During the course of my life (only slightly below twenty, which admittedly as not at this point been a very long time, especially in relationship to eternity, or even let us say the period since the beginning of the universe, or limit ourselves even further to the time when the Terra [the earth, for those less enlightened] was created [regardless of your beliefs on creation]) I have spent most of my conscious hours (as well as unconscious ones) dwelling on trying to figure out the answers to anything and everything. I have yet to reach any satisfactory conclusions, which should surprise only those who are foolish enough to think that they have.
One of the most obvious of truths (obvious, that is, for those who care to see it) is that you can never know anything. In order to know anything, you must know everything, since an unknown variable can radically alter that which you thought to know. In order to know everything you must first know something which we have already proven to be impossible.
You can "know" labels for things, but on further examination, you will realize that although you may have labeled something, you ultimately know nothing, except perhaps more labels for it. Furthermore, you may eventually find that your labels were "wrong". (For example, there may have been a mix up in the hospital and the person you thought was your genetic mother might have been someone completely different than the lady who gave birth to you).
On the other hand, only those who would wish to remain ignorant would choose to believe anything. Belief is the enemy of knowledge (take this in any sense you choose). If you believe something, then you will either stop searching for answers, believing that you already "know" them, or your search will be biased to ultimately support your conclusion.
Furthermore belief can never be called "right" because their basis is faulty (it can be argued that they can not be called "wrong", but that is because the right [note that it is not in quotes] answers are not known). The basis of belief is "knowledge" and emotion. We have already explained that you can never know anything. Emotion is not based on reason and therefore irrational and thus fallible. From this you may derive that belief, being the combination of ignorance (disguised as knowledge) and irrational thoughts (disguised as emotion) it must be more faulty then either.
There is yet further proof of the fault in belief when you consider that all beliefs will be either what the person wants to believe or on the person's personal experiences. In the case of the former, you can discredit it by saying people don't always get what they want (i.e., I wanted my cat Suki to live). In the case of the latter, you can point out that there is nobody who has experienced everything (i.e., nobody has lived in the core of Sol [the sun, for the more ignorant]).
At this point, it should be understood that if you are satisfied with the answers you have, then either you don't really care what the right answers are, you have decided that the search is futile and you should quit, while you're ahead, or you are doing something completely wrong. Because of the infinite possibilities within the universe, there are an infinite number of sets of answers (of which only an infinitesimal number of sets of answers can be even grasped at by humans, because humans are limited and thus only constitute an infinitesimal of infinity). There can only be one set of answers which is completely right (this answer is not necessarily among those being grasped at by humans, which probability even dictates). Considering all this, the odds of you, personally having the correct answers is only perhaps one ten billionth of the chance of any human even grasping at it, which is excessively close to nothing, before you start to even consider you personally. Call me a fool if you wish, but I think you would have more luck trying to survive to a ripe old age in the vacuum of space.
It is quite understandable that in order to function in the world, you need to accept certain things (i.e., you do not breath wooden tables, unless you redefine "wooden tables" to be a synonym for air [on the other hand, you do not know this because you do not know that there is not some miniature life form living on the protons of oxygen with proportionally miniature wooden tables]). How should one classify these accepted things, if neither as knowledge, nor belief? My personal suggestion would be as thoughts (not fact which suggests knowledge, nor opinion which suggests belief). Someone else may find a better answer or a good argument against mine, and so be it, but it is not really my purpose to debate semantics here (although semantics does have its place in the search for the answers, because it, being something [a.k.a. anything], needs to be known, before you can know everything, the latter of which before you can know anything).
We will begin our quest for answers with reality. What is reality? Do we, as humans, play a significant part in it? Can we, as humans, influence it? If so, how? Can animals?
Let us start out by looking at what reality is.
I will begin this by bluntly stating:
I DO NOT KNOW!
However, I will try to explain how you may be able to view reality for yourself.
There are two basic ways of viewing reality. One is through allowing yourself to be brainwashed and the other is by an independent search for the answers. This can best be explained by way of analogies: the former to the eating of popsicles and the latter to the assembling of puzzles.
To some, reality might be an object on a popsicle stick, nicely packaged and delivered on a silver platter ready for your consumption. To these people, if it tastes good and it is the current dietary fad, they will gobble it up, accepting this as reality without any further thoughts.
If one should ask me what flavor of reality I prefer, I would answer "none". I'll be damned if these popsicle realities don't cause cancer in twenty to thirty years time.
