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19.1. Important in several ways

I want you to realise the «weight» of the project. It is not a philosophical game but a matter of deepest seriousness.

Those who believe the world is material have controlled and developed society over the last few hundred years. It has brought us where we are today.

There can be no doubt that we are in the process of steering nature and society towards a collapse. To prevent such a catastrophe, we must understand what compels it, and then we must understand ourselves because we are the cause.

It's urgent.

The materialists share responsibility with the church and others who deal with the human psyche. They, too, must be reformed. This book is, at its core, a rebellion.

Reformation 2.0.

It is a fight for common sense.

That's how it should be said!

Speaking of the Reformation, I was in Halle, southwest of Berlin in former East Germany, a few years ago. My father comes from there, and we were with other family members on a trip to old stomping grounds.

We were in the Marktkirche on the central square of Halle an der Saale.

In this church, Martin Luther held three ceremonies in 1545 and 1546. The last was January 26, 1546, just a few weeks before he died on February 19 of that year, aged 62, in the neighbouring village of Eisleben.

His body was immediately transported to the Marktkirche before going a few miles to the funeral in Wittenberg, the neighbouring town where in 1517, he had posted his famous theses.

One day after his death, the night between February 20 and 21, 1546, the body lay at the bottom of one of the church's two towers. Here it was Luther's friend, the church minister Justus Jonas, who seized the opportunity and had a death mask made.

My German uncle, who had the pondus and charisma to open locked gates, explained to the present church servant that the group of tourists who had just entered her church room had strong ties to the city, from the time of communism and German division.

They joked and laughed in a dialect I will never understand, and shortly after that, we were allowed to enter the tower.

There lay the mask.

Luther's authentic face.

One of Germany's and the world's most «significant» treasures, in the same place as in February 1546. Possibly (certainly), it was a copy, but still.

I spend time on this to make a point.

Luther reformed the Christian church and is, in a sense, co-responsible for the distinction that necessarily followed between the material and the spiritual.

Luther's rational way of thinking forced the church away from controlling everything in human life, as it had continuously strived for since Christianity became the state religion in the Roman Empire around 400 AD.

Luther's protest against the Catholic Church's use of material and psychological force paved the way for both the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution that created the society we live in and struggle with today.

This book is about the same schism.

Luther set man free from the supremacy of the Catholic Church, but the result was a divided man, with one part in the spiritual and another in the material.

It happened out of historical necessity, but the same necessity exists, in my opinion, even today, with the opposite sign.

Both religions and the sciences have demonstrated that they can not do it alone. None of them can give a complete representation of the world.

Only living people can do that.

A living human being is not divided but whole.

That is how we are born.

That is what we are.

Then we are forced into this split paradigm. We must believe in one thing or another. God or Mammon. At the same time, we are still whole inside us, in truth.

The result is that we become confused, mentally ill, physically ill.

We feel powerless because we see no solution.

We are walking around in a state of scarcity and conflict.

It hurts. The Germans have a word that I think fits; weltschmerz, world pain.

Those who try to live completely, and integrate the conflicting views of life into themselves, often become dogmatic, afraid that the construction will collapse and that people will see how fragile their foundation is.

They defend themselves with laws and rules, an artificial structure of strange logic and authority – to keep the difficult questions at bay.

They defend themselves in fear.

Freud, and not least Jung, discovered the importance of this.

The vast majority of people in the Western world today live in this schism, in a fundamental fear of what the world truly is.

What they themselves are.

That is why Luther is important. Therefore, it is time for a new reformation. Consequently, we must openly ask what a human being actually is. We must dare to look for the answer. Otherwise, I'm afraid we'll go wrong. And then I speak not as a revival preacher but as a generally enlightened, scientifically oriented, but also spiritual person.

Like yourself.

The schism between religion and science is not insoluble.

The world is still one.

Everything can be traced back to the same thing.

We just have to understand it right, not make artificial distinctions and dogmas.

Science has developed a method for studying everything in the external, seemingly objective world producing neutral knowledge.

It must be possible to use the same method to study the subjective. The subjective and the objective must be understood with the same methods and principles.

It must be possible to show how the two essentially different categories of spirit and matter are connected scientifically.

It is not dangerous, other than for all the world's priests and dogmatists who defend man-made «laws» that they claim come from God.

These dogmatic religions stand in the way, not because they deny science anything, but because they insist on a form of control over human thinking that both confuses and creates fear of going into difficult questions.

Science, on the other hand, is also dogmatic.

A culture has developed where it is «dangerous» to ask what the world is in essence.

They know well that the physical and material methods do not give any good answers.

Instead, one sticks to the functional, which can give commercial results, more research funds, confirming and enhancing existing knowledge.

