Swedenborg’s Solution to the Fermi Paradox

Aliens“Where is everybody?”

That is the question physicist Enrico Fermi asked several of his fellow physicists over lunch one summer day in 1950. And that’s how the Fermi paradox got its name.

What is the Fermi paradox?

Here’s the short version: There should be intelligent life on other planets. But so far, we haven’t found credible evidence of any civilization other than the one here on Earth. Why not?

We now know that in our galaxy alone, there are over one hundred billion stars. We think that most of them have planets. We know that intelligent life is possible, because it exists on our planet. Even if only a small percentage of stars have habitable planets, intelligent life could have developed on millions of other planets in our galaxy. (The Drake Equation is one tool for making such estimates.)

Since most stars are billions of years older than our sun (which is about 4.5 billion years old), some of those intelligent beings would have had billions of years to develop technology far beyond what we earthlings have achieved since we first started on a technological path a few thousand years ago.

By now, there should be spaceships zipping all over the universe! Aliens should be exploring every corner of the galaxy, as portrayed in popular science fiction series such as Star Trek and Star Wars.

And yet, there is no scientifically sound evidence that alien civilizations have ever visited our planet, nor have we been able to detect any signals or other evidence for the existence of any intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe.

So where is everybody?

Many answers have been suggested to the thorny question raised by the Fermi paradox. Most conclude that intelligent life on other planets is very rare, and maybe even unique to Earth.

A common assumption in these answers is that other intelligent species would naturally follow the scientific and technological path that we humans on Earth have followed. Any cultures that didn’t develop advanced technology would be primitive, and far below our level of development.

Swedenborg had a different view.

For more on Swedenborg and the Fermi paradox, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Science Philosophy and History

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine the Mark of the Beast?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Ray:

Is the COVID-19 vaccine the mark of the beast? I’ve heard some disturbing things like people saying they can’t feel God anymore and that their soul is dead. Also the Great Reset sounds like the end times. You should research it and do an article on it.

Thanks for the question, Ray. A reader named Kristen recently asked the same question. I guess it’s time to answer it! And the short answer is:

covid19_vaccineNo the COVID-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast.

That idea is the latest incarnation of decades-old conspiracy theories that just won’t die, no matter how baseless they are.

These conspiracy theories are themselves a type of intellectual virus. They are false and destructive ideas that eat away at people’s minds, morphing and adapting to every new scare that sweeps around the world via the Internet. If some people feel that after they get vaccinated, they can’t feel God anymore and their soul is dead, that feeling is not caused by the vaccine. It is caused by the conspiracy theory virus that has infected their mind.

As for the Great Reset, it sounds like more of the same vague and grandiose proclamations that the wealthy elite are always broadcasting in public while privately they go about the business of doing what they really care about: becoming wealthier and more elite.

Back to the main question, the mark of the beast mentioned in the book Revelation is not a physical mark. Revelation is a prophetic and symbolic book. It is talking about spiritual events, not earthly events. See:

Is the World Coming to an End? What about the Second Coming?

Now let’s take a closer look at the mark of the beast, what it is, and what it isn’t.

For more on the mark of the beast, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events, The Bible Re-Viewed

Hate Speech Says More About the Hater than the Hated

Hate Speech“You’re a baby!”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

“You’re stupid!”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

“You’re a jerk!”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

Not exactly an adult conversation. But there’s a certain wisdom in that old schoolyard comeback. Calling someone a baby is a babyish thing to do. Calling someone stupid is not the smartest thing to do. Calling someone a jerk is a jerky thing to do.

People who insult other people and call them names are saying more about themselves than they are about the ones they are attacking.

Hate speech is wrong, hurtful, immoral, and sometimes illegal—especially if it encourages violence against particular groups or individuals. People who engage in hate speech should stop it.

But if we step back and look at it from a coolly rational perspective, people who engage in insults and hate speech are giving us information about their own character.

For more on hate speech as information, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events

The Christian Church is Coming to an End

The previous article, “The Christian Church is Not Christian,” spoke of the doctrinal destruction of the Christian church. Over the centuries, the Christian church has adopted human-invented beliefs that ignore, reject, and deny the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. That church is therefore Christian in name only. Christians follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

And that church is coming to an end.

