Beyond Religious Provincialism and Scientific Materialism

sky circle

“The best method for humans to investigate the true nature of the universe is by studying consciousness itself. It is the fault of the system in which human society and progressive development is governed and funded. Scientists and researchers are expected to produce physical measurable and applicable results to perpetuate further funding for their studies. Studying consciousness in the way which is required to significantly advance yourself as a species is not adequately funded or supported because there is no immediate benefit or financial gain for produced results, which are not easily defined, proven or contained into a marketable product or service. The motives and criteria for funding research needs to change, so too the approaches which are often dismissed, criticized and avoided need to be pursued. There are many individuals outside of the field of science who have mastered miraculous feats and abilities of consciousness, of creation and of perception; these individuals are simply ignored by the greater scientific community. This has to change.”


Much of human history comes to us, fabricated, from religious-based teaching institutions and/or secular based public educational systems. Plainly, learning industries are biased in their particular conditioned beliefs, and of course greatly influenced by the human proclivity for story-telling and myth-making. Speaking bluntly, I would submit that most of the history that we are taught is contrived by humans to serve expedient human agendas, and does not reflect anything close to actuality.

Consequently, for those with open minds who reject the official Kool-Aid of consensus reality dished out in churches, schools, and media outlets, or at least find it suspect to one degree or another, there is an alternative paradigm. This model extends beyond the two major propaganda industries which the majority of humans have affiliated themselves with for most of their lives — religious provincialism and scientific materialism.

Contrary to the usual core assumption, we are not our bodies. We did not create them, but rather occupy them. Immortal Spirit infuses a portion of its light energy, called “soul”, into temporary organic mechanisms. These bio-vehicles with which souls are fused for the lifespan of the individual were fabricated, just like everything else in the universe (though not by some creator deity who subsequently demands eternal worship).

When entering 3-D virtual realities (AKA illusions) such as Earth, our memory of who and what we truly are is usually suppressed so that we can concentrate on this current life, as if it were the first and only one. The ensuing amnesia gives us the freedom to experience the unknown, and to enjoy our human ride with maximum visceral impact.

The type of adventures typically pursued on the more primitive planets such as Earth will most often include integrity issues revolving around greed, envy, hatred, ignorance, and pride. Most of us will not find out (remember) that we are forever until we die.

While in human form, the whole creative process of manifestation may seem like magic, but it is actually more in the nature of an advanced technology that accounts for the appearance of the world and its props that we typically believe to be concrete reality. The whole material plane itself is more in the nature of a convincing illusion, or holographic projection. Essentially, it is an extension of what we might call the “spiritual” realm, which is without beginning and will never end.

Everything in the physical and ethereal existence is created. Planets, suns and all forms of life, intelligent or otherwise, existing on planets, moons and space cities throughout the universe are all compounded, fabricated phenomena. The concept of “random” is nothing but a human contrivance – a speculative fantasy with which to amuse ourselves while asleep in the dream.

Nothing happens by chance or accident, although humans in their physical incarnation are not generally conscious of the programed, choreographic nature of their existence. If they were, it would defeat the purpose of the illusion, which is to provide a realistic experience (holograph) of what human life entails for each experiencer. In essence, it’s a customized ride, and is called “empty” by some, because it is composed of the very same stuff of which dreams are made. As the late great sage Ramana Maharshi noted, “you will find the world of which you are now aware is just as unreal as the world in which you lived your dream.”

In terms of being able to fathom the mysteries of this universe, both religious fundamentalists and scientific materialists are like children in the kindergarten playground feuding over whose Dad is tougher. People tend to imagine that there are only animals, humans, and some Creator Entity they call God, or else that matter on its own somehow formed itself into San Francisco, London, and New York over time. However, it is more likely that in reality there are millions of levels of beings on the spectrum between Source and humans, some of whom create solar systems and all the stuff that comes with star fields.

