Greg Kasarik

"Act with Empathy"
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The Principles

The "Principles" are the core around which I am building a religious and spiritual philosophy that I hope will become the foundation of a new type of spiritual practice, in which humility of uncertainty replaces arrogance of dogmatism and certitude.


"I am" - Descartes

"All I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates 

The only thing we can ever truly know is our the fact of our own existence.

Several hundred years ago, Descartes, who was one of the greatest thinkers in history and the one of the fathers of modern philosophy concluded that there was only one thing that we could ever know for sure and that was that we existed. He famously expressed his thoughts in the dictum, "I think, therefore I am".
Descartes' expression of the statement takes into account the reality of all creatures that can think, even if they can't use language.
But a for me, the concept is expressed much more elegantly through the simple affirmation, "I am". This self awareness is the core of sentience and the basic building block upon which all experience and understanding is constructed.
However, it is important to realise that the simple statement "I am" can lead to no other truth, beyond those that are logically entailed by the fact that you exist. For example, the fact that you can think is entailed by the fact that you can express the thought "I am". But beyond this sort of stating the obvious, there are no conclusions that can be drawn about the nature of the universe, or reality. For example, there is no way to get from its expression to the existence of God. Descartes attempted to do this in his Meditations on First Philosophy and I am not aware of anyone who regards his argument as sound, or valid.
With the expeption of mathematical and logical truths, the Uncertainty Principle tells us that all knowledge is provisional and that nothing can be held to be an ultimate "Truth". It behooves us all to understand this and to express a degree of humilty about what those things for which we are "certain".
The truth is that we can never "know" anything.
In stating "I am" and accepting it as the certain foundation of our worldview, we are all tempted to go several steps further and hold that "What I experience must also be true". But this should never be the case. All you can be certain of is that you exist at the moment that you utter the statement. Beyond this you can claim nothing.
For example, can you be 100% certain that you didn't just come into existence half way through the reading the last sentence? Of course not. While there are a whole range of memories that you can point to and would swear that you had experienced in exactly the same way as you are experiencing the present moment, you can never know this for certain. the simple fact is that however unlikely it might be, you very well might be only three seconds old.
While being only three seconds old might seem a bit farfetched, consider other possibilities that should undermine any certitude with respect to what can genuinely be known. For example, is the universe "real"? Descartes, in establishing his thesis that the only thing that we could ever know for certain was our own existence raised the posibility that a demon might have taken control of his senses and be simply feeding him imaginary sights, sounds and experiences that he then took to be reality. In effect, he recognised the possibility that he might exist in a "Matrix" like world centuries before the movie makers were born.
Indeed, many people believe that it is highly likely that we live in a simulated universe. Given the advancements in computer technology, it certainly doesn't seem implausible that future generations will achieve the ability to create fully realistic and lifelike simulations of reality. If at the same time they also were to achieve an understanding of how to greatly extend the human lifespan, might they not seek to live life and experience adventure and excitement within the safe realms of the computer generated world, rather than risk death through attempting it in the potentially fatal realms of their own reality?
While it is common sense to live this life as if it were real and one would be foolish to sacrifice their life or to act in a manner contrary to one's understanding of reality, the Uncertainty Principle should undermine any arrogance we may have about our beliefs, or any conceit that our answers are "THE" answers.
The Uncertainty Principle applies to all beings. Sentience lies within existence, not the other way around. Sentience can not have bought existence into being, as sentience is itself a form of existence. Thus all sentience arises out of, or is at best, identical to a foundational structure of existence. 
However, the underlying structure of this foundation is forever hidden from the sentient being. The "how" and "why" of existence can never be truly answered, except to acknowledge that the very fact that something exists seems to make it impossible for nothing to be able to exist. Despite the claims of many religious people that God bought everything into existence, this can not be the case, as God's existence still needs to be explained.