To me (and other philosophers who may or may not agree with the use of this particular analogy), reality is a giant puzzle with no hints to the final picture, consisting of an infinite number of pieces, handed to humanity at the beginning of their time. Since that time, some pieces have been lost, while yet other pieces have been added to the box. In order to solve this puzzle, you must first filter through all the pieces in the box, eliminating those which do not belong. Then you must put together as much as you can and search for the missing pieces. Even upon completing a puzzle, you have no idea if you have completed the correct puzzle since you have no idea what the correct puzzle looks like or if you have eliminated the pieces needing elimination. Even if you correctly put the correct puzzle together, you would not know what angle to view the puzzle from and different angles lead to different view points which lead to different interpretations.
It should be realized that the answers you have found for yourself will leave you much more content and honest with yourself and thereby with others, than those beliefs you blindly swallow feeling it is your obligation to. Eventually you will begin to doubt beliefs based on the latter and have a bad case of indigestion. As you begin to vomit those beliefs which disagree with you, you even begin to expel those which were previously alright as your stomach becomes more and more unstable. Eventually, you expel everything, and are left with nothing, you start eating away at yourself, giving yourself an ulcer, until there is nothing left.
On the other hand, should you have found you put the wrong piece into the puzzle, you can simply remove it and search for a new piece to put in its place without disturbing the rest of the system.
As stated above, there are an infinite number of beliefs possible. Of those, only one can be completely correct. There are a finite number of people and there are far less beliefs than there are people. Probability states that nobody's beliefs are correct and, furthermore, one can not expect to be born to the people with correct beliefs by mere luck. This is not to say that one should not search for reality; to the contrary, I strongly encourage you to look for reality, but never be too sure that the reality you have found is completely correct and do not decide someone else's is incorrect, unless it is obvious gibberish, as many widely held religions seem to be.
Having established that we can not know what reality is, it therefore follows that we can not know if we are significant in it. We can speculate, but in the process of doing so, we would go through much theological debating which I do not have time for in this speech, so I will just give my personal viewpoint on the subject.
I will first digress for a moment to give a brief definition of religion. Religion is the set of beliefs (whether it's source is brainwashing or thought) that people have and claim that you should live your life around, despite all of the hypocracy and the multitude of severe logic flaws (moral, ethical, philosophical, etc.) that may be contained within the given religion (more on this later). Personally, I think that anyone who is not the least bit agnostic about religion is a blind man (or woman), desperately in need of enlightenment at the very least, institutionalization in a hospital for the mentally ill at the very worst. To eliminate the problem, we must first accept ourselves as being infinitely insignificant (more on this shortly) and realize that there is no divine logic or purpose in the world for us, just a bunch of hungry worms, waiting for someone to dig your grave. Only once we have realized this can we become truly free in our own mind to live our life in the way we want to. Only then could we live our life without hiding in the shadows of hypocracy. If we think deeply about most major religions (especially Christianity, although others must also plead guilty), we will realize that they thrive on the likes of hypocracy, fear, guilt, and ignorance. On top of this, with all the hundreds of religions in the world, as I have previously stated, what is the chance that by mere luck you should be born into "the only true religion"? Also, if mere luck on its own can't create a mere human, think about what it would take to create a god! (More on this shortly, too.)
Getting back on track, I believe that humans are completely insignificant when it comes to reality. Let's try to imagine just how insignificant. The best aid for this is to be victimized by the Total Perspective Vortex (from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Douglas Adams);, however due to the lack of its existence in the real world, we will have to improvise and I will instead use Adams' description of the experience:
The Universe...is an unsettlingly big place, a fact which for the sake of a quiet life, most people tend to ignore.
For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says "You are here."
This is, in fact, a massive understatement of the actual situation. We are actually much less significant. The only way to assign a significance is to say that there is something divine about humanity. Simple logic, for those that are both willing and able to follow it, at risk of their own ego, would see that it is nearly infinitely improbable for humans to be divine. For humans to be divine, it would mean that humanity was influenced in a significant way by at least one god-like being. Even if we are to assume there is a god, we should realize that we are still insignificant because nothing you could do could matter to this god with infinite power over you. We will now digress to discuss God.
Perhaps the biggest question to be asked in the smallest phrase is "God?" (confined to the English language). Ultimately, it must be realized that gods can never be either proved or disproved because it would first require knowledge, which is unobtainable. While it may be impossible to know whether a god exists, it is not so impossible to speculate on whether gods are necessary or probable.
