Friday, 20 February 2015

How do we see God?

Many people believe in God in the way that they were taught by the religion they were born into. Many people do not believe in God at all. Then there are people with a strong sense of the spiritual, who actively seek deeper sense in the meaning of the Universe than simply a collection of rocks orbiting constellations of stars. In the first two groups, you will find fundamentalists wishing to foist their orthodoxy – as the only valid one – onto others. Not wishing to argue with adherents of one ontological view or the other, I would however, wish to engage in a purposeful dialogue with those who seek.

I see God as a purpose, a direction, a sense of purpose within the Universe. I'd argue that God is not omniscient, but rather is a tendency towards omniscience – a total awareness of all things, in which all creation will ultimately share. I do see God as omnipresent – present within every atom in the Universe.

So to me, the notion of a Supreme Being, who has chosen to reveal Himself to the sentient beings on Planet Earth by sending His Only Son, the Lord Jesus, down to Judea two thousand years ago becomes a little far-fetched when one considers the scale of the known Universe.

We currently estimate that the Universe consists of somewhere in the order of a hundred billion-plus galaxies, each consisting of a hundred billion or more stars. Are we alone in this mind-bogglingly huge cosmos? The chances are slim. It has been recently postulated that we may well be the most advanced form of life (at least in our near-neighbourhood). Many, however, believe that we are being regularly visited by beings from other worlds, who quite reasonably are keeping their presence here quiet.

The state of the Universe is entirely relevant to our understanding of God. Either the Universe is expanding, from a Big Bang, and will continue to do so for ever more – or will grow to a certain point, then begin to contact in upon itself back into a singularity, from which a subsequent Big Bang will ensue. Or it's a steady state (this view has rather been disproved by the extending light-shift suggesting that galaxies are moving away from themselves).

I like to think of a Universe evolving from a state of chaos and imperfection towards a state of orderly perfection; it may take one cycle of expansion-contraction; it may take more.

Consider this: every atom in your body is billions of years old – the oldest being only a little younger than Big Bang – currently estimated as having taken place 13.8 billion years ago. Those atoms, consisting of an ever-growing cast of subatomic particles (recently joined by the Higgs Boson) whizzing around their nuclei since time began – and currently form you.

Mankind is only just beginning to tentatively understand the nature of matter.

Our consciousness, our sense of self, residing within our frail, finite bodies, sometimes locks onto their very frailness and temporary nature; sometimes soars to sublime heights of understanding, mostly oscillating between the two states.

Tomorrow: Consciousness

This time last year:
Who needs a Leica with a Noctilux lens when you can do this?

This time This time last year:
Fides quaerens intellectum

This time four years ago:
To the Devil with it all! - short story, Part II

This time five years ago:
Building the bypass as the snows melt

The time seven years ago:
Two weeks into Lent

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