Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Age of New Reason

I had one of my favorite type of dreams last night,
a time-travel one. In this dream, the details are
murky, since I didn't write them down. But, the
memorable essence, as is typical of these dreams,
is the remarkable sensory impressions of being
physically present in a totally foreign ancient
time. In this dream, it was the early 19th Century,
and the only other clear memory was that I
was in the presence of Thomas Paine.

Even without recalling any meaningful event,
I can see his rooms, even with a fireplace
roaring, and i even recall his twinkling and
kind eyes.

I know. Why?

I sometimes fill days with reading history, so,
the fact that Paine is familiar to me and would
lodge in my subconscious isn't surprising. I am
someone whose Christianity was influenced by
growing up in Philadelphia, enamoured by the
city's history, and more specifically, it's Quaker

Paine was a theist, and renounced the belief
in Christ as Savior, so he was generally vilified
by the same Quakers and culture. His beliefs,
piety, and dedication to humanism and good
works were more linear with modern Judaism
than Christianity, so he was renounced as a

The Paine I encountered appeared duly
enlightened. After meeting him in my dream,
I understood why the top clerics of the age were
obsessed with obtaining his confession of faith
towards the end of his life. In every way, he
seemed like a prophet, and influenced the world's
culture in significant ways.

Like the clergy and pious Christians of his day,
I share a similar remorse and concern that he
closed the door to Christ, but, we each have our
own destiny and relationship with God.

Still, I felt a kinship with him, as I do with many
who I feel are otherwise enlightened more than
my brethren in the faith, who share my beliefs,
but, are often too dogmatic in their approach to both
Christ and everything else, while professing and
exalting an air of smug confidence that they possess
the true keys.

Thinking about Paine this morning, I remembered
a very unique friendship I developed with another
unusual kindred spirit. He was a nearly 90 year
old blind German Jew, who lived in California, and his
name was Dr. Bronner. He was Albert Einstein's
first cousin, but, unlike his mother's nephew, his
family suffered the horrors of Nazi Germany.
He told me of his mother's particularly heartbreaking
death. He knew these details because he was very
psychic, and I'll get to that later.

The Einstein cousins in the USA started a soap
company. I think it was originally Einstein-Bronner.
Bronner soaps are AMAZING. They are organic, pure,
and the highest quality at a low price. Those familiar
with the brand, have encountered the ubiquitous
scrolling philosophy and religious sentiments
he filled the labels with. That's how I actually
got to know him. There was a teeeeeensy phone
number of the company on the bottom of the
label, and I called it. HE ANSWERED! Who
would expect that? I asked if he always
answered, but, as usual, his answer was
cryptic, indicating that he was waiting for
me, alone, but, I knew he was full of it.

We'd speak for hours and hours late at night.
It was three hours different, and even then,
it didn't matter. We'd get off the phone at
2 AM his time. He hated the culture of
California, and the young people he saw
as being vapid and airheads. He was
enthralled with a group a Philly teenagers
who were mystics and seekers, even if
we were otherwise your typical Jesus
freaks. We departed from our brethren
because we still sought the darker mysteries,
and were obsessed with finding the path
of truth, retracing the steps of the founders
of the nation, and their affiliations with
secret societies. There wasn't anything
too weird for us, but, this was in the
days of the irreverent Robert Anton
Wilson, and he opened up the doors for
our own investigations.

Bronner certainly didn't share our views
on many things, but, he adored talking to
us because we dared to go there. He wanted
to fix me up with his grandson. He even
said that after we set up our society, he'd
send him to us. LOL. I wondered if he
was cute?

I think about this dear soul from time to time, because,
talk about enlightened... this man who was Albert
Einstein's first cousin was the only infallible psychic
that I ever encountered. Though he was blind,
he could see things that were clearer than those
with eyes. It amused and annoyed him that
I was constantly putting him to the test for
the entertainment of my friends. I'd call him, and
I must say, he was sweet on me. We'd never met,
but, he knew what I looked like and described me
to a tee. In the days before caller ID, he
knew I was calling from Philadelphia.