The former I will only touch on since I am not a scientist and do not claim to be qualified to go into any great detail (Note: Those who have studied mysticism, especially the Cabala, may see some very interesting parallels). In very general terms:
In a universe with at least eleven dimensions (I only know four [length, width, height, and time], but supposedly physicists have proven eleven), nothing will fold in on itself to form something (I believe this something is called a "quantum particle) and its opposite (also proven). Being that there was a lot of nothing in the beginning of said universe, it eventually folded in on itself to become a lot of somethings. Eventually they became too condensed and exploded outward from the center of the universe (the Big Bang). (In the Naples Arrangement of the Cabala, it is said that nothing can not exist as nothing [as nothing will not exist as nothing in our universe], but is rather the annihilation of something through its opposite [e.i., (+1) + (-1) = 0]. This nothing can expand on itself to form two somethings, something and its opposite [as nothing in our universe will fold in on itself to form a positive particle and its opposite, a negative particle. In the Cabala, everything is it's own opposite [i.e., Truth = Falsehood, Love = Hate, etc.] and thus we can say expand = contract = fold-in-on-itself.)
Given time, these somethings started to settle to form galaxies, then star systems, then planetary systems. Somewhere else along these lines the somethings also got together and built larger and larger particles (i.e. from something real small to something slightly larger to form protons, neutrons, and electrons, then the elements, then compounds, etc.).
(First, this can be compared to the macrocosm and the microcosm [or "as above, so below"]. The arrangement of galaxies (made up of star systems, then planetary systems, etc.) is very similar to the arrangement of elements (made up of atoms, then protons, neutrons, and electrons, etc.). Secondly, the building up of particles can be compared to the numbers being built up through the interaction of -1, 0, and +1.)
The elements and compounds took on the forms of solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.
(An analogy can be formed between these and the alchemical elements. Solid = Earth, Liquid = Water, Gas = Air, Plasma = Energy = Fire. The Spirit (of the alchemical elements) can be compared to the thought of the thing [i.e., Think of a brick of gold. What you are thinking of is not really a brick of gold, but rather the essence of the gold. It is not really any of the other four forms, but it can take on any of these forms].)
Somewhere else along the line after the Solar system was formed, due to what was perhaps a freak chemical reaction on Terra, life was formed in an organic soup. Given time, life became more complex and evolved from prokaryote, to eukaryote, to algae, to jellyfish, to worms, to fish, to amphibians, to reptiles, to mammals, to primates, and eventually to man.
(This is similar to evolution through the Cabala's Tree of Life where you start off with more simple organisms, but they get more complex as more paths and sephiroth are added.)
Granted many details were left out and I may have produced some errors, but this version of creation requires no gods and only leaves me asking "Where did the universe with at least eleven dimensions come from?" To me, God would not be a satisfactory answer, as can be seen elsewhere in my work.
(Even the number eleven has Cabalistic significance being that it is the general number of magic and the number of energy tending to change. It is also the number of Sephiroth on the tree of life if you include the False Sephiroth (Daath). The universe in an esoteric sense can be said to be built upon the structure of the Tree of Life, just as in the ordinary sense can be said to be built upon the eleven dimensions.)
Simple logic rules out the probability (if not the possibility) of a god: The more simple something is, the more likely it is to exist. No matter how simple a god may seem in concept, a real god would need to be infinitely complex in order to have all the power, knowledge, awareness, etc. that a god would need to have to be a god. Since all other objects in the universe, including, believe it or not, the universe itself have a limited complexity, no matter how complex it may seem, any given object alone is more probable in existing than god. Not only this, but since the probability of any given non-god object is limited in complexity, then any given set of objects in the universe, including the universe itself, no matter how large, must also have a limited complexity. Infinity divided by any number gives you infinity, meaning that a god would be infinitely more complex and infinitely less likely to exist than the entire universe as a whole. This means that a god existing to create the universe is infinitely less likely than the random creation of the universe that at this point can be explained (if not proven) to exist without a god.
I will also state that it is my thought that there are no gods, and were I to encounter one face-to-face in a restaurant, I would probably think someone slipped LSD in my drink. If it truly was a god, perhaps he would convince me before I left the table that it really was a god, or perhaps would still be asking "Who put acid in my drink?" when I left; based on what may be a biased (although I personally don't think so) self-analysis, I would say probably the latter because I suffer from the disadvantage of skeptism at 25,000,000 (this statement may only make sense to role players who understand how skeptism may be construed as a disadvantage in the real world, but the latter requirement will be filled in later).
