Why God lets hell exist

We live in hell when we blame ourselves for all kinds of things.

When we blame ourselves we are in pain.

When we are in pain we try soothing ourselves in all ways imaginable including various addictions and abuse.

When judging and blaming ourselves we must ask if it’s just our own opinion or everyone else’s, or more importantly; is it the opinion of God and the Universe (whatever we want to call this evolutionary process of which we are part).

If we are lucky we realise that, although we blame ourselves and see ourselves as failures, we’re still awash with blessings like air to breathe, lungs, eyes, food, friends, sunsets, forest, parents, health, joy and laughter, dogs, cats, the sea, brothers and sisters – probably way many more blessings than misfortunes when we start counting.

That being the case we must ask ourself why we have all these blessings if we are so imperfect? Maybe we’re creating our own pain and misery in this sense, not God. Maybe being so hard on ourselves makes us pretty destructive, not only to ourselves but also to others and the planet.

Maybe all these blessings is Gods (or the Universes) way of saying that we’re pretty alright, and that no one is perfect.

Hell exists when we fail to realize that imperfection doesn’t really exist.

When we can’t reconcile in our heart that all is perfect in the Universe as a creative and bountiful process.

Hell exists because it is we who choose to live with our face to the ground wining and whimpering in ingratitude to the magnificence that life really is.

Is it natural to believe in the Bible?

If we define God as this grand, stupendous process of which we are part, and towards which both artist and scientist alike have a certain fascination, I would say that it is pretty unnatural to not believe in God. As it would presuppose a disbelief in the Universe.

However, if God is defined as a vindictive fatherlike symbol, I would suppose a healthy scepticism is not completely out of place. To question the veracity of scriptures from the Bible in this case is probably very healthy, as I think it’s a mistake to believe that the Bible has scientific value, as a “in fact” representation of outer reality.

If we allow ourself to see the Bible as rather dealing with interiorities, and a poetic attempt towards coming to terms with the perilousness and grandeur of our life and place in the Universe, I think denying those internal revelations, or “evidence” if so will, to be a terrible mistake.

So in summary, I think it’s unnatural to not believe in the Bible as poetry, but fairly unnatural to believe in it as a scientific description.

Why people seek happiness

We seek happiness so strongly because we seek for ourselves so strongly. Happiness comes easy to a child, but as you grow up there is a growing sense of having lost something you’ve always had, yourself.

A wise person once said that

we’re not homesick to a certain place, we are homesick to a way of being.

And that way of being is yourself. And the further away you are from yourself, the more strongly you will seek happiness.

One of the first things we do when we realize that we are ‘far from home’, is to start looking for directions. Society, friends, family provide a lot of directions, but as most people are lost themselves, their directions take us even further away from ourself, not closer. Prestige, status, beauty, financial freedom, bigger cars, bigger homes are all things that everyone tells us will make us happy.

What we realize however is that no matter how much we follow these directions, no matter how much we indulge in pleasures (things external to ourselves), they don’t bring us lasting peace, and we aren’t any happier.

That’s when think that going the opposite direction will take us home. So we run away from society and all its demands and delusions, we starve ourselves of all pleasurable things of the world, to just sit quietly and breathe.

If we are lucky we realize that home is everywhere, home is where the heart is, it’s just that for so long you haven’t been in touch with it.

You also realize that there’s nothing inherently wrong with cars, boats, houses, wines, jewelry, penthouses and Kobe beef – as long as you don’t take them for directions home. These are just roads of life that lead nowhere, but with scenery and vistas that you may enjoy. After all, your home is in your heart, and your heart belongs fully immersed in the world where it can do some good, not away from it.

The idea that scares me the most

When I was a kid I remember my grandmother looking around at the affluence, yet dissatisfaction in society saying that people had lost touch with reality and needed to experience what war was like. In the 1940s she’d been a refuge in England with two small kids.

