By Pastor Robert Perez
In “Hot Sex and Jesus”, I spoke about sexuality and how, as strong a compulsion that it is, it is not counter to a life exclusive of God. Expanding in that direction, let me take it to the root of the truth, that we are animals just like the rest, born and raised on planet Earth. What separates us from the other life forms is our advanced nature, i.e. our minds, consciousness and souls. Science has proven that animals have varying levels of these traits as well, but it is clear that we are on top of that evolutionary scale.
The sciences are committed to studying life on Earth, as well as the universe that is beyond the perception of our five senses, like physics. Although we experience many of its properties with our senses, we cannot know it beyond simple experiences. We can feel gravity, but we cannot fully know it by that experience alone. The same is true with our spiritual selves. We feel it’s existence, even see the power of it’s existence to varying degrees between individuals, but we struggle to know it beyond speculation, which is the very basis of all religions, that is, the search for it’s truth, meaning, value and source, that we call God.
As I previously wrote, our need for sex and our spiritual development is a conundrum that needed to be figured out. Both parts of our self are genuine. But we are repeatedly taught that one must be negated in order to fulfill the requirements of the other. Destroy the sex drive and achieve maximum effect for spiritual potential, which I concluded was nonsense.
Our two halves, body and spirit, are irrefutably connected and CANNOT be separated, nor should they be. You actually achieve a greater level of human development if you can learn to master and develop both. When simplified it makes perfect sense. Healthy body, healthy spirit.
It is our minds that fuck the whole thing up.
For the most part we ‘think’ correctly, but we also tend to lead ourselves astray. For example, we rationalize horrific behavior, like justified war. It is true that defending ourselves is permissible, but you wouldn’t have to if there wasn’t an antagonist that first thought to start the conflict. Likewise, we wouldn’t need police if there wasn’t something to police. So, we protect ourselves with the same means by which we are threatened. Violence begets violence.
There have been attempts to use science to study the nature of our spiritual selves, but the ensuing results have led most to believe that it is non-existent and merely a product of our consciousness, i.e. fantasy born from misunderstanding. In other words, we made up incorrect reasons for very real experiences. But it is the very reason that they are genuine experiences that propels us into the need to understand them, label them, and manufacture things like narratives with back stories in order to connect the dots.
I am well aware of the way man warps these narratives. I am not a staunch apologist insisting the final word of God is solely in the books that make up the old and new testaments. However, I am a Christian, which means I have interpreted those writings to conclude that therein lie universal truths valuable enough to make them my own values.
But it doesn’t end with moral codes or realigned thought processes to meet the Christian ethos. There is also understanding of our spiritual selves that align with the real experience of the living spirit to make certain for me that it is not just ‘words on a page’. It is real. My calling is to wade through the smoke-filled spaces of religion to clear the air and get to the essence of that reality. I don’t have the scientific means to do so. I wish I had. But what I do have is the availability of our collective knowledge to help me figure it out.
In the process psychologists, philosophers and scientists warn of ‘bias-reasoning’, wherein you already concluded that it is true, and you forage through any data in order to prove it, which because of those biases makes you prone to negate, maybe even blind to, counter data. This is a danger for sure. For the most part, both the scientists and the religious have biased approaches, with a minority seeing that they need not be mutually exclusive of each other. Let me state this clearly, I am more biased to not believe than to believe any of it. The surprising part of the journey has been the moments when I say, ‘fuck, it’s actually real!’ and consequently get overwhelmed with emotion.
I knew that in order to begin the process of uncovering the truth of the existence of God and the truth of Christ that I had to be willing to accept that I may discover that it was all bullshit. I wasn’t in search of validation for already established conclusions. I began with the clean slate of finding the truth. If I had discovered it was all nonsense, I would except that and be free from the burden of it all. But if I concluded that it was all real, well that’s like learning that intelligent life exists outside our solar system. As the saying goes, ‘We are not alone’.
It may seem that I have strayed off from my starting topic, which is that we are animals with advanced spirits. Here’s where it all ties together. Science is correct, so if you’re a Christian, stop thinking otherwise. It’s just stupid to negate its findings. We are animals. We are made of flesh and bone. We are birthed on earth, living until we die. The early Christian thinkers made a critical mistake when they believed the flesh was not important, but merely a prison for our more valuable genuine self, i.e. our souls.
Within each of us is the real struggle between the two, which is why we perceive them to be separate entities at odds with one another. Desire and needs pull us in one direction, whilst our soul pulls in another. That is because we have not learned the value of coexistence. We are taught the opposite and then made to feel negatively about it. We’re sinners, right?
The enemy isn’t our flesh and bones. The enemy is in our brains, attempting to corrupt our understanding as we try to make sense of it all, leading us astray from our better potential. Perhaps that is the greatest weapon the enemy has forged, confusion which breeds doubt.
With shows like the brilliant West World and the new equally brilliant Raised by Wolves, both on HBO MAX here in the states, the topic of what is reality is hotter than ever, reaching mainstream homes. But in our quest to find the answers we must not allow ourselves to be so overloaded and confused with questions that we ignore some of the answers.
I firmly believe that science will one day crack the code of God, and our spiritual selves will no longer be negated. I hope that in kind, the spiritualists will see science and nature as part of Gods plan.