Loved by the Light
By John R. Audette
January 23, 2023
Published by Eternea, Inc., 2023
Hardback: $29.95 Paperback: $19.95 E-Book: $9.95
Release Date: 2-14-23
By Robert C. Anderson, Ed.D., M.Div. (Lt. Col. USAF retired)
Modern thinkers and astute observers of contemporary global affairs might agree with John Audette’s observation in his recent book entitled, “Loved by the Light,” that humanity is in dire need of an urgent crisis intervention strategy. Indeed, we are. But whether they would go so far as to agree with his proposed plan of action remains to be seen. In what can be justifiably called an act of considerable audacity, Audette boldly describes his visionary out-of-the-box remedy in this provocative book.
It must be said that Audette probably resides somewhere on the Primrose Path or in the upper reaches of Cloud Nine. He must be terribly naive to genuinely believe that his plan has even a remote chance of succeeding. The odds of the G-20 calling for a global Biblical debt Jubilee to retire all forms of debt world-wide are much better, or the odds of the world’s major religions selling off all their precious jewels, art and real estate to eradicate global poverty.
As hopeless idealists go, Audette is probably the leader of the pack, a title he most likely wears as a badge of great honor. But that said, he cannot be faulted for wearing rose-colored glasses or thinking in Pollyannaish terms. To do so would be to condemn all of the greatest spiritual teachers humanity has ever known, including Christ. To illustrate the point, simply recall what Jesus said to the Sanhedrin when asked to comment on God’s laws. The answer was: “There is only one law, to love one another as God loves you.” In short, this is the main recurring message of “Loved by the Light.” Who can argue with that?
Unashamedly, Audette calls for an immediate global spiritual revolution, one that takes place outside the framework of traditional religion. He advocates one unlike any before it, entirely non-violent, non- denominational and focused solely on expanding human consciousness to the point of a critical mass spiritual awakening. He reasons that it should be predicated on reliable knowledge derived from the scientific study of spiritually transcendent experiences (STEs), not on faith in dogma or theology. He refers to it as an evidence-based and data-driven spiritual revolution founded on empirically defensible scientific conclusions about the nature of human consciousness and its disposition after death. He even goes so far as to champion the idea of forging a convergence between science, spirituality and religion.
Mainstream scientists could take issue. They might seriously question what science Audette is referencing here. Pseudo-Science? Punk Science? Frontier Science? Pretend Science? Fake Science? They would declare that the moniker of science does not belong anywhere near issues related to religion, spirituality or metaphysics. These, of course, involve questions concerning consciousness, God, life after death and reincarnation. But yet Audette clearly embraces the same scientific method used by those engaged in the “hard sciences” and subscribes to the same standards of credible empiricism.
Audette theorizes that his proposed plan of action will be the solution to everything that ails humanity. He asserts that the spiritual revolution he recommends could change basic human nature, as well as the fundamental nature of social, economic and political systems. What’s more, Audette sincerely believes that such a revolution will trigger a long-term evolutionary transformation to a God-centered humanity and thus a God-centered world, not just in rhetoric, but in actual deed. Ah, if only it could be so...if only it could be more than just so much wishful thinking. There is no question that humankind could hugely benefit from a greatly nuanced “Renaissance Period,” “Religious Reformation,” or “Age of Enlightenment,” but the catalyst Audette cites hardly seems sufficient, and science, even hard science, is not flawless.
Yet, the author argues persuasively that his strategy will get the job done. Moreover, he insists that no other approach will succeed in a sustainable manner or come anywhere close to being a holistic systemic remedy for all of the challenges confronting humanity. He claims that achieving an optimal future for earth and all its inhabitants in an enduring manner must be preceded by collective adoption of new values, ethics and morals...by the advent of mass “cosmic consciousness.”
Audette asserts that this new morality or global code of conduct must be anchored in broad-based adoption of enlightened perceptions of reality. These include affirming survival of consciousness after death and also affirming that God is real, a non-judgmental God who is the pinnacle of perfect unconditional love. But it is not just life after death that the author asks people to accept, rather one that involves a life review before God where all is revealed and nothing is concealed, where an honest self- evaluation takes place without judgment or condemnation by God. The conclusion of this process is a self-prescribed plan of atonement that plays out in future incarnations designed to fully compensate others for all one does that is unloving to others, motivated by the incentive of lasting reunion with God.
As though it were just another walk in the park, Audette attempts to make enlightenment uncomplicated. He tries to take the mystery out of it, declaring that it is as simple as “being as love unto all things.” What’s more, he sets forth a grandiose agenda to instantly retire “the imposters” of materialism, dualism, egocentrism and greed, as if it were no big deal for humankind to accomplish.
