Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Who Came First, God Or Man?

When I wake each morning and realize I'm alive, the first thing I do is re-close my eyes, relax, and try to connect to a source more powerful than myself, something vast, something far better than me.  I call this power God.  It makes it simple and I understand the word.  I meditate on this power, this God, and just feel gratitude, feel quiet, at peace.  I am starting this as yet unknown day in a state of thankfulness which will affect everything I do and say.  But the true amazement is that I know this God believes in me, has faith in me, doesn't need to see or hear me yet knows I exist, knows I am real.  However, this God relates to the human world on a level I cannot understand while I live.  Some would say it's because God had something to do with putting it all in place, in sparking the light of evolution.       

Sorry, but I can't explain it.  I can't see, hear or touch it, but I know it's there.  It believes in me.  God believes in me. 

In the reverse, I live my life with a foundation of virtually no proof that He exists, yet able to go about my days realizing that I've no rationale way of knowing that this God I love can see, hear, or touch me in any way.  Oh but something has, something so far beyond my puny human brain's ability to comprehend it that I'd most likely go mad trying.  It could be something else entirely I feel when deep in meditative prayer, but somehow the presence of a powerful Deity infuses and refreshes me.  Yes, it could all be imaginary transference, but it touches me and I don't have to see it.  I don't think I can with these human eyes.     

Since God needs no one's faith in Him to exist, we have no obligation to believe.  Yet it would seem He has infinite faith in us, for how many stones have been put in your way as you walk through life only to crumble inexplicably so you may continue your sole journey?  How many times has your path been made smooth when seemingly impossible?  How many unproven things can simply be attributable to God, and need no further explaning?  Some say it is dangerous to give God so much credit and power, to simply say, "God did it, God wants it, I don't know why but He does." 

It's difficult.  But imagine a world where people come to a different kind of evolved state where they no longer feel a need for any unseen faith, no more praying to what they can't understand, no belief in any higher Divine Life, no smiling, closed-eyed gratitude to this Being at that moment things go exactly as we'd hoped.  A world with no faith in anything but ourselves. 

Then I reflect on our world as it is, still evolving, but with so many people having that blind faith in a Being worshipped by many names in as many ways; people who know the meaning of love for love's sake, kindness because it's possible, generosity and care simply because the human nature we possess reacts so much more positively when this blind faith is in action.  Not blinded faith, just a sure and solid belief that this Great Power (what words can describe it?) is in the Universe, is most likely the Creator of it, and controls life in whatever way It choses - which is something we can never understand, yet find ourselves more than willing to believe in.  I know the difference these two worlds would have:

A place where faith florishes in something greater than ourselves is a place of hope, of optomistic forward-looking progressive warmth and feeling.  But a place where no faith in anything more evolved than ourselves is, by its very nature, a factual scientific cold and pessimistic world.  This isn't to say that people cannot be happy living without faith,  and certainly this has nothing to do with religion.  It's a simple idea that the beginnings of life and all that has evolved in these billions of eons was not without an unseen, unknowable architect. 

An existence, a mass of people, all believing in nothing but what they see and hear and feel, would be a sorrowful world indeed, where you only receive what someone feels you deserve.  But in a world of people with faith in what they can't see but feel in their very souls is a world that bestowskind acts upon people with no question of what is "deserved" or not.  We all deserve to be cared for and loved.  We deserve to believe in what pleases our senses, mental and physical.  If it pleases my senses to worship this Deity, I have that honor just as anyone who cannot or will not make a connection between ourselves and this God have their honor not to believe.  Is it honorable though?  If you feel no God exists, meaning you feel there is no Being with a pure unchanging Love for us, wouldn't you most likely tend to be a rather unloving sort?  Naturally, that's an overview.  But a world where we can believe without anyone's eye-witness account, and yes I include the Bible, is a world of optomistic hopeful souls, who know something very unique indeed.   

I use the Bible because it is not a blueprint, but rather a tool which helps guide and direct a life, it does not design it.  These incredulous stories and parables were written to inspire and to bring hope, peace when it's needed most.  It is a book of beautiful stories scribed by men who were said to be spiritually inspired when they wrote it, yet its true benefit seems to be when we retreat to its pages at those times when strength and hope are needed most.  Sometimes we read it just for the pleasure of learning how much others loved this God. 

So I look to those who believe there exists no life form in this Universe more powerful than themselves and add that there is no conflict between creationism and evolution.  Why should there be?  We know for scientific, anthropological fact that our solar system, our little expanse of the Universe, is over 4.6 billion years old.  We know that the first appearance of life most likely appeared when a turbulent atmosphere threw off a lightening flash which hit the oceans that covered our world in just such a way as to cause the first bacterium to form and replicate into a single-celled animal, and we know we are a result of that first cell.  So a person who believes not in any God would say, "There!  The Bible is wrong, God could not have made the world and everything in it within 7 days."  But how do we know what a day means to such a one as God? One minute could have meant 10 million years.  It's a level we can't imagine.  This is a Power beyond our wildest comprehension, we have no way of grasping it's abilities, even it's form or means of communication.  But we feel it's something apart from our fleshy bodies and part of that spiritual side of us we call a soul and which I call my God-part.  Yes, I believe I have a soul and it is the portion of me that is most like God, most spiritual.  And this tells me there is no conflict between those who believe and those who do not.  There is only the differences we create, using what we know, seeking always to know more.  I am not wrong if I believe this God exists on some level, but I feel it makes me more human.  Why?   Because I would need the gift of blind faith to believe this way.  I would need the ability to love for love's sake, as I said earlier.  My focus would be slanted more towards others and their needs, because of this belief.  Without it, why would I care?  Which is to say, if I don't believe my soul will, upon my death, return into its Creator from whence it came, why would I bother seeing to the health of that soul?  For if the Universe is only myself and my kind, what use is there for spiritual nourishment?  And that I cannot accept.