I will now briefly touch on whether I would follow a god if I thought there was one. The answer is "probably not", if for no other reason (and there are many other reasons), then this: I am, by my nature an anarchist (Not meaning that I go around blowing everything up, acting completely chaotic, or doing everything I am told not to do; neither of these popular misconceptions of the term have anything to do with either me or the term). An anarchist, by definition is simply put, someone who does not believe in any government. A government, by definition, is any distribution of power such that one person (or group of people) have power over another person (or group). Admittedly, living in a state of anarchy would not be pleasant, but that is simply because not everybody is an anarchist. Think about it this way: if someone decides to kill you (note that this does not apply if they are forced to kill you), he(she) is not an anarchist, because he(she) is momentarily dictating your fate, and is thus a dictator. "Anarchist dictatorship" is a self referentially inconsistent statement, unless the term "anarchist" is used to modify only the dictator, and not the entire dictatorship. In the case of the former it should then be realized that the anarchist dictator is not dictating by choice, but because factors beyond his control force him to.
Let us, hypothetically, suppose, for a moment, that I was willing to consider following a god. It would have to be a god that I agreed with completely. I also don't believe in might makes right (i.e., a god's might does not make me change my mind on what is right and wrong). Therefore, it would have to be an anarchist god (a.k.a. a god that does not believe in ruling). Being that I have reservations about following and this god does not want to be followed, I would ultimately decide not to follow it.
I will now discuss whether I think other people should follow any gods, the answer being "no".
First, there is no proof that a God exists and to follow a non-existent God is completely foolish. Sure, there is no proof that God doesn't exist, but that proves nothing. The burden of proof lies with the church that accuses him of being guilty of existing and it is inherent that you are innocent until proven guilty.
Furthermore, sure exclamations as "If there is no God, explain this," are meaningless. A lack of explanations does not mean that a God is responsible and what sort of explanation would you put on your God? As discussed above, it is inherent that which is more simple is more likely to exist, and therefore more probable. We have already simplified the universe into starting off as an eleven dimensional nothing which folded into itself to form something, and assuming you have the proper background in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and perhaps a few other sciences you could do a better job then we already have. We have also concluded that this eleven dimensional nothing with only one possibility of folding in on itself to form something is infinitely more probable than a sentient being with the ability to do anything, thus deriving the universe is much more probable than God and more likely of existing on its own.
Let us be quite ridiculous and pretend a God was to exist. Now we must decide whether to follow him.
If this infinitely powerful being wants followers, then he must be very much a megalomaniac. Megalomania, is inherently evil, so to follow God is to follow an evil being. To willingly follow an evil being is to be evil or stupid.
If we are to say that this being does not want followers, then why follow him? It is not his wishes and, if you are truly in touch with yourself, you will find it is often not yours.
Furthermore, many rules imposed by Gods of many religions are inherently unjust. For example, many religions say it is a sin to not believe in God, a sin worthy of being fried for... obvious bigotry and therefore inherently wrong. Furthermore, if God was to have created man with the ability to doubt and place him in an environment where doubt if not thorough disbelief is the only rational option, such as the planet Earth, then God must be a Sadist because that man will doubt and then be condemned by the same God who made him doubt. To follow a sadistic God is to follow an evil God, which returns us to the point that to follow God then is to be evil or stupid.
Also, some religions claim that God condemns cowards, but also say that it is sinful not to live in fear of God. Who can be a bigger coward than one who fears something that is probably only a myth? If you fear God you are condemned as a coward, and if not you are condemned for not fearing God. This is but another example of the evil of God.
Some religions say God tells you to be fruitful and multiply and then tells you that you are not allowed to have sex. Does God want everyone to have test tube babies? And why did this God give people genitals anyway?
And what is so wrong with sex? As long as all involved consent and are responsible about it, who is this God to say no? Especially when you consider that in some religions God, in the form of the Holy Spirit came to Mary, one of God's children (if we are all God's children) in the form of a dove and conceived a child. Let us examine this. First we see incest, since he had sex with his daughter. Then we see adultery, since he was not married to her. Next, bestiality, since he was in the form of a dove. And he probably raped her unless we want to assume that the mother of God was also into all this. We must also realize then that God is also guilty of performing incest with his mother, whether he raped her or not. With all of this, we must find God guilty of hypocracy... also making God evil.