Humans are pretty much confined to this planet, which means they are still in a kind of baby play pen, relative to the rest of the galactic community. Naturally, babies see their mother or father as God, because they don’t know any better — they have no basis for comparison. Either that, or they enter a rebellious adolescent phase in which they refuse and deny any parental authority. Both cases can be recognized as developmental stages, rather than fixed positions to be clung to as if they represent any enduring reality.

In the same way, early humans may have encountered beings who landed here in spacecraft and regarded those beings as God. Over time, they may have gone on to make up stories and legends about them, which then got edited repeatedly by other ignorant humans. Such myths in turn come down to us as texts like the bible, which some people who are either too lazy to investigate for themselves, or else are so indoctrinated from birth that they can’t imagine any other possibility, take as the literal truth of their origins and history. Either that, or we imagine that our sciences alone have finally answered the question of our appearance in this realm, even though science itself is regularly updating its theories on consciousness, human origins, as the nature of the universe itself.

In reality, this phenomenal universe itself is nothing more than a grain of sand on an infinite beach of the totality, which has no limit, no beginning, and no end. It is unimaginably vaster than what is currently perceived by humans with all of their primitive instruments and speculative theories which change from year to year. Moreover, it’s occupied by countless numbers of distinct energy forces more numerous than the stars. In contrast, human reality is a pinprick on a strand of vibrations that make up the smallest part of an atom.

The scientific materialists may critique the religious believers as backwards, but what they don’t realize is that they are simply identifying with another belief system themselves (and an incredibly confining one at that). Human belief systems always compete with each other, hence the current and enduring nature of this realm — perpetual warfare. On the other hand, were they as truly open-minded as they claim, the materialists might take the time to inquire into their own beliefs.

What they would eventually discover (if they were sincere and persistent) is that no belief is true, but merely a subjective and provisional mental formation, conditioned by various causes, and subject to ongoing modification due to the very nature of consciousness itself. Additionally, they will come to recognize that consciousness is not a brain phenomena, as they now contend, but actually just the opposite.

Moreover, if they persist in sincere inquiry, they might come to recognize that the human intellect, with all of its reason and logic, can only take one so far, before it too becomes an impediment to the revelation of the Mystery of the Unknown which transcends human comprehension.

Essentially, all “isms”, even the most seemingly comprehensive, still represent the human intellect’s attempt to organize chaos into manageable conceptual designations, and thus are artificial superimpositions on “what is”. They are fabricated stories we tell ourselves around the tribal campfire, to shield ourselves from the looming unknown of the dark night. Ironically, it is only be letting go of such mental constructs and surrendering to the vastness of the unknown that the infinite reality in all of its wonder can begin to reveal itself.

When we become truly humble enough to recognize that we don’t know, we may become available to a spark of the true knowledge, which our arrogance has thus far obscured from us while we’ve been debating about which religion or “scientific” point of view can more accurately account for the totality of universal manifestation.

We try to apply human knowledge to that which transcends human knowledge, and most of us carry our fixed beliefs with us to the grave, never bothering to consider that everything we’ve been told about life and accepted as our personal belief may simply be somebody else’s second-hand story – and only as real as the reality we ourselves have granted it.

Human souls have existed prior to coming to earth and will never stop existing even after death. Indeed, there is no such thing as death – we wake up after this life into another life. Once on the “other side”, what do we find? What some call “heavens” are just more sophisticated classrooms a little further on and higher up in the development of the soul, and like our earth-type planets, are still temporary environments. There are far more profound realities, inconceivable to the human imagination, which await us beyond the utopian realms we might take to be “heavens”.

Ultimately, even the concept of some individual soul may be seen through and transcended, but for us humans, that is putting the cart way before the horse. There is a whole lot more work to be done before that recognition is anything other than another intellectual fantasy, and in fact clinging to such an idea (“anatta” in Buddhism) can be merely another impediment, conflating absolute and relative views.

