James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.
Do You Have Free Will?
The mind exists. Mind over matter is real. The mind controls the brain—not the other way around, as scientific materialists would preach. To them, anything that casts any doubt on their godless religion is dismissed offhand as ‘not scientific.'
We are conscious, we have willpower, we are emotional, we have a special purpose, and we search for meaning. The world changes us, yes, but we also change it.
It is common sense that we have minds. We say, "Mary finally made up her mind," we do not say, "Mary's brain told her what to do."
So the divide is between people who do not believe mental processes actually exist—those who think that eventually science will explain away consciousness, mind, self, intentions, desires, beliefs, aspirations, goals, expectations, morality, good and evil, right and wrong and free will—and those who believe consciousness and the mind exist independently of the physical brain; we do not only undergo experiences, but we also create them. And we are self-conscious.
If nothing exists except the material world, your thoughts are not really your own, since they are produced by chemicals and electricity far beyond your control. Yet many famous scientists, even those not Christian or religious at all, believe there is a non-physical world in addition to the physical world. To name just a few: the ‘Father of Parapsychology’ and influential author of Extrasensory Perception J.B. Rhine; the ‘Philosopher of Science’ Karl Popper; and the ‘smartest man who ever lived,’ John von Neumann.
The great physicist Sir James Jeans tells us: “Consciousness is fundamental, and the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe. The universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine, in the mind of some Eternal Spirit.”
Neutrinos & Quantum Physics
Now, the discovery of neutrinos, ghostly particles that typically pass through normal matter unimpeded and undetected, shows the Cosmos is not merely physical. A neutrino has no matter or energy and defies gravity and electromagnetism. Quantum physics will put a stake through the heart of scientific materialism. It has already shown that subatomic particles do not occupy any definite positions in space and time—as scientific materialism posits everything does.
Quantum physicists even acknowledge the mental nature of the universe. At the quantum level, the fundamental layers of physical reality are collections of force fields. We have learned that an observer changes what is observed. For instance, an unstable elementary particle will never decay as long as you are watching it. But when you stop watching, it deteriorates, which means it is impossible to separate the observer entirely from the thing observed. That is quantum physics, and your brain is a quantum system.
We have learned that there are spaces between the neurons in your brain, called synapses. They conduct signals using parts of atoms called ions, which function according to the rules of Quantum Physics, not Classical Physics. Your free will decides the pattern of neurons in your brain based on your decisions. That is how you can hold an idea in your head—if you want to. And whatever you pay attention to changes your brain circuitry.
If you focus on a given thought, you hold a pattern of neurons in place, and the very idea of keeping an idea in place is a decision you make. If neural circuits receive a great deal of traffic they grow; if not, they shrink, and the amount of traffic depends on what we choose to pay attention to. We can change the patterns of our neurons consciously. But a collection of atoms cannot become conscious, aware of their own existence.
Who Is In Charge: You Or Your Brain?
The truth is that your thoughts originate apart from the physical brain. Consciousness is not material; it exists outside the domain of science. A computer cannot think on its own and neither can your gray matter. There is a ghost in the machine.
The brain is the medium through which you tell your body what to do. When you speak to me, your brain isn't telling you what to say; you are commanding your brain what to make your vocal cords say. And if you have a mind independent of your brain, it is possible that your psyche will live on long after your brain dies, perhaps even for eternity.
“The most striking feature of our own existence is our sentience. It may be to the interests of science to turn a blind eye to this central fact of the universe, but it is certainly not in the interests of the truth." - Michael Polanyi, polymath.
People who believe nothing exists except matter and energy sometimes think the purpose of science is to buttress their worldview. They want to free man from God because they want to release man from God’s moral expectations. They expect less of men and women because they do not think men and women can help what they do.
Since they can do nothing except whatever their brains tell them to do, they have no free will to choose the right path or the wrong path. In fact, there is no right or wrong way. So the idea is we need to stop blaming people for what they do. But if these atheists are correct, all of our thoughts are worthless, including all of our philosophies, including the Theory of Evolution.
Are We Responsible For Our Actions?
We have good reasons to reject their view of the human robot that can only do as programmed. We have good reason to believe man is a spiritual animal—the only one in the universe.
The molecules that make up your brain might be replaced 10,000 times during your lifetime. And yet, you are still you, not only to others, but also to yourself. All the material that produced your consciousness is long gone, but your spirit remains.
Some folks love to think their genes make them do what they do. So we latch onto any theory about the ‘gay gene,’ ‘fat gene,’ ‘infidelity gene,’ ‘addiction gene,’ or the ‘violence gene.’ The idea is to excuse disobedience to God—sometimes of a sexual or criminal nature—by saying it is caused by your genetics. So it is not your fault. You didn't select your genetics in the first place.
