What is real? What is reality? When did it start and why?
Are there different levels of reality?
Are there different levels of reality?
I think about concepts like this all the time. I believe that everyone who has any understanding of the philosophy behind these concepts has already arrived at what they believe to be a concrete ideal of reality. Consider the differences between the religious, atheistic, and the various new age concepts: each is so different than the others and the consequences to our earthly lives are tremendous.
The atheist believes in nothing that they can't physically measure or scientifically experience. Therefore, their reality is merely material. The last analysis of atheism is that whatever is deemed acceptable by the individual or societal mores is permissible and encouraged if it is logically necessary. As such, abortion, eugenics, and strength ought to be encouraged and celebrated to increase the potency of human materialism. You're out of luck if you're not smart, strong and beautiful by human standards... Either relegated to subjugation or mercilessly dismissed of human value.
The last analysis of the new age is that, as a collective, we are god. Our collective consciousness creates reality and changes the material by first creating the pattern of the spiritual. As such, they must rely on their cumulative wisdom in order to create reality. Considering that the addition of imperfect wisdom cannot create infinite, perfect wisdom, their best reality will always fall short of an ideal reality. They cannot hope for an end of suffering, imperfection and fear.
The last analysis of the religionist contains a perfect reality. We recognize that the material is a shadow of the spiritual and that the temporal is nothing compared to the infinite. This material reality is upheld and manifested by an infinite being who is independent of time and matter; this being is absolute and perfect and never changes. This being owns and creates every level of potential reality, the things seen and unseen, the experiential and unfathomable, the beginnings and the ends.
So why is there a material reality? Can anyone know?
I believe the material reality was/is only manifested to allow the infinite being to ever experience anything without knowing the outcome beforehand. By giving us, as material creatures, a free will and by then giving us a portion of his perfect potential (in the form of his indwelling spirit) he can remove himself from timelessness and absolute reality and experience a reality of imperfection through an imperfect being.
So what would that mean to us?
I think it means: He knows and understand us. He had given us all the tools to fulfill his call to be perfect. He has given us a peace knowing that our perception of reality doesn't have to create destiny for ourselves or our brethren. He has joy when we chose the leading's of his spirit rather than a logical analysis of or material perception. He allows us to experience, in a minute manner, the true spiritual reality in the midst of our current shadow reality.
Even better is that the fullness of this infinite being was made human in Jesus. He both showed us the nature of the infinite's character and revealed the way a human who truly decides to follow God lives. He experienced every human temptation but was still without sin or iniquity.
Jesus was the firstborn of the new man. He reiterated that we partner with God for the benefit of all creation. We call down, and pray for, the true reality to be manifested in this shadow reality when we say "your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Rest easy today. There is so much more that you can't know or see. It's all exciting and refreshing to know that our God is unfailingly loving, truly faithful, and the provider of every necessary tool to become the men he wants us to be.
This is a Guest Post by a great friend of mine, Ryan E.