At the time, I got her point but didn’t realize the implications of what she was saying. As I grow older I realize that, sadly, most people only feel really alive when tragedy strikes, when death looms around the corner, and appreciative when we’ve either lost everything or close to loosing everything. We all know the stories; a man diagnosed with cancer realizes how fortunate he is to be alive etc etc.

Take the Stockholm terrorist attacks for instance when a truck careened down a busy, pedestrian shopping street killing dozens of people. Despite the terrible event, reports came in with how transformed people were by it. People drove perfect strangers to their destinations, opening doors to offer a warm meal to those stranded in a commute etc. Peoples warmth, empathy was reported as if it was an anomaly in what’s typically a busy, anonymous, self-aware and cosmopolitan city. One person even said that “I wish we were like this always”. Another said “Finally we look up from ourselves and see each-other”.

What scares me the most therefore is the idea that the closest to true happiness most people ever experience is associated with tragedy. The reason it’s scary is that people might even therefore subconsciously welcome tragedy and drama on all scales, personal as well as national, or global – as some form of twisted purge by which they will feel truly alive.

We all know people who create drama to distract themselves from what would be a utterly meaningless and frightening existence. We seek out drama, we hurt, we tear down, we start conflict and wars because it’s the only way we know how to feel grateful, alive and ultimately rapturous.

What I think most enlightened beings on this earth, Jesus, Buddha as well as Muhammed, tried to teach humanity was that there’s another way to joy, peace and happiness that doesn’t involve pain, misery and tragedy – “hacking” joy (if so will), peace and happiness before tragedy either strike, or we subconsciously invite it.

That’s the idea that scares me the most that it might actually be true.

What spiritual science is

Spiritual science is the act of testing out attitudes towards life to subjectively verify if there’s something to them or not. (i.e. if they have the stated results and personal benefits i.e. bring peace, prosperity and happiness). If they don’t, you discard them, if it they do – and they’re repeatable – you call it a rule that pertains to your own psychological make-up.

Prayer is one such example. People say it works – there’s your hypothesis. Try it out.

Now, that doesn’t mean any goof-ball knows how to conduct a spiritually scientific experiment as we’re talking subjectivity and imagination, not objectivity and cold hard facts. How do we tell if a prayer is recited the same way, with the same intensity, heartfelt and imagination? How do we tell if we meditate in the same way? Very tricky. That’s why it is ultimately an individual journey full of trials and errors, but one certainly worth the effort.

One simple way of engaging in spiritual science is to try finding out what thoughts make you feel really great, empowered and joyous. Maybe no thoughts at all? Keep notes as your day progresses. Do same with when you feel depressed. What conclusions can you make?

Try to replicate these thoughts and feelings, and see if you can induce a mental state. There you go. You’ve got spiritual science. You’ve just found a way to impact your spirit. That which animates you. Your energy, purpose and meaning.

As you do, you slowly change your neurophysiology to support the habit of good, wholesome, life-affirming thoughts and feelings, changing the entire pharmacology of signal substances and neurotransmitters your body is used to.

Spiritual science is how we change our attitude, and when our attitude changes – our life changes.

How to make art without ego

To find out how to make art without ego, I’d look at what one of my fav’s have to say about what I have come to understand is the essence of the act of creation in any endeavour.

“If I was asked to get rid of the Zen aesthetic and just keep one quality necessary to create art, I would say it’s trust. When you learn to trust yourself implicitly, you no longer need to prove something through your art. You simply allow it to come out, to be as it is. This is when creating art becomes effortless. It happens just as you grow your hair. It grows.” JOHN DAIDO LOORI

“Where the original expression was purely creative, editing is at once creative and critical. By cutting away the extra, we get closer to the essence of what we intended to convey.” JOHN DAIDO LOORI

That’s pretty much it. Took me 40 years and a phd to even remotely comprehend what he’s talking about – in more than an intellectual sense.

