Dimensions and the proof of God.

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Unless someone points it out to us, we forget that we are traveling on a spinning ball at 70,0000 miles an hour. We simply don’t possess a perspective that allows us to perceive this wider reality. Even if we did, this information doesn’t really help us in our micro-environments. Nonetheless, the larger dimension exists.

Despite bigger dimensions, many people only live within two or three of the most relevant ones. We fail to realize that our suffering and the suffering of the world comes from ignorance of greater dimensions. Gazing at the stars on a summer night is one of many moments where we intuit something more. On a very deep level, we know that the story lines offered by our culture are not big enough to answer the questions that resonate deep within our soul. This makes us feel small and insignificant.

How are we to know if another dimension exists? Where is our proof?

A dot on a page has one dimension-Length.

A line expands on this dimension without losing the dot.

If we draw a box or a circle I have a two-dimensional object by gaining height that expands on the line without losing the dot or the line.

If we construct a cube or a sphere we enter three dimensions by gaining depth that expands the box and circle without losing any of the previous dimensions.

Each higher dimension possess and expands all the previous dimensions.

If the cube or sphere move then we enter the dimension of time because movement is immeasurable or unperceivable without time.

We are unconscious of different dimensions until the moment consciousness arises.  We lose track of time or ignore it’s profound significance until forced to deal with it. Time is the unflinching but relative fourth dimension.

Our modern, scientific worldview has given us an empirical definition of ultimate reality. This means most people operate within a reality that mostly stops at four dimensions. Empiricism assumes that other dimensions are not provable.

Even the fourth dimension can’t answer our childhood questions on a starry night. We yearn for more. We intuit something beyond all the things, but we feel weird about exploring what might be there. 

The next dimension in ultimate reality is non-physical in its nature. Like the sphere or cube breaking out of two-dimensions, the next dimension profoundly reframes everything we thought we knew. Since it breaks free from physicality, many mistakenly conclude (because of empiricism) that it doesn’t exist.

You might be surprised to discover that non-physical or “spiritual” reality is more common than you thought. I will now prove it’s existence.

Using mathematics will comfort our scientific minds much more than if I use religion. Mathematics is infinite and immeasurable, there is no highest number. It’s entirety is beyond our grasp, but every level of humanity understands some of it. Mathematics is used to create our empirical (physically measureable) framework, but itself is not empirically measurable. We do not know the weight or circumference of a number. It’s laws are universally binding on all people and yet the more we understand it, the more advanced we become as humans. No one escapes mathematics, yet no one can hold it in their hand.

Who will deny the existence of mathematics on the basis that it is not empirically measurable? It’s accessible, used, touched, and enjoyed by all, yet no one can possess it for themselves. It is not created by man, but is discovered or revealed. This is a dimension of another kind. A dimension that expands our physical dimensions without diminishing them. This is the spiritual (non-physical) dimension.

A new definition opens the portal to a new dimension. This is my life work.

Who then will deny the existence of God? If mathematics exists then a spiritual dimension must also exist. In fact the scientific worldview is not possible without the spiritual dimension. As Greg Bahnsen would say, “God is the precondition for all intelligibility.”  In other words without the non-physical (spiritual) dimension, there can be no such thing as mathematics, logic, story, idea, dream, measurement, etc…

The dot exists because of the line and the square and the cube even if we don’t perceive it. God is presupposed. 

God must exist in order for us to reject the idea of God. Our lack of perception of God does not indicate non-existence.

I’m miles away from describing the god of any particular religion. I’m only proving the framework that is required for a rational faith in god to exist. If a rational faith in a god can exist (because of the presence of the non-physical dimension), then it behoves us to learn what we can of this dimension.

This is the moment of conception for our life of faith.

 

What is Worship?

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Worship is a deeply spiritual experience, but not how you might think. To most people, worship is only for those who follow a religion. I believe that like breathing, everyone worships. Pause for a minute and take that in.

Low level religion is highly dualistic and creates faith systems that stunt our growth. This is why so-called religious people often operate in a spiritually competitive framework. Worship is often quarantined into a narrow idea, particular tradition, religion, or god concept. For example, Muslims worship Allah on Friday, Jews worship YHVH on Saturday, and Christians worship Jesus on Sunday. Hinduism has thousands of gods that are “worshiped” and Buddhism is one incarnation of them where the Buddha is worshiped. This is how most people understand it.

When worship is reduced to “My God can beat up your god” then I’m sorry to say, we haven’t got very far. Many sacred texts depict how early religion operated in just this way (1 Kings 18:24). Unfortunately many who interpret the various scriptures cannot distinguish between a description (indicative) and a prescription (imperative), and as a result modern religion tends to be regressive rather than progressive.

Within each religion, competition for whose worship is best further illustrates how little we understand about worship. One tradition views worship as the singing part of the weekend gathering, another as strict obedience to the rules and another as acts of justice toward others. Institutionalized religion benefits when worship is synonymous with showing up over the weekend and since the non-religious don’t go to such gatherings, we conclude that some people worship and some don’t.