He seems to genuinely believe that humanity can quickly embrace the notion that all things are one and that loving each other as God loves us should be the prevailing natural order of things. He calls for what amounts to a self- governing world order based on the “Golden Rule” in which the entire human population is fully spiritually awakened and behaves towards all things in a truly enlightened all-loving manner.
This attitude might be enough to officially diagnose Audette as completely delusional, possibly even messianic, but certainly a pie-in-the-sky visionary. Yet, he does make some compelling arguments which border on being convincing. What’s more, he rightfully asserts that humanity has only two choices at this critical juncture: hell on earth or heaven on earth. He observes that humans must collectively choose between evolving spiritually or perhaps risk perishing in some mass extinction-level event. Some choice.
In his arguments, Audette seems to employ an integrative logic which appears to be vaguely reminiscent of and seemingly consistent with Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, as well as the essential teachings of Jesus Christ. He appears to be recommending that human beings “get right in their knowledge about the true nature of things,” preceded by “getting right in their thinking,” preceded by “getting right in their perceptions of reality,” all based on objective, patient, diligent observation. This approach, of course, is an early version of today’s well-established scientific method. It stipulates that the validity of any premise must be based on objective observation, data-collection, theory-building, hypothesis-testing, peer review, replication and ultimately, the Holy Grail of predictability at a level that achieves statistical significance.
The author claims that this model can be and has been applied successfully to the scientific study of STEs. As such, he asserts that certain postulations can be confidently advanced into the court of public opinion based on empirical findings that have been generated over the past five decades or so by serious scientists who have conducted pioneering work in this area.
These postulations are summarized in Eternea’s Seven Statements and Fifteen Elaborations, which Audette claims provide an adequate ideological foundation for the spiritual revolution he recommends to solve all of the world’s problems (view them at AffirmingGod.com or Eternea.org). He also contends that these postulations can serve as an overarching canopy that can marry creationism, evolution and intelligent design, which he sees not as conflicting mutually exclusive points of view, but rather as cozy comfortable bedfellows.
Audette insists that achieving advanced civilization can be the end result of collectively adopting these postulations as the core ideological infrastructure of all societies and cultures, based not on faith in unproven dogmas, but rather on the basis of scientifically gathered evidence and sound defensible empiricism. It is hard to determine if Audette is over-reaching the data here because, truthfully, precious little sophisticated research has taken place in this field, not due to lack of interest by competent scientists, rather to a lack of adequate funding. But while the state of the art in this arena is far from ideal, contemporary findings coupled with historical data back as far as Plato do lend credence to the cause.
Intuitively and instinctively, one is tempted to agree with Audette that before there can be any lasting change in human nature or the nature of social, political and economic systems, there must first be an enduring change in human attitudes, values, ethics, virtues and morals. A change as profound as what is required to achieve the higher civilization Audette envisions can only be transcendent in nature and highly evidential as well. It must involve irrefutable proof that God is real and so too is the afterlife.
But more than this, it must show to the satisfaction of most that God is not as described in the Old Testament, but rather is non-judgmental and the full expression of perfect unconditional love. It must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there are indeed transcendent repercussions for human behavior on earth in order to empirically establish the old adage that “all is one” and that “what we do to others we do to ourselves.”
The author attempts to lay out a compelling case for this in his discourse about “the mathematics of eternal existence,” in which he applies both logic and reason in defense of his position. He dismisses the concept of eternal damnation and eternal salvation, favoring instead a “pay as you go system” of action-reaction, cause-effect relationships, in which any human action that is undertaken during life produces a corresponding equal and like reaction, ultimately. He also bravely redefines evil and suggests a novel framework to not only confront it, but also to remedy and rectify it.
Audette openly admits that the ideas in his book are not new or original, but rather amount to the repackaging of ancient wisdom from the great spiritual teachers of the past, combined with insights gained from frontier science in its study of STEs, along with the traditional cornerstone teachings of the world’s major religions. Yet, it is apparent that Audette takes on new ground by attempting to demystify God and liberate God from the confines of the Old Testament. What’s more, he also offers a progressive perspective on the basic teachings of Jesus Christ, perhaps in an effort to reinterpret Christianity itself. Indeed, he seems to be trying to free God and Jesus from the shackles of possible misrepresentation.