But if you step into the subjective, it is considered taboo. You risk not being taken seriously, not getting research funding and possibly jeopardising your career.

It is an unheard of, provocative, unworthy situation.

It is humiliating for everyone.

Highly educated scientists, intellectual theologians and most people are kept in artificial booths.

They fear free thinking.

They fear what can and must happen if we are not to destroy ourselves as a race because we do not understand what the world is in truth and how it must be «operated» to remain harmonious.

Yes, it is an important topic.

To me, this is the underlying insight that has compelled this book.

I try to do exactly what I preach, namely to think freely about the whole world.

We are many.

Osho is perhaps the most spiritually enlightened person of our time (he died in 1990) who has most clearly explained this schism between religion and science. He believes that science has «won» by developing its methods and enormous amounts of knowledge.

Religions were once alive but are now cemented in dogmas for hundreds of years. The scientific methods must be applied to the inner, subjective, as he explains in this short video.

I must add that in my family, three prominent figures have contributed significantly to this «struggle» for the spiritual. Petter Dass, Hans Nielsen Hauge and bishop Jens Schjelderup in Bergen on the west coasts of Norway.

It may not interest non-Norwegian readers, but let me say a few words about the latter, Jens Schjelderup.

He was a physician and physics professor from Copenhagen but was appointed bishop in Norway's second-largest city just a few years after Luther's death.

He took Luther seriously and wanted to purge the church of flashy decorations and expensive pictures.

Bergen City Council refused, and it ended in conflict.

When the 500th anniversary of the Reformation was celebrated in 2017, Schjelderup's name was highlighted.

The three distant relatives had the same basic idea, to set free the spiritual in man. Give man back to himself and God, awaken him to understand that all power lies in the subjective self, not in an external body of power or dogmatic authority.

They stand in the tradition of Thomas, the «doubter»6 in the Bible. He said that the kingdom of God exists in the private, personal, subjective experience, not in an external organisation such as the church.

The heretic Giordano Bruno is another.

He was born in Italy around the time of Luther's death and is best known for his cosmological theory that stars are actually suns with their own planets.

The theory was radical, but the reason was another when he was burned alive as a heretic at the Campo de 'Fiori in Rome in 1600. Bruno did not believe in God as a being, a creature, an object. He was a pantheist.

God and the universe are the same, Bruno said.

That cost him his life.

Luther's, Thomas's, and Bruno's projects are identical to mine, without comparing otherwise.

We are many.

It is bad manners to burn people in our day, but concealment and domination techniques never go out of style.

Suppose we are to take seriously that the world is idealistic, and in my opinion, there are no alternatives. In that case, we must also acknowledge that thoughts, ideas and attitudes are of critical importance.

My family accommodates people who have had these thoughts.

I stand on the shoulders of people with a marked mindset that has evolved over the centuries, ever since the Reformation.

The schism between spirit and matter is topicality in a part of my family, not directly expressed but preserved through the subtle but powerful mechanisms that govern thoughts, and thereby also everything material – the laws of complexity.

I do not expect you to see the full depth in such a perspective immediately.

But whether you are a historian, sociologist, ethnologist, psychologist or the like, there is a great, unexplored potential in understanding the private subjective, social and humanistic world with the chaos laws of physics, which in turn come from the underlying mental chaos laws.

When I feel my project is forcing itself to realisation out of necessity, it is only out of – necessity. That is the meaning of the word necessity.

Are you convinced we need to find out who you and I are?

To work!

It's going to be interesting.

The question we are now going to answer has enormous dimensions.

Who are you?

I will try to answer it in two ways.

First is a thought experiment, i.e. an attempt to find a rational and logical «solution».

Then we will hold this up against what may exist of knowledge – scientific and other.

The goal is, as it is throughout the whole book, to make credible that what we are thinking is correct.

Does this method have a name?

It is a form of induction with subsequent verification or falsification. I have no idea; I have hardly any formal schooling in philosophy or the scientific method.

Neither did Thomas, Luther, Bruno, Dass, Hauge or the bishop of Bergen, except that the latter was, in fact, also a physicist.

Their profession was primarily another, but they allowed themselves to think. The world today is happy that they did.

At the time, they opposed the church. Today, I oppose both organised religions and science in an attempt to heal both.

Ok, ok, ok. I am slightly overzealous about this topic, as were probably Luther & co too. And not least, the bishop of Bergen. To get his message out, he wrote a small book aimed at ordinary people, who were primarily farmers, fishermen and the poor.

In the scripture, he dramatised a dialogue between a priest and a farmer – in which the priest condemns images of saints.

It also resulted in a play performed twice at the city theatre. Dramatisation was considered one of the best pedagogical methods at that time.

I do not expect that this book will ever be performed on a stage, but you never know.

That – was the siding about the importance of the project.

Now, let's get back on track.