The One, True "Holy Grail" was stolen from us!
Yo vs. God
You see, one of the reasons that humanity is still wandering blindly in the mine field created by competing religions is that the false, Pretend-Daddy-In-The-Sky worshipers, using their fantastic religious notions, were actually able to steal God, or rather the Divine Mystery of Yo, from the enlightenment empiricists. One step at a time, the empiricists' holy study of the Divine Body of Yo (also known as The Universe) revealed the silliness in the beliefs of the fantasy religions that ruled the world. In response, the religions rose up against the scientists and a barrier was imposed between those that studied the material world and those that studied God.
God is Truth. (Mahatma Gandhi)
Yes, there is a barrier in that those that study the real world are studying the one True God, for our "God," Yo, manifests to us as Reality or Truth. Reality is the Holy One who commands our allegiance, while those that study what is typically called religion are simply studying their own imaginary creations. The shame is that THEY STOLE GOD FROM US. Instead of the study of Yos manifestation being the study of the most Divine Mysteries of the Universe—that is, the study of Reality, our rightful "Lord and Master" before whom we shouldst have no other gods—they turned the study of "God" into the study of the make-believe. This idolatry—this placing of false gods before the Great and Wondrous Yo—was then used to convince people that a truly awesome Divine Mystery, if it exists (and we can now show that, in addition to our world of experience, it must exist) is somehow alien and separate from the material world of our direct experience. The dogma peddlers were able to enshrine a fiction: that the study of the material reality of our experience has nothing to do with the highest truths. As if the study of imaginary fantasies can lead one to any truth at all!
Accepting the definitions of the childish, daddy-god worshipers, thinking people have left the field and proclaimed themselves to be atheists (or agnostics). How bizarre, that thinking people should deny Yos existence, when they believe more devoutly than the misguided ones believe in their fantasy god. Some of you may wonder how I can make such a claim—that atheists are the most devout believers in Yo, the "One True God"—so I will tell you. I will tell you why it is an unquestionable fact that this "Yo" exists. Then, I want to tell you something about your relationship to Yo. I can only begin tonight, but if you wish I will come back to explain more. I will start with a version of a story that my nephew told me when he was twelve-years-old.
Oscar, the Devout
In the early 1950’s, Oscar, an elderly man, was living in Missouri. His house was in the flood plain of the Mississippi River. But, there hadn’t been a flood there for more than 100 years; the levees that were built where Oscar lived held back the mighty Mississippi. Unlike the now famous, flimsy levees of New Orleans, these levees were much more massive earthen mounds placed parallel to the riverside some distance away. When flood conditions started to occur, they created a huge walled channel that everyone thought would be more than sufficient to contain any water that swelled over the river's normal embankment. Outside of these massive walls, towns had been built in the safety zone they provided.
People nicknamed the old man, Oscar the Devout, because he was such a devout Christian that he had memorized the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Oscar's legs had been paralyzed from a bout of polio when he was nine-years-old. It was considered by everyone a miracle that he had survived at all. Oscar never complained about his infirmity and was so good at using crutches and a wheelchair that there was little that Oscar couldn’t do.
In the spring of the year when these events occurred, a torrential storm blew into Missouri. For three days straight, water fell from the sky. The Mississippi swelled and rose until the water finally flowed over the top of the levees. As it flowed faster and faster over the levees, it began to gouge channels across the tops of these earthen mounds. The water, damned up behind the levees, began to flood out through the rapidly deepening channels. Many great rivers simultaneously began pouring out onto the surrounding land, where Oscar’s town was.
Within an hour, the water was two feet deep in Oscar’s living room. Oscar’s brother came by. He was evacuating his own family from the flood. His wife and daughter were in a rowboat behind him with a few of their cherished possessions and some essential supplies as he pulled them along by wading through the thigh high water. In the crowded boat was space for one more. He had saved a place for Oscar. He begged Oscar to get in.
You see, he had to beg because, despite his brother's entreaties, Oscar the Devout refused to leave. Oscar proclaimed that he had always believed in God, and that he was not going to stop believing now; God would save him. His life was in God's hands. As the water continued to get deeper, and Oscar continued to refuse, his brother reluctantly left.
Hours later, Oscar had used his crutches to climb up to the second floor of his house. The water was 12-feet-high and still coming. Other houses were being swept away, but Oscar’s house stood firm.
As darkness fell and the rains continued, a rescue squad of neighbors went out checking for lost stragglers. With their motorboat and kerosene lanterns they went from house to house, trying to make sure everyone got out. Spotting light coming from Oscar’s house, they pulled up to his second story window and yelled over the wind and rain for Oscar to get in. Oscar refused, repeating his faith in God and how God would save him.
Several hours later, Oscar was found by a Missouri National Guard helicopter as he sat on the peek of his roof, deep in prayer. Over a loudspeaker the pilot shouted for Oscar to place the lowered harness around him so they could lift him to safety. Oscar refused, for his faith was in God.
A few hours later Oscar drowned.
I can tell you that Oscar was truly a good man. And that judgment is not just my opinion; I have it on good authority. You see Oscar went to heaven, for he had put his faith in God. Brought before God, he was welcomed to heaven.
Oscar had one question to ask of God.
“God," he said, "I refused to place trust in anything but You. I know that maybe my time had come, Oh Lord. But God I am confused. Why did YOU not save me when I had believed only in You?"
In a great, booming, but somewhat saddened voice, God answered, "Schmuck, I sent you two boats and a helicopter!"
Yes, in this joke, Oscar’s refusal to face reality ends with him up in heaven for a punch line. But in the real world, when people turn to comforting myths and imaginary saviors—when you worship false idols—you often can end up with a hideous condition, such as death. When you turn away from Yo’s Truly Miraculous Manifestation as neighbors in boats and surgeons with scalpels, you can drown in a flood or die as poisons flow from a burst appendix.
Sin: Worshipping false idols
From a Yoan perspective, this was Oscar's sin. And in a bizarre twist of fate, the God that Oscar encountered in Heaven, while not the Yoan God, did happen to speak Yoish. Oscar, the Schmuck, had turned his face away from Yo’s Manifestation as Reality.
Oscar’s “sin” was then insisting on being redeemed by an imaginary, extra-natural force; as a consequence he was "punished," so to speak. The story reminds us that in many situations in the real world, for the crime of turning away from Yo’s manifestation as Reality, the wages of sin are death.
This is the precise opposite of what traditional religions tell us. Traditionally, religious virtue comes from believing that the material world is an illusion and that one should base one’s life and actions on total submission and blind obedience to an authority who tells you a story about a particular invisible, omnipotent being. (See Basing Belief Only on Faith). The sin, according to such a notion, comes from denying the validity of that particular group's beliefs.
And they are so certain that it is of vital importance that you follow their correct tradition (and they are so convinced that their group has The One Obviously True Tradition), that billions—not millions upon millions, but billions—of humans have been tortured, crippled, and slaughtered for the sin of believing in the wrong God. Or—as seen in the murder of millions of Christians by Christians, and Muslims by Muslims—for the sin of believing in the Right God, the Wrong Way.
That Two-Timing God!
Like Oscar, religions as you know them, have misguided notions about a magical entity whom they call "God." Their god is often presented as a father-like figure, in some cases like a wise old king with white hair and a long flowing white beard, sitting in the heavens on a golden throne, surrounded by angels, ruling the universe, listening to our prayers, and magically intervening in our behalf. But there is another conception of God, of an awesome mystery of supreme magnitude. And this other notion of The Divine can be proven to refer to a Wondrous Mystery, beyond the world of our direct experience, a Wondrous Mystery that must exist.