That is a neat way of absolving us from responsibility for our actions. And so it is another means to attack the Bible, which says God holds us responsible for what we do. He does not accept the ‘I couldn’t help it’ excuse.
You cannot observe consciousness. As B. Alan Wallace writes in his book the Taboo of Subjectivity: "Despite centuries of modern philosophical and scientific research into the nature of the mind, at present, there is no technology that can detect the presence or absence of any kind of consciousness, for scientists do not even know what exactly is to be measured. Strictly speaking, at present there is no scientific evidence even for the existence of consciousness! All the direct evidence we have consists of nonscientific, first-person accounts of being conscious."
Other evidence for mind over matter includes placebos and near death experiences (NDEs). There have been cases where placebos have cured patients who were severely mentally ill and suicidal. Not only that, but when told to expect nausea as a side effect, they got nauseous! The placebo effect is defined as "a healing effect created by an ill person’s faith that a remedy has been given to their problem when in fact the healing could not possibly be the result of the medicine.”
Doctors have doled out placebos for millennia. Drug tests show that placebos work about forty percent of the time—actual medicine only has to work forty-five percent of the time to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. How can a placebo work if you have no mind of your own? Sixty percent of doctors have prescribed placebos. Why isn’t this more widely known? There is no money in placebos for drug companies.
Near Death Experiences
Does your mind die when your body does? That is the question. To Wallace again: “Mainstream science insists that individual consciousness vanishes with the death of the body. However, given its ignorance of the origins and nature of consciousness and its inability to detect the presence or absence of consciousness in any organism, living or dead, neuroscience does not seem to be in a position to back up that conviction with empirical scientific evidence.”
Many people have had experiences they remember after being clinically dead—with no brain activity whatsoever—while under medical care. Some can recall precisely what the medical personnel said and did. That certainly seems to be proof that the mind exists even if the brain is dead.
In one study, 18% of clinically dead people brought back to life could recall such details and 7% report a profoundly religious experience. Almost all people who have an NDE will afterward believe in life after death, yearn to know God better, care more about loving other people, know life has meaning and purpose, no longer fear death, and develop steadfast faith. The only disappointment seems to be that they came back to this life. Caution: There are some who have described their NDE as nightmarish and hellish, but they were atheists.
Religious Spiritual Mystical Experiences
Billions of human beings have had Religious Spiritual Mystical Experiences (RSME). Such experiences are worldwide phenomena throughout human history. The godless sneer that such people are poor, uneducated, unintelligent, low class, and easy to dupe. But the actual research, in America at least, proves that RSMEs are more common among highly educated people, and among upper class people, and those who have had an RSME are psychologically healthier than those who haven't.
And here is the kicker: Scientific research shows that those who have had RSMEs have changed for the better—they become better people. Studies show that they become less interested in wealth, status and material possessions but more involved with loving others and being compassionate; they care more about the world, other people, and themselves—they seek God, and want to become more like the divine, more like Jesus.
Now, think about this. If RSMEs are delusions or hallucinations, then they are the result of brain deficiencies or malfunctions. But there has never been any research ever that has shown long-term positive changes in people because of delusions or hallucinations. In fact, they always produce adverse outcomes. We are not meat puppets. The death of your body does not mean the end of you as a person. Your mind, consciousness, and self, lives on.
The Media Promotes Scientific Materialism
Our media promotes scientific materialism. It doesn't show any skepticism towards claims that support it but shows plenty of skepticism for any argument against it. Sociologist Richard Flory explains that this is because Journalism sees itself as gradually taking as the place of religion:
“Journalism was the ideal successor to religion because it alone could provide the appropriate guidance for both individuals and society. To the extent that religion is presented as having any positive role, it is in purely functional terms, in the sense that moral precepts from religion might be a source of strength for some individuals, but had no authority for modern society.”
So-called Evolutionary Psychology claims to have solved all the riddles of human life and history by blaming Evolution for all of it. It argues that to believe in God is to be deluded. Its explanation for the fact that religion is a worldwide phenomenon all through history is that our brains must have been hardwired to dream up a phony God and phony religious beliefs. But wait a minute . . . I thought Evolution weeds out the bad stuff and kept the good things as it progresses. Why would our brains be ‘hardwired’ to believe a delusion?
As John Lennox puts it so well: “Any final explanation of the universe and human beings that does not include God will unravel into darkness. Naturalistic attempts to explain the existence of life solely in terms of the nonliving, of consciousness in terms of the unconscious, of human beings solely in terms of animals, of morality solely in terms of the dictates of pain and pleasure, are bound to fail in the end.”
