Saturday, February 04, 2006


"Believe. Simply believe," says Chip, trying hard to convert those he believes to be heathen to the Southern Baptist doctrine.

As a transitive verb, it means "to accept as true and real." As an intransitive verb, it is defined "to have firm faith, especially religious faith."

Other modern uses of the word:

It was proclaimed in the trailer for the first Superman movie, "You will believe a man can fly!" He really couldn't, of course. He was simply an actor, not the savior of mankind. R.I.P., Christopher Reeve.

The audience was asked to clap if they believed in Peter Pan.

"I Believe" was the title of 15 different songs over the years that made the Top 40... but you probably can't remember a single one today.

In 1979 Steve Martin performed a hysterical monologue on Saturday Night Live, titled "I Believe."

When I became a Freemason, I was asked the following: "Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, in some revelation of His will, and in the immortality of the soul?" I said "yes, I believe."

My point is this. Belief is relative. It is by nature a subjective experience, a subjective event. The reality of the thing or concept "believed in" is not the same as the belief itself. To believe something does not make it so — except to oneself.

The map is not the terrain. The menu is not the meal.

Those who believe in a literal Heaven, with streets paved of gold, will probably find it when they die. Those believing in a literal burning Hell, will probably find it, too. (Hmm... since those two beliefs usually tend to exist in the same person, wonder what they will find?)

What will those who don't believe in either find when they die? It depends on what they believe they'll find...

As none of the beliefs are literally true, eventually no matter what we find, those veils will be lifted, those illusions will fade, and we'll be face to face with the Ultimate Reality, whatever that is.

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  1. I knew Superman was a Freemason!

  2. I stopped acting like an atheist when I realized that saying I didn't believe in your God didn't mean I couldn't believe in my own. I especially came to an understanding of the problem when I realized it was entirely one of semantics. GOD, afterall, is just a word.

    Robert Anton Wilson taught me the power of words and how often we use and abuse them when we interact with one another. The most dangerous thing to believe in is a word. As soon as you realize a word can change its meaning, quite dramatically, from one individual to another you have a chance to gain in knowledge and understanding.

    When I joined Freemasonry no one defined what God I had to state I believed in. They only asked if I believed in the word. In short, it was simply a matter of whether or not I could find an acceptable definition of that word for myself. Turns out, that was not a difficult at all.

    When I try to explain to people that the Universe is God I never make a great deal of progress; not with most theists and atheists alike. I guess they don't like my semantics. That's ok, I can never wrap my head around the trinity either.

    The Freemasons never asked me if I believed in life after death, so I didn't have to worry on that point. I am an agnostic on the notion that the personal ego survives the death experience but, then again, I doubt I will care much since the ego only seems to exist to help me survive this incarnation anyway.

    I believe energy and patterns in Universe are eternal according to some of my current understanding in quantum mechanics. Somehow the Freemasons just didn't seem to ask me about quantum mechanics during the initiation ceremony so I didn't sweat that either.

    I love that I can be part of this ancient organization, dedicated to principles that I believe in so strongly, without any requirement that I adopt a specific dogma. I feel, well to be honest, I feel at home.

    Where my current curiosity lies is in regards to ritual and, more specifically, to memory work. I would enjoy conversing with someone who has opinions on this topic because I have questions and few answers on this point..

  3. Welcome to our blog, Brother John. We're glad to have you with us.

    RAW opened doors for me too, both in reading his books and in the correspondences we had. To this day I call consciousness-changing events "Cosmic Triggers" and remember "sombanotall" (some but not all) when I start thinking that something is either White or Black.

    I understand your frustration at trying to hold "God as Universe" discussions with people; many just don't "get it," insisting on more limiting ways of thinking.

    Let me know if we can be of service.


    The Widow's Son


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