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Stephen L. Gibson:

Despite being a "successful" entrepreneur, corporate pilot, elected school official, consultant, and active churchgoer, by my late-thirties it became clear that Artemus Ward was right—sometimes it’s not what we know that can get us into trouble, it’s what we know that just isn’t so. With the black-and-white simplicity of young adulthood behind me, I set out on an intensive journey of inquiry and introspection. That effort led to a self-published “back-of-the-room” book called Truth-Driven Thinking, and reflexively compelled me to even greater levels of epistemological self-examination.

From there I had the opportunity to produce DVD’s and multi-media interviews with several bestselling authors, scholars, theologians, and scientists. What soon became evident was the myriad of ways in which our emotion-driven thinking, superstitions, and dogmatic adherence to foregone conclusions affect not only our personal lives, but the lives of those around us. This new book uniquely explores both our compulsive need for answers, and the blind spots we create in the process of searching for elusive clarity.

Moving Forward:

Without a doubt, A Secret of the Universe has been the most meaningful work of my life. Of course I'm grateful and delighted that so many people have identified with this allegory; I also confess that on a personal note the narrative has been cathartic and therapeutic in ways I never expected. While I continue to diligently expand upon my own grasp of the types of scholarship cited extensively in the second half of the book, the story has become for me a reminder that each of our "stories" will come to an end, and that to a large degree life reflects back the meaning and love we put into it. It seems clearer than ever that no dogmas, supernatural definitions, or new-age "woo"—are necessarily required to harvest life's true magic, or express a narrative through which our place in the universe makes sense.

Going forward, I will embrace this life-long opportunity to gain new insights into the human condition, and how the world really works. I hope to continue to share my humble discoveries about my own ignorance, and my subsequent fascinations with why in retrospect I seemed so dedicated to remaining ignorant (often out of fear).

Most importantly, I will aspire to love more fully, and be the most human, and the most "fully evolved" person I can be. Honestly, Christ myths and other metaphors—such as Buddhism—will color and inform that effort, as they provide useful benchmarks, wisdom, and guidance.

What does that look like in action? To me, it looks a lot like "consciousness raising," at least at first. (Hear my efforts via podcast at www.truthdriventhinking.com.) We must first be aware of our biases, wants, desires, dislikes, and emotion-driven needs for information that affirms what we already think we know (especially about that which lies outside the natural world). We must then honor one another's human right to hold myths, metaphors, narratives, and worldviews that are different from our own. It's okay for you! And it's okay for me. That's how we humans evolved: to create narratives to makes sense of disparate data. So I'm sorry, but we have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is a place and a word we all love to hate: "tolerance." So long as we don't impose beliefs or practices on others, we have a right to live in our own metaphors.

Secondly, we gain understanding. How do we do that? We love without strings. We move forward from tolerance. We recognize human fallbility and needs for affirmation, and we give it to people in honest ways; then, we gain understanding through candid and trusting conversations and sharing. Clearly that is utopian sounding, but I mean it in a very real sense: Tolerate. Kill with kindness. Gain understanding. Be self-aware. Love more. We all learn in the process, and nobody has to hurt or hate anyone, because fear is diminished.

Lastly, putting these things in action requires that we feed souls: religiously and/or secularly. My hope is to continue along a path that allows me to help with that secular feeding. ("Soul" is a rich metaphor, by the way.) Why? Because we need to be loved whether we admit it or not. We need to be told we are brilliant once in a while, and we need to be cared for. As those needs are met we are far better able to set aside fear, and to communicate and grow. That is the reality of the human condition, for skeptics and believers alike.

But it is important to note that yes, souls can be fed without dogma, without harmful "woo," and without giving up our intellect—and that is the direction I hope to head.

Won't you help me love more, raise consciousness, gain mutual understanding, and feed souls without dangerous "woo-woo" dogma?

Write me at sgibson@asecretoftheuniverse.com.