It is coming to an end not only because its key teachings are unbiblical and false, but because over the centuries its actions have been diametrically opposed to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. History itself tells us that century after century, the false doctrines of the corrupted Christian church have justified and supported the most horrendous and unchristian behavior imaginable on the part of that institution and its people.

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, by François Dubois

St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, by François Dubois

These unfortunate realities, and the question of what comes next in the spiritual journey of humankind, were the subject of a recent email exchange with a reader named Radko. This post is built around two emails in that exchange.

It is not only the traditional Christian church’s words that are wrong and must be rejected, but also its actions over so many centuries. The reform it has engaged in more recently, under pressure from the outside world, is too little, too late. The Christian church as it has existed up to now is coming to an end. And it must come to an end so that true Christianity, as originally taught by Jesus Christ, can take root in our world.

For more on the end of the Christian Church, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Science Philosophy and History

The Christian Church is Not Christian

The Holy Bible

The Christian Church is not Christian

There, I’ve said it.

And it needs to be said.

Religions and churches are distinguished from each other primarily by their beliefs, and by the way their adherents live as guided by those beliefs. Most religions get their beliefs from their sacred literature, and from their great spiritual leaders and teachers.

Hinduism follows the Vedas, particularly the Upanishads.

Buddhism follows the teachings of Gautama Buddha.

Judaism follows the teachings of the books of Moses and the rest of the Hebrew Bible, as interpreted and expanded by many rabbinic teachers over the centuries.

Islam follows the teachings in the Qur’an, as delivered by its great prophet, Muhammad.

And Christianity follows the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, and of the Bible as a whole.

Only it doesn’t.

None of the key teachings of the vast bulk of Christian churches are taught anywhere in the Bible. Jesus Christ himself did not teach any of the beliefs that these churches have set up as their primary, distinguishing doctrines.

Are some of their members Christians? Certainly, if they live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

But the churches themselves are not Christian. They have long since abandoned the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible in favor of doctrines that human theologians and councils have invented over the centuries.

Let’s look at some of the major non-Christian teachings that are at the center of these “Christian” churches.

For more on Christianity not being Christian, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, The Bible Re-Viewed

Marriage in Heaven: A Response to Jack Wellman

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Deeply Wounded:

It’s me again. I came across this article by a man named Jack Wellman who appeals to the story to bluntly claim that there is no marriage or sex in Heaven.

https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/will-there-be-marriage-and-sex-in-heaven/

He claims that it won’t be a thing because there won’t be need for procreation, that we’ll all be married to Jesus, etc. What he says rings hollow for me, because I have been just abandoned by my twin flame/soulmate. I looked at the comments, and there’s even a comment by Jack where he is completely dismissing one of your articles that I really love. Basically, Jack claimed that you “missed the point,” further wounding me. Jack claimed that we’ll basically spend time in eternal contemplation with God and there won’t be any sex allowed, and even spiritual castration. It inflicts me so much. I wish Jack and his friends knew how much they are hurting single people like me who long for true marriage love that is eternal and holy. Could you perhaps write an article in response to Jack’s afflicting, painful claims?

Blessings,

Deeply wounded

Hi Deeply Wounded,

Thanks for reaching out with your question. I am sorry you had to experience the loss of love. I am even more sorry that “Christian” writers such as Jack Wellman are doing the opposite of what Christ did for us. Christ said:

I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11; see also John 16:24 and John 17:13)

When a supposedly Christian teaching causes pain, affliction, and sorrow for people of good heart, you can be sure that it is not the teaching of Christ or of true Christianity.

And indeed, the article by Jack Wellman contains many unbiblical and false statements that cause pain and suffering instead of the joy that Christ gives. The comments at the end of his article show that you are not the only one who has been wounded by Mr. Wellman’s false claims.

For the full version of why Mr. Wellman’s article is so mistaken, please see:

Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?

That article and its sequel go into great detail about Jesus’ statements on marriage. In this article, we will deal specifically with Mr. Wellman’s unbiblical statements about heaven, angels, sex, and marriage.