One thing is certain – there is no longer the need for any religion or philosophy once we have left this rock behind in the rear view mirror. Such pastimes are for those who can only guess and speculate about the nature of reality. Once awakened, we will no longer need to indulge in such fantasy – it will all be startlingly clear.

“Conclusively, in my opinion, religion was a useful vehicle to gravitate awareness to a new resonation of values in Earths history. It was useful, in their former original forms and values to begin to invite spiritual thought and self-reflection. It is my view and understanding that religions, in their current form, no longer sustain or gravitate humanity in the same way they once did. This is simply because such religions cannot meet the demand for higher forms of information, of science and of validation which so many human beings now seek. In a sense, human beings have evolved beyond the appeal and promises of religion and seek answers, experiences and validations which religion cannot provide. The original values of unconditional love, brotherhood and harmony with the Earth must be reintegrated into the modern world, within modern living and modern thinking.”


For more elaboration, see:

About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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17 Responses to Beyond Religious Provincialism and Scientific Materialism

  1. Bob OHearn says:

    In response to this material, I was asked by a reader, “What then is a ‘human'”.

    Speaking conventionally, humans are a relatively sophisticated species of animal commonly found on Earth-type planets that have their own life force, personalities, and innate character traits (like fear and the need for control). Most of their energy is taken up by survival and competition issues, and they are destined for a relatively short lifespan (impermanence). Humans do not go on after death. Their self-awareness revolves around the knowledge that they are alive and can die, as well as recognition of their emotions and instincts.

    On the metaphysical level, humans are thought forms that vibrate so slowly that they appear to be composed of solid physical matter. Their heavier density does not make them any less special and unique among manifestation, but then again, there is no part of the totality that is not special and unique. Ultimately, human existence is an illusion of our own creation, much like dreams are an illusion of the human/soul combined being’s creation. Both are real states of awareness, and both disappear when the illusion is broken. in our case (as souls) the illusion dissolves when we awaken to our true nature. For humans, death dissolves the illusion.

    When we as immortal spiritual beings fuse with human hosts (or with most sentient creatures), we undergo a kind of temporary amnesia, so that the life experience will seem more vivid, open-ended, and real. Nevertheless, it is an illusion. It is as if we so identify with a movie character or video game/virtual reality scenario that we forget that we are actually the audience or player.

    We are not so much humans with souls as we are souls having the temporary experience of being human. The human experience and the density of the vibrational frequency in this realm are particularly challenging in the scheme of manifestation, and so offer plenty of opportunities for discovering what we are really made of, as we encounter the various qualities associated with humanity, especially in terms of emotional flavors and physical sensations.

  2. marcel says:

    Thank you , Brother!

    Questioner: There are so many theories about the nature of man and universe.
    The creation theory, the illusion theory, the dream theory — any number of them.
    Which is true?

    Maharaj: All are true, all are false.
    You can pick up whichever you like best.

    Q: You seem to favour the dream theory.

    M: These are all ways of putting words together.
    Some favour one way, some favour another.
    Theories are neither right nor wrong.
    They are attempts at explaining the inexplicable.

    It is not the theory that matters, but the way it is being tested.
    It is the testing of the theory that makes it fruitful.
    Experiment with any theory you like — if you are truly earnest and honest, the attainment of reality will be yours.

    As a living being you are caught in an untenable and painful situation and you are seeking a way out.
    You are being offered several plans of your prison, none quite true.
    But they all are of some value, only if you are in dead earnest.
    It is the earnestness that liberates and not the theory.

    Q: Theory may be misleading and earnestness — blind.

    M: Your sincerity will guide you.

    Devotion to the goal of freedom and perfection will make you abandon all theories and systems and live by wisdom, intelligence and active love.

    Theories may be good as starting points, but must be abandoned, the sooner — the better.