The underlying foundations of reality are what we call "Metaphysics" and when discussing metaphysics, all possible realities are viable and up for grabs. This is because there is no effective way to determine whether one, or another of the proposed metaphysical reality is true. Because metaphysical realities lie outside of the universe to which they give birth, an inhabitant of that universe is left merely speculating about the underlying nature of reality with no way of ever being able to confirm which one actually applies.
For example, all things being equal, it is impossible to tell whether our particular universe was created by some sentient being, or not. A person could just as easily hold that events occuring in our universe are the result of a series of physical laws, or the interventions of a sentient being. If one holds that a sentient being did create our universe, there is no way of telling whether it was a god, computer scientist, or Descartes' demon that fashioned it into existence.
And even if we could identify the nature of the being that fashioned us into existence, that being also resides within its own metaphysical reality, of which it must similarly remain ignorant. 
Once again, this realisation should give us pause for thought, particularly if we are intent on causing harm to ourselves, or others based on a particular metaphysical understanding of the universe. Indeed given the literally infinite number of possible worlds for us to inhabit, odds are that any metaphysical theory you come up with is significantly wrong in ways beyond your comprehension.
god can never know that god is God.
The Divine Principle is an example of the Uncertainty Principle in action. It is important becuase it highlights the limitations that must constrain any being, even one that would aspire to be god.
Every consciousness is limited by the fact that it cannot know anything outside of its conscious awareness. It is impossible to prove that God doesn't exist and this truth applies for every conscious being. As such, god can never know that he is truely God and this is a logically unavoidable constraint on omniscience, so claiming that god knows that he is God, because of omniscience simply doesn't work.
You are either Eternal or not, but can never know which. 
You are either everything, or you are nothing. You are either Infinite, or you are not. But the problem is that the Uncertainty Principle means that you can never know whether you are Infinite, or not. We have already seen how the Uncertainty Principle ensures that not even god can ever know if he is really God. In a similar way, no being including a god can ever know if it is truly infinite and eternal. For example, no being can ever know if the metaphysical reality in which it resides isn't going to suddenly erase the universe in which they exist.
Once you are dead, you are no longer sentient, and knowing anything ceases to have relevance. 
This principle is significant, because it highlights the reality that the possibility of death is very real for all sentients. There is no sentient, including those that might like to think of themselves as gods, for whom the spectre of death is removed.
While no being can ever know if it is Eternal, there is a price to pay whichever case may apply. For sentients that aren't eternal, the price is oblivion. For those that are, the price is Omniscience. For those eternal beings that fail to move towards Omniscience, the price is ultimately a sort of deathless existence, where nothing new is contemplated and a sort of eternal stasis ensues, where stagnation and ultimate cessation of awareness is the inevitable result.
For many omniscience might seem like a small burden to pay. But omniscience doesn't just mean knowing everything that there is to know. But knowledge isn't just a simple listing of facts. If it were, encylopedeas would be sentient. Rather Omniscience entails experiencing everything that it is possible to experience. At the very least, Omniscience will entail experiencing the lives of every sentient that has ever lived on this planet, and potentially every sentient that has ever lived in the universe.
The reason for this is the nature of the Infinite. It is an understatement to say that it is gobsmackingly, overwhelmingly big. It is huge and to experience just a glimpse of just how huge is arguably to teeter on the brink of insanity. For the Eternal being a lifetime is irrelevant. Universes pop into existence, live for trillions of years, before fading away and this is an eyeblink. The Eternal being could live every possible permutation of our universe and still have not even begun to scratch the depths of their existence.
Because of the immensity of being eternal, the eternal being faces an interesting existential crisis. They need to keep themselves interested in life over an amazingly long span of time. While they could and most likely will engage in a whole range of activities that would to us be unfathomable, they still need to have a life that contains meaning and depth.
The exception to this would be if they sacrificed their capacity to remember, or if they lacked their sentience was limited. If the former, they could continually do the same thing over and over, while if the latter, they could live life entirely in the present, much like a dog, never worrying about the future, or the past. However, when I conceptualise us as eternal, I am also conceptualising us as being able to remember and having the sentience to understand that we are eternal and the capacity to make the most of it.