He also tells people not to kill... but did he not kill Onan? Furthermore, are not all deaths "God's will"? More hypocracy.
And what did Onan do that was so bad? He masturbated! Like that really is such a harmful thing to do. Nobody is harmed by such an act and if you aren't sexually active for extended periods of time it is much cleaner than waiting to have a nocturnal emission and soiling the sheets. Also, the men among us (except for those so unfortunate (or fortunate as is this case) to be anything but well endowed) can say how unpleasant it is to be wearing pants when you have an erect organ. Furthermore, the chemicals that build up when you have gone for extended periods without ejaculating cause much stress. If God wants us to lead stressful lives, it only further demonstrates his sadistic tendencies.
And what about lying? Did not God lie to Abraham and say that he must sacrifice his son?
And the seven deadly sins: pride, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, greed, anger. Are these not natural instincts in man, things that can not avoided. Sure, you can ignore these feelings or try to distract yourself from taking notice of them, but you can not avoid them.
And why should you want to? What is with any of them?
Pride is simply acknowledging that there is something you like about yourself. You could not go through life without a certain amount of pride without suffering severe depression. Does God want depression? More sadism!
Lust is a desire for something. If we did not desire anything, we could not live. We would not desire food when we are hungry and we would starve to death. If we did not desire sex, we would not reproduce. Does God want human extinction? Then why did he create us and why doesn't he just get it over with?
Gluttony is eating more than you need to. If you don't eat it, then it will go to waste more likely than go to the needy. With needy people, it is sinful to waste food. Besides, why would God not want us to enjoy our meals?
Sloth is sleeping late. What is wrong with sleeping if you have nothing better to do? Perhaps is the sin is in the stress that is being relieved or in the lust that may be stirred up.
Envy, is simply lust for someone-else's possessions. If you don't go out and steal it, what difference does it make that you want it?
Greed, the desire to have more than you need... what is wrong with having more than you need. Someday you might need it and then you will have it... better off than being without it.
Anger is the survival instinct. If something threatens you, you get angry causing a reaction. Would you prefer to be completely unstimulated and let it do its damage? It seems that is what God prefers.
If all this does not prove to you that God is a sadist, this simple, well known quote about God should (unfortunately, I don't know the origin of the quote, but I do know it is a widely held belief among the church to explain suffering): "God wants us to suffer in life so that we can learn how to love in death". His desire for us to suffer and his desire for us to inevitably die both show sadistic tendencies. Furthermore, suffering teaches hate, not love. Love can only be taught through love. This shows that God is an ignorant God... who is more the fool, the fool or the fool who follows him?
Further examples of the flaws of God can quite easily be found if you take the time to look with an open mind. I believe I have done enough to prove that God is a fool, a hypocrite, a megalomaniac, and a sadist, among many other things. If a human ruler were to have made these rules, he would have had a rather large uprising against him (just as many people in today's world are breaking away from the church). Most people will agree that might does not make right (unless they are the ones with the might) and therefore God's superior power justifies absolutely nothing.
With all this going against god, you would wonder why anyone would follow one. Here are some reasons:
Gods are answers to ignorance. Gods are used to explain the unknown to those who are too blind to see gods as the ultimate and most unknowable unknown. Gods are used to give simple answers to simple questions by the simple minded who can no see the true complexity that would need to be incorporated into a god.
Gods are the answers to fears. Gods are used to help convince you that you are safe despite any and every piece of evidence to the contrary. But they tell you to fear god, so what difference does it make. I would rather fear something rational than a god. Gods are used to help convince you that when you die, you become something more than a worms meal, but unless you live your life in fear of this god, you need to fear eternal damnation instead.
Gods are the answers to egos. Man not wanting to admit to his universal insignificance needs his gods to feed his ego and tell him how divine he is, but to acknowledge this God is to acknowledge infinite insignificance because, as previously stated, nothing you do can matter to a god with infinite power over you. Man needs his gods to keep his ego in check and tell him that there things better than him and tell him that there are things he shouldn't do, but to accept these rules, you suffer a miserable life or a life of hypocracy and shame, all of which tends to crush your ego.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to live the lifestyle dictated by a religion if you feel it is truly right for you, but God should not be used as an excuse to live such a life... it should be based on your own concepts of right and wrong, good and evil.
