Sunday, September 14, 2014

Can God Hide?

And If So, How?

I wonder if “God” can hide effectively from the physicists who are closing in on a unified theory to explain all the matter and energy in the Universe. Wouldn’t Heaven, Hell, God, and other Universes would surely have some kind of existence that would have a mathematical effect on everything else and would therefore have to affect those equations and experiments?

Personally, I don’t believe in a God that is separate from Nature and physical existence. Can anyone point me towards the evidence that Heaven, Hell or re-incarnation weigh stations exist? It seems to me these are things people accept on faith or on some inner experience, but not things they have any evidence for, and I mean concrete, “court of law” type evidence. I once posted on facebook that I would consider suicide if life offered nothing but pain. Someone else said, essentially, “But your soul would live on.” I don't see any evidence that my soul would live on. I've never seen a soul without a body. Why should I believe that such a thing exists? I've never seen the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy either. Should I believe that they exist on the authority of others or because if I eat enough acid or meditate long enough, I "see" them?

Science seeks to explain, understand and predict Nature and does so remarkably well. You can’t build a mousetrap or a bridge without science, whether primitive or sophisticated. Many scientists believe that they are studying the works of God, even if they don't believe in a God that sits apart from existence and sentences gay people to Hell. I'm saying if "God" or Heaven or Hell or re-incarnation weigh stations exist as actual places, then shouldn't they effect the equations that would explain everything?

I'm not a physicist, but I don't believe that anything that can create and destroy within this Universe can have no physical connection to it. Matter could be a projection of some quantum consciousness, or not. I'm not sure if this is provable or demonstrable in any repeatable way. It could be true, it could be not true, or true and not true at the same time in some paradoxical way. I have no certainty about this. Only questions. The Tao is what it is, not what we call it. My curiosity is about how something that has an existence could escape those equations that seek to explain all the matter and energy in the Universe.

When the math doesn't pan out and the only way to make it pan out would be to posit the existence of some "X" in the Universe, often times that "X" indeed turns out to exist and make the math work. So if there's a Hell or Heaven or whatever, I would expect the math to not pan out until it's accounted for. But I don't actually think there is a Hell or Heaven outside of our imaginations. I don't know for sure of course. I don’t know much really, and what I do know is wrong. Not all wrong, just riddled with wrongness.

If what you conceive of as divine or truly awesome or worthy of worship is the All or Everything or Nature, then Science is not a problem, just a method of understanding how the All works. Frank Lloyd Wright said "I believe in God, I just spell it N-A-T-U-R-E."

But if you believe in a God that is not embedded in existence, a separate God who created creation, and a Heaven and a Hell where souls live, or even a celestial weigh station where souls are processed for re-incarnation, then wouldn’t that have some kind of existence, and so would have to fit into the mathematical equations that explain the way the Universe is behaving? Not that we've nailed those equations down yet, but apparently we are much, much closer than we've been in the past...

Everything affects everything and the amount of matter and energy in the Universe will have to "square" with whatever equations explain it. Heaven or Hell or the re-incarnation weigh station or Bardos or “non-phyical dimensions” or some separate God would all seem to mess with those equations if they exist, which I don't think they do.

I also don't think any "thing" that exists is non-physical. And as I see it, "I" am a thing too, a bunch of electrically stored memories in a wet spongy computer in my skull. Certain parts of that thing may seem non-physical, given our current understanding of brain function, but I still think even thoughts have a physical substance in the brain.

I just can’t get my head around the idea of Heaven and Hell. And even if there was a logical explanation for them, I wouldn't care to navigate the logical step by step proof of an afterlife. I also don't choose to accept it on faith. It seems to me like the obvious wish fulfillment dream of scared monkeys. At what point on the evolutionary ladder do creatures get an immortal soul? At the point where they realize they're going to die and don't like it, apparently.

That the Universe is somehow designed to give certain animals immortal souls and a place to dwell without bodies forever just seems preposterous to me, even if it might make some sort of logical sense. People who have a logical explanation for the afterlife might be right. Hell, I hope they are. Even if I end up in Hell, I might prefer that to oblivion.

There may very well be an afterlife and a logical proof of one might very well be correct. But I prefer to live as though this is it, that I get one chance to live and then someone, or something else gets to take a ride on my carbon.

This belief focuses me on the here and now and on doing the best I can with what I have. I don't need the idea of an immortal soul or an afterlife to calm my fears of non-existence. I have no memory of any existence before this one and I'm fine with this one ending when my physical body dies.

I've done at least some of everything I dreamed of as a kid. I've touched all the things I wanted to touch when I was a child. Played in all the playgrounds I wanted to play in. Maybe not at the level I'd hoped for when I was young, but close enough. Before I had done this, I was as afraid of dying and as panicky about it as anyone. Now, not so much. If any of my friends was in mortal danger right in front of me, I might very well step in and take a bullet for them. I've had a good run and I'm now too old to die young.

I also don't need the idea of an immortal soul to keep me in line morally. I do not enjoy causing harm to other people and so I don't.

Just to live this adventure, to live an unforced, creative, and kind life is meaning enough for me. I've seen animals die and have watched their little personalities disappear before my eyes. I don't believe there is a gerbil heaven where my little black gerbil went to chew celestial toilet paper tubes and I don't think I'll go to a human one either. I don't think I deserve one. I'm just another animal in a vast Universe that is apparently just one thing anyway. I think my separate self is great tool, a great innovation of Nature, but I don't believe it's ultimately real. 

I think we all disappear, like the Earth will someday, and our Sun and our works of art and our solar system and our galaxy and everything else. Nature seems downright hostile to all forms. It is constantly grinding them up to make new ones. Where is my four year old body? Gone. But where? Into the primordial void would be my guess. If it still exists somewhere, can it hide? If God, Heaven and Hell exist somewhere, can they hide? And if so, how do they do it? 

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