We know that subjectively experienced mental states have real effects on our bodies and wellbeing. Our hopes and fears, joy or depression, faith or skepticism, affect us physically. Our powers of subjective observation make science possible. But to the godless, the mind, mental states, and even ideas are not real.
The priests of science cannot answer even fundamental questions about our world. Science has no clue what consciousness even is. Neuroscience can tell us nothing about how brains supposedly create mental experiences.
Scientist Richard Feynman, a militant atheist, admits, "It is important to realize that in physics today we have no idea what energy is." But he still teaches that energy underlies, empowers, and regulates all that exists.
B. Alan Wallace Chimes In
All human beings have faith in some view of the world that they cannot prove. As B. Alan Wallace declares:
“We can passively attend to mental imagery or create it intentionally. We can ascertain whether we desire something and whether we intend to try to fulfill this desire. And we can sense whether we believe, disbelieve, or doubt a proposition.
“We are as directly aware of many mental phenomena—such as thoughts, feelings, and mental imagery—as we are of sensory phenomena. The mind thinks, feels, desires, intends, remembers, imagines. For each of us as human subjects, what is more real than our joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, desires and beliefs, and our sensory experience of the world about us? On what grounds are we to believe that these mental phenomena are any less real that such physical phenomena as mountains and buildings, let alone quarks and electromagnetic fields?
“In stark contrast to all other relationships between physical phenomena and their emergent properties and functions, when observing the brain, no mental states are observed; and when observing mental states, the brain remains out of sight. It is conceivable to learn a great deal about experienced mental states without knowing anything about the brain, and it is feasible to learn a great deal about the brain without knowing anything about subjective mental states.
“Under the doctrinal influence of scientific materialism, the public has been led to believe that scientists know things about the mind of which they are in fact ignorant and to believe that ordinary human subjects do not know things that they do in fact know perfectly well.”
Man Is More Than An Animal
The forces of darkness present this worldview to our youth: “Only the physical world is real. There is no God. There is no objective truth or morality. Spirituality is an illusion. The Cosmos and all that is in it, including living creatures, arose accidentally. You have no purpose, meaning, or significance. Your physical body solely determines everything you think or feel or do. Death brings the annihilation of you as an individual forever.”
Here is the main thing about that: It is presented as scientific, but it is not. None of it can be verified by science. There are many facts - much evidence - that show us the falseness of this worldview, but they are dismissed as ‘unscientific' by its disciples.
Any who disagree are to be called ‘ignorant' and ‘uneducated.' It reduces the human experience to the physical only. So, naturally, hedonism is the response of the indoctrinated—which is the goal of the dark spiritual force behind this worldview that preaches, “ Physical pleasure is what makes life worth living. Indulge. Go for the gusto. Just do it.”
The fact is, scientific materialism is designed to keep you a spiritual infant; to stop you from reaching your potential as a spiritual being; to prevent you from finding God; to stop you from attaining the transcendental peace and joy that endures, which only comes from Him; to stunt your growth so you focus on base animal instincts while not finding faith, hope, and love.
Look at the fruit produced by this ideology where it was implemented by state force in the Soviet Union and Red China. Misery, suffering, and mass murder.
The thing is, we are intentional beings with a spiritual dimension. We recognize virtue and vice, morality, and wisdom. As Roger Scruton says, “What is deepest and most lasting in our lives is religious faith, erotic love, friendship, family ties, and the enjoyment of art, music, and literature.”
Man is the only spiritual species on Earth; the only one made in God's Image; the only one aware of itself, aware of evil, aware of right and wrong, aware of our own mortality, aware of God and capable of a relationship with Him. Only man makes art and music, clothing and jewelry, and has hope, meaning, and purpose. Only we can worship and communicate with God.
This article originally appeared as a chapter in the book by the same writer, James A. Watkins, entitled What Does The Devil Do All Day?
© 2020 James A Watkins
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 01, 2020:
Peggy Woods ~ What a pleasure it is to 'see' you here. Thank you for taking the time to read my piece. As for your comments, I wholeheartedly agree with you.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 30, 2020:
I believe that our minds and spirits (souls) go on living after our physical bodies die. So many people, as you pointed out, describe their near-death experiences in similar ways, and most never again fear death.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 09, 2020:
Stephen A Brown ~ You are welcome. Thank you for your further correspondence and the URL to the website you so kindly recommended. I LOVE theology and history. And reconciling faith, science, and metaphysics is right up my alley. I am going to that website now.
Stephen A Brown on July 07, 2020:
Thank you for your ample and thoughtful reponse James. If you like both theology and history, I would highly recommend going to revelationrevolution.org and immersing yourself into the full preterist paradigm. I am not asking you to believe it, but from reading your work I do think that you would find it interesting. I am on a spiritual journey myself, and am trying to reconcile faith, science, and metaphysics. Have a blessed day.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 07, 2020:
Stephen A Brown ~ It has been a long time since I’ve received correspondence from a reader who knows more about my subject than I do. Thank you for reading my work, and for your awesome accolades.
