In this work Author Victor Emilio Haddad shares experiences that have led him to the absolute conviction of the existence of a Creator, of the immortality of Jesus Christ, and, more importantly, the immortality of the spirit of any human being-that life after death does continue. He makes mention of the history of the papacy, about which it is surprising to learn that many of the heirs of Saint Peter, ostensibly representatives of God, strayed from their pastoral vocation and committed some very reprehensible acts that have cast shadows over the image of the Papacy.
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Reflections of a Believer
By VICTOR EMILIO HADDAD
BALBOA PRESSCopyright © 2011 Victor Emilio Haddad
All right reserved.
Chapter OneLIFE. CAN IT BE A PRODUCT OF CHANCE?
This question is of fundamental importance in that if we are to accept that all this greatness arises through random combinations, then religion must be eliminated because we would, at the same time, be denying the possibility of the existence of a creative intelligence, which converts the concept of life after death of the body into an utopia, the possibility of miracles, and of the existence of other levels of life. To arrive at this conclusion, as I see it, is inacceptable, since it is evident that in recognizing a manifest intelligence in creation, it completely defeats the concept that all that greatness is an accidental product of random combinations of molecules. We should persuade ourselves that creation is CAUSAL and actually it is not so difficult to eliminate the possibility of a random, casual creation.
It is evident to me that in order for molecules to organize in an orderly and appropriate manner to create life, which is so inconceivably complex and perfect, the intervention of a higher intelligence is required. An intelligence that exceeds all possibilities of humanity's marvelous but limited intelligence. All of its magnitude. An intelligence that modifies the genetic design of organisms, as the surrounding environment changes. Finally, after thousands of millions of years, the environment is ripe to sustain life of organisms like you and me, a real miracle that allows us to be aware of ourselves and our surroundings, able to analyze, project, communicate through language, discuss ideas, institute laws, express our feelings, create, and unfortunately, also destroy. All this and more, much more, thanks to the intelligent design of the Creator.
There are those who believe that all this wonder is a product of the random combination of molecules that through trial and error, little by little, reaches the right combination and thus, eventually, leads to the correct sequence of a perfect organism. I respect their opinion, but differ totally. If coincidence were to achieve that incredible task, then we should accept that coincidence is intelligent, and therefore a creating intelligence. One way or the other, we would inevitably be proving the existence of a superior intelligence. But to be able to speak of intelligence, we should accept that it is obvious that it too should be capable of planning, analyzing, and programming for which the concept of creation by coincidence CANNOT BE INTELLIGENT, for IT IS INCAPABLE OF THINKING IN AN ORDERLY MANNER and therefore NOTHING can be created from it. The organisms should emerge perfect, complete, through a marvelous genetic programming. Without this process, which is inexplicable to us, no complete organism could exist.
In my search, I became convinced of the necessary existence of an intelligence - which I may call divine — exceeding all comprehension, and what we call God, omnipotent, omnipresent, of pure spirit, organizes the chaos with His LAWS, and manifests Himself in all the marvels of creation. Thus, it is logical to think that He decides to respect His laws because they are perfect.
Evolution has followed an orderly sequence through thousands of millions of years. Organisms emerge perfectly, by means of a marvelous genetic programming from one stroke, not through random changes or piecemeal. It is clear that life arises from the simplest of microorganisms and develops little by little in an orderly, perfect fashion. As such, it progresses from simplicity to complexity, seeking the esthetic, until it reaches the creation of intelligent beings capable of awareness of the Creator's work. If God could create everything perfectly from the beginning in a magical gesture, He would not have bothered to do so through programmed evolution over thousands of millions of years. It is clear that it is illogical to believe that the Almighty can, with one magical touch, bring trillions of bodies back to life, each one with different characteristics, none the same, for it would violate the universal laws that He Himself legislated. To me, it is clear that God is no magician. He performs his work in accordance with His laws and His science.
You may ask: thousands of millions of years? That is an absurdly long time.
For humanity, who lives in a four-dimensional sphere, it is indeed inconceivably eternal, but we must remember that time does not exist as such in other dimensions of existence. Time is relative, as it is in the world of matter, since it depends on the perception of the individual; for example, as when for someone at a party who has had a few drinks, five hours would seem all too short, whereas for a person that is in great pain, those same five hours would appear eternal.
Albert Einstein, in his brilliant hypothesis of the theory of relativity, predicted, as it has been demonstrated, that time passes much more slowly for someone who travels at a good speed, and faster for someone who remains stationary. Of course in that case, there is little speed, and the difference is minimal, but when we speak of speeds closer to that of light, an hour for the traveler in time can equal many, many days for those that remained on earth.