For more on marriage in heaven, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Afterlife

What if I Love Debating and Bullying People Online? A Strategy for Change

Here is a recent comment from a reader named Rob:

I’m utterly discouraged. I try to turn around and be better so I’ll be on the way to heaven, but I still love things I should not, like bullying people online. I get off on being right and defeating someone in a debate, and I can be very rude and self-righteous. Even if I stay away from political forums, I still want badly to go into the fray, and sometimes I give in. My attitude towards people is very hostile still, and it doesn’t change. How can one not be discouraged? Obviously I care enough to post this and read the articles here and elsewhere, but I wonder if I’m just soothing my conscience. I still want to stand on people’s necks, so to speak. It’s the worst thing about me, but I only fear hell, not the thing itself. And often I just don’t care, especially right after I wake up. I just go right to it.

It seems hopeless, from my point of view.

Yes, it’s very discouraging. But it’s not hopeless.

CyberbullyingWe humans are stubborn beasts. Even after we take a hard look at ourselves and don’t like what we see, we keep right on thinking, feeling, and acting in the same awful way.

This does not mean we are doomed to be jerks forever. It does not mean there is no way off the slippery slope to hell. We can change. But a will to change is not enough. To bring about real and lasting change in our character, we must adopt effective strategies and methods.

It helps to have an understanding of the difference between our inner self and our outer self, and where to begin our attack. Contrary to popular belief, changing ourselves from the inside out is not the most effective strategy.

For more on a strategy for change, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Spiritual Growth

Cancel Culture: The Young and the Rootless

Cancel culture.

Its supporters see it as a way for marginalized people who previously had no voice to make their voice heard against the rich and powerful people who have oppressed them in the past, and continue to oppress them today.

Its detractors see it as the present-day equivalent of frenzied mobs swarming through the streets wielding torches and pitchforks, executing vigilante justice without proper inquiry or procedure.

Unlike the mobs of old, this piling-on takes place online, in the virtual streets and alleys of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Yet its effects on people’s lives can be very real. Cancel culture has indeed taken down some rich and powerful offenders.

But life on this earth is not fair. Ordinary people who find themselves in cancel culture’s crosshairs are the most likely to have their lives ruined. The wealthy and powerful can usually ride it out. It can even increase their wealth and power. The free publicity of being “canceled” raises their public profile, which can lead to increased sales of whatever they are selling.

Cancel culture is strongest among young people (see the statistics in Wikipedia -> Online shaming -> American public opinion), where it had its origins. That is also one of its problems.

In a moment, we’ll step back from the frenzy and reflect on these points in reference to cancel culture:

  1. Young people are not ready to run the world.
  2. What people are doing now is more important than what they did in the past.
  3. There will be justice for people who continue to engage in oppression.

But first, let’s tell the story of a figure from the past who is now being “canceled.”

For more on cancel culture, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events

Black Lives Matter

George Floyd (1973–2020)

George Floyd (1973–2020)

Here at Spiritual Insights we have watched with concern the debate raging in the United States over the saying “Black Lives Matter.” For many years we’ve been appalled by the systemic abuse of the police power against our black and brown neighbors. Accordingly, we were appalled at the death of George Floyd from excessive force by the Minneapolis Police Department. (And for every abuse that is filmed, you can be sure that a number of others occurred that were not filmed.)

When we started Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life, we committed to never taking the easy way out when addressing difficult subjects. We have worked hard to offer substantive answers on sensitive subjects. “No hollow platitudes” has been our commitment.

And so over the years we have posted articles about racism and the abuse of power. Some of them are linked at the end of this article. We invite you to read them.

Short version: Racism is derived from a corrupted love of self that leads people to love only people who are like themselves. Abuse of power coupled with racism is a recipe for a hellish existence for all people—including the racists themselves, who live in their own little hell of self-absorption and fear of the “other.”

Lost in the acrid debate over “Black lives matter” vs. “All lives matter” is the deeper question of why God created different races of people on our earth.

For more on Black Lives Matter, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events, Science Philosophy and History

Our Experience Moving to Soweto, South Africa

Dear Readers,

This blog is not about us. It’s about spiritual insights to help you in your everyday life. However, given the big move we have made from the United States to South Africa, some of you may be curious about our experiences along the way.

Recently, Annette wrote a two-part article recounting some of the events of our move to Soweto for our church’s official publication, The Messenger. It appeared in the June and July/August issues. Here are links to the two issues, in PDF format:

Enjoy!

Soweto Towers

Soweto Towers

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Posted in Current Events
Lee & Annette Woofenden

Lee & Annette Woofenden

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