I had not looked into the simulated universe hypothesis. I spent some time this morning reading a few articles about it. While I am not on board with the idea, I can see that it is reminiscent of the Creation in Genesis, with God as Programmer, or the Great Architect. Even more so, it reminds me of Buddhism and Hinduism, with its whole ‘the world is nothing but an illusion’ and 'reality is not real' concept.
No doubt our Universe is designed, and fine-tuned. What with our Rare Earth and all. The men who launched the Scientific Revolution, whom I have written about, believed the purpose of science was to study God’s handiwork, and thereby get to know Him better. Creation is surely a brilliant, incredible piece of work.
The Scientific Revolution only happened in Christendom, a society immersed in the Christian worldview, which is that a creative, rational intelligence is behind the Cosmos and its natural laws. Only Christianity had taught man that God's world is orderly and designed for discovery by His human image-bearers. Only in the Christian view did Creation have a definite beginning, experience unique stages of development, and is moving towards a purposeful end.
I was not terribly familiar with Preterism, either, until this morning. Although I have written much about the Christian faith, and Christ Himself, I have generally avoided eschatology. It seems to fall in the “no one can know” category. And it is not salvific.
I have friends who spend days on end forecasting the End Times. As an historian, I am most interested in the past, I suppose. I have lived long enough to know my predictive powers of prognostication are weak. Little that I thought would happen did. Most everything that did happen, I never foresaw.
However, you are onto a fascinating journey there that we may be on the New Earth already. In eternity. It may well be that some prophecy in Revelation was fulfilled. But I have seen no Second Coming, no Resurrection, and no Judgment Day.
Stephen A Brown on July 05, 2020:
This is a tremendous article James. The information that you provided is replete with examples that show how consciousness is the superior force over everything that we have been taught concerning scientific materialism. Nuetrinos could very well be one of the strongest evidences that we are in a simulated universe. I am presently working on a theory that merges quantum physics and consciousness with full preterist eschatology and if these implications are correct then we could very well be in eternity already. The conclusion is mind blowing: all of us could be multiple consciousnesses interacting in a virtual reality experience in a simulated earth where the prototypical earth ended in 70 ad. This sounds far fetched, but stranger things have been proposed. Excellent job.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 19, 2020:
Ruchira ~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I am glad you enjoyed it and I agree with your comments completely.
Ruchira from United States on June 19, 2020:
I enjoyed reading your theory, James.
Although I have the belief that Body-Mind-Intellect are interconnected, and there is consciousness which stays alive even after the body perishes.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 15, 2020:
T ~ That is truly a fascinating story. I surely do not think hypnotism is fake, at least in some cases. I just question what sort of power is behind it.
T on June 13, 2020:
I’m so glad you said that because I know you must be very busy keeping up with all your articles and I can go on, but I don’t want to become an imposition.
If I do just ignore me, I will understand.
Hypnotism is quite an interesting phenomenon. When I was a sophomore in college I had a pet screech owl. My physiology professor had found it fallen out of it’s nest on his campground and knowing my lifelong love of and experience with wild animals he gave it to me to raise.
When he grew up I put jesses on his legs and he’d perch on my shoulder tethered to a CPO I wore just when I took him out. It was a brown and whitish plaid CPO so when he pooped white streaks down the back of my CPO it wasn’t that noticeable.
I would walk around campus during the day with him on my shoulder, asleep. Students I knew would walk by me and say hi without ever noticing I had an owl on my shoulder! It was the funniest thing. If I stopped to talk with someone and they actually noticed him I’d shrug my shoulder and he’d open one eye, turn his head 90 degrees and then turn back and close his eye.
Anyway one weekend there was a hypnotist on campus in the cafeteria. When I came to watch, with my owl on my shoulder, he had 7 subjects on a platform in the middle of the cafeteria and they were all hypnotized! He had instructed them all to do crazy things and they were performing on his command when my owl woke up, probably because it was almost twilight, and decided to fly to the top of the ceiling which was at least 30-40 feet above us. I had forgotten to attach his tether to my CPO. Everyone in the room watched as he hit the ceiling light and fluttered back down to within 10 feet of me and I scooped him up.
Not one of the hypnotized subjects was distracted even for a second, nor the hypnotist. They continued without a hiccup as if nothing was going on beyond their performances and I must say most all of the audience was glued to watching them ignoring my owl and me.