I wonder: what is the speed limit for the spirit? That of light or that of thought? How are we to know? But on not being limited by a slow body, nor subject to the force of gravity, takes on another dimension outside of the limitations of time space, which is another dimension governed by different laws of physics, it is possible that any one of the two options should be within reach. Thus, for a spirit, time can no longer be measured, for it passes by differently, according to the speed with which it is possible to go from one place to another.
The following is a quotation from A short history of nearly everything (2003), author, Bill Bryson.
Proteins are obtained when you unite amino acids, and we need a great deal of them. Nobody really knows, but there can be up to a million types of proteins in the human body and each one of them is a miracle. According to the laws of probability, proteins should not exist. To make one, you need to group together the amino acids - the bricks of life - in a set order, similar to how letters are grouped together to compose a word. The problem is that the alphabet of the amino acids is generally extraordinarily long. To write collagen, the name of a common type of protein, you need to write eight letters in correct order. To create collagen, 1055 amino acids must be placed exactly in correct sequence. The possibilities of one molecule of 1055 amino acids, such as collagen, self-organizing in a spontaneous manner are clearly null. It just will not happen. That certain random events would actually produce a protein would result in something of an amazing impossibility, comparable to a whirlwind passing through a junk yard and leaving in its wake a fully assembled jumbo reactor - a colorful metaphor made by the astrologist Fred Hoyle.
Nevertheless, we are speaking of hundreds of thousands of proteins, perhaps a million, each one unique and vital; for what we know each one to keep you in good health. And there it all starts. In order for one protein to be useful, it must not only group together amino acids in proper order, it must convert itself into a kind of chemical origami and assume a specific form. Also, after having reached that structural complexity, a protein will serve you no purpose if it cannot reproduce itself, and proteins cannot do that. For that they need DNA. DNA is a whiz at reproduction; it can make a copy of itself in seconds, but is incapable of almost anything else. Thus, we find ourselves in a paradoxical situation. Proteins cannot exist without DNA and DNA is worthless without proteins. Are we to suppose, then, that they emerged simultaneously with the purpose of helping each other? If that were so: poof! And all that, without RNA, is worthless.
And yet there is more. DNA, proteins and the other elements of life could not prosper without some type of membrane for support. Neither atom nor molecule has ever reached an independent life. If you were to detach an atom from your body, it would be as alive as a grain of sand. These various materials can only partake of the amazing dance of life when joined in the nourishing refuge of a cell. Without the cell, they are mere interesting chemical substances. But without chemical substances, the cell also lacks purpose. If each needs the other, how could the community of molecules first arise? It is not unusual to call this the miracle of life. Nor is it unusual that we are just beginning to understand it. End of Bill Bryson's quote.
I should add that the membrane of itself is a marvel, for it not only contains the cellular elements but it would serve no purpose otherwise. It is endowed with countless specific receptors which let in only those elements required by the cell in order to function, rejecting those that are not needed. This membrane is a true engineering electrochemical design wonder, an amazing proof of creative intelligence. Let us not forget, too, that the cell could not function without the help of symbiotic bacteria's, the famous mitochondria's, that operate with DNA and RNA independently of the nucleus of the cell, and that they are charged with producing the energy for the cell to carry out its functions. And the bacteria's that help in the digestion of food? And the vitamins necessary to the health and workings of the organism? Without all this, and more, we would not exist. If upon considering a cell, we are faced with the impossibility of its arising by chance, what may we say of that enormous amount of different cells, each one specialized in a particular function in the creation of an organism, all essential, and marvelously programmed in one genetic stroke.
If an in-depth analysis of the development of a baby from the moment a sperm fertilizes an ovum, up to the birth of a human being, is made, it would reveal this to be an astounding miracle, an amazing intelligence present in a microscopic package of chromosomes in which the information to carry out the proper sequence has been written of when and how the different types of cells, already specialized, should intervene to construct that marvelous organic machine, all at the right moment, including instructions for all the characteristics of the organs to be developed, perfect in their construction and workings, and each and every one of them a wonder of design, science, and intelligence. It is here that the absolute existence of a creative intelligence is revealed to me, humbling me, while at the same time filling me with joy, for I am convinced that God does exist, and therefore feel sure that our passage in this life is owing to a divine plan, where the existence of our being, or our true being, should not be confined to a life within the body but once gone, free the spirit to continue on. To where? God has the answer, and we can only venture a hypothesis.