A big problem faced by the eternal sentient will be finding tasks that are a suitable challenge to its nature (hint, they are going to be massive in scope...), and staving off bordom. This means that while they are likely to pursue a single goal for times that are beyond our fathoming, they will still need new and unique stimulation in order to keep their lives engaged and fresh. This search for the new is what leads an eternal sentient in the direction of omniscience. As they experience more, so they learn more and the longer they experience and learn, the closer they come to omniscience.
The dark side of omniscience is that there are things that many sentients would probably not want to experience. But it is almost certain that they would seek to push the boundaries with what they know and that might very well take them to places that they'd really wish they never went.
The Principle of Life
Life is about the Journey. There can be no destination.
The majority of people live their lives as if they are going to die, all the while hoping that they are Infinite. A meaningful life gets it the other way around.
Either you are Eternal, in which case you'll never get there, or you are destined to die, in which case you really don't want to get there. 
Existence doesn't need to be explained. It doesn't need a creator, as the very possibility of existence is in itself a form of existence. While it is possible that this universe is all that does exist, it is also highly unlikely. If this universe could come into existence, then so to could another. If another could come into existence, then an infinte number could. If an infinite number of universes exist, then if infinite beings are possible, then one will come into existence.
So, as soon as something exists, everything must exist. We live in an Infiniverse in which all logically possible things are not only possible, but certain to occur.
That Life expands to fill the void in which it finds itself, forever adapting, growing and experiencing cannot be denied. While we only know of life on our planet, the universe is littered with organic molecules and quite likely littered with life as well. Within the context of the Infiniverse, if an Infinite being is possible, then it will exist.
If it exists, the possibility of you not being that being is approximately one over infinity, or so amazingly bloody unlikely as to be impossible.
What that being does is arguably up for discussion, but the odds of you being an Eternal being and only in the first 100 years of that Eternity are the same as you not being the eternal being. This tells us that what we see around us and call "life", is actually the main game. It is a key to our existence as an Eternal being. 
Why? Because as an Infinite, Eternal Being you face the same Existential crisis that all beings face. The questions of meaning, purpose and destiny.
We live these lives because our eternal self craves experience and meaning. It incarnates itself in bodies that will eventually age and die, thereby providing limitless opportunities for gaining understanding, knowledge and experience. These lives are difficult, because difficult is interesting and challenging. An eternal, infinite being has no need of toys, technology or other distractions that lie outside of the self. If It wanted to, It could happily spend its Eternity in the mindless pleasure  of an infinite orgasm. Instead, it craves challenge, engagement and meaning and this is to be found in the universe as we find it.
Our lives are integral, on a range of levels. Not only are our unique existences a source of an infinite number of engaging experiences and stories, but the situation that we find ourselves in as a race and as a planet full of sentients similarly creates a challenge fit for an Eternal being. Ultimately, what greater goal could an Infinite being have, than to bring peace and harmony to a universe such as ours?
There is not one single outcome for this universe, but rather an inifinite number and you will explore all of them, living all of the lives of all sentient beings. Some of these stories will end in tragedy, others will end in sublime, ecstatic joy. And it isn't just this universe, but that of all possible universes, although there is nothing that says that any particular Infinite being must explore them all. Just as there are an infinite set of numbers between zero and one, so too is there an infinte set of numbers above zero and another below. Ultimately, which you choose to explore will be up to you, but as an infinite being, spending 100 years of life in pain and hardship is but a fleeting pain, akin to ripping off a bandaid, so at the very least, one can certainly expect to live the lives that one sees around you.
Indeed, your life isn't really complete until you've lived it through the lives of everyone with whom you've ever come into contact with, or impacted upon.
Now, it may of course be the case that I am wrong and that all that exists is what we see around us and that there is in fact no Infiniverse, but I'm an insufferable optimist and my beliefs accord with my temperament.
God is the ulimate sentience of existence, but is limited by the fact that He lives within it and is a subset of it, rather than it being a subset of him. In many ways, "God" is the unatainable end product of existence, not the beginning point.