Until this happened I thought the hypnotism show was just a hoax but this made me think twice about what goes on with the mind of subjects of hypnotism.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 13, 2020:
T ~ I love your followup comments. As you said so well: "I’ve learned ... just about anyone can put forth any idea with a rationalization and there will be people out there who will believe it, pay to learn about it or even give their lives over to it. It doesn’t matter how looney or irrational, there are always some people who will buy into it as if it is what they have been waiting to find all their life."
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 13, 2020:
T ~ So you now have purchased two copies of my book. Why, you are even more awesome than I thought.
Loss of consciousness? Well, we all sleep. So we all lose consciousness naturally every day. Part of what my article touches on is people reporting NDEs when they were unconscious. We don’t remember the vast majority of our dreams. But we remember some of them. Of course, when unconscious the brain functions, keeping the body working while we sleep.
There is no doubt that “the mind can be made to give up control of the brain to another mind which would explain demon possession.” I don’t get into hypnosis much in my book but I do touch on the use of ritual repetitive music or drums, and rhythmic chants to produce mass hypnosis.
T on June 12, 2020:
I’ve learned, especially in today’s world of instant worldwide communication, just about anyone can put forth any idea with a rationalization and there will be people out there who will believe it, pay to learn about it or even give their lives over to it.
It doesn’t matter how looney or irrational, there are always some people who will buy into it as if it is what they have been waiting to find all their life.
That fact alone should make everyone skeptical of everything before diving in!
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 12, 2020:
Anonymous ~ As for the Power of Positive Thinking, in my book I write:
Phineas Quimby, who was also the forefather of hypnotism, invented the ‘Power of Positive Thinking,' and the "Law of Attraction,' among other New Age concepts.
It was Norman Vincent Peale who would become famous and wealthy from his book The Power of Positive Thinking. Since he was a licensed minister he brought such notions, and psychiatric concepts, into the Church. Peale admitted that his ideas came from, besides Quimby, occultists Ernest Holmes, Florence Scovell Shinn, and Charles Fillmore, the latter of whom claimed to be the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul.
Rhonda Byrne sold 19 million copies of her book The Secret, about the so-called ‘Law of Attraction.' If you are poor, have no job, sick or depressed, can't read, addicted to drugs or alcohol, abused or battered, in a lousy job, can't pay your bills, or facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, and ruin, the only reason for it is that you thought negative thoughts! Or have negative friends.
One famous women's health expert, Dr. Christiane Northrup, promotes the Law of Attraction: "The way the universe works is that we attract to us whatever we are vibrating." Does this mean victims of rape and murder were ‘vibrating' the crimes they suffered? Do negative thinkers walk in the rain right next to positive thinkers walking in the sunshine? If a plane crashes are only the negative thinkers killed?
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 12, 2020:
Anonymous ~ You asked about Meditation, with a capital M. I covered that in my last book, too, with these thoughts:
A clear thinking person might ask why on earth anybody basking in the unbelievable prosperity and freedom of Western Civilization, built on the shoulders of Christianity, would want to emulate the religions of the East that have been for millennia part of the cultures of the Third World—the poorest, most backward countries on Earth.
Well today, untold millions of Americans practice Transcendental Meditation or Yoga, which are part of the Eastern Mystic Religions. We must remember that there is meditation and there is Meditation—as in the Transcendental type.
Christian monks and laymen have always meditated. They would go to quiet place and reflect deeply about life and God and the world—what have been called First Things. Hindu Transcendental Meditation is not that. TM is to empty your mind of all thought so nothing blocks your reception of messages from spirit guides.
The man who made these particular parts of the larger Hindu religion all the rage in America was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who became famous after the Beatles made him their guru. When he first introduced Transcendental Meditation to my country, it quickly became part of the curriculum in public schools, colleges, and prisons. But then the Supreme Court rightly ruled it is a religion—duh!
The Maharishi admitted that his purpose was to use TM and Yoga to spread Hinduism around the globe—therefore it was illegal to be taught in public schools. No problem, the Maharishi and his followers—who called him His Holiness—changed their minds and said it was no longer a religion. It was now science! The Science of Creative Intelligence became the new name of TM and Yoga.
However, the truth is that every one of the gurus that have come to America has come as a missionary seeking converts to the Hindu religion. Only when the word ‘religion' became uncool did Meditation and Yoga suddenly become ‘not religion' but either ‘science,' ‘harmless stretching exercises,' ‘higher consciousness,' or a ‘health regiment.' Any label but religious.
The word ‘Yoga’ means “to yoke.” To yoke to what? To yoke, or join together, you and the Hindu gods. Yoga is the heart of Hinduism. Lord Krishna created it as the way to Hindu Heaven. The most feared demon-god of Hinduism is Shiva—the Lord of Yoga. The positions and breathing exercises are specifically designed to make you at one with the demon-god Brahman.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was quite open about the fact that he was introducing Hinduism to Americans. He said his purpose was to create “a legendary substance called soma in the meditator’s body so the gods of the Hindu pantheon could be fed and awakened.”