How to find meaning without purpose

Happiness without purpose is called play. Kids are great at being happy without a purpose. Drawings, clay figures and whatever they build in LEGO has no real purpose, they don’t seem to mind at all though.

Whenever I feel that my life has no purpose, I know that I’ve somehow abandoned play, and rather than doing things for the intrinsic joy, I do them for other reasons, the musts, shoulds and what if’s. Those things need a purpose, play doesn’t.

When nothing brings us joy we’ve most of times lost touch with the kid inside that just wants to play, it’s as simple as that.

For me, an easy way to play is to sit down and have a conversation with a person, to listen, speak and never know what I will say next. A lot of purposelessness we experience is just loneliness. Especially if you are a extrovert, social person and not that good at playing alone.

There are plenty other ways I play, but the trick is to find ones own and just go for it. Find what you have denied yourself for so long and let the kid out.

How religion can change the world

If you think that violence between indignated, frightened and confused males will ever end once religion disappears, think again. Where I live they bash each-others heads in after football games for not wearing the same color T-shirt.

Anyone in pain, not knowing what to do with it will unfortunately inflict it on someone else in an attempt to find peace. It’s either that or beating themselves to death, which, unfortunately, comes as a last option after realising that doing it to someone else doesn’t stop the pain.

Religion is nothing more than a conscious and heroic journey inwards to try to stop pain before someone else gets hurt. Be it loved ones, kids, parents or fellow humans.

That this journey, described as parable throughout the world in form of the Quoran, Bible and in Taoism and Sufism – what have you – is at times ‘hijacked’ by those who want to seperate and destroy should come as no surprise. It just shows the capacity of humans to misunderstand, especially art and metaphor, and twist something virtuous, beautiful and ultimately good into something desperate, vile and repulsive.

What we need therefore is not to get rid of religion, but get rid of people feeling abandoned and unimportant. Because when they do, there is no telling what guise their pain will take – be it religious fundamentalism or football hooliganism.

The way forward is to unite under the epic journey we are all on within an evolving universe, drifting together with giraffes, tax-accountants and molluscs on a rock in empty space. The way forward is to celebrate what science proves and what enlightened beings always have said – that we quite literally are ‘all one’.

The problem is however that facts aren’t real until they are felt. Here Art has a responsibility to make us feel science by vividly portraying where we have been, where we are and most importantly where we want to be.

The way religiosity changes the world therefore is by religiously reminding ourselves every Sunday, at supper, before bedtime, or six times a day – what have you – about the new “story” of who we are and who we want to be. A story that need to be contemplated, shared, and celebrated for it to have a transformative effect on the individual and society.

This story needs to help us abandon old taboo’s and form new ones. Taboo’s against everything we want to put behind us.

The biggest challenge we are facing being global warming, pollution and the destruction of the seas. That would be a good place for science, art and religion to start.

We all scientifically know that the earth is dying. It’s just that facts aren’t real until they are felt. And if we don’t out the art-pedal to the metal, it might be at our peril.

What science says about God

Science says many things about God. God being everything, science measures, ways, tests and talk about everything all the time – actually has it as its chief concern.

Science says that everything is a form of evolutionary process in which we find certain patterns of increased complexity and sophistication. There used to be Helium floating in empty space, then slugs, algae and hippopotamuses emerged. Today we have AirBnb, online tax-forms and Gangnam-style. Science tells us that all of these emerged out of this same, epic creative process that is everything.

Those who aren’t scientifically inclined are quite poetic regarding everything and suggest that a “man in the sky”, or God, sat this process in motion. Scientists on the other hand say that a big, interstellar explosion did. Neither party are exactly sure what existed previous to these events.

Both science and ‘non-science’ therefore pretty much agree that us humans didn’t make everything we see around us. Moreover, everyone agrees that we’re an intricate part of everything and what we do has an impact on everything else, more so today than ever because of our advanced science and technology.