life can be wonderful. That is the essence of contentment.
I am living in Heaven and enjoying it very much – so can you.