If, for some reason, you should decide that you must follow a god, then bear this in mind when you choose your god. All concepts of gods were conceived of by men who wanted a god who suited his particular needs in a god; his needs were not necessarily the needs of other individuals who would follow these gods. To worship these god, is not truly the worship of the gods, but rather the men who created of these gods. To follow these gods may cause you to suffer and become among the meek and wretched, in which case you become worthy of nothing more than contempt for your own foolishness. If you are to worship a man made god, you should worship a god that you have made for yourself and use your own judgements and needs when deciding how to make this God. You will quickly realize that the god you have created is simply an external manifestation of yourself, which you can easily internalize and to worship such a god is to worship yourself. Thus, you become a god and you have no-one to answer to but your own heart.
Even though I feel that you should follow your own god, everyone else should be allowed to follow their chosen gods, even when their god disagrees with your own. If you want to follow your own Gods, by that merit, you should be able to understand the desire of another to follow his own gods, despite any apparent foolishness involved in doing so. If the following of their Gods destroys their lives, then people can learn a lesson from them. If the following of their gods kills them, then average human intelligence rating will tend to increase.
On the other hand, if allowing them to follow their own gods interferes with your own ability to follow your god, then you have the right to do what is necessary in order to eliminate the problem. In either case, someone would have to stop following their god, at least temporarily, and it would be better, from your standpoint if it was them, instead of you. This does not justify killing or forcing anyone to do anything against their will unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
Getting back on point after this long digression on god, we were discussing the significance of humans on reality. We had come to the conclusion that humans could not be significant in reality. Keeping this in mind, one would immediately decide that humans can not have a significant effect on reality, and this I would agree with complete, but what about insignificant effects on extremely limited portions of reality? This leads us to the other big question in a little word: "Soul?" This seem a lot tougher... maybe only because I have spent less time on it... maybe just because it is a lot tougher. We come to this question because it is obvious that without free will, we can not have any effect on the universe.
Let us first realize that it is impossible to rationally think both that we have free will and we have no soul. If we are purely chemical, then all are thoughts are dependant on chemical reactions. These reactions would be determined solely by the previous reactions. If everything if determined by something that came first, then everything is predetermined, thus there is no free will because everything is predetermined.
If we are to say that there is a god to interfere, but still say that there is no soul, ultimately it becomes: everything is either the god's will or predetermined. Thus you still have no free will because everything is left to fate or God.
If we are to argue that you have free will, then we must also argue that you have a consciousness which lies outside of that which we normally think of as chemical, but by your choice (not necessarily knowing how it does it, or even that it does it, or it's even there to do it) may manipulate chemicals. This conscious does not have to be metaphysical, but may actually be some form of physical particle. I am beginning to think that the metaphysical is actually a product of this consciousness projected on the chemical mind. Let me try to explain.
Being that much of my family is definitely psychic to a limited extent, myself included (again, a subject worthy of its own essay of which I have no time to discuss here) and many of my friends have claimed to have had psychic experiences, I had derived my own personal theories on how this could be; these were derived about ten years before I started reading into the occult. I later rejected these theories because of my skeptic nature and what seemed to be the complete lack of any scientific basis. During the past year, I have been reading much about magick and mysticism and have started reconsidering my old theory based on the extremely significant parallels between my theories (these theories, thought of completely on my own at the time, are among the many reasons why I have recently begun reconsidering my position on the issue of the soul - previously I was skeptical against its existence... now my skeptism is towards the lack thereof) and that which I have read. Being that I believe that in time, science, not religion, will inevitably find a suitable explanation for these theories, I started trying to figure out a physical answer for a metaphysical world.
It has come to my attention that some scientists believe that quantum particles are the key to indeterminism, just as I believe the soul is. This leads me to believe there must be some form of connection between the two. I have come to the believe that they are one and the same.
I read in a book, The Golden Dawn, that quantum physics may bridge the gap between science and mysticism. In the past, I have had countless theories on various matters pop into my head from unknown sources and lacking in scientific data; I would often later find, that it was a widely held belief between scientists, philosophers, etc.
The work put forth by Crowley, LeVay, Freud, and Jung contain various examples. Two weeks prior to finding The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon - The Book of Evil Spirits, the name de Laurence (the man who edited the translation of the book) was presented to me in a dream, even though I had never heard nor seen the name before. (I could probably list countless other specific examples, but this work is primarily to sort out my thoughts, and it is not going to prove anything to you anyway, and the examples are already familiar to me.)
