This article is coming off the back of a poll regarding religious rights by Don Smith (http://www.opednews.com/populum/page_poll.php) and an article I read by Herman Cummings (http://www.opednews.com/Diary/The-Truth-of-Genesis-To-S-by-Herman-Cummings-111110-770.html). The comments I read after Cummings article reflected intense arguments regarding the evils of religion, on one hand, and the evils of atheism, on the other. Personally I think these kinds of arguments are nonsense for all of it's in our head. Knowing this one can also know what books such as the Bible, the Tao Te Ching, the Vedas, and the practices of Native Shamanism have in common with some theories about life stemming from "hard sciences" such as physics and neurology.
"Oh ye of little faith," as Jesus Christ puts it, means it's what you believe that is at issue and not some objective reality out there. As such, the Vedas often call the world we see as an objective reality as "Maya", meaning illusion. There may well be no objective reality out there but more of one that is not separate from how we perceive it.
To illustrate, let's do a little meditation. How is it you are seeing the screen upon which you read this article? You take in light waves which get sent to the back of your brain where it is turned into an image via the reading of the frequencies of light waves through a form of calculus called "Fourier Transforms." Your eye-brain connection is basically taking waves of information and reading their frequencies in order to transform that wave into a 3-dimensional object. The screen isn't out there; it's in your head. Not just your head, mind you. It's in the back of your head! As the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart said in the 13th century, "does the Soul wish to know the essence of a leaf or a man".She creates an image."
This is exactly what neurologist Karl Pribram states in his holographic theory of the brain. Note, Pribram was not talking about a person's brain. He was studying rats. During the same time Pribram was doing his research, David Bohm was making the same statement from his physics laboratory. The difference was that Bohm came up with his theory in relation to the wave-particle duality of an electron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave%E2%80%93particle_duality).
Is an electron a wave or a particle? Depends on if you're looking at it! To make this simple, you KNOW the pupils of your eyes are absorbing light waves, right now, as you read this. They can't be solid, right? How could they get through those little black holes on either side of your nose? They can't. They are able to enter because they are light waves entering your pupils and sent to the back of your brain to become an image.
Ok, you say, I can feel the keys of my computer keyboard. Fine, so your fingers are also sending messages up to your brain which is interpreting frequencies (via Fourier Transforms) and creating an image. But if I burnt those fingers it would hurt like hell and you're telling me it's an illusion? Call it what you will. You only feel the pain because of the nerve ending in your fingers. Given a good dose of a pain suppressant and you won't feel a thing. If your eyes are closed and no one spoke to you, you won't even know a thing. The pain is ultimately in your head. Destroy the nerves, and no pain. How else could they do surgery?
And, if you die, is that too an illusion? Perhaps. Or perhaps it is an awakening to what you have always been, infinite.
This speaks to the Hindu concept of the world as "Maya" or Illusion. The world we see is according to how our senses perceive it. There is NO objective world out there with us in here. As Jesus Christ said oftentimes to doubters, "if you so say." The world we perceive is pretty much what we say it is. Take a hit of LSD and the world will change and you will change right along with it.