Audette earned a Master of Science degree in sociology from Virginia Tech. He is the primary founder of Eternea.org and IANDS.org. His professional career consisted of several senior executive positions in hospital and hospice administration, physician practice management, as well as public broadcasting and the performing arts. His sociological training could explain his idealistic macro orientation. Indeed, some sociologists consider themselves to be practitioners of “applied sociology.” They flirt with the notion of being socio-cultural constructionists or engineers to engender ideal civilization, or in Audette’s own words, “to create an optimal future for earth and all its inhabitants.” Lousy job, but someone has to do it.
The publication of this book could be well-timed – at least the author seems to think so. He opines that humanity has had enough of the way things are in this very troubled world, which is growing more so by the day. He believes many people are genuinely disgusted and becoming rightfully intolerant about the status quo. He argues they want major change now, real change, seismic change, a sea change, a paradigm shift. True, perhaps, and if so, maybe people will be willing to go to extremes never before witnessed in human history to make real change happen by taking a quantum leap forward spiritually.
Audette makes a valiant effort to offer a way out of the darkness that now covers the face of the land, but one that may not be realistic. He proposes that people will grow into higher consciousness and will adopt new values, virtues, ethics and morals simply by accepting the Seven Statements and the Fifteen Elaborations as abiding personal convictions based on existing scientific knowledge about STEs. But he candidly acknowledges that this might not be adequate to change the perceptions of most.
So, he goes a step farther to outline ways in which people can have their own direct life-changing spiritual epiphany. He actually describes several methods people can consider to bring about their own peak experience so that God and the afterlife become “real” to them directly on a personal level as opposed to relying solely on the stories of others. It is a laudable effort to cover all the bases and firmly root the advice he gives.
Thus, “Loved by the Light” could be one of the most important books ever written on the subject of progressive spirituality. It could qualify as a seminal work, as Dr. Raymond Moody predicted in his Foreword to the book. If so, maybe it will provoke the sea-change the author envisions. Then again, maybe not. But if it fails to do so, humanity will be the big loser, tremendously so.
Audette may not be right about all things in this book, but let’s hope he’s right about enough things to quickly make a meaningful difference in the human condition and the sorry state of current global affairs. If nothing else, he should be commended for making a Herculean effort to do so in this book. Given the temper of our times, someone needed to tackle these weighty spiritual issues. He did so without reservation and with no small measure of bravado. Kudos to him for at least that much and for heroically sharing many intensely personal stories that brought him from stubborn agnosticism to a man of deep unwavering convictions about the existence of an afterlife, as well as a non-judgmental loving God.
One of the best features of this book is that Audette writes engagingly of a circuitous spiritual awakening over the course of his lifetime involving multiple angel encounters, most life-saving, as well as after-death communications, deathbed visions, near-death and shared-death experiences, and even a mystical vision quest in the Mojave Desert. Most striking of all is the story he bravely shares about being divinely rescued in utero from multiple abortion attempts by his mother when he was a developing fetus in her womb. How he found out about this is an even greater miracle, which truly makes this book a must read.
It has never been fashionable or pragmatic to try to change the world or human nature. Those who tried throughout history did not meet with kind fates for the most part. They were typically memorialized as martyrs, or quickly dismissed as doe-eyed utopian buffoons. But maybe this time around, humanity is finally ready to embrace the new ideas and thinking Audette brings to the table. True, he could be nothing more than a naive metaphysical Forest Gump and thus largely ignored. Alternatively, he could qualify as a brilliant Gnostic intermediary who has illuminated a path out of the darkness for humanity, if only we can muster enough courage to traverse it while we still have the time to do so.
As the author opines in his closing sentences: “Haven’t we waited long enough? Haven’t we suffered long enough?” Well, if a sufficient number of people the world over answer these questions in an affirmative fashion, then maybe Audette’s book is well-timed. Maybe it will make a huge difference. Maybe it will serve as a sorely needed catalyst to trigger an urgent global spiritual revolution which sparks a new “Age of Enlightenment,” where the “Golden Rule” becomes the new prevailing paradigm. For all our sakes, let’s hope so. It cannot happen soon enough. Humanity’s future may depend upon it.
And so, in closing, kudos to Dr. Jane Goodall. She is spot-on in her glowing endorsement on the front cover of Loved by the Light, which reads: “...you cannot fail to be fascinated by this book.” Indeed, if nothing else, it is a fascinating work and thoroughly thought-provoking.
Robert C. Anderson, Ed.D., D.PS., M. Div., MA, Lt. Col. USAF (retired), is a founder and former Director of Behavioral Medicine & Bioethics of the David Grant USAF Family Medicine Residency, the Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency & ten-term President of the Society of Air Force Social Workers.