All the species are intelligent in one way or another, but only humans have been granted the capacity of consciousness of self, of their surroundings, their mortality. Only humans can project thoughts through the creative process, only they possess free will, the complicated language to express points of view, write poetry, literature, compose music, wonderful melodies, the capacity to analyze and philosophize, create all manner of instruments, and undertake scientific testing to discover the secrets of creation. All that and more thanks to those magical instructions, written in the chromosomes that form a marvelous cerebral cortex allowing us to carry out those surprising functions. If the Creator has provided us with all this, it would not have been only to entertain Him in observing the game of life. To watch us be born, grow up, learn, feed and educate our children, work, interrelate, enjoy and suffer, love and hate, fight against evil in order to get closer to goodness. And finally, for all the progress we have made during the course of a lifetime, all this information cannot just be lost when the body dies. The spirit retains that experience and continues on. This is my conviction.
If it were not so, then, all that perfection would be useless, without meaning, object, or transcendence. But it is unthinkable to conceive that all that has been built and may be qualified as miraculous, can be cut off in such a manner.
Chapter TwoLIFE AFTER DEATH?
Does life of what we call the spirit continue after the body dies?
If we accept as real the number of cases in which a gravely ill person is floating in the ceiling, watching his body and all the details of the room, the answer is YES.
-A very profound and pleasant feeling of peace and calm and the perception of levitation in a narrow tunnel at whose end a very bright light is seen, the answer is YES.
-An encounter with deceased family and friends that welcome the person on the point of death, the answer is YES.
-An encounter with a luminous being, a quick review of the past, or the sensation of seeing oneself being returned to the body in spite of wanting to stay. Again, the answer should be a YES.
Skeptics believe that these experiences are produced by a chaotic chemical-electrical functioning of the nerve cells. Can chaos produce similar experiences in every case? NO. If so, it would produce disorganized experiences of all kinds and without an intelligible sequence; thus, the inevitable conclusion is that what is perceived is real, actually happening.
It is very certain that to the majority of humanity it is possible to perceive other levels of existence, but the restlessness and confusion of the mind does not allow it, these levels are so subtle that our five senses cannot capture them. Occasionally, putting aside the confusion of the mind and on looking inward in order to reach a state of complete relaxation, extrasensory experiences can be had, fleeting but real, of that subtle world.
Why am I so certain that life does not end with the death of the body?
Because I have had a number of experiences in which some of my loved ones, on the death of their bodies, and at my request, have given me proof that their spirit was there with me. Each one in a different manner, but totally convincing. Why has this happened to me? I don't know. Is it a gift? Just for me? I don't believe so. Therefore, I feel I must share my surprising experiences with whoever wants to listen to or read of them. The absolute certainty that life does not end with the death of the body has been revealed to me, and this certainty makes me see death not as a finality but as a new and interesting beginning.
There are those who can describe a person in spite of never having seen him, just by giving his name, age, and address, and I ask how can that be? And the answer is always: I do not know, it comes to me. A friend of mine, Venancio Vazquez, can do this, and he can prove it to anyone who does not believe it. It always surprises me, that special gift that he has, a gift from God, and I accept it as the irrefutable truth, in spite of the fact that I cannot do it.
We have proven on almost every occasion that he can describe a person, physically and mentally, even though that person lives in a faraway country. In less than a minute, he is able to make contact, and it takes him less than five minutes to describe that person, whom he does not know, living ten thousand kilometers away. How to explain this phenomenon? At what speed does the mind get access to this information almost immediately in spite of great distances? This only proves that the mind is not limited by distance or time. What laws apply in cases like this? Evidently, it would be fascinating to know.
Venancio Vazquez is not a fictitious character, and his clairvoyance gifts are real. He is a good friend of many years, and I have been able to observe how his capacity for extrasensory perception has grown, which he himself cannot explain.
Excerpted from Reflections of a Believer by VICTOR EMILIO HADDAD Copyright © 2011 by Victor Emilio Haddad. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Life. Can it Be a Product of Chance?....................1
Chapter 2. Life After Death?....................7
Chapter 3. Reincarnation?....................24
Chapter 4. From The Universe....................39
Chapter 5. On Birth Control....................47
Chapter 6. A Bit Of History....................51
Chapter 7. A Refreshing Breeze in the Desert....................61
Chapter 8. Study God?....................65
Chapter 9. Can We Understand God's Justice?....................68
Chapter 10. Fragments....................75
Chapter 11. Jesus Christ and His Message....................87
Chapter 12. A Conversation with My Friend Father Juan....................103