When the Court ruled TM and Yoga were religious, the United States Government, which had been financing its spread with taxpayer funds, pulled back and government schools stopped teaching it to our kids. Maharishi simply deleted all reference to Hinduism in his materials and renamed all of his corporations in 1974. The new articles of incorporation carefully excised the words ‘religious' and ‘spiritual' so the teaching of Hinduism could continue. This was deliberate deceit.
So what happens during Transcendental Meditation? Many people report receiving information from an unknown source, telepathic messages from another consciousness not your own. One Yoga master says a spirit guide named Hilarion, who blasphemously claims to be the Apostle Paul reincarnated, teaches him how to obtain the ‘third-eye chakra’ and ‘green ray qualities.’ I’ll just leave that right there.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 12, 2020:
Anonymous ~ As for my thoughts on reincarnation, once again, I expressed them in my most recent book:
Part of the Hindu system is reincarnation: the belief that you go on living after death but not as you. Instead you are reborn as another person or even an animal, depending on karma. This system is attractive because it eliminates Judgment Day and a personal God to whom you must give account.
Some people claim to remember past lives, but that is not because they have had previous existences. It is because demons know past people, places, and events. The New York Times in 1970 said: “Demons of the East are coming into the United States now, bringing with them the religious teachings and the occult arts with which they have long deceived the people there.”
Isn’t it odd that familiar spirits always encourage everyone to believe in Pantheism and reincarnation, while they discourage believing in the divinity of Christ, the Atonement, and Judgment Day? Any such message must be compared to God’s Word. Does the spirit ever say, “Pray for forgiveness in Jesus’ Name; repent of your sins; preach the Gospel; go to church; and study the Bible”?
The Father of Lies’ invention of reincarnation is designed to make you think you’ll have another chance. “You won’t be judged,” the Deceiver whispers, “There is no personal God to whom we must give an account of our lives.” If you think you remember past lives it is through demons—they were there in the past and can tell you all about it. You were not there.
Of course, the real purpose of teaching reincarnation is to cast doubt on what God says: “It is appointed unto men and women to die only once and after this comes the Judgment.”
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 12, 2020:
As for Wayne Dyer, I have not read any of his books. My understanding is that he may be responsible for some teachings that have tragically become widespread, based on his statement “What I tell people is don't be Christian, be Christ-like. I don't think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace.”
He is telling us not to be Christians. He is telling us all that matters is what Jesus taught. That is the opposite of genuine Christianity. Dyer sparked the “Don’t be religious, be spiritual movement,” which is New Age and Anti-Christian. He promoted the “All religions lead to the same place” concept, which is, of course, must be false since they do not even claim to lead to the same place.
As I write in my first book, ‘Jesus In The World:’
The big difference between the Christian Faith and all other religions is that the others are based on the TEACHINGS OF A PERSON such as Mohammed or Buddha; Christianity is founded on WHAT IS TAUGHT ABOUT THE PERSON of Christ. The Christian Faith is not about believing in His teachings; it is about believing in what is taught about Him. The Creeds of the Christians DO NOT MENTION the teachings of Jesus but instead articulate who He is.
It is not true that all religions are different paths to the same place. The founders of other religions were not rivals vying for the crown Jesus wears. Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, and Confucius never made the claims Jesus made. Only in the Christian Faith is the very Name of its founder said to possess supernatural power. Have you ever stopped to consider that besides God only the Name of Jesus Christ—and no other historical person—is used as profanity? What other founder of a religion lay down his life for his friends? Or more astoundingly: For his enemies?
The Christian Faith alone makes the astonishing assertion that the Creator of the World came down to Earth as a man. In no other religion is a man presented as God Incarnate. Jews do not think Moses to be Jehovah; the Muslims do not think Mohammed is Allah. Buddha did not believe in God.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 12, 2020:
As for Edgar Cayce, I touched on him in my most recent book, “What Does the Devil Do All Day?’ Here is what I wrote:
The man some call the founder of New Age Religion, Edgar Cayce, was declared to be what is known as a ‘Remote Viewer.’ His followers believe he could find information past or future through the ‘Akashic Records,’ which were defined by Alice A. Bailey as “an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet,” meaning all human events, thoughts, words, emotions, and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present, or future. Bailey added, “Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon: The life experiences of every human being since time began. Only a trained occultist can distinguish between actual experience and those astral pictures created by imagination and keen desire.”
Remote Viewing is a mental faculty that allows a ‘viewer’ to describe or give details about a target that is inaccessible to ordinary senses due to distance, time, or shielding. The U.S. Military even had a top-secret program to study the possible use of it in warfare, the Stargate Project.
