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The Practical Side of Heaven by William C. Kiefert

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About the Author

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New National Geographic series: “The Story of God”

A Rabbi (Deborah Schuldenfrei), a Pastor (Toure Roberts) and an Imam (Jihad Turk) walk into a bar… or in this case, a diner. The subject of their conversation is “The Story of God” – the new National Geographic Channel series starring Morgan Freeman – and the big question, “Who is God?” Here are some of the answers they offer in this promo for the series, released last week.

Global Peace Film Festival: Sep. 19-25, 2016

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For the past 13 years, the Global Peace Film Festival has united film lovers and filmmakers at the exciting hotspot where creative media is igniting positive change in local communities and worldwide. This September at the Orlando area’s Rollins College, Winter Park Public Library and Valencia College, the 14th annual Global Peace Film Festival will once again showcase powerful films that are reshaping the world.

A top-rated non-profit corporation, The Global Peace Film Festival owes a great deal of its success to its extraordinary volunteer corps.

“We need ushers, drivers, schleppers and helpers. As a volunteer, you can see the festival from the inside out.

Growing Consciousness

Ilona Anne Hress facilitates environments of unconditional loving by providing guidance, understanding, and application of higher-dimensional experiences to reach beyond human suffering. She approaches the challenges of personal and planetary healing with a practical joy that promotes self-transcendence.

Enjoy Carl Swan’s Tree Song

Thanks to the power of YouTube, I am able to share this great medicine, and the story behind it. It comes from Carl Swan, and his story begins:

“This is a song that came to me about 5 years ago when things weren’t exactly going the way I had envisioned them to be. I was at one of the lowest times of my life and when that happened I turned especially to the gift I was given and my drum. Rather then thinking about myself in what i was going through, I sat alone and looked towards the sweat lodge near the bushes and thought about what the world was going through. The world as i know it is home to my children, knowing that I am alive and my children are alive, breathing the same air that i breathe.”

Visit Carl’s YouTube listing for more of this story; enjoy.

Introducing Shots of Awe

It’s a pleasure to showcase this content from the Shots of Awe YouTube channel. The video featured here entitled “Nonconformity and the Creative Life” is a great introduction, and here’s more of a description from the creators themselves.

“Ever ponder the miracle of life? Or perhaps wonder about the evolution of intelligence? In Shots of Awe, ‘Performance Philosopher’ Jason Silva chases his inspiration addiction as he explores these topics and more. Every week Jason freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz.

Enjoy life’s best medicine

In researching subject matter to share with you all, this is something I’ve had on the list for awhile. Where does it fit in with Gnostic Christianity? If you know, please chime in! I am including it under this broader philosophy I personally embrace: If it’s good to you, it’s got to be good for you.

Madisyn_Taylor

Best-selling author, designer and co-founder of DailyOM, Madisyn Taylor.

Writing for her site DailyOM.com back in 2012, best-selling author Madisyn Taylor shared a thoughtful post about laughing meditation, beginning her piece with these words: “When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment and transcend stress.”

Behind-the-scenes of GnosticChristianity.com

Dr. John F. Miller, III

This post is dedicated to the illustrious Dr. John F. Miller, III, Ph.D., Philosophy, who has taught at higher institutions including St. Petersburg College since 1991, and has been instrumental in the development of much of the content presented here and in the book, “The Practical Side of Heaven.

“Dr. John” (as we all know him) came into Bill Kiefert’s life at a time when Bill’s own writings had been limited, in his own words, by his writing abilities. The funny story is that after a conversation in which I encouraged Bill to enlist the strengths of a local university (my idea had been for him to try to apply for an honorary degree based upon his life’s work), Bill’s approach was to run an ad in the local paper, “Philosopher Wanted.

GnosticChristianity.com Guest Book

We’ve accumulated thousands of comments over the years (and over 360,000 site views). You can see the guest book entries here.

Inspiration from scientist Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a scientist and self-proclaimed truth vigilante who is leading some very important new discussions on the subject of naturalism and the meaning of life. Here’s a quote of his to whet your appetite: “The world keeps happening in accordance with its rules; it’s up to us to make sense of it and give it value.” His website is http://preposterousuniverse.com.

Below I am sharing more of the transcript from the phenomenal video I’m embedding above. To me it’s a fascinating lesson, and one that would have thrilled Mr. Kiefert, the creator of this website.

Excerpted from Sean Carroll’s “The Meaning of Life” (all rights reserved by the original copyright holder).

The world is one thing, the natural world, and it can be understood. This is very counter-intuitive; it is not at all obvious, this naturalism claim. You are made of atoms; you are made of cells which are made of molecules which are made of atoms, and as physicists, we know how atoms behave. The laws of physics covering the behavior of atoms are completely understood: You put an atom in a certain set of circumstances, you tell me what the circumstances are, as a physicist I will tell you what the atoms will do.

If you believe that the atoms that are inside your brain and your body act differently because they are in a living person than if they are in a rock or a crystal, then what you are saying is that the laws or physics are wrong. That they need to be altered because of the influence of a spirit or a soul or something like that. That may be true. Science can’t disprove that… but there is no evidence for it. And you get a much stronger explanatory framework by assuming that it’s just atoms obeying the laws of physics.

Paul’s Five Stage Model In the Development of Rational Consciousness by William C. Kiefert

The Practical Side of Heaven

The Practical Side of Heaven


Copyright William C. Kiefert. All Rights Reserved.

Originally written on July 30, 2003.

The idea of stages in consciousness has existed since antiquity. Hindu models begin with the householder stage and end with Moksha. The Buddha teaches the five noble truths. Islam teaches the five Nafs. And today, Abraham Maslow, Teithard deChardin, Joseph Campbell, and many other psychologists teach what are, in principle, similar models.

Unlike others who base stages of consciousness on historical, spiritual, or moral development, St. Paul alone bases his model on rational development. Paul knew that everything is one. He, therefore, understood that what we call spiritual or heart-felt thoughts are what we could today call undeveloped nonjudgmental rational thoughts. Understanding the modern theory of reality is the key to Stage IV in Paul’s five stage model of rational consciousness because it justifies a nonjudgmental system of logical laws, and in turn, nonjudgmental reasoning and a consciousness of oneness.