Magick is caused by enough emotion (whether it be positive [lust] or negative [fear]) (and/or belief) that some event is going to happen is being contained within a person (or group of people) to override all emotion (and/or belief) that the event won't happen. This is generally called Sophism (Defined as the belief in thought [i.e., the world is what you think it is]). This allows for such things as telekinesis, teleportation, broadcast telepathy, broadcast empathy, etc. Magickal ceremonies, rituals, and tools have power only to the extent in which they can eliminate skeptism and bring your mind to the required emotional state.
Mysticism is caused by being sensitive to such emotions and or beliefs and allows for precognition, clairvoyance, clairaudiance, telepathic sensitivity, empathic sensitivity, etc. All people are sensitive, however the sensetivity may be blocked by emotions (and/or beliefs) that are contrary.
Divination is a combination of magick and mysticism since it involves the emotion (and/or belief) that the divination system will work and a sensitivity to the emotions and beliefs of others. Despite the beliefs on how the divination system works, it is not really based on communication with spirits. (Spirits will be discussed later). Your own mind (sometimes consciously, often not) receives the information it seeks, sorts the information and then translates it into symbols that you can understand. Then it may do one of two things (depending on the divination system you are using). 1) It sends out those symbols into the system so you can read them back consciously. 2) It points out to you things already in the system you are using in order to get the message across.
Spirits, Angels, Archangels, Demons, Devils, Gods, etc. are either products of the brain or souls which are not currently inhabiting a body, but have the ability to, if they so choose.
The former exist only to those who can sense them and are created only by those who have emotions (and/or beliefs) that support their existence. The spirits will always bear one or more aspects of the personality of the brain which created it. Although the brain may not be consciously aware of it, any information, attitudes, etc. that may be unveiled by it was first contained in its own mind. If you are sensitive to spirits and see spirits around someone, these are some of the principle causes that may have brought the spirit into being:
A) The spirit is a manifestation of an aspect of the core personality. (The stronger the aspect is, the less sensitivity you need to see the spirit that represents it. Because a person may have various aspects to his personality, there may be more than one spirit to represent it, depending on the strength of the other aspects and your own sensitivity. These spirits may be created by the person who is sensitive from his(her) impression of the person's thoughts and feelings through telepathy and empathy which the sensitive person may or may not be able to use directly.)
B) The spirit is an aspect of the personality that he(she) created (not necessarily, but possibly, consciously) because of his(her) emotions and beliefs about the spirit.
C) The spirit is a product of other people having the emotions (and/or beliefs) that such a spirit would be about the person him(her). (Such spirits will having personalities of their creators, not the person they follow).
The latter category of spirits exist regardless of the people who they are effecting and are more powerful because they, like your own soul, was not artificially created. They can do anything your own soul can do. They are not, however, any more powerful then your own soul because both exist at the same level. The only difference is that of experience and personality (which is chiefly formed by experience).
The metaphysical world, astral plane, etherial plane, etc. are the products of telepathic and empathic abilities within people forming a network that sensitive people see as a metaphysical world, an astral or etherial plane, etc.
With the possible exceptions of the my hypothesis on spirits and my hypothesis on the metaphysical world, research will show those that look that many other people have come up with similar theories. Furthermore, if you want to believe that Jesus had supernatural powers, under this theory, you can say he did and furthermore, my investigations lead me to believe that at some point he either stated or implied that even he had trouble working his magic in the presence of none believers - if other words a perfect fit to my theory.
How the soul works in all this is not completely clear and I speculate that there is more than one type of particle. I speculate that these are the types (The names provided are taken from the Enochian Alphabet, the letter being the first letter of the alchemical element I will compare it to shortly):
Un-Particle: particle which thinks
Orth-Particle: one which causes things to happen
Vau-Particle: one which senses emotions and beliefs
Graph-Particle: one which maintains contact with the physical world
Fam-Particle: one which organizes the other four.
These particles may be and probably are composed of even smaller particles.
(Those that know the alchemical elements may find some interesting correspondences here. The Un-Particle does the thinking, and thus I relate it to air, the element attributed to the thinker on Anton LeVay's Personality Synthesizer Clock. The Orth-Particle causes things to happen, and thus I attribute it to fire, which puts out energy that will be received by other things causing a change in it's state. The Vau-Particle is receptive and is therefore compared to water which gives reflections of all that is around it. The Graph-Particle is the particle which relates to our physical world and thus is attributed to Earth, which is our physical world. Furthermore, Earth is attributed to the physical person on The Clock. The Fam-Particle which is the organizer, is attributed to the Spirit since the other four elements answer to it.)