Oprah Winfrey and Larry King featured remote viewers on their shows, such as Rosemary Altea, about whom Time magazine said, “She is a spiritual medium and a healer who, with her spirit guide, an Apache named Grey Eagle, communicates with spirits to heal, guide and console.”“
Professor Courtney Brown of Emery University is the most famous remote viewer today, perhaps besides Major Ed Dames of Psi Tech. Brown says scientists deny this power because “You have to understand that remote viewing is absolute proof that we’re more than our physical bodies.” Brown’s Farsight Institute exists “to demonstrate scientifically to all of us that life exists on both the physical and nonphysical realms." He believes that when any of us makes contact with a spirit being it is, in actuality, an extraterrestrial. He claims to converse with space aliens.”
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 12, 2020:
Dear Anonymous: Thank you for reading my article. Your awesome accolades have made my day. You ask if there is a difference between the souI and the mind. I have read where one big thinker says, “Our soul likely has three major components — our mind, will and emotions.”
Others say, “The soul is the spiritual nature of humankind. It is the incorporeal essence of humankind, and it is thought to be separable from the body at death. In life, it is credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion. The mind is man’s faculty of thinking, reasoning, and applying knowledge. It is human consciousness.”
Still others will say, “If you do an in depth study of the Greek on 'soul' and 'spirit' they are essentially the same thing. However they are different is that one is viewed heavenward, and one earthward. The soul is the essential life of man ‘looking earthward’ and the ‘spirit’ that same principle of life breathed (like wind) into man from God, that can look towards and experience God.”
While the definition of ‘mind’ is, “The part or faculty of a person by which one feels, perceives, thinks, remembers, desires, and imagines,” the definition of ‘soul’ is, “A part of humans regarded as immaterial, immortal, separable from the body at death, capable of moral judgment, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.”
So, I guess the answer is, “It depends.” On who you ask and how they define these words. It seems to me that the Bible considers a ‘soul’ to be a living creature, which would include animals. In this definition, an animal would have a soul but not a mind, only a brain, perhaps.
T on June 12, 2020:
I bought your book and can’t wait to read it. Actually this is the second time I bought it. The first time, months ago, I had it sent to my friend so he could read it and give it to me but then I forgot to get it.
I can accept the idea that the connection between the brain and the mind can be damaged but that assumes the mind is functioning but the brain just isn’t processing the thoughts of the mind correctly. But then how do we explain loss of consciousness? In your example the mind hasn’t lost consciousness because the brain is malfunctioning but if the brain say is temporarily out iof commission like fainting or a concussion why does the mind lose consciousness?
If it is separate why would the loss of the connection affect it. One conclusion I can think of is the connection to the brain has to be in tact for us to use the mind except in death.
This connection between the mind and the brain Is an enigma. I wonder if the key to hypnosis lies in manipulating this connection because a hypnotized person has a fully functioning brain but does not appear to be controlled by the subject’s mind but more like control is given to the Hypnotist’s mind.
Maybe the mind can be made to give up control of the brain to another mind which would explain demon possession, dissociative identity disorder and even other psychotic disorders.
Have you ever thought about that?
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 12, 2020:
T ~ Thank you for coming over to see my latest work. And you are quite welcome. I very much appreciate your pledge to buy my book. Now that makes my day.
You ask some profound questions: “Why is it that when we lose brain function due to physical brain damage like to memory or the ability to perform various brain functions that our mind appears to be affected also though it is not of the physical realm? … Why can a brain injury cause us to lose consciousness?”
I would say a brain injury impairs the connection to the mind. My mother had a stroke a few years ago. She is alive, and happy enough. But when she speaks if often comes out as gibberish. Now, it is not gibberish to her. She knows what she is saying. Her thoughts are not gibberish. But her brain garbles them on the way out of her mouth in a way that she cannot control. She gets very frustrated by this. What comes out is not what she told her vocal cords to express.
Your comments linking the placebo effect with the market for natural herbs and all is well taken. I have tried some, such as Goli and Forskolin.
I am glad you enjoyed this Hub. Godspeed.
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 11, 2020:
Tom Cornett ~ I sure appreciate you taking the time to read my article, Mind Over Matter. I enjoyed your thoughtful insights and thank you for them. I have no doubt that you are right: "A massive bias against any kind of spirituality is present in most universities and has bled down though even our basic education systems."
And that has been to the detriment of all involved, the students, and the society at large.
I am greatly encouraged by your awesome accolades on my work. Thanks again, Tom.
T on June 10, 2020:
Well God bless anonymity!
