2010/07/18 – Encounter at the Internet Cafe

As I settled in the familiarly of the uncomfortable chair for yet another session at the internet cafe, I opened my email and followed a link to a forum where academics and scholars congregate to discuss and banter about philosophy and other modes of thought. Most of what passes for discussion is usually most dreariest of scholarly sophistry and pedantry. Maybe that’s why I visit it from time to time. On this day I happened to spy a curious and quaint discussion about somebody’s grand presentation concerning the “Theory of Religion,” which apparently was an attempt to locate and categorize the common features all religions possesses. There was the predictable agreements, disagreement and intellectual snobbery in service of each one’s points of view and my eyes began to glaze over.

Marlen was sitting in her chair in front of her computer on my left. I turned to her and said in a low voice, “Man, people can sure talk a lot of shit. Just talkin’ shit, man. Especially about religion.”

“OH, DON’T LISTEN TO RELIGION,” a loud voice boomed from the person sitting to my right. I turned around to see a large, white and bespectacled South African looking at us. He spoke again, “Religion is bullshit. If you wanna know about what is going on in reality, you have to look at science and mathematics.”

Marlen and I exchanged a silent look, and then I turned to my interlocutor and said, “Well, I suppose Mathematics can tell us a few things, but Mathematics and Science are quite limited in what we really know about reality.”

“Listen to me,” he said intently. I listened. “Science has proven a lot of things! A lot of things! Everything is made up of atoms. You can’t see them, but they’re there. Alright? They’re there!

Okay…

“You wanna know about the universe, it’s all about mathematics.”

“Well,” I said. “I can agree with that to a point. But who really can say what the universe is made of? Wouldn’t you say that man’s knowledge of mathematics is limited? Isn’t science just based on the limitations of knowledge within the human mind?”

“Listen to me! I saw this conversation was making him increasingly agitated. He didn’t seem dangerous, just a little excitable. Science has determined that we exist has energy. See? This energy operates as a frequency, lower vibrations at the bottom of the spectrum and higher at the top.”

“Why are you saying ‘bottom and top?’ A Frequency is just how fast a vibration is occurring.”

“Listen to me. The vibrations exist beyond the range of our hearing, right? From 9000 megahertz to 20,000, okay? Look. A radio can only pick up a certain amount of frequencies. What is beyond those frequencies is the higher planes.”

“Wait a second. Let’s go back to the science thing. And let’s use that radio as an example. Let’s use the radio as a symbol of the human mind. It can only pick up a certain range of frequencies, right? That means the scientists using this mind are only going to have a limited understanding of the universe.”

“Listen to me, that’s not right. Because consciousness can exist outside the box as well as inside.” This perked me up a bit.

I said, “So are you saying that consciousness can exist as a field that can be independent of the body?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, how do you know that?”

“Because consciousness is energy and the universe is made of energy.”

“But… are you saying that everything has a consciousness? Like this table?”

“No, a table doesn’t have consciousness. But it is made up of energy.”

“But that’s what it looks like to you. We can say anything about this reality. We can come to any kind of conclusion, can’t we? I could say the universe is made of solidified color.” I tapped the gray tabletop for emphasis.

“No! Listen to me. Energy is what the universe is made of and science has proven that.”

“That’s not true. Science doesn’t know what energy IS. Only the effects. And you haven’t been around the universe to actually know if the whole thing is made of energy. That’s just something you’ve read somewhere.”

“Listen to me. That’s not true, science does know what energy is made of. It’s made of atoms moving into other atoms.”

“No, science can only know the effects of energy. You’re wrong about that.”

“Listen to me. Energy is what this universe is made from. It is an awesome force.”

“Okay. Let’s take a car battery. You say it is made of energy.”

“Yes.”

“Well, when you leave the lights on and drain the battery, that car is not going to start.”

“No, but I’m talking about a Higher Energy.”

“O…kaaaaay.”

“This is what I was talking about. There’s a higher energy that science has proven exists.”

“What???”

“It’s been suppressed. Do you remember that movie where the dead people can speak through the static of a television?”

“Yeah, but that’s a movie. That’s just fiction.”

“No, it really happened.”

“What really happened? Dead people talking through a television?”

“It happened during the turn of the century but science suppressed it.”

“Waitaminit. You’re saying that there is scientific proof that beings from the great beyond communicated through the static of a television set?”

“Listen to me! Millions of people have reported this. Just like the NDEs. You know what an NDE is? A near death experience?”

“Yes, I know.”

“Well, there is documented evidence that all these people saw a higher realm.”

“Well, maybe they just thought they saw the same thing. I mean, we don’t really know. human consciousness could exist as on specific design. Maybe they remembered the same thing because death happens the same way and their mental processes act in the same way.”

“They don’t have mental processes. They’re dead!”

“But if they remember what happened, that’s a mental process.”

“No, they have a spirit that tells the mind what to do.”

“What???”

“The mind dies with the body. You don’t have a personality when you die, it’s gone. But your spirit tells your mind what to do and your mind tells your body what do.

“How do you know there’s a spirit? Couldn’t consciousness and spirit be the same?`”

“No, your consciousness dies when your body dies. Listen to me! They died and came back and they report something that something exists on a higher plane. I know because I am in contact with a scientist in a way that spiritualists would say…”

“Whoa, that’s a religious construct – spiritualism.”

“Listen to me. I’m just calling it that. I have a guide.”

“A guide?”

“Yes.”

“Nooo! You can’t have a guide and then say it’s not a spiritual construct you’re talking about! You’re talking spiritualism, man!”

“Listen to me! He was a scientist in his past two lives, and he tells me things.”

“Um, waitaminit. Are you saying you speak to a disembodied mind? What’s his name?”

“I don’t give him a name. He’s just my guide.”

“Your “Guide?”

“Yes, I communicate with him lots of times. But he doesn’t use words.”

“You communicate telepathically?”

“Yes.”

My troubled eyebrows lifted, and I whistled softly. “Whoa. You better not say that too loud. They may try to stick you in a mental hospital somewhere.”

Taking a half-step back he muttered, “Oh,” And from behind his dark, unblinking eyes he said, “They’ve already done that.”

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