It’s the tale of innies and outies all over again. We can do better.

We all worship, but it’s not as cliché as WHO or WHAT. We get no further when we say my thing is more worthy than your thing, because worship ceases to be worship when competition enters the heart. We all have preferences to our particular delivery system, but that doesn’t make one right and another wrong.

Worship is far bigger than we understand. It encompasses but goes beyond all that we know.

“We praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Lewis’s words helps us gain understanding. Worship is the thing behind the thing. What most of us call worship is the thing (singing, praying, bowing, obeying). What worship really is the thing beyond the thing (satisfaction, acceptance, approval, validation).

A viral video is worship. A popular restaurant is worship. A vacation, a nap, or time with a loved one are all worship.

This may not sit well if our framework for worship is exclusively a subject/object duality. Worshiping something other than the God we are taught to fear, appease, and obey is tantamount to idolatry or breaking the first commandment. I agree. I’m not suggesting everything we enjoy is the worship of God, I’m suggesting that everything we enjoy is enjoyable only because God is the sacred space beyond it, and all those things allow us access to small bits of this bigger joy. Idolatry is our default mode if we miss this truth.

Thus the entire world is the event horizon to experience the joy of God. Recreation, animals, cuisine, business, sports, reading, music, family are all tools that create access points through which the transcendent touches the depth of our soul. When deep touches deep, its called worship. It’s the satisfaction of the soul, it’s the recognition of our life and being within a context of a greater life and sense of being. Awe and wonder abound.

Worship is what we seek when we go on vacation. Worship is what we hope will take place in a family gathering. Worship is the mountain top experience we long for in all of our pursuits. Worship is behind, beyond, and within it all, but must never be confused with its transport or delivery system.  Worship is not going to church. It’s not the act of praying, singing, meditating or bowing, but found within each discipline. Worship is the consummation of truly belonging within each crucial moment.

By contrast, suffering is our confusion of worship. Suffering is the soul-level disappointment of placing our hope in an empty delivery system. Suffering is the unsatisfied soul among a billion access points to God. Suffering is disconnected worship or life unaware.

This reframing of worship means that everything we do engages us in a worship experience. Even the mundane requirements of life such as eating and drinking are done to the glory (celebration) of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Worship then is not a lifestyle, but our actual life. Worship is not sequestration but incarnation. God is not out there, up there, or only there, but is seen and celebrated IN and AS our very life.

To truly live is to worship. We all intuit this at a deep level.

The Wealth of the Rich

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Wealth, like poverty, is not about money. Viewing wealth and money as synonyms greatly diminishes each of them.

Consider the person who has learned in business how to create economic wealth from a very small amount of money. Let’s say this person now has $20 million to their name. Would you say that a $20 million Lotto winner is equally wealthy?

This scenario illustrates that wealth is skill, not means. The two people in this example won’t make the same decisions with their $20 million and in ten years will not have equal money.

Wealth is decision making skill. Economic gain is a common byproduct of this skill, but not guaranteed.

Proverbs 10:15 says, “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city and the poverty of the poor is their ruin.”  Money is the passport to experiencing a city, but it’s worthless on a deserted island. The wealthiest person on a deserted island the one with the decision making skills for thriving in that environment.

The wealthiest person in any situation is the one with the decision making skill. They understand something about the environment that others don’t. This may not be the same person who has all the power. Joseph was the youngest of 12 sons, a slave in Potiphar’s palace, a prisoner in Egypt, but was the wealthiest in each situation (Genesis ch. 30-50).

Now you can see why the Bible calls “decision making skill” wisdom. Wealth is wisdom.  “How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” (Proverbs 16:16)

Wisdom is not the accumulation of knowledge! Wisdom is the skill to use the knowledge we each possess. A child with small knowledge can be very wise and a learned professor with vast knowledge can lack wisdom.

From here we can see why economic gain follows wisdom (skill) in finances. In fact, the design of the world is to economically reward those with great skill. Skill (wisdom) prospers anything it touches. Thus our purpose is not to pursue riches, but to develop our skill. Most of us get this backwards. Money is a by-product, not an end-product.

To do this we must find that area where we are infused with talent and spend our life developing our craft so that we can bring it to the world in service. The diversity of the world creates the creative environment for beginners and experts to find expression of their gifts.

Your contribution doesn’t diminish mine, it expands it. Each contribution is generative and we expand one another. Our purpose is to engage, not compete. To serve the world with the most developed “US” we can bring. That is why disengagement is poverty.  Jesus promotes this principle vividly in his Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Of course we must know who we are in order to do this.

Sadly, this process can be corrupted.

Some gain skill at doing evil. Some become masters at manipulation, control, oppression, and abuse. When this happens, the generative flow of production slows as the evil plunder the world for personal gain and ego. Competition and scarcity replace service and abundance. There is always a skillful hacker who could otherwise use that wisdom for the good of others.