I for one am all for it! (As you know :-)
James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 10, 2020:
I received a private message from someone who wants to comment on this article anonymously. I told him I would post his words. Here they are:
"Mind Over Matter Does Your Mind Exist Apart From Your Brain.
A very well written article, James, one of your best!
If I may add some thoughts:
Is our mind and soul, One?
The practice of martial arts is intended to bring together our mind, soul and body.
It is believed that they are “One” at birth. But through time. and experiences, some bad,
they separate. Certain martial arts are intended to have a goal to bring the three together.
Cacye even speaks of this in regards to reincarnation. That we have a chance to achieve
a positive and correct relationship with God, to get it Right, through reincarnation after failing in previous lives. His son’s book “On Reincarnation” is quite explanative.
It is highly unlikely that anybody can prove reincarnation is real.
If real, our minds are controlled, in part, to correct an error in our past lives.
The separation from our mind, soul and body creates a difficulty in correcting our “past.”
Our mind is also influenced by events we experienced. For the sake of this discussion I will refer to it as “bad” experiences.
Whether we remember these events matters little. Our mind has been programmed.
These events can define how people see us due to our “programming.” The can affect who we are and how we behave, think, react or otherwise deal with life. They can be the reason we don’t succeed, or completely fail.
This includes experiencing PTSD for events we have blocked out, or remember, but can’t correct.
Wayne Dyers book “Your Sacred Self” addresses many of these events. But I think only
those we remember.
For those “blocked” events chances are that only hypnotism can reveal that which we have hidden.
Our experiences cannot be eliminated through hypnotism, though, only revealed.
Then it is the hypnotists efforts to make understand that bad experiences “aren’t our fault” as in “Good Will Hunting.” But more so to eliminate the programming from
Meditaion - “Transendental” is most effective, Jose Silva’s “Mind Control” can be very helpful in dealing with a number of issues, including health. Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power Of Positive Thinking” can have a tremendous affect. (I need to read it again).
But I will not leave out “Prayer.” The most important method of helping ourselves. Sadly our past experiences can make success through prayer difficult.
Some time ago there was a sales pitch on prayer being as effective as meditation. They wanted too much money and I didn’t feel like paying for it. It seems most people do not know how to properly pray.
And I can say that I do not believe in reincarnation but rather think it might be possible.
These are merely my thoughts, Jim."
T on June 10, 2020:
Hello again! Thank you for such an excellent read! You sold me on “What Does The Devil Do All Day” I will buy that book!
I agree with all this James but I still have questions I can't explain as I am sure you may too. Maybe you have figured this out and can enlighten me.
If our mind is separate from our brain, the brain being purely physical and our mind being spiritual why is it that when we lose brain function due to physical brain damage like to memory or the ability to perform various brain functions that our mind appears to be affected also though it is not of the physical realm?
If "the truth is that your thoughts originate apart from the physical brain. Consciousness is not material; it exists outside the domain of science." Then why can a brain injury cause us to lose consciousness?
If when the physical brain dies our consciousness, our mind, survives, why does our mind seem to be governed by our brain while the brain is alive. If the brain is injured we don't have a seperate awareness of the mind. Near death experiences do suggest the mind goes on but only after death.
It seems if we do have a mind independent of the brain as you suggest it isn't so independent, is it?
Now on a side note you say "There is no money in placebos for drug companies."
While that may be true for drug companies there are tons of companies marketing "natural" products that may or may not have any effect that they claim but who make fortunes on the placebo effect. You hear them advertising everyday on the radio or TV. Try risk free, for a limited time they throw in an extra bottle or give a special discount.
If their sales pitch works on 1,000,000 people you can bet 40% of them will think it worked because of the placebo effect so instead of making $20,000,000 on 1 million people they make $8,000,000 on 400,000 people. The point is they are making all their money on the placebo effect!
All they have to do is sell more people to be guaranteed a 40% success rate because of the placebo effect and the product could be a piece of worthless junk.
Ever try these products that are endlessly advertised for decades as new and improved? I have and none of them ever did what they promised or suggested. Yet they are still in business solely because of the placebo effect!
Great topic James, you never disappoint!
Tom Cornett from Ohio on June 10, 2020:
As Roger Scruton says, “What is deepest and most lasting in our lives is religious faith, erotic love, friendship, family ties, and the enjoyment of art, music, and literature.” I so agree with this and yet people are so divided mentally and spiritually. A massive bias against any kind of spirituality is present in most universities and has bled down though even our basic education systems. Biased science has all but taken mind and spirit out of, "Body, Mind and Spirit." I've often wondered if it makes them feel better or numb when they witness human atrocities because they believe we are just flesh and bones? You sum it up well with, "Only we can worship and communicate with God. You have a treasure of wisdom in this article James. Good work.