Act with Empathy.
Act as if you are Infinite.
There are no commandments. Don't confuse the law with ethics.
Morality and appropriate behaviour cannot be broken down into a series of arbitrary rules that hold for every situation. Only through taking into account the unique circumstances that every sentient finds itself in, can one truely decide what the ethical path is. This understanding can only be gained through engaging with others and with one's self in order to appreciate the needs and desires of all concerned and to act appropriately.
In many cases, it will be impossible for a person to truely determine what the moral path is, either because a particular person lacks empathy, or because the facts of the matter are too complex for one mind to fully grasp. In such cases, one should avoid the temptation to rush into simplistic, ritualised, or legal solutions and act mindful of the fact that if one is Eternal, then they will eventually live the lives of everyone involved. Such is the price of Omniscience.
Ultimately, each being should be the master of their own destiny and not prohibited from engaging in behaviours, unless those behaviours are directly detrimental to other beings.
The Generosity Principle
Helping others helps yourself.
The first Diciple is always the first Heretic.
Exploration of the Spiritual, is exploration of Life. The exploration of Life is the exploration of the Infinite. Not only is it highly unlikely that two people will ever touch the same portion of the Infinite, but our language and brains are not well equipped to understand Infinite concepts.
Because of this, it is impossible to ever fully communicate any genuinely spiritual experience, or understanding to another. As such, no two people will, or can ever have the same understanding of the Divine Mind.
Anyone, who tells you that you must believe X, Y, or Z, because this is a Spiritual truth has simply failed to appreciate the first thing about the nature of God, or of the Infiniverse.
Dogmatic, prescriptive religions that expect believers (what an evil term!) to all agree to the same precepts, or to follow the same behaviours are devoid of any real understanding of the spiritual. People believe what they are told about "god", in much the same way as they believe what they are told about everything else. They follow their faith in a manner more akin to following a football team than with any real desire to engage in a spiritual journey.
The Psychological Principle
Belief is subjective and people will believe what makes sense to them. 
People have an infinite range of personality variables and life histories and these predispose them to believe different things. A person who likes rational decision making and structure may believe that laws are an essential and necessary part of the human condition, whereas a person who favours emotion based decision making and who dislikes structure may view all laws as an unecessary evil.
Ultimately, the reasons that we believe things are complex and it is foolish to expect that everyone will, or even should believe the same thing. It is even more foolish to penalise and persecute people for believing what makes sense to them.
Ultimately, the key principle needs to revolve around understanding and empathy, taking into consideration the reasons why people differ in their values. Unless a person is engaging in behaviours that are detrimental to others, their beliefs should be respected and tollerated, even as one works to change their mind about it. In cases where beliefs impact on behaviour, Empathy should guide us to a compromise that meets the needs of the parties concerned.
The Reality Principle

The Omniscience Principle
Scientific Inquiry is the Key to Understanding This Universe.

If you have no evidence for your beliefs, admit it and accept the implications of this. Embarrassment is always better than deception.
People are far too eager to make things up, in order to provide "evidence" for their beliefs. Others are far too willing to go along with such fictions.
There is nothing wrong with believing something for which there is no evidence, but for which your "gut feelings", or "intuitions" indicate is likely. Just don't expect anyone else to agree with you and don't dare coerce another into such "belief". 
More to the point, you have no right to lie and decieve others into believing what you want them to believe. Scientologists, Creation Scientists, Flat Earthers and assorted conspiracy theorists all engage in this behaviour and not only does it violate both the Ethical Principle and the Knowledge Principle, but it renders the task of making our world livable so much more difficult.

God is You.
By definition, the consciousness of an omniscient being entails that of every other possible being. Including yours. 

If God exists, that being is almost certainly you.
I think that this is a good number. Too many will only cause more trouble than it is worth. 
In terms of why I have decided to call these, "principles", this stems from an observation that religion tends to contain many Divine Laws, but invariably seems to lack principles (for foreign language readers, this is a play on words...). I hope to introduce some.

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