Even the spiritual health of myth is a necessary part of being human.  Our ancestors practiced this in dark caves where evidence exists of ritual burials.  Why partake of ritual if you don't believe something lives on after the flesh decays?  Whether a power such as God exists or not, all through the ages we humans found a need to invent as many deities as we had civilizations, it's in our nature to explain that which we fear by creating a Great Spirit to worship and make sacrafice to.  It made us feel protected, safe and beloved.  A people who feel loved are a loving people, and a people who feel they've angered their God are a frightened lot who beg forgiveness, running to hide in the caves.  The reason worship has evolved is because we now understand thunder and lightening, volcanoes and earthquakes.  There is no demon living at the center of the earth, causing fires and floods; the powerful mythology of our past civilizations has evolved into the monothesim we understand today.  But it seemed there was always a place for a God in our existence, if only to explain the sun and moon or the abundance of beauty on this planet. 

So if one cannot believe in the awesome, unknowable power of a God, at least believe in the mythology, because faith in what we cannot explain is what makes us truly human.     

8 comments:

treesrgreen78 said...

Hi my friend, I sincerely read evey word of your entry and for me I sincerely believe that there is a high power.  God has time and again shown me he is by my side through many things and has answered many prayers and some he has not in order to give me a challenge in life and i try and meet those.  One just needs to look at the beauty of the seasons as they evolve and the transformation from a cold stark winter into a beautiful spring as gods many plants come to life and nature spreads its beauty in our world.  Summer allows us to venture out and see what our God has created the wonders of it boggle the mind and for me I know that this could only have been created by a higher power.  My power i believe is God,  I dont necessarily believe u must worship in a church because god is everywhere and u can speak to him whenever u want.  I have read much of the bible and i find it fascinating, i did this as a child and need to refresh myself with it.  To chose a subject such as this and to so admirably write about it, shows me just how special you are my dear friend.  Whenever u wake up in the morning just listen to the birds, and the crickets and listen to nature working its magic as all plant life comes alive and  paints a masterpiece one which god was the master of.  Life is so beautiful and meaningful just by being allowed to view Gods Garden, which is very close to my heart.

TreesRGreen78

sugarsweet056 said...

AMEN & PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!
Sugar

valphish said...

Cathy, very interesting.  I, too, believe there is absolutely no conflict between evolution and creationism - or evolution and Christianity to be more exact.  I have known some self-professed agnostics who have been genuinely loving and giving.  I have heard them say that if the earth is all we have then right now is the time we are responsible for giving and loving, etc.  I can see the point.  It seems to me that you would need blind faith to be an atheist.  How else can you be one?  I can see being an agnostic and not knowing.  I am a Christian if you have not gathered yet.  You have written a few times already, I have noticed, that God has not proven that He exists.  I find that interesting.  I can "see" that He exists so plainly in many, many ways.  I find your faith even more amazing than mine because you can believe even when you do not see.  Very interesting post, Cathy!  Hugs and happy 4th!!  Love, Val xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

lurkynat said...

hum
very thoughtful Cathy!:):) i would add that the parables have been boiled down so that we can see the messge in the story .
The caption that talks about when God does what (time spans) might have to do with a metaphor wihtin a metaphor : in other words there are capulized bits of knwoledge that show dimensionality in the universe at that time.it's symbolized in the words . love you Cathy
huggggggggs happy fourth !

bedazzzled1 said...

BRAVA! This is an entry that just begs for more thoughts, opinions, and hallelujahs. You brought up many very important points. I know quite a few atheists and agnostics, and I can never quite figure out just what it is that puzzles them so. Perhaps they need concrete proof that He exists. Need to see Him. Well, I cannot SEE love, but I know it exists.

I have some pretty liberal religious (or spiritual) views. I think the Bible is merely a guideline for living. Living the way God wishes us to live. If man had not tinkered with the original writings, then I might be more willing to view portions of it literally.

Evolution and Creationism, to me, go together perfectly. I do not think one or the other is the "right" one. They sooooo easily can be combined to be the truth.

You gave so much food for thought here. I love it!

::hug::
Nikki

cste609371 said...

Evolution, THE NUNS CRACKED ME ON THE KNUCKLES WHEN I QUESTION THAT ONE IN 4th GRADE. DONT QUESION THAT THEY ORDERED!
 They told me the teaching of the bible and the ways of the church are the concrete proof that God exists. It's our guide to living life in the light of God. I was told God made man in his own likeness.
Now I've grown, I have my on mind now and pretty liberal religious views, hey- I am from Mass. Were all liberal here, lololol Even though I have my one mind now, I guess they influenced me to believe them as I do. I feel he exists  and makes those who believe in him feel a little better about life, especially when the chips are down. Nice to know a payer is a thought away and It just may help too.  Good topic, CHERYL~

http://journals.aol.com/cste609371/writingsshortstoriesbyStewart/  

cyndygee said...

I have only to read beautiful poetry or gaze upon one of the masterpieces to KNOW there IS a GOD.

God brings man/woman to the place where they are capable of such words, such beauty.

Great entry, Kathy.
                       Cyndy

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