Yes evil exists. But only because confusion exists. Confusion is the byproduct of poverty. Poverty is the suffering of not knowing oneself. By contrast, we cannot have more wealth than the knowledge of ourself.  As we gain inner awareness (spirituality) we gain wealth (skill). While evil exists and sells our news machine, it is the minority and it will be short lived.

“Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16)

The design and true flow of the world is to bring our unique gifts to bear and to spend our life developing them for the sake of others. These are the rails of true commerce and social engagement. Suffering is the confusion that results from veering from this course. It’s exciting to watch the wave of conscious capitalism emerging all over the world. Nothing has relieved the suffering of the economic poor more than conscious capitalism.

“One gives freely yet only grows all the richer, another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” (Proverbs 11:24)

Since wealth and wisdom are skills, every decision before us each day is a gift that will move us into or out of conformity to the Truth. “The rich and poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:2) No one is exempt from this process, though we start in different places. One good decision begets another and so does the bad decision. All we have is our next decision. Will we squander it or invest it?

Wealth and poverty are not destinations, but places from which we make our choices.

 

 

The Poverty of the Poor

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What’s your definition of poor? Who are the poor? Most of us immediately think of those without economic means. This is only partially true. Today I will redefine poverty.

I had a practice that whenever a beggar asked for money I would empty my wallet regardless of amount. This grew out of my view that money is a renewable resource and I believe I can’t out-give the Source that gives it to me. Then I went to Austin. There, I saw more poor people under thirty. This revealed that poverty is not about money and the world would not be better if I gave it all away.

Economic poverty is symptomatic, real poverty goes much deeper. The cause of poverty is not solely education, politics, or the need for jobs. It’s not mental illness, addiction, housing, or food programs. All of these are by-products of poverty.

Poverty is deeper. Poverty is disengagementSometimes disengagement is beyond our control, sometimes it’s not.

Think of it like catching an accelerating train. Some people, for no fault of their own, simply can’t move fast enough. Others, simply won’t move fast enough. Others still are barely able to hang on to the back. Wether they grab on or let go they are disconnected to the engine that powers it. A rapidly advancing world means that some won’t be able or willing to keep up.

Poverty is disengagement from that which powers us. Disengagement results in economic ruin. “The poverty of the poor is their ruin.” (Proverbs 10:15). It’s even worse if disengagement is intentional. “The simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them.” (Proverbs 1:32).

Poverty is that aspect of our soul that can discern good from better, right from wrong, but settles for the lesser.

Growing up, my step-father was an educated lawyer, but when the oil business fell on hard times, he refused to take a lesser job and we suffered as he stayed unemployed for several years. His poverty (pride) became our economic ruin.

We see this so vividly in the lives of addicts. Their poverty is not their lack of money. Economic ruin is the byproduct of their poverty which is their inability to put down their vice.

Poverty is disengagement from the truth. Poverty is a truth problem (either apprehension of truth or application of truth) and our economic realities are the by-product of that disengagement.  T. Harv Eker says if we don’t have the wealth we want it is because of something we don’t know or something we won’t do. I would add “can’t” do.

Those working in social justice often reject and despise this reality. For them the poor are victims of a zero-sum society that leaves them behind as the few gather the scarce spoil. The result is to blame affluence or diminish the wealthy as stingy. On a soul level, there is something wrong with personal advancement at the exclusion of others. “Whoever oppresses the poor insults his Maker.” (Proverbs 14:31) Nonetheless, scarcity is not the cause of poverty. We live in a generative, abundant world. Poverty causes scarcity we perceive.

We must not oppress those who enter the market and learn how to advance and progress their life. While corruption is rampant in corporations and government, we must not diminish those who would rise to the top in order to bring about change. Not all in a corrupt system are corrupt. It is poverty that causes corruption. Corruption then brings economic ruin.

Poverty is the unwillingness to change. Certainty is poverty. Across the world, those cities, towns and communities that will not keep pace with change and advancement become insular and unwelcoming of anything different or new. Thus they are left behind in economic opportunity and their people suffer.

What are we to do?

First, discern the poor from a fool. The poor can’t engage. The fool won’t engage.

Second, learn to see all who are poor, not just the economic poor. The poor are in every strata of our society. Being a light in the world means to help each person in our path to re-engage at a deeper level. Coaching a “C” player to become an “A” player is serving the poor.

Third, don’t turn your face on the poor. Avoiding them exposes our poverty and our disengagement from the Power Source. Care enough to be intentional about what you will give them.

Fourth, let compassion win. Define your life by the promotion of others and you will be promoted (Luke 14:10). The net effect is exchanging competition for inclusion or scarcity for abundance. We all depend on the engagement of others, thus the end of poverty comes through the inclusion of all. No single person can win if we don’t all win. There is a place for us all to engage.

So don’t sell your possessions. They aren’t given solely for our benefit, but as a means to empower others. We must use what we have to promote those in our path.

No more. No less.