Here's how I stunned my friends, though, with
the demonstration of his mind-blowing accuracy.
I'd have them write down questions, and before
they were finished writing, he'd start answering
them in chilling detail.

I think of him because he was the one who turned
me on to Thomas Paine. He wanted my friends and
me to revise a society of sorts in Philly, and used
to get animated and so happy discussing it. He
was wonderful.

Bronner, considered himself an Essene Jew, which
was convoluted into a new agey hodge-podge which
included his beliefs on UFOs. But, I'll tell you what,
he opened my eyes to the fact that UFOs are more
possibly from the spiritual realm than neighboring
star systems. He used to call Earth a spaceship.
He sounds off, but, he was very interesting, and
brilliant. He had a thick German Jewish accent,
but, unlike many German Jews who had more of
a Yiddish accent, he had more of a patrician German
accent, with the guttural rolling rs.

What impressed me with him, and what makes men
like Paine stand out enough for me to carry them
in my memory and subconscious is that they don't
let the accepted concepts of things stop them from
seeking greater clarity. I may not agree with Paine's
conclusion that Christ's blood was not necessary
for redemption, or in Bronner's assertions in a
belief for a New Age Millennium of enlightenment,
but, I am blessed to be able to come away from
absorbing their views with my own enhanced

Sometimes listening to others helps me to refine
my own point of view, whether it is religious, or
scientific and philosophical. Often, it help me to
strengthen my Christian views to read Paine, because,
as brilliant as he was, and as clear as his other visions,
like Bronner, they don't have the vision that I have.

It's in this sharing of idea that Bronner and Paine
believed in the most. For this reason, I carry these
two exceptional men around with me, touching back
to things they said, or their way of seeing, and it
has in turn helped to give me unique views.

Like Paine, although I am an avid believer in
Jesus Christ, I have been often chastised by
ministers and elders, for my individual views
on many things that are contrary to their fixed
catechisms and doctrine. They have all but
given up on my inability to be shepherded in
one denomination.

We don't have to all have the identical beliefs,
either, for us to not judge one another, or be
assured that someone else is going to Hell.
First of all, we don't know who God will have
mercy on, when it is time for him to judge
men. All I am comfortable with is what has
struck a chord with my soul, mainly that I
believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,
who was the promised Messiah, son of King
David, scion of Abraham and Adam, who
became the Lamb of God, in accordance to
the Law, and God's Plan of redemption and

I believe that through Him alone are the
Keys to Heaven and Hell, and that by Him,
were all things created. The invisible God,
is manifest in Him. He created man, and then
opened His Covenant, by inviting the species
vanquished from paradise, back towards the
way, by the covenants he forged with Abraham,
his friend, and then through the lessons of
the Law, that He instilled by Moses. The Law
showed us the nature of our mortality and
sin, virtue and repentance, but, it also
ultimately condemned our souls, for none
lives completely spotless lives, and if God
is perfect, there must be a bridge of
grace in order for us to truly fellowship
with a Holy God.

To many people, even enlightened men,
like Thomas Paine, this became foolishness
and superstitious mumbo-jumbo that he
felt was almost evil because it impeded the
growth of men. He felt that unless we can
overcome the superstitions of dogmatic
religion, we could not embrace science, and
in his day, he was right.

A strange thing has happened, however,
in our own unique era of history, from
the 20th Century to today. Science has
begun to validate Biblical values, more and
more. This is a topic which would require me
to write for months, and I don't need to
justify my views right now, only my opinion
that scientific advancements CONFIRM
God's existence, and even the truths that
Jesus Christ and the Prophets espoused.

In Paine's day, they had no guarantee that
Christ or the Apostles, prophets, and Bible,
were more than allegory.

We have now had many opportunities to
see scientific and archaeological evidence that
confirms these original civilizations and events.
The skeptics will always deny, but, for those
looking for real enlightenment, we have never
been in a better age for that to unfurl, and in
a way that philosophers and scientists, religious
dreamers and seekers of the past ages, only
dreamed of being able to access.

The only thing we need to do is keep an open
mind, and pray for wisdom.

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