  3. I am guessing this a theory, but I read it as the author believes this to be fact. If I understood it correctly, then where is the proof? How do you know we live forever? And not all Buddhists are alike…just sayin. Things go crazy when humans get involved and are elevated to Guru status.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Extensive research and personal experience constitute the background for whatever I write, including over half a century of spiritual practice and study, plus a couple of inadvertent but revelatory trips to “the other side”. In terms of living forever, that’s not quite the way I would put it, although as far as we’re concerned at this stage of conscious development, the soul is indeed immortal.
      And yes, no two Buddhists (or humans) are exactly alike, although there may be some superficial similarities such as sect affiliations. Each of us is unique. In terms of gurus, there is always a role for qualified guides, but you are right — few humans are capable of fitting that role, although the world is full of wannabees.

  4. Bob OHearn says:

    “We measure things by what we are. To the maggots in the cheese, the cheese is the universe. To the worms in the corpse, the corpse is the cosmos. How then can we be so ****-sure about our world? Just because of our telescopes, our microscopes, and the splitting of the atom? Nope!
    “Science is but an organized system of ignorance. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy! What do we know of the Beyond? Do we know what’s behind the Beyond?
    “I’m afraid some of us hardly know what is beyond the Behind.”

    ~Theodore Gottlieb AKA Brother Theodore

  5. Bob OHearn says:

    “Matter and mind are not separate, they are aspects of one energy. Look at the mind as a function of matter and you have science; look at matter as the product of the mind and you have religion. Neither appears alone. Matter is the shape, mind is the name. Together they make the world. Pervading and transcending is Reality, pure being — awareness — bliss, your very essence.”

    ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

  6. Bob OHearn says:

    Nisargadatta Maharaj: Earlier I was sure of so many things, now I am sure of nothing. But I feel that I have lost nothing by not knowing, because all my knowledge was false. My not knowing was in itself knowledge of the fact that all knowledge is ignorance, that ‘I do not know’ is the only true statement the mind can make. Take the idea ‘I was born’. You may take it to be true. It is not. You were never born, nor will you ever die. It is the idea that was born and shall die, not you. By identifying yourself with it you became mortal. Just like in a cinema all is light, so does consciousness become the vast world. Look closely, and you will see that all names and forms are but transitory waves on the ocean of consciousness, that only consciousness can be said to be, not its transformations.

    In the immensity of consciousness a light appears, a tiny point that moves rapidly and traces shapes, thoughts and feelings, concepts and ideas, like the pen writing on paper. And the ink that leaves a trace is memory. You are that tiny point and by your movement the world is ever re-created. Stop moving, and there will be no world. Look within and you will find that the point of light is the reflection of the immensity of light in the body, as the sense ‘I am’. There is only light, all else appears.

    Q: Do you know that light? Have you seen it?

    M: To the mind it appears as darkness. It can be known only through its reflections. All is seen in daylight — except daylight.

  7. Bob OHearn says:

    “As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. … That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life… Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.”

    ~ Anthony de Mello

  8. Bob OHearn says:

    “After this capitulation of religion and materialism, the new incipient spiritual science, with its cosmic analyses of the living something behind matter or substance and its portrayal of the real psycho-physical world picture, will be the only practicable path yet revealed towards world peace.”

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    We are so addicted, either to materialism or to transcending material reality, that we don’t see God right in front of us, in the beggar, the starving child, the brokenhearted woman; in our friend; in the cat; in the flea. We miss it..

    All mystical systems are addicted to transcending this reality. This addiction is part of the reason why the world is being destroyed. The monotheistic religions honor an off-planet God and would sacrifice this world and its attachments to the adoration of that God.

    But the God I met was both immanent and transcendent. This world is not an illusion, and the philosophies that say it is are half-baked half-truths. In an authentic mystical experience, the world does disappear and reveal itself as the dance of the divine consciousness.

    But then it reappears, and you see that everything you are looking at is God, and everything you’re touching is God. This vision completely shatters you.”

    ~Andrew Harvey

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