I also will propose this as a possible explanation for where the soul came from, how it evolved, and how it came to inhabit life:
The first two particles were probably Orth and Vau (Fire and Water). Through random interaction based upon their properties, they may have merged to form a compound particle, the Un-particle (Air), which had properties both similar and dis-similar to its parental particles. These three continued to interact and form another compound, made of the other three particles, the Graph-particle (Earth), which again had similar and dis-similar properties. These continued to interact and finally the a third compound made of all four, Fam-particle (Spirit) was formed.
These particles continued their interaction and combine (much like elements combine to form mixtures). These mixtures would have various properties, related to the particles which they were composed of and while some may have remained dormant, others may have gained a self awareness, then an awareness of the other particles, then an ability to manipulate the other particles. Through working together with other particles, they were able to further this ability, but eventually they found there was only a limited amount of experiences they can have while still only operating at this level.
Somehow, they expanded there manipulations of the particles into creating particles which would come into existence in our universe... the quantum particles. While their first attempts probably resulted in unstable failures that would either collapse into oblivion or fly apart, they learned from their mistakes and eventually created a stable universe. They continued in their manipulations to create various things to experience.
Eventually they got bored of just manipulating matter and decided to experience being matter. These continued to manipulate matter until they built structures that they could dwell in, the first one celled animals. They also decided that to fully appreciate the experience of life they needed to repress their experience as God-like beings (How can you experience a struggle for survival if you can manipulate all the necessities of life to come your way?).
In time, even this became boring, as the possible experiences of such animals are rather limited. They manipulated events to bring forth the next stages of evolution. With each step they learned various experiences and then continued in evolving life.
After perhaps trillions of eons in countless universes of nearly infinite experiences, they created life forms which were actually intelligent, perhaps in a universe that has long since collapsed (thus explaining the rapid rate in which the necessary steps to evolution occurred). While the souls of these beings had repressed their nature from the conscious minds of these beings, subconsciously they still knew who and what they were and traces would find their way into the religions and art work developed by this life. Furthermore, scientific endeavors undertaken by this life would eventually start to uncover their true nature.
It can be predicted that at some point, even intelligence may bore them... perhaps when they create a life form that discovers all that there is to be know about them, and then they will continue evolution to a step further that can not be predicted at this time... perhaps they may decide to explore a new avenue of experience that is not even related to life (or at least life as we know it).
The final question I will explore, but not in great depths, is: "Can animals influence reality?" I am, once again, not prepared to answer this question, however I will say this much: I believe that the answer is exactly the same as that to "Can humans influence reality?". I will not waste time rehashing how humans are not superior (such can be found in Why Convicts, Not Animals, Should be Used as Lab Rats, by the author), and are in many ways inferior, to the other animals. Being that humans are not superior, it therefore follows that they would not be the only animals to have such a gift and furthermore, for such a gift to come into existence, I believe it would need to start out simple and then evolve along with the animals which possessed it. Assuming that emotion is an actual key ingredient in this power, we can say that the power did not exist before the reptiles, because emotions first developed in the reptilian mind. As for the "element" of belief, I admit to not knowing in what animal this ability developed; I would, however, like to make note here that there is some speculation (which I personally believe) that some higher primates (in addition to humans) and dolphins (and perhaps some other whales) have their own sets of beliefs and perhaps full blown religions.
That is enough answers for now, especially considering I don't know anything and don't want to give you too much false information. If you really want more of my speculation, you can read other things I wrote. If that doesn't satisfy your hunger, read something someone else wrote... perhaps someone I mentioned above... especially Crowley since I strongly suspect that if I had any past lives, at least one was spent as a devout follower of Crowley (I'm almost ready to say Crowley, himself, but I want more evidence first) (This speculation is based on the similarities of thought, humor, and writing styles... It is nothing more than mere speculation and whether it is true or false has little importance to me.)
I would like to conclude this speech at this point, but as of yet every aspect of these speech was completely inconclusive, making a true conclusion to this as little more than perhaps a dream yet to be dreamed, or better yet, a reality yet to be realized. In keeping with the inconclusive spirit of this speech, I leave the speech inconclusive because the only appropriate (if not realistic) conclusions are those that you draw in your own mind.